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[512] Is it not better to establish all our own people in the enjoyment of equal rights before we seek to bring others within the sphere of our institutions, to be treated as Frederick Douglass was on his way to the President from St. Domingo? It is easy to see that a small part of the means, the energy and the determined will spent in the expedition to St. Domingo, and in the prolonged war-dance about that island, with menace to the black Republic of Hayti, would have secured all our colored fellow-citizens in the enjoyment of equal rights. Of this there can be no doubt.

Among the cardinal objects in education which must be insisted on must be equality, side by side with the alphabet. It is vain to teach equality, if you do not practise it. It is vain to recite the great words of the Declaration of Independence, if you do not make them a living reality. What is lesson without example? As all are equal at the ballot-box, so must all be equal at the common school. Equality in the common school is the preparation for equality at the ballot-box; therefore do I put this among the essentials of education.

In asserting your own rights you will not fail to insist upon justice to all, under which is necessarily included purity in the government. Thieves and money-changers, whether Democrats or Republicans, must be driven out of our temple. Tammany Hall and the Republican self-seekers must be overthrown. There should be no place for either. Thank God, good men are now coming to the rescue! Let them, while uniting against corruption, insist upon equal rights for all, and also the suppression of lawless violence, wherever it shows itself, whether in the Ku-klux Klan outraging the South, or illicit undertakings outraging the black Republic of Hayti.

To these inestimable objects, add specie payments, and you have a platform which ought to be accepted by the American people. Will not our colored fellow-citizens begin this good work? Let them at the same time save themselves and save the country. These are the only hints which I submit to the convention, hoping that its proceedings will tend especially to the good wishes of the colored race. Accept my thanks and best wishes, and believe me faithfully yours,


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