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[86] was again recognized in Perry v. Doe (12 Pick. R. 213), where the Court say: ‘Towns, in executing the power to form school districts, are bound so to do it as to include every inhabitant in some of the districts. They cannot lawfully omit any, and thus deprive them of the benefits of our invaluable system of free schools.’

IV. The exclusion of colored children from the Public Schools, open to white children, is a source of practical inconvenience to them and their parents, to which white persons are not exposed, and is, therefore, a violation of Equality. The black and the white are not equal before the law.

In this rule—without the exception—is seen a part of the beauty of our Public School system. It is the boast of England, that justice, through the multitude of courts, is brought to every man's door. It may also be the boast of our Public School system, that education in Boston, through the multitude of schools, is brought to every white man's door. But it is not brought to every black man's door. He is obliged to go for it—to travel for it—often a great distance. Surely this is not Equality before the law.

Mr. Sumner showed that the inconvenience arising from the exclusion of colored children seriously affected the comfort and condition of the African race in Boston; that many colored parents, anxious to be near the only two schools open to their children, were compelled to gather in those neighborhoods, as people in Eastern countries come from a distance to rest near a fountain or a well.

This is the conduct of a colored parent. He is well deserving of honor for his generous efforts for his children. As they grow in knowledge, they will rise and call him blessed; but at the same time they will brand as accursed the arbitrary discrimination of color, in the Public Schools of Boston, which rendered it necessary for their father, out of his small means, to make such sacrifices for their education.

Such a grievance, even independent of any stigma from color, calls for redress. It is an inequality which the Constitution and Laws of Massachusetts repudiate. But it is not on the ground of inconvenience only that it is odious. And this brings me to the next point.

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