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Scripto | Transcribe Page
An Address Delivered by Prof. W.S. Scarborough, of Wilberforce University, on Our Political Status, at the Colored Men's Inter-State Conference in the City of Pittsburgh, PA., Tuesday, April 29, 1884.
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12 OUR POLITICAL STATUS.
Ohio, Dec. 26th, 1883, a letter was addressed to Congressman Cox, of New York, asking him (I was opposed to the suggestion) that he would turn his attention to a question which to all the colored people of the United States is one of greatest importance, viz: "The unwarranted and cowardly shooting down, in cold blood, of American citizens in the State of Virginia." The letter further stated that he was asked, because of his position as a prominent Congressman and as a humanitarian, to give this question his serious attention, and to give his aid to the passage of such a law as will protect American citizens in their civil rights. Again, this request was made of him because of the humanitarian position taken by him with reference to a citizen of the United States who had violated the laws of another nation. Since he (S. S. Cox) had thus interested himself in one who had thus violated law, surely he would give his attention to the murder of law-abiding citizens at home. What the distinguished gentleman from New York did with the letter I am unable to say. I suppose it was a secret, like the burial of Orontes, and no one knows, perhaps, save the Congressman and a few intimate friends. It was left for the Hon. John Sherman to do what the humanitarian treated with contempt.
I referred to Bishop Pierce in the course of my remarks, now I quote from that interview:
"The negroes are entitled to elementary education the same as the whites, from the hands of the State. It is the duty of the Church to improve the colored ministry, but by theological training rather than by literary education. In my judgment higher education, so called, would be a positive calamity to the negroes. It would increase the friction between the races, producing endless strifes, elevate negro aspirations far above the station he was created to fill and resolve the whole race into a political faction, full of strife, mischief and turbulence. Negroes ought to be taught that the respect of the white race can only be attained by good character and conduct. * * * * If negroes were educated inter-marriage, in time, would breed trouble, but of this I see no tendency now. My conviction is that negroes have no rights in juries, legislatures or in public office. Right involves character
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