He recited reasons why it would be better to have white officers, stating among other things that they would be more likely to have justice done them and the prejudice more surely overcome than if commanded by men of their own race.
‘Your success hangs on the general success.
If the Union lives, it will live with equal races.
If divided, and you have done your duty, then you will stand upon the same platform with the white race.
[Cheers.] Then make use of the offers Government has made you; for if you are not willing to fight your way up to office, you are not worthy of it. Put yourselves under the stars and stripes, and fight yourselves to the marquee of a general, and you shall come out with a sword.
Addresses were then made by Lieutenant-Colonel Hallowell
, Robert C. Morris
, and others.
It was a great meeting for the colored people, and did much to aid recruiting.
Stirring appeals and addresses were written by J. M. Langston
, Elizur Wright
, and others.
One published by Frederick Douglass
in his own paper, at Rochester, N. Y.
, was the most eloquent and inspiring.
The following is extracted:—
We can get at the throat of treason and slavery through the State of Massachusetts.
She was first in the War of Independence; first to break the chains of her slaves; first to make the black man equal before the law; first to admit colored children to her common schools.
She was first to answer with her blood the alarm-cry of the nation when its capital was menaced by the Rebels.
You know her patriotic Governor, and you know Charles Sumner.
I need add no more.
Massachusetts now welcomes you as her soldiers. . . .