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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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There it is our right to strike, and, by our utmost endeavors, secure the triumph of freedom and equality. There is no difficult problem in this question of liberty about which we may tax our brains for one moment: indeed our own national Declaration of Independence, in a brief but sublime passage, ranking with the greatest utterances of the world's history, declares "that all men are born with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It does not confine itself to any set of men in a particular territory, but it says all men. Then, if all men are entitled or endowed with certain inalienable rights, may not all men combine in supporting the same? Surely an expression of sympathy is the least we can do toward so great a cause.
In the present struggle in the Island of Cuba, we find, after a most careful examination, there are just two parties—the one endeavoring to establish slavery, and the other to establish freedom. (Applause.) I wish it were possible to present you in detail all the facts which drive me to this conclusion. I hold in my hand a document prepared in Great Britain, for the use of the British Parliament, giving the correspondence of the Foreign Office with the government of Spain. I will read from page 16 of this pamphlet an address from the "British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society" on this subject:
To the Right Honorable the Earl Granville, K.G., Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
My Lord, It is with great regret that the Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society finds itself obliged once more respectfully to call the attention of Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to the state of the island of Cuba, in reference to slavery and the Slave Trade. The Committee continues to receive information from various sources on the deplorable condition of Cuba, and of the determination of the volunteer or Spanish party to maintain slavery in the island at any cost, and if triumphant to revive the Slave Trade. They observe that these opinions are fully confirmed by statement in the Blue Books recently laid before Parliament.
Under these circumstances, and in view of the fact that nearly every slave in Cuba is entitled to freedom under British Treaty, the Committee had hoped to see some traces in the Parliamentary papers of a more vigorous and direct moral intervention with Spain by Her Majesty's present Government than they are able to discover.
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