delay, the principal towns and cities exposed to similar attacks.
The Vigilance Committee of Philadelphia
waited upon three of the principal colored citizens, namely, James Forten
, Bishop Allen
, and Absalom Jones
, soliciting the aid of the people of color in erecting suitable defenses for the city.
Accordingly, twenty-five hundred colored men assembled in the State
-House yard, and from thence marched to Gray's Ferry, where they labored for two days almost without intermission.
Their labors were so faithful and efficient that a vote of thanks was tendered them by the committee.
A battalion of colored troops was at the same time organized in the city under an officer of the United States army; and they were on the point of marching to the frontier when peace was proclaimed.
's proclamations to the free colored inhabitants of Louisiana
are well known.
In his first, inviting them to take up arms, he said:—
‘As sons of freedom, you are now called on to defend our most inestimable blessings.
, your country looks with confidence to her adopted children for a valorous support.
As fathers, husbands, and brothers, you are summoned to rally round the standard of the eagle, to defend all which is dear in existence.’
The second proclamation is one of the highest compliments ever paid by a military chief to his soldiers:—