[The first story below appeared on the front page of the Indianapolis paper on the same day MT and Cable performed in the city. The next, on the day of MT and Cable's second Chicago performance, and in the same issue of the Tribune which ran the paper's review of their first show.]From the Indianapolis Journal,
7 January 1885
Southern Appreciation of Mr. Cable.
Two Southern Democrats at the capital yesterday were discussing current literary topics, when one of the suddenly asked: "Have you seen Gable's article in the Century?"
"No," replied the other. "What is the article about, and who the blank is Gable?"
"Oh," said the first Democrat savagely, "it is an article in favor of the 'nigger,' and full of abuse and lies about the Southern people. Haven't you heard of Gable? George W. Gable is his name. He is that New Orleans man who writes books and goes around the country reading them in public. He brags that his grandfather and father were both slaveholders, and then says that it was not their fault, that they did not know any better. The article would be bad enough if it had been written by a Northern man; coming from a Southern man it is an insult."
"Well, I do not want to read it. I should think Gable would emigrate to the North and stay there. We have no use for such men in the South."
It is evident that these indignant Southerners do not appreciate Mr. Cable's literary efforts.
From the Chicago Daily Tribune,
17 January 1885
THE EQUALITY OF THE NEGRO.
MR. CABLE AND THE RABID SOUTHERNERS.
George W. Cable and "Mark Twain" arrived at the Pacific yesterday from Burlington, Ia. The latter has not been in the city since he replied to his famous toast on "Babies" at the Grant banquet five years ago. Mr. Cable has lately been having quite a one-sided contest with the Bourbon element in the South over an article which appeared in the January Century advocating the political equality of the negro as a matter of prudence and equity. He has been literally belabored with invective and abuse, disowned as a Southerner, the merit of his novels decried, and, in fact, so viciously treated by those who are either frightened or angered at his statements and predictions regarding the present condition of the South that he is rather disposed to strike back at his critics.
Upon his arrival he found a small stack of letters awaiting him, which lay upon the table when a TRIBUNE reporter called later in the day. "All of them," said Mr. Cable, "are from people in the South, containing words of sympathy and encouragement relative to my article in the Century on 'The Freedman's Case in Equity.' They are from whites as well as blacks--from people living in all parts of the South."
Taking up some of the letters at random, which happened to be from colored writers, Mr. Cable's voice grew husky as passages characteristically eloquent in praise were read.
"Of course," said he, of the rabid position of the larger part of the Southern press, "this personal abuse is disagreeable and hurts me, as it would any man; but I hail it with joy as compared with the silence of a fortress, which shows it to be either impregnable or impassive. The frightful hubbub the advocacy of political rights for the blacks has aroused, is, in itself, a good sign that the unprogressive element of the South is alarmed. I believe that the best intelligence of the South agrees with the spirit of the article. Professors in colleges, teachers, preachers, many professional men--the intelligence that quietly predominates everywhere ultimately--are certainly sloughing traditional tendencies and molding a new South. The press of the South, outside of the larger cities, does not represent this better intelligence. The country papers, mostly edited by printers and published in sparsely-populated regions, get their support from and pander to the lower grades of society, which are the most intolerant and harsh to the black man. Their abuse was to be expected by any man pleading for equity in his cause."
Requested to outline the future of the South, Mr. Cable said he saw it "great and wonderful, but vague." He had great fears of the outcome of the great problem. In fifteen years more, under the present régime, the blacks would outnumber the whites in every State from Virginia to the east line of Texas. With the ratio of increase two to three and a half in favor of the negro, he could afford to wait. The urgency for action rests with the whites. It was a struggle in which the under man was increasingly in strength marvelously each decade. The question must be met. It could not be always postponed.
"But American progress has always outrun anticipation," Mr. Cable continued. "Who could have supposed a few years ago that Beecher, the Abolitionist, would have been offered $2,000 for three lectures in New Orleans? Garrison, Sumner, Greeley, all were surprised to see in their lifetime the fulfillment of their anticipations. In places where I have lectured I have been listened to with close attention, receiving warm commendations, where five years before such sentiments would not have gone unreproved."