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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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Mr. Williams followed with an eloquent address,in which he said that in 1866 many men went about New Orleans and gathered up a number of colored men who had recently been discharged from the army, and under the guise of taking them to the Border States, they were shipped off to Cuba. He felt his soul galled as he contemplated the condition of affairs in that island. Of the 1,128,000 inhabitants, 658,000 were colored men, and most of them were slaves. and what a slavery! It had well been said that the terrors of American slavery
24 • invincible valor of the Cnbau patriot army than to their de- sire to do a christian act by according justice tD an oppressed people. The Cubans have ever been opposed to the traffic in slaves, and have always availed themselves of every fair and honor- able means to protest against its continuance, and never un- til the feelings of the Cuban patriots had become wrought upon to such tue, and as an extent that forbearance a dernier resort, did they ceased to be resort to arms a — and vir- the Island confusion and the caused Cuban thereby army — had embracing l^ecome as general it wealthy, influential and able men on the island over the did — did the Spain, most then thoroughly frightened, attempt to interfere with the slave trade. Prior to the uprising of the Cuban patriots, many wealthy Cubans, who, trom their honorable positit)ns, dared to openly protest against the traffic, were summarily exiled as dangerous innovators, and their estates of course confiscated, thus furnishing the hest proofs of the deceit of the Spanish Government in the fulfillment of its treaty ob- ligations. '^ I might cite innumerable instances of the most respectful protests against the traflSc being treated with silent contempt and the signers thereto being alterwards arrested upon some trumped up charge and without a fair trial banished from the island. Having thus cursorily reviewed the history of Spanish misrule in the Island of Cuba, and some of the causes wliich lead to the piesent revolution, I shall leave it to those gen- tlemen who are to follow me to give you an account of the barbarities ])ractised upon five hundred thousand of our brethren by their Spanish masters. Fellow citizens, the groans of the downtrodden and the blood of many thousands slain on the altar of Liberty appeal to us for aid
let us not, at this hour, be deaf to their appeal, but extend to them that syitipathy that will cheer them on to renewed eti'orts, and trust that the great Giver of all good will bring tliera safely through the sea of trouble, and place them side by side with the four million in our own land who, after many years of affliction, stand to-day on the common plat- form of man's equality and rights.
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