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1865 Washington, D.C. Celebration by the Colored People's Educational Monument Association in Memory of Abraham Lincoln
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5 Letter Of Rev. Joshua Leavitt.
New York, June 30, 1865. Messrs. William Syphax and John F. Cook, Committee, &c.:
Gentlemen: You are right in the belief that I feel a deep and long cherished interest in everything that may aid my brethren and fellow-countrymen of African lineage in developing their patriotism and promoting the spread of intelligence among themselves. Your invitation to be present at the great Lincoln Monument meeting on the 4th gives me great pleasure, as showing that I cannot be forgotten in my old age; but unfortunately it came after I had engaged to be present at a meeting among my native hills in Massachusetts; and the request for a notice in the Independent comes too late, as the paper for this week was already printed.
I wish you much success in your laudable undertaking. The Anglo-Africans of this country have now their destiny in their own hands. The struggle, if brave and persevering, is the very thing to develop their manhood, and their very hardships train them to be worthy of freedom. It is the way my Pilgrim Fathers were made what they were, and they bore cheerfully all their trials for the sake of preparing what we enjoy. A race of people that can live for their children and for posterity cannot but become great.
I remain, gentlemen, your true friend, Joshua Leavitt.
Letter From Frederick Douglass
Rochester, July 1, 1865.
Messrs. William Syphax and John F. Cook:
Gentlemen: Accept my best thanks for your note of 28th June, inviting me to be present at your proposed celebration of the 4th, in Washington. Had your note come a few days earlier, I might have been able to mingle my voice with those who shall participate in the commemoration of the birthday of freedom at the Capital. As the matter now stands, I can only send you the assurance that I shall be with you in spirit and purpose.
The one thought to be emphasized and deeply underscored on that occasion is this: the immediate, complete, and universal enfranchisement of the colored people of the whole country. This is demanded both by justice and national honor. Besides, it is the only policy which can give permanent peace and prosperity to the country. The great want of the country is to be rid of the negro question, and it can never be rid of that question until justice, right, and sound policy and complied with. I hope the able men who will speak on the occasion of your celebration will show that the prophecy of 1776 will not be fulfilled till all men in America shall stand equal before the laws.
Yours, very truly,
Letter From Gen. Fremont.
New York, July 3, 1865.
Messrs. Wm. Syphax and John F. Cook, Committee, &c., Washington City:
Gentlemen: I have to thank you for an invitation to take part in your proceedings of to-morrow, and regret that I am unable to accept it.
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