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Art & Craft Group

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Mason Collins
Mason Collins

Sex Ticket ~The Day Women Became Walking Cum-ho...

During these years the public press of the South was acurious study. Immediately after the close of the war, anduntil about the period of the rehabilitation of the States, itsutterances were cautious and guarded. While there was almostalways an undertone which might be construed to mean eithersullen hate or unconcealable chagrin, there was little of thatvindictive bitterness toward the North which had immediatelypreceded the war, or attended its prosecution. It is true, that,in some instances, its bottles of unparalleled infamy were unstopped,and poured on the heads of unoffending citizens ofNorthern birth, or those natives who saw fit to affiliate with theconqueror, or to accept office at his hands. This, however, wasnot a universal rule. As soon as the reconstruction periodhad passed, this caution relaxed. More and more bitter, moreand more loathsome, became the mass of Southern journalism.Defiant hostility, bitter animosity, unrestricted libertinism inthe assaults of private character, poured over the columns ofthe Southern press like froth upon the jaws of a rabid cur.Whatever or whoever was of the North or from the North wasthe subject of ridicule, denunciation, and immeasurable malignityof vituperation. Whoever had aided, assisted, or assentedto the process of reconstruction, became a target forinfamous assault. Rank, station, purity of life, uprightness ofcharacter, religious connection, age, sex, were no safeguard fromthese assaults. The accumulated malignity of the years ofquietude and suppression burst its bounds, and poured over thewhole country a disgusting flood of hideous, horrible, improbable,and baseless accusation and rabid vituperation. Men ofthe fairest lives were covered over with unutterable infamy;women of the highest purity were accused of unnamable enormities;and even children of tender years were branded withineffaceable marks of shame. The previous training which thepress of the South had received in the art of vilification, underthe régime of slavery, became now of infinite service in thisverbal crusade. The mass of their readers had long been accustomedto believe any thing absurd and horrible in regard to theNorth. To them it was already the land of thieves, adulterers,infidels, and cheats. There might be good men there; butthey were counted rarer than in Sodom. For fifty years thenecessities of slavery had rendered the cultivation of such asentiment necessary in order to preserve the institution fromthe assaults of free labor and free thought. To turn this tideof public sentiment against the ideas, principles, and men whowere engaged in the work of reconstruction, to intensify itsbitterness, increase its credulity, and make thereby a seven-timesheated furnace of infamy for those who saw fit to favorthis movement, was the assigned work and mission of theSouthern press, and right nobly was it executed. Never wassuch unanimity, never was such persistency, never such rivalryin malevolence, never such munificence in invective, never suchfertility in falsehood.

Sex Ticket ~The Day Women Became Walking Cum-ho...

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