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National Convention at New Orleans, LA

1872LA-National-reports-page81.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

Mr. Downing then reviewed the various phases in which the civil rights questions may be seen. The question is, if a man be a freeman, how is it to be reconciled that he may be invidiously proscribed, color and race not being recognized by the government as a cause of enjoyment or the deprivation thereof. It has been said, let the State governments move in this matter. I take issue on this question. The federal government exacts obedience from all colors of people, and it is bound to protect them, one and all, alike, by guaranteeing to every State a republican form of government, as required by article four of the constitution. Mr. Downing continued: Fellow citizens, the important relation we sustain in regard to the Presidential election is a question which calls for serious consideration; it is a fact that in November there will be 900,000 votes cast by colored people in this country. In the South the colored people hold the balance of power. If we can present outselves as a unit, we could obtain anything lawful and reasonable we choose to demand. Let us pull together to remedy the evils that have sprung from the accursed institution of slavery.

A vote of thanks was moved to Mr. Downing and carried.

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