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National Convention at New Orleans, LA

1872LA-National-reports-page52.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

Mr. Douglass then went into a history of the parties that had fought slavery in this country, going back to the earliest days of the anti-slavery party, when but few men rallied under its standard, up to 1856, when the Republican party was organized for the purpose of resisting the further growth of slavery, and in 1860, when the Republican party was blessed with its first victory under the immortal Lincoln. After this, and when the struggle for the Union was successful, came other struggles. It was then asserted that this was a white man's government, and that the negro was not wanted. He was not wanted as a soldier nor as a citizen. But Mr. Douglass thought the colored man might as well put in a claim as anybody else. He had got the cartridge-box and the ballot box, and he is now contending for the knowledge-box. He has not obtained these functions of the citizen by common consent. He has had to struggle for them. Mr. Lincoln, whose memory the colored people would never cease to cherish, was not at first in favor of the immediate emancipation of slaves. It was not until after the war had actually commenced and was desolating the land that Mr. Lincoln became convinced of the necessity and justice of issuing his proclamation declaring slavery at an end in this country.

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