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Slavery in Cuba. A Report of the Proceedings of the Meeting, Held at the Cooper Institute. New York City, December 13, 1872.

1872NY-Cuba-New-York_Proceedings-page6.pdf

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6

the downtrodden and oppressed, while you are enjoying the blessings of freedom, the voice of five hundred thousand of our brethren in chains is heard, demanding an equal chance in the race of life. The soil of Cuba is polluted with the curse of human slavery. The exigency of the situation demands our immediate action. Was not the fact before us, it would seem impossible that the colored people of this country, so lately possessed of their liberty and right to citizenship, could refrain so long from giving some expression of their sentiment on the question of slavery in the Island of Cuba. A desire to abstain from pressing upon our government any measure which might interfere with its foreign policy during the pendency of the Alabama question, and as good citizens should, offer no encouragement to a spirit that might create a breach of our government's declared neutrality in the affairs of that island, has no doubt been the cause of our silence. Four years now have passed since the first blow was struck for freedom in Cuba, since which time the cause of liberty has oft trembled in the balance, but by the grace of an overruling Providence stands to-day in her majesty and asks nothing of the world but an equal chance with that of her oppressors, in order to crown her gallant efforts with victory. Shall the four million in our own land, who have so lately tasted of the bitter fruit of slavery, stand idly by while a half million of our brethren are weighed down with anguish and despair at their unhappy lot? or shall we rise up as one man and with one accord demand for them simple and exact justice? Indeed, we look back but a very brief period to the time when it was necessary for other men to hold conventions, appoint committees and form societies, having in view the liberation of four millions among whom were ourselves; but, thanks to the genius of free government, free schools and liberal ideas, all the outgrowth of an enlightened and Christian age, we are enabled in the brief space of ten years to stand, not only as freemen ourselves, but with voices and with power to demand the liberation of five hundred thousand of our brethren, who are afflicted with the curse of human slavery. Although the task before us seems weighted with difficulties, and those whom we propose to free are not within our grasp, being separated from our own country and under the hand of a foreign government, nevertheless, all the these difficulties can be success-

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