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Exposition Open

Exposition Open image
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atl,ahta, oept. iw.- xne graat Cotton Stiltes expositiOH is opeil, and oponed unid scones that are unique in this "neck 'o woods." A well-known writer once described a scène witnessecl at the vlsitors' entrance to the British house of commons. The writer aforesaid and twö traveling aequaintanees. one of whora ho calis "Alabama," had fcried in vain to obtain tirl ets to the visitors' gallery of the British house, and failing had gone arouncl to the entrance to that gallery to watch those who had been more fortúnate. "Great Scott, Alábanla, Look at That." As they stood there, amongthe first who came along with the coveted ticket of idmission was a tall negro, coal black, iscorting a pretty flaxen haired English girl. As they moved toward the entrance I the writer exclaimed to his Alabama I friend, "Great Scott, Alabama, look at that!" And they looked. The color line evidently did not exist in that country. In a measure the opening of the exposition here was as remarkable in respect to the color line as scène the pictured in the going. The programmo in the Auditorium within the exposition grounds presented the remarkable spectacle of ex-Governor Rufus B. Bullock, elected chief executive of the state by Republican votes dur ing the reconstruetioii period, and now a leading citizen of Atlanta and director o the exposition, acting as master of cere monies in introducing in succession to a southern audience, Mrs. Joseph Thomp son, president of the woman's board, anc Booker T. Washington, the representative of the negro race. Words of the Negro Orator. This incident coupled with the appearance of negroes in carriages in the parade and the presence of the Negro building on the grounds emphasized the recognition given to the race by this exposition for the flrst time in the history of such enterprises. And Booker T. Washington's oration was worthy of the occasion. It was delivered in faultless English, with impressiveness and eloquence, and was frequently applauded. He said in part: "No enterprise seeking the material, civil or moral welfare of this section can disregard this element of our population and reach the highest success. I but convey to you, Mr. President and directors, the sentiment of the masses of my race when I say that in no way have the value and manhood of the American negro been more flttingly and generously recognized than by the managers of this magniflcent exposition at every stage of its progress. "Cast Down Your Bncket Where Yon Are." "A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen ;he signal, 'Water, water; we die of thirst!" The answer from the frienciy vessel at once carne back, 'Cast down your oucket where you are. A second time the signal, 'Water, water, send us water,' ran ip from the distressed vessel, and was answered, 'Cast. down your bucket whero yon are. ' The captain of the distressed vessel at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket and it came up 'uil of fresh, sparkling water from tho mouth of the Amazon river. To thoso of my race who dopend on bettering their condition in a foreign land, or who undcrestimate the importance of cultivating riendly relations with the southern white man who is their next door neighbor, I vould say, Cast down your bucket where you are - cast it down in ruaking friends in ;very manly way of the people of all races )y whom we are surrounded. Cast it down n agricultura, in mechanics, in conimerce, in domestic service and in the proessions. Same Atlvice to the Whites. "To thoso of the white race who look to the incoming of those of forcign birth and strange tongues and habits for the prosperity of the south, were I permitted, I would repeat what I say to my owu race : 'Cast down your bucket where you are.' Cast it down among 8,000,000 negroes whose habits you know, whose loyalty and love you have tested in days when to have proved treacherous meant ruin of your flresides. Cast down your bucket among these people who have without strikes and labor wars tilled your fields, cleared your forests,builded your railroads and cities and brought forth treasures from the bowels of the earth and helped make possible this magniflcent representation of the progrcss of the south. His Prdmise for His People. "Casting down your bucket among my people, helping and encouraging them as you are doing on these grounds, and to edaoation of head, hand and heart, you will flnd that they will buy your surplus land, make blossom the waste places in your flelds and run your factories. While doing this you can be sure in the future, as you have been in the past, that you and your families will be surrounded by the most patiënt, faithful,law-abidingand unresentful people that the world has ever seen."


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