Smithsonian

Lines from a pro-slavery poem

If harvest fail from inauspicious skies,
The Master’s providence his food supplies;
No paupers perish here for want of bread,
Or lingering live, by foreign bounty fed;
No exiled trains of homeless peasants go,
In distant climes, to tell their tales of woe;
For other fortune, free from care and strife,
For work, or bread, attends the Negro’s life,
And Christian Slaves may challenge as their own,
The blessings claimed in fabled states alone—
The cabin home, not comfortless, though rude,
Light daily labour, and abundant food,
The sturdy health, that temperate habits yield,
The cheerful song, that rings in every field.

—William J. Grayson, congressman from South Carolina, 1856