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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, great as they were, had been even less than that which their brethren were there enduring now. He counseled action, that the great cause for which they struggled in this country might be made successful there. (Applause.) It was said that it was a negro war through which we had just passed, but the sequel had shown that freedom and slavery could not exist together, and the results which followed the four years of struggle with us must be reached again in the Queen of the Antilles. The groans of the colored men under the yoke in Cuba had so far only been registered in heaven, but he hoped the day would soon come when every one of them might enjoy every privilege of freemen. He asked if our Government might not make investigations as to whether there were not colored men there kept in slavery who were once citizens of this country.
The following resolutions were the offered by Mr. William H. Purnell and adopted:
Resolved, That we call upon the American people to urge the authorities at Washington to extend such lawful aid as is in their power to the patriots of Cuba in their struggle to advance the common interest of man as will be the case when the oppressed Cubans shall be freed from the yoke of Spanish tyranny, for the rightful owners of that island are the inhabitants thereof, and the people of these United States, who for their own protection should possess themselves of that fair domain.
Resolved, That as citizens of Boston we here pledge ourselves to use all lawful means in our power to further the cause of the struggling Cubans to its full and complete triumph.
During the whole of the proceedings great interest was manifested by the audience. The meeting adjourned at a late hour.
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