1

OverviewTranscribeVersionsHelp

Facsimile

Transcription

Status: Complete

456 WASHINGTON, D.C.

themselves with them? The business of government is to hold its broad
shield over all and to see that every American citizen is alike and equally
protected in his civil and personal rights. My confidence is strong and high
in the nation as a whole. I believe in its justice and in its power. I believe
that it means to keep its word with its colored citizens. I believe in its
progress, in its moral as well as its material civilization. Its trend is in the
right direction. Its fundamental principles are sound. Its conception of
humanity and of human rights is clear and comprehensive. Its progress is
fettered by no State religion tending to repress liberal thought; by no order
of nobility tending to keep down the toiling masses; by no divine right
theory tending to national stagnation under the idea of stability. It stands
out free and clear with nothing to obstruct its view of the lessons of reason
and experience.

It may be said, as has been said, that I am growing old, and am easily
satisfied with things as they are. When our young men shall have worked
and waited for victory as long as I have worked and waited, they will not
only learn to have patience with the men opposed to them, but with me also
for having patience with such. I have seen dark hours in my life, and l have
seen the darkness gradually disappearing and the light gradually increas-
ing. One by one I have seen obstacles removed, errors corrected, preju-
dices softened, proscriptions relinquished, and my people advancing in all
the elements that go to make up the sum of general welfare. And I re-
member that God reigns in eternity, and that whatever delays, whatever
disappointments and discouragements may come, truth, justice, liberty,
and humanity will ultimately prevail.

DUTY HAS BEEN THE MOVING POWER IN MY LIFE: AN
INTERVIEW GIVEN IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ON 12 JULY 1891

New York World, 13 July 1891. Another text in Miscellany File, reel 34, frames 510—11,
FD Papers, DLC.

On 3 July 1891 , Douglass arrived in New York City aboard the steamer Prinz
Wilhelm III for a sixty-day leave from his diplomatic post in Haiti. Many
newspapers in New York and Washington, D.C., interviewed Douglass soon
after his arrival about the recent failed coup d’état in Port-au-Prince and about
rumors that the State Department had recalled him for mishandling negotia-
tions to acquire the Môle St. Nicolas as a coaling station for the U.S. Navy.

Notes and Questions

Please sign in to write a note for this page

ginnymc

French accents on coup d'etat and Mole missing.

VBeaudry

accents have been added