Birthday Garden Party to Mrs. Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Boston: The Atlantic Monthly, Supplemen, August 1882


  I wish to say that I thank all my friends from my heart, that is all. And one thing more, and that is, if any of you have doubt, or sorrow, or pain, if you doubt about this world, just remember what God has done; just remember that this great sorrow of slavery has gone, gone by forever. I see it every day at the South. I walk about there and see the lowly cabins. I see these people growing richer and richer. I see men very happy in their lowly lot; but, to be sure, you must have patience with them. They are not perfect, but have their faults, and they are serious faults in the view of white people. But they are very happy, that is evident, and they do know how to enjoy themselves, a great deal more than you do. An old negro friend in our neighborhood has got a new, nice two-story house, and an orange grove, and a sugar-mill. He has got a lot of money, besides. Mr. Stowe met him one day, and he said, "I have got twenty head of cattle, four head of 'hoss,' forty head of hen, and I have got ten children, all mine, every one mine." Well, now, that is a thing that a black man could not say once, and this man was sixty years old before he could say it. With all the faults of the colored people, take a man and put him down with nothing but his hands, and how many could say as much as that? I think they have done well.

  A little while ago they had at his house an evening festival for their church, and raised fifty dollars. We white folks took our carriages, and when we reached the house we found it fixed nicely. Every one of his daughters knew how to cook. They had a good place for the festival. Their suppers were spread on little white tables, with nice clean cloths on them. People paid fifty cents for supper. They got between fifty and sixty dollars, and had one of the best frolics you could imagine. They had also for supper ice-cream, which they made themselves.

  That is the sort of thing I see going on around me. Let us never doubt. Everything that ought to happen is going to happen.