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[23] reason together upon the fruits, not only of our hardships and privations in the field, but also upon the fruits of the sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands of lives of our comrades. They gave up their lives that the freedom which was bequeathed to us by the fathers of the republic might be transmitted by us through our children to remote generations.

As we reason together, let us unite our voices with the voices that come from these tombs, and let us see what the harvest shall be from the blood and treasure that was poured during the war.

The first fruits of spring came in the shape of a restored Union and freedom for the slave. His shackles fell off and he came forth a free man. He then became invested with all the rights of a white man, including the right to vote. Nature reserves herself for autumn to yield the greatest abundance, when she fills to overflowing the granaries and storehouses. It is not of the spring crop or first fruits of this seed sowing that I wish to speak to you of. The past is secure. It is concerning the future or autumnal crop that I wish to address you.

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