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Fredrick Douglass' Appeal To Colored Voters

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The following eloquent appeal to colorcd voters extracted f rom a republican speoch delivered ut Elmira, N. Y., od August 2d, by Fredrick Douglass, now U. S. Marshal of the District of Columbia, and the oniinently eloquent representativo of his race : "The voice oí' my race has been sounding for 50 years iu the earof the democratie party, " Deuiocracy ! dciuocracy ! wby persecutest thou me?" And though this has been accompanied with a light that filled the wliole hi'aveus, it does not appear that any repentanco has laken plaoe, oris likely to take plaoe." " The eharacterof a grcat politica] party is not worn like a loóse robe, put on or off at a mouient'8 warning. It is not even a porous piaster, that can bo easily removed by a warm iron or a little tepid water. It is a part of the body and sou], the bone, muscle, feet and fibre and takes more ycars than we have yet seen to chango and reform it." " It is quite truc that tho democratie party can easily chango its form and front. It can assume a virtue f" it has it not. This facility is a part of' its character and history, and ono of its tricks to gain success. I know that its ieaders will howl and gnash their teeth if we go into-their closet and drag out the ghautly skeletons ; but we must do it nevertheless. Wliat a party has done wheo it had the power that party is likely todo when it agaio gets power." "I admit that the American people have a tolerable guod memory, but they are more likely to forgot too soon thajj remember too loDg the actions of partios during the late war." " "The blood of patriots, the tears of woesmitten widows and orphaus, ory froui the ground, but not for vengeance ; they only implore us to swear and to faithf'ully perform our oatK that wth t,p j.nlp of God no representative of the democratie party, under what guise soevor he may come, shall ever sit again in the presidential chair and díctate thf poliey and shape the destiny of this geat nation." "And now where ia ihe evidenee that this party has repented? Where is the proof that its character has changedibr the better? Is it to be found in the faet that when the war was over it opposed with might and main all the efforts of the goveroment to tecure not indemnity for the past but security for tho future? Is it tobe found in the i'act that it opp.osod the abolition of slavery, the enf'ranchiseuient of the freedmen and the maintenance of the public credit by rosumption and the payuien; of the national debt? Is it to be found in its refusaWto pas deputy marshals for domg their duty in the enfureement of the laws plainly written on the statute books of the nation? Is it tobe fbuiid in the fact they find in the solid south, tuade solid by lawless violenee end murder, hope for the election of Hancock ? Is it to be found in the fact that as soon as they got possession of the senate and house of repreaentatives thoy promptly turned out all the minor officers or those bodies and put rebels in their places ? These and a hundred other facts show that we have to day the same oíd party to fight that confronted us during the war, and nothing else." "Of the republican party I ueed not speak. It is the same as during and before the war, the same enlightened, loyal, liberal and progressive party that it was. It is the party of Lincoln, Grant, Wade, Seward, and Sumner, the party to which we are to-day indebted for the sulvation of the country, and to-day it ia well represented in its character and composition by James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur." "Now, fellowcitizens, I have done. I leave you to decide as to which of these partios you will have to shape the poliey and control the destinies of the country during the next four years. The people of no state in the union have tho power so largely to decide the question as the people of the state of New York, and with you will be tho largest responsibility." " I have no charge to givo to tho oolored voters of the state. You aro 15,000 in nuuibers and your vote may the scale one way or the other, and say whethor this country shall be ruled by a party of liberal ideas, by juatice and fair play, or by a party espccially distioguishcd for its devotion to slavery, rebellion and bitter proiudice against the race to which you belong."


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News