|dc.description.transcription||The future prospects of the American People
The future, to my vision, looks dark. In round numbers, say we have a population of 30 million. 20 millions are now reveling in mad fanaticism, debauchery & national ruin; 10 millions are living in despondency, wickedness, want, & even starvation. A five years, cruel, savage, unprecedented man has revolutionized-destroyed the government, pampered, with the spoils of plunder, a greedy, blood-thirsty, unprincipled few, demoralized, intoxicated & debauched their apostates, & paralyzed & ruined those who have fallen under the laws of their displeasure. Vice & crime of every kind is the rule & not the exception, in one section of the nation; while destitution, misery & want prevail in another section. For five years the productive forces of one section were turned into the destroyers of property in the other, while the productive forces of the latter were necessity made consumers of their substance at home in the endeavor to defend their own homes & firesides from pollution & destruction. The world of the war transformed four millions of producers into idle paupers & ingrates; left thousands upon thousands of hitherto prosperous & happy women & children, husbandless, fatherless, homeless & helpless. An inflated currency floods the country, finding its way chiefly into the pockets of shapeless, unprincipled trades & stock =jobless. The inflated currency, gave fabulous prices to the syncopations of life. A deplorable drought among the sufferers of the South, placed the ninepennies for substance still father from Stein? Reach. The tax gatherers of a self-constituted government forced from these destitute sufferers what little of money they might chance to have & with which hunger & starvation could have been armistice for a little while longer. Thousands upon thousands are this day upon the point of actual starvation in Alabama, Georgia, & the Carolinas-women & children & disabled men; while their neighbors at the north are living in inglorious ease & reveling in extravagant luxury. And this is enlightened & Christian America!
The country at large is over traded & under worked. You need not look beyond your own section for proof of this. Look around you. Count the consumers & then count the producers; which preponderates? Are there more tilling the soil than those who are not? You can see for yourselves the necessities of life are becoming higher & higher in price. Money is being drained from the many to the few. Taxation is becoming more & more ominous. Vice & immorality are becoming more & more predominant. Ruin is stalking abroad.
But what of the future? Taxation & extortion must be increased to sustain the talking credit of the nation, with its fabulous debt hanging over it. A general & enacting confiscation must be brought forward to prop it in its fall. A financial crash nationally & individually must ensue. Anarchy & military despotism will prevail. Society might be revolutionized & demoralized. Distrust will be universal among the people. Espionage will be instituted by those in power. Public murders will be enacted under claim of legal executions. Secret assassinations will be common. And this once prosperous, fair & happy land will be converted into a worse than Pandemonium.
What is the duty of the people of our section in view of all this. They must be industrious. Let them labor with their hands. Practice frugality & economy. Let them not strive for display in the trappings of gaudy attention. Let them practice sociability & a fraternal feeling. Let virtue, integrity & morality characterize their whole conduct. The youth must be educated. Not superficially & partially, but solidly & fully. No nation of educated people can ever be made the stories of tyrants. The hope – the salvation of our people, individually & nationally is in the intelligence of the youth of the country, who will soon be men & women, & actors upon the public stage. While the opposite section of the nation are sinking to degradation in vice & crime, intoxicated & unfed on by their past & present escapades in all that is unholy; let us take a lesson from our sad universe & trusting in a kind Providence, exert our manhood & womanhood for all that is good for all that is noble, for that is amiable & virtuous. For wisdom intelligence & a high order of worth of excellence. We can do it. We can be men of usefulness, men of worth. We can be a nation of freemen. Then let us exert ourselves & be so.
In taking leave of my much-esteemed teacher of my fellow students – perhaps for the last time, I here voluntarily pledge myself to the former to entrust the latter to follow the course here instigated with all fidelity & perseverance, that ere may come off more than conquerors in the end.||