record the fact that the father of Abbot Lawrence
was the captain of a company made up entirely of colored men; and when once, in the fierce and hot valor of a forgetful moment, he rushed too far into the ranks of the enemy, and was alone, ready to be made a prisoner, he looked back to his ranks of colored men, and they charged through two lines of the enemy, rescued their captain, and made it possible for the Lawrences to exist.
[Applause.] They ought to be grateful — yes, that whole wealthy family ought to be grateful to colored courage that it saved their own father from a Jersey ship-of-war, and enabled him to take his share in the Revolutionary struggle, and to be buried in the old homestead at Groton
And doubtless, if your literary zeal shall follow up the path your friend Nell
has opened, you will find scarcely any name on the whole roll of Revolutionary fame that does not owe more or less to colored courage and co-operation.
I commend it to your care.
Never forget the part your race took in the great struggle; cherish, preserve, illustrate it. Compel the white man to write your names, not as they have written them in Connecticut
, at the bottom of the rest, with a line between, negro-pew fashion, but make them write them on the same marble and in the same line.
The time will yet come when we will, as Caleb Cushing
says, drag this Massachusetts Legislature at our heels, and they
shall pay for a monument to Attucks
[Loud cheers, and cries of “Good.” ] It will be but the magnanimous atonement for the Injury and forgetfulness of so many years.
They owe it to him, and they shall yet pay it. You and I, faithful to our trust, will see to it. Our fathers were honest and grateful enough to bury him from beneath these very walls.
John Hancock did himself the honor, from his own balcony in Beacon Street, to give that