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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Slavery in Cuba. A Report of the Proceedings of the Meeting, Held at the Cooper Institute. New York City, December 13, 1872.
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successfully surmounted, and the glorious blessings of freedom carried to thousands of our fellow beings. In the rapid strides made by our Government toward human equality in the past few years, and the gradual extinction of caste prejudice, necessarily concomitant of the institution of slavery, creates in me the sanguine hope, that the time is not distant when all men, everywhere, will be free. Our own Republic, as the pioneer of this great work, has placed herself foremost among Christian nations and has commenced a work that will not be compete till all nations, recognizing our later civilization, shall be educated up to our own standard of even-handed justice to mankind. President Grant, in his late annual message, very wisely says, with reference to the Cuban revolution, "I cannot doubt that the continual maintenance of slavery is among the strongest inducements to the continuance of the strife. A terrible wrong is the natural cause of a terrible evil." Spain having pioneered African slavery on this continent more than three centuries ago, and having clung to the institution in violation of treaty obligations and in defiance of the humanitarian precedents of all Christian nations, still disgraces civilization and violates every just sentiment in the futile effort to continue its existence, in the remnant of her possessions near our own country. The gallant Cubans, who have battled heroically under a banner which is the symbol of manhood equality, have for more than a quarter of a century, insisted upon the abolition of slavery both in Cuba and Porto Rico. And among the first of the official acts of the Cuban Republic was to declare the unconditional emancipation of the slaves within its jurisdiction (applause), and to make constitutional promises that "all inhabitants of the Republic are absolutely free," and for this freedom and the right to govern themselves have they battled nobly, in the face of the most disheartening obstacles that ever beset any people in their struggle for liberty. Before entering upon this work it became my duty to ascertain the exact position of the two parties now striving for the mastery in the Island of Cuba, and to make sure, with which party could we unite, to secure immediate and unconditional freedom to the half million of enslaved, who for years have tilled the soil of Cuba and brought untold wealth to their Spanish masters and have fastened the chains of slavery on themselves. This question
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