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13 APRIL 1872 297

than a million for Fremont,⁶ the pathfinder to the Pacific and to human
liberty. (Applause) Next it carried the country for Abraham Lincoln.
(Applause) And from here on its history is familiar to every child. Out of
his election comes this colored convention. (Applause)

The war began on both sides against the negro, and ended on both sides
for the negro. (Applause) It will be remembered that in the last lingering
days of the Confederacy, when despair seized it, it imploringly turned
towards the black man and exclaimed, “Help me Pompey, ere I sink!”⁷
(Tremendous applause.) When the war began it was a white man’s fight.
No negro should be allowed to sully the cause of either side. The South
scouted the idea of his help. The North did not want him. Colored men are
called upon to be grateful to the Republican party for their freedom. He was
grateful, but his gratitude was qualified by facts. The colored man can also
be allowed to put in his claim to a share in that glorious result. (Applause)
He is deserving of some consideration. He has been admitted to a number
of important boxes. First to the cartridge box (applause), then to the ballot-
box (applause), then to the jury box (applause), and now, he hopes, is to be
admitted to the knowledge box. (Prolonged applause.) What the Republican
party has given has not all been given wholly disinterestedly.
Even Mr. Lincoln, great, good, and beloved as he was, did not see the end
from the beginning. At first Mr. Lincoln was only opposed to secession and
was willing for the South to hunt down fugitive slaves if she would remain
in the Union.⁸ His second inaugural was an improvement over his first. In
the first he favored the enforcement of the fugitive slave law. In the second
he prayed for the scourge of war to pass away, but said that if all the wealth
of nation must be wasted and each drop of blood drawn by the lash must be
paid for by a gallon drawn by the sword, it must be done. (Applause)

When the very earth was crumbling under the cause of the Union and
the armies of the nation were meeting disaster after disaster; when the
recruiting sergeant was beating his drum through every hamlet in the land,

6. Republican presidential nominee John C. Fremont received 1,339,932 votes for president in
1856. Potter, Impending Crisis, 266.

7. A slight misquoting of Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2, line 113.

8. In his 4 March 1861 inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln denied that he or his party had any
intention of interfering with the rights of slaveholders to their chattel property. He promised the South
“that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given, will be
cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause—as cheerfully to one
section, as to another." In particular, Lincoln pledged a vigilant enforcement of all fugitive slave laws
as a clear requirement of the Constitution. Basler, Collected Works of Lincoln. 4 : 262-71.

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