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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-page28.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

28 [From the New York Herald, December, 15, 1872.] SPAIN AND CUBA—THE RISING FREEDMEN TO THE MAIN OF QUESTION. THE UNITED STATES The meeting of our colored citizens at Cooper Institute on Friday evening last, called to take action in reference to the " irrepressible contiici" in the island of Cuba, was the beginning of a movement on the part of a political element in the United States, which, on the main question involved in refer- ence to the action of our government, (an wield the balance of power. The black population of this country embraces seven hundred thousand voters, and upon an issue which, outside of Spain and Turkey, commands the sym- pathies of the civilized world, these seven hundred thousand colored voters have only en masse to define their position in order to determine the action of Congress and the administration. Nor can it be questioned that the voice of this Cooper Institute meeting is the voice of all our citizens of Afri- can descent, including especially those four millions lately relea.sed from the shackles of slavery, and invested with all the rights and priviU ges of civil and political equality. What, then, is the position which these colored citizens have assumed in behalf of their brethren in the island of Cuba? Tliey declare themselves on the side of " the Cuban patriots, who have already decreed and put in practice tie doctrine of the equality and freedom of all men." 'i hey "* view with abhorrence the policy of the Spanish government for the last four years" in the island of Cuba, " both for the unnecessary and inhuman butcheries that have taken place under its rule and for the tenacity with which they cling to the barbarous and inhuman institution of slavery." Our colored citizens further declare that " it is our opinion that the success of the Spanish arms will tend to rivet more firmly the chains of slavery on our brethren, re-establishing slavery where it does not now exist and re- storing the horrors of the African slave trade and the Coolie irafBc," and that, on the other hand, " the success of the Cuban patriots would immedi- ately give to the whole inhabitants of the island freedom and equality be- fore the law." And the line of action asked of the President and Congress, after four years of patient waiting, is " to accord the Cuban patriots that fav- orable recognition to which these four years' gallant struggle for freedom entitles them." In other words, the fr«!edinen of the United States, in be- half of their enslaved brethren in Cuba, ask tlie concession of belligerent rights to the Cuban insurgents. It appears, too, that agents and supporters here of the Spanish authori- ties were cjuick to take the alarm from this movement of our colored citi- zens, for at this meeting a printed circular was scattered about ihe hall addressed " To tlie Colored Citizens of the United States," and warning them of the folly of supporting the Cuban rebels. To this circular was ap- pended the name of the editor of the Spanish paper El Cronista, Jose Fer- rer de Couto, and his appeal is that of a loyal Spaniard deeply in earnest and really frightened. He warns our colored citizens of " some cowards" from Cuba, who have come here to live upon their wits and to induce white and black Americans to go to he says that these Cu- ban" are Cuba in their places

when the Spanish government has just decreed abolition on a plan a great deal bet- ter now agitating the abolition of slavery in the island, " organized and much more advantageous than the one which made so

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