Some years ago i was travelling through central

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Some years ago I was travelling through Central Alabama, and I chanced to stop at a crossroads country store. While I was talking with the store- keeper a coloured man, who lived some distance away, chanced to pass by. It happened that the merchant had a considerable sum of money which he wanted to send to some of his friends some miles distant. He called the coloured man into the store and put the money into his hands with the request that he deliver it to his friend as he passed by the house on his road home. My attention was attracted by this trans- action, and I asked the white merchant how it was that he was willing to entrust so large a sum of money to this particular coloured man. My question brought out the fact that the merchant did not even know the name of the man to whom he had entrusted this money. He was familiar with his face, knew that he had lived in the neighbourhood for a number of years, and felt quite secure in putting the money in his hands to carry to its destination. In explanation the merchant told me that, in all his experience in dealing with coloured people in that neighbourhood,he had never been deceived when he asked one of them to perform some specific act which involved direct, personal responsibility. He
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388 THE STORY OF THE NEGRO went on to say that while the man to whom he had given this money, if the opportunity offered itself, might yield to the temptation of pilfering, he still felt perfectly sure that the money he had entrusted to him would be delivered in exactly the shape in which it had been turned over. It is a common thing in the South for the heads of the household to leave home and be away for weeks and even months, without a single thing of value in the house being left under lock and key. In such cases Southern white people are willing to entrust, apparently, all their property to the care of Negro servants. In spite of this fact, I have rarely heard of a case of this kind in which the Negro servants have proved dishonest. I very seldom go into any Southern city that some banker, or retail or wholesale merchant does not introduce me to some individual Negro, to whom he has entrusted all that is valuable in connection with his banking or mercantile business. I have already referred to the part that the Negro took in the wars which were fought to establish, defend and maintain the United States. One of the soldiers of the Revolutionary War who after- ward distinguished himself in a remarkable way was Reverend Lemuel Haynes, and as I have not mentioned him elsewhere, I will do so here. Lemuel Haynes was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, in 1753. In 1775 he joined the Colonial Army
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NEGRO'S PLACE IN AMERICAN LIFE 389 as a Minute-man, at Roxbury, Massachusetts, having volunteered for the Ticonderoga Expedition.
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Christopher Reinemann
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