An Intelligent Contraband.

We are not an advocate of "Negro Equality." We believe that the negro race has been degraded by generations of vile, brutal bondage, and that other generations of patient cultivation will be required to being it up to a reasonable standard of mental and moral development. Still we believe that there are very many black men now in servitude in the South, who, in all the elements of true greatness of mind, heart and soul, are equal, — nay, superior, — to their own aristocratic masters. They lack the smattering of an education which the white "chivalry" have obtained, but even without that they are better able to provide for themselves, more trustworthy and reliable, more truly men and gentleman.

An instance came under our own personal notice, while an inmate of a Nashville Hospital last winter, which may be as interesting to others as it was to us.

At Hospital No. 3, Nashville, Tenn., one year ago, there was a negro man familiarly known as "Uncle Hardy." He was about fifty years old, was perfectly black, with fully developed negro features, and was by trade a shoemaker. He was employed as a waiter at the hospital, and his wife was one of the washer women. He had lived for many years at Franklin, a few miles South of Nashville. For nine or ten years past, he had hired the time of himself and wife of his master, paying him in cash three hundred dollars each year. He carried on a shoe-maker's shop, employing several hands, (some of them white men) and besides paying this amount to his master every year, he had supported himself and wife, and a daughter,(until she was torn away and sold down farther South,) and had accumulated considerable property. His brutal master, not content with receiving this large sum yearly, would occasionally extort other sums under threat of selling the wife or daughter, and when he found that the threat had ceased to operate, did sell the daughter, in order to hold a more effectual terror, with regard to the wife. That's "Chivalry"!

Uncle Hardy was all this time, an honest, consistent member and class leader, in the colored Methodist church, and not a word of complaint was ever uttered against him. — These are his statements fully corroborated by citizens of Franklin.

After the arrival of Rosecrans' army at Nashville, in October '62, the rebels at Franklin began to fear for their security, and slave owners began to send their negroes further South. "Hardy" was at that time carrying on a shoe making establishment, working fifteen or twenty negro men, all making shoes for the rebel army. His services could hardly be spared, but his master decided to ship him to a safer distance from the "Lincolnites." Preparations were made to send him early on Sunday morning, but he found it out, by some means, and gathering up all his money and valuables, left, with his wife, Saturday night, and started for Nashville. So well was he known, and so swiftly did the news of his exodus spread among the colored populations, that we think as many as forty or fifty negroes had joined him, while travelling the distance of thirty miles.

On his arrival at the picket lines, he sent in his name to Gen. Granger, commanding the post of Nashville, whose acquaintance he had formed, during the previous occupation of Franklin by our troops. The General returned immediately an order readings thus, — "Let Hardy and his Isrealites pass into Canaan." He came in, obtained a situation in the Hospital, and there, in the intervals of his duties worked industriously at his trade.

He was very conscientious in everything. He was modest and unobtrusive, yet firm and decided in all his opinions. He could not read or write, yet could carry on good mental business calculations, used very good language in conversation, and was well versed in all scriptural points, quoting many long passages, with perfect correctness, and applying them well.

We left him there, and where he has since gone, we have not learned, but should he have made his way to the North, he will make a valuable citizen in any community.

This is the story of "Uncle Hardy." He was not a poet or an orator, or a brilliant genius, but far better than that for him, he was an honest, intelligent, industrious man, and therefore not necessarily an exceptional case, but only a type of what many are capable of becoming under proper influence. A man like this is one of God's noblemen, though his skin be black, and his hair crispy. And no one will deny this nobility to him, who does not fear its significance, and no one will fear it, who is not conscious of his own inferiority, in some way, to such a man.