Fellow citizens, I hold in my hand a paper delivered to me by one of General Lopeza aids, the seal of which he told me to break when in latitude 26° N. and long. 87° W., which point we have now reached. I find on opening this paper that I am directed to remain near this point until the 7th of May, when he expects to leave New Orleans on the Creole. To-morrow we are to sail on a direct line to the Belize, and by Thursday may expect to see the Creole and the old General. I have addressed you as fellow-citizens, but long before the sun shall sink beneath this world of waters we shall have done what will throw us beyond the protection of the glorious “Stars and Stripes,” under whose auspices we have sailed thus far. We shall organize our little band into a skeleton regiment, for the purpose of landing on the island of Cuba, and wrenching it from the grasp of Spain, its cruel oppressor. The moment we organize, that moment we forfeit the protection of our own government, and we have no right to sail under her flag. But, like Hagar when she went forth from the tent of Abraham, we still have a right to call on Him who buildeth up the feeble and destroyeth the mighty, and doeth that at all times amongst the sons of men which seemeth good in His sight; to succour the distressed and deliver from their oppressors them that suffer wrong. I shall therefore henceforth address you as “ Soldiers of the Liberating Army of Cuba.” We then, fellow-soldiers, have arrived at the point for which we sailed. Although most of you ostensibly sailed for Chagres, yet you all knew whither you were really bound, and for what. Do any here object to landing in Cuba a week sooner than he expected when he left home? Do any grudge to the Cubans that boon of freedom which it is our purpose to bestow a few days in advance of the expected time? No! I feel that I address those who are not only imbued with the glorious principles of equal rights themselves, but who will seek the post of danger at any time for the purpose of extending them to all who may desire their beneficial influence on their political and social systems. It has been well said that we live in an age of progress, and no circumstance could be more indicative of this onward march than this expedition. When civilization was in its infancy, nation made war upon nation for conquest and booty. More recently, they have gone
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