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National Convention at New Orleans, LA


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What good to us our twelfth, thriteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendment? What benefit are they to us in securing civil rights? We have had rights—had them long ago by the influence of these amendments. You know it. I know it. Our party, like a bark, is tempest-tossed, but it is the deck of the ship, and all the other parties are the outside, in the sea. Now, my object is, although powerful as the Republican party is, their ambition must be to go higher. I am here to tell you my idea of how this party may do this—to tell you that the party must go up higher. [Applause.] Though General Grant is a very able man, an honorable man, a skillful administrator, and I intend to cast my vote for him for the next President, he learns wisdom at the feet of Charles Sumner. [Applause.] He is everywhere a majority—in the sight of God a majority. He does not only represent a State, but he represents the entire party of progress, and the colored people of the United States. [Applause.] He is no flickering light. For twenty five years has he labored for the Republican party, and he will never cease to do so, and I say now that may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; may the day that I was born be accursed if I cease to support and honor that great statesman, Charles Sumner.

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