Crafting Lives: African American Artisans in New Bern, North Carolina, 1770-1900

By Catherine W. Bishir | Go to book overview

FOUR
Worthy to Be Free,
Worthy to Be Respected
Civil War, Union Occupation, and
Presidential Reconstruction,
1862–1866

The fact that in spite of all law and opposition,
many of us did learn to read and write, and, in spite of
the evil influences and tendencies of slavery, there has always
been society, some morality, and some undefiled religion
among us, ought to settle the question of our capability for such
things….Surely the great effort of our friends at the North, and
the heroic deeds of colored men on the battle field, will so far
remove our difficulties, as to enable us to show to the world
that we are deserving the rights and titles of citizens—
a people worthy to be free—worthy to be respected
.

—John Randolph, “The Capabilities of Our Race,”
Washington, North Carolina, April 1864,
Christian Recorder, May 21, 1864

-151-

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