Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm really not a liar, redux.

Two weeks ago I wrote about Charles Carroll, concluding
Perhaps worst of all is that this work was fairly well-received, from all accounts. I recall reading one contemporary account that called the book the Bible of the poor man, it was so common; unfortunately, I cannot seem to find this quote (and I have spent quite a while looking).

I finally found the quote:
It is difficult to determine what, if any, influence Carroll's ideas enjoyed. In 1909 an observer suggested that The Negro A Beast had "become the Scriptures of tens of thousands of poor whites," who maintained its doctrines "with an appalling stubbornness and persistence." Another reported four years earlier that the book was "said to be securing a very wide circulation among the poor whites of the cotton states."

From Jim Crow's Defense: Anti-Negro Thought in America, 1900-1930 by I.A. Newby.

Newby continues, however,
These opinions, however, are mere surmises, and, since both observers found Carroll's views repulsive, they were inclined perhaps to overstatement. The suggestion that Negroes are beasts of the field was so totally at variance with popular interpretations of the Bible that it probably had little influence among any group, even in the deep South. Carroll was never cited by popular writers, and few racists seem to have read his works.

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