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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-page17.pdf

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17

will urge our government to acknowledge the belligerent rights of the patriots of Cuba. The sympathies of the Government of the United States are strongly in favor of Cuban liberty, and when the time shall come when, in conformity with international law they can render Cuba the aid she needs, I believe it will not be withheld. (Applause.) Aside from humanitarian considerations, I think I may safely say, that all the civilized nations that once maintained human slavery in the Western World, and have abolished it, are utterly opposed to giving to Spain the monopoly of that diabolical system. Let slavery and involuntary servitude perish at once and forever from every inch of soil on the continent, and in Cuba and Porto Rico. I have twice visited Cuba, and have witnessed the horrors of slavery as it exists there, and allow me to state that the slavery recently abolished in our country was mild when compared with the crime that Spain to-day upholds in Cuba. I have seen slave ships enter the port of Havana, and cargoes of miserable men and women, some dying and some of them dead, dragged and hurried from the decks of slavers and thrown upon the shores. (Shame.) You cannot forget, Cubans, the immortal mulatto poet of your country, the brave and heroic Placido. (Bravo, and long continued cheers.) Like yourselves, you know that he loved liberty, and freely offered himself on her sacred altar. He was accused of being concerned in an attempted insurrection, and was condemned to die the death of a traitor. When he was led forth to death, he cried:

"O, Liberty! I hear thy voice calling me

Deep in the frozen regions of the North, afar,

With voice like God's, and vision like a star."

(Great excitement among the Cubans, and loud cheers.) God grant that liberty from her home in "the frozen regions of the North," may continue to call in trumpet tones until she shall arouse every patriotic son of Cuba to unconquerable resistance to slavery. As I have already said, we cannot give you that material aid we would wish to, for the reason that our government holds diplomatic relations with Spain. I would that we had none. Some in this audience may remember the story of the doctor in divinity who approached the doorkeeper of the United States Senate and undertook to enter

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