« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
THE OUTCOME OF A VISIT TO
THE UNITED STATES
SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL, M.P.
I HAVE long thought that a man has not seen the world till, besides following the beaten tracks in the countries of Europe and Western Asia, which have all drawn from the same sources, he has seen and realised both the great civilisation of the Old World which exists in China, owing nothing to our sources, and the new departure in Western civilisation which has taken place in a New World, in America. While I was in India I was able to make a short run round to China. The circumstances of a hard-working life have not permitted me to fulfil my desire to visit America till I accomplished it this last autumn. Besides the wish to see America as others have seen it, I had also a special desire, for reasons which I explain, to learn something of the present position of the nigger question'-a subject on which very, little has been written in this country, and in regard to which I had failed to get much clear information of a recent date. For that reason I gave special attention to some of the Southern States, viz., Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
During my tour I kept rough notes, but only as
an aide-mémoire to myself, and not in a state intended for publication. After my return I had occasion to visit my constituents in the Kirkcaldy Burghs, and I varied the monotony of our ordinary political subjects by telling them something of what I had seen in America. To go through a group of Scotch burghs one has to make a good many speeches; and so it happened that on several occasions I went over ground connected with or suggested by my American experiences. I also wrote an article on 'Black and White in the Southern States,' which the Editor of the 'Fortnightly Review' was kind enough to publish. Several of my friends have been so good as to say that they have been interested by it, and some of them have added, 'It is only a pity that you did not carry the subject a little farther.' Thus encouraged, I have thought that some might be glad to see the evidence on which my conclusions were founded, as contained in my notes. The fact is, too, that though we have plenty of books about the Far West and life in the Rocky Mountains, and so on, there seem to be very few regarding the more accessible parts of the United States. I certainly had great difficulty in finding such books to guide me in my travels, and was obliged to take my information in a great degree from that of Mr. Anthony Trollope, written almost a quarter of a century back. A Member of Parliament, Mr. Hussey Vivian, who recently visited America, and who is a very competent observer, has published a book of a very interesting character; but it so happens that his specialties are different from mine.