Since the following chapters were prepared for the press, my attention was directed by a friend, to a letter published in a Northern paper, which detailed some shocking things, that the writer had seen and heard in the South; and also some severe strictures on the institution of domestic slavery in the Southern States, &c.
I have in the following work, related an anecdote of a young lawyer, who being asked how he could stand up before the court, and with unblushing audacity state falsehoods; he very promptly answered, "I was well paid; I received a large fee, and could therefore afford to lie." I infer from the class of letters referred to, that the writers are generally "well paid" for their services.
It has long been a practice of abolition editors in the Northern States, when they were likely to run short of matter, to employ some worthy brother, to travel South, and manufacture articles for their papers. Many of those articles are falsehoods; and most of them, if not all, are exaggerations.
No man who will consent to go south, and perform this dirty work, is capable of writing truth. And moreover, many of the letters published in abolition papers, purporting to have been written from some part of the South, were concocted by editors and others at home; the writers never having traveled fifty miles from their native villages. But some of them do travel South and write letters; and it is of but little consequence what they see, or what they hear; they have engaged to write letters, and letters they must write: letters too, of a certain character; and if they fail to find material in the South, it then devolves on them to manufacture it.
They have engaged to furnish food for the depraved appetites of a certain class of readers in the North; and furnish it they must, by some means. They truly, are an unlucky set of fellows, for I never yet heard of one of them, who was so fortunate as to find anything good or praiseworthy among Southern people. This is very strange indeed! They travel South with an understanding on the part of their employer, and with an intention on their part, to misrepresent the South, and to excite prejudice in Northern minds. How devoid of patriotism, truth and justice. The mischief done by these misrepresentations is inconceivable. If every abolitionist North of Mason and Dixon's line, were separately and individually asked, from whence he derived his opinions and prejudices in relation to Southern men, and Southern slavery, nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand would answer, that they had learned all that they knew about slavery and slaveholders from the publication of abolitionists: not one in a thousand among them having ever seen a southern slave or his master. "Truth is stranger than fiction;" and it is also becoming more rare. No wonder people are misled, when the country is flooded with abolition papers and Uncle Tom's Cabin. No one can read such publications without being misled by them, unless he is, or has been, a resident of a slave State....