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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Memorial of John Mercer Langston for Colored People of Ohio to General Assembly of the State of Ohio
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But I will not weary your patience, further than to quote the celebrated proclamation of General Jackson, in 1814, they are as follows:
HEAD QUARTERS, SEVENTH MILITARY DISTRICT, MOBILE, Sept. 21, 1814
To the Free Colored Inhabitants of Louisiana
"Through a mistaken policy, you have been deprived of a participation in the glorious struggle for natural rights, in which our country is engaged. This no longer shall exist.
"As sons of freedom, you are now called upon to defend the most inestimable of blessings. As Americans, your country looks with confidence to her adopted children, for a valorous support, as a faithful return for the advantages enjoyed under her mild and equitable government. As fathers, husbands and brothers, you are summoned to rally around the standard of the Eagle, to defend all that is dear in existence.
"Your country, although calling for your exertions, does not wish you to engage in her cause without remunerating you for the services rendered. Your intelligent minds are not to be led away by false representations. Your love of honor would cause you to despise the man who should attempt to deceive you. With the sincerity of a soldier, and in the language of truth, I address you.
"To every noble hearted free man of color volunteering to serve during the present contest with Great Britain, and no longer, there will be paid the same bounty in money and land, now received by the white soldiers of the United States, namely, one hundred and twenty four dollars in money, and one hundred and sixty acres of land. The non-commissioned officers and privates will also be entitled to the same monthly pay, daily rations, and clothes furnished to any American soldier.
"On enrolling yourselves in companies, the Major General commanding will select officers for your government, from your white fellow citizens. Your non-commissioned officers will be appointed from among yourselves.
"Due regard will be paid to the feelings of freemen and soldiers. You will not by being associated with white men in the same corps, be exposed to improper comparisons, or unjust sarcasm. As a distinct, independent battalion or regiment, pursuing the path of glory, you will, undivided, receive, the applause of your countrymen.
ANDREW JACKSON, Major General commanding."
The second proclamation is one of the highest compliments that the General could have paid to his colored soldiers. This is his address:
"Soldiers!--When on the banks of the Mobile I called you to take up arms, inviting you to partake the perils and glory of your white fellow citizens, I expected much from you; for I was not ignorant that you possessed qualities most formidable to an invading enemy. I knew with what fortitude you could endure hunger and thirst, and all fatigues of a campaign. I knew well how you loved your native country, and that you as well as ourselves, had to defend what man holds dear,-- his parents, wife, children, and property. You have done more than I expected. In addition to the previous qualities I before knew you to possess, I found among you a noble enthusiasm which leads to the performance of great things.
"Soldiers! The President of the United States shall hear how praiseworthy was your conduct in the hour of danger, and the representatives of the American people will give you the praise you exploits entitle you to. Your General anticipates them in applauding your noble ardor.
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