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Emancipation Day

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Seven years ago Emancipation Day was celebrated in this city. The revolving cycle of time brought the celebration again to Ann Arbor tina year. It was a greater celebration this year than before. The Afro-Anierican was out in forcé. Excursions carne from Toledo, Jackson, Battle Creek, and other points. The Ypsilanti motor line was loaded with Ypsilanti excursionists. Prof. Jones' band, of Ypsilanti, furnished the music for the day. The procession was a long one, headed by the band and by forty-four young girls representing the different states, in a band wagon, f olio wed by carriages, etc. Stands were erected at the park, ice-cream and other refreshments served, and a happier crowd was never gathered anywhere. The hall used for dancing at the park was well patronized, and the tripping of the light fantastic was done in all the approved steps. At the rink, in the evening, anotHer dancing crowd was gathered, and held the floor until the wee sma' ïours. At the park, in the morning, John Loney acted as president, and introduced Mayor Doty, who spoke as folOWS: ir. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: On the 22d day of June. 1772, Lord ]hief Justice Mansfleld, speaking for the entire bench,pronounced the memorable decisión which established the principie of English law that "the air )f England is too pure for any slave to breathe." This wide departure from established )recedent which reversed what had een the law and the custom of Engand since the time of York and Tal)Ot in 1729, gave freedoin to every slave who stepped bis shackled foot on the soil of the British Isles. Sixty-six years afterward, on the lst day of August, 1838, 700,000 of our felow men reaped the ripe fruition of his principie of English liberty, when he act of emancipation made all of ;he British colonies as free of slavery's taint as was the mother isle herself. Thus the day we now commemorate inarks the splendid conclusión of that mighty struggle which from its begiuning in 1772 to its end, for England in 1838, was a moral reyolution, a victory of our poor humanity over its baser and its lower self. It marks an epoch in the history of our civilization,for it stands a land mark to the tide of progress, saying to people.yet to come "here tyraimy rejented itself;" "here the master revolted from his mastery." It marks the beginning of a new muciple of political morality which ïas made a place for the "decalogue in practical politics" and placed the jolden rule in the constitution and Lhe laws of the greatest of the nations of men. It stands alone in history, a monument, not as of the dead at Thermopylae, not as of the yeomen at Runnymede, not as of the Declaration of 'TB nor the fall of the terrible Bastile, for there our fellow men stood for their own liberties agaiust the oppressors, here the oppressors stood for the liberty of their fellow men. To you, fellow citizens, this day is peculiarly sacred, and to all humanity it is peculiarly significant; for that act of emancipation for the British West I ndies lighted the fires of, liberty, cast the f uil flood of their radiance ácross the waste of waters and on other and forei„'ii shores, kindled the glowing embers to all-absorbing, all-consuming llame. Incited by that example the philanthropy of' France was roused to action, and in 1848 the provisional government decreed tlie immediate emancipation of sla ves. Portugal followed in 1858, Holland in 1863, and in 1864 au amendment to the Constitution abolished and forever prohibited slavery in these United States. And so to-day as American citizens, last and latest, to our shame be it said, we appropriate to ourselves that maxim ot English law. At the frightful sacrifice of precious blood, the nation's purest and its best, at the enormous cost of uncounted treasure and the woes unending of f ratricidal strife, we raise our heads from the ashes of our humiliation and humbly and reverently say, "The air of f ree America is too pure for any slave to breathe." IIow prophetic were the words of the immortal Jefferson, standing in the presence of the baleful institution of human slavery, " I tremble for my country when I remember that God is just." Fellow-citizens, I shall not attempt to address you at lengtli to-day. I am reminded that my distinguished f riends the Reverend Father Goldrick and the Honorable Mr. Allen are the orators of this occasion, and that later on they will delight you witli their able and experieiiced oratory. This one thought, however, I wish to cali to your attention : "Nature saves not by compassioB, she saves by power." You are free men, endowed and invested with all the liberties, all (Continued on 4tb Page.) EMANCIPATION DAY. (Concluded) the privileges, all the immimities of the law. Work out now the salvation of your race, whereunto the God o Nature has given you the brains, the hands snd the ability, according to His wilL Be masters over yourselves ïhink, act and do as becomes you manhood. Make yourselves indlspep sable adjuncts of a new civilization ii which you may "quit yourselves a men." Mr. President, thanking you for th courtesies of the platform extended to me to-day, allow me, in behalf of th city of Ann Arbor, to extend mos hearty greetings to all her guests an yours who are here within her walls This free American city bids me, he servan t, say to them all: We welcom you in the name of our eommon humani ty; we welcomeyou in the name of ou eommon liberty; we welcome you in the name of our eommon equality be fore the laws. In the afternoon Rev, Max Smith,o Bichmond, Ind., opened the exercise with prayer. F. Merchant, an Ypsi lanti Afro-American, was the flrs speaker, and proved a very eloquen one. He traced the gradual abolitio of slavery in the north, and of th 250,000 colored soldiers who had fough to preserve the Union. He dwelt a length on suffrage and the fact tha the ballots should be admitted anc houestly counted. Ilon. E. P. Allen said the neg?-o hac made strides forwanl in the battle o life exeeeded by no people which hac preceded him. Twenty-five years ag he was as much a stranger in this lam as a child in Egypt. Last year he paid taxes on $400,000,000 oí property Then only one in a thousand could read; now flfty per cent can read Capt. Allen went at length into th congressional debates at the beginning of the war, and described the event which led up to the Emancipatioi proclamation, and paid a glowing trib ute to Lincoln. He finished as f ollows "In conclusión, my friends, if to review those days shall bring remem brances of what a race has sufferec from oppression, and lead men to hate more than ever before injustiee. thei it is well. If in full view of all the terrible past, high resolves and noble aspirations for the future are bom then will new blessings follow in it wake. Let us all, then, firmly resolve each for himself, that he will be a bet ter citizen and more ardent lover o his country than ever before. We wil countenance no public wrong. An above all we will not tire or yield unti everywhere in this broad land, i'ron snow to sunshine, and from ocean t ocean, vherever iloats the banner o: the nation, there every citizen shall be free to act and speak in a lawful man ner his belief upon all questions." Rev. Fr. Goldrick opened his speech by putting his audience in good humo with the remark that if what Capt Allen had just said was true, viz., tha all the veasels, ships and boats of al descriptions in Europe and Americ could not carry back to África all th colored babies born in these Unitec States in one year, then we might log ically conclude that there cannot b many old bachelors and old - well, it not their fault - among the coloree people of this great republic. He wa reminded of the story of the Irishman from %e west of Ireland and the col ored man. The Irishman was from the province of Connaught, and when he landed in Castle Garden 4he sooi ran across a colored man and immedi ately exclaimed, "What sort of a coun tryman are yon, sirV "I'm a colored man,:' came the response. Misjudging the sound of the word, "Oh, by the good sticks,'' said the Irishman, "shake hands; Fm from that country myself-' Now, there is a very genial, affable colored man in this town by the name of John Loney, and to a favorable mis understanding between myself anc that gentleman on the evening o Maren 17 I am here today. I was hur rying to reach the depot to board the train for Detroit, to be in time to join a celebration made up of the sympa thizing friends of a down-trodden peo pie beyond the sea. After thanking the gentleman for hastening my tri] by a ride in his 'bus, or for the favor granted, he said, "Oh yon can do me a favor some time." I said I would ií I could, but I never thought the favor asked would be in the f orm of a speech This colored man surely knows how to take time by the forelock. Ilowever 1 am pleased to be here to-day, and 3 congratúlate you on this very success ful celebration, so nicely conductec and well onlered. It is a pleasure to be here, for you are eelebrating the triumph of a principie dear to the human heart - the principie of freedom oí hberty. rirst, ít is grand lor the individual and the race, and, second, it is grand because of the man whc granted it. I say grand for the individual, because the emancipation has raised him to bis proper sphere, it has placed him on a leyel with the rest of mankind, placed him where he belongs. It has struck and shattered the disgracef ui chains of slavery and removed the last vestige of a mistaken Ohristianity. The great principie enunci ated in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal, should have been supplemented with the statement that all men are created in the image and likeness of God, as we read in the book of Genesis, and if created in the image and likeness of God, why should they be denied the privileges accorded them by Almighty God? The system which binds men in slavery is directly opposed to the law of God and the law of nature. I say it is grand for the race, for now you can act together, pull together, work together. In union there is strength, and now that you are united as a race, and free, the limit of your possibilities is not in the power of man to define. As a race, you are in a way to earve out for yourselves honor, prosperity nd distinction. I say it is grand beause of the man who granted it. The mancipation was not the work of tiled nobility, nor did it, when it came, mell with the trappings and parapherïalia of royalty; but it carne like a liunderbolt and came from the hands f one who was alowly wörker himself , rom one who had walked in the paths )f labor and knew where true honor ies; it came, and here is wherein we particularly rejoice, from a hard-working American citi.en, from the hands of that noble soul and honored martyr, Abraham Lincoln. Ever honor and reveré that name, have his memory engraved on your hearts and teach your children to do the same. As Moses led the Israelites out of the land of bondage and away from the tyrannical junsdiction of Pharaoh, so did this second Moses of tbe colored people, Abraham Lincoln, by the stroke of his powerful pen, sever the foul fetters of serfdom and open the broad h'eld of promise and prosperity to the down-trodden colored race. ïf, as we know. the colored people owe a lasting debt of gratitude to this republic, on the other hand, our country eannot be unmindful of the assistance given by those 18fi,097 colored soldiers in the late civil war. History eulogizes them for their bravery and aptitude for military life. How mighty, indeed, the change! In 1860 the numberof slaves, or human chattels, in the United States was 8,953,760. The system of American slavery was based on the inferior - ity of the African race. Thanks to an All-Wise Ruling Providence, the act of emancipation wiped away this foul stigma from the fair face of this grand republic. Thank God, on May 13, 1888, a law was passed by the Brazilian Congress, and promOlgated by the princess regent, Ysobel, abolishing forever slavery in Brazil, liberating 723,419 slaves, ending for all time slavery on the American continent, so that to-day there is not a human being in the broad and long expanse of America, north, south or central, but can say, "My soul is my own, my child will not be taken from me and sold like an animal." No more has the ored man to watoh, as the sad song tells us, the hours till eleven, twelve o'clock, while his Httle babe is dying, bereft of mother by the fon] chattel sale, and plaintively cry, "If there's any place in heaven for poor black slave, I pray thee let my baby die and go." (Here large tears streamed down the faces of many of the older listeners.) To-day you are freemen, with all the rights and privileges of a free and liberty-loving people. Enjoy them, love the governmentthat bestows them on you and don't abuse them. Make proper use of the advantages of civilization and employ to the best of your ability the many sources that both art and nature place at your disposal. To relax your minds from serious consideration for a moment, I will now nárrate a story about the colored man, whicb contains a moral worthy of your consideration. A doctor was one day riding with a companion through one of the southern states, and af ter quite an up-hill drive they came to a level surface, where they t'ound a colored man sitting contentedly on a log, while in the middle of the passage way stood his niule and eart and blocked the road. The two travelers asked if they could do anything for him. He said, "Oh, yes; please help start that balky mule." "I'll do it without help," said the doctor, and getting out of the buggy he came to the beast and with a hypodermic syringe he gave the mule an injection of morphine. In about ten seconds the mule raised his head, switched the air with his tail and started down the road like a cyclone. The colored man, immediately taking in the situation, started after the procession as f ast as his heels could carry him. About a mile down the road the travelers saw a colored man before a cabin, eyidently waiting for them; he was the identical man who made the mule chase, and as they came near he shouted, "Boss, have you any more of that kind of stuff you gave that mule?1' "Oh, yes," said the doctor. ''How much did you give him?" "About 10 cents' worth." "Well, here," said he, holding out his arm, "give me 25 cents woi-tha doublé dose. 1 want to catch that mule. He has a good start on me, but I'l get speed in this colored man if ít costs me a whole dollar." (Some of the audience laughed so heartily that they feil off their seats.) Though this man did not understand the cause and effect problem as well as you do, his example was excellent. Be up and doing and if possible become master of the situation. Be faithful, sober and industrious citizens of a republic which has liberated you, which has fought and bied for you, which offers you a home and guarantees you respect abroad. Kemember, grateful colored people, all nationalities, irrespective of religious or political faith, fought, bied and died in defense of the sacred principies you this day lovingly commemorate. The colored man is no longer a chattel, but a free agent, owing no allegiance or support to any poiitical party other than the óne which will serve, in his honest conviction, the best general interests of the people. They are intelligent beings and cannot afford to become tools in thehands of seltish, tricky politicians. Religiously the colored people prove to be very reverential. Physically they are a well developed race, and with the educational advantages at their doors will soon show the high standard of their intelligence. This has been conclusively proved by ;he able remarks delivered here to-day by one of your own race, Mr. Merchant, of Ypsilanti. In thanking you for your kind atten;ion, I will conclude by saying: Colored citizens, endeavor to prove yourselves worthy of the blood that was shed in defense of your rights, and, while endeayoring to be in every way 'aithful subjects of the grandest government urder the canopy of heaven, be not disturbed by the petty race jrejudice, and othér unpleasantness 'ou may now and then encounter from hose so-called Americans who seemngly forget the golden motto, liberty of conseience and equal rights to all men, that is emblazoned on the ampie olds of the Star-Spangled Banner, vhich God grant may ever wave o'er this land of the free and home of the brave. Rev. Fr. Goldrick was followed by Joseph Beard, of Adrián. Mr. Beard was eloquent and had a good voice, but parts of his speech were highly inflammatory, as when he spoke of the colored people gaining their rights at the mouth of the shot-gun. His appeal for edueation was well timed and eloquently put. Paul G. Suekey, of the Hausfreund, eoncluded the speech-making. He came to this country with the idea that the colored man was regarded as the equal of the white man. He found this true in theory, but not in practice. The only way to gain that equality was to take advantage of opportunities. to edúcate themselves.