Lowest Element of the Plunderers
 
From: bernhard1848@att.net
 
“I well remember the night when the news came that Lincoln was probably elected. I with a party other college boys went to Hunt’s Hotel [in Columbia] where several speeches were made. Among the speakers was F.J. Moses, a prominent lawyer from Sumter, who in a most violent secession speech hoped the report of the election was true, as it would sweep away the opposition of the weak-kneed and hesitating, like his valued and timid friend, Wade Hampton.

 
Moses lived to be a prominent member of the infamous carpetbag government that wrecked the State from 1868 to 1876. He was Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals, while his son, F.J., Jr., was for years the leader in all the worst thievery and corruption, winding up as Governor.
 
Neither father nor son ever went in the army. His “timid” friend, Wade Hampton, entered the war and his history is a large part of that in the next four years. His next appearance was when the State called him in ’76, when the carpetbaggers and their allies were turned out, the Moses, father and son, being among those deposed at that time. Justice Moses rendered honest decisions, which were of great benefit…His son was to the last allied with the lowest element of the plunderers, and led a vigorous fight in their own party against D.H. Chamberlain, who refused to sign the commission of the younger Moses as judge, a position which he sought only for the opportunities it would give him to sell [court] decisions.
 
“[D.H.] Chamberlain, who was [South Carolina’s Reconstruction] governor from 1874 through 1876, took the ground boldly that the younger [F.J.] Moses and W.J. Whipper, both of whom had been elected judge, were unfit and that he would not assent to their being put on the bench to disgrace it. Chamberlain’s course was one of the first steps toward a better state of things, and it was a heavy blow at the Reconstruction party, whose only bond was plunder. It made a most effective break in their party, which cared nothing for success except as it meant free plunder. They considered Chamberlain’s efforts to make their party honest and decent as a blow at the only liberty they valued, License.
 
Chamberlain was one of the few men of character and education who came South after the war. Even they believed that Northern thrift and economy would reap rich harvests from the development of the South’s great natural resources. They did not realize the insuperable difficulties of working with labor which for generations had been irresponsible chattels, whose one idea of freedom was license, whose foresight never looked beyond the needs of the day, and who could not realize that with the power to govern themselves had come the burden of supporting themselves, the helpless children, the old people, who had been cared for as well as controlled.
 
Some of the Northerners thought that they could direct the ignorant, grateful Negro, even making rich profits while elevating the former slave. But they either gave up in despair, losing all they had put in, or went with the crowd and made profit of their intelligence in a division of plunder.” 
 
(The Haskell Memoirs, Govan & Livingood, editors, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1960, pp. vi-viii)