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Civil Rights. Address of the Colored Citizens of Chicago to The Congress of the United States.

1866IL-Chicago_Address (5).pdf

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5

CIVIL RIGHTS.

selves, owning and tilling her soil, learning and loving her literature, and loving and supporting her institutions, shall constitute the great, progressive and invincible American family,

"Distinct, like the billows, yet one, as the sea."

As the blessing of him that was ready to perish, the poor, and him that had no helper," came upon the head of the grand old eastern patriarch—the man who, daring to speak the thing that was right, in the face of opposing circumstances of no mean magnitude, became as a tree of shelter planted beside running waters—so may the blessing of the colored American people of the present and succeeding generations rest in rich fruition upon the heads of each unit of the loyal majority of the 39th Congress of the United States, (and their issue,) for their guarantee of protection to millions of people dwelling beneath the starry flag," in their possession and exercise of their God-given "civil rights," which man alone had disallowed to them.

Entertaining the fullest respect for the office of President of the United States, because regarding its incumbency. as the highest civil position known among men, we earnestly hope that the American Congress and the American people will ever preserve its dignity from deterioration.

And now, in reiterating our thanks, so deeply are we impressed with the belief that the only reliable hope for the continued nationality and liberty of our beloved country resides in the adoption by her of a public and fundamental policy built upon the justice of God, as its inflexible base, that we respectfully beg leave to append, as the peroration of our address, an excerpt of a letter written by one of our number to a distinguished senator of the United States:

"History, tradition, and geology, conjointly advise us that nations do not exist forever. Some have been swept away as with the besom of destruction, while others have been subjected to the prolonged torture of absorption by their successors. The known relics of antiquity are developments of the severity of God's justice in His dealings with national vices.

"Egypt, the cradle of the arts, the alma mater of science and learning, is become the basest of kingdoms. There is 'no more a prince in the land of Egypt.' She bends low beneath the foot of the Othman—a fief of the empire of the infidel Turk. While her pyramids proclaim her former greatness, her laws, and her religion—so widely different from her own ancient statutes and her Coptic faith—are alike the inspiration of the Sublime Porte! 'No-Ammon' in her ruins is still 'situate among the waters;' and the remnants of the hundred-gated city attest her former opulence.

"Babylon, 'the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency,' has become 'as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah' The Arab does not pitch his tent there; the shepherd makes not there his fold. Dragons have uttered their cry in her pleasant palaces; there the great owl makes her nest, and there the Satyr dances.

"Jerusalem, the joy of the whole earth, the city of the Great King, in which the Lord of Hosts was pleased to place His gracious name, sits solitary and a captive at the foot of the throne of the infidel! 'Her fine gold has become dim;' the very site of the sanctuary of the Lord is profaned within her, and her sacred places are spurned by the foot of the unbelieving stranger.

"Rome, 'the eternal city,' whose conquering eagles surmounted the standards of a universal dominion, declined and fell, and has for ages been shorn of her pristine splendor and glory. Her prætorial, consular and imperial dignities live but in history, and those proud domes where Caesars once bore sway, defaced by time, are tottering in decay.

"Great and flourishing in the day of their power, they 'bent their tongues as their bows for lies; robbery and violence were found in them; they oppressed the hireling in his wages, and turned aside the stranger from his right'; they

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