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National Convention at New Orleans, LA

1872LA-National-reports-page55.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

We have had the rights of American citizens since the year 1776. The Declaration of Independence gave us that right, for it says "all men were born free and equal." We have our thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments to the constitution, but that does not cover all the ground necessary to secure civil rights. What benefit do we derive when men are placed in power who are in direct opposition to their execution? But to whom are we indebted for the rights we enjoy? Some say to the State governments. I say not. We owe more to the federal than state governments.

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