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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-page34.pdf

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34

The Spanish people have also demanded for five years past, in the most urgent manner, that the government abolish slavery. The government also has recognized the necessity of considering this great question, the emancipation of the slaves, notwithstanding this it has again recently declared that it would not entertain the matter before the insurrection in Cuba was entirely put down. But in admitting that, that this declaration has for the government some little force in regard to Cuba, it cannot be applied to Porto Rico, for there is no insurrection in the latter place, the authority of the Mother Country is recognized and respected, and the colonists have representatives in the Assembly to defend their interests.

It is not for us to point out the probable results of a decision as opposed to justice and reason as it is opposed to wise policy. We come, therefore, we simple friends of humanity, to ask the government to decree immediate emancipation as an act of justice which we owe to the slave population of these two isles. Not only humanity, religion, and a wise policy should dictate this act of justice, but still more the glory and the honor of the nation which is at stake. Spain is the last Christian nation whose escutcheon is stained by the emblems of slavery. Is not the effacing of this taint worthy of a great and supreme effort?

The statesman who shall accomplish this will acquire for himself an imperishable renown and for his country a glory that shall never be effaced. You, sir, undertake this task and complete it!

We have the honor, sir, to respectfully salute you.

Guizot, Martin, Laboulaye, Monod, Broglie, De Presserse, Julius H. Wohbers (Utrecht), President for Holland; Joseph Cooper, London, and A. Chameroozow, Secretary of the Conference.

Paris, December 17, 1872.

LETTER FROM GEN. THOMAS JORDAN.

The President has been deceived with regard to the actual scope of the law for the ostensible abolition of slavery in Cuba, although he terms it but a feeble step toward emancipation. Really it was no step at all toward emancipation, but a carefully contrived step toward the postponement of the very beginning of gradual emancipation in the island for a quarter of a century.

Enclosed is an article which establishes that the United States is responsible for forty-six years of slavery in the Island of Cuba.

The Cubans in good faith abolished slavery in the outset of their revolution, and their former slaves are fighting bravely in the ranks of the Cuban army, not in separate organizations, as in the United States, but in the same companies side by side with the white people, and I have seen white men commanded by blacks. Indeed for the last month of my service in Cuba my own escort was commanded by a colored officer by my selection for his bravery and intelligence, and he commanded white men.

There is not a slave in Cuba to-day who is not held in slavery by Spanish bayonets. THOMAS JORDAN.

New York, December 4, 1872.

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