The Washington Post
John Locke Martin
Washington, D.C.: 20 August 1893


Some Remarks About Mr. Graves' Recent Oration at Chautauqua.

  EDITOR POST: A few days ago at a New York Chautauqua, Mr. John Temple Graves, of George, delivered his now somewhat noted, or, perhaps, famous lecture, "The new Uncle Tom's Cabin."

  Briefly summarized, this lecture is an attempt to convince a large, respectable, and influential class of Northern philanthropists that the only solution of that pleasing myth known as the "Negro Problem" is to set aside one of the Territories not too far toward borean regions for the sole use and prosperity and progeny of the negroes of the South.

  No doubt Mr. Graves has invested and clothed this new-fangled idea with all the graces and flowers of that chaste and beautiful rhetoric of which he is such a consummate master. Indeed, this must be true, for the specials wired about this unique Chautauqua fad tell us in glowing words of the marvelous and magnetic impress made upon the at-first-startled-and-then-willing auditors, who almost stampeded themselves in their hypnotic haste to clasp the hand of this youthful Georgian as he closed his golden flow of eloquence.

  That is all very fine, and as a personal friend and a former co-laborer with Mr. Graves on a Georgia newspaper I rejoice in his splendid Chautauqua victories. He is a veritable Chrysostom, but he is now simply adding more to that nauseating pile of rot as to the future of the negro in America that has so long been accumulating from Boston to the Everglades of Florida. Mr. Graves ought to pause a bit and set his thinker at work. He would then discover that the negro is a full-fledged American citizen, with all the political rights thereto pertaining, and there is no more possibility of his involuntary deportation from his present habitat than there is for the shipment of Mr. Graves to some foreign country without his consent.

  Mr. Graves' scheme is worse than Utopian; it is silly, absurd, and illegal. Carried out it would not only be necessary to set aside the citizenship of the negro, but it would be a cruel wrong to a race which is doing all right now and will continue to keep up the lick, if he is only let alone by people who prize nothing so highly as an hallucination.