Lift Every Voice: African American Oratory, 1787-1900

By Philip S. Foner; Robert James Branham | Go to book overview

of every clime who seek refuge beneath them, and afford protection and security alike to patrician and plebeian, to freeman and slave.--Let the efforts of our statesmen be directed to the removal of every source of discontent from among the people, by abrogating oppressive and injurious laws, instead of seeking offices of preferment and personal aggrandizement. Let our private citizens, instead of suffering themselves to be hoodwinked and cajoled by ambitious demagogues and designing politicians, sustain those only by their votes who give proof of integrity and disinterested love of liberty.--Let us all work for the common good, and strive to make the government what the great Solon would call the most perfect--where an injury done to one individual is the concern of all. "Then shall our light break forth as the morning, and our health spring forth speedily," and peace and happiness bless the nation.■


34 THE RIGHTS OF COLORED CITIZENS IN TRAVELING

Charles Lenox Remond

Charles Lenox Remond ( 1810-1873) was an active abolitionist and served for many years as an agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Remond was the first black abolitionist speaker to address large integrated audiences. In 1840 he attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. After spending two years lecturing in Great Britain and Ireland, he returned to the United States in 1842 and became involved in the campaign to end segregation on the railroads of Massachusetts. In February 1842, he testified before a legislative committee of the Massachusetts House of Representatives that was then holding hearings on the issue. As Remond notes in his introduction, this was the first speech delivered by an African American before the all-white body. Legal segregation was finally abolished in April 1843, and six years later, Frederick Douglass proclaimed in Faneuil Hall that "not a single railroad can be found in any part of Massachusetts where a colored man is treated and esteemed in any other light than that of a man and a traveller."*

Recruited by friends to testify on short notice, Remond offers a

____________________
Frederick Douglass, "The Colonization Revival: An Address Delivered in Boston, Massachusetts, May 31, 1849," in John W. Blassingame, ed., The Frederick Douglass Papers, vol. 2 ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), 212.

-189-

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