her independence for two or three thousand years; I summon Egypt
with the arts; I summon St. Domingo
with the sword,--and I choose to be tried in the great company of the millions, not alone!”
And in that company, he may claim to have shown as much courage as any other race — full as much.
I, therefore, will never try the argument with the single illustration of American slavery.
No; and yet if I did, I should be proud to have the same color with Margaret Garner
; for I know of no prouder name in the history of the nineteenth century than of that heroic mother, standing alone, defying the Democracy of thirty-one States, rising in the instinctive love of a mother superior to the low Christianity of the present age, and writing her religion and her heroism in the bloody right hand that gave her infant back to God for safe keeping.
[Loud applause.] Any man might well be proud to share the color of that mother whose grave some future Plutarch or Tacitus
will find, when he calls up the heroism of the nineteenth century.
My friend Mr. Nell
has gathered together, in a small volume, instances enough of the heroism of colored blood, and the share it took in our Revolution, and yet he has not told half the story.
I commend his book to the care and patronage of every man who loves the colored race.
And not only to buy it,--that is not enough.
If there is any young man who has any literary ambition, let him fill up the sketch; let him complete the picture; let him go sounding along the untrodden fields of Revolutionary anecdote, and gather up every fact touching the share his race took in that struggle.
Why, the wealthiest family in Boston
,--that of the Lawrences,--in their own family history,
1 A colored woman who threw her child into the Ohio River
rather than to live it carried into slavery.