Isham Stewart editorial

Please note that this editorial from the Macon Beacon of 14 October 1874, as quoted in the WPA history of Noxubee County, includes strong racist language.

“Messrs. Editors: To a calm looker-on, the politics of Noxubee County presents a most disgraceful spectacle, one that is calculated to make every true friend of his country sigh over the shame and degradation to which the times give birth.

The Isham Stewart party is, in all conscience, sufficiently ignorant, sufficiently besotted, and sufficiently enslaved; Isham rules his poor dupes as effectually as ever the Buckra Man die. His ignorant partisans call themselves freemen, and yet they obey the command of the league and their great overseer, Isham, implicitly. His nod is law; his word, gospel; his disinterested sacrifice of himself, for eight dollars per diem and mileage ‘gwine and comin’,’ their political salvation.

Isham, however, has been enough regardful of the sacred rights of the white race as to confer upon a few of their number nominations for some little bits of offices. The whites of Isham’s party affect to think they are guiding him, yet the smallest boy of one of our common schools, black or white, can see that the big overseer, Isham, is leading them about by the nose – using them to give body to his party – to give it a kind of respectability in ignorance. These whites are the sauce that seasons the black goose. Isham, no doubt, looks with a fatherly pride upon this party-colored party. He sells himself to the highest bidder, then takes the bidders patronizingly into his party and tells his willing slaves that he is of the true blue.

But even this party of Isham’s, founded upon ignorance and disregard of the rights of the intelligent whites, is saintly in comparison with this new-fledged Walker Clay and Company party. Though Isham has been thought to possess more mean hatred towards the white race than any other nigger in the county and to infuse more of it into his party, yet he has proposed to give some of the offices to that race. But this Walker Clay, with a meanness that even Isham begins to blush at, puts out a ticket composed entirely of niggers. Isham will now and then sell himself to a white skin and then magnanimously take him into his party…

Isham is going over to the white party and endeavoring to carry the niggers with him; this is the life of the party of Walker Clay. He thinks too many whites are getting into Isham’s party.”