Lift Every Voice: African American Oratory, 1787-1900

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

of Southern and Northern birth in the Canada, and the West Indies, that are free for all colors--governed by laws that recognize no difference of a complexional character--admit all as equal citizens who will support the government. The humblest fugitive slave as well as those of noblest blood alike find protection on British soil.

The panting bondmen have always found a sure refuge in Canada, and yearly our labor has been sought by Englishmen for the West Indies. The doors, therefore, are wide open in these civilized lands, thank God. Under the laws of Great Britain, colored men are neither debarred from citizenship nor soldier's rights and duties when their services are required.

That it is hard for those who have all their lives been submitting to the wrongs heaped upon the black man, or identified with parties oppressing him, now in this fearful crisis to make the marvelous change that justice demands, none can question.

A very appropriate paragraph occurs in a letter from a friend, which came to hand months back, which I will here quote:

"Has slavery so paralyzed the arm of the nation, that there is no strength to grapple with it? Is there not a story told of a man who fell asleep in an arbor, to whose entrance came a snake so surcharged with venom that the man died poisoned by its breath? Does not the state of our country suggest a parallel case, poisoned to its heart's deep core by its guilty contact with slavery?"

In these remarks, though coming from one of the race considered to be inferior, lies in a nutshell the grand secret of all the nation's trouble. And it seems reasonable to infer that the nation shall not again have peace and prosperity until prejudice, selfishness and slavery are sorely punished in the nation.■


66 THE NEGROES IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Sarah Parker Remond

During the Civil War, Sarah Remond's public lectures in Britain encouraged her audiences to avert possible diplomatic recognition of the Confederacy. Union blockades of Confederate ports had effectively diminished Southern cotton exports, thus threatening some British textile mills. Remond and others sought to cultivate popular sympathy

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