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Title: Life and public services of Martin R. Delany - Sub-Assistant Commissioner Bureau Relief of Refugees, - Freedmen, and of Abandoned Lands, and late Major 104th - U.S. Colored Troops
Author: Rollin, Frank A.
Language: English
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                            PUBLIC SERVICES
                           MARTIN R. DELANY,

                   MAJOR 104TH U. S. COLORED TROOPS.

                           FRANK A. ROLLIN.

                    _----“et niger arma Memnonis.”_

                           LEE AND SHEPARD.

      Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by
                           FRANK A. ROLLIN,
              In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court
                   of the District of Massachusetts.

                          STEREOTYPED AT THE
                      BOSTON STEREOTYPE FOUNDRY,
                            19 Spring Lane.


  CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

         Introduction                                                    7

      I. Genealogy                                                      13

     II. Early Education                                                30

    III. Studying North                                                 38

     IV. Moral Efforts                                                  43

      V. Editorial Career                                               48

     VI. Practising Medicine                                            68

    VII. Fugitive Slave Act                                             73

   VIII. A Hiatus                                                       77

     IX. Canada.--Captain John Brown                                    83

      X. Canada Convention.--Harper’s Ferry                             91

     XI. In Europe                                                      96

    XII. The International Statistical Congress and Lord Brougham       99

   XIII. Return to America                                             134

    XIV. Corps d’Afrique                                               141

     XV. A Step towards the Service                                    145

    XVI. Recruiting as it was                                          151

   XVII. Changing Position                                             155

  XVIII. Private Council at Washington                                 162

    XIX. The Council-Chamber.--President Lincoln                       166

     XX. The Gold Leaf                                                 176

     XXI. In the Field                                                 181

    XXII. At Charleston and Fort Sumter                                189

   XXIII. Armée d’Afrique                                              200

    XXIV. The National Calamity                                        203

     XXV. Camp of Instruction                                          209

    XXVI. Extraordinary Messages                                       214

   XXVII. News from Richmond                                           222

  XXVIII. A New Field                                                  227

    XXIX. General Sickles                                              245

     XXX. Restoring Domestic Relations                                 254

    XXXI. General Robert K. Scott                                      259

   XXXII. The Planters and the Freedmen’s Bureau                       269

  XXXIII. Domestic Economy                                             272

   XXXIV. Civil Affairs.--President Johnson                            277

    XXXV. Educational Interests                                        285

   XXXVI. Conclusion                                                   292


  Political Writings                                                   303

  African Explorations                                                 306

  Reflections on the War                                               309

  The International Policy of the World towards the African Race       313

  Political Destiny of the Colored Race on the American Continent      327


At the close of every revolution in a country, there is observed an
effort for the gradual and general expulsion of all that is effete,
or tends to retard progress; and as the nation comes forth from its
purification with its existence renewed and invigorated, a better and
higher civilization is promised.

Before entering upon such an effort, it is usual to compute the aid
rendered in the past struggle for national existence, and the present
status of the auxiliaries in connection with it. In this manner, as the
sullen roar of battle ceases, as the war cloud fades out from our sky,
we are enabled to look more soberly upon the stupendous revolution,
its causes and teachings, and to consider the men and new measures
developed through its agency, the material with which the country is to
be reconstructed.

In reviewing the history of the late civil war, it will be found,
as in former revolutions, that those who were able to master its
magnitude were men who, prior to the occasion, were almost wholly
unknown, or claimed but a local reputation. Measures which before were
deemed impracticable and inexpedient, in the progress of the war, were
considered best adapted to meet the exigencies of the time. A race
before persecuted, slandered, and brutalized, ostracized, socially and
politically, have scattered the false theories of their enemies, and
proved in every way their claim and identity to American citizenship
in its every particular. While the war between sections has erased
slavery from the statutes of the country, it has in no wise obliterated
the inconsistent prejudice against color. Among the white Americans,
since the rebellion, from the highest officer to the lowest subaltern,
there is a recognized precedence for them, in view of their patriotism
and valor in the hour of peril and treachery. They recognized their
duty when Southerners had ignored it: for this we honor them; and none
would gainsay an atom of the praise bestowed: the country had always
honored and protected them at home and abroad, and in enhancing her
prestige, they have added to their own as American citizens. But in
the same dark hour of strife and treachery, there went forth from the
despised and dusky sons of the republic a host, who, though faring
differently, contributed no meagre offering to the cause of the Union.
In the foremost rank of battle they stood, stimulated alone by
their sublime faith in the future of their country, instead of being
deterred by the disheartening experiences of the past. From their
first hour in the rebellion to the last, theirs was a fierce, unequal
contest; they were found enlisting, fighting, and even dying under
circumstances from which the bravest Saxon would have been justified in
shrinking. For them there was “death in the front and destruction in
the rear”--torture and death as prisoners in the rebel lines, and the
perils of the mob in many of the loyal cities awaiting them when seen
in the United States uniform. Despite all opposition, they have traced
their history in characters as indestructible as they are brilliant, to
the confusion of their enemies. On every field, negro heroism and valor
have been proved by them in a manner which has established for their
race a grandeur of character in American annals, that, when read by the
unprejudiced eyes of futurity, will gleam with increased splendor amid
their unfavorable surroundings; while in song and story their deeds of
prowess will live forever, reflecting the glories of Port Hudson, the
crimson field of Olustee, and the holy memories which cluster about
Fort Wagner.

Of an army of more than a quarter of a million men, less than a decade
received promotion for their services. Lieutenant Stephen A. Swails,
of Elmira, New York, a member of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts
Volunteers, had the honor of being first, for having signally
distinguished himself both at Wagner and Olustee. Later followed the
promotion of Lieutenants Dufree, Shorter, James T. Trotter, and Charles
Mitchell, from the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers; Lieutenants
Peter Voglesang (Quartermaster), and Frank Welch, from the Fifty-fourth
Massachusetts Volunteers. Dr. Alexander Augusta, of Canada, had been
previously appointed surgeon, with the rank of major. Besides these,
several complimentary promotions were given prior to the muster out
of these two regiments. None of the officers above named have been
retained in the service; one alone remains, who, during the rebellion,
had attained the highest commission bestowed on any of the race by the
government--that of Major of Infantry. Him whom the government had
chosen for this position we have made the subject of this work. His
great grasp of mind and fine executive ability eminently befitted him
for the sphere, and the success which attends his measures renders him
a distinct and conspicuous character at his post. His career throughout
life has been very remarkable. Prior to his present appointment his
name was familiar with every advance movement relative to the colored
people: once it fell upon the ear of the terror-stricken Virginians, in
connection with John Brown, of Ossowatomie; and scarcely had it been
forgotten when it was borne back to us from the Statistical Congress
at London, encircled with the genius of Lord Brougham. To no more
advantageous surroundings than were enjoyed by the masses he owes his
successes; hence his achievements may be safely argued as indicative
of the capability and progress of the race whose proud representative
he is. The isolated and degraded position assigned the colored people
precluding the possibility of gaining distinction, whenever one of
their number lifts himself by the strength of his own character beyond
the prescribed limits, ethnologists apologize for this violation of
their established rules, charging it to some few drops of Saxon blood
commingling with the African. But in the case of the individual of
whom we write, he stands proudly before the country the blackest of
the black, presenting in himself a giant’s powers warped in chains,
and evidencing in his splendid career the fallacy of the old partisan
theory of negro inferiority and degradation.

In this history will be noticed certain strong characteristics
peculiarly his own, which are traceable more to the circumstances of
his birth than his race. Aiming to render a faithful biography of this
remarkable man, we narrate minutely his singularly active and eventful
life, which, in view of the narrow limits apportioned to him, will bear
favorable comparison with the great Americans of our time.

                                 CHARLESTON, S. C., October 19th, 1868.




It has always been admitted that the early slaves of America were
the vanquished of the wars waged among rival tribes of Africa. Among
these were kings, chiefs, and their families, accustomed to state and
circumstance, consigned to slavery in accordance with the laws of their
warfare. From these early slaves the colored people of the United
States are descended; and some of these captive kings and princes, it
naturally follows, were the progenitors of some of the colored people
of this continent. Yet, in consequence of the condition assigned
them by an unholy prejudice, the mere mention of a claim to a family
lineage, by one of that race, is treated with derision. Despite the
opposition, however, there are Americans who not only claim a regal
African ancestry, but cling to it with a pride worthy of a citizen of
Rome in her palmiest days. Regardless of the gloom of barbarism which
encircled their ancestry, knowing that the race which now stands at
the zenith of its power suffered like disadvantages, the colored
people cherish this proud descent with all the strong feeling so
characteristic of them. Prominent among them in this pride of race
stands the subject of this work.

At a recent session of Congress an interrogatory was raised by a
member of that honorable body, while the suffrage question was being
agitated: “What negro, either ancient or modern, has risen up and
shown his claims to a family lineage, or a kingdom, as have done
other men through all times? Or where is the negro, who, by the force
of his intellect, and might of his will and power, has attempted to
bring together the scattered petty chiefdoms south of the Sahara into
one grand consolidated kingdom? Show me one who has attempted any of
these, and with all of my prejudices, to such will I accord honor.”
This will temper the criticism to which we render ourselves liable
under a state of society where every man is supposed to stand upon the
strength of his own merit, or fall for want of it, and where family
titles are ignored, by beginning the biography of a colored man with
his ancestry, instead of treating directly with himself. Since this
reference to ancestry is not without precedent, as the histories of
distinguished Americans show, there can be no violation of established
rules for us to avail ourselves of the privilege, not in imitation of
others, but rather with a view of presenting a faithful portrait of one
representative of the race, known to two continents, but remarkable in
the history of our times as the first black major in the United States

MARTIN ROBISON DELANY, the son of Samuel and Pati Delany, was born at
Charlestown, Virginia, May 6, 1812. He was named for his godfather, a
colored Baptist clergyman, who, it appeared, gave nothing beyond his
name to his godson.

With the name Delany, a peculiarity illustrative of the man himself
is manifested. Regarding it as not legally belonging to his family by
consanguinity, and suspicious of its having been borrowed from the
whites, as was the custom of those days, he expresses himself always
as though it was distasteful to him, recalling associations of the
servitude of his family. With these associations clinging to it, his
pride revolts at retaining that which he believes originated with
the oppressors of his ancestors; and though he has made it honorable
in other lands besides our own, encircled it with the glory of a
steadfast adherence to freedom’s cause in the nation’s darkest hours,
and uncompromising fidelity to his race, thus constituting him one of
the brightest beacons for the rising generation, he eagerly awaits the
opportunity for its erasure.

His pride of birth is traceable to his maternal as well as to his
paternal grandfather, native Africans--on the father’s side, pure
Golah; on the mother’s, Mandingo.

His father’s father was a chieftain, captured with his family in war,
sold to the slavers, and brought to America. He fled at one time from
Virginia, where he was enslaved, taking with him his wife and two sons,
born to him on this continent, and, after various wanderings, reached
Little York--as Toronto, Canada, was then called--unmolested. But
even there he was pursued, and “by some fiction of law, international
policy, old musty treaty, cozenly understood,” says Major Delany, he
was brought back to the United States.

The fallen old chief afterwards is said to have lost his life in an
encounter with some slaveholder, who attempted to chastise him into

On his mother’s side the claim receives additional strength. The story
runs that her father was an African prince, from the Niger valley
regions of Central Africa; was captured when young, during hostilities
between the Mandingoes, Fellahtas, and Houssa, sold, and brought to
America at the same time with his betrothed Graci.

His name was Shango, surnamed Peace, from that of a great African deity
of protection, which is represented in their worship as a ram’s head
with the attribute of fire.

The form and attributes of this deity are so described as to render it
probable that the idol Shango, of modern Africa, is the same to which
ancient Egypt paid divine homage under the name of Jupiter Ammon. This
still remaining the popular deity of all the region of Central Africa,
is an evidence sufficient in itself to prove not only nativity, but
descent. For in accordance with the laws of the people of that region,
none took, save by inheritance, so sacred a name as Shango, and the
one thus named was entitled to the chief power. From this source this
American family claim their ancestry.

Shango, at an early period of his servitude in America, regained his
liberty, and returned to Africa.

Whether owing to the fact that the slave system was not so thoroughly
established then,--that is, had no legal existence,--or the early
slaveholders had not then lost their claims to civilization, it was
recognized among themselves that no African of noble birth should
be continued enslaved, proofs of his claims being adduced. Thus, by
virtue of his birth, Shango was enabled to return to his home. His
wife, Graci, was afterwards restored to freedom by the same means. She
remained in America, and died at the age of one hundred and seven, in
the family of her only daughter, Pati, the mother of Major Delany.

These facts were more fully authenticated by Major Delany while
on his famous exploring tour, of which we will speak hereafter.
While he travelled from Golah to Central Africa, through the Niger
valley regions, he recognized his opportunity, and consulted, among
others, as he travelled, that learned native author, Agi, known to
fame as the Rev. Samuel Crowther, D. D., created by the Church of
England Bishop of Niger, the degree of Doctor of Divinity having been
conferred by the University of Oxford. From all information obtained,
it is satisfactorily proved, that, his grandmother having died about
forty-three years ago, at the advanced age of one hundred and seven
years, as before stated, then his grandfather’s age, being the same as
hers, would correspond with that period, which is about one hundred and
fifty years, since the custom of an heir to royalty taking the name
of a native deity was recognized; and, further, that his grandfather
was heir to the kingdom which was then the most powerful of Central
Africa, but lost his royal inheritance by the still prevailing custom
of slavery and expatriation as a result of subjugation.

Some day, then, perhaps before the “star of empire westward takes its
way,” “the petty chiefdoms and principalities south of the Sahara” may
yet be “gathered into one grand consolidated kingdom” by some negro’s
intellect and might.

To possess himself of the early origin of his family was in keeping
with a mind so richly endowed, and soaring always far beyond the
confines which the prejudices of this country apportion him. Not that
he expected it to elevate him in America, knowing that custom and
education are alike averse to this--scarcely allowing him to declare
with freedom from derision the immortal sentence, “_I am a man_,” and
claiming rights legitimately belonging to its estate. For by observing
his history, it may yet prove that the sequel is but the goal of his
earliest determination, and not of recent conception, but nursed from
his high-minded Mandingo-Golah mother, and heard in the chants of a
Mandingo grandmother, depicted with all the gorgeous imagery of the
tropics, as the story of their lost and _regal_ inheritance. Thus
becoming imbued with its spirit, it shaped itself in the dreams of his
childhood, it entwined about the studies and pursuits of his youth,
and, through that remarkable perseverance which characterizes him, it
was realized in the full vigor of manhood to trace satisfactorily his
ancestors’ history on the soil of its origin.

Thus Africa and her past and future glory became entwined around every
fibre of his being; and to the work of replacing her among the powers
of the earth, and exalting her scattered descendants on this continent,
he has devoted himself wholly, with an earnestness to which the
personal sacrifices made by him through life bear witness.

Said he on one occasion, “While in America I would be a republican,
strictly democratic, conforming to the letter of the law in every
requirement of a republican government, in a monarchy I would as
strictly conform to its requirements, having no scruples at titles, or
objections to royalty, believing only in impartial and equitable laws,
let that form of government be what it might; believing _that_ only
preferable under just laws which is best adapted to the genius of the

“I would not advocate monarchy in the United States, or republicanism
in Europe; yet I would be either king or president consistently with
the form of government in which I was called to act. But I would be
neither president nor king except to promote the happiness, advance and
secure the rights and liberty, of the people on the bases of justice,
equality, and impartiality before the law.”

Such are the principles to which he adheres. Unpopular as they are,
they have not unfitted him for the duties of a republican citizen,
owing to his ready adaptation to the circumstances in which he has
happened to be placed for promoting the interests of his race.

For, next to his pride of birth, and almost inseparable from it, is his
pride of race, which even distinguishes him from the noted colored men
of the present time. This finds an apt illustration in a remark made
once by the distinguished Douglass. Said he, “I thank God for making
me a man simply; but Delany always thanks him for making him a _black

Doubt of his claims and criticism of his actions may be freely
indulged, for even under the more favorable circumstances in a
democracy like ours, they would be meted out to him; but it must be
admitted it is not an ordinary occurrence, in a country like ours, with
all the disadvantageous surroundings of the colored people, to find an
individual lifting himself above the masses by the levers considered
the most unwieldy--his faith in his race, and his deep identity with
them. So completely has slavery accomplished its mission, depriving
the colored people of every opportunity of profit, and every hope of
emolument, confining them to the most menial occupations, engendering a
timidity to advancement into the higher pursuits, unless supported by
some recognized popular element, as to cause them to be at all times
painfully alive to their humiliating condition, and to act as though
ready to bow apologies to the public for their color. While this can
hardly be charged as a fault to them, it is at best lamentable, and at
the same time it is equally true, that Major Delany, in the sincerity
of his belief, even unconscious of its effect, tends to the other
extreme--that white men are often piqued when in contact with him, and
are likely at first to be prejudiced against him.

A true radical of the old school, once in conversation with another
gentleman, when the black officer’s opinion on the subject on which
they were conversing was quoted, rejected it, and vehemently exclaimed,
“Sir, I do not believe Delany considers any white man as good as

He rejects always, with the deepest scorn, the assertion of
inferiority, claiming always for his race the highest susceptibility
in all things, which belief he asserts with additional force since
his intercourse with native Africans of the Niger valley regions,
whose metaphysical reasonings and statuary designs, all circumstances
considered, challenged his highest admiration, and claiming for
himself, as before mentioned, a high descent.

On going to London, he made known his efforts to obtain, while in
Africa, a correct knowledge of his ancestry to the distinguished Henry
Ven, D. D., late tutor of mathematics and Latin and Greek in Cambridge
College, now secretary of the Church Missionary Society, Salsbery
Square, when the generous philanthropist at once stated that he had but
one copy of Koehler’s _Polyglotta Africana_, a work gotten up at great
expense and labor expressly for the church publication, the price being
four or five pounds sterling; but that Dr. Delany, of all living men,
had a legitimate right to it, and therefore should have it; and he at
once presented it to him, this being probably the only one in America.
In this the high status claimed for his ancestry received additional

John Randolph of Roanoke referring always, in his pride, to his
blood inherited from his Indian ancestry, as the strength upon which
his great character was formed, and Martin Delany glorying in the
blood transmitted to him from the dusky chiefs of Africa, cannot be
considered a weakness in this country, where the Indian and the negro
are entitled to the strongest consideration of the nation. For upon his
parentage and race rests whatever of success and prominence our subject
has achieved; they have entered so strongly into all his pursuits,
and blended themselves into a most ennobling influence, that they
reflect themselves in every act, and each act, marked by this strong
personality, leads to the individual himself.

In personal appearance he is remarkable; seen once, he is to be
remembered. He is of medium height, compactly and strongly built,
with broad shoulders, upon which rests a head seemingly inviting,
by its bareness, attention to the well-developed organs, with eyes
sharp and piercing, seeming to take in everything at a glance at the
same time, while will, energy, and fire are alive in every feature;
the whole surmounted on a groundwork of most defiant blackness. It
is frequently said by those best acquainted with his character, that
in order to excite envy in him would be for an individual to possess
less adulterated blackness, as his great boast is, that there lives
none blacker than himself. His carriage, erect and independent, as if
indicative of the man, calls attention to his figure. His wonderful
powers of mental and physical endurance and great constitutional vigor,
resulting in a physique of striking elasticity, lead us to institute
comparisons with the great Lord Brougham.

If there is one faculty for the cultivation of which he is more
remarkable than another, it is his power of memory, almost as universal
as it is tenacious, never seeming wholly to forget persons, names,
places, or events; especially those of interest he relates with
accuracy. His ready memory, always suggestive, renders him in oratory
exhaustless and lengthy, but at all times interesting; especially to
a promiscuous audience he is instructive. His gestures in speaking
are nervous and rapid at first, then easy and graceful; his delivery
forcible and impressive; while his voice, deep-toned and full, attracts
his auditors, and influences them. At all times logical, appealing more
to the reason than to the feelings, endeavoring at all times to infuse
his own enthusiasm for the glorious future of his race into them, he
appeals less to their passions than their pride.

In speaking, he is most effective when in his loftiest flights. Losing
sight of his audience, and wrapped up in his theme, his features
beaming with the beauty of inspiration, he seems to address himself
directly to the great injustice which towers above him, no longer
himself, but the spirit of some martyr-hero of his race in the cause
of right, bursting the cerements of the grave to renew the combat on
earth. To all conscious of his life-long earnestness, and how closely
the orator and the man are allied, his efforts are not without their

He conformed to no conservatism for interest’s sake, nor compromise for
the sake of party or expediency, demanding only the rights meted out to
others. His sentiments partaking of the most uncompromising radicalism,
years before the public were willing to listen to such doctrine,
caused his speeches and writings to be considered impracticable and
impolitic. While they were never characterized by violent or incendiary
expressions, they consequently rendered him less popular than many
others of inferior ability. He was considered impolitic for what men
talked with abated breath; when slavery had her myrmidons in church and
state, he held up, in all of its deformities, and denounced without
fear or palliation, depending more upon the cause than the time to
justify him. “Setting his foot always in advance of fate,” his views
were deemed impracticable; but, proud in the strength of his opinions,
and wrapped in the consciousness of their ultimate adoption, he bided
his hour.

As an advocate of moral reforms his influence finds abundant scope.
His habits being as simple as they are temperate, adhering rigidly to
physiological rules, they render him successful in presenting such
measures. In early youth he espoused total abstinence; conforming
first from principle, it afterwards became an established habit to
eschew the use of liquors, or even tobacco, in any form, and from these
early principles he has never been known to swerve. While his labors
and sympathies are more strongly put forth in behalf of his own race,
as more needful of them, yet no one exhibits a more catholic spirit,
even to the enemies of his race, than Martin Delany. In his present
sphere, his untiring efforts to ameliorate the condition of every
class, irrespective of former condition and politics, and to advance
the prosperity of an impoverished and prostrate section of our country,
will render his name acceptable, not only as the able and incorruptible
executive officer of the government, but as a humanitarian in its
widest acceptation. To sum up his character, there will be found a
strong individuality permeating it, as though aiming always to be
himself in all things; possessing all the pride, fire, and generous
characteristics of the true negro, without the timidity or weakness
usually ascribed, as resulting from their condition in America.

There is every evidence that he possesses in an eminent degree the
elements of the true soldier, and under more favorable auspices
would have made a reputation worthy of record beside the great names
which the late rebellion has produced. Fearless without being rash,
at all times self-possessed and fully equal to emergencies, a lover
of discipline; an iron will and great strength of endurance and
perseverance bestowed by Nature, while she circumscribed his limits for
exercising them; hence the record of his services in the late rebellion
will be more of his achievements as an organizer of movements tending
to advance the progress of freedom in reconstruction than of his
martial accomplishments.

While the true place of the distinguished colored man is among the
“self-made men” of our country, still it must be admitted that their
surroundings being less favorable to insure success than white men
of the same class, in proportion, their achievements are as great.
And while many of this class were fostered by the Anti-slavery
Society,--its patronage being always extended to the talented and
meritorious of the race,--still its immediate support was never held
out to him. Solely upon his own will, perseverance, and merits can be
based the secret of his success wherein others have failed.

His mother was considered a most exemplary Christian, active
and energetic, with quick perceptions and fine natural talents,
inheriting all the finer traits of character of her Mandingo origin.
The Mandingoes, from their love of traffic, are nicknamed the “Jews
of Africa.” An incident which is related of her shows the force of
character which she transmitted to her son. An attempt was made to
enslave herself and children, five in all, in Virginia, where they
resided. Being informed of it, she at once determined to test or avert
it. Taking the two youngest, she set out on foot, with one lashed
across her back, and the other in her arms; she walked, the distance
from Charlestown to Winchester in time to meet the court, consulted her
lawyer, entered suit, and when all difficulties were satisfactorily
adjusted, she returned to her children triumphant. “Some Roman lingered
there,” that neither the miasma of slavery, with which the atmosphere
about was impregnated, nor the uncertain future of her children, could
crush out; but a slow and steady fire burnt forever in her soul, and
gleamed along the pathway of her youngest born to guide him to duty in
the unequal strife of his race. She lived long enough to witness the
overthrow of the oligarchy against which she had contended in Virginia.
She died at Pittsburg, in the family of her son, Samuel Delany, in
1864, at the age of ninety-six.

This family attained great longevity, as is again shown in the father
of Major Delany, who gave every indication of a hale old age, when he
was carried off by the cholera which swept over Pittsburg at one time,
when he had reached his eighty-fourth year. In life he was known as
a man of great integrity of character, of acknowledged courage, and
was remarkable for his great physical strength. He was well known in
Martinsburg, where, for a stipulated sum, he obtained his freedom,
thence went to Chambersburg, whither his family had preceded him. He
bore a scar on his face, the result of a wound, which adds another
testimony to the “barbarism of slavery.” It was inflicted by the
sheriff of the county, who, with eight men, went to arrest him one
morning, because he had nine times torn the clothes from off the person
of one Violet, as he was endeavoring to inflict bodily punishment on
him. Each time, as he dashed the man Violet from him, he assured him he
had no wish to injure him.

The sheriff and his men, approaching, were warned by him to keep off.
He then fortified himself behind a wagon in a lane, and, being armed
with its swingle-tree, bade defiance to the authority attempting to
surround him. The better to effect a retreat, if necessary, by climbing
backwards he raised himself to the top of the fence, his face to his
persecutors. At the moment the top was gained, he was brought to the
ground, senseless and bleeding, by a skilfully-directed stone. He was
then secured and taken to prison at Charlestown.

The sheriff was desirous of shooting him; but Violet, with a view to
his market value rather than appreciation of his determined courage,
objected most decidedly to this, adding that he was “too good a man to
be killed.” The stone was thus substituted for the bullet. With this
mark of brutality daily before the eyes of his children, and in its
train all the humiliations and bestial associations to which their
hapless race was subjected, it is no matter of wonderment that Martin
Delany should watch every enactment concerning his race with exactness,
and his bitterness against their oppressors and abettors would
sometimes outrun his sense of the politic, or that all his efforts
should, through life, converge to the same end to contribute his aid to
root out every fibre of slavery and its concomitants.

On the 15th of March, 1843, he was married to Kate A., youngest
daughter of Charles Richards, of Pittsburg, the grandfather and father
of whom had been men of influence and wealth of their time. This
daughter was one of the heirs to their estate, which had increased
in value, as it embraced some of the best property in the city of
Pittsburg, estimated at nearly two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
This was finally lost to them in 1847, simply by a turn of law, in
consequence of the unwillingness of attorneys to litigate so large a
claim in favor of a colored against white families.

Mrs. Delany is a fine-looking, intelligent, and appreciative lady,
possessed of fine womanly sympathies, and, always entering fully into
his pursuits, has contributed no little aid to his success.

With a companion whose views are so thoroughly in unison with his own,
his domestic relations are prosperous and happy. Equally as zealous
for the interest of her race, and self-sacrificing as himself, she
encouraged and urged him on in his most doubtful moments,--for many
they were while the political horizon was darkened by the thick clouds
of slavery.

While they were never possessed of means, through her management many
poor fugitives and indigent persons were succored by them. She has
cheerfully borne poverty when it could have been otherwise, and would
forego personal comforts rather than he should fall back from the
position he had taken, for pecuniary benefits for herself and children.

From this marriage eleven children were born, seven of whom are living.
In the selection of the names of these children, the speciality is
again evident. If the names given to children generally are intended
as incentives to the formation of character, then, when they are
sufficiently marked by selections from prominent characters, it may
at least be indicative of the sentiments of the parents. If this is
admitted, then the choice of names of these children gives unmistakable
evidences of the determination of their parents that these brilliant
characters should not be lost sight of, but emulated by them. While
they are strictly in keeping with the father’s characteristic, they
being all of African affinity or consanguinity, they are nevertheless
remarkable amidst such surroundings as American contingencies
constantly present. The eldest is Toussaint L’Ouverture, after the
first military hero and statesman of San Domingo; the second, Charles
Lennox Remond, from the eloquent living declaimer; the third, Alexander
Dumas, from that brilliant author of romance; the fourth, Saint
Cyprian, from one of the greatest of the primitive bishops of the
Christian Church; the fifth, Faustin Soulouque, after the late Emperor
of Hayti; the sixth, Rameses Placido, from the good King of Egypt, “the
ever-living Rameses II,” and the poet and martyr of freedom to his race
on the Island of Cuba; the seventh, the daughter Ethiopia Halle Amelia,
the country of his race, to which is given the unequalled promise that
“she should soon stretch forth her hands unto God.”



In the recent struggle through which the nation has passed, like
convulsions, sometimes, of certain portions of the physical world, old
features and landmarks are swept away, and new features are apparent,
developing on the surface, the existence of which very little, if
anything, was heretofore known.

A class has been invoked into action, to whose sublime patience and
enduring heroism the genius of poetry will turn for inspiration, while
future historians, recognizing evidences of the true statesmanship
which they have exhibited through the dark night of slavery, will
place them amid the brightest constellations of our time. This class
exhibited the same anomaly in the midst of slavery, that the slaves in
a government whose doctrines taught liberty and equality to all men,
and under whose banner the exile and fugitive found refuge, presented
to the civilization of this century. They were an intermediate class
in all the slave states, standing between the whites and the bondmen,
known as the free colored; debarred from enjoying the privileges of
the one, but superior in condition to the other, more, however, by
sufferance than by actual law. While they were the stay of the one,
they were the object of distrust to the other, and at the same time
subject to the machinations and jealousies of the non-slaveholders,
whom they rival in mechanical skill and trade. Prior to the rebellion
these represented a fair proportion of wealth and culture, both
attributable to their own thrift and energy. Unlike the same class
at the North, they had but little, if any, foreign competition in
the various departments of labor or trade against which to contend.
Immigration not being encouraged at the South, as at the North, could
not affect their progress, thus leaving all avenues open to the free
colored, while they were excluded from the more liberal and learned
professions. But if their faculties for accumulation were preferable to
the same class North, there were influences always at work to deprive
them of the fruits of their labor, either openly or covertly. On the
one side were exorbitant taxes for various public charities, from
the benefits of which the indigent of their race were deprived, and
for public schools, to which their children were denied admittance.
Business men found it in many instances impolitic to refuse requests
for loans coming from influential white men, under whose protection
they exercised their meagre privileges, and the payment of which it was
equally impolitic to press, nor were they allowed to sue for debts.

Thus their position in the midst of a slave community was altogether
precarious, as they were looked upon as a dangerous element by the
slaveholders. Their lives and material prosperity standing in direct
contrast to the repeated assertions of the advocates and apologists of
slavery, that they would, if free, relapse into barbarism, or would
burden the states in which they were found, for support. So marked and
wide-spread had this class become in the Southern States, that it was a
subject of general comment, but a few years before the rebellion, the
almost simultaneous petitions to the various legislative bodies, to
drive them from their homes, and in some of the states these were only
baffled by the bribes resorted to by their victims. These continued
aggressions succeeded, however, in driving large numbers to settle
in the free states and the Canadas, notwithstanding the unmigratory
tendency of southern races. There they remained until their listening
ears caught the first note of the rebellion, as borne from Sumter’s
walls, and with all the holy tenderness which clusters around the
national colors in the hearts of these men, they went forward to swell
the Union ranks. For to them the cause was as sacred as that which
inspired the crusaders of old.

There were others whose far-seeing visions, peering into futurity,
beheld the balance of power held out to them, and remained awaiting the
march of events not far removed, and at this time are recognized as the
accepted leaders of the rising race.

Under this state of society was engendered a habitual watchfulness of
public measures, making them tenacious of their rights and immunities
in every community where they are found, and peculiarly sensitive
to the slightest indication of encroachments, which has resulted in
developing in them a foresight and sagacity not surpassed in others,
whose individual status is less closely allied with political measures.

From this class sprang the honored and scholarly Daniel E. Paine,
Bishop of the African Methodist Church,--that great religious body, the
power of which is destined to be felt in America, and the influence
of which to be circumscribed only by the ocean. The noble Vesey, of
South Carolina, who sealed his devotion to the cause of freedom with
his life, was of this class. Before the walls of Petersburg, these were
among the gallant soldiers who gave battle to the trained veterans of
Lee, and at the ramparts of Wagner they waded to victory in blood.

Amid these uncertain surroundings was the boyhood of Martin Delany
passed. In childhood the playmate of John Avis, at Charlestown, in
manhood, the associate of the immortal Brown of Ossawatomie, in
a measure which ultimately resulted in rendering the name of the
kind-hearted Virginian historic in connection with his illustrious

With all the schools closed against them in Virginia, it was not until
about 1818 that his brothers and sisters ever attempted to receive

With the vast domain of Virginia at this date, teeming with
school-houses, attended by thousands of colored children, and
instructed by white northern teachers, as well as those of their own
race, the tuition of the Delany children forms a singular contrast.

The famous New York Primer and Spelling Book was brought to them about
that time by itinerant Yankee pedlers, trading in rags and old pewter,
and giving in exchange for these new tin ware, school-books, and
stationery. These pedlers always found it convenient and profitable,
likewise, to leave their peculiar looking box wagon, to whisper into
the ear of a black, “You’re as much right to learn to read as these
whites;” and looking at their watches, had a “snigger of time left yet
to stay a little and give a lesson or so.” These “didn’t charge, only
gim me what ye mine to.” It was under such covert tuition, and with
such instructors, in the humble home of Pati Delany, that the young
Martin, together with his brothers and sisters, were taught to read and

This stealthy manner of learning, while they were unconscious of the
cause, had the tendency of making them more attentive and eager,
perhaps, than otherwise, for their tuition was not of long duration
before the elder boys were able to read intelligently, and instruct the
younger children, we are told. And after a time almost improbable had
elapsed, so well arranged were the plans for imparting instruction,
that the authorities, who are always so vigilant in inspecting or
prying into the movements of the free blacks, “that dangerous element”
of the South, were so completely baffled, that not only the smaller
children were reading and spelling, but the larger boys were actually
writing “passes” for the slaves of their neighborhood.

As their minds developed, all restraint was thrown aside, and the
lessons given and recited heretofore in whispers, were now being
recited to each other aloud. Leaving the little room in which they were
accustomed to assemble, with throbbing hearts and eyes beaming with
joyous anticipations to receive those early lessons, unconscious of the
hair-suspended sword of southern _justice_ above their innocent heads,
they dared to “_play school_,” like other children, under the shaded
arbor of their mother’s garden. This soon attracted the attention of
their neighbors. Surrounded as they were by whites, it was a hazardous
and “overt act.” Major Delany describes the “situation” thus: “In the
rear, adjoining, on the opposite street, was Downey’s; on the left,
adjoining, Offit’s; on the right, immediately across the street from
Hogan’s, was the Long O’nary, where Bun’s great school was kept,
the largest school in the town except Heckman’s Seminary.” Thus the
progress of Pati Delany’s children was soon made the gossip of the day,
and attracted thither continually curious inquirers, eager to see and
hear negro children spell and read.

It chanced one day, in the midst of their recitations, their mother
being absent, they were interrupted by a man inquiring the name of
their parents, then of each child, taking it down in the mean time in
his book. Being satisfied, he rode away. These children, unconscious
of the purport of the visit, joyfully related it to their mother on
her return. Great was their astonishment to see the expression of deep
dejection that overshadowed the features that but a few moments before
had shone with happiness as she greeted them. Her only response to
their information was a long-drawn sigh, for too well she knew that
visit foreboded trouble. In a few days her fears were realized. A man
called at the house, and delivered a summons to her, to the effect that
it was understood that she was having her children taught to read, in
direct violation of law, for which she should answer before a court
of justice. The devoted mother’s consternation can be well pictured,
when we recall the justice extended to the noble Prudence Crandell,
in Connecticut, for teaching negro children to read. It followed, in
her fears, that she resorted to the concealment of the books from her
children; but the sole cause of offence to the majesty of Virginia’s
laws, the knowledge, and the insatiable thirst for further acquirement,
could neither be hidden nor taken from them.

This violation of law, and the inevitable consequences, were soon
bruited around the country. Neither sympathy or advice was extended to
the courageous woman, whose only crime was wearing a dusky skin; but
instead, the jeers and scowls which the vilest culprit receives met her
on every side. Mingled with their imprecations could be remembered the
significant expressions, “A wholesome lesson!” “It will do that proud,
defiant woman good!” “She always made pretensions above a negro.” Suits
were constantly entered, and failed. She was persecuted by all, with
one noble exception--that of Randall Brown, a banker, who often advised
her to leave the place. Finally, in September, 1822, under the pretext
of moving to Martinsburg, she left Charlestown for Chambersburg, Pa.,
where residing for fifteen years, her children were enabled to continue
their studies, with “none to molest or make them afraid.” There, for
several years, they attended school, securing such advantages as the
country schools of those days afforded.

After some time had elapsed, Delany’s parents’ means being limited, he
was compelled to leave school. He then went to Cumberland County, about
two years after he had left school, to work; but, becoming dissatisfied
with his prospects, he returned to Chambersburg, to obtain the consent
of his parents to go to Pittsburg, where facilities for obtaining an
education were superior to those of his home. On the morning of the
29th of July, 1831, we date the first bold and determined move on his
part to fit himself for the herculean task which he had marked out for
himself. Alone, and on foot, the young hero set out for Pittsburg,
with little or no money, and consequently few friends. Crossing the
three grand ridges of the Alleghany, he soon reached Bedford. Here,
employment being offered to him, he remained for one month. Never
losing sight of his resolves, he now turned his face towards Pittsburg,
in which city the foundation of his fame afterwards rested.



In directing his footsteps to Pittsburg, Fortune favored the student
in a degree wonderful for that time, while she chilled the energies of
the man in later years. There he was compelled to labor faithfully, at
whatever work his hands found to do, in order to continue his studies.

Fortunately for him, a way was opened from sources least expected
at that time. Great efforts were being made by the colored people
themselves, at Pittsburg, to advance their educational interests,
together with other measures for the recognition of their political
rights. A church was purchased from the white Methodists for a
school-house,--an educational society having been previously
organized,--and Rev. Louis Woodson, a colored gentleman, of fine
talents, was placed at the head of it. Under the supervision of this
gentleman, during the winter of 1831, his progress in the common
branches were such as to warrant his promotion to the more advanced
studies. It was commonly said by his friends at school, that his
retentiveness of history--his favorite study--was so remarkable that he
seemed to have recited from the palm of his hand.

A young student of Jefferson, seventeen miles distant, who frequently
spent his vacation at Pittsburg, assisted him in his difficult studies,
as they occupied the same room. While studying together, they conceived
the plan for benefiting other young men of like tastes by forming an
association for their intellectual and moral improvement. It soon
became popular, and the Theban Literary Society was afterwards formed.
Judging from the names adopted by their officers, pedantic as they are,
they evince an acquaintance with the rudiments of a polite education
not expected from that class under their disadvantages, the names,
relative to their offices, being taken from the Greek. This was but the
small beginning for wider labors. Since then they have associated with
other bodies, more important in their character, yet bearing a like
relation to humanity. But it was, perhaps, to the literary society of
Pittsburg, resembling that formed by Franklin and his young associates,
that the germ of their usefulness first came forth.

It was also about the winter of 1831-2 that the little ripple, destined
to be the great anti-slavery wave, against which the ship of state
would madly contend, was noticed; for, almost simultaneously with
the outbreak for freedom at Southampton, Va., known as Nat Turner’s
Insurrection, appeared “Garrison’s Thoughts on American Colonization.”

Then, to the casual observer, the action of the one was a ridiculous
folly; that of the other, the wild fancies of a fanatic’s brain. Now,
there is a dark significance in that solitary figure, looming up in the
dark background of slavery as an offering on the altar of freedom, in
the home of Washington, preceded by that attempted at Charleston with
Denmark Vesey at its head, followed by the closing scene at Harper’s
Ferry. In each of these there was a warning and a lesson as direct as
those which the Hebrew lawgiver received amidst the thunders of Sinai,
but by which a slavery-blinded nation failed to profit, until the last
great martyr of Ossowatomie was offered up.

    “When that great heart broke, ’twas a world that shook;
    From their slavish sleep a million awoke;”

when Virginia, the cradle of slavery, became its burial-place,
the Smithfield of freedom’s martyrs, and the battle-ground of a
slave-founded Confederacy; while on the other side the “fanatic” stands
a witness of the workings of the stupendous powers invoked.

The writings of Mr. Garrison, and the Southampton insurrection,
awakened much interest in many minds, which before that time were
either absorbed in selfish speculations, and indifferent to the
interest of the nation, or despondent of ameliorating the condition of
the black race in this country.

The young Delany, not forgetting his mother’s persecutions, his
father’s humiliations in Virginia, and the wrongs of his race
generally, caught the spirit of truth, and was fired with a high and
holy purpose. With the scene of Nat Turner’s defeat and execution
before him, he consecrated himself to freedom; and, like another
Hannibal, registered his vow against the enemies of his race. To
prepare for everything that promised success, to undergo every
privation and suffering, if necessary to accomplish this object,
was now the resolve of the young neophyte. He began, in the right
direction, to prepare himself for whatever position he should be called
upon to fill, by a renewed earnestness in his studies.

To ethics and metaphysics he devoted his attention; and, while a
student, so proficient was he in the essential principles of natural
philosophy, as to compete successfully with a teacher in a college
of respectability. His progress and attainments, under circumstances
to which no people save his own race have ever been subjected, are
evidences of the ambition and workings of a mind untamed by impediments
which opposed it.

Then, no college or academy of note in the United States received
within its walls a black student, no matter how deserving, save under
obligations hereafter to be mentioned, not excepting Dartmouth,
ostensibly established for Indians, nor the great, independent Harvard,
of ancient pride. “At this time,” said Martin Delany, “or shortly
after, the _now_ learned J. W. C. Pennington, D. D., who received the
degree of Doctor of Divinity at the University of Heidelberg, under
Prince Leopold, president, was standing either behind the door of
Yale College, or perhaps on its threshold, listening to instructions
given in the various branches by the professors, and considering it a
privilege, as it was the closest proximity allowed him towards entering
its _sacred_ precincts as a student.”

Such was the limited opportunity for a thorough education among the
colored people, and so great was the prejudice against them while
Martin Delany was endeavoring to acquire his, that it is safe to
infer that no colored person, _recognized as colored_, previous to
the establishment of institutions of learning under the anti-slavery
agitation, ever completed a collegiate course. True it is, that a few
were educated under the auspices of colonization societies, with no
design of benefiting the colored people in this country, but on the
condition of their leaving it for Africa.

While pursuing his studies at Pittsburg, his name was solicited and
obtained by the zealous Mr. Dawes, agent of the Oberlin Collegiate
Institute, at the beginning of that now famous institute. He afterwards
declined going, it being then but a preparatory school, and his studies
being fully equal to those prosecuted there. He, like Byron, could not
understand that knowledge was less valuable, or less true as knowledge,
without having the _parchment_ to confirm it; while the opportunity
of the great poet and that of the get-by-chance student differs; one
having no formidable barriers to overcome, the other having first to
struggle against oppositions, in order to create a healthy public
sentiment, that others after him might gain it without the giant’s



In 1834 Major Delany was actively engaged in the organization of
several associations for the relief of the poor of the city, and for
the moral elevation of his people. Among them was the first total
abstinence society ever formed among the colored people; and another
known as the Philanthropic Society, which, while formed ostensibly
for benevolent purposes, relative to the indigent of the city, was
really the foundation of one of the great links connecting the slaves
with their immediate friends in the North,--known as the “Underground
Railroad,”--which, for long years, had baffled the slaveholders. Of its
executive board he was for many years secretary.

The work contributed by this association constituted it the invaluable
aid of the anti-slavery cause. Its efficiency may be judged from the
fact that, while in its infancy, it is recorded that, within one year,
not less than two hundred and sixty-nine persons were aided in escaping
to Canada and elsewhere.

His sphere in life gave character to him, identifying him with a people
and a time at once wonderful and perilous; wonderful that amid all
the indignities and outrages heaped upon them, unrebuked by church
or state, they did not degenerate into infidels and law-breakers,
instead of being the Christian and truly law-abiding element of the
republic--perilous, for the emissaries of the South instituted the
fiendish spirit of mobbism, selecting either the dwellings or the
business-places of the prominent colored men of the city. On one
occasion, while this spirit was rife, they made an attack on the
house of Mr. John B. Vashon. Major Delany, then quite a young man,
but true to his principles of justice and humanity, and in view of
future outrages, together with men of more mature age, called on Judge
Pentland and other prominent citizens, to notify them that, though
they were a law-abiding people, they did not intend to remain and be
murdered in their houses without a most determined resistance to their
assailants, as there was little or no assistance or protection rendered
by the authorities.

This resulted in his being chosen one of the special police from among
the blacks and whites appointed in conjunction with the military called
out by the intrepid mayor of Pittsburg, Dr. Jonas R. McClintock. Many
were the occasions on which he stood among the foremost defenders
against those mobs which at that time were more frequent than desirable.

The general grievances of the colored people of the North, occasioned
solely on account of caste, were a disgrace to the civilization of the
age, and incompatible with the elements of our professed republicanism,
which induced them to call an assemblage year after year, delegating
their best talent to these, for the purpose of placing before the
people the true condition of the colored people of the North, and also
to devise methods of assisting the slaves of the South.

These conventions were held at an early date. As far back as 1829 we
find a National Convention Meeting in Philadelphia, and where for
many subsequent years they assembled; and enrolled on their list of
members we find the honored names of Robert Douglass (the father of the
artist), Hinton, Grice, Bowers, Burr, and Forten, together with Peck,
Vashon, Shadd, and others whose names would give dignity and character
to any convention.

Through a series of years these continued lifting up their voices
against the existing political outrages to which they were subjected.
To the last of these (about 1836) Major Delany, together with the Rev.
Lewis Woodson, his former preceptor, who, being senior colleague, was
chosen to represent the status of the community at large. On arriving
at Philadelphia they found the Convention had been transferred to
New York; and on their arrival at that point they were notified that
it had been indefinitely postponed, chilling the hopes, doubtless,
of our young delegate with his maiden speech trembling on his lips,
the “tremendous applause” ringing in his ears, and other fancies
legitimately belonging to the rôle of a young man for the first time
taking his place as a representative among the elders.

About three years after, he attended the Anti-slavery Convention at
Pittsburg. At this Convention were many learned divines and a president
of one of the universities of Western Pennsylvania. Here he brought
upon himself the censure of some of his friends for saying in the
course of his argument (concerning Jewish slavery as compared with that
which existed in America), that “_Onesimus was a blood-kin brother
to Philemon_.” This extraordinary and then entirely new ground was so
unexpected and original, that while many approached, congratulating
him on his able arguments, they expressed their regrets that he
ventured to use such weapons, as he rendered himself liable to severe
criticism from the whites. He replied that, in the course of events
soon to greet them, this would become an established fact. He was not
incorrect, only “imprudent,” as the time had not arrived to proclaim
such bold opinions. His fault, in most cases, is in expressing the
thoughts that shape themselves in his healthy, active brain far in
advance of the time allotted by a conservative element for receiving
it. He plans long before the workmen are ready or willing to execute.
Says that friend of humanity, Wendell Phillips, “What world-wide
benefactors these ‘imprudent’ men are--the Lovejoys, the Browns, the
Garrisons, the saints, the martyrs! How ‘prudently’ most men creep into
nameless graves, while now and then one or two forget themselves into

A few years before this Delany began the study of medicine, under the
late Dr. Andrew N. McDowell, but for some cause did not continue to
completion, as he entered practically upon dentistry. The knowledge
acquired in surgery he made use of whenever immediate necessity
required it. On one occasion, in 1839, he went down the Mississippi to
New Orleans, thence to Texas. While at Alexandria he met with the chief
of adventurers, General Felix Houston, whose attention was attracted by
witnessing him dressing the wound of a man stabbed by an intoxicated
comrade. General Houston offered him a good position and protection
if he would join him. He declined the offer, and continued his tour,
spending several months among the slaveholding Indians of Mississippi,
Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas, viewing the “peculiar institution” as
it existed in all its varied phases,--its pride and gloom,--not loving
freedom less, but hating slavery more, if possible.

He watched closely the scenes through which he had passed, and the
experience gained among the slaves of the south-west was carefully
garnered up for future usefulness. His present post of duty on the Sea
Island of South Carolina, where he executes the duties of his office
with zeal and ability, while his busy brain constantly devises some
new measure for the advancement and elevation of the newly-recognized
people, attests this fact.



He returned to Pittsburg in the midst of the presidential campaign
resulting in the election of General Harrison. Finding political
feeling high, as it is always on such occasions, he speedily received
the infection, and threw himself forward in the political arena. Early
in 1843 he became too well aware, by sad experience, of the inability
of the colored people to bring their inflicted wrongs and injustices
before the public, in consequence of not having a press willing at
all times to espouse their cause. In many instances a paper which
would publish an article derogatory to their interest on one day, if
applied to on the next to publish for some colored person an answer or
correction, the applicant would either be told certain expressions must
be modified, the article is not respectful to the parties, or refuse
entirely on the plea that “it would not be politic.”

With these impediments he knew their progress would be retarded, and
to this end he began unassisted a weekly sheet under the title of the
Mystery, devoted to the interest and elevation of his race. Success
followed the movement; the first issue in all taken was one thousand in
the city; its circulation rapidly increased. For more than one year
he conducted it as editor. After sustaining it solely for nine months,
he transferred the proprietorship to a committee of six gentlemen, he,
meanwhile, continuing as editor for nearly four years.

It was well conducted, and held no mean position in the community,
especially where it originated.

The learned and lamented Dr. James McCune Smith, of New York, said “it
was one of the best papers ever published among the colored people of
the United States.”

The editorials of his journal elicited praises even from its enemies,
and were frequently transferred to their columns. His description of
the great fire of 1844, in Pittsburg, which laid a great portion of
that manufacturing city in ruins, was extensively quoted by papers
throughout the country. The original matter, so frequently copied, was
sufficient to determine the status of his paper.

During the Mexican war he bore his part in the field against the
knights of the quill, for his stand against the Polk administration
was so decided that on more than one occasion the subject was strongly

Much good was done through the influence of that little sheet, and it
is indisputable that to its influence originated the Avery Fund. Once,
on the subject of female education, through the columns of his paper,
he argued that “men were never raised in social position above the
level of women; therefore men could not be elevated without woman’s
elevation; further, that among the nations of the world where women
were kept in ignorance, great philosophers or statesmen failed to
be produced, as a general rule. And under the then existing state of
female education among the Americans of African descent, the hope of
seeing them equal with the more favored class of citizens would be
without proper basis.”

After reading his editorial on the social requirements of the colored
people, it is said that the Rev. Charles Avery determined to do
something tangible for them. The reverend gentleman, after consulting
some of the most prominent colored men, among whom was the Rev. John
Peck, established a school for males and females. This was the first
step towards that which is now known as Avery’s College, at the head
of which was placed, as senior professor, Martin A. Freeman, M. A.
(now professor of mathematics in the University of Liberia). He was
succeeded by George B. Vashon, M. A., a most accomplished scholar. The
Rev. Mr. Avery did not stop in the work so well begun. He died in 1858,
bequeathing in his will “one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the
education and elevation of the free colored people of the United States
and Canada, one hundred and fifty thousand for the enlightenment and
civilization of the African race on the continent of Africa,” all in
trust to the American Missionary Association of New York city; making
in all a grand bequest of three hundred thousand dollars, exclusive of
the college. We do not claim more than is evident--that the Mystery
deserves the credit of having brought these wants before the public,
and one humanitarian responded to the call most liberally.

While he was editor, on the Centennial Anniversary of Benjamin
Franklin’s birthday, he received from the committee an invitation,
among the editorial corps, to attend an entertainment given by the
Pittsburg Typographical Society at the Exchange Hotel. At the head of
this, as president of the occasion, was an honorable ex-commissioner to
Europe under President Tyler, and the position of vice-president was
filled by a judge of the County Court. This mark of courtesy to him,
in the days when Slavery held her carnival over the land, will serve
to indicate the standing of his paper and the triumph of genius over
brutal prejudice.

While editor of the Mystery, he was involved in a suit, the occasion
of which will serve the double purpose of showing the estimate placed
upon the merit of his paper, and the respect in which the ability and
character of the man were held in Pittsburg.

It happened, in the warmth of his zeal for the freedom of the enslaved,
that he, through the columns of his paper, charged a certain colored
man with treachery to his race by assisting the slave-catchers, who, at
that time, frequented Pennsylvania and other free states.

The accused entered a suit for _libel_, through advice, probably, of
some of his accomplices, who were whites, as it is evident his calling
would preclude the possibility of the individual to think himself

The presiding judge, before whom the case was tried, having no sympathy
with abolitionists, and less with that class of negroes represented by
Martin Delany, took great pains to impress upon the minds of the jury,
in his charge to them, the extent of the offence of libel. After their
verdict of guilty was rendered, a fine of two hundred dollars, together
with the cost of prosecution, which amounted to about two hundred
and fifty dollars, was imposed. In view of a fine so unusually high
for that which was considered a just exposure of an evil which then
existed to the detriment of one class of the inhabitants, an appeal was
immediately made, by the press of Pittsburg, for a public subscription,
in order that it might be borne in common, instead of allowing it to
rest solely upon this faithful sentinel.

A subscription list was opened at the office of the Pittsburg Daily
Despatch, which led off first in the appeal.

The chivalric governor, Joseph Ritner, was in office then--him for
whom freedom’s sweetest bard invoked his muse to link his name with
immortality. About one week after the suit, and before the sum could be
raised, the governor remitted the fine. This was occasioned through a
petition originating with his able counsel, the late William E. Austin,
which was signed not only by all of the lawyers of the court, but it is
said by the bench of judges; thus leaving the costs only to be paid by

The success of this suit, however, served to embolden the
slave-hunters; and again did this faithful sentinel give the alarm; but
this time his language, while it unmistakably pointed to the guilty
party, was carefully chosen, in order to avoid litigation. These,
determined to drive him from his post, so formidable to them, still so
valiantly held by him, again entered suit against him. Their former
success established no precedent for the second.

In the prosecution of this case, another jurist sat in judgment, the
term of the pro-slavery judge having expired. In his charge to the
jury, the eminent judge, William B. McClure, made special reference to
the position of the defendant, to his efforts in behalf of his race,
and his usefulness in the community. Then, addressing himself more
pointedly to the jury, he added, “I am well acquainted with Dr. Delany,
and have a very high respect for him. I regard him as a gentleman and a
very useful citizen. No Pittsburger, at least, will believe him capable
of willingly doing injustice to any one, especially his own race. I
cannot, myself, after a careful examination, see in this case anything
to justify a verdict against the defendant.” This resulted in a verdict
of acquittal without the jury leaving the box.

On another occasion, he was the recipient of forensic compliment,
facetiously given, because also of the source whence it emanated, and
because he was not present at the court to suggest the remarks of the
attorney in the midst of the pleading.

A highly respected colored man was under trial, charged with a serious
offence. His counsel, an influential lawyer, Cornelius Danagh, Esq.,
afterwards attorney general of the state, under Governor William T.
Johnson, of Pennsylvania, declared the prosecution as arising from
prejudice of color against his client. The prosecution was conducted by
the late Colonel Samuel W. Black, who served under General McClellan,
and fell in the seven days’ fight before Richmond. “They tell you,”
said he, in his peculiarly forcible style, “that we have brought on
this prosecution through prejudice to color. I deny it: neither does
the learned counsel believe it. Look at Martin Delany, of this city,
whom everybody knows, and the gentleman knows only to respect him.
Would any person in this community make such a charge against him?
Could such a prosecution be gotten up against him? No, it could not,
and the learned counsel knows it could not, and Delany is blacker than
a whole generation of the color of the defendant, _boiled down to a

It is probable that no portion of this reference to him pleased him
better than that which alluded to his blackness.

While conducting the paper, another production of his elicited much
discussion, and to which he still holds--that of the population of
the world. He claims that two thirds are colored, and the remainder
white; that there are but three original races--Mongolian, Ethiopian
or African, and Caucasian or European, as yellow, black, and white,
naming them in the order as given in the genealogy of Shem, Ham, and
Japheth, all others being but the offspring, either pure or mixed, of
the other three, as the Indian or American race of geography, being
pure Mongolian, and the Malay being a mixture of the three, Mongolian,
African, and Caucasian, the people of the last varying in complexion
and other characteristics from pure African, through Mongolian, to pure

On the appearance of this article, containing the above novel
declaration of the preponderance of numbers of the colored races in the
world, a learned officer of the university was waited upon in the city,
on one occasion, and earnestly inquired of concerning the correctness
of the statement, desiring, if it were incorrect, to contradict it at
once. It was never contradicted.

After the return of Mr. Frederick Douglass from England, in the
summer of 1846, he visited Pittsburg, where he concluded to form
a copartnership in a printing establishment with him. Disposing
of his interest in the Mystery, we next find him aiding, by means
of his talents and energy, the sustaining of a paper issuing from
Rochester, New York, known as the North Star, the early name of the
subsequent Frederick Douglass paper. To advance the interest of
this, he travelled, holding meetings, and lecturing, so as to obtain
subscribers, and endeavored to effect a permanent establishment of a
newspaper, as a general organ of the colored people, on a secure basis,
by raising an endowment for it, being convinced that this alone would
insure its successful continuance.

The winter of 1848-9 found him in the eastern part of Pennsylvania,
taking part in anti-slavery meetings and conventions, ably seconded
by the eloquent Charles L. Remond, to whom, he says, the anti-slavery
cause of New England is much indebted for the breaking down of
the stupid prejudice, which once existed on the land and water
transportations, against colored persons.

One of the means resorted to--so zealous were the colored people
to sustain the rising North Star--was the holding of fairs in
Philadelphia, supported by a number of the most influential colored
ladies of that city. At the first of these, December, 1848, it was,
that William and Ellen Craft, now in England, the first victims
selected under the atrocious Fugitive Slave Law (enacted later), made
their appearance, and under circumstances so peculiar as to become
historic on both sides of the Atlantic. They were introduced by him
to the visitors at the fair in an appropriate address, and in such
a way that their mode of escape was carefully concealed, but which
was afterwards communicated to the Liberator by an anti-slavery man.
Through this their whereabouts became known to Dr. Collins, of Macon,
Georgia, and as soon as the enactment was completed, a few years after,
he immediately, through his agents sent north, placed all Boston under
obligation to arrest them.

Hundreds of special or assistant marshals were appointed in the midst
of a government which thundered her volleys of welcome to the Hungarian
governor, a fugitive from Austrian tyranny! And now, in all our broad
free America, there was no place of security from southern slavery for

For four long days these obsequious marshals, whom the slave power
doubtless rewarded in after years with starvation and death in their
loathsome prisons, prowled around the dwelling in which the brave Craft
resided, till at length that lion-hearted reformer and ever-devoted
friend of the negro, Wendell Phillips, persuaded the daring fugitive,
all things being prepared, to take passage on a vessel, his wife being
already on board; and thus they escaped to England, where they were
received under the auspices of the Baroness Wentworth, and are now
enjoying a fair share of prosperity and all the advantages of British

During his tour in behalf of the North Star, in July, 1848, when
America’s sympathy yearned towards the people of Europe, in the name of
whose freedom the thrones were trembling, a mob demanded his life in a
village of Northern Ohio.

They first demanded of him a speech, in a derisive manner, which
he refused. In revenge they circulated a report that he was an
abolitionist and amalgamationist. This had the desired effect, and soon
a mob, consisting of nearly every male in the village, and neighboring
farmers, attracted by a blazing fire which they had kindled of store
boxes and tar, in the middle of the street, gathered, shouting,
swearing, and demanding him of the proprietor of the hotel, who had
closed his doors on the appearance of the rabble.

A barrel of tar was contributed by some person, and it was decided to
saturate his clothes, set him on fire, and let him run! Interference
in his behalf was forbidden, and threats were made against the hotel
keeper, who refused to eject him. The movement to break the doors in
being threatened and attempted, the landlord addressed them from the
window to the effect that it was his own property, and that he would
not turn any well-behaved person from his house into the street, and if
his property was injured, as was threatened, he would have redress by
law. As the yells and threats became more deafening, he saw no retreat,
and determined to yield his life as dearly as possible. Against the
entreaties and advice of the proprietor and family, he found his way
into the kitchen: seizing there a butcher’s knife and a hatchet, he
returned, and placed himself at the head of the stairs: having within
his reach some chairs, he stood awaiting the issue with all the fire of
his nature aroused.

A gentleman friend travelling with him, by blood and complexion a
quadroon, was advised by Dr. Delany to leave him by making his exit
through the back door, as he would be mistaken for a white. His friend
refused to abandon him. The night was far spent; but, the clamor still
continuing, the mob might have executed their fiendish purpose, had
it not been for the timely arrival of one of their number, a veteran
soldier, whom they called Bill. “Stop!” he exclaimed, as he came up to
the spot in time to hear the final vote, “_to break into the hotel,
bring the nigger out, and burn him!_” “Do you see this arm?” said
he, pointing to the remaining stump of a lost arm. “I have fought in
Mexico, and I am no coward; but I had rather face an army in the field
than enter the room of that negro after the threats you have made in
his hearing, knowing the fate that awaits him. Didn’t you hear how that
black fellow talked? These are educated negroes, and have travelled,
and know as much as white men; and any man who knows as much as they do
won’t let any one force himself into their room in the night and leave
it alive! You may take my word for that! Now, gentlemen, I have told
you; you may do as you please, but I shan’t stay to see it.” During
this time they stood patiently listening to Bill; and as he concluded,
they shouted, “We’ll take Bill’s advice, and adjourn till morning.”
They gradually dispersed, after leaving a committee to watch and report
when the _niggers_ would attempt to leave. At the dawn, however, the
landlord had a buggy at the door for his guests, and the few young men
on the spot confined their vengeance to abusive epithets and threats if
they should ever attempt to enter the town again. The mob in New York,
during the war, showed the evil against which colored people were long
accustomed to contend.

One thing worthy of more than a passing notice occurred during this
editorial existence, which we will relate here.

It happened that, while travelling in behalf of the paper, he stopped
at Detroit, Michigan, and attended a trial in the Supreme Court,
Justice John McLean presiding, before whom Dr. Comstock, a gentleman
of respectability and wealth, and others of that state, were arraigned
on charge of aiding and abetting the escape of a family of blacks from
Kentucky, known as the Crosswaits. In the case it had been proven
satisfactorily that Dr. Comstock had nothing to do with their escape.
Having heard of the affair (being two or three miles distant), he
came to the scene of confusion just in time to hear the threats and
regrets of the defeated slave-hunter, Crossman. The doctor stood there
enjoying the discomfiture, and expressed himself to a friend that
he hoped “they would not be overtaken.” For this Judge McLean ruled
him guilty as an accomplice in the escape, stating that it was “the
duty of all good citizens to do all they could to prevent it; that
whether housing or feeding, supplying means or conveyances, throwing
himself or other obstructions in the way, or standing quietly by with
his hands in his breeches pockets, smiling consent, it was equally
aiding and abetting, hindering and obstructing, in the escape of the
slaves, and therefore such person was reprehensible before the law as a
_particeps criminis_, and must be held to answer.” This novel decision
of the judge of the Supreme Court was so _startling_ to him _at that
time_--for, alas! decisions more wounding to the honor of the nation
have since emanated from the Supreme Court--that he hastened to report
to the North Star the proceedings of the trial, which he had taken
down while sitting in the court-room. This publication, like a wronged
and angry Nemesis, seemed to reach various points in time to be made
available, especially by those attending the great Free Soil Convention
at Buffalo. Everywhere was the infamous decision discussed with more or
less warmth, according to the political creed of the debaters: then the
reliability of the writer received some attention. The North Star may
have been sufficient authority, had that correspondent who reported the
McLean decision been Mr. Frederick Douglass, who had both “credit and
renown.” While the initials of the undersigned could be known from the
title page of the paper (as the full names of each appeared as editors
and proprietors), “Who is he?” became the subject of inquiry among the
throng of delegates, who could not be censured for not knowing but one
black man of ability and character in the United States, and supposing
it to be impossible that there should be more than one.

The Mass Convention assembled outside, supposed to be forty thousand,
filling the public square, hotels, and many of the streets, about six
thousand of whom, occupying the great Oberlin tent, which had been
obtained for the purpose, and constituting the acting body of the Mass
Convention, while four hundred and fifty of the credited delegates were
detailed as the executive of the great body, and assembled in a church
near by, before whom all business was brought and prepared before
presenting it to the body for action.

The Hon. Charles Francis Adams, late minister to the court of St.
James, was president of Mass Convention. The Hon. Salmon P. Chase,
now chief justice of the United States, chairman or president of the
executive body. Strange to say, in an assemblage like this, so vast and
renowned, the report from the columns of the North Star found its way,
and, as subsequently appeared, was the subject of weighty discussion.
We give the marked circumstance. He says that “while quietly seated in
the midst of the great assembly, a tall gentleman in the habiliments
of a clergyman, and of a most attractive, Christian-like countenance,
was for a long time observed edging his way, as well as he could,
between the packed seats, now and again stooping and whispering, as
if inquiring. Presently he was lost sight of for a moment: soon a
gentleman behind him touched him on the shoulder, called his attention,
when the gentleman in question walked towards him, stooping with the
paper in his hand, pointed to the article concerning Justice McLean’s
decision, and inquired, “Are you Dr. M. R. Delany?”

“I am, sir,” replied he.

“Are you one of the editors of the North Star, sir?”

“Yes, sir, I am,” he answered, feeling, very likely, most uncomfortable
by this attention.

“Are these your initials, and did you write this article concerning
Justice McLean of the Supreme Court, in the case of Dr. Comstock and
others, and the Crosswait family?” continued his interlocutor.

“That is my article, and these are my initials, sir.”

“I’ve but one question more to ask you. Did you hear Judge McLean
deliver this decision, or did you receive the information from a third
party?” demanded the questioner.

“I sat in the court-room each day during the entire trial, and reported
only what I heard, having written down everything as it occurred,”
returned Dr. Delany.

“That is all, sir; I am satisfied,” concluded the stranger, departing
from the great pavilion, and going directly across the street to the
church, wherein sat the executive or business part of the convention,
leaving the corresponding editor of the North Star in a most aggravated
state of conjectures.”

The all-important business at the church, then under consideration
before them, was the nomination of a candidate for the presidency. The
session was long and important. No report of the proceedings or their
progress had been received during the day. Near sunset a representative
of the council entered the pavilion, and announced from the stage that
they would soon be ready to give the convention the result of their
deliberations. Soon after there was a great move forward, and, amidst
deafening applause, the Hon. Salmon P. Chase ascended the platform, and
announced that, for reasons sufficiently satisfactory to the executive
council, the name of Judge John McLean, of Ohio, had been dropped as a
candidate for the presidency of the United States, and that of Martin
Van Buren substituted; and he had been selected by the council to make
this statement, from considerations of the relationship which he bore
to the rejected nominee; so that his friends in the convention might
understand that it was no act of political injustice by which the
change was made.

Probably, apart from the executive body, none knew at the time the
cause of the withdrawal of the name of the judge. Whether or not his
statement, made doubly eloquent by this infamous decision, added its
weight to stay the march to the presidential goal of an ambitious,
soulless man, we know that he was rejected, and Martin Van Buren
received the preferment. And, as Martin Delany never claimed of him
a reward for the service unconsciously rendered, in the event of
his election, as is customary, it is likely he was forgotten, to be
remembered, however, in the better days of the nation, and by its
noblest president.

From the Free Soil Convention he and a number of the colored delegates
went directly to Cleveland, to attend a national convention of
colored men. They assembled in the court-room, granted to them by the
proper authority, the court and bar having generously adjourned for
the purpose--a mark of courtesy not often, if ever, recorded at the
conventions of this color. And, what was equally as remarkable, the
citizens, represented by gentlemen of position, on the last day of the
convention, took a vote in the house expressive of their satisfaction
with the entire proceedings of the delegates.

While travelling to advance the interests of his journal, a remarkable
political foresight on his part was manifested by the publication of a
letter in its columns. It established for him, ever after, a character
for observation of national and international polity, in which he
delights to search out and compare, not at that time accorded to one
of his race. This attracted the attention of many of the leading men,
and their inquiries led him to a conclusion which was soon verified
by action, as the following editorial letter to the North Star of
February 10, 1848, will show:--

                      _Letter to the North Star._

    “The recent republication of the letter of the Duke of
    Wellington to Sir John J. Burgoyne, a major general in the
    British army, respecting the dangerous exposure of the English
    coast to French invasion, has created quite an alarm, as
    well as thrown into speculation the political world. Neither
    is it hard for any who at all understand political economy,
    especially the present history of the political world, to
    determine the cause, at such a time as this, when ‘England
    is at peace with all nations,’ and especially in friendly
    relations with France, of the issue of such a document by the

    “Louis Philippe, King of France, is certainly, in my
    estimation, a great politician, having a great portion of
    the shrewdness, with all the intrigue, of Talleyrand, and
    inheriting a greater share of duplicity than most men living.
    And, what no monarch of France, from Louis I. to the Emperor
    Napoleon, was ever able to effect by political intrigue,
    power, and the sword, Louis Philippe is about to accomplish
    by duplicity, yet carried out in a manner the least to be

    “It is known that France has ever desired a universal mastery,
    as shown by the Wellington letter, having at different periods
    occupied every capital in Europe, save that of England. The
    extension of a royal family over different kingdoms has, in
    Europe, ever been regarded as a most dangerous precedent, and
    more dreaded by rival powers than fleets and armies. For
    the consummation of a project of such mighty magnitude, the
    court at Versailles has resorted to means unparalleled, at
    least in modern ages. This subtle monarch, who has neither the
    propensity nor talents for military achievements, commenced
    his rapid strides to power, first by the crusade of his
    eldest son, the Duke of Orleans, in 1833, upon the northern
    nations of Africa, whom, with little or no resistance, he
    expected to subdue; and, this once being effected, would give
    a pretext for a powerful fleet to cruise in the Indian Ocean
    and Mediterranean Sea, and continually act as a check upon the
    formidable naval force of Great Britain. But, contrary to his
    expectations, the resistance met with from Abd-el Kader foiled
    and baffled that great project. In the mean time, the duke was
    killed, being thrown from his carriage.

    “The next effort was in 1835, a demonstration upon the republic
    of Hayti, for which purpose an expedition was fitted out, of
    which his second son, Prince de Joinville, was the chief, aided
    by Baron Las Casses, with whom it was left optional whether
    that demonstration should be made by treaty or bombardment.
    But the prince and baron, having before their minds’ eye the
    fate of General Le Clerc, the greatest captain and military
    tactician under Napoleon, considered it no disgrace to enter
    into friendly negotiations with the warlike republic. Leaving
    Hayti, without an opportunity of testing the military skill of
    the prince, the next attack was in 1836, upon Vera Cruz, by
    storming the Castle of San Juan de Ulloa. In this the squadron
    was quite successful, the Mexicans, under Santa Anna, being
    repulsed, with the loss of a leg or a foot by that chieftain.

    “The prince having proved his military ability, the old king,
    as the first link in the great chain by which the fidelity
    of foreign powers was to be secured to France, manages to
    consummate a marriage between his son, the Prince de Joinville,
    and Clementina, daughter of the Emperor of Brazil. This great
    link being welded in order to dupe England into an indifferent
    observation of his rapid strides, the masterly step was to
    effect the union of Prince Augustus Coburg, brother to Prince
    Albert, husband to the Queen of England, with his second
    daughter. Another link being completed, he leagues in the
    ties of matrimony the Duke de Montpensier, his third son, to
    Isabella, Queen of Spain. No sooner is this effected--the last
    link of the great cable being complete--than the health of
    the Infanta Isabella becomes impaired, or she, at all events,
    grows weary of public life; and a proposition, is at once
    made to abdicate the throne in favor of her spouse, Duke de
    Montpensier. Of course, this at once gives Spain to the crown
    of France, which will thereby not only hold the key of Europe,
    but places Cuba, the key of the western hemisphere, also in her

    “The last stroke of the hammer being struck, all France being
    upon her feet, each officer at his station, and each man at his
    post, Louis Philippe, looking upon his success as sure, as the
    crowning scene in the drama, effects the appointment of Prince
    de Joinville to the Lord Admiralty of the navy of France--an
    office of the same import and rank, but called by another name.
    All this is but a prelude to the design of France upon Europe.
    Of course England would be the first point of attack; and there
    is no man living more capable, and none who would so quickly
    discover and effectually foil the designs of the crafty old
    monarch as the invincible conqueror of Napoleon.

    “But are we not interested deeply in these movements? Most
    certainly we are. England, at present, is the masterpiece
    of the world. Her every example is to promote the cause of
    freedom; and, had she possessed the same principles during the
    revolutionary period, in every place that she occupied, slavery
    would have been abolished. Hence slavery in this country could
    not have stood; for, the slave once tasting freedom, all the
    powers of earth and hell could not have reduced him again to

    “But how with France? She is a slaveholding power, deeply
    engaged in human traffic, favoring and fostering the
    institution of slavery wherever she holds the power or
    influence; and, with the able politician and learned statesman
    Guizot at the helm of affairs, the cause and progress of
    liberty would be retarded for years.

    “Yours, in behalf of our oppressed and down-trodden countrymen,

                                                          “M. R. D.”



After a brilliant and useful editorial career, Delany dissolved his
connection with the North Star on the 1st of June, 1849. An incident
in connection with this is related, which seems appropriate here, as
illustrating his earnestness in behalf of the paper, though personally

On his leaving the North Star, he was solicited, through correspondence
from Ohio, to take charge of a paper in the interest of the colored
people of that state. This he declined; and, after setting forth his
reasons why but one newspaper as an organ of the colored people could
be sustained at that time, he said, “Let that one be the North Star,
with Frederick Douglass at the head.”

We next find him returning to his home at Pittsburg, not for the
purpose of resting upon the laurels so fairly won, but rather
for recuperating his forces for the field of toil again. Here he
resumed his favorite study of medicine, and, upon the strength of
the preceptorship of his former instructors, Drs. Joseph P. Gazzan
and Francis J. Lemoyne, he was received into the medical department
of Harvard College, having been previously refused admission, on
application, to the Pennsylvania University, Jefferson College, and
the medical colleges of Albany and Geneva, N. Y.

After leaving Harvard, he travelled westward, and lectured on
physiological subjects--the comparative anatomical and physical
conformation of the cranium of the Caucasian and negro races,--besides
giving class lectures. These he rendered successful. While his
arguments on these subjects were in strict conformity to acknowledged
scientific principles, they are also marked by his peculiar and
original theories. For instance, he argues on this subject that the
pigment which makes the complexion of the African black is essentially
the same in properties as that which makes the ruddy complexion of the
European, the African’s being concentrated rouge, which is black. This
he urges by illustrations considered scientifically true. He maintains
that these truths will yet be acknowledged by writers on physiology.

On his return to Pittsburg, after the completion of his lecturing
tour, he entered upon the duties of a physician, for which his native
benevolence and scientific ardor eminently qualified him. Here he
was known as a successful practitioner. His skilful treatment of the
cholera, which prevailed to some extent in Pittsburg in 1854, is still

It is worthy of interest, in view of the pro-slavery spirit which
brooded over every locality, to record that while there, on the
occasion of the establishment of a municipal and private charity,
he was selected, with other physicians, as one of the sub-committee
of advisers and referees to whom applications were made by white
and colored persons to enjoy its provisions. This demonstration of
courtesy on the part of the municipal authorities of Pittsburg towards
one of its citizens belonging to an unpopular race was certainly an
evidence of liberality hardly to be expected at that time.

He still took part in all movements relative to the advancement of
his people. He held in most of these a prominent position; his long
experience and life devotion to the cause of progress insured him this

He published a call for a national emigration convention, and, it
finding favor, there assembled at Cleveland, Ohio, August, 1854,
many of the eminent colored men of the northern and western states,
to discuss the question of emigration. At best, emigration found but
little encouragement among the people of the free states, and could
hardly be called popular at the South.

Knowing the aversion held by the colored people of the country to
colonization in any form, it was a matter of surprise to note the
course taken by this convention. An importance was attached to this
movement, so unprecedented as to constitute it a remarkable feature in
their political history.

At this convention he was made president _pro tem._, to organize, and
afterwards chairman of the business committee. Before this body he read
an address, entitled “The Destiny of the Colored Race in America.” This
production won for its author praise for its literary merit as well as
for its concise and able views on the principles of government.[1]

Of the national board of commissioners he was made president, and the
Rev. James Theodore Holley, an Episcopal clergyman of New Haven, was
sent to Hayti on a mission, which was satisfactorily effected.

While he presided, a correspondence was opened with many foreign
countries, including the West India Islands, proposing an
intercontinental and provincial convention. Among those whose advice
was solicited in this new movement was Sir Edward Jordon, of Jamaica,
who, while commending the propositions and measures very highly, as a
stride of statesmanship, discouraged it as a policy, lest it should
give alarm to her majesty’s government, and, consequently, offence.
Major Delany, in speaking of Sir Edward Jordon’s objection, says, “The
force and cause of this objection could not then be understood; but
since the terrible ordeal through which the poor people of Jamaica
have recently passed, under the infamous Governor Eyre, resulting in
the disfranchisement of the blacks, the course of Sir Edward Jordon
can now be easily comprehended. Sir Edward Jordon, premier of Jamaica
for so many years, it would now appear, could not have been premier
under Governor Eyre, with the power of creating measures, or enforcing
policies of government, but only as a passive minister of state, with
title and position, but neither authority nor power, apparently but the
recipient and echo of those under whom he was called to act. Mr. Edward
Jordon, the representative and champion of the rights of his race, as
a prisoner in Jamaica, thirty-three years ago, thundering his defiance
at his opponents through his prison bars, it is much to be feared has
forgotten his race as Sir Edward Jordon, Commander of the Bath, and
prime minister of the colony.”

Such is the interpretation he placed upon the disapproval of Sir
Edward Jordon. Happily, a change has been brought about, tending to the
political advancement of the colored people, which has counteracted the
necessity of such movements as were proper in the past struggle, while
a portion remained enslaved.

The Rev. Mr. Holley later established a colony in Hayti, carrying
thither the wealth of his splendid talents and high moral worth to add
to the building up of the fortunes of his race on that island, made
holy by the blood of her dusky martyred heroes.



A remarkable effort of this still more remarkable man is remembered,
from which unmistakable evidences of the character of the individual,
and that of his future line of conduct, are drawn.

It was on the occasion of the passage of that crowning triumph of the
slave power, conceded by the obsequious North to them, remembered as
the atrocious Fugitive Slave Act.

While this bill was under consideration, as in other dishonorable
political enactments affecting the interests of the colored people,
there were many persons, who, either from a desire to have peace
between the two sections at any sacrifice of national honor, or from
a superabundance of faith in the decisions of our law-makers, were
advising the blacks to remain passive; endeavoring to impress the
belief upon them that the act could never pass, as it was too atrocious
and unjust in its provisions, and that the American people would not
tolerate the men who would dare vote to sanction so great an outrage on
any portion of the people as that contemplated. The colored people, who
never failed to enter their protest against these unjust enactments,
called for public meetings.

Martin Delany, painfully alive to the magnitude of the occasion, rose
in proportion to it, and, while he was not able to turn the course of
the event in his favor, entered a protest which gave sublimity to his
defeat. At the first appearance of the bill, with his usual foresight
he saw further humiliation in store for his race,--the trampling out of
the sacred rights of manhood and womanhood, the total annihilation of
domestic tranquillity, and the inevitable desecration of all that was
sacred to them, accompanying it in its stride. This was verified by the
Dred Scot decision, which followed in its wake but a few short years
after. He said that the South demanded it, and would get it, as she
had never as yet, in the history of the country, failed to secure by
legislation that which she demanded at the hands of the North. He held
that the scheme was nothing less than a virtual rendition to slavery
of every free black person in the country; or, in fact, a rendition of
the free states into slavery, with the difference that while the blacks
could be enslaved in the free states, they must be taken away to be
held. He was instrumental in calling public meetings, and endeavored
to urge, with all the strength of his fiery eloquence, the devising of
some means to avert the impending danger. Forcible and truthful as his
arguments were, many derided him, accusing him of being frightened;
this, too, from men of experience and wisdom, whose confidence in the
honor of the administration exceeded his own.

At these meetings white speakers often addressed them, some of whom
advised them against being misled by rash, inconsiderate persons, who
were alarmed before being hurt, being frightened by their own shadows.
But as this was a shadow of such magnitude, the steady advance of which
threatened to darken their political pathway, more than the shadow of
an excuse must be allowed for their fright.

The bill was passed, followed by an excitement throughout the North
only equalled since by that evinced at the firing on Fort Sumter. Never
in the history of civilization was humanity more outraged than in that
act; the Dred Scot decision was but a fitting sequel to it; one would
have been incomplete without the other. “For every drop of blood drawn
by the lash, the sword has avenged,” said Abraham Lincoln; and for
every attempt to ignore the rights of humanity there is a retributive
demand awaiting individuals and nations.

There were mass meetings held throughout the North. At the first
great meeting, held on the public square of Pittsburg, among the
speakers loudly called for was Martin Delany. His predictions being
too bitterly realized, he designedly evaded their cries, desiring some
of the leading white men present first to commit themselves. This
being Saturday evening, they adjourned to meet the following Monday at
Alleghany City, Pa. At this meeting the mayor presided, supported by
many distinguished citizens, among them the Hon. William Robinson, Jr.,
an ex-foreign commissioner, and the Rev. Charles Avery, the eminent
philanthropist. Among the speakers who addressed them on that memorable
occasion were the Hon. T. H. Howe, the recent member of Congress
from Alleghany, and Hon. Charles A. Naylor, member of Congress from
Pennsylvania. Here again he was called for, and this time he responded.

It was generally conceded that his was one of the most powerful
and impressive speeches of that memorable occasion. We extract the
following from it. Said he, “Honorable mayor, whatever ideas of
liberty I may have, have been received from reading the lives of your
revolutionary fathers. I have therein learned that a man has a right
to defend his castle with his life, even unto the taking of life.
Sir, my house is my castle; in that castle are none but my wife and
my children, as free as the angels of heaven, and whose liberty is
as sacred as the pillars of God. If any man approaches that house in
search of a slave,--I care not who he may be, whether constable or
sheriff, magistrate or even judge of the Supreme Court--nay, let it be
he who sanctioned this act to become a law, surrounded by his cabinet
as his body-guard, with the Declaration of Independence waving above
his head as his banner, and the constitution of his country upon his
breast as his shield,--if he crosses the threshold of my door, and I do
not lay him a lifeless corpse at my feet, I hope the grave may refuse
my body a resting-place, and righteous Heaven my spirit a home. O, no!
he cannot enter that house and we both live.”

Such is a portion of the speech, remembered for its singular pathos
and boldness, wrung from the lips of one whose soul was kindled with
the sense of the outrages heaped upon his helpless race by a people
maddened by success.



His career thus far in life, while generally successful, had also its
portion of failures as well as triumphs. Two, of a marked character,
occurred about the winter of 1851-2. Their ill success seemed rather to
belong to the method pursued in presenting them, than to the capability
of the man to make them meritorious.

He had left Pittsburg for New York to make certain arrangements
necessary for obtaining a _caveat_, preparatory to an application
to the department at Washington for a patent for an invention,
originally his own, for the ascending and descending of a locomotive
on an inclined plane, without the aid of a stationary engine. Had he
succeeded in his first plan, the second would have been satisfactory.
In this piece of mechanism, he was wholly absorbed, and brought it
to completion. At length he made it known to his friend, Dr. James
McLune Smith, of New York. The doctor, being possessed of talents of
high order, and devoted to scientific pursuits, looked favorably upon
the plan, and at once proposed to take him to an extensive machine
establishment in the city for consultation on the subject.

At this establishment much curiosity, if not real interest, was
manifested concerning it. But the reticence which characterizes him in
matters in which concealment is necessary in no wise deserting him, and
as he revealed but little to the proprietor, himself an inventor, the
visit and interview were of no avail.

Not disheartened by this, he applied to a distinguished patent
attorney, who, on application for a _caveat_ after all the arrangements
necessary, abandoned the effort as being unsatisfactory, leaving the
inference to be deduced by Major Delany and his friend Dr. Smith that
the only cause of neglect or refusal to entertain the proposition
at Washington was, that the applicant must be a citizen of the
United States. His own opinion was contrary to the statement of the
attorney,--he believing the right to obtain copyrights or patents as
not being restricted to the citizens alone, but in the reach of any
person, whether American or foreign. He made a subsequent attempt to
have it patented, but finally abandoned it.

His attention and interest were drawn in another direction; for at this
time adventure was at its height, and every vessel leaving the port of
New York bore evidence of it. Many colored men, dissatisfied with their
unrecognized condition, caught this spirit, and some embarked either
for Greytown or San Juan del Norte,--this being the chief point of
attraction, which was like a free city, or independent principality of
Germany, but neither held obligations to the one, nor owed allegiance
to the other. George Frederick, king of the Mosquitos, becoming
dissatisfied with the intrusions and impositions practised by the
former emigrants, Colonel Kearny, of Philadelphia, already on his way,
if not at the point, said to Major Delany, “Every one seemed to breathe
Central America.”

While witnessing these preparations for departure to their El Dorado,
he met a young friend of his, a physician of great promise, Dr. David
J. Peck, _en route_ for California, whom he advised to abandon the
intention of going to that place, where his success would be less
certain among the hundreds of white physicians from all parts, who
could scarcely realize a support from their practice; but to go to
Central America, where his color would be in his favor, and his
advantages superior to those of the physicians there, who are mostly
natives, would be preferable.

Dr. Peck heeded his counsels, and became a prominent practitioner
there. From the first he was nominated for port physician, in
preference to an English physician of eleven years’ standing.

The black adventurers soon affiliated with the natives, and were made
eligible to every civil right among them.

A committee of natives was appointed to draught resolutions for a
municipal council, at the head of which was Dr. Peck as chairman.
Through their influence crowds of adherents were attracted to the new
policy, and a future government was decided upon as certain to organize

It was understood that the mayor should be the highest civil municipal
authority, the governor the highest civil state authority, the civil
and military to be united in one person, and the governor must be
commander-in-chief of the military forces.

A convention was held, and a candidate nominated. An election took
place (in what way it was never publicly known), and a steamer brought
the intelligence, officially transmitted, that “Dr. Martin R. Delany
was duly chosen and elected mayor of Greytown, civil governor of the
Mosquito reservation, and commander-in-chief of the military forces of
the province!” This was delivered to him by a bearer of despatches sent
specially for that purpose.

An important instruction to the governor elect was, that he should
bring with him his own _council of state_ as the native material,
although of a country abounding in mahogany and rosewood, was not
suitable for “_cabinet-work_.” This, said he, was the worst feature
of their choice, because such material as would be desirable was
not easily obtained: they would not consent to go, being averse to

He held the belief that nothing was well tested without first giving
fair trial to it; and for himself, determined to do so. To this end he
travelled, for nearly eight months, in many states, until worn out,
without finding the desirable material, and was compelled to abandon
his designs.

By the order of Dr. Holland, the American _chargé_, the town was
bombarded by Commodore Ingraham, of the United States squadron, and the
embryo government disappeared from the stage forever.

While travelling on this quest he wrote and published a small work
(originally designed for pamphlet form) on the condition of the colored
race in America. This being published without proper revision, he
having left it to another’s superintendence,--for at this time he
was prosecuting his invention of the inclined plane, and also the
Central American project,--on its appearance it was nearly dashed to
pieces in the storm it encountered. None criticised it so severely as
himself; while some of his friends were disposed to look favorably
upon it, as the errors it contained could not be disguised, and the
author was known to be aware of them. One severe criticism, more of
himself, it appeared, than the book, he seemed to have regarded as “the
unkindest cut of all”--that of Mr. Oliver Johnson, then editor of the
Pennsylvania Freeman. To add to the list of disasters, some person sent
a copy to England to Mr. Armisted, author of the “Negro’s Friend.”

He says, in speaking of Mr. Johnson’s criticism of himself, “I was poor
when I wrote, weary and hungry. This my friend Johnson did not know,
else he would not so severely have criticised me. He thought I wrote as
an author, to be seen and known of men. I wrote not as an author, but
as I travelled about from place to place.

    Sometimes I sat, sometimes I stood,
    Writing when and where I could,
    A little here, a little there;
    ’Twas here, and there, and everywhere.

I wrote to obtain subsistence. I had travelled and speculated until I
found myself out of means.”

The book was stopped by him in the midst of the first edition of one

He always likened himself, concerning that literary undertaking, to
Gumpton Cute, a character in the play of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, who, “being
on a filibustering expedition, got a little short of change.” Thus
failing in all that he had designed, with the most laudable motives in
view, and succeeding in that with which he neither desired nor could
be satisfied--making a poor book. While he good-humoredly admits the
fallacy of his moves, yet his friends, mindful of the long, wearisome
months of toil and anxiety, and of high hopes wrecked, regret them, as
making a void useless and unnatural in his life’s history, and consider
it an episode illegitimate in his rôle.



In February, 1856, he removed to Chatham, Kent County, Canada, where
he continued the practice of medicine. While his “visiting list” gave
evidence of a respectable practice, his fees were not in proportion to
it. His practice embraced a great portion of those who were refugees
from American slavery; hence his income here did not exceed that
acquired at Pittsburg.

Here his activity found wider scope, and new fields of labor were
opened to him. It was not likely that one of such marked character
would remain unrecognized. He was ever suggesting measures tending to
ameliorate the condition of one class or another, which resulted in
gaining for him an influence only surpassed by that wielded by him at
his post of duty at the South.

Once, while in Canada, an important suggestion of his being
adopted, it resulted in driving both candidates--conservative and
reformer--together, compelling them to offer terms for the support of
the black constituency.

He took part freely in all political movements in his adopted home. For
several years he was one of the principal canvassers in the hustings
in the ridings of Kent for the election, and was one of the executive
committee, and belonged to the private caucus of A. McKellers, Esq.,
member of the Provincial Parliament from Kent County.

These facts will render it conclusive that his activity was none the
less in a country where the progress of his race met no resistance, but
only varied in its method. Whatever prominence here, as elsewhere, was
attained by him, was cast in the balance as an offering to his people.

Here were matured his plans for an organization for scientific
purposes, which afterwards gave him fame in other lands. Here also
was he connected with the beginning of a movement in behalf of human
liberty, the most sublime in conception, and mysterious in its
accomplishment, written of in modern times. The first was in 1858,
when had been completed a long contemplated design of his--that of
inaugurating a party of scientific men of color, to make explorations
in certain portions of Africa.

In the early part of May, 1859, there sailed from New York, in the
bark Mendi, owned by three colored African merchants, the first
colored explorers from the United States, known as the Niger Valley
Exploring Party, at the head of which was its projector, Dr. Delany.
His observations he published on his return to this country, so that
they need no repetition here, though an important treaty formed with
the king and principal chiefs of Abeokuta we have noticed in another
portion of this work. It was the importance attached to this mission,
and the successful accomplishment of it, that gave him prestige,
rendering him eligible to membership of the renowned International
Statistical Congress of July, 1860, at London. He travelled extensively
in Africa for one year.

In April, prior to his departure for Africa, while making final
completions for his tour, on returning home from a professional visit
in the country, Mrs. Delany informed him that an old gentleman had
called to see him during his absence. She described him as having a
long, white beard, very gray hair, a sad but placid countenance; in
speech he was peculiarly solemn; she added, “He looked like one of the
old prophets. He would neither come in nor leave his name, but promised
to be back in two weeks’ time.” Unable to obtain any information
concerning his mysterious visitor, the circumstance would have probably
been forgotten, had not the visitor returned at the appointed time; and
not finding him at home a second time, he left a message to the effect
that he would call again “_in four days, and must see him then_.” This
time the interest in the visitor was heightened, and his call was
eagerly awaited. At the expiration of that time, while on the street,
he recognized his visitor, by his wife’s description, approaching him,
accompanied by another gentleman; on the latter introducing him to the
former, he exclaimed, “Not Captain John Brown, of Ossawatomie!” not
thinking of the grand old hero as being east of Kansas, especially in
Canada, as the papers had been giving such contradictory accounts of
him during the winter and spring.

“I am, sir,” was the reply; “and I have come to Chatham expressly to
see you, this being my third visit on the errand. I must see you at
once, sir,” he continued, with emphasis, “and that, too, in private, as
I have much to do and but little time before me. If I am to do nothing
here, I want to know it at once.” “Going directly to the private parlor
of a hotel near by,” says Major Delany, “he at once revealed to me
that he desired to carry out a great project in his scheme of Kansas
emigration, which, to be successful, must be aided and countenanced by
the influence of a general convention or council. _That_ he was unable
to effect in the United States, but had been advised by distinguished
friends of his and mine, that, if he could but see me, his object
could be attained at once. On my expressing astonishment at the
conclusion to which my friends and himself had arrived, with a nervous
impatience, he exclaimed, ‘Why should you be surprised? Sir, the people
of the Northern States are cowards; slavery has made cowards of them
all. The whites are afraid of each other, and the blacks are afraid
of the whites. You can effect nothing among such people,’ he added,
with decided emphasis. On assuring him if a council were all that was
desired, he could readily obtain it, he replied, ‘That is all; but that
is a great deal to me. It is men I want, and not money; money I can
get plentiful enough, but no men. Money can come without being seen,
but men are afraid of identification with me, though they favor my
measures. They are cowards, sir! Cowards!’ he reiterated. He then fully
revealed his designs. With these I found no fault, but fully favored
and aided in getting up the convention.

“The convention, when assembled, consisted of Captain John Brown, his
son Owen, eleven or twelve of his Kansas followers, all young white
men, enthusiastic and able, and probably sixty or seventy colored men,
whom I brought together.

“His plans were made known to them as soon as he was satisfied that
the assemblage could be confided in, which conclusion he was not long
in finding, for with few exceptions the whole of these were fugitive
slaves, refugees in her Britannic majesty’s dominion. His scheme
was nothing more than this: To make Kansas, instead of Canada, the
terminus of the Underground Railroad; instead of passing off the slave
to Canada, to send him to Kansas, and there test, on the soil of the
United States territory, whether or not the right to freedom would be
maintained where no municipal power had authorized.

“He stated that he had originated a fortification so simple, that
twenty men, without the aid of teams or ordnance, could build one in
a day that would defy all the artillery that could be brought to bear
against it. How it was constructed he would not reveal, and none knew
it except his great confidential officer, Kagi (the secretary of war
in his contemplated provisional government), a young lawyer of marked
talents and singular demeanor.”

Major Delany stated that he had proposed, as a cover to the change in
the scheme, as Canada had always been known as the terminus of the
Underground Railroad, and pursuit of the fugitive was made in that
direction, to call it the Subterranean Pass Way, where the initials
would stand S. P. W., to note the direction in which he had gone when
not sent to Canada. He further stated that the idea of Harper’s Ferry
was never mentioned, or even hinted in that convention.

Had such been intimated, it is doubtful of its being favorably
regarded. Kansas, where he had battled so valiantly for freedom, seemed
the proper place for his vantage-ground, and the kind and condition of
men for whom he had fought, the men with whom to fight. Hence the favor
which the scheme met of making Kansas the terminus of the Subterranean
Pass Way, and there fortifying with these fugitives against the Border
slaveholders, for personal liberty, with which they had no right to
interfere. Thus it is clearly explained that it was no design against
the Union, as the slaveholders and their satraps interpreted the
movement, and by this means would anticipate their designs.

This also explains the existence of the constitution for a civil
government found in the carpet-bag among the effects of Captain Brown,
after his capture in Virginia, so inexplicable to the slaveholders,
and which proved such a nightmare to Governor Wise, and caused him, as
well as many _wiser_ than himself, to construe it as a contemplated
overthrow of the Union. The constitution for a provisional government
owes its origin to these facts.

Major Delany says, “The whole matter had been well considered, and
at first a state government had been proposed, and in accordance a
constitution prepared. This was presented to the convention; and
here a difficulty presented itself to the minds of some present,
that according to American jurisprudence, negroes, having no rights
respected by white men, consequently could have no right to petition,
and none to sovereignty.

“Therefore it would be mere mockery to set up a claim as a fundamental
right, which in itself was null and void.

“To obviate this, and avoid the charge against them as lawless and
unorganized, existing without government, it was proposed that an
independent community be established within and under the government of
the United States, but without the state sovereignty of the compact,
similar to the Cherokee nation of Indians, or the Mormons. To these
last named, references were made, as parallel cases, at the time. The
necessary changes and modification were made in the constitution, and
with such it was printed.

“Captain Brown returned after a week’s absence, with a printed copy
of the corrected instrument, which, perhaps, was the copy found by
Governor Wise.”

During the time this grand old reformer of our time was preparing
his plans, he often sought Major Delany, desirous of his personal
coöperation in carrying forward his work. This was not possible for him
to do, as his attention and time were directed entirely to the African
Exploration movement, which was planned prior to his meeting Captain
Brown, as before stated. But as Captain Brown desired that he should
give encouragement to the plan, he consented, and became president of
the permanent organization of the Subterranean Pass Way, with Mr. Isaac
D. Shadd, editor of the Provincial Freeman, as secretary.

This organization was an extensive body, holding the same relation to
his movements as a state or national executive committee hold to its
party principles, directing their adherence to fundamental principles.

This, he says, was the plan and purpose of the Canada Convention.
Whatever changed them to Harper’s Ferry was known only to Captain
Brown, and perhaps to Kagi, who had the honor of being deeper in
his confidence than any one else. Mr. Osborn Anderson, one of the
survivors of that immortal band, and whose statement as one of the
principal actors in that historical drama cannot be ignored, states
that none of the men knew that Harper’s Ferry was the point of attack
until the order was given to march. It was Mr. Anderson whom Captain
Brown delegated to receive the sword[2] from Colonel Washington, on
that night when the Rubicon of slavery was crossed by that band of
hero pioneers who confronted the slave power in its stronghold. The
first sound of John Brown’s rifle, reverberating along the Shenandoah,
proclaimed the birth of Freedom. Already he saw the mighty host he
invoked in Freedom’s name. He heard their coming footfalls echoing
over Virginia’s hills and plains, and upon every breeze that swept her
valleys was borne to him his name entwined in battle anthem. He saw in
the gathering strife that either Freedom or her priest must perish, and
with a giant’s strength he went forward to his high and holy martyrdom,
thereby inaugurating victory.



It seems remarkable that the man whom Providence had chosen to warn
a guilty nation of its danger, and through whom the African race in
America received the boon of freedom, which is but a prelude to the
entire abolition of slavery on the western continent, should be sent
first to Major Delany in Canada, through whom alone he considered
himself able to perfect the plans necessary to begin the great work!
Certainly the ways of Providence are beyond mortal comprehension. The
extraordinary kindness of the jailer to the old hero prophet in the
midst of hostile men in Virginia elicited surprise in the North, and
was the subject of remark by many. To a playfellow of Martin Delany in
childhood it was no matter of wonderment that he should sympathize with
his helpless, way-worn prisoner, if the heart of the man were at all
akin to the heart of the child. The open admiration demonstrated by the
Virginia jailer for the character of his captive was a picture striking
and pleasing in the midst of all the dark surroundings of that time.
The man who, in the midst of hostile faces lowering with hate and fear
towards him who sat beside him on his way to death, could say, “Captain
Brown, you are a game man,” proved himself, after his prisoner, the
bravest man in Virginia that day.

In regard to the relation sustained by the brave Avis to Major Delany
in childhood, it may be of interest to know that the acquaintance
was renewed in after years, during the Mexican war, by the major’s
frequently sending him copies of the paper of which he was then
editor in Pittsburg. These were duly acknowledged by Captain Avis,
who recognized his name, and adverted to some of the scenes of their
childhood, but cautioned him against sending them regularly, lest it
should attract attention at the post-office, the paper being thoroughly
anti-slavery, and taking grounds against the war, as being waged for
the propagation of slavery. Hence anti-slavery sentiments were not
unfamiliar to Avis. And we know not but that at some time, in that
lonely prison cell, the name of Martin Delany, whom the testimony of
Mr. Richard Realf before the Senate committee had made to play such a
conspicuous part in the singularly significant councils at Chatham, was
mentioned; and who can say it may not have been a link that had first
knit the captor to the captive?

The testimony of Mr. Realf before the Senate committee appointed to
investigate the Harper’s Ferry affair resulted in placing Major Delany
in a most cowardly light. The charges were to the effect that he, “Dr.
Delany, had repeatedly urged the black men in the convention, and that
all his acts and advices tended to encourage them to go with Captain
Brown, to aid in an overthrow of the government, as a measure that
would succeed.” This is without foundation. Major Delany is remembered,
by those who attended the councils at Chatham, as having objected to
many propositions favored by Captain Brown, as not having the least
chance of giving trouble to the slaveholders, except the fortification
at Kansas. At one time, having objected repeatedly to certain proposed
measures, the old captain sprang suddenly to his feet, and exclaimed
severely, “Gentlemen, if Dr. Delany is afraid, don’t let him make you
all cowards!”

Dr. Delany replied immediately to this, courteously, yet decidedly.
Said he, “Captain Brown does not know the man of whom he speaks: there
exists no one in whose veins the blood of cowardice courses less
freely; and it must not be said, even by John Brown, of Ossawatomie.”
As he concluded, the old man bowed approvingly to him, then arose, and
made explanations.

He accounted for Mr. Realf’s discrepancies from the fact that the
young man was a stranger to the country, and understood but little
of its policy, and his former position in life never brought him in
contact with men of such character as Mason, of Trent notoriety, and
the rest of the pro-slavery committee, upon whose torturing rack he was
stretched, _upon the charge of attempting to overthrow the government_!

But a few years after beheld the chairman of that committee a fugitive,
a prisoner, and an exile, and Virginia the battle-ground of contending
armies, one inspired by an anthem commemorating the name of him whom
Virginia in her madness sacrificed to her destruction, the other
endeavoring to destroy the Union in accordance with the teachings of
the judges of Captain Brown and his followers.

While this stern judge of the Senate Chamber was hiding his blighted
name in exile, the name of Richard Realf shone among the brightest at
Lookout Mountain, as he rushed forward, amid a shower of bullets, to
replace the national standard after its bearer had fallen.

These misrepresentations of Major Delany’s connection with the Harper’s
Ferry insurrection embarrassed him greatly, at one time, while abroad,
which we give, and will also show the importance attached to the
Harper’s Ferry invasion abroad.

While reporting on his explorations during his visit to Scotland, a
letter (anonymous) was sent to Sir Culling Eardley Eardley, implicating
the Major (Dr. Delany) with the “insurgents under John Brown.”

Such was the effect of this insidious missive, that a whole day
(Sabbath) was spent by gentlemen of the highest social and public
position in discussing the matter, and considering the propriety of
dropping and denouncing him.

But wisdom prevailed, and they determined to disregard the anonymous
informant’s advice. With this a learned ex-official of her majesty’s
government called upon him at his residence in Glasgow, and reported
the proceedings to him. He was met with an argument from Major Delany,
to which he assented, and replied that it was the same in substance
as used by himself and the great-hearted Sir Culling Eardley Eardley.
After passing through the scrutiny of these British statesmen, he
received no further annoyance concerning this while in Europe.

Of the movement at Harper’s Ferry, followed by the almost immediate
execution of Captain Brown and his devoted followers, he was ignorant,
until in Abeokuta he received a copy of the New York Tribune sent from
England for him.

It was after the Canada Convention, in accordance with designs as
before stated, he embarked for Africa, accompanied by Robert Douglass,
Esq., of Philadelphia, the genius whom prejudice denied the right to
study peacefully his glorious art in the academy of his native city,
but whom the Royal Academy of England received within its portals, and
Professor Robert Campbell, of the Philadelphia Institute for colored



After his expedition into Central Africa, gratified at the success
of his discoveries, as well as the knowledge acquired concerning the
people, among whom he found evidences of a higher civilization than
that which travellers accredit them, he departed for Europe, and
arrived at Liverpool May 12, 1860, where remaining for three days, he
entered London on the evening of May 15.

Here he received marked attentions from gentlemen of the highest social
and public position. Three days after his arrival he was invited to
meet a council of gentlemen in the parlors of Dr. Hodgkin, F.R.G.S.,
the Right Honorable Lord Calthorpe, M.H.M.P.C., presiding, with Lord
Alfred Churchill, chairman. These councils, continuing from time to
time, terminated in the great _soirée_ at Whitehall, July 27, at which
were invited six hundred members of Parliament, ending in the formation
of the African Aid Society, numbering among its members the following
personages: Rt. Hon. Lord Calthorpe, the Lord Alfred Churchill, Hon.
Mr. Ashby, Thomas Bagnall, Esq., J. P., Rev. J. Baldwin Brown, B.A.,
Edward Bullock, Esq., George Thompson, late M.P., Sir Culling Eardley
Eardley, Bart., Sir J. H. Leake, Rear Admiral, Wm. McArthur, Esq.,
Rev. Samuel Morton, M. A., Jonathan Richardson, Esq., M. P., Dr. Norton
Shaw, Secretary Royal Society, Rev. Thomas Mesac, M. A., Rev. Mr.
Cardell, M. A., Henry Dunlop, Esq., Ex-Lord Provost of Glasgow.

He was also honored with the privilege of being present at some of the
most important councils in behalf of the cause of King Victor Emmanuel,
at which letters from the distinguished Garibaldi and the prime
minister, Count Cavour, were read.

Besides these he was everywhere the recipient of numerous invitations,
both for public and private receptions, where the most distinguished
courtesy was extended to him. While in London he attended a grand
_déjeûné_ at the Crystal Palace, together with three hundred and fifty
other guests, representing the _élite_ of the world: at this presided
the late Rt. Hon. Earl Stanhope, Dr. Delany being assigned a seat at
the table with the foreign ambassadors and delegates.

At two brilliant gatherings at the Gallery of Art and Queen’s Rooms
he participated. In his hours of relaxation from business engagements
connected with his explorations, he often found it convenient and
profitable to make social visits. To these he refers often as
fraught with interesting memories, but to none with more pleasurable
recollection than a visit made to the venerable and learned astronomer,
John Lee, Esq., D. C. L., where he attended the annual festival of
Reform held by him in the great park of his residence at Hartwell
Palace, of Elizabethan memory, and assigned by the British government
to Louis XVIII. while in exile.

At these festivals the tenants and working-class gather, and partake
of the advantages of traffic there offered in wares and stores, in
edibles and fancy goods, as the good Dr. Lee and lady apportion
for their benefit, together with the sale of these articles. They
were entertained with addresses on moral and scientific subjects by
distinguished speakers invited for the occasion.

This continues generally for three days, concluding with various
gymnastic and muscular exercises; in some the women take part, when
prizes are distributed by the doctor and his lady. On the first day of
the festival a ceremony is observed, which enhances the interest of the
occasion, and in this connection will serve to illustrate the elegant
hospitalities extended to the African explorer. A committee, selected
by their host’s approval, usually meet and choose as president of the
occasion some distinguished person present. A stranger or foreigner, if
present, is invariably honored with the position, and is assigned, in
this event, the historic chambers once occupied by the exiled monarch
of France and his queen, furnished with the ancient garniture as when
occupied by them.

When the committee returned, they announced, as their choice for
president, Dr. M. R. Delany, the African explorer. This was unexpected
by him, but was heartily received by the guests present, some
sixty-three in number, who doubtless understood it among themselves
prior to its public announcement.



While in London transacting business connected with the exploration, it
was Delany’s privilege to attain a distinction never before reached by
a colored American under like auspices.

At this time he appeared more prominently before the American
public, owing to his presence in that august assembly known as the
International Statistical Congress, presided over by His Royal Highness
Albert, Prince Consort of England.

At this Congress had convened the most intellectual and distinguished
representatives of all the nations of the civilized world.[3] To this,
by virtue of his position  and acknowledged scientific acquirements,
he received a royal commission, and sat, during its session, an
honored member. His remarkable presence would, of itself, have
attracted the attention of the Continental members; but a movement was
destined to render him more conspicuous.

The value of his position in that learned gathering was doubly
enhanced and appreciated by him. It was a triumphant recognition
of the progress of his race, as well as of the ability of the
representative. His admission into that Congress was not based upon
national credentials,--for they would have been refused to him,--but
was supported by his individual claims as the proud representative of
his ancestral land.

His sterling ability won for him the friendly interest of the great
Lord Brougham, who, at the first meeting, called the attention
of the American minister to him, which remark, being construed
offensively, resulted in the withdrawal of the American delegates, at
the head of which was Judge Longstreet of Georgia. Through them and
their pro-slavery partisans north and south, Major Delany acquired
a popularity distasteful with the American public, to whom the
circumstance was known imperfectly, and then only in a prejudicial
manner. So many comments were made by the press, all tending to produce
the utmost unpleasantness between the two countries, that it seemed
likely to have resulted in a more disagreeable misunderstanding, but
was checked by the inevitable ridicule which attached to it.

When the news of the withdrawal of the American delegates first
reached the public, it was through an official source--a letter from
Judge Longstreet, the American representative to the Congress. It was
given to the public through Hon. Howell Cobb, of Georgia, secretary
of the treasury under the Buchanan administration. And as it was
only through this medium, we propose to furnish the statement of the
principal personage in the affair, decisive and trustworthy, and also
to reproduce the letter of Judge Longstreet, which, in view of the
position occupied by them both at this time, will be of additional

Delany says,--

“This is a subject upon which I never desire to enter. Very seldom--I
think not more than two or three times, and then only to my most
intimate friends--have I ever related the circumstance, and always
approached it with sensitive delicacy; because to attempt to speak
about it without relating the whole, is to make it ridiculous, and
leave on the mind of the auditor the impression that there must have
been on the part of the distinguished lord a most absurd and abrupt
intrusion upon the transactions and doings of that dignified body.

“And since Judge Longstreet withdrew from that body immediately after
the organization, and before doing anything, going home, and having
nothing to report but the cause of his delinquency or remissness, his
official report to the secretary of the treasury necessarily being
concerning me, therefore I am compelled to give the facts as to how it
really transpired. And certainly no one of the most sensitive delicacy
about matters of this kind will accuse me of dragging in extraneous
matter. Indeed, it ceases to be a question of propriety, and turns
entirely upon a question of right, as to whether or not I have the
right of self-defence against an attack by a high official of the
government? Or is it not the government which attacks me through its
foreign representative and cabinet minister? The entire affair was
contrary to my desire, and by no means _flattering_ to me, as Judge
Longstreet reported as officially follows.”

We give the following from the report of the secretary of the treasury
for the year ending June 30, 1860:--

            _Letter from A. B. Longstreet to Howell Cobb._

                                             LONDON, July 21, 1860.

    SIR: My mission to the International Congress terminated
    abruptly, even before the first regular meeting for the
    transaction of business.

    At the appointed time (16th instant) a preliminary meeting
    was called, to appoint officers and arrange the order of
    business for the regular meetings. All the foreign delegates
    were declared to be vice-presidents, and, by invitation of
    the chairman, took their seats as such upon the stand. Lord
    Brougham was, I think, the last member of the Congress who
    entered the hall, and was applauded from the first glimpse of
    him until he took his seat; it was near and to the left of the
    chair. Mr. Dallas, appearing as a complimentary visitor,[4]
    was seated to the right, in a rather conspicuous position.
    Things thus arranged, the assembly waited the presence of his
    royal highness, the prince consort, who was to preside and
    open the meeting with an address. He soon appeared, delivered
    his address, and took his seat. As soon as he concluded,
    and the long-continued plaudits ceased, Lord Brougham rose,
    complimented the speech very highly and deservedly, and
    requested all who approved of it to hold up their hands. We
    did so, of course. This done, he turned to Mr. Dallas, and
    addressing him across the prince’s table, said, “I call the
    attention of Mr. Dallas to the fact that there is a negro
    present (or among the delegates), and I hope he will have no
    scruples on that account.” This appeal was received by the
    delegates with general and enthusiastic applause. Silence being
    restored, the negro, who goes by the name of Delany, rose and
    said, “I thank your royal highness and Lord Brougham, and have
    only to say _that I am a man_.” This, too, was applauded warmly
    by the delegates. I regarded this an ill-timed assault upon
    our country, a wanton indignity offered to our minister, and a
    pointed insult offered to me. I immediately withdrew from the
    body. The propriety of my course is respectfully submitted to
    my government.

    What England can promise herself from exciting the ire of the
    United States, I cannot divine. Surely there is nothing in
    the past history of the two countries which offers to her the
    least encouragement to seek contests with the great republic,
    either national or individual. Will not her championship of the
    slave against his master be in full time when the slave shall
    complain of his lot and solicit her interference.

    My reasons, more at large, for the course that I have pursued,
    will be found in the London Morning Chronicle, herewith
    transmitted, which, in its slightly-modified form, I pray you
    to regard as a part of my report.

    I am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

                                                  A. B. LONGSTREET.

    Hon. HOWELL COBB, _Secretary of the Treasury_.

              _The American Delegate and Lord Brougham._

    _To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle._

    SIR: After what occurred at the first meeting of the
    Statistical Congress, I withdrew immediately from that body,
    intending to offer no reasons for my course, because, from
    what I saw, I judged that they would not be worth the paper
    on which they might be written. I reserved them, therefore,
    for my own government. After waiting a while to see what
    comments the papers would make upon the opening scenes of the
    Congress, I commenced my despatch to my government; but a
    friend, in whose opinions I have great confidence, said he
    thought I ought to address the people here in vindication of
    myself. Upon this intimation (for it was rather an intimation
    than counsel) I sat down, and, amidst a thousand doubts and
    interruptions, wrote the subjoined communication. I was just
    bringing it to a close for the press yesterday (Thursday), when
    I received information that, at the opening of the meeting
    on the day previous, Lord Brougham had explained his remarks
    at the first meeting, as I would see in a paper referred to,
    and the information came with a request that I would return
    to the Congress. I read the explanation in that paper and two
    others. They only differ in their reports of it, but they all
    concur in making his lordship disavow any intention to show
    any disrespect to the American minister or the United States;
    and they make him say that he merely meant to call to notice
    an interesting or a statistical fact, viz.: that there was a
    negro in the assembly. Now, I found myself in a very ticklish
    predicament. It was not his lordship’s remarks so much as the
    reception they met with, by all my associates of the Congress,
    that determined me to leave it. The signs were infallible that
    in that body I could not be received as an equal, either in
    country or in character, while the negro was received with open
    arms. They understood his lordship as I did. All the papers
    understood him in the same way, and some of them glory in the
    exposure of the American minister, and promise themselves a
    rich treat when the president shall discover in what contempt
    his minister is held here. All this remains precisely as it
    did before his lordship’s explanation. Of course, therefore,
    I cannot return to them. They would receive me courteously,
    no doubt,--possibly, now, with plaudits,--but why? Not from
    personal respect to me or my country, but to avoid schism
    in the society--to preserve its popularity. I am only three
    years removed from an Englishman (I date from the birth of
    my government), and I have too much English spirit in me to
    thrust myself into any company upon charity. Had the delegates
    received his lordship’s remarks with a silent smile (ill-timed
    as they were), and Dr. Delany’s response in the same way, I
    never should have left the Congress. But the plaudits came
    like a tempest of hail upon my half-English spirit. Nothing,
    then, in the piece needs qualification, but what refers to
    his lordship’s intentions. Learning these from his own lips,
    I sat down to correct it in all that imputed to him, directly
    or impliedly, wrong intentions and wrong feelings; but I found
    that they were so often referred to in a vast variety of
    ways, so often intermingled with sentiments void against the
    principal, but good against the indorsers, and in all respects
    good against the leading spirits of Europe and the Congress,
    and so essential to the harmony and grammatical construction,
    that if I undertook to correct generally, I should hardly leave
    it printable or readable. And yet the piece must now appear;
    for if not, it will go forth to all Europe that the United
    States delegate took offence, pro-slavery like, at an old man’s
    playful remark, left the Congress at the beginning, and that
    neither explanations nor entreaties could bring him back. I
    have neither time nor patience to remodel it, much less to
    rewrite it. I am called away to-day; I should have been off
    from London before. In my dilemma I have concluded to publish
    the piece just as I wrote it; not now as fairly representing
    his lordship, but as exactly representing my understanding of
    him when I left the Congress, and the reasons. I am at the
    bar now, and I am to be judged of by the reasonableness of my
    interpretations and of my conduct founded on them. I beg his
    lordship, in consideration of my situation, to indulge me in
    this. In return, I beg the reader to treat as revoked, and
    utterly null and void, every reference to his lordship that is
    in the slightest degree inconsistent with his explanation. I am
    not very far behind him in years; I have long been his debtor,
    and I esteem him almost reverentially; and if he is not debtor
    for his judicial reform bill to my native state, there is the
    most remarkable coincidence between the two systems that ever
    occurred since the world began. If he is, he ought to esteem
    me for my state’s sake. Be this as it may, we are too old to

                                                  A. B. LONGSTREET.

                           _To the Public._

    Before I terminate my first and last visit to Europe, I deem
    it due to my country and myself to leave behind me a word of
    comment upon a most remarkable incident of that visit. It may
    be of some service to the people on both sides of the Atlantic.
    England owes to my country much respect--to my native state
    a little. I came hither as a delegate (and by accident the
    only delegate) from the United States to the International
    Congress, now in session at this place. The appointment was
    made by request of the authorities of this country. I am a
    native of the State of Georgia, the birthplace of the two
    gallant Tattnalls, the one well known to me, the other well
    known to England. He was that humane and chivalrous commodore,
    who, at the peril of his commission and his life, rescued the
    captain and the crew of Hope’s sinking ship from a watery grave
    at Peiho. He has received much praise for the deed, but not
    quite all that is due to him, for in yielding to his generous
    impulses, he forgot that his no less gallant brother was borne
    from the battle-field at Point Peter, severely wounded by
    British muskets. What is done in war should be, but is not,
    always forgotten in peace. The commodore’s conduct was approved
    by his government--that government which Mr. Dallas represents
    at the court of St. James.

    The Statistical Congress convened, a preliminary meeting was
    held to appoint officers and arrange the order of business.
    All the foreign delegates were declared to be vice-presidents,
    and they took their seats on the platform with the presiding
    officer. Mr. Dallas, a complimentary visitor, took his seat to
    the right of the chair, Lord Brougham to the left. All things
    being now in readiness for the opening of the regular meeting,
    his royal highness, Prince Albert, appeared, took the chair,
    and opened the meeting with that admirable address which has
    been published, and which carries its highest commendation on
    its face. As soon as he had concluded, and the long-resounding
    plaudits ceased, Lord Brougham rose, and after a few remarks
    strongly and deservedly complimentary of the address, and
    after calling upon all present to testify their approval of
    it by holding up their hands, (!) he turned to the American
    minister, and addressing him across the table of his royal
    highness, said, “I call the attention of Mr. Dallas to the fact
    that there is a _negro_ present, and I hope he will feel no
    scruples on that account.” This appeal to the American minister
    was received with general applause by the house. The colored
    gentleman arose, and said, “I thank his royal highness and your
    lordship, and have only to say _that I am a man_.” And this was
    received with loud applause.

    Now, if the noble lord’s address to the American minister was
    meant for pleasantry, I must be permitted to say that the
    time, the subject, and the place were exceedingly unpropitious
    to such sallies. If it was meant for sarcasm, it was equally
    unfortunate in conception and delivery. If it was meant for
    insult, it was mercilessly cruel to his lordship’s heart,
    refinement, dignity, and moral sense. I could readily have
    found an apology for it in his lordship’s locks and wrinkles,
    if it had not been so triumphantly applauded. The European
    delegates understood it; the colored gentleman understood
    it; and from the response of the latter we can collect
    unerringly its import. It was meant as a boastful comparison
    of his lordship’s country with the minister’s. It was meant
    as a cutting reflection upon that country where negroes are
    not admitted to the councils of white men. This is the very
    least and best that can be made of it, and the dignity of
    the American minister’s character and office, his entire
    disconnection with slavery personally, and his peculiar
    position in the assembly, were no protection to his country
    from this humiliating assault; nay, he is selected as the
    vehicle of it before the assembled wisdom of Europe, who
    signify openly their approbation of it. All the city papers
    that I have seen differ from each other in their report of this
    matter, but they all soften its rugged features somewhat. The
    Times is the most correct, but at fault in making Lord Brougham
    preface his remarks to Mr. Dallas with, “I hope my friend, Mr.
    Dallas, will forgive me for reminding him,” &c., and in making
    Dr. Delany (the colored gentleman) say to Lord Brougham, “who
    is always a most unflinching friend of the negro.” If one or
    the other of these remarks were made, I did not hear it; the
    doctor would hardly have used the last.

    Now, I take leave to say that a Briton was the last man on
    earth who should cast contemptuous reflections upon the United
    States, and the delegates the last men on earth who should
    have countenanced them. Not one of them, not a man on all
    the broad surface of Europe, can assail that country without
    assailing some near home-born friend of his own language and
    blood, or some kinsman by short lineage from a common ancestry.
    She spreads herself out from the Atlantic to the Pacific,
    from the Gulf to the Lakes, and through all her length and
    breadth she is one vast asylum for the poor, the oppressed,
    the down-trodden, the persecuted of the world. Her sons are
    a multitudinous brotherhood of all climes, religions, and
    tongues, living together in harmony, peace, and equality, so
    far as these can possibly prevail within her borders. Say
    what you may, think as you may, sneer as you may, at her
    “peculiar institutions;” she is, after all, the good Samaritan
    of nations. Do a people cry and waste from famine? She loads
    her ships with supplies, and lays them at the sufferer’s doors
    without money and without price. Do an oppressed people strike
    for liberty? You will find some of her sons under their flag.
    Does a wife’s cry come across the water for help to find a
    noble, long-missing husband? She fits out her ships; her
    volunteers man them; they search nearly to the pole; learn
    the husband’s fate; disburden the wife’s heart from suspense,
    and then lie down and die from the exposure and toils of the
    search. Does she find a nation’s sloop of war afloat, still
    sound but unmanned? She puts her in decent trim, and sends her
    to her owner in charge of her own men and at her own expense.
    “Bear with me.” If “I am become a fool in glorying, ye have
    compelled me, for I ought to have been commended to you.”

    Such a nation is not to be taunted, certainly not by Great
    Britain. Her slavery is a heritage, not a creature of her
    own begetting. It was forced on her against her wishes, her
    prayers, and her protestations; screwed down upon her, pressed
    into her, until it has become so completely incorporated with
    her very being, that it is now impossible to eradicate it. The
    term “slave property,” is borrowed; it is not of her coinage.
    In all her slave states there are not ten men living (until
    very recently not one) who ever made a slave of a free man,
    counting the Hottentot a freeman. Their sin, then, is not
    in making slaves, but in not restoring them to liberty, in
    courtesy to the sensibilities of those who made them for us.
    Before they make this exaction of us, they surely ought to have
    the magnanimity of Judas, and lay the price at our feet. But
    let us look into this matter a little.

    There are about 4,000,000 of slaves in the United States.
    They are worth, at a very moderate calculation, $240,000,000;
    but as we wish to keep within the realm of morality, we
    cast that little item aside. There they are, from a day old
    to one hundred years old--ignorant, helpless, thriftless,
    penniless. What would become of them if set free? They would
    suffer, languish, die. Does charity, does religion, demand
    of us to put them in that condition? How are they to live?
    “Support them yourselves,” said a man to me once, of more
    _negrophilism_ than brains. What would we have to support them
    on, and what obligation is there upon one class of freemen to
    support another? The very act of emancipation would consign
    nineteen twentieths of the masters to abject penury and want.
    There would be no more conscience, mercy, or remorse in the
    scramble between the races for the provision on hand at the
    date of the act, than there is for the means of safety among
    the crew of a sinking ship. The last year’s crop of cotton
    was, in round numbers, 4,500,000 bales. Three fourths of this
    amount goes abroad, and most of it to England. Will the reader
    take the trouble to compute the amount of shipping it takes
    to transport that quantity of cotton from America to Europe,
    the number of hands employed in the transportation, and the
    number employed in working up the raw material? Shipping,
    seamen, manufacturers, under-workmen, must all go by the
    board the first year of emancipation. Now, add to the exports
    80,000 tierces of rice and 128,000 hogsheads of tobacco in
    the same category (nearly), and tell me if it is possible to
    conceive of a greater calamity that could befall the world
    than the immediate emancipation of the slaves of the United
    States. Nine millions, at least, would certainly be ruined
    by it (the slaves and their masters), as the first fruits of
    the measure; and hundreds of thousands, if not millions more,
    in the free states and kingdoms, i.e., all who are dependent
    upon cotton, rice, and tobacco in any way for a living,--as
    its ultimate fruits. Will it be said that the negroes will
    still produce these articles for their own benefit? How could
    they, unless the masters would give them the land to cultivate,
    implements to till it, and food and clothing for one year? To
    do this would cost the masters at least two hundred million
    dollars more; and what would become of the whites and their
    dependants in the mean time? But if the negroes had the
    outfit, they would not make the fifth part of these articles
    the first year. Look at your freedmen in the West Indies. We
    regard them as a warning, not as an encouragement. In the
    face of the thunderbolt, I would assert that our slaves are
    infinitely healthier, holier, and happier, than your freedmen.
    Will it be said that white labor would supply their places?
    How could we hire white labor? And if it performed the work,
    where would the slaves be? But what of foreigners dependent
    upon those articles? Will it be said the shipping and labor
    would be turned into other channels? What other? The world does
    not produce the article, nor the wants of the world a demand
    for them, if it did. This thing of diverting large amounts of
    labor and capital from one channel into another, is a work of
    time; it cannot be accomplished in a day. They who have seen
    the effects of a change of fashion, simply upon many laborers,
    may form some distant idea of the consequences of turning
    millions of property and labor into new channels. Time may turn
    the sailor into a farmer, but death would overtake him before
    employment, where there were practised farmers enough to supply
    the demand.

    Now, I could say much more to show the utter impracticability
    of emancipation in the United States, even upon the score of
    humanity; but enough is said until what is said be fairly
    answered. Until it is fairly answered, until some practicable
    means is pointed out of ridding ourselves of slavery, I enter
    my most solemn protest against all denunciation of our country
    on account of it. It is like denouncing a man because he
    carries an incurable disease; and coming from British lips,
    it is like stabbing a man, and, while catching his blood to
    work into puddings, abusing him for bleeding, and crying out
    all the time, “Cure yourself! cure yourself! or keep out of
    decent company!” But if abuse, vilification, sarcasm, and
    contempt, are to be the lot of slaveholders, let it be the lot
    of slaveholders alone, and of those alone who thrust themselves
    unbidden into the society of their betters.

    Whatever his lordship did not intend by the remark,--and I am
    ready to believe that he did not intend to wound,--he certainly
    did intend to bring to the minister’s notice that England made
    no distinction between men on account of their color; and
    herein his lordship was lamentably unfortunate, for the whole
    scene showed that not only he, but all his applauders, make
    a marked distinction between colors. Would not his lordship
    have had more respect for the feelings of any white man than
    to have made him the object of special notice--and such a
    notice!--to men gathered from all quarters of the world? Would
    his lordship’s discourtesy to a white man have been applauded,
    as it was, by gentlemen of refinement and delicacy? True, it
    hit Dr. Delany’s sensibilities exactly in the right place, for
    he returned thanks for it; but the chances were a thousand
    to one that it would have enkindled his indignation. “What!”
    he was likely to have said, “is it a boast of the nobility
    of England that I am admitted to a seat among white men?”
    His thanksgiving, too, was applauded--a thing not exactly in
    keeping with our ordinary dealings with white men. And when he
    proclaimed the indubitable fact, “that he was a man,” again he
    was applauded. If any other man had arisen in the assembly,
    and said the self-same thing, he would have been laughed
    at, not applauded. Again: his lordship pointed him out as a
    “negro,”--that was the word,--not, as some of the gazettes have
    it, a “colored person,” or “colored gentleman;” the Times has
    it right. Now, if he had felt a due regard for the doctor’s
    rank, would he not have softened his designation, as the papers
    have kindly done for him? I am told that the doctor is a member
    of the Geographical Society, and a delegate from Canada. If
    so, I demand, by all the canons of courtesy, why he was not
    called to the stand as one of the vice-presidents, and placed
    right between Mr. Dallas and myself? Here would have been a
    scenic representation of thrilling moral effect--more eloquent
    of Old England’s love of freedom and contempt of mastery than
    all lip-compliments of all her nobles put together. Or, if that
    seat was too low for the doctor, why was he not placed between
    Lord Brougham and the chair? Had I seen him there, verily my
    own heart would have swelled with a compliment to noble Old
    England which no lips could have fitly uttered. Where was the
    doctor at the prince’s reception? I did not see him there. To
    what section does he belong? I do not find him allotted to
    either. To how many of the entertainments has he been invited?
    Now, in all this, I detect a lurking feeling, ever and anon
    peeping out, which convinces me that the colored man is yet
    far, very far, below the white man in public estimation, even
    in Europe; and, until this is conquered, let not the European
    assume to lecture the American upon his duty to the slave, or
    upon the equality of the races. Why, if the thing is fated to
    us, like death, can any man of common humanity and generosity
    take pleasure in throwing it in our teeth? Slavery is either
    a blessing or a curse. If a blessing, why disturb us in the
    enjoyment of it? You Englishmen ought to plume yourselves
    upon it, for it is your benefaction. If a curse, you should
    not embitter it. We regard it as a blessing; why disenchant
    us of the delusion? You say it is a great sin. I doubt it,
    as I find it; and shall ever doubt, while Paul’s Epistle to
    Philemon is universally acknowledged an inspired epistle. (See
    note on page 115.) But suppose it a sin; has God commissioned
    you to reform it? and do you think you ever will reform it
    by eternally sprinkling vitriol upon the master? As for your
    contempt, we would rather not have it, to be sure; but if you
    will be content with that, we will live in peace forever, for
    it is an article in equal store on both sides. If you cannot
    condescend to our company, we will not complain at giving a
    place to Dr. Delany, and we can beatify you with four millions
    precisely such. But in your intercourse with us, do not, for
    your own sakes, forget all the rules of delicacy, benevolence,
    and humanity, for every adult of us can stand up and say, “I am
    a man!” Farewell to thee, London, for a short time; one more
    brief look at thy wonders, and then farewell forever! Another
    visit to Liverpool; I like her better than London, because
    she likes my people better. “Interest!” “Cotton!” It may be
    so, but I am grateful for love of any kind in England. Never,
    in all my long, long life, did my heart-strings knit around
    a fair one so quickly and so closely, as they did around a
    lady in London, who approached me, and said, “Mr. Longstreet,
    I must get acquainted with you. I love your country; I have
    several kinsmen there.” That’s natural; that’s woman-like. It
    is for man to draw favors from a country and curse her. God
    bless her! And God bless the family in which she said it. As
    Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, slaveholders, are in heaven, I hope
    to get there, too. May I meet them all there! But whither am
    I wandering? Liverpool--another look at Liverpool, another
    benefice to the English Cunard line, and then farewell to
    Europe forever and forever!

                                                   A. B. LONGSTREET.

    P. S. I forgot to mention many kind invitations that I have
    received from distinguished personages. I declined them all,
    not indifferently nor disrespectfully, but because they were
    obviously given to me as a member of the Congress, which I was
    not when they reached me, and never shall be.

    NOTE. The Epistle to Philemon has been an enigma to
    commentators for seventeen hundred years. That it is the fruit
    of divine inspiration has never been questioned by Christians;
    and it is but a letter from Paul to a brother, pleading for a
    runaway slave whom he sent home to his master. Read it, and
    see the Christians who joined in it. In Paul’s day they did
    not steal negroes and murder their masters. There were no
    Browns and Hugos in those days. Philemon was beloved of Paul,
    was doubtless a preacher, and had a church in his house. Is
    not the enigma now solved? Can we not now see why the epistle
    was inspired? What would become of us if we were bound to
    emancipate under all circumstances, or forfeit heaven? I have
    only hinted at the horrors of the thing.

“It was made the subject of inquiry by some as to the means by which I
entered that scientific assemblage. It was through the same doorway
which admitted every other member, not a delegated representative, that
is, a royal commission.

“By the established usages of this annual assembly, any persons
of known scientific attainments, great authorship, mechanical
inventions of mathematical complication, researches and discoveries
in topographical, geological, or geographical explorations, are
regarded as legitimately entitled to the consideration of the royal
commissioners, three of whom are always appointed by the sovereign or
ruler of that country to which the succeeding Congress is assigned
to meet. These commissioners have all the arrangement of the coming
Congress in their hands, and issue all the commissions of special
membership to those not accredited as national representative delegates.

“By courtesy, the diplomatic representatives of every nation present
are _ex-officio_ vice-presidents, with two specially selected

“When the time drew near for the arrival of his royal highness, the
Congress was organized, the members taking their seats, and the
official dignitaries seated on the platform.

“The royal crimson chair, and one on either side reserved for the
prince and his associates, vice-presidents, were vacant. Great
demonstrations were made, which gave evidence that some important
personage approached, when it was soon observed that it was the arrival
of the ex-lord high chancellor of England. He was escorted to his seat
on the platform.

“Soon after, music was heard, succeeded by the entry of pages,
unrolling the crimson carpet, which preceded the entry of the prince
president. At this the whole Congress arose to their feet, with rousing
claps of applause. Ascending the platform, his royal highness stood
before the chair of state, bowed, and took his seat, when immediately
the Hon. George M. Dallas, the American minister, and the Right Hon.
Lord Brougham, were conducted by the royal commissioners to the vacant
seats on the right and left of his royal highness.

“The prince, with his usual dignity, now arose, bowed, and commenced
reading one of the most profound and philosophically simple and
comprehensive addresses delivered during the present century.

“In the course of his remarks, he alluded to his former preceptor,
Count Vishers, paying great compliments to him. He concluded amidst
suppressed applause, suggestive of a feeling which hesitated to show
itself, for fear of committing an impropriety before the royal author.
That great and generous-hearted gentleman, Lord Brougham, instantly
arose, and addressing the Congress, said, ‘I rise not to address myself
to his royal highness, but to you, my lords and gentlemen of the
Congress, not to permit the presence of his royal highness to restrain
you from giving vent and full scope to that outburst of applause, which
you are desirous of giving in approbation of that great good sense,
philosophical and most extraordinary discourse, to which we have had
the honor and pleasure, as well as profit, of listening.’

“Immediately taking his seat, the assemblage gave vent to rapturous
applause. As it concluded, he again rose to his feet, remarking in
general terms that it was a most extraordinary assemblage of the
world’s wisdom, and that those who were there were fortunate in being
members of such a body, presided over by that great personage, the
prince consort of England.

“He also made allusions to the presence of the imperial director of
public works from France, the representatives from Brazil, Spain,
and some other countries, as an evidence of the progress of the age;
then taking his seat, and instantly arising in such a hasty manner,
as though something important had been omitted, that he attracted the
attention of the entire assembly; when, extending his hands almost
across his Royal Highness, he remarked, ‘I would remind my friend, Mr.
Dallas, that there is a negro member of this Congress’ (directing his
hand towards me): smiling, he resumed his seat. Mr. Dallas, seeming to
receive this kindly, bowed and smiled.

“Count Vishers now rose to reply to the compliments made to him by the
prince; then followed the director of the public works from France,
followed by the Brazilian representative, and concluding with the
Spanish diplomatist.

“While I fully comprehended his lordship’s interest, meaning, and its
extent, the thought flashed instantly across my mind, How will this
assembly take it? May it not be mistaken by some, at least, as a want
of genuine respect for my presence, by the manner in which the remarks
were made? And again, would not my silence be regarded as inability to
comprehend a want of deference on the part of his lordship? Or should
I not be accused of regarding as a compliment a disparaging allusion
towards me? These thoughts passed through my mind so soon as his
lordship concluded his remarks, and as soon as the minister from Spain
was seated, I rose in my place, and said,--

“‘I rise, your Royal Highness, to thank his lordship, the unflinching
friend of the negro, for the remarks he has made in reference to
myself, and to assure your royal highness and his lordship that _I am
a man_.’ I then resumed my seat. The clapping of hands commenced on
the stage, followed by what the London Times was pleased to call ‘the
wildest shouts ever manifested in so grave an assemblage.’

“So soon as the applause had subsided, the prince arose and announced
the Congress adjourned, to meet at two o’clock the next day; the
sections to meet in their several departments at ten, to meet the
general Congress at two.

“These were my words _verbatim_. Why Judge Longstreet’s sarcastic
interpolations, I do not know, nor am I able to account for such

“They were not simply British, as the learned judge complained in
his singular report to the secretary of the treasury, ‘because the
loudest and wildest shouts’ came from the Continental members. _These
manifestations_ I can only attribute to a spontaneous outburst of
gratification to them at a scene so unexpected in all its relations,
without any reference whatever to the United States. And Judge
Longstreet entirely misinterpreted the interest and meaning of the

“I take pleasure in making the correction now, as far as the generous
great are concerned, that it may be favorably recorded in the history
of our time, because they would not beg an interpretation at the hands
of those who wilfully persist in an historic misrepresentation of
that which in all diplomatic and national civility--to say nothing of
generosity--should have been understood and accepted by all present.

“The next day, when the general Congress convened, on calling for
the reports from the several sections, which presented the papers
for ratification before that body, alphabetically arranged, and by
courtesy commencing with America, it was discovered that the entire
American representation, except Dr. Jarvis, from Boston, Mass., had
withdrawn,--the fact being stated by the doctor, who presented the
paper placed in his hands by Judge Longstreet, whose office it was to
present it as head of the representation, and only direct national
delegate (Dr. Jarvis being only a state delegate). Lord Brougham, the
first vice-president, who, in the absence of the royal president,
filled the chair, arose, remarking, ‘This reminds me of a statement
made in the papers this morning, that I had designedly wounded the
feelings of the American minister at this court, which I deny as
farthest from my intention, as all who know me (and I appeal to the
American minister himself, Mr. Dallas being a friend of mine), whether
I have not uniformly stood forth as the friend of that government
and people? Now, what is this “_offence_” complained of? Why, on the
opening of this august assemblage (possibly the largest in number,
and the most learned, that the world ever saw together from different
nations, to be among whom any man might feel proud, as an evidence of
his advance, civilization, and attainments), what is the fact? Why,
here we see, even in this unequalled council, a son of Africa, one of
that race whom we have been taught to look upon as inferior. I only
alluded to this as one of the most gratifying as well as extraordinary
facts of the age.”

“The noble and philanthropic lord then took his seat amidst another
_cause of offence_.”

These are the facts of that historical incident quoted from his own
writings on the subject. Whatever may have been the motive underlying
the action of the southern judge besides the reasons given to the
public by him, it is not our province to interfere with; but if it
were his intention to bring the high-toned negro delegate, receiving
the same honors accorded to the other members of the Congress, into
derision, in his undignified haste his failure was most signal in
Europe, as well as with most thinking persons, not governed by their
prejudices, in America.[5]

The following comment, written at the time, is from the papers of his
friend, Mr. Frederick Douglas, who, towering in colossal grandeur
beside the self-made heroes of our country, his eagle glance noting
every pulse-throb of the great American body politic, seems a proper
exponent of these indisputable facts.

                         “_Dallas and Delany._

    “Some of our American journals, to whom black in anything else
    than in the human heart is a standing offence, are just now
    ‘taking on’ very ruefully about what they are pleased to call
    a flagrant insult offered to the American minister, Mr. G. M.
    Dallas, by Lord Brougham, at a meeting of the International
    Statistical Congress, held in London. Small pots boil quick,
    and soon dry up, but they do boil terribly while they are at it.

    “It would hardly be safe to say whereunto our present wrath
    would carry us, were we not somewhat restrained and held down
    by the onerous burdens of electing our president for the
    next four years. As an American, and being of the unpopular
    complexion, we are rather glad to see this sensitiveness.
    The most disgusting symptoms sometimes raise hopes for the
    recovery of the patient, and it may be so in this case. The
    standing offence of the venerable and learned Lord Brougham
    was, that he ventured to call the attention of Mr. Dallas, the
    American minister plenipotentiary, to the fact that a ‘negro’
    was an acting member of the meeting of the International
    Statistical Congress. This was the offence. It struck home at
    once. Mr. Dallas felt it. It choked him speechless. He could
    say nothing. The hit was palpable. It was like calling the
    attention of a man vain of his personal beauty to his ugly
    nose, or to any other deformity. Delany, determined that the
    nail should hold fast, rose with all his blackness, right up,
    as quick and as graceful as an African lion, and received the
    curious gaze of the scientific world. The picture was complete.
    Sermons in stones are nothing to this.

    “Never was there a more telling rebuke administered to the
    pride, prejudice, and hypocrisy of a nation. It was saying,
    ‘Mr. Dallas, we make members of the International Statistical
    Congress out of the sort of men you make merchandise of in
    America. Delany in Washington is a thing; Delany in London is
    a man. You despise and degrade him as a beast; we esteem and
    honor him as a gentleman. Truth is of no color, Mr. Dallas,
    and to the eye of science, a man is not a man because of his
    color, but because he is a man, and nothing else.’ To our
    thinking, there was no truth more important and significant
    brought before the Statistical Congress. Delany’s presence
    in that meeting was, however, more than a rebuke to American
    prejudice. It was an answer to a thousand humiliating inquiries
    respecting the character and qualifications of the colored
    race. Lord Brougham, in calling attention to him, performed
    a most noble act, worthy of his life-long advocacy of the
    claims of our hated and slandered people. There was, doubtless,
    something of his sarcastic temper shown in the manner of his
    announcement of Delany; but we doubt not there was the same
    genuine philanthropic motive at the bottom of his action, which
    has distinguished him through life. A man covered with honor,
    associated with the history of his country for more than a half
    century, conspicuous in many of the mightiest transactions
    of the greatest nation of modern times, between eighty and
    ninety years old, is not the man to indulge a low propensity to
    insult. He had a better motive than the humiliation of Dallas.
    The cause of an outraged and much despised race came up before
    him, and he was not deterred from serving it, though it should
    give offence.

    “But why should Americans regard the calling attention to
    their characteristic prejudice against the colored race as an
    insult? Why do they go into a rage when the subject is brought
    up in England? The black man is no blacker in England than in
    America. They are not strangers to the negro here; why should
    they make strange of him there? They meet him on every corner
    here; he is in their cornfields, on their plantations, in their
    houses; he waits on their tables, rides in their carriages,
    and accompanies them in a thousand other relations, some of
    them very intimate. To point out a negro here is no offence to
    anybody. Indeed, we often offer large rewards to any who will
    point them out. We are so in love with them that we will hunt
    them; and of all men, our southern brethren are most miserable
    when deprived of their negro associates. Why, then, should we
    be offended by being asked to look at a negro in London? We
    look at him in New York, and Mr. Dallas has often been called
    to look at the negro in Philadelphia.

    “The answer to these questions may be this: In America the
    white man sees the negro in that condition to which the white
    man’s prejudice and injustice assign him. He sees him a
    proscribed man, the victim of insult and social degradation.
    In that condition he has nothing against him. It is only when
    the negro is seen without these limitations that his presence
    raises the wrath of your genuine American Christian. When
    poor, ignorant, hopeless, and thoughtless, he is rather an
    amusement to his white fellow-citizens; but when he bears
    himself like a man, conscious of the godlike characteristics
    of manhood, determined to maintain in himself the dignity of
    his species, he becomes an insufferable offence. This explains
    Mr. Dallas, and explains the American people. It explains also
    the negroes themselves. It is often asked why the negroes do
    not rise above the generally low vocations in which they are
    found? Why do they consent to spend their lives in menial
    occupations? The answer is, that it is only here that they
    are not opposed by the fierce and bitter prejudice which
    pierces them to the quick, the moment they attempt anything
    higher than is considered their place in American society.
    Americans thus degrade us, and are only pleased with us when
    so degraded. They tempt us on every side to live in ignorance,
    stupidity, and social worthlessness, by the negative advantage
    of their smiles; and they drive us from all honorable exertion
    by meeting us with hatred and scorn the instant we attempt
    anything else.

    “Had Mr. Delany been a mean, poor, dirty, ignorant negro,
    incapable of taking an honorable place among gentlemen and
    scholars, Mr. Dallas would have turned the specimen to the
    account of his country. But the article before him was a direct
    contradiction to his country’s estimate of negro manhood. He
    had no use for him, and was offended when his attention was
    called to him.

    “There was still another bitter ingredient in the cup of the
    American minister. Men can indulge in very mean things when
    among mean men, and do so without a blush. They can even boast
    of their meanness, glory in their shame, when among their own
    class, but who, when among better men, will hang their heads
    like sheep-stealing dogs, the moment their true character is
    made known. To hate a negro in America is an American boast,
    and is a part of American religion. Men glory in it. But to
    turn up your nose against the negro in Europe is not quite so
    easy as in America, especially in the case of a negro morally
    and intellectually the equal of the American minister.”

Before leaving London, Delany read, by special request, a paper on his
researches in Africa, before the Royal Geographical Society, and as a
traveller and explorer, received the privileges extended by that body,
and as such was received with due courtesy in many of the noted places
dedicated to art and science, both in England and Scotland; among them,
the Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the Hospitals,
Geological and Anatomical University, Museums, and Libraries.

From a general invitation extended to the members of the Congress, and
a special one to himself, by the Right Hon. Lord Brougham and Vaux,
ex-lord high chancellor of England, he received his membership, and
attended the Congress of the National Association for the Promotion
of Social Science at Glasgow, Scotland, the September following. Here
a distinguished recognition of his worth awaited him. While at this
Congress he elicited expressions of a most complimentary character from
Lord Brougham, who presided here with the usual dignity ascribed to him
at the International Congress in the absence of his royal highness.

The following is extracted from the Report of the First Section on
Judicial Statistics, by the president (Lord Brougham) and Dr. Asher:--

    “I think I am authorized, not only on the part of the council
    of the society, but on the part of the authorities in Scotland,
    strongly to recommend and to invite all persons to attend
    that Congress. The authorities take the greatest interest in
    it, both at Edinburgh and at Glasgow. The magistrates of both
    countries, and the judges, take the greatest interest in the
    Congress; and I hope they will not be disappointed in having
    the attendance of many foreign gentlemen from different parts
    of the continent; and I also hope that our friend Dr. Delany
    will attend upon that occasion, for he will then be in the
    country which first laid down the maxim and the principle of
    law: That the moment a slave (which Dr. Delany is not, but
    which his ancestors were) touches British ground, his fetters
    fall off. That was said when that decision, which does
    immortal honor to the Scottish courts, was pronounced. It was
    a remark made in one of the arguments--‘_Quamvis ille niger,
    quamvis ne candidus esses_.’ That remark was made by a very
    celebrated judge, the son of a very great mathematician, one of
    the greatest mathematicians that ever appeared in this country,
    the son of the celebrated McLaurin. I hope Dr. Delany is here.
    In the sanitary section, as my noble friend Lord Shaftesbury
    informed me before he left the room, he was of very great use,
    indeed, in the information which he conveyed to them, and
    that he made a most able speech, as Sir Roderick Murchison
    informs me, at the Royal Geographical Society, which he lately
    attended. I hope therefore, that we shall have the advantage of
    his attendance upon that occasion.”

After the close of the Congress, he was invited to lecture on the
subject of his explorations, in many parts of England and Scotland,
meeting everywhere with marked success, for nearly seven months. At
these lectures an appreciative audience greeted him: among them many of
the _élite_ of the kingdom convened, as was manifested at his reception
lecture at Brighton, on the seaside, during the watering season, given
in the pavilion of the Marine Palace of William IV.

At the conclusion of these, he prepared to return to Africa, having
entered into obligations in England and Scotland, especially the
latter place,--which in good faith are yet to be fulfilled,--when the
secession of South Carolina reached Great Britain.

With almost prophetic vision he saw the great work apportioned for
his race in the impending struggle. Therefore he turned his thoughts
homeward to prepare himself for his portion of it.

Hastening home from a land where he was everywhere the recipient of
distinguished courtesy, in order to cast his lot with his people for
good or evil fortune, he reached Canada forty-five days before the
attack on Fort Sumter.

There he remained watching the progress of the rebellion, which, from
the first, he foresaw, and thus expressed himself, that it would be
long and desperate in its course.

The following is the speech of Dr. Delany, at the close of the
International Congress:--

    “I should be insensible, indeed, if I should permit this
    Congress to adjourn without expressing my gratitude for the
    cordial manner in which I have been received, from the time
    when I landed in this kingdom to the present moment, and in
    particular to the Earl of Shaftesbury, the president of the
    section to which I belong, as well as to every individual
    gentleman of that section, it matters not from what part of the
    world he came. I say, my lord, if I did permit this Congress
    to adjourn without expressing my gratitude, I should be an
    ingrate indeed. I am not foolish enough to suppose that it was
    from any individual merit of mine, but it was that outburst of
    expression of sympathy for my race (African), whom I represent,
    and who have gone the road of that singular providence of
    degeneration, that all other races in some time of the world’s
    history have gone, but from which, thank God, they are now
    fast being regenerated. I again tender my most sincere thanks
    and heartfelt gratitude to those distinguished gentlemen with
    whom I have been privileged to associate, and by whom I have
    been received on terms of the most perfect equality.” (Great

We subjoin to this an extract from the Globe, published in Toronto,
Canada, by which the attention of the House of Lords was called to

    “In the course of his remarks in asking a question in the
    House of Lords for the production of certain papers relating
    to the suppression of the slave trade, Lord Brougham said
    that his noble friend near him (Lord Shaftesbury) could bear
    testimony to the useful assistance given to the department
    of the Statistical Congress, over which he presided, by Dr.
    Delany, the negro member of the Congress. (Lord Shaftesbury,
    ‘Certainly.’) He had shown great talent in his addresses to the
    section. He had also appeared at the general meeting over which
    he (Lord Brougham), in the prince consort’s absence, presided.”

The following extract is from page 39 of the Transactions National
Asso. Prom. S. Science:--

    “At our first meeting in 1857, the subject of Judicial
    Statistics was brought under consideration, in one of the able
    and useful papers read by Mr. L. Levi, and in consequence of
    the discussion which took place, very considerable improvements
    were introduced into that department of the treasury, so
    that, at our last Congress, hopes were entertained of such
    complete and regular information being afforded, as the
    Annual Report of the Minister of Justice presents in France.
    A most important step has since been made in that direction.
    The meeting of the International Statistical Congress has
    been held under the presidency of the prince consort, whose
    opening address, marked by the sound sense, the accurate
    information, and the general ability which distinguish all
    his royal highness’s exertions, is in the hands of all our
    members. Having been requested to superintend the judicial
    department, and having afterwards, in his royal highness’s
    absence, presided at the general meeting, it was a great
    satisfaction to find the unanimous adoption of the plan which
    it became my duty to report, embodying the resolutions in
    full detail upon the whole subject; and there was a strong
    recommendation unanimously passed, urging the government to
    appoint a permanent statistical commission. The report has been
    presented to the House of Lords (where, indeed, I had several
    years before brought forward the resolutions which formed its
    groundwork this year), and is now among the printed papers of
    the session. There were naturally present at this International
    Congress eminent men from various parts of the Continent; and
    in announcing the assembly of the present meeting, I took
    the liberty of inviting those distinguished foreigners, with
    whose presence I trust we are now honored. Among others was
    a negro gentleman of great respectability and talents, Dr.
    Delany, who had attended different departments, and in his able
    addresses has communicated useful information and suggestions.
    When inviting him to this Congress, I informed him that he
    would have the satisfaction of visiting the country which
    first declared a slave free the instant he touches British
    ground. Dr. Delany’s forefathers were African slaves; he is
    himself a native of Canada.[6] It is truly painful to reflect
    that, although his family have been free for generations,
    his origin being traced to one whom the crimes of white men
    and Christians had enslaved, he would be, in the land of
    trans-Atlantic liberty, incapable of enjoying any civil rights
    whatever, and would be treated in all respects as an alien,
    the iniquity of the fathers being inexorably visited, not upon
    their children, but upon the children of their victims, to all
    generations,--children whose only offence is the sufferings of
    their parents, whose wrongs they inherit with their hue.”

    “NOTE.--It was stated to Dr. Delany that he would be in the
    country which first pronounced the great decree of a slave’s
    fetters falling off the moment he touched British ground. This
    was first decided by the courts of Scotland, in the case of
    Knight, a negro, 1778. In Somerset’s case, 1772, the courts of
    England had not laid down the rule generally, but only that a
    negro could not be carried out of the country by his master.
    In the Scotch case, the printed argument was prepared by Mr.
    McLaurin (afterwards Lord Cleghorn, son of the celebrated
    mathematician), and the appropriate motto which he prefixed to
    his paper was:--


A most remarkable feature noticed in the position of the learned lord,
in relation to Major Delany, was the occasion which he took to proclaim
to him--a black man, and for the first time before such a distinguished
audience--that important historic fact in legal jurisprudence, as found
in note above, that it was in Scotland in 1722, the great declaration
was made by Lord Cleghorn, that the moment a slave touched British
soil, he stood a freeman “by the irresistible genius of universal

It is also worthy of record that so many long years should elapse,
and he be made the first to receive the great decision from history
correctly given by no less personage than the ex-high lord chancellor
of England.



As Delany was desirous of contributing his aid to the suppression
of the rebellion, in various ways he offered to make his services
acceptable, which being of no avail, as northern ingenuity had not yet
discovered the latent powers of black muscles, he was forced to remain
an unwilling looker-on while others bore the part he believed assigned
to his race.

While thus unemployed, he accepted the advice of gentlemen of influence
and standing, among whom were the Hon. F. S. Gregory and the Rev. Dr.
Riddell, of Jersey City, Joseph B. Collins and Isaac Smith, Esqs., of
New York, to make a tour through the country, and lecture on Africa and
his researches there.

These lectures, beginning after the publication of his report, were
exceedingly popular. They were free courses, held generally in the most
prominent churches of various denominations, under the auspices of
their respective pastors; his book being sold to the audience at the
conclusion. These being attended by the most refined and influential
of society, he took occasion always to bring forward the claims of his
race to the war, endeavoring to create a popular feeling in favor of
arming the blacks. For as the huge monster of rebellion began assuming
its gigantic proportions with all its hideous deformities, all were
admitting the absurdity of its being “put down in a few months.” While
many then recognized that the blast from Sumter’s embattlement was but
a reverberation of that which rung out so clearly upon the midnight
air, a few short years back, at Harper’s Ferry, they scarcely saw the
blacks’ identity with the issue.

To these lectures there was no impediment offered by his political
enemies, on the score of color, to prevent his being heard, but on one
occasion; and the cause assigned being so novel and ill-arranged we
cannot help referring to the circumstance.

Being in Detroit, he was solicited by that distinguished and venerable
divine, Dr. Duffield, author of “The Christian Regeneration,” who
offered him his church, on the following Sabbath, to deliver a lecture
on any moral subject he should choose, before his congregation. The
doctor accepted the invitation; but at the precise moment of leaving
for the church, a gentleman called upon him, abruptly remarking, “It
was not known until this moment that _you_ are the person who improved
the opportunity to insult the American minister at the Court of St.
James. You need not come; we will not hear you!” This was of course
instantly denied, with an attempted explanation; but his accuser, for
some reason, persisting in the charge, and indignantly refusing to
hear an explanation, abruptly withdrew. Soon after a _committee_ of
_gentlemen_ called, stating that the church was crowded, determined to
hear him and give him an opportunity to explain the impolitic charge
against him. Thanking them, he peremptorily declined, lest he should
compromise the excellent pastor by the accusation most certain to be
made, that “the abolitionists of the church had forced a negro into it,
though protested against by the other portion of the congregation.”
Again, that Sabbath being the first after the attack on Fort Sumter,
he insisted to his friends, knowing the great issue at stake, that
it was no time to divide the feelings of the people. The point was
conceded by his friends, and they yielded, when one of them, a wealthy
manufacturer, rented the “Murrill Hall” at his own expense, where, on
the first evening, he made a satisfactory explanation of the alleged
offence, and lectured for four consecutive evenings.

A few days after this, while seated in the cars, dashing along the
Great Western Railway in Canada, listening to a discussion on the
probabilities of the war and its result, a gentleman stepped up,
addressing him by name, stated that he resided at Detroit, and was
there at the time the objection was raised against having him lecture
at the church, and, “although a Democrat, he did not sympathize with
the issue made against him, and that it was simple justice due to him
to state that the author of the charge was Colonel ----, recent charge
d’affaires at the Court of R----, who made the statement as being true,
he having been present at the International Congress at the time, and
knew the attack on the American minister to have been of the grossest
character and altogether unnecessary.” This, the major says, was the
first and only information he ever had of the conversion of that
incident into an attack by him upon the American minister.

He continued his course of lectures, and heard no more such absurd
charges, persons being perhaps too absorbed in the fearful struggle,
when a nation should be born anew, and old prejudices and hatred
forever buried, to repeat the slander.

At this time, too, there were endless speculations concerning the
course and determined policy of Mr. Lincoln, who, with few exceptions,
was being regarded with suspicion by the friends of the blacks as
well as by the blacks themselves, based upon his inaugural address
(to the first we allude, for the second lives forever), together with
the Central American Emigration scheme, which we now recognize as a
most successful _coup d’état_ of the president. It set the opinion at
rest forever that the colored people could be induced to emigrate from
_their home, and this their country_, _en masse_.

Speculations were endless as to the tendency of the president’s course.
As it is not considered an assumption for a man of limited means to
have an opinion of his own, Dr. Delany had and claimed the right, after
much deliberation, to express his views concerning the policy of the
president. Many of his friends differed widely from him; he held his
own convictions with his usual tenacity, and endeavored to convince
them. He thought he could discern, in the course then being pursued by
Mr. Lincoln, a logical conclusion, and which, if not at first intended,
would ultimately result in accomplishing the desires of the friends of
freedom--emancipation to the slaves of the South, and the freedmen’s
rights as an inevitable consequence.

Said he on one occasion, “I thought I could see differently from my
friends, those truly talented men, and unswerving friends of their
race. Not that I know more than they, for I may not know as much. But
we, like white men, have our faculties and propensities, and are likely
to develop them in the prosecution of our course. In this I think it
may not be regarded as an unwarranted assumption or egotism to say
that in national affairs and in fundamental principles of government,
I claim to be at least not far rearward of my friends whose counsels I
sought. To inquire into the origin of races and governments, and the
rise and fall of nations, is with me a propensity I cannot resist.
This is not said for invidious comparison with my friends, because as
an orator (which I am not), anti-slavery historian, and portrayer of
black men’s wrongs, I would sink into insignificance in comparison
with Frederick Douglass, and would render myself ridiculous were I
capable of assuming to be equally learned with Dr. James McCune Smith.
While I considered him at the time of his death the most scientific
and learned colored man, as a scholar, on the American continent,
yet neither scholarship and splendid talents among black men ceased
to exist with Dr. McCune Smith, nor will end with the name of the
renowned Douglass. They are more numerous comparatively, than their
opportunities warrant.” He sought his friends, to devise with them the
means best adapted to meet the demands of the hour. The subject present
in his mind was that of the army. He argued strongly, always in favor
of separate organization, as the only means to give character to the
colored people, and promote their pride of race, thus crediting them in
history with deeds of their own. In this he was afterwards supported
by the late Dr. McCune Smith, and the lamented Thomas Hamilton of the

On one occasion he sought Mr. Frederick Douglass at his home at
Rochester, who was then restlessly impatient, as were a host of
others, at the slow, undefined steps of the president. It is not
for us to question whether or not those sad, patient eyes, from the
beginning of the struggle, discerned, amid the mists and shadows of
the future, the symbol of Union synonymous with emancipation, and,
rejoicing, quietly awaited the development of events, or if it was
indeed a “_military necessity_,” which occasioned its promulgation.
Since the many disclosures of party treachery and corruption in high
places, the pureness of action which marked his career forms a striking
contrast, on which the loyal heart contemplates with a pride mingled
with tenderness. That a signal providence directed his course, beset
as he was by false counsellors and foes, who hesitated at no measures
which subserved their purposes, it is evident. The fiery trials and
perplexities through which he passed but purified him for the halo of
martyrdom which ultimately encircled his furrowed brow, enshrining him
forever in the nation’s innermost heart.

Before his departure from Rochester he had the satisfaction of
hearing Mr. Douglass express himself more favorably editorially in
his able journal, and this before it went to press. Said he, “It was
to this change of opinion in my great-hearted friend that we date
the correspondence with the Hon. Montgomery Blair, asking the aid of
his great influence in behalf of the president in putting down the
rebellion, and which resulted in a special official request for Mr.
Douglass to visit Washington, and his subsequent conference with the
president and cabinet, including the able secretary of war.”

An incident is related in connection with his many arguments in
behalf of the government, believing its policy ultimately tended to
emancipation. In conversation once on this subject with some of his
friends, there was present an accomplished European lady, who professed
no respect for the Americanism of that date, and was by no means
favorably impressed with President Lincoln’s course. He sought to
disarm her of her prejudices against the administration, as his faith
was in the power behind the throne, which was greater than the throne
itself. She suddenly turned from his theories, telling him he did
not comprehend the great questions involved in the issue of the war.
Before he could recover from this abrupt stroke, Mr. Douglass came to
his aid, which timely relief saved him from a most terrible rout. Said
Mr. Douglass, “Madam, you do not know the gentleman with whom you are
conversing; if there be one man among us to whose opinion I would yield
on the subject of government generally, that man is the gentleman now
before you.”



As early as October, 1861, Dr. Delany, when _en route_ to Chicago,
stopped at Adrian, Michigan, for the purpose of seeing President Mahan,
of the Michigan College. The subject of the war, which was then being
earnestly waged, instantly became the theme of conversation, and the
rôle of the colored American as an actor on its board was the principal
feature therein. How and what to do to obtain admission to the service,
was the question to which Dr. Delany demanded a solution. He stated
that it had become inseparable with his daily existence, almost
absorbing everything else, and nothing would content him but entering
the service; he cared not how, provided his admission recognized the
rights of his race to do so.

To this President Mahan assented, and expressed himself as willing to
sacrifice his high social position and literary worth for the cause of
his country and humanity. He further expressed himself as being willing
and ready to enter the service on conditions that should be specified,
he having received a military education in his youth.

He proposed to apply to President Lincoln for a major general’s
commission, with authority to raise a division of blacks. Dr. Delany
at once proposed that the application be made specially for a corps
d’Afrique for signal service from the white division of the army. This
was prior to the application of Dr. Gloucester to Mr. Lincoln for such
an organization for Major General Fremont, or the order to General N.
P. Banks.

His main reason in urging the corps d’Afrique was, he claimed, with his
usual pride of race, that the origin and dress of the Zouaves d’Afrique
were strictly _African_.

To President Mahan, on that occasion, he gave the following history of
their formation:--

    “That it was during the Algerine war waged by the Duc
    d’Orleans, eldest son of Louis Philippe, against Abdel-Kader,
    the Arab, the Zouave obtained that fame which recommended it to
    civilized nations.

    “The French had their three grand armies of ten thousand; the
    struggle had been long, desperate, and costly to the French,
    both in men and materials of war, and the campaign began to
    wane, till

        ‘A Moorish king went up and down,
          Through Granada’s royal town,’

    and the services of the African warriors were tendered to the
    Duc d’Orleans by an African prince.

    “When, in a terrible charge, the duke, receiving a shot through
    the thigh, was unhorsed, and fell bleeding to the ground, the
    desperate Arabs, amid the wild shouts of their leaders, charged
    on their steeds with open mouths and distended nostrils, their
    javelins drawn for the fatal thrust, those faithful black
    Zouaves, eighteen hundred, mounted upon jet stallions, rushed
    to the conflict, in turn charging, and turned the front of
    their antagonists with double-edged sabres, cut through the
    ranks of the shrieking enemy, covered the duke with their
    shields, and bore him away in triumph from the field.

    “It was for services such as these in a long and bloody
    struggle, that could not have been brought to a close without
    such aid, that the African Zouaves, who served in the Algerine
    war, were taken as veteran troops with the French to Europe,
    and their dress and tactics introduced as a part of the
    military service of the French.

    “It was observed years ago by persons visiting Hayti, without
    their comprehending it closely, perhaps, that the soldiers of
    that island had peculiar tactics,--‘throwing themselves upon
    the earth,’ and, as one writer observed, turning upon their
    backs, then upon their sides, so swiftly that it was hard to
    determine what they were, all the time keeping up a continual
    ‘load and fire.’ This was, doubtless, nothing but the original
    Zouave tactics introduced long years ago by native Africans
    among these people.”

Before leaving, President Mahan proposed to make the application, as
previously agreed upon between them, and, if successful, to give Dr.
Delany an appointment compatible with his desires. The latter proposed
to avoid encroaching on army regulations as then being the policy;
that he should receive the position of private medical adviser and
confidential bearer of despatches, which would not interfere with any
official position of army officers, and at the same time giving him the
opportunity of being near the general’s person, to obtain the military
experience he desired, which he knew would render him of service in the
event of the government accepting the aid of the colored troops, by
admitting those fitted to proper positions.

With this understanding he left President Mahan, confident, if it was
possible for his desires to be accomplished, that all endeavors would
be used. Instead of hearing of the success of his plans, he soon saw
them fade before him, like a dream before awakened realities, by seeing
the order published giving authority to Major General N. P. Banks to
raise a corps d’Afrique immediately for the service.

But this did not prevent him from looking to a brighter prospect for
his race.

“As this placed us fairly in the war,” he said, “thanking God, I became
satisfied, and took courage.”

Thus, while it proved an individual failure for his plans, as it was
a gain to his race, it was as to himself, and his unselfish nature
received fresh stimulant to labor to promote further recognition for



While completing his last lectures of the course in Chicago, the
order was granted by the department to raise the famous Fifty-fourth
Massachusetts Volunteers, whose fame is enhanced by the glorious burial
of its brave young commander with his dusky guards, and the memories of
Forts Wagner and Olustee.

For this regiment he received the appointment of acting assistant
agent, under Charles L. Remond and Charles H. Langston, Esq., for
recruiting, and acting examining surgeon for the post of Chicago, from
Major George L. Stearns, chairman of the military committee, being
authorized by Governor John A. Andrew, of Massachusetts.

His eldest son, then but eighteen years of age, at school in Canada,
wrote to him for permission to join that regiment. In granting the
request, it drew from him a reply worthy of his heart and head.

After the regiment was filled, he applied by letter to the war
department at Washington for the appointment as surgeon to the blacks
in the army. He received the usual polite reply, that “the letter was
received and on file under consideration.” Hearing nothing of his
application, after a considerable time had elapsed, he was advised by
his friends to write again by way of a _reminder_, and was on the point
of doing so, when the news flashed over the wires that Dr. Augusta of
Canada had been appointed as surgeon in the army, with the rank of
_major_. Neither did this second defeat dishearten him, for it was a
realization partly of his plans of seeing a black of representative
rank in the army. He then concluded to abandon the sending of a second
application to the department, fearing to embarrass the government in
such appointment, and by this retard the progress of the cause he was
endeavoring to advance.

Meanwhile Rhode Island had been ordered to raise the heavy artillery;
and eighteen hundred black men, afterwards increased to twenty-five
hundred, were required for this service. Some of his friends had pushed
forward his claims in this direction to the authorities. He was visited
at his home in Canada concerning the recruiting, and made agent under
a commissioned captain in the service to superintend the recruiting of
this arm of the service.

Establishing himself at Detroit, Michigan, removing thence to Chicago,
he soon found himself borne smoothly along on the wave of success.
His efforts were seconded by the most influential colored people
of the place: among them we find the name of Mr. John Jones, the
wealthiest colored resident of the state, who entered intimately into
his confidence, bringing all his influence to bear in assisting the
government to put down the rebellion.

So satisfactory was his course in the West to the authorities of Rhode
Island, that the captain under whom he served was relieved, and he
then placed in entire charge, and its accompanying responsibilities,
_without the military commission_, however, or even rank given by
_courtesy_, as the country was not up to that at the time.

Orders at this time were sent to him concerning a change about to be
made in relation to the pay and recruiting of the men, which, while
it would have resulted in increasing his own pay, would greatly
have reduced the bounty--twenty-two dollars a man. To this proposed
injustice he instantly refused to lend his influence. And he soon
received a telegram to the effect that he was relieved. He then
demanded a settlement for his past services. Not being answered, he
sent a messenger to Governor Smith, who at once summoned him to Rhode
Island. At Providence he met his excellency and Major Sanford, U.S.
mustering officer, who, together with the governor, the past difficulty
being satisfactorily settled, united in recommending his appointment
to the military authorities of Connecticut, that state having at the
time a quota to fill of five thousand. An official of that state was
telegraphed, who contracted with him to superintend the recruiting. He
retained his former quarters at Chicago, but was afterwards compelled
to remove to Cleveland, Ohio, in consequence of an abrupt interruption
on the part of the authorities of that city and the State of Illinois.
He complained of affairs being badly conducted, and after a most
unsatisfactory official visit to New Haven, occasioned by the absence
of Governor Buckingham, he resigned, with a loss of about three
thousand dollars to himself.

He immediately went west, and opened an independent recruiting station,
witnessing, he says, “with unutterable disgust, the hateful mercenary
recruiting trade of selling men in the highest market, and denounced
them, whether black or white.”

The legitimate quotas in a few country districts of Western
Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio, he aided in filling, “persistently
refusing,” he says, “the offers made for men, by a class who prowled
the country under various names and pretended military titles, with
a shudder and a scout, despising the man who would sell his brethren
for a price.” So great were his fears lest imposition or intrigue be
practised on the men, and his promise be made void, that he invariably
accompanied them to their destination.

The most interesting epoch in his recruiting career was when he
was called upon, by the military committee of one of the districts
of Western Ohio, to contract to fill their quota of two thousand
five hundred men, under the new act of Congress. The office of the
committee was at Cleveland, Ohio. He consented to negotiate for them,
provided that _he was commissioned a state officer_ under the new
act regulating the appointment of state officers in recruiting. The
committee suggested first to make sure of the choice and contract;
then they would have whereon to base an application to the governor.
This course was complied with, and the application then made to the
governor, who expressed himself to the effect that he regarded the
proposal _too novel to find favor at Washington, as a black man could
never have been designed or intended in the new recruiting order_.
He further intimated that the authorities at Washington would be
consulted as to whether or not such an appointment would be acceptable
to them. “Governor Brough,” said he, “that arm which shall be the most
successful in putting down this wicked rebellion, is the arm which
will be at present most acceptable to the people of the United States
and the authorities at Washington, be that a white or black arm.” The
governor, smiling, he continues, replied that he did not dispute it,
adding that he thought I might leave for my destination, and regard the
commission as certain to be forwarded with documents for other state

After a short visit to his home, he engaged his examining surgeon, an
accomplished colored gentleman, who had been with him in the Rhode
Island and Connecticut recruiting service, returned, and arrived at
Nashville, where in two days, he received his commission from the

At Nashville the famous letter (famous at least to those whom it
concerned) of Major General Sherman, then at Atlanta, Georgia, to
Lieutenant Colonel John A. Spooner, provost marshal general and
commissioner from Massachusetts for Tennessee, Mississippi, and
Georgia, was under consideration and discussion. He writes of it,
“Great was the consternation produced among ‘government agents’ there;
and such were the offers made to me by parties for ‘partnership,
division of profits, and the like,’ that I was constrained to have
on hand but the one answer for all. Gentlemen, I have an honorable
appointment. I cannot and will not sell my brethren for a price, nor
my birthright for a mess of pottage.” Worn out by these actions, and
disgusted, he left the place, going directly to Ohio, where after a
few weeks spent in Galliopolis and Portsmouth, “I became convinced,”
he said, “that the business of recruiting had reached such a state of
demoralization that no honorable man, except _a U. S. commissioned
officer_, could _continue it successfully_ without jeopardizing his own
reputation.” He returned home, gaining nothing but experience by his



We take the following, on the subject of recruiting, with its light and
shadows as viewed by him. Whatever of good or evil was entailed in his
regulations, with him the responsibility rested. He says, “On entering
this service, there was no guide, no precedent; but every one, however
ignorant, assumed and pursued a course, in many instances, unjust to
the recruit, and detrimental to the service, and at once dishonorable,
but subservient to his own selfish ends. This was apparent, and at
once made the object of attention. For instance, the Fifty-fourth
Massachusetts Volunteers were raised by special provision by the
citizens or private contributions, as was understood, allowing each
enlisted man fifty dollars bounty, which at that time was twenty-five
dollars more than was being given by most of the states, perhaps by any
other state. It was then understood the bounties of the Fifty-fourth
were not appropriated by the state funds. The states which afterwards
raised colored troops did so from state appropriations. Rhode Island,
being the next to Massachusetts in this movement, appropriated three
hundred dollars bounty to the men.” It was in the service of the latter
state he acknowledged receiving the experience necessary to comprehend
the entire system of recruiting. “For,” said he, “in the service of
Massachusetts, I was employed under my distinguished friends, Charles
L. Remond and C. H. Langston, Esqs. My duty was to receive and execute
orders and instructions, not to give them. In the Rhode Island service,
being engaged to manage, my position and duties were quite different.

“The states which gave colored troops to the service made special
arrangements for recruiting them, for the simple reason that
necessarily a great part of them had to come from other places than the
state which organized them. The provisions made for recruiting white
soldiers could not be successfully applied in the case of the colored.

“These were points of importance,--of great importance,--because they
involve principles of justice to all concerned.

“Rhode Island, for instance, paid two hundred and fifty dollars bounty
to the men in raising the heavy artillery, leaving a residue of fifty
dollars for all expenses incurred--salaries of officers, agents,
sub-agents, subsistence of recruits till mustered in, transportation--a
heavy item of expense, when it is remembered that the greater portion
of these men were from the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri,
where the agents had actually to go to get them, and when obtained
in Kentucky and Missouri, for the most part, it cost from ten to
twenty-five dollars each to get across the river to the Indiana or
Illinois side. It will be readily understood, by an experienced
business man or financier, that these immense expenses could not be
kept up and the recruits be justly dealt with.

“Again, Connecticut appropriated three hundred dollars bounty to
the men, and I was probably the first who received an appointment,
by contract, to manage her recruiting in the Western States. The
first proposition in meeting the military authorities was to fix the
bounties, impressing upon the gentlemen the fact that bounties, being
merely awards, were large or small, according to circumstances; that
all freedmen who voluntarily presented themselves for enlistment, it
follows, should and would receive the three hundred dollars, because no
extra or special expenses were incurred. All who had to be subsisted,
and sent from the West in Indiana and Illinois, should receive two
hundred and fifty dollars, and in all cases where slaves would have to
be obtained in the slave states, with all the risks and expenses, one
hundred dollars was ample pay. When such men as the brave Voglesang,
the intrepid Lennox, and the sons of Frederick Douglass, and my
own son, received but fifty dollars, regarding it as ample, their
patriotism inducing them to join without bounty. Besides this, those
recruited from the slave states received their liberty _de facto_,
which they never would have attempted without our agency.

“This I considered justice, and so established it as a system of
recruiting. If there had not been a dollar, instead of being a
hundred, to give as a bounty to a single slave, or to the sons of the
distinguished Douglass, and my own, I should have acted as I did--put
my own son in the army, endeavor to get the bondman in, for the purpose
of overthrowing the infamous system of slavery and the rebellion.

“On returning from Connecticut, I consulted my distinguished friend,
the Rev. Mr. Garnet, in regard to the system I had adopted, of which he
highly approved, as ‘_coming from ourselves, concerning ourselves_.’

“All this, however, neither covers, defends, nor tolerates in any
degree the reprehensible and most shameful impositions continually
practised, by various methods of deceptions under the pretext of
recruiting. What I defend is a legitimate system laid down, to be
strictly conformed to the letter. Whatever was promised to the recruit
he should have received, and this should have been fixed and enforced
by the proper authorities, and not left optional with a stolid set of
human brokers.”



The appointment of the black major of infantry, at the time of its
public announcement, created considerable discussion. As the causes
leading to it have never yet been publicly known, to gratify a
legitimate curiosity, we will give it, beginning with the materials
with which he wrought out the claims of his people to the national
consideration. Like every intelligent observer of events, he had noted
that while the rebellion had progressed considerably, the status of
the colored people had shown no decided change. The policy of the
army relative to the slaves was vague and undefined, and, in many
instances, brutal, while the fidelity and devotion of these blacks to
the Union army find no parallel in modern times away from the pages of
romance. No overdrawn picture, but abounding with truthful figures,
while from its background arise countless suggestions to the nation,
was that gracefully presented by Major Nichols in his “Story of the
Great March,” when he said, “The negroes all tell the general that
the falsehoods of the rebel papers never deceived them, and that they
believed his ‘retreats’ sure victories; that they would serve the Union
cause in any way, and in all ways, that they could--as soldiers, as
drivers, or pioneers. Indeed, the faith, earnestness, and heroism of
the black men are among the grandest developments of this war. When I
think of the universal testimony of our escaped soldiers, who enter our
lines every day, that, in the hundreds of miles which they traverse on
their way, they never ask the poor slave in vain for help; that the
poorest negro hides and shelters them, and shares the last crumb with
them,--all this impresses me with a weight of obligation and a love for
them that stir the very depths of my soul.”

Yet these services were not sufficient to save the bondman from being
returned to his abject condition. This is familiar to all, especially
in the early record of the army of the Potomac; and for a long time
during the war these humiliating scenes were being enacted, either
openly or under some constitutional disguise.

The word “contraband” had been spoken into history by the great
radical convert; but neither that, nor the reticence of the president
concerning the status of the blacks seeking the Union lines, gave light
to the dark, deplorable situation.

The president was cognizant of these acts, as he at one time stated;
but apportioning to himself but limited powers under the constitution,
he hesitated to proceed beyond these limits, unless he had the support
of the people. Silently he awaited the time when the country, aroused
to its honor and best interest, would cast out from it this ghoul
that had sustained itself on the life-blood of the nation. He at last
issued his Emancipation Proclamation; yet this could not accomplish
everything. After the capture of Chattanooga, a valiant commander
wrote to Major-General Palmer in Kentucky, “Send the rebel sympathizers
and their negroes down the river, out of the country, and let them seek
a clime more congenial for themselves and their peculiar institution.”
Thus, whether displayed in military parade around Washington, or in
cautious reconnoitrings on the banks of the Mississippi, or in the
brilliant engagement of Chickamauga, to the terrible three days’
struggle but glorious harvest of Gettysburg, the policy of the mighty
armies of the Union converged to the same object--to ignore the negro’s
claims, and send the slave back to his master.

Delany viewed the moral bearing of this tendency upon the future of his
people; he felt that in these repeated acts of injustice the energies
of the blacks were fast being chilled.

On this subject he frequently expressed himself, and persistently urged
measures then untouched as the only means which would insure success.
He said when he made known his plans to his always noble-hearted
friend, Frederick Douglass, he gave him encouragement, adding that he
was no soldier himself, but had given two sons to the war.

There were others to whom he made these measures known, though not the
plans by which he intended placing them before the president, among
them we find the names of John Jones, Esq., of Detroit, his colleague
“in office,” Dr. Amos Aray, once associated with him, Mr. George
Vosburg, a man of sterling worth among his people, Dr. Willis Revels,
of Indianapolis, and others not unknown to fame.

In his zeal he endeavored to induce the leading politicians among
the colored people to unite upon some settled policy by which they
should be governed, and to this end he addressed a letter through a
paper supported by them in New York, invoking a national convention of
the representative men, for the purpose of defining their position in
relation to the war; but it failed to meet the general approbation.

He saw the progress of the war producing contingencies, challenging
policies, demanding of all some definite, immediate action. And
the action of the president, apart from positive constitutional
obligations, was based upon these. Under such circumstances, what need
was most demanded _was reliable, adequate means_. These were best
adapted to the desired end, and suggested by such as applied in person
to the president.

He said, that “to wait upon the president at such a time to obtain
anything from him could only be realized by having something, or plan,
to offer the government, or it would be demonstrating an expression of
Mr. Lincoln, with cap in hand, and ask, ‘Mr. President, what have you
to give me?’ when the reply invariably was,’Sir, what have you to offer

He saw at one time one of the possible contingencies of the war was an
indication of foreign intervention. The government had its own methods
and measures of meeting this event; but, aside from this, any aid would
be acceptable. Where could this be found? Could it be made available?
and who will offer it? were questions of importance with the government.

In view of the menacing attitude presented by two of the greatest
powers of the world, with a probability of others following them, he
addressed a letter on the subject to the Anglo-African, setting forth
what he considered the best measure to be adopted by the colored people
to the interest of the country in the event of foreign intervention.
Another and most momentous contingency he viewed from his stand-point
was, the probability of the south calling the blacks to arms. This
event, to every intelligent observer of the times, was from the
first of as much importance to the government as that of foreign
intervention. It was not least among the complicated problems awaiting
the solution of the nation; for while all others might be met by the
general usages and laws of war, diplomacy, and force of arms, the last
could only be met by measures at once unprecedented, and peculiar to
the method of meeting belligerents.

To present the means of meeting these ends was certainly of vast
importance to the government.

Thus, in view of the threat of Jefferson Davis to arm the blacks, as
slaves to fight for the establishment of a slave confederacy, he argued
that some means should be devised in order to frustrate this design.

To many of the leading colored men of the North, and the old
abolitionists, this was comparatively an easy task,--having originated
that great scheme known as the Underground Railroad, which, for nearly
forty years had baffled the comprehension of their foes--a scheme so
well devised and skilfully conducted, that from one to forty were
continually being passed out of every part of the far South to Texas,
Massachusetts, and Canada.

These men had the same means of reaching the slaves, and through
this medium could reach them, in order to prevent their joining their

None expected at the beginning of the rebellion that, in its extreme
weakness, the tottering Confederacy would call for aid from those its
very first utterance had sought to consign to perpetual degradation.
And we knew not what temptation would be held out the next hour, in
order to secure the aim of the South. Therefore, can the means be made
available immediately, was a matter of painful anxiety.

At length he determined on the execution of his long-designed plans.
An event renewed his zeal. In January, 1865, he received a despatch
from a friend to go to Indianapolis, as Governor Morton had proposed
to raise two additional black regiments for the service. And this
friend, to whose telegram he responded, had presented his claims to the
consideration of the friends of the movement, hearing that they were
determined, if possible, to secure the appointment of a black officer
for the state, as acting superintendent, commissioned with the rank of

But intelligence being soon after received from the secretary of war
disapproving of the measure, he immediately returned to Wilberforce
College, where, more fully to identify himself with the interests
of the country, as well as to secure educational advantages for his
children, he had previously removed his family from Canada. Thence he
set out for Washington. During the time he was engaged in recruiting
for the service, he had been a keen observer of measures developed
in the progress of the rebellion. He had been in correspondence with
many of the leading men of both races in the country, and in his own
mind had been deducing measures applicable to the events transpiring
relative to the colored people. Hence his presence in Washington, to
see the chief magistrate, though well aware of the failure of others
of his race who had preceded him there, to accomplish a satisfactory
result. This consideration would have deterred many men, for among
those who had sought the president were men noted for their high
attainments and general popularity. Casting from him all suggestions of
the impossibility of success by the strength of his character, without
aid or adventitious surroundings, he struck out into a path before
untrodden by others of his race.

How it was accomplished we propose to relate, as a part of the
history of the great revolution, and as the crowning act of the noble
president’s life and his great secretary of war.

Said Dr. James McCune Smith of this movement, “Delany is a success
among the colored men;” and subsequent events proved the correctness of
the assertion.



The 6th of February, 1865, found him in Washington, for the purpose
of having an interview, if possible, with President Lincoln and the
secretary of war. To his friend, the Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, whose
guest he was, he made known the principles on which he based his
intended interview.

Mr. Garnet, living in Washington, and cognizant of every measure
inaugurated among the colored people relative to the war, and
remembering their ill success with the executive, at first attempted
to discourage him. Mr. Garnet said to him, “Don’t aim to say too much
in that direction. While your position is a good one, yet I am afraid
you will not see the president. So many of our men have called upon
him of late, all expecting something, and coming away dissatisfied,
some of them openly complaining, that I am fearful he has come to the
conclusion to receive no more black visitors.” To this he replied,
“Mr. Garnet, I see you are mistaken in regard to my course. I am here
to ask nothing of the president, but to offer him something for the
government. If it suits him, and he accepts, I will take anything he
may offer me in return.”

His friend, still persisting, responded to him: said he, “Doctor, I
see you are on the ‘right track,’ but I am fearful, after all, that
you will not get to see him.” On Major Delany proposing the secretary
of war as a medium through which to reach the president, Mr. Garnet
exclaimed, “My dear sir, you have made matters worse. I have been
abroad; I have been near the persons of nobility and royalty; but
I never saw personages so hard to reach as the heads of government
in Washington.” This information by no means deterred him. It was
impossible for a host to turn Martin Delany from his task, determined
as he was to continue it to the end.

He remarked to the reverend gentleman that “the mansion of every
government has outer and inner doors, the outer defended by guards; the
security of the inner is usually a secret, except to the inmates of the
council-chamber. Across this inner lies a ponderous beam, of the finest
quality, highly polished, designed only for the finest cabinet-work;
it can neither be stepped over nor passed around, and none can enter
except this is moved away; and he that enters is the only one to remove
it at the time, which is the required passport for his admission. I can
pass the outer door, through the guards, and I am persuaded that I can
move this polished beam of cabinet-work, and I will do it.”

Mr. Garnet, becoming convinced by his persistency, that if that
strength of will and perseverance of a most untiring character, which
had contributed so much to his successes on other occasions, could
avail, then his friend’s success in this case was certain. Turning to
his lady, who was present, he said, “I believe he will do it. Go, my
brother,” added he, “and may God speed you to a full accomplishment
of your desires.” The lady’s response, “Of course he will,” was not
without effect, coming when most needed, and ratifying a faith in

He set himself to work to devise some means by which to gain the
desired interview, and succeeded so far, that on Monday, 8th of
February, he sent his card up to the president, and on the same
afternoon, about three o’clock, while visiting the patent office, a
message was received by him, that an audience was granted for the next
morning at eight o’clock.

The auspicious morning dawned upon him, and the appointed hour found
him advanced within the “outer gate.” The president was absent, at
the war department. But not unmindful of his engagement, he left a
messenger to be sent after him.

In the appointment of Martin Delany, it was for no holiday service, or
for conciliatory measures towards the colored people and their friends,
for that could have been more easily and consistently effected by
promoting some from among the gallant soldiers already in the service.
Their heroism and endurance in the field, their discipline and manly
bearing in the camp, are the nation’s household stories. Familiar to
all is the splendid martial fame acquired by the colored regiments of
Massachusetts, while their repeated refusal, to a man, _for nearly one
year_, to receive from the government less than the fulfilment of its
pledges, under which they enrolled as soldiers of Massachusetts, has
passed into the history of our country, furnishing an attitude of the
moral sublime unparalleled amid the many glorious achievements of our

But the new appointment was made to carry out certain policies of
the administration, which remain undeveloped in consequence of the
termination of the rebellion.

If the rebellion had continued, these measures would have been
developed of necessity, and like all other good measures of the war,
would have been approved by a generous public sentiment. But the war
having ceased, they remain on record, to the honor of the two great
heads and hearts that conceived them and anticipated their adoption.

In speaking of Mr. Stanton, he says, “The secretary of war ever stood
side by side with the great and good President Lincoln, in every
advanced measure. He stood foremost in the cabinet in the interest of
the colored people. Now that the president has passed away, I trust
that the noble war minister will receive the reward due to him by a
grateful people.”



We give in Major Delany’s own language his interview with President

He tells us, “On entering the executive chamber, and being introduced
to his excellency, a generous grasp and shake of the hand brought me
to a seat in front of him. No one could mistake the fact that an able
and master spirit was before me. Serious without sadness, and pleasant
withal, he was soon seated, placing himself at ease, the better to give
me a patient audience. He opened the conversation first.

“‘What can I do for you, sir?’ he inquired.

“‘Nothing, Mr. President,’ I replied; ‘but I’ve come to propose
something to you, which I think will be beneficial to the nation in
this critical hour of her peril.’ I shall never forget the expression
of his countenance and the inquiring look which he gave me when I
answered him.

“‘Go on, sir,’ he said, as I paused through deference to him. I
continued the conversation by reminding him of the full realization
of arming the blacks of the South, and the ability of the blacks of
the North to defeat it by complicity with those at the South, through
the medium of the _Underground Railroad_--a measure known only to

“I next called his attention to the fact of the heartless and almost
relentless prejudice exhibited towards the blacks by the Union army,
and that something ought to be done to check this growing feeling
against the slave, else nothing that we could do would avail. And if
such were not expedited, all might be lost. That the blacks, in every
capacity in which they had been called to act, had done their part
faithfully and well. To this Mr. Lincoln readily assented. I continued:
‘I would call your attention to another fact of great consideration;
that is, the position of confidence in which they have been placed,
when your officers have been under obligations to them, and in many
instances even the army in their power. As pickets, scouts, and guides,
you have trusted them, and found them faithful to the duties assigned;
and it follows that if you can find them of higher qualifications, they
may, with equal credit, fill higher and more important trusts.’

“‘_Certainly_,’ replied the president, in his most emphatic manner.
‘And what do you propose to do?’ he inquired.

“I responded, ‘I propose this, sir; but first permit me to say that,
whatever I may desire for black men in the army, I know that there
exists too much prejudice among the whites for the soldiers to serve
under a black commander, or the officers to be willing to associate
with him. These are facts which must be admitted, and, under the
circumstances, must be regarded, as they cannot be ignored. And I
propose, as a most effective remedy to prevent enrolment of the blacks
in the rebel service, and induce them to run to, instead of from, the
Union forces--the commissioning and promotion of black men now in the
army, according to merit.’

“Looking at me for a moment, earnestly yet anxiously, he demanded,
‘How will you remedy the great difficulty you have just now so
justly described, about the objections of white soldiers to colored
commanders, and officers to colored associates?’

“I replied, ‘I have the remedy, Mr. President, which has not yet been
stated; and it is the most important suggestion of my visit to you. And
I think it is just what is required to complete the prestige of the
Union army. I propose, sir, an army of blacks, commanded entirely by
black officers, except such whites as may volunteer to serve; this army
to penetrate through the heart of the South, and make conquests, with
the banner of Emancipation unfurled, proclaiming freedom as they go,
sustaining and protecting it by arming the emancipated, taking them as
fresh troops, and leaving a few veterans among the new freedmen, when
occasion requires, keeping this banner unfurled until every slave is
free, according to the letter of your proclamation. I would also take
from those already in the service all that are competent for commission
officers, and establish at once in the South a camp of instructions.
By this we could have in about three months an army of forty thousand
blacks in motion, the presence of which anywhere would itself be a
power irresistible. You should have an army of blacks, President
Lincoln, commanded entirely by blacks, the sight of which is required
to give confidence to the slaves, and retain them to the Union, stop
foreign intervention, and speedily bring the war to a close.’

“‘This,’ replied the president, ‘is the very thing I have been looking
and hoping for; but nobody offered it. I have thought it over and over
again. I have talked about it; I hoped and prayed for it; but till
now it never has been proposed. White men couldn’t do this, because
they are doing all in that direction now that they can; but we find,
for various reasons, it does not meet the case under consideration.
The blacks should go to the interior, and the whites be kept on the

“‘Yes, sir,’ I interposed; ‘they would require but little, as they
could subsist on the country as they went along.’

“‘Certainly,’ continued he; ‘a few light artillery, with the cavalry,
would comprise your principal advance, because all the siege work
would be on the frontiers and waters, done by the white division of
the army. Won’t this be a grand thing?’ he exclaimed, joyfully. He
continued, ‘When I issued my Emancipation Proclamation, I had this
thing in contemplation. I then gave them a chance by prohibiting any
interference on the part of the army; but they did not embrace it,’
said he rather sadly, accompanying the word with an emphatic gesture.

“‘But, Mr. President,’ said I, ‘these poor people could not read your
proclamation, nor could they know anything about it, only, when they
did hear, to know that they were free.’

“‘But you of the North I expected to take advantage of it,’ he replied.

“‘Our policy, sir,’ I answered, ‘was directly opposite, supposing that
it met your approbation. To this end I published a letter against
embarrassing or compromising the government in any manner whatever;
for us to remain passive, except in case of foreign intervention, then
immediately to raise the slaves to insurrection.’

“‘Ah, I remember the letter,’ he said, ‘and thought at the time that
you mistook my designs. But the effect will be better as it is, by
giving character to the blacks, both North and South, as a peaceable,
inoffensive people.’ Suddenly turning, he said, ‘Will you take command?’

“‘If there be none better qualified than I am, sir, by that time I
will. While it is my desire to serve, as black men we shall have to
prepare ourselves, as we have had no opportunities of experience and
practice in the service as officers.’

“‘That matters but little, comparatively,’ he replied; ‘as some of the
finest officers we have never studied the tactics till they entered
the army as subordinates. And again,’ said he, ‘the tactics are easily
learned, especially among your people. It is the head that we now
require most--men of plans and executive ability.’

“‘I thank you, Mr. President,’ said I, ‘for the--’

“‘No--not at all,’ he interrupted.

“‘I will show you some letters of introduction, sir,’ said I, putting
my hand in my pocket to get them.

“‘Not now,’ he interposed; ‘I know all about you. I see nothing now to
be done but to give you a line of introduction to the secretary of war.’

“Just as he began writing, the cannon commenced booming.

“‘Stanton is firing! listen! he is in his glory! noble man!’ he

“‘What is it, Mr. President?’ I asked.

“‘The firing!’

“‘What is it about, sir,’ I reiterated, ignorant of the cause.

“‘Why, don’t you know? Haven’t you heard the news? Charleston is ours!’
he answered, straightening up from the table on which he was writing
for an instant, and then resuming it. He soon handed me a card, on
which was written,--

                                                  ‘February 8, 1865.

    ‘HON. E. M. STANTON, _Secretary of War_.

    ‘Do not fail to have an interview with this most extraordinary
    and intelligent black man.

                                                       ‘A. LINCOLN.’

“This card showed he perfectly understood my views and feelings; hence
he was not content that my color should make its own impression, but
he expressed it with emphasis, as though a point was gained. The thing
desired presented itself; not simply a man that was _black_, because
these had previously presented themselves, in many delegations and
committees,--men of the highest intelligence,--for various objects; but
that which he had wished and hoped for, their own proposed measures
matured in the council-chamber had never been fully presented to them
in the person of a black man.”

This, then, was what was desired to complete the plans of the president
and his splendid minister, the secretary of war. The “ponderous beam,”
being removed, to use his figurative expression, his passport was
clear to every part of the mansion. He entered the war department
for the purpose of seeing the minister. As he entered, a glance
revealed to him the presiding genius of the situation, surrounded
by his assistants. In the room was a pressing crowd of both sexes,
representing nearly every condition of life, each in turn endeavoring
to reach the centre of the room, where, at an elevated desk, stood one
of the greatest men of the times, and the able director of the war

After he had sent forward his card, he was requested by the secretary
in person, to whom he was not previously unknown, to call at the
department again.

He had gained the interview with the president that he wished, and
the indications were brighter than his most sanguine expectations had
promised. The war minister’s influence alone could effect the balance.

He sought Dr. William Elder, the distinguished biographer of Dr. Kane,
of Arctic memory, who was then chief of the bureau of statistics, and
gave him an account of his mission to the president.

After explaining everything to the doctor, his face assuming an
expression peculiar to himself, of a whole-souled satisfaction, he
exclaimed, “I’ll be hanged if I haven’t got the thing! just the thing!
Will you give me that in writing?” he asked; “I mean the points touched
upon, that may be written in a letter to me.”

On receiving it, in the afternoon of the same day, after he had read
it, he turned to the future major, and said, “_You shall_ have what you
want,” in like manner as he replied to a speech of Louis Kossuth, when
he told him if he went to war with Austria, _he shouldn’t die_.

When Delany left Dr. Elder, he was thoroughly convinced, that if the
secretary of war could be influenced by any man, in regard to his
mission, in none abler could he depend than upon this true and earnest
advocate of his race.

The next call at the war department was made the following Monday, the
12th inst. His reception there, being equally as cordial as the first,
seemed already to indicate success to his measures.

“What do you propose to do, doctor?” asked the secretary, as Dr. Delany
began to explain to him as he did to the president. “I understand the
whole thing, and fully comprehend your design; I have frequently gone
over the whole ground, in council with the president. What do you wish?
What position?” He replied,--

“In any position or place whatever, in which I may be instrumental in
promoting the measures proposed, and be of service to the country,
so that I am not subject and subordinate to every man who holds a
commission, and, with such, chooses to assume authority.”

“Will you take the field?” asked the secretary.

“I should like to do so as soon as possible, but not until I have had
sufficient discipline and practice in a camp of instruction, and a
sufficient number of black officers to command each regiment,” was the
answer given.

“Of course,” said the secretary, “you must establish your camp of
instruction; and as you have a general knowledge of the qualified
colored men of the country, I propose to commission you at once, and
send you South to commence raising troops, to be commanded by black
officers, on the principles you proposed, of which I most highly
approve, to prevent all clashing or jealousy,--because of no contact to
arouse prejudices. It is none of white men’s business what rank a black
man holds over his own people. I shall assign you to Charleston, with
advices and instructions to Major General Saxton. Do you know him?”
he asked. Being answered, he continued, “He is an unflinching friend
of your race. You will impart to him, in detail, that which will not
be written. The letter giving special instructions will be given to
you--all further instructions to be obtained at the department.”

Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers Colonel C. W. Foster, at this
juncture having been sent for, was instructed by the secretary of war
to take him to his department, and make the necessary examination;
there being no rejection, to prepare and fill out a parchment, with
commission of _Major of Infantry_, the _regiment_ to be left blank, to
be filled by order of Major General Saxton, according to instructions
to be given, and to report the next morning at eleven o’clock.

After the examination by the adjutant general, he remarked, “This is
certainly an important and interesting feature of the war. And the
secretary must expect much to be done by you, for he certainly holds
you in high esteem.”

“I hope, colonel,” he replied, “that neither the honorable secretary
of war nor the government will expect too much from an individual like
myself. My only hope is, that I may be able to do my duty well and

“I have no fears for your success,” returned the colonel; “you have
qualifications and ability, and must succeed, when your chances are
such as they will now be. This is a great thing for you,” he continued,
“and you have now an opportunity of making yourself _anything that
you please_, and doing for your race all that may be required at the
hands of the government.” He, attempting to thank the colonel for the
encouraging as well as complimentary remarks, was stopped by him,
saying, “I speak as I think and feel about it. The secretary has
great confidence in you, and I simply wish to indorse it for your
encouragement. There is nothing now to be done,” he continued, “but to
call tomorrow, and go with me to the war department to report finally
to the secretary of war, and receive your commission from his hands.”
All arrangements being completed in the adjutant’s department, he



No Sabbath in war times, we are told, and there was no exception in
this case. The following morning (Sabbath), in accordance with the
appointment, Delany reported himself at the office of the adjutant
general, who accompanied him to the war department. Here the secretary,
making the necessary inquiries of the adjutant, received the parchment
from him. History repeated itself--the Hebrew in the palaces, the
Hun in high places. At that moment the great war minister of our
revolution, affixing his official signature, made an epoch in the
history of a hitherto unrecognized race, and a pledge in the name of
the nation to them irrevocable through all time. It seemed remarkable
that in two hemispheres this man should be selected from among so many
others to represent marked events in the history of his race! Says
Lamartine, “We should not despise any, for the finger of destiny marks
in the soul, and not upon the brow.”

So long had Delany fought against error and injustice towards his race,
that it seemed almost hopeless to witness, in his day, the faintest
semblance of recognition of their right in this land, and for him to be
the first to receive that appointment seemed indeed to promise an age
“of better metal.”

While the interesting ceremony was being performed, a major general
entered the apartment, followed soon after by Senator Ben Wade, of
Ohio, now president of the Senate, before whom the new officer was
addressed for the first time with a military title.

“Gentlemen,” said the secretary, “I am just now creating a black field
officer for the United States service.” Then, addressing himself
directly to the new officer, he said, “Major Delany, I take great
pleasure in handing you this commission of _Major_ in the United States
army. You are the first of your race who has been thus honored by the
government; therefore much depends and will be expected of you. But I
feel assured it is safe in your hands.”

“Honorable Secretary,” replied the major, as the secretary concluded
his remarks, “I can assure you, whatever be my failure to meet the
expectations concerning me, on one thing you may depend,--that this
parchment will never be dishonored in my hands.”

“Of this I am satisfied. God bless you! Good by.” With a hearty shake
of the hand, the secretary concluded, when the first black major in the
history of the republic left the department.

If the war had not ended so soon after the major received his
commission, there exists no doubt but that his merits would have
received further recognition. It is unlikely that the government would
have given an unmeaning promotion, and thus debar him from rising to
the higher ranks of the army through the same medium as other officers.
On returning to the office of the adjutant general, the adjutant
remarked, “Major Delany, you have now a great charge intrusted to
you,--a great responsibility, certainly, and much will be expected of
you, both by your friends and others. You have now an opportunity, if
the war continues, of rising in your position to the highest field
rank--that of a major general.”

His reply was, that he hoped to be able to perform his duty, so as to
merit the approval of his government and his superior officers, and, as
a matter of course, intimated courteously that further promotion would
not be unacceptable to him.

The following commission is in the usual form; but, being the first on
the records of our country credited to a colored American, we reproduce
it here.

    _The Secretary of War of the United States of America._


    Know ye, that, reposing special trust and confidence in the
    patriotism, valor, fidelity, and abilities of MARTIN R. DELANY,
    the President does hereby appoint him Major, in the One Hundred
    and Fourth Regiment of United States Colored Troops, in the
    service of the United States, to rank as such from the day of
    his muster into service, by the duly appointed commissary of
    musters, for the command to which said regiment belongs.

    He is therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the
    duty of Major, by doing and performing all manner of things
    thereunto belonging. And I do strictly charge, and require, all
    officers and soldiers under his command to be obedient to his
    orders as Major. And he is to observe and follow such orders
    and directions, from time to time, as he shall receive from me
    or the future Secretary of War, or other superior officers set
    over him, according to the rules and discipline of war. This
    appointment to continue in force during the pleasure of the
    President for the time being.

    Given under my hand at the War Department, in the City of
    Washington, D. C., this twenty-sixth day of February, in the
    year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five.

    By the Secretary of War.

                                EDWIN M. STANTON, _Secretary of War._

    C. W. FOSTER, _Assistant Adjutant General Volunteers_.


    Mustered into the United States Service, February 27, 1865.

                                HENRY KETELLAS, _Captain 15th Infantry,
                                    Chief Muster and District Officer_.

                                             ADJUTANT GENERAL’S OFFICE,
                                             WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 1865.

    Sir: I forward herewith your appointment of Major in the U. S.
    Colored Troops; your receipt and acceptance of which you will
    please acknowledge without delay, reporting at the same time
    your _age_ and _residence_, when appointed, the _state_ where
    _born_, and your full _name_ correctly _written_. _Fill up_,
    _subscribe_, and return as soon as possible, the accompanying
    _oath_, duly and carefully _executed_.

    You will report in person to Brevet Major General R. Saxton,
    Beaufort, South Carolina.

    I am, sir, very respectfully,

                        Your obedient servant,

                                             C. W. FOSTER,
                               _Assistant Adjutant General Volunteers._

    Major MARTIN R. DELANY, _U. S. Colored Troops._

                                          WAR DEPARTMENT, A. G. OFFICE,
                                      WASHINGTON, D. C., Feb. 27, 1865.

    CAPTAIN HENRY KETELLAS, _15th U. S. Infantry_, _Commissary of

    I am directed by the Secretary of War to instruct you to muster
    Major Martin R. Delany, U. S. Colored Troops, regiment into the
    service of the United States, for the period of three years, or
    during the war, as of this date.

    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

                                       (Signed) C. W. FOSTER,
                               _Assistant Adjutant General Volunteers_.

    Official copy, respectfully furnished for the information of
    Major Martin R. Delany, U. S. Colored Troops.

                                                C. W. FOSTER,
                               _Assistant Adjutant General Volunteers_.

                                          WAR DEPARTMENT, A. G. OFFICE,
                                             WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 1865.

    Brevet Major General R. SAXTON, _Supt. Recruitment and
    Organization of Colored Troops, Dept. of the South, Hilton
    Head, S. C._

    General: I am directed by the Secretary of War to inform you
    that the bearer, _Major M. R. Delany_, U. S. Colored Troops,
    has been appointed for the purpose of aiding and assisting
    you in recruiting and organizing colored troops, and to carry
    out this object you will assign him to duty in the city of
    Charleston, S. C.

    You will observe that the regiment to which Major _Delany_ is
    appointed is not designated, although he has been mustered
    into service. You will cause Major _Delany_ to be assigned to,
    and his name placed upon the rolls of, the first regiment of
    colored troops you may organize, with his proper rank, not,
    however, with a view to his duty in such regiment.

    I am also directed to say, that Major _Delany_ has the entire
    confidence of the Department.

    I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

                        Your obedient servant,

                                           (Signed) C. W. FOSTER,
                               _Assistant Adjutant General Volunteers_.


                                                    C. W. FOSTER,
                               _Assistant Adjutant General Volunteers_.



The appointment of the black officer was received, as such advanced
measures are generally, with comments of all shades. By the friends of
progress it was hailed with general satisfaction.

True there was, prior to his appointment, one of _like_ rank, but
differing in position--that of Dr. Augusta, of Canada, who was accepted
after a most rigid examination, as is customary in such cases.

But in the appointment of this field officer there existed an
indisputable recognition of the claims of his race to the country.
With this interpretation those who formerly hesitated in accepting the
policy of the administration now upheld it with confidence. And from
the golden leaf of promise, borne upon the shoulders of the first black
officer, a light clear and steady seemed to shine forth, illumining
with a strange, wild splendor the hitherto dark pages of his people’s
history, heralding the glory of the future to them.

Before he left Washington, he communicated with colored men, as far
as was prudent, to make the necessary preparation in the event of a
black army being organized, to be commanded by black officers. For in
the Union army there were many men, from the North especially, of
fine talent and scholastic attainments, who, from their experience
and knowledge gained in the military campaigns, could at once be made

Certain leading spirits of the “_Underground Railroad_” were invoked.
Scouts _incog._ were already “on to Richmond,” and the services of the
famous Harriet Tubman, having been secured to serve in the South, had
received her transportation for Charleston, S. C.

These arrangements being effected, he went to Cleveland, Ohio, to meet
a council of his co-laborers, in order to enforce suitable measures by
which the slave enlistment might be prevented, and to demoralize those
already enrolled, as rumors had reached the North of such enlistment
having been started at Richmond.

With his friend George Vosburg, Esq., in the lead, whom he likens
always to “a flame alive, but unseen,” the most active measures were
instituted at this council, as their proceedings show.

These gave evidence that the appointment of one of their number was
recognized by them as an appeal, though the day was far spent of the
country’s need for the aid of the colored men of the North, and at the
first _certain sound_ they hastened with their offerings.

A few days were spent at his home, preparing for his departure; and
being delayed on the way by a freshet, he did not reach New York until
the second day after the departure of the steamer for Charleston. While
it delayed the principal measures, it gave him a week in New York, in
which to perfect preliminary arrangements. Here business of importance
was entered upon, and the eloquent William Howard Day, M. A., was
chosen to arrange the _military policy_ of the _underground railroad_
relative to the _slave enlistment_.

Mr. Day, in obedience to instructions of the plans laid down, and in
anticipation of some appointment, such as his splendid talents entitled
him to, performed the task with ability and earnestness. There were
others among the leading colored men who showed their appreciation of
this movement; among them the learned Rev. J. W. C. Pennington, D. D.,
as the following extract from his letter, dated March 29, 1863, will

“Major: Finding that our views so nearly harmonize in reference to
arming the slaves, I will give you one of the illustrations I use in my
lecture on the duty of interposing our efforts to prevent the rebels
from consummating the act: ‘We have noticed by _their own_ papers that
the rebel authorities have many of their great meetings in the African
church in Richmond. It was there that Benjamin, the rebel secretary of
state, first publicly announced the plan of arming the slaves. Did the
pastor of that colored church and his congregation have the privilege
of taking part in that meeting? Not a bit of it. Did they have the
privilege of holding a meeting on the subject themselves in their own
place of worship? No.

“‘What was the object of the rebels in holding their great meetings in
the African church? Was it because it is one of the largest buildings
in the city? No, they had another object. That was, to _suppress any
Union feelings that exist among the hundreds of slaves and free people
of color who compose that congregation, and to palm off the lie to the
world that they are friendly to the colored people, and that those
people are acting freely with them_.

“‘Look at the devilish impudence of this scheme of holding meetings in
the African church! It is to drag the slaves and colored Christians
with them into all the wickedness of the rebellion. Now, it is asked,
Why we do not hear a voice from the pastor of that church and his
people? The answer is obvious. They are prevented by the FORCE of
CIRCUMSTANCES from speaking a word.

“‘If the Son of God should enter that house, as he did the temple at
Jerusalem (Mark xi. 15, 16), and thus give that congregation the right
of free speech, you would soon hear a voice going out from that church,
that would reach every slave in the South, telling them which way to
fight. And that church will speak as soon as Grant takes Richmond! And
who does not long for the day when that, the largest colored church
in the United States shall be free? Who would not aid in that great
forward movement of the Army of the Potomac, that will result in
clearing Richmond? But in this state of facts as to that church, _we
have precisely_ the position of the 200,000 slaves whom the rebels are
about to arm against us!

“‘Let us not forget what slavery is. It is based upon the assumption,
first, that the slave has no will of his own; second, that his sole
business is to obey orders. Hence they will be put into the rebel army
_as slaves_, to all intents and purposes, and substantially under slave
discipline; they will be surrounded by circumstances which will make it
far more difficult for them to escape than many think; and of course,
for the time being, they would be COMPELLED to do us untold injury.
What, then, is our duty? Our duty is to _anticipate_ the action of the
rebels--organize, plan, and go forward, and settle the case for our
brethren. We have no right to stand still, and presume that they will,
when armed, turn at once on our side. And it is cruel to prejudge them
in the matter. Our duty is to _carry out_ the letter and spirit of the
Proclamation of Freedom. It would be an awful state of things to see
the 200,000 Union colored soldiers confronted by 200,000 of our own
race, under the rebel banner!... No, this must not be. It shall not be.
It cannot be if we do our duty. That is, to go to our brethren, and
tell them what to do.’”

A romantic incident is related in connection with the Cleveland
council. As Delany concluded, a moment of intense interest and silence
followed, and suddenly an interesting girl of some fourteen years
sprang to her feet, and rushed up to the platform where he stood,
gently resting her hand upon his arm, and anxiously looking up into his
face, exclaimed, “O, Major Delany, I ask one favor of you: will you
spare my grandfather when you reach Charleston?” Giving the name of her
grandfather in the same excited breath, she continued, “Spare him and
grandma! There sits my ma: for her sake, if not mine, spare my dear
grandpa’s family.”

He strove to calm her anxiety, assuring her of the security of her
grandfather’s family, even if the genuine Schemmelfening had not
already had the city. His mission was not with fire and sword for
indiscriminate slaughter, but rather to guide his brethren to liberty.

On his arrival in Charleston, the honored grandparents, unconscious of
this incident, were among the earliest callers to give him welcome, and
to offer him the generous civilities of their family; and these were
ever after numbered among his most esteemed friends.

In expectation of a continuance of the war, he writes, “I was anxious
to reach my destination, organize the black army, and see that elegant
mulatto gentleman as field officer, hear his rich, deep-toned voice
as he rode along the lines, giving command, or shouting in the deadly
conflict, rallying the troops on to victory. Such a sight I desired
to see in the cause of liberty and the Union. For William Howard Day,
unobtrusive as he appears, is a brave, determined man: once aroused,
he is as a panther, that knows no fear. But now that the war is ended,
his aid in the battle-field will not be required. And the Union will
be safe if reëstablished on the basis of righteousness, truth, and

Leaving New York, and having secured the ablest workers with whom to
begin the great mission intrusted to him, he arrived at Hilton Head,
and in the same afternoon at Beaufort.

This beautiful little town, facing a bay of equal beauty, but of
tortuous winding, never gave promise of rivalling or imitating the
cities of Charleston and Savannah on either side in commercial
greatness. In fact, its population was limited almost exclusively to
the planters of the adjoining islands and their slaves, a few free
colored families, and a less number of poor whites. The salubrity
of the climate enhanced its attractions, and made it desirable as
the summer residence of many of the wealthy magnates. The town was
abandoned by the entire white population at the approach of the
naval force. Here were the headquarters of Brevet Major General
Saxton, at which Major Delany reported himself for duty, immediately
on his arrival. Some time afterwards, speaking of the noble general
who led, by sealed orders, the first campaign sent forth to proclaim
_emancipation_, he said that in his frequent intercourse with him
there, he was soon convinced that the friends of his race were not
confined to the executive department at Washington. This may be
considered as the general opinion uttered by him; for among the colored
people and _poor whites_ of South Carolina, General Rufus Saxton stood
as the beloved friend and benefactor, and esteemed among his brother
officers generally as a gentleman and soldier.

At the post, while every officer rode with a black orderly, General
Saxton’s orderly _was white_!

The post was in active preparation for the flag raising at Sumter. And
on the Saturday previous to the memorable 19th of April, the general
and staff, Major Delany accompanying the party, sailed for Charleston.

Prior to leaving Beaufort he received the following order:--

                               COLORED TROOPS, DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
                                        BEAUFORT, S. C., April 5, 1865.

    _Special Orders. No. 7._

    I. _Major M. R. Delany_, United States Colored Troops, in
    accordance with orders received from the War Department, will
    proceed without delay to Charleston, S. C., reporting in person
    to _Lieutenant Colonel R. P. Hutchins_, 94th Ohio Volunteer
    Infantry, Recruiting Officer at that post, for the purpose of
    aiding in the recruitment of troops.

    II. _Major Delany_ will visit the freedmen of Charleston and
    vicinity, and urge them to enlist in the military service of
    the United States, reporting by letter from time to time to
    these headquarters the result of his labors.

    By order of

                                        Brevet Major General R. SAXTON,
                                    _Gen. Supt. Rect. & O. C. P. D. S._

    STUART M. TAYLOR, _Asst. Adjt. Gen._

    Major M. R. DELANY, U. S. C. T.



The excitement attending the scenes of the evacuation of the city and
its occupation by the Union forces was scarcely lulled, when it rose
again on the arrival of the “black major,” to whom the rumor preceding
his advent had given the rank of _Major General_.

Arriving in the city on the Sabbath, when most of the people were
gathered at the various places of worship, the news soon became noised
about. And from the early forenoon until long after nightfall, a
continuous stream of visitors poured in upon him, eager to pay their
respects to him. These composed the colored residents of both sexes,
representing every age and condition; nor did this cease when their
curiosity became satisfied, but grew with their acquaintance and
increased with time. At the time of his arrival the population of the
once proud city was limited, consisting only of a few regiments of
Union soldiers on duty, the former free people, the new freedmen,--a
greater portion of the latter being driven from the plantations around
the city, and from the upper portions of the state,--and a few white
families representing the old element. An air of mournful desolation
seemed to brood over the conquered city. There existed no signs of
traffic, except in the sutlers’ stores of the regiments.

Confederate bonds and scrip were most plenteous, and but a small
amount of currency was in circulation with which to purchase the
common necessaries of life. For this cause thousands were thrown
upon the charity of the government for daily subsistence. Nor was
it confined to the colored people; it was no uncommon sight to meet
daily in the streets many of the former enemies of the government,
loaded with its injustice (!) to them in the form of a huge basket
of subsistence received from the quartermaster’s department, and in
many instances assisted by some former chattel, who in several known
cases, afterwards, with true negro generosity, divided their own
portion with them. Such was their position after the evacuation of
the city. Never before in the history of Anglo-Saxon civilization
were there such manifestations of genuine charity and forbearance
towards an unscrupulous and implacable foe, as indicated by the
actions of government. “I was hungry and ye gave me meat, naked and ye
clothed me,” were literally proven by these recipients of its immense
charities. This gave promise of more converts than the sword. While the
great concourse of people, gathered for rations at different places,
attracted thither the curious visitor, he would turn from this to the
many evidences of the unerring precision of the batteries of Morris
Island, which met his gaze on every hand, suggestive of the tales of
horror, and in many instances of retributive justice, through which
they had so recently passed. Much property was destroyed and but few
lives during the siege.

There were incidents related of marvellous escapes from the reach of
these shells, and also deaths of a most appalling character on being
overtaken by them,--the greater portion of the latter being colored
persons, the innocent sharing a worse fate than the guilty.

One case of sad interest happened at midnight, while the siege was at
its height, occurring in a family representing the wealth, culture,
and refinement of the respectable colored citizens of the city. The
father of this family, a man of great mechanical genius, accumulated
considerable property and established for himself a well-earned
reputation as a skilful machinist throughout the state. They were
aroused one night by the noise which usually precedes the near
approach of a shell, which was seen by a member of the family to fall
within a few feet of the house, who, occupying the third story of the
building, attempted to escape below with his wife; but before either
could escape from the room, a second report was heard, followed almost
immediately by the appearance of a shell entering the roof above them,
crashing through the ceilings, which, in covering the latter with
its _débris_, preserved her life, the fragments scattering, one of
the pieces falling into the front room beneath, only disfiguring a
bedstead, but not injuring its occupants, while another piece, more
remorseless, taking another direction, entered the back room, burying
itself in the side of an interesting boy of twelve years, the little
grandson of the old gentleman. The child, startled from its sleep by
the double shock of the explosion and terrible wound, rushed from the
room, exclaiming, in his agony, “Mother! mother! I am killed!” It
was eleven days of the most excruciating agony before the angel of
death relieved little Weston McKenlay. Never did Christianity and true
womanhood beam more beauteously than at the moment when the mother of
that child, relating the wild confusion of that night, laying aside her
own personal sorrow, said, “It was God’s will that the deliverance of
the South should cost us all something.” Major Delany, in speaking of
this class of Charlestonians, as well as the colored people generally,
says, “Their courtesy and natural kindness I have never seen equalled,
while instances of their humanity to the Union prisoners at the risk of
their own lives, speak in trumpet tones to their credit, of which the
country is already cognizant.” On Tuesday after his arrival, an immense
gathering greeted him at Zion’s Church, the largest in the city,
indescribable in enthusiasm and numbers. In the church were supposed to
be upwards of three thousand, while the yard and street leading to the
church were densely packed.

The resolutions passed on this memorable occasion by them we present
here, embodying a testimony of their gratitude for their signal
deliverance from a conflagration which threatened to involve them in a
general desolation, and of their patriotism, setting aside forever the
error that the sympathies of the free colored citizens were enlisted
on the side of their enemies, and not that of the Union, for many
they were who participated in this meeting. We reproduce it also as
expressive of the sentiments gushing from the hearts of a people for
the first time in their history holding a political meeting on the soil
of Carolina, with _open doors_, with none to condemn it as “an unlawful
assemblage,” amenable to law for the act.

Brevet Major General Saxton, and other distinguished officers were
present, and freely took part in the proceedings. Here Major Delany,
for the first time, introduced the subject foremost in his mind, that
of raising an armée d’Afrique, which subject met the enthusiastic
approval of his auditors, and the movement for its organization soon
became popular.

The eventful 14th of April, which was so eagerly awaited, came, and
the earliest beams of the morning found the “City of the Sea” alive
with preparations for the brilliant scene at Sumter, unconscious of its
fearful tragic close at Washington. The city was almost deserted during
the ceremony in the harbor, for all were anxious to witness the flag
in its accustomed place, with its higher, truer symbol, placed there
by the same hands which were once compelled to lower it to a jubilant
but now conquered foe, maddened prior to their destruction. As the old
silken bunting winged itself to its long-deserted staff, thousands
of shouts, and prayers fervent and deep, accompanying, greeted its

Major Delany embarked to witness the ceremony on the historical steamer
Planter, with its gallant commander, Robert Small, whose deeds will
live in song and story, whose unparalleled feat and heroic courage in
the harbor of Charleston, under the bristling guns of rebel batteries,
bearing comparison with the proudest record of our war, will remain,
commemorative of negro strategy and valor.

On the quarter-deck of the steamer the major remained an interested
witness. Beside him stood one, whose father, believing and loving the
doctrine that all men were born free and equal, and within sight of
the emblem of freedom as it floated from the battlements of Sumter,
dared to aim a blow by which to free his race. Betrayed before his
plans were matured, the scaffold gave to Denmark Vesey and his
twenty-two slave-hero compatriots in Charleston, South Carolina, in
1822, the like answer which Charlestown, Virginia, gave John Brown in

Virginia was free, and black soldiers were now quartered in the citadel
of Charleston, and garrisoned Fort Sumter. The martyred reformers had
not died in vain.

The excitement attending the scene continued during the week,
occasioned by the presence of the distinguished company who came to
participate in the restoration of the flag at Fort Sumter. There were
seen the veterans of the anti-slavery cause, the inspired and dauntless
apostle of liberty, William Lloyd Garrison, the time-honored Joshua
Leavitt, the eloquent George Thompson of England; then the glorious
young editor of the Independent, the able and accomplished orator
of the day, Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, Judge Kellogg, and others, all
anxious to tell the truths of freedom to these hungry souls. The
colored schools paraded the streets to honor these visitors, flanked by
thousands of adults, marshalled by their superintendent and assistants,
and led by stirring bands discoursing martial music, the citadel square
densely crowded, and the great Zion’s Church packed to overflowing.
There were speakers on the stands erected on the square--speakers at
the church. There were shouts for liberty and for the Union, shouts
for their great liberator, shouts for the army, rousing cheers for the
speakers, for their loved General Saxton, and for the “black major;”
the people swayed to and fro like a rolling sea.

On Saturday morning, when the visitors left, an immense concourse
followed to the wharf; the steamer seemed loaded with floral gifts, the
graceful ovation of the colored people to their friends. Cheer after
cheer resounded for a parting word from them. They were answered by
Messrs. Thompson and Tilton; at last came forth the immortal Garrison
in answer to an irresistible call.

Major Delany, describing this parting scene at the dock, says, “The
mind was forcibly carried back to the days of the young and ardent
advocate of emancipation, incarcerated in a Baltimore prison, peering
through the gates and bars, hurling defiance at his cowardly opponents,
exclaiming, ‘No difficulty, no dangers, shall deter me: at the East
or at the West, at the North or at the South, wherever Providence may
call me, my voice shall be heard in behalf of the perishing slave, and
against the claims of his oppressors.’ Again did the mind revert to him
in after years, as a man of high integrity in the city of Boston, led
as a beast to the slaughter, with the lyncher’s rope around his neck,
only escaping death by imprisonment. When exhausted, he fell to the
floor, exclaiming, ‘Never was man so glad to get into prison before!’
And in this his last speech he was more sublime than ever. There he
stood in the harbor of Charleston, surrounded by the emancipated slave,
giving his last anti-slavery advice:--

“‘And now, my friends, I bid you farewell. I have always advocated
non-resistance; but this much I say to you, _Come what will never do
you submit again to slavery! Do anything; die first! But don’t submit
again to them--never again be slaves._ Farewell.’

“When the steamer gracefully glided from the pier, the music struck up
in stirring strains, shouts rent the air, and the masses, after gazing
with tearful eyes, commenced slowly retracing their steps homeward.
Never can I forget the scenes transpiring in this eventful week of my
arrival at Charleston, nor on different similar occasions during my
official station there.”

At a meeting of the colored citizens of Charleston, South Carolina,
held at Zion Presbyterian Church, March 29, 1865, the following
preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:--

    Whereas it is fitting that an expression should be given to the
    sentiments of deep-seated gratitude that pervade our breasts,
    be it

    _Resolved_, 1. That by the timely arrival of the army of
    the United States in the city of Charleston, on the 18th of
    February, 1865, our city was saved from a vast conflagration,
    our houses from devastation, and our persons from those
    indignities that they would have been subjected to.

    _Resolved_, 2. That our thanks are due, and are hereby freely
    tendered, to the district commander, Brigadier General Hatch,
    and through him to the officers and soldiers under his command,
    for the protection that they have so readily and so impartially
    bestowed since their occupation of this city.

    _Resolved_, 3. That to Admiral Dahlgren, United States Navy, we
    do hereby return our most sincere thanks for the noble manner
    in which he cared for and administered to the wants of our
    people at Georgetown, South Carolina; and be he assured that
    the same shall ever be held in grateful remembrance by us.

    _Resolved_, 4. That to his Excellency, the President of the
    United States, Abraham Lincoln, we return our most sincere
    thanks and never-dying gratitude for the noble and patriotic
    manner in which he promulgated the doctrines of republicanism,
    and for his consistency in not only promising, but invariably
    conforming his actions thereto; and we shall ever be pleased
    to acknowledge and hail him as the champion of the rights of

    _Resolved_, 5. That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted
    to Brigadier General Hatch, Admiral Dahlgren, and his
    Excellency, the President of the United States, and that they
    be published in the Charleston Courier.

                                      MOSES B. CAMPLIN, _Chairman_.

                                   ROBERT C. DE LARGE, _Secretary_.

The following we quote from him as descriptive of his impressions on
his arrival at Charleston:--

    “I entered the city, which, from earliest childhood and through
    life, I had learned to contemplate with feelings of the utmost
    abhorrence--a place of the most insufferable assumption
    and cruelty to the blacks; where the sound of the lash at
    the whipping-post, and the hammer of the auctioneer, were
    coördinate sounds in thrilling harmony; that place which had
    ever been closed against liberty by an arrogantly assumptuous
    despotism, such as well might have vied with the infamous
    King of Dahomey; the place from which had been expelled the
    envoy of Massachusetts, for daring to present the claims of
    the commonwealth in behalf of her free citizens, and into
    which, but a few days before, had proudly entered in triumph
    the gallant Schemmelfening, leading with wild shouts the
    Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment, composed of some of the
    best blood and finest youths of the colored citizens of the
    Union. For a moment I paused--then, impelled by the impulse
    of my mission, I found myself dashing on in unmeasured
    strides through the city, as if under a forced march to
    attack the already crushed and fallen enemy. Again I halted
    to look upon the shattered walls of the once stately but now
    deserted edifices of the proud and supercilious occupants. A
    doomed city it appeared to be, with few, or none but soldiers
    and the colored inhabitants. The haughty Carolinians, who
    believed their state an empire, this city incomparable, and
    themselves invincible, had fled in dismay and consternation
    at the approach of their conquerors, leaving the metropolis
    to its fate. And but for the vigilance and fidelity of the
    colored firemen, and other colored inhabitants, there would
    have been nothing left but a smouldering plain of ruins in
    the place where Charleston once stood, from the firebrands in
    the hands of the flying whites. Reaching the upper district,
    in the neighborhood of the citadel, I remained at the private
    residence of one of the most respectable colored citizens (free
    before the war), until quarters suitable could be secured.
    Whatever impressions may have previously been entertained
    concerning the free colored people of Charleston, their
    manifestation from my advent till my departure, gave evidence
    of their pride in identity and appreciation of race that equal
    in extent the proudest Caucasian.”

Many were the scenes of interest there related, on the entry of the
troops into Charleston, some of a most thrilling character. It was
a memorable day to the enslaved. An incident is related--that a
soldier, mounted on a mule, dashed up Meeting Street, at the head of
the advancing column, bearing in his hand, as he rode, a white flag,
upon which was inscribed, in large black letters, LIBERTY! and loudly
proclaiming it as he went. An old woman, who the night before had lain
down a slave, and even on that morning was uncertain of her master’s
movements, whether or not she should be carried into the interior of
the state, as had been proposed with the evacuation, now heard the
shouts of people and the cry of liberty reëchoed by hundreds of voices.
In the deep gratitude of her heart to God, she was seen to rush with
outstretched arms, as if to clasp this herald of freedom. The soldier
being in the saddle, and consequently beyond her reach, unconsciously
she hugged the mule around the neck, shouting, “Thank God! thank God!”
So fraught with deep emotion were the bystanders at this scene, that it
drew tears from the eyes of many, instead of creating merriment, as it
would have done under different circumstances.

A lady, in rehearsing to another this scene and others of that day,
said, “O, had you been here, you would have felt like embracing
something yourself, had it been but to grasp a flag-staff, or touch the
drapery of the floating colors.”



Immediately after the restoration of the flag, active duty was resumed
by the military at Charleston, and none more heartily rejoiced at the
prospect of beginning his work than did Major Delany. Without loss of
time, independent quarters were assigned him, equal to those of other
officers, this being by special orders from the war department; it was
also ordered that he should report directly to Brevet Major General
Saxton, and detailed subordinates were placed at his command.

The residence assigned him was elegant and commodious; but being an
intolerable sight to the owner, a plea of loyalty was soon raised,
which induced its relinquishment, and quarters equally as comfortable
were secured at the south-east corner of Calhoun and St. Philip
Streets. Here were to be seen daily, in beautiful contrast to bayonets
and the circumstance of war, and in graceful profusion, at Major
Delany’s office, the choicest bouquets and other personal compliments
of like delicacy indicative of the high respect in which he was held.

Before his arrival, the 102d United States Colored Troops had been
completed, and the 103d had just been commenced, of which regiment,
according to the spirit of the order of the war department, he was
entitled to the major’s command; but by request of his general he
waived his right to an officer to whom the position had been promised
previous to his arrival, though he had aided in its organization, and
soon began to recruit his own.

As a field officer at the head of such a service, it is evident that
as many of lower grade as the duties of his command required and
needed, could be secured, agreeable to regulations. In order to avoid
innovations and clashings, he chose instead a few non-commissioned
officers from the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Volunteers, for whom
he made requisition. Sergeant Frederick Johnson, of the 54th, an
excellent penman and clerk, was placed in charge of the books, while
Sergeant Major Abraham Shadd, from the 55th Massachusetts Volunteers, a
gentleman of fine attainments, besides excellent military capability,
was appointed acting captain to command recruits, and his own son,
private Toussaint L. Delany, of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers, as
acting lieutenant, to act in conjunction with acting Captain Shadd.

Lieutenant Colonel R. P. Hutchins, of the 94th Ohio Volunteers,
had been detailed as assistant superintendent of the recruiting
and organizing of colored troops to General Saxton. Of him Major
Delany says, “I found Lieutenant Colonel Hutchins an accomplished
young gentleman, well adapted to his position, with a staff of fine
young officers, among whom was Captain Spencer, of Sherman’s army.
The 104th was now rapidly increasing, and would soon require its
complement of officers. The following order was then necessary to its

                                       AND ORGANIZATION COLORED TROOPS,
                                               DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
                                       BEAUFORT, S. C., April 11, 1865.

    _Special Orders. No. 13._

    II. In accordance with instructions received from the war
    department, the following appointment is made in the 104th
    United States Colored Troops; Major M. R. Delany, United States
    Colored Troops, to be major, and to report to Colonel Douglas
    Frazar, commanding regiment.

    By order of

                                        Brevet Major General R. SAXTON,
                                    _Gen. Supt. Rec. & O. C. T., D. S._

    STUART M. TAYLOR, _Asst. Adjt. Gen._

    Major M. R. DELANY, _U. S. C. T._



None in all the land can forget when the telegraph flashed the fearful
news upon us. But if there was sorrow felt by one class more than
another, we must look to the freedmen of the South, to whom the name
of Lincoln and the government meant one and the same--all justice and

On the morning of the 18th of April (communications being so irregular
then), the beauty of the morning and the surroundings seeming to charm
the senses, happiness came upon many a hitherto scowling face, while
a sense of returning forgiveness seemed to hover above the rebellious
city, and the once unfrequented streets began to give evidence of
returning life. The major and a friend were in King Street, when they
were met by a captain, who, stepping from his buggy to the sidewalk,
entered into a conversation: in the midst of it they were interrupted
by a soldier, breathlessly running towards them, holding in his hand a
paper, exclaiming, “My God! President Lincoln is assassinated!”

“No! no! it can’t be so!” replied the captain.

“Some hoax,” interposed the major, on seeing the heading of the New
York Herald; but the trembling hand of the rough soldier pointed out
the telegram, while tears coursed down his cheeks: before the dark
message they stood for a time, gazing one upon the other in mute agony,
without power to express the thoughts uppermost in their mind, while
vengeance seemed written in the quivering of every feature.

Any description, however graphic, would fail to convey an idea of
the feelings produced, as the fatal tidings circulated. If every man
of secession proclivities had been put to the sword, every house
belonging to such burnt to the ground, the Unionists would hardly
have interfered, and would not have been surprised. The only cause
for wonderment was, that there was not a scene of fire and slaughter.
At the major’s quarters, where, in his unfeigned sorrow he had sought
retirement, he was forced to show himself to the excited people; for
while the Unionists generally were aroused to a point of doubtful
forbearance, the intense grief, excitement, and anxiety of the new
freedmen knew no bounds. The white men of undefined politics, and known
secessionists, wisely avoided the blacks, or kept within doors. The
avenging torch at one period seemed imminent, but the outstretched
hands of reason spared the city once more. There was to the casual
observer nothing extraordinary in the outward demonstration, perhaps,
but a strong under-current was madly coursing along, threatening
destruction to every opposing barrier. Doubtless but for the presence
of the black major, whom they sought instantly, and whose influence
over them was powerful, there would have been a most lamentable state
of confusion, so determined were they to avenge the death of their
friend. Some of these were even actuated by fears of being returned to
slavery in consequence of his death.

An order was issued by the military for public mourning. The famous
Zion’s Church was the most tastefully draped, remaining thus for one
year, the military using whatever they could command in the tradeless
city, the secessionist such as was required by law, while the mourning
of the new freedmen presented an incongruity in many instances
extremely touching. Flags made of black cloth were nailed against the
dwelling-houses, or floated from their roofs. Their black flags were
intended as mourning, not as defiance.

Major Delany, in these sad days, was not unemployed. Already had he
devised some tangible and practical evidence by which the colored
people could demonstrate their appreciation and reverence for the
memory of the martyred president. The following is an extract from a
letter to the Anglo-African of April 20. We doubt whether any plan for
a monument was originated previous to this.

“A calamity such as the world never before witnessed--a calamity the
most heart-rending, caused by the perpetration of a deed by the hands
of a wretch the most infamous and atrocious--a calamity as humiliating
to America as it is infamous and atrocious--has suddenly brought
our country to mourning by the untimely death of the humane, the
benevolent, the philanthropic, the generous, the beloved, the able, the
wise, great, and good man, the President of the United States, Abraham
Lincoln the Just. In his fall a mighty chieftain and statesman has
passed away. God, in his inscrutable providence, has suffered this,
and we bow with meek and humble resignation to his divine will, because
he doeth all things well. God’s will be done!

“I suggest that, as a just and appropriate tribute of respect and
lasting gratitude from the colored people of the United States to the
memory of President Lincoln, the Father of American Liberty, every
individual of our race contribute _one cent_, as this will enable each
member of every family to contribute, parents paying for every child,
allowing all who are able to subscribe any sum they please above this,
to such national monument as may hereafter be decided upon by the
American people. I hope it may be in Illinois, near his own family

“This penny or one cent contribution would amount to the handsome sum
of forty thousand ($40,000) dollars, as a tribute from the black race
(I use the generic term), and would not be at all felt; and I am sure
that so far as the South is concerned, the millions of freedmen will
hasten on their contributions.”

The following design for the monument he proposed was communicated to
the same journal a month later. He, also, through the same medium,
suggested that a gold medal be given to Mrs. Lincoln, as a tribute
from the colored people to the memory of her noble husband. He still
hopes that the suggestion concerning the medal may find favor among
the colored people, and it would be more appropriate if it could be
executed by a colored artist.


    I propose for the National Monument, to which all the colored
    people of the United States are to contribute each one cent, a
    design, as the historic representation of the humble offering
    of our people. On one side of the _base_ of the monument (the
    _south_ side for many reasons would be the most appropriate,
    it being the south from which the great Queen of Ethiopia came
    with great offerings to the Temple at Jerusalem, the south from
    which the Ethiopian Ambassador came to worship at Jerusalem, as
    well as the south from which the greatest part of our offerings
    come to contribute to this testimonial) shall be an urn, at
    the side of which shall be a female figure, kneeling on the
    right knee, the left thigh projecting horizontally, the leg
    perpendicular to the ground, the leg and thigh forming the
    angle of a square, the body erect, but little inclined over
    the urn, the face with eyes upturned to heaven, with distinct
    tear-drops passing down the face, falling into the urn, which
    is represented as being full; distinct tear-drops shall be
    so arranged as to represent the figures 4,000,000 (four
    million), which shall be emblematical not only of the number
    of contributors to the monument, but the number of those who
    shed tears of sorrow for the great and good deliverer of their
    race from bondage in the United States; the arms and hands
    extended--the whole figure to represent “Ethiopia stretching
    forth her hands unto God.” A drapery is to cover the whole
    figure, thrown back, leaving the entire arms and shoulders
    bare, but drawn up _under_ the arms, covering the breast just
    to the verge of the swell below the neck, falling down full
    in front, but leaving the front of the knee, leg, and foot
    fully exposed. The lower part of the drapery should be so
    arranged behind as just to expose the _sole_ of the right foot
    in its projection. The urn should be directly in front of the
    female figure, so as to give the best possible effect to, or
    view of, it. This figure is neither to be Grecian, Caucasian,
    nor Anglo-Saxon, Mongolian nor Indian, but African--_very_
    African--an ideal representative _genius_ of the race, as
    Europa, Britannia, America, or the Goddess of Liberty, is to
    the European race.

    Will not our clever mutual friend, Patrick Reason, of New
    York, sketch the outlines of a good representation of this
    design? This is to be prominently carved or moulded in
    whatever material the monument is erected of. Let the one-cent
    contribution at once commence everywhere throughout the United
    States. I hope the Independent, and all other papers friendly,
    especially the religious and weeklies, will copy my article
    published in the Anglo-African of the 13th of May; also this
    article on the design.

    In behalf of this great nation,

                                                 M. R. DELANY,
                                          _Major 104th U. S. C. T._



The 105th Regiment United States Colored Troops was now ordered to
be raised, and Lieutenant Colonel Hutchins to take command. This
was designed to form the basis of the camp of instruction, with the
colonel as commander. This, at the time, was of vast importance in
character, interest, and purpose, as well as great in the object
of its establishment. The importance of this will not seem to be
overestimated, because it must be borne in mind that no authentic
action of the military had yet been ordered for the avowed object of

The following order was the first move towards the accomplishment of
that end, worded in that peculiar style of caution which distinguished
all of Major General Saxton’s orders, when not definitely directed by
the war department:--

                                       AND ORGANIZATION COLORED TROOPS,
                                               DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
                                          BEAUFORT, S. C., May 3, 1865.

    _Special Order. No. 19._

    Lieutenant Colonel R. P. Hutchins, 94th Ohio Volunteers,
    assistant superintendent of recruiting, Charleston, S. C., will
    at once commence the organization of the regiment, of which he
    will be appointed colonel, and to be known as the 105th United
    States Colored Troops.

    The men will be recruited as rapidly as possible at Charleston,
    S. C., and the camp established at or near that city.

    Lieutenant Colonel Hutchins will communicate to these
    headquarters the names of such officers and men as he may think
    competent to be appointed to lieutenancies in his regiment, and
    the necessary orders will be issued, if the nominations meet
    with the approval of the general superintendent.

    By order of

                                        Brevet Major General R. SAXTON,
                                _General Superintendent of Recruiting_.

    STUART M. TAYLOR, _Asst. Adjutant General_.

The order for the camp having been received, the selection of ground
was now the object of attention, resulting in the choice of the
extensive race-course, where once the _élite_ of the city were wont to
gather to witness the races under the auspices of the South Carolina
Jockey Club, and where the blood of some of her best have been shed in
accordance with the “code of honor.” But now this has been made sacred
by the sufferings, death, and burial-place of the Union prisoners, and
was as familiar to the recruit as his own home; for had he not been
there braving detection and death in many forms to bear some little
comfort, time and again to the helpless prisoners? Had they not entered
even the frowning, dingy jail while the shelling of the city was most
furious, under the plea of selling provision to the imprisoned Union
officers, and carried rough plans and information which were turned to
account by those officers? Therefore, their camp, beside the graves of
the Union martyrs, was but a fitting spot. To hasten the accomplishment
of this, handbills, the first to call authentically for recruits,
were now issued, carefully constructed, and silent regarding all but
two classes of officers; the lieutenants being either of the recruits,
or those already officers, the non-commissioned being designated from
the recruits. This, Delany says, was “like beginning in the right
direction, and contemplating what has been set forth:”--

                      ATTENTION, CHARLESTONIANS!

                         RALLY ROUND THE FLAG!

                                     CHARLESTON, S. C., April 28, 1865.

               _To the Free Colored Men of Charleston:_

    The free colored men in this city, between the ages of eighteen
    and forty-five, are hereby earnestly called upon to come
    forward to join the

                         CHARLESTON REGIMENT,

    now to be organized. It is the duty of every colored man to
    vindicate his manhood by becoming a soldier, and with his
    own stout arm to battle for the emancipation of his race. I
    urge you by every hope that is dear to humanity, by every
    free inspiration which a sense of liberty has kindled in your
    hearts, to be soldiers, until the freedom of your race is
    secured. The prospect of your future destiny should be enough
    to call every man to the ranks. But in addition, you are to
    have the

                      PAY, RATIONS, AND CLOTHING,

    our other soldiers receive.

    Let a full Regiment of the Colored Freedmen of Charleston be
    under arms, to protect the heritage which has been promised to
    your race in this department.

    _Pay of Artillery, Infantry, and Cavalry Soldiers._

                    Grade.                    Pay per   Pay per
                                               month.    year.
    Sergeant Major of Cavalry, Artillery,
        and Infantry,                           $26      $312
    Quartermaster Sergeant, Cavalry,
        Artillery, and Infantry,                 22       264
    Commissary Sergeant,                         22       264
    Orderly Sergeant,                            24       288
    Sergeants,                                   20       240
    Corporals,                                   18       216
    Privates,                                    16       192
    Musicians,                                   16       192
    Principal musicians,                         22       264

    In addition to the pay as above stated, one ration per day
    and an abundant supply of good clothing are allowed to each
    soldier. Quarters, fuel, and medical attendance are always
    provided by the government, without deduction from the
    soldier’s pay. If a soldier should become disabled in the line
    of his duties, the laws provide for him a pension; or he may,
    if he prefer it, obtain admission into the “Soldier’s Home,”
    which will afford him a comfortable home so long as he may wish
    to receive its benefits. It is the intention to make this an
    excelsior regiment. All desired information given at Recruiting
    Office, No. 64 St. Philip Street, corner Calhoun.

                                               M. R. DELANY,
                            _Major 104th United States Colored Troops_.

    R. P. HUTCHINS, _Colonel_,
        Office No. 123 Calhoun Street.

Colonel Hutchins had now ceased to be assistant to the general, and was
hastening preparations for the camp of instruction. Recruits were fast
coming in, companies were forming with alacrity. Some of the best young
men in Charleston had their names enrolled with high expectations,
looking forward to the camp. Besides this, independent regiments were
fast being formed, and three battalions were already in motion in
anticipation of entering the service to share the glory of the unknown

At this time many of the fugitive citizens were returning to the city,
among them some of the best officers of the rebel army, and the city
was gradually awakening into life.

The headquarters of the major presenting a scene always of active life,
its attraction was still more enhanced, as the fine brass band of
Wilson, drum-major in the service, was in full attendance, discoursing
music from the corridors, and enlivening the entire neighborhood, and
parading the streets with martial pomp.

The major, taking an honest pride in his battalion, writes, “This
splendid new battalion now performed its duties when parading the
streets. They were commanded by acting Captain Shadd, who was well
qualified for an officer, besides being a young gentleman of fine
literary attainments. Conscious of his abilities, he took pride in his
duties, and discharged them satisfactorily. Nobly assisted as he was by
his acting assistant First Lieutenant Toussaint L’Ouverture Delany, and
a newly recruited non-commissioned officer, the almost entire duties
of the command devolved upon him on parade. Had the condition of the
country required a continuance of this movement to completion, this
noble young man, so assiduous and diligent, would have had a position
worthy of him.”



The headquarters of Major Delany were most desirable and attractive;
but it was, at the same time, easy of access to any one contemplating
mischief. The parlor, library, museum, and private study, continuously
arranged on the first floor from the basement, with glass doors, with
outer Venetian blinds, extending from the ceiling to the floor, all
opened upon a piazza, supported by massive columns; the parlor being
the office of the major, the library and museum the office of the under
clerks, the study at the extreme end of the piazza, the office of the
chief clerk and assistant Captain A. W. Shadd.

The orderlies, seven in number, slept in the middle office, in
blankets, while the ground floor beneath was occupied by the
housekeeper and attendants.

Early one morning, before he had left his room, a colored gentleman
came hurriedly up the front entrance, passing the first sentinel at
the outer gate, bearing a dish, which, being partially exposed, showed
the fruit it contained. So sudden was his approach upon the faithful
orderly, Isaac Weston, who slept in the hall leading to the upper
chamber, where slept his commander, that springing to his feet half
awakened, he challenged the intruder. “A friend of the major,” was
the hasty reply of the man, astonished to find himself hemmed in so
suddenly by the guards, to whom, instantly, his movements were thought
suspicious. “He is not up yet,” replied the orderly, “but his son is
there,” pointing to the parlor, wherein was the young Delany, wrapped
in dreams, no doubt, and unconscious of the anxiety without for his
father’s safety.

“I wish to see the major himself,” persisted the man. “I’ve this dish
for him.”

“I’ll take it,” replied the orderly.

To this proposition he demurred, saying, “I’ve a message of importance
for him, and must deliver it myself.”

The guards allowed him to remain, to await the major. At intervals he
would be seen to approach the window opening on St. Philip Street, in a
most cautious manner. This restlessness was attributed by the guards to
guilt and anxiety: so fraught with malice and revenge seemed the time
and place, that suspicious of the motive of the man, they determined
not to permit him to escape.

Shortly after this the major appeared, and found his son in
conversation with the supposed culprit, who instantly arose at his
entrance, requesting a private interview. This was granted; but the
orderly, whose faith was not quite established in the integrity of the
visitor, persistently kept within call.

As soon as they were alone, the visitor made known his business to
him. Said he, “I’ve come this morning, Major Delany, to impart to you
something of great importance. Last night,” continued he, “a plot was
overheard to be on foot, which astonished us so much, that we could not
sleep, and I have come here early this morning to tell you of it, and
brought these figs as an excuse, fearing it might create suspicion,
should I be seen coming here so early.”

“What is the plot?” inquired the major, eagerly. “Don’t hesitate to
disclose its nature.”

“No, sir,” replied the visitor; “it is this: they have conspired to
assassinate all the Union officers of rank and command in the city,” he

“You need not fear that,” replied the major; “they are not so mad as
to attempt such an act, while the brain of every lover of the Union is
still fevered with the recent crime at Washington.”

“Let me tell you, major,” said he, “I believe it. I know the character
of the men concerned in it: they are capable of anything against
the government. They are the same who encouraged the cruelties of
Andersonville--the exposure and starvation at the race-course--the
butchery of the colored prisoners by unnecessary amputations at the

“How do they propose to accomplish the business?” asked the major.

“They propose,” returned he, “to kill General Saxton, on his next
arrival here, as soon as he lands; then the black major, next Colonel
Beecher, General Hatch, and Colonel Gurney.”

“Do you think I regard this more than some angry rebel venting his
feelings in words?” asked the major.

“They were really in earnest, and intend all they said,” answered the
visitor, disconcerted at not being able to arouse the “black major” to
the extent of the danger.

“What do you suppose the other officers would be doing, after more than
one had been killed?” asked the major.

“It was all to be done at one time; the killing of General Saxton,
which would soon be known, to be the signal, then the others would

“Then,” replied the major, “you are authorized to impart to them that
we are ahead of them, and that the assassination of General Saxton,
or any other Union officer in Charleston, will be the signal for
putting to the sword the enemies of the Union, and laying the city
in a heap of smouldering ruins. I give you this in advance of any
advice or instructions from my superior officer, and shall not wait
for orders in this case, when they are to be the victims, but shall
take all the responsibility following it. I believe in the Napoleonic
idea--ball-cartridges first, and admonitions after.”

The gentleman left soon after, satisfied that he had discharged his

Strange to say, eleven persons came that day, each in confidence, with
the same information. So attached were the people to him, that it is
known that a party of ladies actually waited on him, endeavoring to
persuade him not to leave his quarters. For their interest in him he
expressed his obligations, and reminded them that it was the duty of an
officer to go at all times where his services were needed, and added
that those who were plotting had more at stake than they against whom
the plot was formed, and in the event of attempting it, nothing could
save the city.

Not giving full credence to this report, it was received with a
degree of deference and careful observation by the major, and may have
been entirely forgotten, or treated as the offspring of a sensitive
imagination, unguardedly imparted, and resulting in creating alarm
among the easily frightened and credulous.

If the major had been awake at a late hour a few nights after these
admonitions were given to him, he would, perhaps, have had cause to
treat this report with more attention than he gave it; but the affair
being told to him, it had not the same effect as it would have had if
he had witnessed it.

In front of the piazza of his residence was a space of shrubbery and
flower garden, a high fence dividing the place from a Hebrew Synagogue:
for concealment it was admirably adapted. It happened about midnight a
rustling was heard in the shrubbery; then steps were heard stealthily
approaching the piazza, when simultaneously, as it were, faces were
seen reconnoitring through the glass door of each apartment, the heads
being distinctly seen. Their appearance was as suddenly followed by
a rush towards the piazza by the vigilant sentinels. The intruders
leaped from the porch, and in an instant the fence being scaled, eluded
pursuit. Search was made on the premises, but no traces remained to
give a single clew to their designs.

There was no sleep to the inmates of the quarters for the remainder of
the night, though the major was not informed of this singular affair
until the following morning.

A battalion of four hundred and fifty strong, being under command of
acting Captain Shadd,--and no veteran troops could have been better
disciplined to meet such an emergency than they, was on duty, and
subsequently every entrance to the premises was guarded by his truly
devoted sentinels. Thus it may have resulted unfortunately for even
some feline pet of some of the neighbors, if it had wandered into that
shrubbery, producing such a rustling as on the previous evening.

There appeared, shortly after, as though there was some motive attached
to the visit at the major’s quarters. The fires of resentment were
still smouldering in their hearts; the Washington tragedy was not
sufficient to extinguish it. For it is well known in Charleston that
but a few evenings after the occurrence at the major’s quarters,
Colonel Gurney’s became the object of a more bold and impudent

It was related by an interested party, as well as published in one of
the journals of the city, on the next day, that while Colonel Gurney
was seated in conversation with his lady, about eleven P.M., a party
of five men, dressed in the naval uniform of United States officers,
entered the apartment. The spokesman of the party entered abruptly,
and, on inquiring for the colonel, was answered by him, who in turn
demanded of the intruders their errand.

“We have come with a message for you to report to the admiral, in
person, at Hilton Head,” said one.

“Report to the admiral, in person, at Hilton Head!” exclaimed the
astonished colonel. “What means all this? Why these officers? I am then
to consider myself under arrest, I suppose.”

“You are, sir,” was the reply.

“You will allow me time to prepare a valise,” said the colonel. His
lady here interposed, expressing a desire to accompany him; he
refused; she persisted, and with true womanly instinct called an
orderly to go for Judge Cooley. The leader of the party then stated
that they had similar orders to attend, but would return for him to
go with the others, and immediately left, thus finding themselves
outflanked by a woman, they were never seen or heard from again.

At the publication of this, the major’s being at the same time
everywhere the subject of grave comment, an intense excitement was
created through the colored community especially. This was as the
breeze upon the surface of our sea, so recently disturbed and still
unsettled; the swells could be observed with threatening approaches to
the shore.

Fortunately these were stayed. So pressing were the inquirers, in
crowds, as it were, at the quarters of the major, seeking advice for
action, that positive orders were given by him decidedly against any
overt act by the freedmen.

If these suspicious visits were carried further, the military
headquarters in the city were peculiarly situated to meet such
emergencies. While they were separately commanded and under different
influences, they were at the same time equidistant from each other and
admirably adapted to meet any emergency.

For instance, the city was divided into two military districts, running
north and south, with Calhoun Street centrally, at right angles;
Colonel Gurney, commanding the 127th New York Volunteers, at corner
of Meeting and George Streets, west side; Colonel Beecher, commanding
the 35th United States Colored Troops, corner of Charlotte and Meeting
Streets, east side; Major Delany, commanding new recruits, at corner
of St. Philip and Calhoun Streets; Colonel Hutchins, being on Calhoun,
nearly midway between St. Philip and Meeting Streets, and Brevet Major
General John P. Hatch, commanding the district, with quarters at the
end of King Street.

The first three commands formed the extreme angle of an equilateral
triangle, with Colonel Hutchins in the centre; Major General Hatch
occupied a portion of a medial line, intersecting the east side of the
triangle equidistant between Colonel Gurney and Major Delany.

The interests of the commands seemed equally fortunate and
providential, adventitious for the welfare of the people and
protection of the city, with Colonel Gurney commanding white northern
troops, Colonel Beecher black southern troops, Major Delany’s troops
incomplete, Colonel Hutchins waiting for a command with Major General
John P. Hatch over all.



The interest in recruiting had in no wise abated, and the major’s
headquarters gave evidences daily of this fact. At every public
gathering the movement concerning the new troops was discussed.

But in the midst of the most active preparations and hopeful
anticipations news reached Charleston, simultaneously with that of the
national calamity, that Lee had surrendered. At this moment, when the
recollection of that important epoch of the war returns to the mind,
it is difficult to determine which regretted it the most--the southern
blacks or whites, but from altogether different motives. In the new
battalion the feeling was anything but joyful, as they were just
preparing for the contest. The major, on receiving the news, announced
to them, “Gentlemen, Lee has surrendered! Thank God, the war is over!”
without meeting a response of approbation from the men or officers.
It was difficult to convince these soldiers that the surrender of
General Lee’s army was the surrender of the South to the conquering
North, and they still looked forward hopefully for orders approving
the continuance of the camp. They were not kept in this state of
doubt as to the intention of the department, for soon the order came
from Washington discontinuing the raising of troops, succeeded by the
special order which follows below:--

                                           ORGANIZATION COLORED TROOPS,
                                               DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
                                         BEAUFORT, S. C., June 7, 1865.

    _Special Orders. No. 36._

    I. Major M. R. Delany, 104th United States Colored Troops,
    is hereby relieved from further duty at Charleston, S. C.,
    and will report without delay to these headquarters, prior to
    assignment to duty with his regiment.

    By order of

                                  Brevet Major General R. SAXTON,
                           _Gen. Supt. Rect. & Org. Col. Troops, D. S._

    STUART M. TAYLOR, _Asst. Adjt. Gen._

    Major M. R. DELANY, _104th U. S. C. T._

On the reception of this order a general depression was felt by the
colored people, the freedmen, especially regarding it in the light of
a preparatory abandonment of the service: naturally they felt this
order sorely; their best friend and faithful counsellor leaving them
without an apparent cause, was by no means comprehensible to them.
And soon after its promulgation, the major’s quarters were beset by
an eager crowd anxious for explanations from his own lips, but as the
most satisfactory answer or explanation would only elicit from them
a sorrowful shake of the head, it was evident nothing would content
them except the order being recalled for the major’s departure. Having
many imperative duties connected with the enlistment of the troops
unfinished, he immediately wrote to the general for an extension of
time, and while awaiting the required authority, the time solicited
expired. He left Charleston June 26, reporting the forenoon of the next
day at Hilton Head, and received the following special order:--

                                         AND ORGANIZING COLORED TROOPS,
                                               DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
                                        BEAUFORT, S. C., June 29, 1865.

    _Special Orders. No. 47._

    III. Major M. R. Delany, 104th United States Colored Troops,
    having reported at these headquarters in obedience to Special
    Order No. 36, Par. I, current series, from these headquarters,
    will remain in Beaufort until instructions in regard to
    the duties to be assigned to him are received from the war

    By order of

                                        Brevet Major General R. SAXTON.

    STUART M. TAYLOR, _Brevet Major and Asst. Adjt. Gen._

    Major M. R. DELANY, _104th. U. S. C. T._

Major Delany met the general on Tuesday morning at Hilton Head, while
_en route_ for New York. The 104th--the major’s regiment--was then at
Camp Duane, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Wilson. Colonel Douglass
Frazer being in command at Hilton Head, in expectation of seeing him,
but adhering strictly to his instructions received from the department
at Washington, the basis of his own cherished principles, did not join
his regiment, awaiting further orders from the department.

While awaiting instructions, he was necessarily unemployed, and there
being many duties connected with the welfare of the freedmen, he was
compelled daily to witness their imperfect performance. Just across
the river from him rumors would reach him of the dissatisfied state of
the people; and as he was anxious to aid in restoring the industry and
labor of the South, he went to St. Helena Island to use his influence
with them, and instruct them as to their duty on the subject.

The next day, to his surprise, he was informed that his mission to St.
Helena’s was for the purpose of urging the freedmen to insurrection,
and it was thus reported at the general’s and post headquarters; but
the malice of his enemies, blinded by prejudice, was of no avail with
his official superiors, with the exception of its being somewhat
annoying to him, as a rumor augmenting as it extended: it passed off
without an official notice.

While this incendiary character was falsely assigned to him, the
following order from Washington was received, and the current of
speculation as to the black major’s rôle was turned in another

                             WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT GENERAL’S OFFICE,
                                      WASHINGTON, D. C., July 15, 1865.

    _Special Orders. No. 372._


    46. The following named officers of the 104th United States
    Colored Troops are hereby relieved from duty with that
    regiment, and assigned to duty in the bureau of refugees,
    freedmen, and abandoned lands.

    They will report in person without delay, to Brevet Major
    General R. Saxton, assistant commissioner for the States of
    South Carolina and Georgia.

                                                Major MARTIN R. DELANY.

    By order of the Secretary of War,

                                                        E. D. TOWNSEND,
                                                     _Asst. Adjt. Gen._


                                                        E. D. TOWNSEND,
                                                     _Asst. Adjt. Gen._

                              HEADQUARTERS ASST. COMR. BUREAU REFUGEES,
                   FREEDMEN, AND ABANDONED LANDS, S. C., GEO., AND FL.,
                                        BEAUFORT, S. C., July 26, 1865.


                                                      STUART M. TAYLOR,
                                                     _Asst. Adjt. Gen._



Prior to the reception of that order, Major Delany was in that state
of painful inactivity, to which an officer is said to be a prey while
awaiting instructions, in consequence of the absence of General Saxton.
On the return of the general, in August, he was informed, to his
astonishment, of the ridiculous part which some mischievous persons had
taken in the St. Helena rumor, which surprised him more than the story
itself, he said.

On Monday, the 7th of August, he received the desired instructions,
which, for the time, definitely settled the position and duties
assigned, of which the following is a copy:--

                              HEADQUARTERS ASST. COMR. BUREAU REFUGEES,
                   FREEDMEN, AND ABANDONED LANDS, S. C., GEO., AND FL.,
                                       BEAUFORT, S. C., August 7, 1865.

    _Special Order. No. 3._

    I. _Major M. R. Delany_, 104th United States Colored Troops,
    is hereby detailed for duty in connection with the affairs
    of freedmen, on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and will
    proceed thither at once.

    The quartermaster’s department will furnish the necessary
    transportation, and Major Delany will make a request upon the
    post quartermaster at Hilton Head, South Carolina, for quarters.

    By order of

                                        Brevet Major General R. SAXTON,
                                              _Assistant Commissioner_.

    STUART M. TAYLOR, _Asst. Adj’t. Gen._

    Major M. R. DELANY, _104th U. S. C. T._

Major Delany, armed with this authority, immediately set out for
Hilton Head: there he found Josiah W. Pillsbury, Esq., the brother of
the honored Parker Pillsbury, of the Anti-Slavery Society, on duty
as superintendent of freedmen’s affairs, under the old society’s
auspices, occupying a small, uncomfortable room, entirely unsuited to
the office held by him, the people being compelled to wait without for
want of space within, and attended from the only window in front. The
government in this, he said, “was probably doing as much as could be
expected for anything outside of its immediate control.”

His usual way to prepare or perfect himself in any new undertaking,
is to study attentively everything relating to his subject; for this
reason, while waiting for quarters suitable for the bureau’s purpose,
he attended daily the office of the freedmen.

Before assuming the duties of his office, he immediately went about
correcting many errors, suggesting and advising, as well as directing
other and better measures. For a class so recently emancipated, the
greater portion had many things to learn, as well as their oppressors;
and in many respects, like them, there was a great deal to unlearn.
Major Delany says, “The great social system was to them a novelty, and
without proper guidance would have been a curse instead of a blessing.
Unaccustomed to self-reliance by the barbarism of the system under
which they had lived, liberty was destined to lead them into errors. To
prevent this the bureau was established.”

He made the genius, habits, and peculiarities of the people he was over
his constant study, which, together with his unbounded popularity with
them, eminently fitted him for the position. Having a head and heart
well adapted to mete out guidance for the unlearned, and protection and
sympathy for the poor, the work under his management prospered to the
great gratification of its friends. He says in regard to this,--

“If a surgeon be called to attend the maimed or crippled, his object
first should be, if possible, to cure: when all remedies fail, as the
last resort, amputation as a treatment may then be resorted to. A
physician, who would act otherwise than that, would be called by the
profession a ‘quack,’ or ‘botch.’ As in the medical, so should it be in
military, legal, or civil jurisprudence. The object of appointment by
government is to have its ends subserved and objects accomplished. Thus
was the bureau established for protectional purposes.”

In trade and all kinds of dealings among the freedmen, the weakest
points were sought out and advantages taken by that means. He then
sought to defend them against these frauds and other impositions
practised upon them by persons using the magic word to them of
“_Yankee_;” or else, “friend of your people,” and, “I know no
difference between black and white,” &c. From these men his course
received much disapprobation, if not actual opposition. As this impeded
the progress of the work, he determined to accomplish by strategy that
which could not be done by direct attack. Through the generous courtesy
of the editor of the New South, the “official organ” at Hilton Head,
he succeeded. He communicated a series of articles, seven in number,
on domestic and political economy, conducive to the industry and labor
of the South. Some of them are here reproduced, to show his earnest
endeavors to facilitate the work of reorganization in the department
assigned him, as well as the fitness of the officer for the appointment.



    Every true friend of the Union, residing on the island,
    must feel an interest in the above subject, regardless of
    any other consideration than that of national polity. Have
    the blacks become self-sustaining? and will they ever, in a
    state of freedom, resupply the products which comprised the
    staples formerly of the old planters? These are questions of
    importance, and not unworthy of the consideration of grave
    political economists.

    That the blacks of the island have not been self-sustaining
    will not be pretended, neither can it be denied that they have
    been generally industrious and inclined to work. But industry
    alone is not sufficient, nor work available, except these
    command adequate compensation.

    Have the blacks innately the elements of industry and
    enterprise? Compare them with any other people, and note
    their adaptation. Do they not make good “day laborers”? Are
    they not good field hands? Do they not make good domestics?
    Are they not good house servants? Do they not readily “turn
    their hands” to anything or kind of work they may find to
    do? Trained, they make good body servants, house servants,
    or laundresses, waiters, chamber and dining-room servants,
    cooks, nurses, drivers, horse “tenders,” and, indeed, fill as
    well, and better, many of the domestic occupations than any
    other race. And with unrestricted facilities for learning, will
    it be denied that they are as susceptible of the mechanical
    occupations or trades as they are of the domestic? Will it be
    denied that a people easily domesticated are susceptible of
    the higher attainments? The slaveholder, long since, cautioned
    against “giving a nigger an inch, lest he should take an ell.”

    If permitted, I will continue this subject in a series of
    equally short articles, so as not to intrude on your columns.


    This subject must now he examined in the light of political
    economy, and, for reasons stated in a previous article,
    treated tersely in every sentence, and, therefore, will not be
    condemned by the absence of elaboration and extensive proof.

    America was discovered in 1492--then peopled only by the
    original inhabitants, or Indians, as afterwards called. No
    part of the country was found in a state of cultivation, and
    no industrial enterprise was carried on, either foreign or
    domestic. Not even in the West Indies--prolific with spices,
    gums, dye-woods, and fruits--was there any trade carried on
    among or by the natives. These people were put to labor by
    the foreigners; but, owing to their former habits of hunting,
    fishing, and want of physical exercise, they sank beneath the
    weight of toil, fast dying off, till their mortality, in time,
    from this cause alone, reached the frightful figure of two and
    a half millions. (See Ramsay’s History.)

    The whites were put to labor, and their fate was no
    better--which requires no figures, as all are familiar with
    the history and career of Thomas Gates and associates at one
    time; John Smith and associates, as colonists in the South,
    at another; how, not farther than Virginia,--at most, North
    Carolina,--they “died like sheep,” to the destruction of the
    settlements, in attempting to do the work required to improve
    for civilized life. Neither whites, as foreigners, nor
    Indians, as natives, were adequate to the task of performing
    the labor necessary to their advent in the New World.

    So early as 1502--but ten years after Columbus landed--“the
    Spaniards commenced bringing a few negroes from Africa to work
    the soil.” (See Ramsay’s History.) In 1515, but thirteen years
    afterwards, and twenty-three from the discovery of America,
    Carolus V., King of Spain, granted letters patent to import
    annually into the colonies of Cuba, Ispaniola (Hayti), Jamaica,
    and Porto Rico, four thousand Africans as slaves--people
    contracted with to “emigrate” to these new colonies, as the
    French, under Louis Napoleon, attempted, in 1858, to decoy
    native Africans, under the pretext of emigrating to the
    colonies, into French slavery, then reject international
    interference, on the ground that they obtained them by
    “voluntary emigration.”

    Such was the success of this new industrial element, that not
    only did Spaniards and Portuguese employ them in all their
    American colonies, but so great was the demand for these
    laborers, that Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen of England, became a
    partner in the slave trade with the infamous Captain Hawkins;
    and, in 1618, her successor to the throne, and royal relative,
    James I., King of England, negotiated for and obtained the
    entire carrying trade, thus securing, by international patent,
    the exclusive right for British vessels alone to “traffic in
    blood and souls of men,” to reap the profits arising from their

    Was it the policy of political economists, such as were then
    the rulers and statesmen of Europe, to employ a people in
    preference to all others for the development of wealth, if
    such people were not adapted to the labor designed for them?
    Would the civilized and highly polished, such as were then
    the Spanish, French, and Portuguese nations, together with
    the English, still have continued the use of these people as
    laborers and domestics in every social relation among them,
    if they had not found them a most desirable domestic element?
    Would, after the lapse of one hundred and sixteen years’
    rigid trial and experience from their first importation, the
    King of England have been able--whatever his avarice as an
    individual--to have effected so great a diplomatic treaty, as
    the consent from all the civilized nations having interests
    here to people their colonies with a race if that race had
    been worthless as laborers, and deficient as an industrial
    element? Would, in the year of the grace of Jesus Christ, and
    the light of the highest civilization, after the lapse of
    two hundred and twenty years from James’s treaty, the most
    powerful and enlightened monarchy have come near the crisis
    of its political career in its determination to continue the
    system, and for two hundred and forty-seven years, the most
    powerful and enlightened republic that ever the world saw have
    distracted the harmony of the nations of the earth, and driven
    itself to the verge of destruction by the mad determination
    of one half of the people and leading states, to perpetuate
    the service of this race as essential to the development, of
    the agricultural wealth of the land? After these centuries of
    trial and experience, would these people have been continually
    sought after, had they not proven to be superior to all others
    as laborers in the kind of work assigned them? Let political
    economists answer.


    As shown in my last article, these people are the lineal
    descendants of an industrious, hardy race of men--those whom
    the most powerful and accomplished statesmen and political
    economists of the great states of Europe, after years of trial
    and rigid experience, decided upon and selected as the element
    best adapted to develop in a strange and foreign clime--a new
    world of unbroken soil and dense, impenetrable forests--the
    industry and labor necessary to the new life. This cannot
    and will not be attempted to be denied without ignoring
    all historical authority, though presented in a different
    light--and may I not say motive?--from that in which history
    has ever given it.

    These people are of those to retain whom in her power the great
    British nation was agitated to the point, at as late a period
    as 1837-8, of shattering the basis of its political foundation;
    and, within the last four years, the genius of the American
    government was spurned, assaulted, and trampled upon, and had
    come well nigh its final dissolution by full one half of the
    states, people, and statesmen inaugurating a civil war, the
    most stupendous on record, for no other purpose than retaining
    them as laborers. Does any intelligent person doubt the utility
    of such a people? Can such a people now be worthless in the
    country? Does any enlightened, reflecting person believe it? I
    think not.

    But this is an experiment. Have we no precedent, no example?
    What of the British colonies of the West Indies and South
    America? Let impartial history and dispassionate, intelligent
    investigation answer. The land in the colonies was owned by
    wealthy capitalists and gentlemen who resided in Europe.
    The “proprietors,” or planters, were occupants of the land,
    who owned the slaves that worked it, having borrowed the
    capital with which to purchase them at the Cuba markets or
    barracoons and supply the plantations. In security for this,
    mortgages were held by those in Europe on “all estate, real
    and personal,” belonging to the planters, who paid a liberal
    interest on the loans.

    When the opposition in the British Parliament, led by Tories,
    who were the representatives of the capitalists, yielded to the
    Emancipation Bill, it was only on condition of an appropriation
    of twenty millions of pounds sterling, or one hundred millions
    of dollars, as remuneration to the planters for their slaves
    set free. This proposition was so moderate as to surprise and
    astonish the intelligent in state affairs on both sides of
    the ocean, as the sum proposed only amounted to the penurious
    price of about one hundred and twenty dollars apiece, when men
    and women were then bringing at the barracoons in Cuba from
    five to six hundred dollars apiece in cash; and the average of
    men, women, and children, according to their estimate of black
    mankind, were “worth” four hundred and fifty dollars. Of course
    the tutored colonial laborer would be worth still more.

    After the passage of the Act of Emancipation by the Imperial
    Parliament, the complaint was wafted back by the breeze of
    every passing wind, that the planters in the colonies were
    impoverished by emancipation, and dishonest politicians and
    defeated, morose statesmen seized the opportunity to display
    their duplicity. “What will become of the fair colonial
    possessions? The lands will go back into a wilderness waste.
    The negroes are idle, lazy, and will not work. They are unfit
    for freedom, and ought to have masters. Where they do work,
    not half the crop is produced on the same quantity of land.
    What will the whites do if they don’t get servants to work for
    them? They and their posterity must starve. The lands are
    lying waste for the want of occupants, and the negroes are
    idling their time away, and will not have them when offered
    to them. The social system in the West Indies has been ruined
    by the emancipation of the negroes.” These, and a thousand
    such complaints, tingled upon the sensitive ear in every word
    that came from the British colonies, as the key-note of the
    pro-slavery British party, till caught up and reëchoed from
    the swift current of the southern extremity of Brazil to the
    banks of the Potomac, the northern extremity of the slave
    territory of the United States. But alive to passing events,
    and true to their great trust, the philanthropists and people
    soon discovered, through their eminent representatives and
    statesmen in Parliament, that the whites in the colonies had
    never owned the lands nor the blacks which they lost by the
    Act of Emancipation. And when the appropriation was made by
    Parliament, the money remained in the vaults of the banks in
    Europe, being precisely the amount required to liquidate the
    claims of the capitalists, and to satisfy the mortgages held by
    those gentlemen against “all estates” of the borrowers in the
    colonies, both “real and personal.”

    The cause of the cry and clamor must be seen at a glance. The
    money supposed to be intended for the colonists, small as it
    was, instead of being appropriated to them, simply went to
    satisfy the claims of the capitalists who resided in Great
    Britain, not one out of a hundred of whom had ever seen the
    colonies. And the lands being owned in Europe, and the Laborers
    free, what was to save the white colonists from poverty? All
    this was well known to leading pro-slavery politicians and
    statesmen in Europe as well as America; but a determination
    to perpetuate the bondage of a people as laborers--a people
    so valuable as to cause them, rather than loose their grasp
    upon them, to boldly hazard their national integrity, and set
    at defiance the morality of the civilized world in holding
    them--caused this reprehensible imposition and moral outrage in
    misleading to distraction their common constituency.


    Mr. Editor: This is my sixth article on the subject of the
    “Prospects of the Freedmen of Hilton Head” Island, which you
    have so generously admitted into the columns of The New South,
    and for which liberality towards a recently liberated people,
    I most heartily thank you. The time may come when they, for
    themselves, may be able to thank you. I hope to conclude with
    my next.

    After what has been adduced in proof of their susceptibility,
    adaptation, and propensity for the vocations of the domestic
    and social relations of our civilization, what are their
    _prospects_? for that now must be the leading question, and
    give more concern to the philanthropist, true statesman, and
    Christian, than anything relating to their fitness or innate
    adaptation, since that I hold to be admitted, and no longer a
    question--at least with the intelligent inquirer.

    What should be the prospects? Will not the same labor that was
    performed by a slave be in requisition still? Cannot he do the
    same work as a freedman that he once did as a slave? Are the
    products of slave labor preferable to free? or are the products
    of free labor less valuable than slave? Will not rice and
    cotton be in as great demand after emancipation as before it?
    or will these commodities cease to be used, because they cease
    to be produced by the labor of slaves? All these are questions
    pertinent, if not potent, to the important inquiry under
    consideration--the prospects of the freedmen of Hilton Head.

    Certainly these things will be required, in demand, and labor
    quite as plentiful; but not one half of the negroes can be
    induced to work, as was proven in the West Indies, and is
    apparent from the comparative number who now seek their old
    vocations to those who formerly did the same work.

    Grant this,--which is true,--and is it an objectionable
    feature, or does it impair the prospects of the freedman? By
    no means; but, on the contrary, it enhances his prospects
    and elevates his manhood. Here, as in the case of West India
    emancipation, before emancipation took place every available
    person--male and female--from seven years of age to decrepit
    old age (as field hands) was put into the field to labor.

    For example, take one case to illustrate the whole. Before
    liberated, Juba had a wife and eight children, from seven to
    thirty years of age, every one of whom was at labor in the
    field as a slave. When set free, the mother and all of the
    younger children (consisting of five) quit the field, leaving
    the father and three older sons, from twenty-five to thirty
    years of age, who preferred field labor; the five children
    being sent to school. The mother, now the pride of the
    recently-elevated freedman, stays in her own house, to take
    charge, as a housewife, in her new domestic relations--thus
    permanently withdrawing from the field six tenths of the
    service of this family; while the husband and three sons
    (but four tenths) are all who remain to do the work formerly
    performed by ten tenths, or the whole. Here are more than
    one half who will not work in the field. Will any one say
    they should? And this one example may suffice for the most
    querulous on this subject. Human nature is all the same under
    like circumstances. The immutable, unalterable laws which
    governed or controlled the instincts or impulses of a Hannibal,
    Alexander, or Napoleon, are the same implanted in the brain and
    breast of page or footman, be he black or white, circumstances
    alone making the difference in development according to the
    individual propensity.

    As slaves, people have no choice of pursuit or vocation, but
    must follow that which is chosen by the master. Slaves, like
    freemen, have different tastes and desires--many doing that
    which is repugnant to their choice. As slaves, they were
    compelled to subserve the interests of the master regardless
    of themselves; as freemen, as should be expected and be
    understood, many changes would take place in the labor and
    pursuits of the people. Some who were field hands, among the
    young men and women of mature age, seek employment at other
    pursuits, and choose for themselves various trades--vocations
    adapted to their tastes.

    Will this be charged to the worthlessness of the negro, and
    made an argument against his elevation? Truth stands defiant in
    the pathway of error.


    I propose to conclude the subject of “THE PROSPECTS OF THE
    FREEDMEN OF HILTON HEAD” with this article, and believe that
    the prospects of the one are the prospects of the whole
    population of freedmen throughout the South.

    Political economy must stand most prominent as the leading
    feature of this great question of the elevation of the
    negro--and it is a great question--in this country, because,
    however humane and philanthropic, however Christian and
    philanthropic we may be, except we can be made to see that
    there is a prospective enhancement of the general wealth of the
    country,--a pecuniary benefit to accrue by it to society,--the
    best of us, whatever our pretensions, could scarcely be willing
    to see him elevated in the United States.

    Equality of political rights being the genius of the American
    government, I shall not spend time with this, as great
    principles will take care of themselves, and must eventually

    Will the negroes be able to obtain land by which to earn a
    livelihood? Why should they not? It is a well-known fact to
    the statisticians of the South that two thirds of the lands
    have never been cultivated. These lands being mainly owned
    by but three hundred and twelve thousand persons (according
    to Helper)--one third of which was worked by four millions
    of slaves, who are now freemen--what better can be done with
    these lands to make them available and unburdensome to the
    proprietors, than let them out in small tracts to the freedmen,
    as well as to employ a portion of the same people, who prefer
    it, to cultivate lands for themselves?

    It is a fact--probably not so well known as it should be--in
    political economy, that a given amount of means divided among a
    greater number of persons, makes a wealthier community than the
    same amount held or possessed by a few.

    For example, there is a community of a small country village
    of twenty families, the (cash) wealth of the community being
    fifty thousand dollars, and but one family the possessor
    of it; certainly the community would not be regarded as in
    good circumstances, much less having available means. But
    let this amount be possessed by ten families in sums of five
    thousand dollars each, would not this enhance the wealth of
    the community? And again, let the whole twenty families be in
    possession of two thousand five hundred dollars each of the
    fifty thousand, would not this be still a wealthier community,
    by placing each family in easier circumstances, and making
    these means much more available? Certainly it would. And as to
    a community or village, so to a state; and as to a state, so to
    a nation.

    This is the solution to the great problem of the difference
    between the strength of the North and the South in the late
    rebellion--the North possessing the means within itself
    without requiring outside help, almost every man being able
    to aid the national treasury; everybody commanding means,
    whether earned by a white-wash brush in black hands, or wooden
    nutmegs in white: all had something to sustain the integrity
    of the Union. It must be seen by this that the strength of
    a country--internationally considered--depends greatly upon
    its wealth; the wealth consisting not in the greatest amount
    possessed, but the greatest available amount.

    Let, then, such lands as belong to the government, by sale from
    direct taxation, be let or sold to these freedmen, and other
    poor loyal men of the South, in small tracts of from twenty to
    forty acres to each head of a family, and large landholders
    do the same,--the rental and sales of which amply rewarding
    them,--and there will be no difficulty in the solution of the
    problem of the future, or prospects of the freedmen, not only
    of Hilton Head, but of the whole United States.

    This increase of the wealth of the country by the greater
    division of its means is not new to New England, nor to the
    economists of the North generally. As in Pennsylvania, many
    years ago, the old farmers commenced dividing their one hundred
    and one hundred and fifty acre tracts of lands into twenty-five
    acres each among their sons and daughters, who are known to
    have realized more available means always among them--though
    by far greater in numbers--than their parents did, who were
    comparatively few. And it is now patent as an historic fact,
    that, leaving behind them the extensive evergreen, fertile
    plains, and savannas of the South, the rebel armies and
    raiders continually sought the limited farms of the North to
    replenish their worn-out cavalry stock and exhausted commissary
    department--impoverished in cattle for food, and forage for

    In the Path Valley of Pennsylvania, on a single march of a
    radius of thirty-five miles of Chambersburg, Lee’s army,
    besides all the breadstuffs that his three thousand five
    hundred wagons (as they went empty for the purpose) were able
    to carry, captured and carried off more than six thousand head
    of stock, four thousand of which were horses. The wealth of
    that valley alone, they reported, was more than India fiction,
    and equal to all of the South put together. And whence this
    mighty available wealth of Pennsylvania? Simply by its division
    and possession among the many.

    The Rothschilds are said to have once controlled the exchequer
    of England, compelling (by implication) the premier to comply
    with their requisition at a time of great peril to the nation,
    simply because it depended upon them for means; and the same
    functionaries are reported, during our recent struggle, to
    have greatly annoyed the Bank of England, by a menace of some
    kind, which immediately brought the institution to their terms.
    Whether true or false, the points are sufficiently acute to
    serve for illustration.

    In the apportionment of small farms to the freedmen, an immense
    amount of means is placed at their command, and thereby a
    great market opened, a new source of consumption of every
    commodity in demand in free civilized communities. The blacks
    are great consumers, and four millions of a population,
    before barefooted, would here make a demand for the single
    article of shoes. The money heretofore spent in Europe by
    the old slaveholders would be all disbursed by these new
    people in their own country. Where but one cotton gin and a
    limited number of farming utensils were formerly required to
    the plantation of a thousand acres, every small farm will
    want a gin and farming implements, the actual valuation
    of which on the same tract of land would be several fold
    greater than the other. Huts would give place to beautiful,
    comfortable cottages, with all their appurtenances, fixtures,
    and furniture; osnaburgs and rags would give place to genteel
    apparel becoming a free and industrious people; and even the
    luxuries, as well as the general comforts, of the table would
    take the place of black-eye peas and fresh fish, hominy and
    salt pork, all of which have been mainly the products of their
    own labor when slaves. They would quickly prove that arduous
    and faithfully fawning, miserable volunteer advocate of the
    rebellion and slaveholder’s rule in the United States,--the
    London Times,--an arrant falsifier, when it gratuitously
    and unbidden came to the aid of its kith and kin, declaring
    that the great and good President Lincoln’s Emancipation
    Proclamation would not be accepted by the negroes; “that all
    Cuffee wanted and cared for to make him happy was his hog and
    his hominy;” but they will neither get land, nor will the
    old slaveholders give them employment. Don’t fear any such
    absurdity. There are too many political economists among the
    old leading slaveholders to fear the adoption of any such
    policy. Neither will the leading statesmen of the country, of
    any part, North or South, favor any such policy.

    We have on record but one instance of such a course in the
    history of modern states. The silly-brained, foolhardy king of
    France, Louis V., taking umbrage at the political course of the
    artisans and laborers against him, by royal decree expelled
    them from the country, when they flocked into England, which
    readily opened her doors to them, transplanting from France to
    England their arts and industry; ever since which, England, for
    fabrics, has become the “workshop of the world,” to the poverty
    of France, the government of which is sustained by borrowed

    No fears of our country driving into neighboring countries such
    immense resources as emanate from the peculiar labor of these
    people; but when worst comes to worst, they have among them
    educated freemen of their own color North, fully competent to
    lead the way, by making negotiations with foreign states on
    this continent, which would only be too ready to receive them
    and theirs.

    Place no impediment in the way of the freedman; let his right
    be equally protected and his chances be equally regarded,
    and with the facts presented to you in this series of seven
    articles as the basis, he will stand and thrive, as firmly
    rooted, not only on the soil of Hilton Head, but in all the
    South,--though a black,--as any white, or “Live Oak,” as ever
    was grown in South Carolina, or transplanted to Columbia.

These articles were published from September to December consecutively,
with two weekly exceptions, until the command of the department
was assumed by Major General Daniel E. Sickles. They were formerly
published anonymously: until then the major was not at liberty to
exercise the full functions of his office as a representative of the
bureau, as more would be accomplished by concealing the author’s name.
Feeling free from a restraint which, while it may have been enjoyed by
others, was distasteful to him, at last he ventured for the first time
to give official publicity to these articles, as will be seen by the
following letter:--

    _Triple Alliance.--The Restoration of the South.--Salvation of
    its Political Economy._

    The restoration of the industrial prosperity of the South
    is _certain_, if fixed upon the basis of a domestic triple
    alliance, which the new order of things requires, invites, and

    Capital, land, and labor require a copartnership. The capital
    can be obtained in the North; the land is in the South, owned
    by the old planters; and the blacks have the labor. Let, then,
    the North supply the capital (which no doubt it will do on
    demand, when known to be desired on this basis), the South
    the land (which is ready and waiting), and the blacks will
    readily bring the labor, if only being assured that their
    services are wanted in so desirable an association of business
    relations, the net profits being equally shared between the
    three,--capital, land, and labor,--each receiving one third,
    of course. The _net_ has reference to the expenses incurred
    after gathering the crop, such as transportation, storage, and
    commission on sales.

    Upon this basis I propose to act, and make contracts between
    the capitalist, landholder, and laborer, and earnestly invite,
    and call upon all colored people,--the recent freedmen,--also
    capitalists and landholders within the limits of my district,
    to enter at once into a measure the most reasonable and just
    to all parties concerned, and the very best that can be adopted
    to meet the demands of the new order and state of society, as
    nothing can pay better where the blacks cannot get land for

    I am at liberty to name Rev. Dr. Stoney (Episcopal clergyman),
    Joseph J. Stoney, Esq., Dr. Crowell, Colonel Colcock (late
    of the Southern army)--all the first gentlemen formerly of
    wealth and affluence in the State; and Major Roy, of the United
    States Regular Army, Inspector General of the department;
    Colonel Green, commanding district, and Lieutenant Colonel
    Clitz, commanding post, also of the regular army, each having
    friends interested in planting, who readily indorse this new
    partnership arrangement. Of course it receives the approval of
    Major General Saxton.

    I am, sir, very respectfully,

                      Your most obedient servant,

                                           M. R. DELANY,
                     _Major & A. S. A. Commissioner Bureau R. F. A. L._

    HILTON HEAD, December 7, 1865.

The planters of the islands and upland districts, recognizing the
advantages of the bureau in their midst, when conducted by an efficient
officer, consulted him when occasion required.

Among them was Colonel Colcock, with whom he had, on one occasion,
an extended interview, previous to the publication of the foregoing
article, in which interview the following resulted:--

                                         HILTON HEAD, December 8, 1865.

    Major M. R. DELANY, _A. S. A. C. Bureau R. F. A. L._

    Major: I wish to employ sixty laborers on my homestead place
    on Colleton River, and two hundred on Spring Island, and
    will thank you to engage them for me, on the basis of the
    contract which I showed you on Friday. In engaging labor,
    you will please give the preference to the freedmen who
    formerly resided on these islands, provided there is nothing
    objectionable in their character.

    Try to arrange it so that each family will average three field
    hands, as I have house-room to accommodate them on that basis.

                          Yours respectfully,

                                                         C. J. COLCOCK.

                                       HEADQUARTERS BUREAU R. F. A. L.,
                                 HILTON HEAD, S. C., December 11, 1865.

    Colonel C. J. COLCOCK, _late of the Southern Army_.

    Colonel: I received your communication on Saturday last,
    desiring to know whether or not two hundred and sixty laborers,
    or cultivators, can be obtained on the basis of copartnership
    of capital, land, and labor, or what I term the domestic triple
    alliance, embracing a series of articles drawn up by yourself,
    as the conditions of your contract.

    I reply most positively, that you may confidently rely upon
    such aid in your business arrangements, as the people are
    waiting, ready and willing, to consummate such contracts as
    this plan proposes, alike advantageous to all the parties

    I may here be permitted to suggest in this connection, that
    there are generosity and liberality of feeling in the North
    towards the South, in its present position, scarcely believed
    by southern people; and all the North asks is, that their
    neighbors be disposed to do right, and they may obtain anything
    in reason, financially, that is desirable.

    I have taken the liberty to suggest several modifications
    in the articles of agreement which you present, to prevent
    misconstruction or ambiguity, and added one more article, which
    I consider important (Art. 14). I name this, that it may not be
    thought that you have assumed to prescribe what should suit the
    people, but that the injunction of frugality and economy may
    come from themselves, through their own representative.

    I am, colonel, very respectfully, yours,

                                                     M. R. DELANY,
                                                _Major and A. S. A. C._



Major Delany was opposed openly in every advanced step he made, as
stated before; hence, to accomplish any new measure of his relative
to his office, he was compelled to resort to strategy. Before,
oppositions of various characters were placed in his way, but he never
permitted himself to be disturbed by them. He was actually forbidden
to address the freedmen on public occasions concerning their rights;
he spoke through the voice of the press, to the public at large,
of their wrongs, and it found an echo in every loyal and generous
heart. His color made him objectionable to many at that post as an
officer, and his scathing denunciations of injustice rendered to
the helpless and uneducated people who constantly challenged their
consideration, showing him to be no mean opponent, rendered him still
more objectionable.

Now he was at liberty to act freely; having an acceptable basis on
which to begin his work, though late in the season, his prospect of
usefulness appeared in its most promising light.

It was not long after the appearance of his “Triple Alliance Contract”
that the following telegram was sent by order of the distinguished
commander of the Department of South Carolina, since of the Second
Military District.

                                         CHARLESTON, December 18, 1865.

    To Major DELANY, _104th U. S. C. T._

    General Sickles desires to see you at Charleston as soon as

                                            W. L. M. BURGER, _A. A. G._

The brilliant record written in unmistakable characters by this great
neophyte to Liberty, as military lawgiver of the Carolinas, vies with
the glory which encircled him at Gettysburg.

When the history of these eventful times shall have been compiled, the
most pleasing development of the late revolution will be noted in the
invaluable service given to the cause of human rights by those who
previously opposed it. The ardor of these converts gave renewed zeal to
the faithful; conspicuous among these, in letters as imperishable as
their deeds, will be found the name of this gallant commander.

A few days after the reception of the telegram found Major Delany
reporting his presence at the quarters of Major General Sickles. Of him
he wrote afterwards, “I consider the gallant general who contributed so
much to the victory at Gettysburg, a most liberal-minded statesman. His
massive intellect at once grasped with vivid comprehension the entire
range of political economy, domestic and social relations. In this
interview he reviewed the situation thoroughly, giving me the details
of instructions which were embodied in an _order_.” This recognition,
after previous discouragements, of his earnest efforts, from sources
least expected, was certainly gratifying.

The general, in giving the instructions to him, said, “I cannot go
myself,” pointing to the remnant of the limb which he contributed
to the nation’s life at Gettysburg; “it requires an active person,
and one in whom I can place reliance. You will be my representative.
And _I shall crush_ whatever dares to oppose you in your duties,”
he added, rising and straightening himself upon his crutches, as is
characteristic of him, and suiting a gesture to the word.

Immediately after the interview with the commanding general, Major
Delany returned to his post at Hilton Head, to make arrangements for
starting on his tour of inspection. In this capacity he was _de facto_
the military representative from the headquarters.

The discerning general had his attention drawn on several occasions
to the many abuses, both by the civil and military, of the person and
property of blacks and whites. He could not fail to notice, when he
assumed command of the department, that the bureau was unpopular with
a large class, comprising Northerners and Southerners--its friends and
officers hated; and with the exception of orders which came directly
from the assistant commissioner, discouragements were placed in the
way, of such nature, that the entire social arrangement was threatened
with neglect. It will be remembered that at this time the status of the
bureau was not definitely settled, and its authority could be, and was,
disputed by any ordinary military official. Thus, in order to check
the growing evil, it was necessary that a proper inspection should be
made by one familiar with the system of the bureau, and yet, in order
to be respected, with a military authority; hence the appointment of
Major Delany by General Sickles.

The following order was furnished him: the instructions therein given,
being strictly adhered to, resulted satisfactorily, as will be shown.

                                  CHARLESTON, S. C., December 21, 1865.

    _Special Orders. No. 148._

    IV. _Major M. R. Delany_, 104th United States Colored Infantry,
    will proceed at once to the Military District of Port Royal,
    and the Sea Islands in the Military District of Charleston,
    South Carolina, and inspect, and report upon the condition of
    the population therein, according to the instructions received
    from the major general commanding. Commanding officers will
    afford Major Delany all necessary facilities.

    The quartermaster’s department will furnish the necessary

    By command of

                                           Major General D. E. SICKLES.

    W. L. M. BURGER, _Asst. Adjt. Gen._

While on the eve of setting out on his tour of inspection, a report had
reached Hilton Head that the negroes of Port Royal Island had matured
an insurrection, to take place on Christmas night, their headquarters
being Beaufort. At first no person paid sufficient attention to a
rumor so silly; but finally it magnified into an alarm, which caused
the major to be sought out by many of the white citizens and some of
the military, and requested to take a detachment of troops, and make
Beaufort his first point of inspection. This was Christmas Eve.

Believing that “the better part of valor is discretion,” and to make
assurance doubly sure, he at once made a requisition for a detachment
of the 21st United States Colored Troops, then doing duty at the post.
A part of Company E was detailed, under command of a sergeant, with
other assistant non-commissioned officers. On Christmas night the
transport steamer Sampson, Dennett, master, was ordered, which carried
him to Beaufort, though, in consequence of a fog, he did not reach
that point till five o’clock the next morning; not in time to quell an
insurrection of the evening before, but in good season to learn from
the “_rising inhabitants_,” that among the most quiet and pleasant
evenings of the year was that which had just given place to the
morning; and the insurrection-haunted whites of the island could again
repose in peace, until the next report would awake them.

Completing his official duties at Beaufort, the next point of
importance was Edisto, where he went by advice of Major General
Sickles. Here he met, at the headquarters of Captain Batchelor,
commanding a detachment of United States forces, a delegation of the
old planters, at the head of which was Jacob Jenkins Mikell, Esq.,
formerly one of the largest cotton-growers of Sea Island.

The 1st of January found him here, and he attended an immense gathering
of the freed men at their emancipation celebration. He addressed them,
and in the course of his advice endeavored to disabuse their minds of
the expectation of obtaining land, which he foresaw, and believed
from the course of events then transpiring, would not be realized.
On account of this advice he was misrepresented by ignorant, though
well-meaning, as well as mischievous and designing persons, the latter
induced, doubtless, by their mercenary proclivities. The people were
led to believe that he was opposed to their interest, and in that of
the planters. But the greater portion of these freedmen have since
learned whether or not his advice on that occasion was in their favor
or that of others.

By the force of his genius and acquirements, as well as position, he
had compelled the old planters of Carolina to extend a recognition to
him such as no black had ever before received; so that, while visiting
many of the plantations of Edisto, so thoroughly had slavery done its
work, that his advice to them only served to arouse their suspicions.
John’s, James’s, and Wadmalaw Islands were barely touched upon; but the
advice given was strictly guarded, in order to be effective.

He turned towards Charleston soon after, and reported his observation
to the major general commanding, and paid his respects to the
commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.

The detachment of troops which had accompanied him had acted only thus
far as a guard of honor, he having had no occasion, happily, for their

While he was reporting in Charleston, the order was received relieving
Major General Saxton of his command. The people, not having a knowledge
of his noble successor, Major General Robert K. Scott, were anxiously

The following Sabbath, three days after the news of his removal was
received, a large meeting of the colored people, indiscriminately, was
called at Zion’s Church, for the purpose of expressing their gratitude
to the general for his steadfast adherence to their interest, and their
unfeigned regret at his removal.

At this meeting the general, his family, and a part of his staff, with
other military officers, including the black major, were present.
The speeches and resolutions on this occasion gave evidence of
their appreciation of the character of that distinguished military
philanthropist; and at a subsequent meeting some testimonials were
presented by the people, and the scholars of the Saxton and Morris
Street Schools, in simple acknowledgment of his official services, and
of their personal attachment to him.

Knowing the suspicion and dissatisfaction with which the freedmen and
colored people generally in South Carolina look upon such changes
respecting those whose friendship they have enjoyed, or those upon
whose impartial sense of justice they are willing to abide, the days of
General Saxton’s removal, in remembrance of their unbounded attachment
and devotion, and the scenes attending it, remain in the mind as one of
the most touching reminiscences of our war.

After the great Saxton meeting, the major prepared for setting out for
his post at Hilton Head. On arriving on Monday morning at the wharf,
he was met by Brigadier General Bennett, with two companies of colored
troops, just boarding the transport steamer Canonicus, _en route_ for
Mount Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island, for four companies more, on
an expedition on the Ashley River, to a plantation about ten miles
distant, to quell an “insurrection of the negroes.” This offspring of
a haunted southern mind having in hot haste reached the headquarters,
the major general commanding deemed it advisable to take measures to
quiet all apprehension by the presence of forces on the spot, and with
his characteristic deliberation, in order to remove all unfavorable
impressions as to the intentions of the military towards the freedmen,
he requested that Major Delany should accompany the expedition, so
that whatever action might have been necessary, his presence among
them would indicate that it was executed under the most favorable

Sending back his baggage in charge of his orderly, he embarked with
the brigadier general. On reaching the plantation, they found the only
evidence of an insurrection, was an attempt that had been made by some
persons to effect an unjust contract, which the freedmen refused to
receive, and declared their intention to abandon the place before they
would submit. The military applauded their action, as there was no
violence accompanying it, and their verdict, “You did right,” settled
everything further on the part of the aggressors. The major introduced
to their consideration, and finally placed them fairly on, his system
of land, labor, and capital, or triple alliance system. There being no
further need of military intervention, they returned to Charleston,
happy at the result of their passive victory. We would have cause
for gratulations if future military expeditions into other places
on similar bases of equality and right, and claims settled between
oppression and oppressed, rich and poor, had terminated as happily as
did that.

The major, having accomplished his mission, set out that afternoon for
Hilton Head, to resume his functions.



On Delany’s return to his post, encouraged by the approval of the
commanding general, he again turned his attention to resuscitating
the lulled industrial powers of the people, by vigorously urging and
aiding, in his official capacity, the reproduction of the staples which
were once the traffic of the South.

The triple alliance system had now become popular, and his office was
always thronged by those seeking advice, of all classes, blacks and
whites, ex-slaves and ex-slaveholders.

This will be more readily comprehended when it is remembered that the
freedmen had shown a determination that they would never again work for
these ex-slaveholders.

In his interviews with either party, he never omitted to remind them
that there existed no longer either slaves or slaveholders,--their
relation to each other being essentially changed; that all were
American citizens, and equal before the law; that the war having
reduced many to poverty, unless some exertion should be made,
starvation would soon ensue; and this while they had the support and
self-sustenance within their own reach, by a mere alliance of their
efforts. It had been done before; it could be repeated in their case.
Under the old _régime_, the master supported the slave by the slave’s
own production, which also supported the owner; hence the support was
reciprocal by mutual dependence. The condition of each being changed,
a union of interests was now required to bring prosperity to the
country. The freedman was now to be a partner, having an equal share,
and controlling his own affairs. This would induce him to be more
self-reliant. His observation of the labor systems of other countries
had given him experience. He explained in the clearest terms to them,
that, throughout the world, the only established order of wealth and
prosperity to a people was through the proper union of land, labor, and

He frequently urged upon them that the blacks and whites were the
social and political element of the South, and must continue the basis
of her wealth by a union of their efforts and strength; that the
displacement of the white southern planters for northern capitalists,
would not be found desirable, as it would result in substituting
for the black laborers, the poor whites from the North, relatives
of the rich capitalists, or immigrants, while it was desirable that
northern capitalists should unite with southern proprietors, and
northern mechanical skill and intelligence be incorporated among the
southerners, rich and poor. By this means the South would obtain her
true civilization.

On this subject the editors of the New South, recognizing the success
of the endeavors of this indefatigable work, and justly popular
officer, pay the following deserved tribute to him in the issue
of January 27, which was but the public sentiment concerning his

    “THE LABOR QUESTION.--We are happy to report a continued
    improvement in this neighborhood. The freed-people--men, women,
    and children--are beginning to display, not only a willingness,
    but an anxiety, to get to work at once, as the time for
    cotton-planting will soon be over. While we are writing,
    several hundred are congregated around Major Delany’s quarters,
    who acts as medium between the employers and employees, and
    carefully adjusts all points of difference.”

An incident relative to his simple and decisive mode of disposing of
cases is related.

The case was brought up a few weeks after his appointment in the
Bureau, by a former slave-owner against her ex-slave. In deciding cases
in which the freedmen are the aggressors, whatever may be his opinion
in regard to their claims to the consideration of the planters, he
ignores both color and condition, aiming solely to render unto Cæsar
the things that are Cæsar’s.

An intelligent-looking middle-aged woman, accompanied by her husband
and two male friends, entered his office, apparently laboring under
great excitement, followed by an intelligent-looking black youth. The
lady being politely handed a seat, the major inquired her business,
judging her, from her manner of acting, to be the complainant in the
case. About this time horses were being sold in that section at very
high prices, the most ordinary commanding from one hundred to a hundred
and seventy-five dollars. The complainant had just left the Provost
Court, where a horse, her favorite, and only remaining property left
from the late war, having been seized upon by the young lad,--a former
“chattel,” “Jim,”--had been restored to her in conformity with a
current order of the government. But Jim persistently refused to return
the property, declaring in the hearing of the judge, as he left the
court, he would kill the horse the moment they should attempt to take
him away.

They had been advised for protection to repair to the quarters of Major

The major gave his attention to both sides, and satisfying himself as
to the proceeding, he decided that the case was regular and valid, and
that, the decision of the Provost Court being just, the parties should
comply with its demands ordering the young man to give it up. The
horse, meanwhile, stood tied to the fence, directly opposite the window
where sat the major at his desk. The lady hesitated to leave the office.

“Go and take your horse, madam,” said he.

“Where is the guard?” inquired the lady.

“What guard, madam?”

“The guard to protect me and my property,” she answered.

“You need no protection; you, being just from the interior, forget that
hostilities have ended,” said the major.

“Yes, but he’ll kill the horse--he swore that he would, and I know that
he’ll do it.”

“Take your horse, madam,” said he, becoming impatient at her hesitancy,
“and don’t be alarmed at the idle talk of a disappointed boy.”

“Major,” said she, “I will not go without protection. I know Jim well,
and if you knew him as well as I do, you wouldn’t talk that way; I must
have a guard, or my horse will be lost, and all my trouble and expense
in coming down here, and my only dependence, gone.”

Turning to the woman and young man at the same time, with that stern
expression that his brow sometimes assumes, said he, “Madam, do you
really suppose that the power which put down the masters, compelling
them to submit at discretion, is not sufficient to control one of their
former slaves--an idle, babbling black boy?”

The young man, giving vent to laughter, which he evidently did to
disguise his chagrin, replied, “Major, I ain’t going to trouble the
horse; she kin have um.” The parties, being assured of this, left the
office with better feelings towards each other, we trust, than when
they entered.



The affairs of the Bureau promised a change in the advent of its new
chief, in the person of Brevet Major General Scott. He entered upon the
duties of his office in a most spirited and independent manner.

In many respects, it was thought, his administration was better adapted
to the times than was the former general’s. The rebels, encouraged by
the smiles of their friends in high places, were fast resuming their
old practices, and the status of the Bureau was scarcely recognized.
General Scott having had some insight into the southern character while
a prisoner in Charleston, during the war, his administration was looked
upon with terror by the unrepentant chivalry of South Carolina; and it
was not long before the difference was felt by them between the mild
administration of West Point’s accomplished soldier and that of the
bluff western general.

On assuming the duties of his office, the general, accompanied by a
portion of his staff, made a tour of inspection through his department,
visiting every officer on duty, previous to reappointing him.

On this occasion the major’s post received attention, and the
satisfactory expressions of the general gave a new impetus, if
possible, to both officers and laborers in their respective spheres.
The plans by which he had accomplished so much in the department were
submitted to his inspection, and received his indorsement.

We present here the contract written expressly for his district, and
rigidly enforced by him, though in many cases all the articles signed
by the contracting parties would be simply an acknowledgment of his
triple alliance contract:--

    Article I. This contract between Justice Goodman and the
    freedmen, whose names are hereunto affixed, is on the basis of
    an equal partnership between Capital, Land, and Labor--each
    receiving one third of the proceeds of the productions of the
    cultivated plantation of Homestead Farm, Beaufort District,
    South Carolina, and to continue till January 1, 1867.

    Article II. Each laborer is to receive (besides the privilege
    of firewood, with team and vehicle to haul it, and _one acre_
    of land to each family) one third of all that he or she is
    able to produce by cultivation, clear of all expenses except
    those incurred in the transportation and sale of the staple, as
    freight and commission on storage and sales, they supporting
    themselves and families; the proprietor making all advances
    of provisions or rations on credit (if required), finding all
    dwellings for the contractors, supplying all farming utensils,
    vehicles, machinery, sufficient working stock; and no labor is
    to be performed by hand or by a person that can better be done
    by animal labor or machinery.

    Article III. All restrictions and obligations legally binding
    contracting parties in the fulfilment of their articles of
    agreement are implied in this article, and all damage for
    injury or loss of property by carelessness is to be paid by
    fair and legal assessment.

    Article IV. Negligence of duty in cultivation, so as to become
    injurious to the proprietor or other contracting parties,
    either by loss in the production of staple, or example
    in conduct or precedent, may, by investigation, cause a
    forfeiture of the interest of such person in their share of
    the crop. Any contractor taking the place of one dismissed
    shall succeed to all of their rights and claims on the part of
    the crop left by them; otherwise it shall be equally divided
    between those who work it.

    Article V. All Thanksgiving Days, Fast Days, “holidays,” and
    national celebration days are to be enjoyed in all cases by
    contractors, without being regarded as a neglect of duty or
    violation of contract.

    Article VI. Good conduct and good behavior of the freedmen
    towards the proprietor, good treatment of animals, and good
    care of tools, utensils, &c., and good and kind treatment by
    the proprietor to the freedmen, will be strictly required by
    the authorities; and all dwellings and immediate premises of
    freedmen must be kept neat and clean, subject to inspection
    and fine for neglect by such sanitary arrangements as the
    government may make.

    Article VII. No sutler stores will be permitted on the place,
    and nothing sold on account except the necessaries of life,
    that such as good, substantial food and working clothes,
    conducive to health and comfort, at cost, that no inducements
    may be given for spending earnings improperly. Spirituous
    liquors will not be permitted.

    Article VIII. All accounts must be entered in a pass-book, to
    be kept by each family or individual for the purpose, that no
    advantage be taken by incorrect charges; and no account against
    them will be recognized except such entry be made. No tobacco
    charges above fifty cents a month will be recognized by the
    Bureau. In all cases of the loss of their account-books, then
    the account in the proprietor’s books must be taken to date of
    loss, when another pass-book must be obtained, and entries of
    accounts made as before.

    Article IX. In all cases where an accusation is made against
    a person, the proprietor or his agent, one of the contractors
    or freedmen selected by themselves, and a third person chosen
    by the two,--provided neither of these three is biassed or
    prejudiced against the accused,--shall be a competent council
    to investigate and acquit the accused; but in all cases where
    a decision is to be made to dismiss or forfeit a share of
    the crop, the officer of the Bureau, or some other competent
    officer of the government, must preside in the council of
    trial, and make the decision in the case. When the proprietor
    is biassed or prejudiced against an accused person, he must
    name a person to take his place in the council who shall
    neither be biassed nor prejudiced against the accused.

    Witness our hands and signs this 17th day of February, 1866.

He still indicated, by his unflagging energy and industry, as well as
equitable measures, his consciousness of the immense responsibilities
resting upon him.

This only served to redouble his zeal and activity, as this trait is in
consonance with his character generally. In more than one instance in
other days, while the political horizon seemed to increase in gloom,
the man seems to have loomed up more conspicuously in proportion to the
exigency of the situation. Always actuated by his insatiable though
laudable ambition, Major Delany leads an age in advance where others of
his own people, possessed of abilities and acknowledged courage, would
even hesitate to follow.

In his official duties so conscientiously did he perform his part, and
so firm was he in his high-toned native pride, and honesty against
bribery and partiality, that he received aid from many of those whose
duties were not altogether in the same channel. Among them he mentions
particularly his indebtedness to Major J. P. Roy, 6th United States
Infantry, inspector general of the Department South, Colonel J. D.
Green, 6th United States Infantry, commanding district, and Colonel,
now General H. B. Clitz, 6th United States Infantry, then commanding
the post at Hilton Head, now Charleston. They facilitated and aided
him in his official duties, as well as ameliorated the condition of the
freedmen and suffering whites, refugees, and ex-slaveholders: all of
these came under his department, and were constantly referred to him
when not voluntarily applying. The editors of the New South, who took
note of his movements, again make mention of him, in their issue of the
3d of February:--

    “Major M. R. Delany, the ‘black major’ of the Freedmen’s
    Bureau, is now on the right track. Comprehending the situation
    of affairs, he has seized at once upon its difficulties, and
    is doing a noble work for his race. His sympathies are, of
    course, with those of his own color; but, being a man of large
    experience, highly educated, and eminently conscientious, he
    does not allow prejudice to sway him one way or the other,
    and, consequently, he has a wonderful influence for good over
    the freedmen. He tells them to go to work at once; that labor
    surely brings its own reward; and that after one more good crop
    is gathered, they will find their condition much better than
    at present. And he tells the planters they must be kind and
    just to their laborers, if they would quickly bring order out
    of chaos, and establish a prosperity far beyond what they ever
    dreamed of in the dark and dreadful era of slavery.

    “Our whole community here is taking heart. One obstacle
    after another, to thorough regeneration, is being removed.
    As the planters succeed in procuring laborers, their credit
    is improved, and the merchants of this place come forward to
    assist the onward movement. Agricultural implements, seed,
    subsistence, and the various wants of a plantation, are being
    much more liberally supplied than they were a month ago. We all
    look forward to a large measure of success the present season.”

Meanwhile, the “muster out” of the major was being talked of, which was
occasioned by the disbanding of his organization. But the following
telegram from the headquarters of the department quieted the rumor for
at least a time.

                                          CHARLESTON, February 3, 1866.

    _To the Commanding Officer, District of Port Royal._

    The major general commanding directs that Major M. R. Delany,
    104th United States Colored Troops, remain, until further
    orders, in the performance of the duties in which he is now
    employed, by special orders from these headquarters. He will
    not for the present rejoin his regiment.

                                                       W. L. M. BURGER,
                                                     _Asst. Adjt. Gen._

_Indorsement on above Telegram._

                                  HEADQUARTERS, DISTRICT OF PORT ROYAL,
                                               SECOND SEPARATE BRIGADE,
                                  HILTON HEAD, S. C., February 3, 1866.

    Respectfully referred to Major Delany, 104th U. S. C. T., B. R.
    F. & A. L., for his _information_ and _guidance_.

    By order of

                                         A. G. BENNETT,
                      _Lt. Col. 21st U. S. C. T., Commanding District_.

    CHARLES F. RICHARDS, _1st Lt. &. A. D. C._

The interest created in his department was an acknowledged success. He
had attempted and succeeded in organizing a system of labor in a place
where it was previously almost wholly unknown--leaving the employee to
the tender mercy of his employer, but upon equal terms. He could see
order and harmony arising out of chaos and discord. He was partially
satisfied, for one of his favorite measures was popular, originating
from a black, for the good of the inhabitants of his district, blacks
as well as whites.

His methods, and the successes attending, attracted the attention, as
well as challenged the admiration, of the people in and around his
post. A brother officer, bearing witness to his indefatigable labor,
called attention to it, in his report to the commanding general of the
Carolinas, which report induced the general to request the department
at Washington to continue him in the service after his regiment should
be mustered out.

By such recognition of his services and ability, emanating as it did
from that distinguished commander, the black major received another
offering at the shrine of his boundless ambition, which none knows
better than himself how to value. Just in connection with this, we are
reminded of an expression of a distinguished divine in regard to him.
“Well for this country,” said he, “that Martin Delany is not a white
man, for he has the ambition of a devil.” But when we reflect that the
motive power of that conspicuous trait of his character is solely for
the sake of his race, and utterly devoid of personal selfishness, one
sees the beauty of the halo encircling his dusky brow, instead of the
deformity of the cloven foot.

The following is the letter to which reference is made:--

                                HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT SOUTH CAROLINA,
                                   CHARLESTON, S. C., January 30, 1866.

    General: I have the honor to invite your attention to the
    following extract from a recent report of Major J. P. Roy, 6th
    United States Infantry, and Acting Inspector General of this
    department, regarding the services of Major M. R. Delany, 104th
    United States Colored Troops:--

    “Before closing this report, I desire to bear testimony to the
    efficient and able manner in which Major Delany, 104th United
    States Colored Troops, and agent of the Freedmen’s Bureau, is
    performing his duties. I took occasion several times during my
    stay to go to his office, and hear him talk and explain matters
    to the freedmen. Being of their own color, they naturally
    reposed confidence in him. Upon the labor question he entirely
    reflected the views of the major general commanding, and
    seemed in all things to give them good and sensible advice.
    He is doing much good, and in the event of his regiment being
    mustered out, I hope he may be retained as an agent of the
    Freedmen’s Bureau.”

    I have also received the same satisfactory reports from other
    sources, and concurring in the foregoing suggestions of Major
    J. P. Roy, I must respectfully recommend that Major M. R.
    Delany be, for the present, retained in the service of the
    United States. I have ordered his muster out to be postponed
    until a reply is received to this communication.

    I have the honor to remain, general,

               Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

                                                (Signed) D. E. SICKLES,
                                            _Major General Commanding_.

    To Brig. Gen. E. D. TOWNSEND, _A. A. G., War Dept._

                                   CHARLESTON, S. C., January 31, 1866.


                                                  W. L. M. BURGER,
                                           _Brevet Lt. Col. & A. A. G._

    Copy furnished Major M. R. Delany for his information.

This was soon after followed by one demonstrative of the liberality of
the major general commanding, showing the great distance he had cast
from him his early Tammany Hall political education, recognizing only
the true and broad republican principles of our better civilization.
It redounds to his credit, and is another evidence of the impartial
justice of the great secretary of war in affairs of the government, and
appreciation of merit in its officers, regardless of former notions
which seemed to underlie the basis of its principles. This order is
fully explanatory of the retention of the black major in the service so

A report had been freely circulated by some persons that the old
planters had petitioned the general to retain him, as he was “_high
in their favor_.” The latter clause is admissible, as even among that
peculiar class there are men who are liberal enough, by virtue of
their acquirements, to respect and appreciate the dignified manhood
and high moral character of the negro officer. The planters can offer
no allurement sufficient to tempt him to their special interest. They
cannot promise _power_ to him, as they are devoid of it, and his own
incorruptible integrity to the government is known to have caused him
to peremptorily refuse all offers, on the most advantageous terms, to
even enter into any speculations of cotton, or any other staple. The
following order is sufficient to prove the falsity of the report.

                             WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT GENERAL’S OFFICE,
                                          WASHINGTON, February 8, 1866.

    Major General D. E. SICKLES, _Comm’g Dept. of South Carolina,
    Headquarters, Charleston, S. C._

    General: I have respectfully to acknowledge the receipt of
    your letter of the 30th ultimo, recommending that Major _M.
    R. Delany_, 104th Regiment United States Colored Troops, be
    retained in service, and in reply thereto, I am directed by
    the _Secretary of War_, to say that this is authority for the
    retention of that officer in service, until further orders from
    the War Department.

    I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

                        Your obedient servant,

                                                 (Signed) C. W. FOSTER,
                                               _Asst. Adjt. Gen. Vols._

                               HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT SOUTH CAROLINA,
                                  CHARLESTON, S. C., February 12, 1866.

    Official copy.

                                                       W. L. M. BURGER,
                                                     _Asst. Adjt. Gen._



As the season for contracting with the freedmen of the islands
approached, the old planters from the main land and sea islands could
be seen hastening to the quarters of the “black major” for consultation
with him.

The picture of the statesman warrior of St. Domingo, surrounded by the
conquered and impoverished planters of the island, dictating terms to
them, was again reproduced in our time, with the black officer in the
foreground as the chief figure, giving law to the planters of South

Without the assistance of the Bureau, the planters would have been
unable to proceed at any time after the war, and that section of
the country would have presented a most deplorable aspect. For the
freedmen, in view of their past condition, were naturally suspicious
of their offers, and, partly resting on the promises held out of
lands being given to them, were with difficulty persuaded to accept
employment from them. And the often repeated tales of cruelty, with
the many evidences of glaring fraud, practised upon those who had been
employed immediately after the war, helped to give an odium to the
planters which threatened to interfere greatly with the reproduction
of their cotton and rice. After the establishment of the Freedmen’s
Bureau by Congress, the presence of a competent sub-commissioner, whom
neither threats nor bribes could move, supported by the strong arm of
the Bureau, could check these malpractices and adjust all difficulties
between them. And in this mediatorial character he was placed, without
the slightest deviation from his principles, or assuming more to
himself than was guaranteed by his position: respected by the planters,
trusted and regarded by the freedmen with a sentiment of pride mingled
with reverence, he has, by this means, wrought out incalculable
advantages to the cause of reconstruction, and given to these islands
the germs of a civilization previously unknown, while in his own
administration he has given to the country abundant demonstration of
the negro capability for government.

The planters at first disliked the presence of the Bureau in their
midst; but powerless to retard its operations, and witnessing its
impartial administration, and the growing prosperity of their
district, as the result, have reconciled themselves, and some have
even acknowledged it as a _success_. Thus we find the quarters of the
major visited for consultation by the representatives of a class,
prior to the war, the most bitter opponents of black men’s rights,
and many who were conspicuous in the late rebellion, in the interest
of the confederacy. There might have been seen Colonel Charles J.
Colcock, who commanded the Confederate cavalry at Honey Hill against
General Hatch; Colonel Jos. Stoney, Rev. James Stoney, Colonel E. M.
Seabrook, who commanded at the fortification before the capture of
Hilton Head; Mr. Hayward, J. W. Pope, upon whose lands the batteries
were found erected at the capture of Hilton Head; Major Manning Kirk,
Drs. Seabrook, Kirk, and Pritchard, Ellis, and Crowell, besides many of
the younger planters of the families of the Barnwells, Rhetts, Fripps,
Elliots, and Fullers, including the young General Stephen Elliot, who
commanded at Fort Sumter, and Jacob Jenkins Mikell, the famous Edisto
planter of the long staple cotton. While the affairs of the Bureau
were thus being conducted by him, General Scott divided the state into
sub-districts, assigning an officer to each. Hilton Head had now been
visited three times by the general, and on each occasion the quarters
of the major were officially visited, previous to the following order
being received, which is another indication of the satisfaction of his
immediate commander in regard to his official conduct:--

                                 HEADQUARTERS, STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
                                      CHARLESTON, S. C., June 11, 1866.

    _General Orders. No. 5._


    III. The _Military Reservation of Hilton Head_ and its
    Dependencies, known as the Islands of Hilton Head, together
    with Dawfuskie, Bull, and Pinckney Islands, are hereby
    announced as the territorial limits of, and will constitute
    the Bureau District of Hilton Head, with Major _M. R. Delany_,
    U. S. C. T., as _Sub-Assistant Commissioner_, in charge, with
    headquarters at Hilton Head.

    By command of

                                      Brevet Major General R. K. SCOTT.

    H. W. SMITH, _Brevet Lt. Col. Ass’t. Adj. Gen._


                                                   H. W. SMITH,
                                          _Assistant Adjutant General_.



Around Major Delany’s district, there being evidence of an abundant
harvest, the movements of persons designing to reap large profits,
to the detriment of the freedmen, were apparent. With a view of
frustrating their designs, he suggested proper measures to obviate the
difficulty, which we find in his general report made to headquarters,
dated March 1, 1867, for the year 1866. Therein he gave his views,
showing the necessity of important changes in the industrial pursuits
of the freedmen; also the measures put forward by him for their
financial protection.

“It was apparent from observation and experience that the custom of
renting the lands to speculators, who sub-let them to freedmen, or
employed them to work at disadvantageous rates--that these poor people,
at the end of the planting year, habitually came out with nothing--nay,
worse than nothing, as those working them in shares having provision
supplied from the stores of the speculators, or renting the lands,
and obtaining them on credit from such stores. When the crops were
realized, they paid them all away to these stores for the scanty
mouthfuls they received on credit during cultivation--finding
themselves with nothing--in rags, and debt for “balance due” on the
books of these first-hand lessees and supply speculators. And those who
had a little chance of raising crops for themselves to advantage, were
equally the victims of the petty brokers and cotton traders (resulting
from their superior business knowledge and intelligence, and the almost
entire absence of such qualifications on the part of the freedmen),
their cotton being sacrificed in the market. It was evident from these
facts that there could be but little or no chances for the freedmen or
refugees to compete with bidders or lessees of the land, let at the
highest cash price (frequently above their value in this district),
except by an adoption of some measure for their protection, whereby a
portion of their scanty earnings could be saved, and the lands let to
them at prices suited to their means, in preference to speculators and

“To this end I recommend the establishment of a freedmen’s cotton
agency, to be attended by a competent agent, where all could have their
cotton deposited on consignment, culled (assorted), ginned, packed
(bagged), and sold at the highest cash market value, in Charleston;
they realizing, the profits themselves, instead of the speculators.

“To make such an establishment profitable to them, the expenses should
be as moderate as possible, and less than the usual rates of charges in
commission houses. Hence, to accomplish this, a suitable building was
obtained from the quartermaster’s department (free of rent, of course),
and those freedmen possessing foot-gins requested to put them up in the
establishment, where they might be used in ginning the cotton brought,
charging twenty per cent., or one fifth less than the market price for
ginning, and receiving, when not worked by themselves, one fourth of
the proceeds of the gin, the freedman who worked receiving the other
three fourths as his compensation, thus making them self-sustaining as
well as self-reliant.

“The agent supplied the bagging, and received, as compensation for the
advances thus made, the pay for the weight of the bag, deducted from
the price of the bag of cotton. This will be understood in mercantile
circles, as bagging is always worth the price of an equal weight of

“The next effort, officially, was to secure to them the advantages of
the lands at a ‘first-hand’ low rate, as they were now able to raise
the money among themselves, by which to secure leases. To accomplish
this, interviews and correspondence were had with the United States
Direct Tax Commissioners, who, being without instructions, were
awaiting the action of Congress and government in relation to the
division and assignment of land on the tenure of Lieutenant General
Sherman’s field order, No. 15. After mature consideration, as the
season for planting was rapidly approaching, and the people clamorous
and anxious to go to work, preparing for cultivation, I concluded to
divide responsibilities with the commissioner, and let the lands to the
freedmen at _one dollar_ an acre, for the year 1867.

“They had been advised to prepare for leasing them at two dollars an
acre, the leases to be made to one man on each plantation, who would
receive and pay over their money, and see to a proper apportioning of
the land. In less than three weeks from the time that notice to this
effect was given, upwards of three thousand dollars in cash and cotton
vouchers were deposited with the bureau to secure leases, and fourteen
plantations taken with the extreme satisfaction of paying back to each
individual _one half_ of his money. This last act of the commissioners
crowns their official doings with discretion and liberality, which
should entitle them to at least the thanks of the friends of humanity,
if not respectful consideration of Congress.”

The action of the major in this direction was approved and commended
by his superior officers, and resulted in proving so far successful.
His duties gave indications of further extension at this time, by the
following document, issued from the war department, and reissued from
the headquarters of the assistant commissioner subsequently:--

                                   HEADQUARTERS ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER,
                                  BUREAU R. F. & A. L., SOUTH CAROLINA,
                                      CHARLESTON, S. C., Feb. 19, 1867.

    The following circular letter is republished for the
    information of officers and agents of the Bureau R. F. and A.
    L., in this state:--

    _Circular Letter._

                                  WAR DEPARTMENT, BUREAU R. F. & A. L.,
                                         WASHINGTON, February 12, 1867.

    To Brevet Major General R. K. Scott, _Assistant Commissioner,
    Charleston, S. C._

    It has become apparent that the designation of the several
    officers of this Bureau should indicate the nature of the duty
    which each is to perform, and that such designation should be
    uniform throughout the jurisdiction of this Bureau.

    Each state will be divided into sub-districts, of the proper
    number of counties, in the discretion of the assistant
    commissioner. The officers in charge of each will be empowered
    to exercise and perform within their respective sub-districts
    all the powers and duties of assistant commissioners, except
    such as by regulations devolve upon assistant commissioners
    themselves, and these officers will be designated sub-assistant

    Any officer or agent serving under the direction of the
    sub-assistant shall be denominated an agent, except those
    serving in staff department and as clerks.

    All officers authorized to disburse the funds of this Bureau
    shall be designated disbursing officers.

                                            Major General O. O. HOWARD,

    Brevet Major General R. K. SCOTT, _Assistant Commissioner._


                                                 EDWARD L. DEANE,
                                         _Brevet Major & A. A. A. Gen._

Soon after the publication of the “circular letter,” the State of South
Carolina, by order of the major general commanding, was divided into
twenty-four sub-districts. Major Delany’s administration of affairs in
the spheres previously assigned him, receiving the confidence of the
assistant commissioner, his province was extended, as the following
order will show:--

                                  HEADQUARTERS, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER,
                                  BUREAU R. F. & A. L., SOUTH CAROLINA,
                                  CHARLESTON, S. C., February 20, 1867.

    _General Orders. No. 3._


    XI. The Sub-District of Hilton Head will comprise the Islands
    of Hilton Head, Pinckney, Savage, Bull, Dawfuskie, and Long
    Pine: headquarters at Hilton Head; Major M. R. Delany, United
    States Colored Troops, sub-assistant commissioner.

    By order of

                                      Brevet Major General R. K. SCOTT,
                                           _Assistant Commissioner_.


                                                 EDWARD L. DEANE,
                                         _Brevet Major & A. A. A. Gen._



Major Delany was fully cognizant of the exceeding delicacy of his
position, filling, as he was, a position of trust and honor such as no
man of his race had ever yet obtained under the general government; and
how easily it could be compromised _in his case_! yet his old ardor
in contributing his efforts in building up any measure, or uprooting
whatever opposition presented itself in the onward march of his race,
remained unabated.

Notwithstanding his position in the army, yet to every one aware
of his life-long consecration to the interests of his race, there
would be no hesitancy on their part to decide on which side he would
be found in any matter in which he should choose between them and
his position. While he studiously avoided the general discussion of
politics, he was by no means indifferent to the political aspect of
the times, and aided, in his position as the military official, as he
had formerly done in deeds as the civilian. Thus, while in Beaufort
awaiting orders, the subject of reconstruction being under popular
discussion, he perceived that the claims of the colored people were
evaded; and that the sacrifice of lives made in countless battle-fields
by dusky warriors, that the country might be saved, was valueless
and unappreciated. His moral courage urged him to remonstrate, even
though his position should be compromised. To this end he addressed the
following to President Johnson, which afterwards found its way into

    _To His Excellency_ PRESIDENT JOHNSON:

    Sir: _I propose, simply_ as a black man,--one of the race most
    directly interested in the question of _enfranchisement_ and
    the _exercise_ of suffrage,--_a cursory view of the basis of
    security for perpetuating the Union_.

    When the compact was formed, the British--a foreign
    nation--threatened the integrity and destruction of the
    American colonies. This outside pressure drove them together
    as independent states, and so long as they desired a
    Union,--appreciating the power of the enemy, and comprehending
    their own national strength,--it was sufficient security
    against any attempt at a dissolution or foreign subjugation.

    So soon, however, as, mistaking their own strength, or
    designing an alliance with some other power, a portion
    of those states became dissatisfied with the Union, and
    recklessly sought its dissolution by a resort to the sword,
    so nearly equally divided were the two sections, that foreign
    intervention or an exhausting continuance of the struggle would
    most certainly have effected a dissolution of the Union.

    But an element, heretofore latent and unthought of,--a power
    passive and unrecognized,--suddenly presented itself to the
    American mind, and its arm to the nation. This power was
    developed in the blacks, heretofore discarded as a national
    nonentity--a dreg or excrescence on the body politic. Free,
    without rights, or slaves, mainly,--therefore _things_
    constructively,--when called to the country’s aid they
    developed a force which proved the balance precisely called
    for, and essentially necessary as an elementary part of the
    national strength. Without this force, or its equivalent, the
    rebellion could not have been subdued, and without it as an
    inseparable national element, the Union is insecure.

    What becomes necessary, then, to secure and perpetuate the
    integrity of the Union, is simply the _enfranchisement_ and
    recognition of the _political equality_ of the power that saved
    the nation from destruction in a time of imminent peril--a
    recognition of the _political equality_ of the blacks with
    the whites in all of their relations as American citizens.
    Therefore, with the elective franchise, and the exercise of
    suffrage in all of the Southern States recently holding slaves,
    there is no earthly power able to cope with the United States
    as a military power; consequently nothing to endanger the
    national integrity. Nor can there ever arise from this element
    the same contingency to threaten and disturb the quietude of
    the country as that which has just been so happily disposed of.
    Because, believing themselves sufficiently able, either with or
    without foreign aid, the rebels drew the sword against their
    country, which developed a power in national means--military,
    financial, and statesmanship--that astonished the world, and
    brought them to submission. Hence, whatever their disposition
    or dissatisfaction, the blacks, nor any other fractional part
    of the country, with the historic knowledge before them of its
    prowess, will ever be foolhardy enough to attempt rebellion
    or secession. And their own political interest will ever keep
    them true and faithful to the Union, thereby securing their own
    liberty, and proving a lasting safe-guard as a balance in the
    political scale of the country.

    As the fear of the British, as an outside pressure, drove,
    and for a time kept and held the Union together, so will the
    fear of the loss of liberty and their political status, as an
    element in this great nation, serve as the outside pressure
    _necessary_ to secure the fidelity of the blacks to the Union.
    And this fidelity, unlike that of the rebels, need never be
    mistrusted; because, unlike them, the blacks have before them
    the _proofs_ of the _power_ and _ability_ of the Union to
    maintain unsullied the _prestige_ of the national integrity,
    even were they, like them, traitorously disposed to destroy
    their country, or see it usurped by foreign nations.

    This, sir, seems to me conclusive, and is the main point upon
    which I base my argument against the contingency of a future
    dissolution of the American Union, and in favor of its security.

    I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

                                                    M. R. DELANY,
                                              _Major 104th U. S. C. T._

    PORT ROYAL ISLAND, S. C., July 25, 1866.

On another occasion from his island post he stood an interested
listener to the sounds which the breeze bore up to him, telling of the
plans of reconstruction towards the Southern States. Impatient, he
watched for the action of the leaders of colored people themselves on
this momentous question, but as yet saw no evidence of it.

In his position as an officer in the service of the government, and a
civil magistrate, as all officers of the Bureau necessarily are, he was
contributing a giant’s help to the cause, which, in view of the limited
sphere apportioned his race, rendered him an invaluable auxiliary.

The political horizon had suddenly become overcast; the rôle of the
executive was changed to that of Pharaoh instead of “Moses,” and he
beheld with joy the general uprising of the colored people in their
strength to avert the threatening ruin.

It was an occasion long to be remembered, and suggestive of a moral
which should not be lost sight of by the American people. They sent
from every section of the Union delegated representatives of their own
race to the national capital, near the government, to “lobby” for their
claims in the great American body politic, as at this time these claims
were fast being evaded, if not actually ignored.

It is not yet forgotten the visit of the delegates to the president;
his remarks on the occasion, with the advice to _place their cause
before the people_; or the able manner in which the noble Douglass
replied to him, and the subsequent ringing appeal which he made resound
through the land to reach the people.

Major Delany, anxious to identify himself with the movement, though
absent from the immediate scene, showed his entire coöperation with
them in the following letter, which he addressed to them:--

                                                    BUREAU R. F. A. L.,
                                 PORT ROYAL, HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S. C.,
                                                    February, 22, 1866.

    DOUGLASS, JOHN JONES, L. H. DOUGLASS, and others, Colored
    Delegation representing the Political Interests of the
    Colored People of the United States, now near the Capital and
    Government, Washington, D. C._

    My dear Brothers: I have been watching with deep interest your
    movements at Washington, near the government of your country.
    I need not repeat to you that which you all know, and that
    which we have oft repeated to each other privately, in council,
    and through the public journals,--we are one in interest and
    destiny in America. I am with you; yea, if your intentions,
    designs, purposes, matter, and _manner_ continue the same as
    those presented to the chief magistrate of the nation, then
    I am with you always, even to the end. Be mild, as is the
    nature of your race; be respectful and deferential, as you
    will be; and dignified as you have been; but be determined and
    persevering. Your position before the saged president, and
    reply after you left him, challenges the admiration of the
    world. At least it challenges mine, and as a brother you have

    Do not misjudge the president, but believe, as I do, that he
    means to do right; that his intentions are good; that he is
    interested, among those of others of his fellow-citizens,
    in the welfare of the black man. That he loves Cæsar none
    the less, but Rome more. Do not expect too much of him--as
    black men, I mean. Do not forget that you are black and he
    is white. Make large allowances for this, and take this as
    the stand-point. Whatever we may think of ourselves, do not
    forget that we are far in advance of our white American
    fellow-citizens in that direction. Remember that men are very
    differently constituted, and what one will dread and shun
    another will boldly dare and venture; where one would succeed
    another might fail. Not far from where I am at present posted
    on the coast of South Carolina, there are several inlets, of
    which I will name two--Edisto and St. Helena. Of these, one
    pilot will shun one, and another the other, each taking his
    vessel easily through that which he enters; while another will
    not venture into either, but prefers--especially during a
    storm--to go outside to sea for the safety of the vessel; all
    reaching, timely, their destination, Hilton Head, in safety.

    Here, what one shuns as a danger another regards as a point of
    safety; and that which one dreads another dares. What General
    Sherman succeeded in, General Meade might have failed in; while
    General Grant may have prosecuted either with success. Men must
    be measured and adjudged according to their temperaments and
    peculiar constitutional faculties.

    Do not grow weary nor discouraged, neither disheartened nor
    impatient. Do not forget God. Think, O think how wonderfully
    he made himself manifest during the war. Only think how he
    confounded, not only the wisdom of the mighty of this land, but
    of the world, making them confess that he is the Lord, high
    over all, and most mighty. He still lives. Put your trust in
    him. As my soul liveth, you will reap if you faint not. Wait!
    “The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but
    he that endureth to the end.” Bide your time.

    Since we last met in council great changes have taken place,
    and much has been gained. The battle-cry has been heard in
    our midst, a terrible contest of civil war has raged, and a
    death-struggle for national life summoned every lover of the
    Union to the combat. We among our fellow-citizens received the
    message, and eagerly obeyed the call. Our black right arms
    were stripped, our bosoms bared, and we stood in the front rank
    of battle. Slavery yielded, the yoke was broken, the manacles
    shattered, the shackles fell, and we stood forth a race
    redeemed! Instead of despair, “Glory to God!” rather let us
    cry. In the cause of our country you and I have done, and still
    are doing, our part, and a great and just nation will not be
    unmindful of it. God is just. Stand still and see his salvation.

        “Be patient in your misery;
        Be meek in your despair;
        Be patient, O be patient!
        Suffer on, suffer on!”

    Your brother in the cause of our common country,

                                                      M. R. DELANY.

Before the immediate reapers themselves could discern the whitening
harvest, he had within sight other fields in which to lead them.

For their protection, and at the same time to facilitate the duties
of the Bureau, he established a police system, each plantation or
settlement having its distinct body of policemen, not exceeding five.
This included the chief, or, as called by the freedmen, “headman,” who
made choice of his assistants, who reported, and were responsible to
him for their action; the chief, in turn, monthly reporting to Major
Delany. And all such cases as could not be settled by the chief of
police were immediately reported to him at headquarters. As it was
mutually beneficial, causing each to respect the right of the other,
this arrangement found favor with both planters and freedmen. It was
practically demonstrating the reality of the new social relation. It
was designed by him to prove the fitness of the ex-slave to perform his
part in the duties of the civil, with equal ability to that displayed
in the military service of the government, while it would seem to make
him more self-reliant, and desirous of controlling his own affairs as a
free man. It proved a success.

After its adoption, Brigadier General Nye, commanding the district
at that time, witnessing its utility, at once approved of it. And it
continued uninterrupted through all the succeeding commands.

Their vigilance in detecting fraud and other unlawful practices, it
was acknowledged, far exceeded the military police. Nothing seemed to
escape them. Indeed, it was often said their adroitness in detection
was such as might be coveted by a New York detective.

They were frequently called upon by the military authorities to
accomplish work which strictly belonged to the soldier police, but in
which they had failed.

It was a matter of general regret that there was no remuneration
provided for these men, who had so cheerfully and faithfully served the
country, aiding in establishing order where otherwise anarchy might
have ensued.



Of the military gentlemen stationed at the post of Hilton Head, the
major writes thus: “In addition to these high-toned military gentlemen,
already named as aiding me, and making easy as well as pleasant the
duties of my office in the bureau, I with pleasure acknowledge my
indebtedness to Lieutenant Colonel Thompson, Assistant Provost Marshal
General, Lieutenant Colonel Bennett, 21st United States Colored Troops,
and Lieutenant Colonel O. Moore, who expelled John Morgan from Ohio,
Colonel Douglass Frazer, of the 104th United States Colored Troops,
and Brevet Brigadier General Nye, of the 29th Maine Volunteers, all
commanding at the post. Captain Henry Sharpe, of the 21st United
States Colored Troops, Lieutenant Hermon, Lieutenant Tracy, 29th
Maine Volunteers, and Provost Major H. E. Whitfield, 128th United
States Colored Troops, Assistant Provost Judges, and Lieutenant C. F.
Richards, 21st United States Colored Troops, Assistant Adjutant General
Lieutenant Jones, and Lieutenant Blanchard, 21st United States Colored
Troops, and that excellent gentleman, now President of Florida Land and
Lumber Company, Dr. J. M. Hawkes, Surgeon 21st United States Colored
Troops. It is due, as a military courtesy, that I should make this
record of the names of gentlemen who came forward at a time when most
required, and aided in measures so important to the new life upon which
a large portion of the political and social element of the nation was
just entering.”

As bearing a close relation to his official duties, we give in this
connection the subjoined correspondence, being a letter of thanks from
that distinguished philanthropist, the Rev. George Whipple, formerly
professor of mathematics in Oberlin College, in behalf of the American
Missionary Association. This, coming from such an Association, is
deemed of sufficient importance to show the general character of the
major in whatever position he is placed,--ever untiring in his efforts
to aid the cause of humanity, and unselfish in his aim.

                                                NEW YORK, July 5, 1867.

    Major M. R. DELANY, _Bureau of R. F. & A. L., Hilton Head,
    South Carolina_.

    Dear Major: Several of our teachers have reported your
    attention to their interests, and many acts of kindness in
    ministering to their comfort.

    In their behalf and at their request, and in the behalf and at
    the request of my associates in these rooms, I beg of you to
    accept our and their thanks for your oft-repeated kindnesses
    to them, and your continued interest in our great work. As you
    have given them more--“a cup of cold water” in the name of a
    disciple, may you receive a disciple’s reward.

    Permit me to add the assurance that I take great pleasure in
    being the agent of our friends in this matter. My cordial
    thanks accompany theirs.

    Yours in behalf of the poor and needy,

                                                   GEORGE WHIPPLE,
                                             _Corresponding Secretary_.

The graceful reply to the letter of the Association is worthy of
admiration, replete with loyalty and gratitude to the noble band, who
for long years have labored without faltering for the well being of his

                                 HEADQUARTERS PROV. DIST., HILTON HEAD,
                                      PORT ROYAL, S. C., July 18, 1867.

    Professor GEORGE WHIPPLE, _Cor. Sec. A. M. A., 53 John St., New

    My dear Sir: Your very kind letter in behalf of the teachers
    and your Christian associates in the rooms of your great
    institution was received by the last mail here.

    Permit me to state that I have done nothing more, in my
    attentions to the excellent self-sacrificing and intelligent
    ladies and gentlemen continually sent to this district,
    to labor for the moral elevation of my once oppressed and
    degraded, but now, thank God, disinthralled brethren, in
    the new social relations which this wonderful dispensation
    of divine Providence has brought about in fulfilment of his
    promise, and the promotion of his own glory, than my simple
    duty. If I have done that, I shall feel satisfied and thankful.

    If my acts have been worthy of their and your acceptance, I
    feel that I may have done something feebly in return towards
    repaying the long years of untiring labor, anxiety, hazard,
    and pecuniary loss of the Phillipses, Garrisons, Whipples,
    Browns, Motts, McKims, Burleighs, Wrights, Pillsburys,
    Fosters, Leavitts, Wilsons, Sumners, Stevenses, Hales, Wades,
    Giddingses, Whittiers, Parkers, Lovejoys, the Chases, Pinneys,
    Collinses, Cheevers, Bellows, Beechers, Stowes, Elders Mahans,
    Phinneys and Tappans, Rankins, Joselyns, Smiths, Goodells,
    and Adamses, and others of your race, for the outraged and
    down-trodden of mine. For this I deserve no thanks. But in my
    heart of hearts I not only thank you for tender, Christian-like
    expressions in conveying to me their sentiments, but in
    return for the patient endurance of yourself and such as
    those named, for your incessant labors for the overthrow of
    American slavery, the superstition and heathen regeneration and
    civilization of foreign lands, all of which are peopled by the
    colored races, your continued efforts in their behalf, and the
    elevation of man.

    Please convey to the teachers and your Association my heartfelt
    gratitude for their expressions of kindness towards me, and
    accept for yourself, dear Professor, my highest personal
    regards and esteem,

                                                       M. R. DELANY.

In his report to the Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau concerning
the school system, the reform which he advocated was not without
deliberation, as demonstrated by a circumstance in his own experience.
After his failures in authorship, the Central American expedition
project, and railroad improvement, in consequence of all being
attempted at the same time, as if to redeem that unsuccessful period of
his singularly active life of its appearance of uselessness, a position
entirely new in his rôle presented itself.

The principalship of a colored school was offered to him by a committee
of the seventh ward. At first he declined, as he contemplated resuming
the practice of medicine, his legitimate and choice profession. But the
board insisting, as the school by law was compelled to open within a
week, and no teacher had been secured, he accepted on conditions that
he should be relieved in one month, or so soon as a teacher could be

He took charge at once, and organized what was then one of the most
unmanageable schools, a great portion of the pupils being large boys
and girls. The rules laid down by the board allowed _whipping_, while
they forbade suspension or dismissal of the pupils from school. To flog
a pupil, he alleged, was an evidence of the incapacity for governing
on the part of the teacher, and that when it was evident a pupil could
not be restrained without resorting to such measures, he was unfit to
be among the others.

He notified the directors of his objections to their rule. He
regarded it as barbarous, rendering the school-house repulsive and
objectionable, instead of being associated with pleasant and profitable
memories. Therefore, if they desired him to take the school, he would
conduct it in his own way.

They yielded to him in the manner of government. This resulted in
binding the pupils to him by ties of sincere devotion, and he remained
for thirteen months instead of the one month agreed upon at first.
When he resigned, it was a source of regret among both pupils and
directors. Teaching, though he loved it as a continual medium of
imparting knowledge to the young, yet it was confining him to a sphere
too limited for the grasp of his desires. In this capacity he will
be remembered by some of the now adult inhabitants of Pittsburg, and
his excellent assistant, now the wife of one of the professors of the
College of Liberia.

We here insert a portion of his report bearing upon his observation
of the schools of his district, and an extract from his last annual
report, made to headquarters of the assistant commissioner, for the
year 1867, ending the last of August, the close of the planting season.
The report is replete with suggestions, and equal to the demands of the
time. If the suggestions made be carried out, there would accrue a vast
amount of good, rendering the laborer less dependent on others, and
more frugal, whereas, in pursuing his former line of labor, he was kept
at disadvantage on account of the expenses to be kept up before the
sale of cotton, the staple, in the cultivation of which the freedmen
use all their time, money, and labor.

    Even to make this an effective and self-sustaining measure,
    the local habits of the occupants must be essentially changed.
    Instead of the former old plantation people remaining on the
    places as a local preference, which generally allows but an
    average of five (5) acres to the family, the lands must be let
    in portions of not less than twenty (20) acres to each family
    before they can be made available to their support. This would
    necessitate a general scattering, or greater division of the
    people, causing at first quite a change of places with many. To
    do justice to the people as an available, sociable, or domestic
    element, no one hundred acres of farming land should be
    occupied by more than five (5) families, thus allowing twenty
    (20) acres to the family, which, in the light of domestic or
    political economy, is little enough. Less than this is to place
    them in a position of hazardous uncertainty and anxiety, and
    encourage idleness and improvidence, by inducing the thriftless
    to settle under circumstances which must make them burdensome
    to the thrifty and provident. By this course the aged and
    otherwise needy and deserving helpless could be easily aided by
    their neighbors, without, as now, being over-burdensome.

    It is very evident that the entire system of cultivation will
    have to be changed, both in the method of doing it, and more
    especially the produce raised, to suit and meet the change
    in the social system and the demands and status of these
    new possessors and permanent residents of small farms or
    gardens. Every month in the year but one (December) may be
    made productive of some vegetable for provision, or family
    use, whereby the people may be independent in subsistence. It
    is a settled matter that in this country cotton can only be
    profitably produced by extensive cultivation and large capital,
    under favorable circumstances; consequently it is a loss of
    time and labor for the freedmen to plant cotton with their
    limited means of land and materials, as the ground to them can
    be put to a much more useful and profitable purpose.

    I am preparing the people in this sub-district to this end, and
    believe that against the approaching leasing year they will
    be quite willing and ready to enter into the new system of
    habitation and occupancy.

    During the current year there have been no rations issued in
    this sub-district, except two hundred (200) bushels of corn
    from the Southern Relief Association, and five hundred (500)
    bushels of corn, and one thousand (1000) pounds of bacon,
    of the Congressional appropriation; assigned through the
    Commissary of Subsistence Bureau, Charleston.

    The example and precepts of the teachers have been such as to
    merit my most hearty approval. But there is one custom as yet
    common to schools, and almost regarded as an essential part of
    training, and which I most heartily desire should be done away
    with. I refer to _whipping_ children as a correction in school.
    It is simply a relic of ignorance, and should not be tolerated
    by intelligence. And while this is tolerated, teachers will
    resort to it as the easiest and to them least troublesome mode
    of correction.

    A teacher either is, or is not, adapted to teaching. If
    properly adapted, she could and should teach without whipping.
    If she cannot correct and control her pupils without whipping,
    then it only proves that she is not adapted to teaching, and
    all such should seek other employment. This is not a reflection
    on any particular teacher or teachers, but a condemnation of
    the general customs of schools. A school-house should be made a
    place of the most pleasurable resort and agreeable associations
    to children, but certain it is that in no wise can this be
    the case where the great hickory, thong, leather strap, or
    bridle-rein meets, as it enters the school-house, the child’s
    eye as it does the eye of the visitor, reminding one, as it
    must the other, of entering the presence of the old plantation
    overseer in waiting for his victim.



The order for mustering out the remaining volunteer officers was long
anticipated, and anxiously looked for by these officers, and by none
more than by Major Delany, who, as sub-assistant commissioner of the
Bureau distinct of Hilton Head would be affected by this. At last it
was received, as will be seen by the following document. While upon
this subject, a humorous anecdote, bearing on this subject, may be

While awaiting the order, about the middle of December, he visited the
headquarters of the assistant commissioner at Charleston.

On entering the department of the adjutant general, a group of officers
surrounded the desk of the acting adjutant, who, at the time, was
reading out the names of the officers mustered out by special orders,
which had just been received from the war department that morning,
erasing them from the roster suspended on the wall before him, among
which was his own name.

“How is this, major?” asked the chief clerk; “I do not see your name
among them. Do you report regularly?”

“I do; my report for this month was sent on now more than ten days,” he

“How is it that you are not among these named in the special order just
received?” inquired the acting assistant adjutant general, with much

“I suppose,” said the major, very quaintly, “that I am in the position
of the old black man, a devoted Second Adventer, during the Millerite
excitement, who, disposing of his earthly effects, betook himself
to a cellar, with simply food and fuel sufficient to sustain him
comfortably, the season being winter. While waiting, a snow storm came
on, the drift completely embanking that side of the street, burying
everything beneath it.

“Thus isolated, and enveloped in darkness for several days, except the
light of his little fire, without the sound of a footstep or voice
above, the old man believed that the final consummation of all things
had taken place, and he was actually left in his tomb.

“Presently the scavengers reached his cellar door, when, first hearing
footsteps, succeeded by scraping and prying, then light ushering in
through the cracks as the snow was removed. Suddenly bursting up the
cellar door, the old man exclaimed, ‘Is de end come?’ Being answered
in the negative, ‘O!’ said he, ‘I thought de end was come, an’ all
you white folks was gone up, an’ forgot dis old black saint.’ Now,”
concluded the major, turning to the assistant adjutant general, “I
suppose de end is come, an’ all you white folks is _gone up_, an’
forgot dis black saint,” amidst a roar of laughter among the officers.

A few days after this an order came from Washington, retaining Brevet
Major General Scott in the service, as assistant commissioner, on the
staff of Major General Canby, commanding the Second Military District,
by whose advice and generous indorsement the retention of Major Delany
was recommended to General Canby, and by which he has been retained in
the service.

Thus, in addition to the established duties of his office, he is now
the disbursing officer of soldiers’ claims for the sub-district of
Hilton Head.

This is another testimony, as exhibited by different commanders, of
the ability and usefulness of this officer in retaining him. But while
fully appreciating these repeated recognitions of his service to the
government by these high officials, giving it the full value of its
civil and political worth, construing it to a desire of recognizing the
true status of the colored race as American citizens by the continuance
of their only representative, as an incumbent and military officer
in this prominent and honorable position of the government, Major
Delany says, “By this change or modification in its jurisdiction the
Bureau loses nothing, but otherwise its status and prestige is thereby

“Previous to this an important difficulty presented itself. A
large force of volunteer officers must be kept up in a time of
peace,--which is contrary to the jurisprudence of all highly civilized
nations,--or the volunteer officers must be mustered out, and thus
leave an important arm of the war department without the necessary
administrative government.

“To impose the duties of the Bureau on the officers of the regular
army, would be to entail duties which they could not care to have upon
them, and, therefore, for the most part, neglect. To employ civilians,
would bring them directly under the military men, wholly ignorant
of the details, import, and meaning of military orders and duties.
To employ those who have been commissioned officers in the service,
competent for the duties, would involve an expense equal, at least, to
that already incurred by the volunteer officers now on duty.

“The only course left the government in carrying out the well-regulated
custom of reducing the army to a true peace basis, by doing away with
an independent volunteer force in time of peace, was to place the
bureau under the regular army.

“This virtually places Major General O. O. Howard on the staff of
General Grant; Brevet Major General R. K. Scott, and all other
assistant commissioners, _de facto_, on the staffs of the major
generals commanding the military districts; brings the entire volunteer
officers, retained in the service, under and subject to, without being
in, the regular army; and cements a perfect harmony between these two
branches of the government which nothing can detract.

“In this stride of statesmanship, will it be presumed that the American
army, or the military branch of the government, has no statesmen as
competent counsellors of the executive?”

                                 HEADQUARTERS SECOND MILITARY DISTRICT,
                                   CHARLESTON, S. C., December 4, 1867.

    _General Orders. No. 140._

    The following general orders, from the headquarters of the
    army, are republished for the information and guidance of all

                           HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, ADJT. GEN. OFFICE,
                                         WASHINGTON, November 26, 1867.

    _General Orders. No. 101._

    The following orders have been received from the War
    Department, and will be duly executed:--


    _Par._ III. All volunteer officers now retained in service
    will be mustered out, to take effect January 1, 1868, except
    the commissioner and the disbursing officers of the Bureau of
    Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.

    By command of

                                                         General GRANT.

    E. D. TOWNSEND, _Asst. Adjt. Gen._

    By command of

                                  Brevet Major General ED. R. S. CANBY.


                                              Louis V. Caziarc,
                                  _Aid-de-Camp, Act’g Asst. Adjt. Gen._

                                 HEADQUARTERS SECOND MILITARY DISTRICT,
                                   CHARLESTON, S. C., December 6, 1867.

    _General Orders. No. 145._

    The following arrangement of the troops in this district will
    be carried into effect with as little delay as possible.


    In addition to duties with which they are charged by existing
    orders, commanding officers of posts are designated as
    sub-assistant commissioners of the Bureau of Refugees,
    Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, for the districts embraced
    within the territorial limits of their commands, and will
    exercise all the functions of officers of that bureau, except
    so far as relates to the administration and control of the
    funds or property of the bureau.


    All officers and agents of the bureau, who may be on duty
    within the territorial limits of any post, will report to its
    commander, and will be governed by his instructions in all that
    relates to the protection of persons and property, under the
    laws of the United States, the regulations of the bureau, and
    the orders of the district commander. In all that relates to
    the details of administration, they will report as heretofore
    to the assistant commissioner for the state in which they are
    stationed. The assistant commissioners for the States of North
    and South Carolina, respectively, will furnish the commanders
    of posts with the names and stations of the officers and agents
    of the bureau on duty within the limits of their respective
    commands, and with a statement of any special duties they may
    have been charged with in relation to the protection of person
    and property. They will also, by conference or correspondence
    with the post commander, determine what officers or agents of
    the bureau can be relieved or discharged, and report the same
    to district headquarters.

    By command of

                                  Brevet Major General ED. R. S. CANBY.


                                              LOUIS V. CAZIARC,
                                  _Aid-de-Camp, Act’g Asst. Adjt. Gen._

                              HEADQUARTERS ASST. COMR. BUREAU REFUGEES,
                                  CHARLESTON, S. C., December 19, 1867.

    Major M. R. DELANY, _Asst. Sub-Asst. Comr._

    Major: In accordance with the provisions of general orders No.
    145, C. S., Second Military District, I am directed by the
    assistant commissioner to inform you that your designation and
    limits of your district are as follows:--

    You will hereafter be designated as Assistant Sub-Assistant
    Commissioner for Hilton Head, Savage, Bull, Dawfuskie,
    Pinckney, and Long Pine Islands, and will report to Brevet
    Brigadier General H. B. Clitz, port of Charleston, and
    sub-assistant commissioner, subject to existing orders and

    I am, major, very respectfully,

                      Your most obedient servant,

                                           EDWARD L. DEANE,
                              _Brevet Major, A. D. C., & A. A. A. Gen._

                              HEADQUARTERS ASST. COMR. BUREAU REFUGEES,
                         FREEDMEN, AND ABANDONED LANDS, DIST. OF S. C.,
                                   CHARLESTON, S. C., February 8, 1868.

    Major M. R. DELANY, _Acting Sub-Assistant Commissioner_,
    _Hilton Head, S. C._

    Major: The following copy of indorsement from War Department,
    Adjutant General’s Office, dated January 28, 1868, is
    respectfully furnished for your information.

    Respectfully returned to Major General O. O. Howard,
    Commissioner. Major M. R. Delany, 104th United States Colored
    Troops, having been reported in your letter of November 30,
    1867, as on duty in the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and
    Abandoned Lands, as a disbursing officer, was retained in
    service under the provisions of General Orders 101, November
    26, 1867, from this office.

                                            (Signed) THOMAS M. VINCENT,
                                                     _Asst. Adjt. Gen_.

    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

                                                    H. NEIDE,
                              _Brevet Major, 1st Lieut. 44th Infantry_,
                                               _Act’g Asst. Adjt. Gen_.

With this last order we will bring this volume to a close. We have
endeavored to narrate the career of an individual of our time, living
and still working in our midst, the extent of whose labors, and the
great ability demonstrated in their execution, cannot be thoroughly
understood or felt, without first having known the great struggle and
anxiety entailed in its accomplishment. This we have attempted to give,
but found it no easy task; therefore we have simply narrated the events
of his singularly active life, allowing the reader to deduce his own

At this writing, Major Delany is still in the service of the
government, as sub-assistant commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau,
while many of the volunteer officers have been mustered out, under
order of the department at Washington.

In his retention, is shown the recognition and the thorough
appreciation of the indefatigable zeal and great ability displayed by
the black officer, especially as in conjunction with his former duties
others, in which greater responsibilities are entailed, are assigned
to him. His efficient labors in the department render him a distinct
character from his surroundings, while his administrative qualities
attract the attention of friends and foes alike, as unprecedented in
the history of his race in this country. While comments may vary, they
unite in saying, “There is still a latent amount of greatness within
the man, which has not yet been called forth.”

To his lofty aspirations, and great originality of thoughts, together
with his real earnestness in everything he undertakes, and his iron
will to pursue to completion, we trace the secret of his success in
this field.

Illustrating in his career entire personal sacrifice for the
accomplishment of a grand purpose, no character has been produced by
our civilization in comparison with which this remarkable man would
be deemed inferior. Men have died for the freedom and elevation of
the race, and thereby have contributed more to advance the cause than
would their living efforts, while others have lived for it, and under
circumstances where death would have been easier. Such describes
Martin Delany. Nature marked him for combat and victory, and not for
martyrdom. His life-long service, from which neither poverty nor
dangers could deter him, his great vitality and energy under all and
every circumstance, which have never abated, proclaim this truth. His
life furnishes a rare enthusiasm for race not expected in the present
state of American society, occasioned by his constant researches into
anything relative to their history. No living man is better able to
write the history of the race, to whom it has been a constant study,
than he; as it is considered by the most earnest laborers in the same
sphere that few, if any, among them, have so entirely consecrated
themselves to the idea of race as his career shows. His religion,
his writings, every step in life, is based upon this idea. His creed
begins and ends with it--that the colored race can only obtain their
true status as men, by relying on their own identity; that they must
prove, by merit, all that white men claim; then color would cease to
be an objection to their progress--that the blacks must take pride in
being black, and show their claims to superior qualities, before the
whites would be willing to concede them equality. This he claims as the
foundation of his manhood. Upon this point Mr. Frederick Douglass once
wittily remarked, “Delany stands so straight that he leans a little

Such is the personal history of an individual of the race, whose great
strength of character, amid the multitudinous agencies adverse to his
progress, has triumphantly demonstrated negro capability for greatness
in every sphere wherein he has acted.

The late revolution has resulted in bringing the race to which he
belongs into prominence. They have begun their onward march towards
that higher civilization promised at the close of the war. Let no
unhallowed voice be lifted to stay their progress; then, with all
barriers removed, the glorious destiny promised to them can be
achieved. And then our country, continuing to recognize merit alone
in her children, as shown in the appointment of the black major of
Carolina, will add renewed strength to her greatness. Begirt with
loyal hearts and strong arms, the mission of our revolution shall
embrace centuries in its march, securing the future stability of our
country, and proclaiming with truthfulness the grandeur of republican
institutions to the civilization of Christendom.



Having given thus far, in a most impartial manner, the services of
Major Delany; endeavoring to concede all that rightfully belongs to
him, without debarring others of their dues; claiming, as we have
in this work, _for him always an advanced position_; to bear out
this statement more fully, we add some selections from his published
political works, which will show that his administration in a military
capacity but reflected the brilliancy kindled about the civilian.

The most remarkable feature of the greater portion of the writings is,
that they constitute the _present essential principles_ which form
the basis of the reconstruction of the South, and ultimately for the
nation at large. These are definitely and significantly expressed in
paragraphs 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 18th, and 22d of the Platform
or Declaration of Sentiments, and also in his paper on the Political
Destiny of the Colored Races, &c.

These are the writings to which reference has been previously made, and
were presented before, and adopted by the Cleveland Convention of 1854,
without modification of any kind.

On the appearance of these, numerous comments were drawn from the
leading daily journals of the country. From the Pittsburg Daily Post,
of October 18, 1854 (a pro-slavery paper), we quote the following:--

“Dr. M. R. Delany, of Pittsburg, was the chairman of the committee
that made this report to the convention. It was, of course, adopted.
If Dr. D. drafted this report, it certainly does him much credit for
learning and ability, and cannot fail to establish for him a reputation
for vigor and brilliancy of imagination never yet surpassed.” Not
being able to continue long in this vein, it concludes: “It is a vast
conception, of impossible birth. The committee seem entirely to have
overlooked the strength of the ‘powers on the earth’ that would oppose
the Africanization of more than half the western hemisphere.”

In their singular adaptability to the extraordinary events now
challenging the highest intelligence of the land for their permanent
adjustment, they will be regarded as reflecting no ordinary credit
on the colored race for one of their number to adduce such thoughts
as are contained in these on National Polity and Individual Rights,
published as they were some thirteen years ago, hence prior to the
present discussions upon the new issues. While the position he claimed
and sentiments expressed are most thoroughly anti-slavery, they are
unlike in their issues, and manner of presenting such, as well as far
in advance of the _then_ most radical, with few noble exceptions, and
_now_ in harmony with the requirements of the times. Then they were
looked upon as extremely impracticable measures and sentiments. Now
they will testify to the fitness of the colored people for the present
right they claim; as these issues, instead of finding them unprepared,
as their political enemies proclaim, it has found theories promulgated
by a black representative, standing in the midst of this mighty
political combat, side by side with the most advanced of his white
brothers on either continent.

Whatever the seeming tenor of the advice and feelings which thrill
through these productions, it should be remembered they were written at
a time when the present state of the country was scarcely expected to
be realized, in our age, even by the radicals; penned within sight of
slave renditions into bondage, when his manhood was humiliated by the
legal ordeal under which the colored people of the United States were
placed by that most infamous of enactments, the Fugitive Slave Law.

After the publication of his paper on the Destiny of the Colored
Race in America,[7] a committee, selected for the purpose, sent a
copy to each member of the Congress, of which Mr. Frank Blair was a
member, he having acknowledged its receipt by letter to Mr. J. M.
Whitfield, one of the committee, and in which he broached the subject
he afterwards made the theme of his lecture which surprised the country
from the boldness of the position taken. By comparing the scheme put
forth during the year 1844-5, in favor of Central and South American
emigration, and the brilliant effort of Mr. Frank P. Blair in its
behalf, including his great lecture before the Boston Lyceum, we
venture to assume that it was suggested by the paper herein presented.

In the recent report of his African explorations, the following curious
document we quote, as among his political works. To the discerning
historical reader it will be read with interest, while its significance
will become in time more appreciable.

                         _African Commission_.

    The president and officers of the General Board of
    Commissioners, viz., W. H. Day, A. M., President, Matisen F.
    Bailey, Vice-President, George W. Brodie, Secretary, James
    Madison Bell, Treasurer, Alfred Whipple, Auditor, Dr. Martin R.
    Delany, Special Foreign Secretary, Abram D. Shadd, James Henry
    Harris, and Isaac D. Shadd, the executive council in behalf
    of the organization for the promotion of the political and
    other interests of the colored inhabitants of North America,
    particularly the United States and Canada.

    To all unto whom these letters may come, greeting: The said
    General Board of Commissioners, in executive council assembled,
    have this day chosen, and by these presents do hereby appoint
    and authorize Dr. Martin Robison Delany, of Chatham County
    of Kent, Province of Canada, Chief Commissioner, and Robert
    Douglass, Esq., Artist, and Professor Robert Campbell,
    Naturalist, both of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one of the
    United States of America, to be Assistant Commissioners; Amos
    Aray, Surgeon, and James W. Prinnel, Secretary and Commercial
    Reporter, both of Kent County, Canada West, of a scientific
    corps, to be known by the name of

                  _The Niger Valley Exploring Party_.

    The object of this expedition is to make a topographical,
    geological, and geographical examination of the Valley of the
    River Niger, in Africa, and an inquiry into the state and
    condition of the people of that valley, and other parts of
    Africa, together with such other scientific inquiries as may
    by them be deemed expedient, for the purposes of science, and
    for general information; and without any reference to, and with
    the board being entirely opposed to, any emigration there as
    such. Provided, however, that nothing in this instrument be so
    construed as to interfere with the right of the commissioners
    to negotiate, in their own behalf, or that of any other parties
    or organization, for territory.

    The Chief Commissioner is hereby authorized to add one or
    more competent commissioners to their number, it being agreed
    and understood that this organization is, and is to be,
    exempted from the pecuniary responsibility of sending out this

    Dated at the office of the Executive Council, Chatham, County
    of Kent, Province of Canada, this thirtieth day of August, in
    the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight.

    By the President,

                                   WILLIAM HOWARD DAY.
                                   ISAAC D. SHADD, _Vice-President_.[8]
                                   GEORGE W. BRODIE, _Secretary_.

While the Commission is worthy of a place among his political writings,
the next in order, and of equal importance, furnishing another evidence
of his adaptability to circumstances, the essential characteristic to
his success, as well as that which has always been the secret of the
success of all men in public life, is his treaty made with the king
and chiefs of Abbeokuta, in view of advancing the future prosperity of
his fatherland. We give the treaty, extracted from page 35th of his
“Official Report.”

                             _The Treaty._

    This treaty, made between His Majesty Okukenu, Alake, Somoye,
    Ibashorum, Sokenu, Ogubonna, and Atambola, Chiefs, and Balaguns
    of Abbeokuta, on the first part, and Martin Robison Delany,
    and Robert Campbell, of the Niger Valley Exploring Party,
    commissioners from the African race of the United States and
    the Canadas, in America, on the second part, covenants:

    Art. 1. That the king and chiefs, on their part, agree to
    grant and assign unto the said commissioners, on behalf of the
    African race in America, the right and privilege of settling,
    in common with the Egba people, on any part of the territory
    belonging to Abbeokuta not otherwise occupied.

    Art. 2. That all matters requiring legal investigation among
    settlers be left to themselves, to be disposed of according to
    their own custom.

    Art. 3. That the commissioners, on their part, also agree that
    the settlers shall bring with them, as an equivalent for the
    privileges above accorded, intelligence, education, a knowledge
    of the arts and sciences, agriculture, and other mechanical and
    industrial occupations, which they shall put into immediate
    operation, by improving the lands, and in other useful

    Art. 4. That the laws of the Egba people shall be strictly
    respected by the settlers; and, in all matters in which both
    parties are concerned, an equal number of commissioners,
    mutually agreed upon, shall be appointed, who shall have power
    to settle such matters.

    As a pledge of our faith, and sincerity of our hearts, we each
    of us hereunto affix our hand and seal, this twenty-seventh
    day of December, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and

                                His Mark, × OKUKENU, ALAKE,
                                His Mark, × SOMOYE, IBASHORUM,
                                His Mark, × SOKENU, BALAGUN,
                                His Mark, × OGUBONNA, BALAGUN,
                                His Mark, × ATAMBALA, BALAGUN,
                                His Mark, × OGUSEYE, ARIABA,
                                His Mark, × AGTABO, BALAGUN, _O. S. O._
                                His Mark, × OGUDEMU, AGEOKI,
                                M. R. DELANY,
                                ROBERT CAMPBELL.

    Witness, SAMUEL CROWTHER, Jun.
    Attest, SAMUEL CROWTHER, Sen.

Says the report on the Niger Valley Exploration, “On the next evening,
the 28th, the king, with the executive council of chiefs and elders,
met at the palace in Aka, when the treaty was ratified by a unanimous
approval. Such general satisfaction ran through the council, that
the great chief, his highness Ogubonna, mounting his horse, then at
midnight, hastened to the residence of the surgeon Crowther, aroused
the father, the missionary, and author, and hastily informed him of the
action of the council.”

An event of revenge, from prejudice to his race, was of great personal
loss to himself, occasioned by the burning of Wilberforce College,
the first and only thoroughly literary institution of that capacity
owned and controlled solely by the colored people of this country.
This happened on the memorable night of the 14th of April, 1866; he
having had in the third story of the right wing of the edifice a room
as a depository of valuables, among which were his entire collection
of African curiosities, collected during his tour, together with his
entire European and African correspondence, and that with distinguished
Americans after his return home. In this conflagration it was a loss
entailed to him, never to be remedied, as these were the collections of
twenty years. Besides correspondence, there were manuscripts, by which
we are deprived of some of his finest productions.

The following papers are of a recent date:--

_Reflections on the War._

One important fact developed during this gigantic civil war, and which
could not have escaped the general and mature intelligent observer as a
result of the struggle, and so contrary to concessions under the old
relations of the Union, is, that no great statesmen were produced on
the part of the South; although at the commencement, at the Montgomery
Convention, or Provisional Congress, August, 1861, their independence
was declared, and consequently must have been fully matured, not a
measure was put forth of national import to sustain their cause, except
the issue of the cotton bonds thrown upon the foreign market--a cheat
so consistent with the Mississippi bond repudiation of Mr. Jefferson
Davis, that it is not difficult to determine the source of that
financial scheme, which, of itself, was an ordinary commercial measure,
of every-day transaction, enlarged to meet the occasion of a “national

Previous to the war, it was generally conceded that by far the ablest
statesmen in the service of the nation came from the South. And
doubtless this may have been so, for a long period of the government,
after the close of the revolutionary struggle; because, the people of
the North, caring for little else than business, of personal interests,
and local legislation, few men could be found among them willing to
devote more than one term in Congress, or the executive departments
of the government; while the policy of the South was to continue the
same men as long as possible in the councils, in consequence of their
domestic relations affording them ample time and leisure in their
absence from home to mature their plans of ascendency.

During the revolutionary period, which may be reckoned from the Albany
Continental Congress, in 1754, to the Peace Congress at Ghent, 1814,
both grand political divisions, north and south of Mason and Dixon’s
line, show with equal brilliancy in the national forum.

After the treaty of peace with Great Britain, gradually the leading
spirits passed away, either by death or withdrawal from public life,
till Clay, Calhoun, Adams, and Benton appeared for many years as the
only dependence of the country in questions and measures of great
national import.

These master spirits continued their career till they, in turn, one by
one, left the stage of action, the last terminating in 1852, by the
death of Mr. Webster.

Of this galaxy, the Hons. John Quincy Adams, of the House of
Representatives, and Henry Clay, of the Senate, were the leaders of
international measures; Senators Daniel Webster and Thomas H. Benton,
those of national import; while Senator John C. Calhoun was especially
confined to that of state rights sovereignty. During the existence of
these, there were other men of note and distinction, all of whom have
left the stage of action. Of the great personages above named, all,
excepting Senator Benton, have held the portfolio of first minister
of state; and it is notorious, that although Senator Calhoun’s was
under President James K. Polk, 1844, a period most auspicious for the
display of statesmanship, as great and vital questions of national
and international polity were prominent before the country and the
world,--such as the extension of territory, and the annexation of
Texas,--not a measure was put forth by Mr. Calhoun to meet the
exigencies of the occasion and the times. Indeed, that senator, outside
of “state sovereignty” and South Carolina, as history bears witness, as
a _statesman_, was a failure.

The social polity of the North being based upon labor, and that of
the South on leisure, depending on slave labor for maintenance, as an
almost natural consequence, the North neglected as much as possible
places of honor in the nation,--the army, and navy,--conceding these,
as a matter of course, in all good faith, to its brethren of the South.
In good faith the concession was certainly made, because the North then
as heartily approved of slavery as the South.

Foreign intervention being permanently settled, and no longer any
dread of a common enemy, the South accepted the indifference of the
North, and commenced preparations for her own independence. This was
probably maturing shortly after the battle of New Orleans (1815), till
the election of James Buchanan, 1856; or, more historically, from the
treaty of Ghent, 1814, to the Ostend Congress, in 1854.

When the civil war commenced, it was alarmingly apparent that the
South had by far the best officers, the North having few trustworthy,
or those of military experience. And while the army was routed, and
the enemy gaining strength at home and abroad, the masterly ability
of statesmanship of the North not only challenged the respect and
admiration of the world by the wisdom of the great executive head of
the government, but intricate questions of the greatest international
policy were raised, met, sustained, and established; military and
financial measures created by the ministers of state, war, and the
treasury, never yet equalled by any nation.

During the time immediately succeeding the revolutionary period,--from
1815 to 1851,--with the exception of representatives from Missouri,
Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware, in the persons of Hons. Thomas
H. Benton, Henry Clay, Reverdy Johnson, and John M. Clayton, every
great measure of national interest was represented by gentlemen of
the North. So completely had the state rights question engrossed the
attention of the South, that nothing could be elicited in the halls of
Congress from that side of the house, of whatever import the question,
but “Old Dominion” and “first families,” “South Carolina and state
rights,” “Georgia and negro slaves,” “Alabama and cotton,” “Louisiana,
slaves, and sugar,” “Mississippi negro traders,” “Arkansas and amen
with abolition,” “Texas and bowie knives.” These appeared to be the
only rejoinders given, and arguments made for many years past, in the
councils of the nation, by representatives from the South.

Absorbed entirely in the one erroneous idea of state sovereignty,
thinking of nothing besides this, neither fearing nor caring for
anything else, then is a degeneracy in statesmanship much to be
wondered at on the part of the South? Certainly not. It is but charity
to the South to admit of finding a solution of their deficiencies in
the statement of these grave and important truths.

Was there any one man or measure, either in or out of the whole
Southern establishment, civil or military, approaching those of the
North? Not one. I am fully aware that “comparisons are odious;” that
these features of observations are “in bad taste,” and that it will be
adjudged ungenerous to make such allusions to our fallen and subjugated
fellow-countrymen. I fully appreciate the extent of the objection; but
when it is remembered that many of this very class of Southerners,--the
old leading politicians are straining their intellects to prove the
inferiority and incapacity of my race to high social and intellectual
attainments,--the objector will, at least, find an explanation, if not
justification, in the strictures.

I admit there are many excellent gentlemen in the South, and many
have, through the press of the country, acknowledged their approval of
the great principles of equality before the law, liberty and justice,
and the natural inalienable rights of all men by birth; but I must be
permitted to place my record, if not measure my steel, against those
who tauntingly dare challenge me. It was the Hon. Daniel Webster, who,
long years ago, on the floor of the United States Senate, on the very
subject of disparagement, told Senator Hayne, of South Carolina, in
reply to his assertion, “The gentleman from Massachusetts has found
_more_ than his match” in debate with Senator Benton,--“Sir, where
there are _blows to be received_, there must be blows given in return.”

_The International Policy of the World towards the African Race._

One of the highest pretensions set up in favor of the enslavement of
the African race is its inferiority. If the Britons, Caledonians,
Hibernians, and others of the Celtic as well as Teuton and pure
Caucasian races had never been enslaved; if Caractacus, the king and
proudest prince the British ever had up to that period, had not been
led in chains, and sold by order of Julius Cæsar, with many other
British slaves, in the public market of Rome; if the British nobles,
long years ago, had not written of their own peasantry, that they were
incapable of elevation; if they had not recorded and passed enactments
against the Scotch and Irish, that they were innately inferior,
and totally insusceptible of instruction and civilization, calling
them “heathen dogs, only fit for slaves of the lowest order;” if a
general system of serfdom, known as the Feudal System, had not existed
generally among the white races for ages through all Europe, before
a black slave was ever known among the whites; if the whites had not
been held in slavery many centuries longer than were the blacks; and
finally, if Russia had not, just within the last three years (1864),
emancipated her forty-two millions of slaves,--ten times more than
the African slaves in the United States, allowing four millions to the
South,--then there would be some semblance of honesty and sincerity in
the continued plea of justice for ages of wrong and crime against an
unoffending, helpless people.

Through all times white slavery had existed among the nations of
Europe, and as civilization advanced, and the lower classes became
more elevated, the difficulty became more apparent in perpetuating
the system. What to do, and how to remedy the evil, was a question of
paramount importance. To suppress the approach of civilization, and
keep down the rising aspirations of the common people, could not be
well determined. The genius of social and political economy were put
to the test to divine the desired end to be attained. Legislative and
royal decrees could not reach it; the march of man and the light of
intellect kept in advance of legal injunctions.

In 624--twelve hundred and forty-three years ago, and twelve hundred
and thirty-nine before the Emancipation Proclamation of President
Lincoln--the Saracens or Arabs gained access to Africa, controlling
the commerce for seven hundred and fifty-eight years, being the only
foreigners accessible to, and holding a friendly intercourse with, the

In the year 1487, Bartholomew Diaz, of Portugal, discovered the Cape of
Good Hope, calling it _Cabo del Tormentoso_--“the Cape of Storms.” On
reporting to his sovereign the discovery, with all of its prospects,
the king cried out, “No, let us not call it ‘Cabo del Tormentoso,’
but rather let us call it _Cabo del Buen Speremza!_--the Cape of
Good Hope!” And it was a good hope to Portugal, because it must be
remembered that access to Africa, by communication with the western
coast, was then to Europeans unknown; the only intercourse being from
the north by the Barbary States, and through the interior by caravans,
all of which purported to reach the eastern part of the continent by
that way.

The year 1482 was an eventful period to the African race, and I here
record, for the first time probably in which it has ever been given
to the world (except the authority herein quoted), the startling
facts that the enslavement of the African race was the result of a
determination on the part of at least four, and probably more, of the
strongest, the most enlightened and polished nations at the time,
to make the African race supplant, by substituting it for European
slavery. These nations were, Spain, England, France, and Portugal.

And I should not feel, whatever I may have effectually done, that my
work had been more than half completed, did I not, as a wronged and
outraged son of Africa, give to the world this crowning act of infamy
against a people, the facts of which have ever been closely concealed,
and even denied, while thousands of the world’s good people have no
knowledge that such facts ever transpired.

The demands for ameliorating the condition of the whites pressed
heavily in all parts of Europe, as the elevated wealthy noble could
not longer bear to see the ignorant poor of his kinsmen degraded. To
longer deny them the right of elevation, was to disparage the genius,
and degrade the whole Caucasian race. To remedy this, a race must be
chosen foreign to their own, and as different as possible in external
characteristics. For this dreadful purpose the African was selected
as the victim of an international conspiracy. A political conspiracy
of malice aforethought, prompted by avarice and the love of lucre.
During the memorable events that thrilled with emotion the communities
of every country in 1862, in the midst of our national struggle,
the Rev. Felix, Archbishop of Orleans, France, in a pastoral, sent
forth to exhort the people of France and the French Catholics of the
United States to support the position taken by President Lincoln, in
pronouncing his malediction against the cause of the South, said, “It
is the teaching of experience that the slavery of the day--the slavery
of the blacks--has an origin and a consequence equally detestable. Its
origin was the TREATY, the ignoble and cruel bargain, condemned by Pius
II. in 1482, by Paul III. in 1557, by Urban VIII. in 1539, by Benedict
XIV. in 1741, by Gregory XVI. in 1839.” His revelation should startle
Christendom, and none would question the historical accuracy of the
facts in the case, when coming from such a trustworthy source as the
reverend and honored Archbishop of Orleans.

Objections were many and serious on the part of the common classes to
the introduction of this new people as a domestic element into European
countries. But notwithstanding this, there would, doubtless, have been
many sent, if a timely relief had not been afforded by the discovery
of America in 1492. So lucrative became this traffic in a foreign
people, running through many years, and engrossed by the most elevated,
as elsewhere referred to, that in 1518, James I. made it the basis
of the revenue, if not the wealth of England. The people of the New
World--Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, and Dutch--made this race
their “hope and expectation.”

Whole fleets of merchantmen, from every nation in Europe, environed
Africa, to subjugate her people. Powerful naval forces were also
brought against her, and national representatives, in the persons of
their emissaries, prowled along and about her entire coast, sowing the
seeds of discord, and a baser corruption among those of the already
corrupted natives, inciting them to war, and the devastation of their

Every vestige of civilization was driven from the coast, the interior
placed under fearful apprehensions, the entire social system deranged,
the progress of improvement suspended, and permanent establishments
abandoned. With the entire white world against her, is it not clear
why Africa, in the last twelve centuries, has not kept pace with the
civilization of the age? Certainly it is. But there are those who
still affect to doubt the former civilization of Africa, and dispute
that race as the authors of her ancient arts and sciences. Why dispute
it? If the African race were not the authors, what race were? Why are
not the same arts and sciences found in some other portion of the
globe than Africa? Why confined to this quarter of the world? The
identity of one people with another has its strongest evidence in the
characteristics, habits, manners, customs, especially in moral and
religious sentiments, peculiar to themselves, even after all traces by
language are lost.

It is simply ridiculous for ethnologists to claim the few Bebers who
are found in and about Egypt, as the remnants of the ancient Africans,
and erectors of the mighty pyramids, and authors of the hieroglyphics.
The present Bebers of Egypt are none other than mixed bloods of the
ancient Egyptians who once inhabited it,--who were pure blacks,--and
Saracens who had conquered the country by conquest B. C. 146, and
without any prestige, except that inherited from the Ishmaelitish or
Arab side of their ancestry--avarice and treachery. I mean not to be
unkind in stating this, but simply to paint facts in a strong light.

Certainly the general character of this (the Arabian) race of men has
been known through all times. And although they had given the world
in literature the nine numerals in arithmetic, a chirography, and a
religion which necessarily has some beautiful philosophy, yet there is
little comparison in any of these to the literature of ancient Africa.
I believe it is not pretended that the Arabians have any peculiar
order of architecture; and I hope not to be regarded uncharitable if I
suspect the cunning Arab, instead of originating, as having _stolen_
the nine numerals of our common arithmetic from the Alexandrian Museum,
destroyed by them in the memorable conflagration. It was clever in them
to do so, and keep it to themselves; and I shall not raise the voice of
envy against them.

The most striking character of the ancient Africans was their purity
of morals and religion. Their high conception and reverence of Deity
was manifested and acknowledged in everything they did. They are
known in history as having been the most scrupulous of all races,
and conscientious in their dealings. In this I have reference to the
Ethiopians, of whom the inhabitants of Egypt were lineal descendants
by colonization or emigration down the valley of the Nile, and
settlement in the territory at its mouths; being identical in all their
characteristics of a “black skin and woolly hair,” even as described
as late as the time of Herodotus, “the father of history,” the learned
Grecian philosopher who travelled and resided among them during
twenty-five years.

A people or race possessing in a high degree the great principles of
pure ethics and true religion, a just conception of God, necessarily
inherit the essential principles of the highest civilization. And is
it not a known and conceded fact by all who are at all conversant
with the true character of the African, that he excels all other
races in religious sentiments, and adaptation to domestic usages,
wherever found? In this I will not even except the Caucasian race,
because those characteristics in the African are in such striking
contrast to the same in the Caucasian, that they are regarded by him
as exaggerations and extravagances. Indeed such is the susceptibility
and adaptation of the African to the civilization of the times and
places in which he may be found, that the Caucasian, instead of looking
upon it in approved comparison with that which he admires in his own
race, has, by usage of a policy, become accustomed to undervalue it
as a mere “imitation.” Can imitation give intellectual ability for
acquirements? If it enables a parrot or split-tongued crow to gabble
words by imitation of sound without any conception of meaning; if it
enables a monkey or an ourang-outang to “come down from a tree and
tie gloves on others’ hands,” to go back leaving it unable either to
loosen the strings, or climb the tree to escape the artful huntsman,
in imitation of what he did to insnare it; or “thrusting a hand into
a jug of figs, grabbing it full,” and thus holding on to the figs,
screams, endeavoring to take the hand out full, until caught, not
having intellect to let go the figs; does it make him capable of high
intellectual attainment, such as languages, chirography, arithmetic,
philosophy, mathematics, the sciences of war, music, painting,
sculpture, political science, and polite literature?

Let the traducers of the African race, those who affect to believe that
his faculties consist in mere “imitation,” answer this inquiry. Even
in the Southern States, terribly crushed and shattered as has been
for centuries the true African character, these lurking faculties for
the higher attainments rising superior to the fetters which bound the
body of the possessor, would occasionally burst forth like the sudden
illumination of a brilliant meteor, startling the midnight gazer while
all was enshrined in darkness around. Whether in the person of the
distinguished orator and advocate of his race, Frederick Douglass of
Maryland, or an Ellis, the negro blacksmith linguist, or George Madison
Washington of Virginia, or Blind Tom of Alabama, the musician and
pianist, now surprising the world, Elizabeth Greenfield of Mississippi,
the celebrated “Black Susan,”--all slaves when developed,--these great
truths of African susceptibility are incontrovertible. With one more
point this treatise shall have ended. But subsequent to its completion,
and very recently, a high functionary, at the head of one the greatest
nations of modern times, in an elaborate argument on the subject,
having seen fit to make it history, by recording, as part of an
official document, the following declaration, I deem it as treacherous
to the African race, to which I wholly belong, if I did not place as
permanently on record an equally bold and defiant declaration--a proof
to the contrary. Says this sage and statesman,--

“The peculiar qualities which should characterize any people who are
fit to decide upon the management of public affairs for a great state
have seldom been combined. It is the glory of white men to know that
they have had these qualities in sufficient measure to build upon this
continent a great political fabric, and to preserve its stability for
more than ninety years, while in every other part of the world all
similar experiments have failed. But if anything can be proved by known
facts, if all reasoning upon evidence is not abandoned, it must be
acknowledged that, in the progress of nations, negroes have shown less
capacity for government than any other race of people. No independent
government of any form has ever been successful in their hands. On
the contrary, whenever they have been left to their own devices, they
have shown a constant tendency to relapse into barbarism.” Instead of
the assertion, that in the progress of the nations the negro has shown
less capacity for government than any other race of people, that no
independent government of any form has ever been successful in their
hands, I shall commend a reply to this predicate, by the proposition
that the negroes were foremost in the progress of time; first who
developed the highest type of civilization. National civil government
and the philosophy of religion were borrowed by the white races from
the negro. And if the learned jurist will go back to school-boy days,
he will remember what time has evidently caused him to forget.

In the days of Egyptian greatness one dynasty existed, evidently,
for more than one thousand years. This is known to Holy Writ as the
government of the Pharaohs. During the reign of these princes, the
sovereigns repeatedly were chosen from Egyptian and Ethiopian families.
By Ethiopian families, is meant the going out of the kingdom of
Ethiopia to select from a royal family the ruler, just as Great Britain
goes into Germany to select from a family a sovereign for the throne.

Among these mighty princes were Menes, or Misraim, Sesostris, Osiris,
and the Rameses, the last of which was the dynasty name numerically
recorded I., II., III., and so on. Rameses I., the greatest of the
princes, was the god-man, and none other than Jupiter-Ammon. In him
was the beautiful and symbolic idea of the attributes of Deity,--the
Christian’s God,--first developed. The person of the Deity, Rameses
I., was represented as a human being of robust proportions, having
a “bushy, woolly head, with ram’s horns.” His position, seated on a
throne of gold and ivory, ivory base and golden floor; in his left
hand a sceptre, the right grasping a thunderbolt. At his side was the
Phœnix, in its well-known attitude. This last symbolic attribute is
sometimes, indeed generally, spoken of by writers as an “eagle with
extended wings,” which is evidently an error, from all the facts
connected with the god Jupiter, and Rameses II., his successor;
besides, the eagle was not an ideal, symbolic bird of religion in
Africa. It is suggestive of combat and carnality instead of purity,
the successor being styled by the ever-devoted Africans, “Rameses the
Ever-living, Always-living Rameses”--his name occurring twice in the

Here, in this ideal symbol of a God, was also the identity of man;
ivory representing durability, gold, purity, the sceptre, authority,
and the thunderbolt, power; the ram’s head, innocence, decision, and
caution against too near approach. In a word, none must presume to
attempt to speak face to face with the Deity, as death would be the
result; as it is a well-known characteristic of a ram, while innocent
as a sheep, he will instantly attack any head, man’s or beast’s, that
approaches his.

Another beautiful symbolic attribute of Jupiter-Ammon,--Rameses
I.,--which afterwards personified Rameses II., was the Phœnix. This
bird, like many ancient images, was allegorical or ideal. It was
described as similar to an eagle, larger, and beautiful; with breast,
wings, and tail of a brilliant gold tint; a crown of solid gold crest
capped its head, the rest of the body covered with green. It never
flew, but always walked with stately step and dignity. There was but
one known to have an existence, and the beginning was never known.
It produced no young, but was itself from the beginning a full-grown
bird. It lived, and lived, and lived on, from generation to generation,
through ages and periods, and periods and ages, till, seeming weary of
life, it built a nest of fagots and brush picked up, which was long
constructing; sat upon it when finished, laid a golden egg in time;
the egg ignited the nest into a burning mass; the bird continuing to
sit, threw up its wings and head in great excitement, and was consumed
in the flames; when in the ashes was left a ball, out of the ball came
forth a worm, from this worm instantly sprang another Phœnix, which
lived on like the first, to transfigurate or reproduce itself again in

There were still other symbolic representatives of Deity among them,
Rameses II. being also called Apis, and represented as an ox or a bull;
while Rameses III. was called Osiris, and represented as a dog--the ox
or bull, as the attribute of patience, endurance, and strength; the
dog, as faithfulness and watchfulness.

Is it not clear that much of the philosophy of our theology was
borrowed from their mythology? Whence the “great white throne” upon
which God sits; the “golden pavement,” the “thunders” of his wrath,
“Behold the Lamb of God,” “Our God is a consuming fire,” “No man can
look upon God and live,” “A self-creating God,” with numerous kindred
quotations which might be made from the Scriptures?

The Africans, as is well known, were great herdsmen; a great part of
their wealth and available currency consisting in their live stock;
every family, however limited their circumstances, having a flock
of sheep or goats, and both more or less; this running through to
the present day, where, in recent travels on that continent, the
writer met, in the first large city, a dairyman, who, every morning,
milked eighty cows, and farther in the interior, towards Soudan,
the dairy which supplied him every morning milked two hundred cows.
And among the higher families, as nobles, chiefs, and princes, from
five to ten thousand head, the property of one person or family,
is commonly met with. Dr. Livingstone speaks of meeting with kings,
even in that least civilized interior region of his explorations, who
possessed as many as forty thousand cattle. These herds are watched
by faithful attendants,--men when large, or women when small, with
the indispensable shepherd dog, which is generally black. In speaking
of the riches of Job, the man of Uz, the Scriptures tell us that his
cattle were on a “thousand hills.”

Can it not be conceived that the God who was thus bountiful in
bestowing such wealth might be symbolized by the property itself and
the means of its protection? Hence Jupiter Ammon or Rameses I., as a
ram or sheep; Sesostris, or Rameses II., as a bull or ox--Apis; Osiris
or Rameses III. as dog or jackal.

There was also another beautiful symbolic personification in
this--three persons in one. For it is a striking and remarkable fact,
as must be noticed by all antiquarians, that these three persons
inseparably appear, both by inscription and in statuary--Rameses,
Sesostris, Osiris--sheep, ox, dog. Here are innocence, patience, faith,
and charity or love, as none so loving as a dog. And how typical of the
true African character!

It was shown that the authors of this beautiful and pure religious
doctrine were black. This will not be disputed, when it is remembered
that Moses took one of the daughters of Jethro, prince and priest
of Midian, to wife, and the Scriptures inform us that she was an
“Ethiopian woman;” Aaron and Miriam, the brother and sister of Moses,
entering into strife with him about it. Not, as it is concluded by
modern civilization, because she was black, but because she was
identical with their oppressors and recent masters the objection was

It is very evident that the highest conception of the Jewish religion
is that which was borrowed from Africa during the Israelitish bondage
in Egypt, transmitted through them to the present, and developed in the
metaphysical theology of the age.

And it will not do to call this “mummery,” since later, in June, 1867,
the President of the United States took part in the consecration of
a hall, erected in part to the perpetuation of this African symbolic
philosophy and religion.

The capital city of this great people in Africa was Thebais, commonly
called Thebes, supposed to contain two millions of inhabitants,
surrounded by a wall with one hundred gates, twenty-five at each point
of the compass. On the occasion of his Asiatic conquest, Sesostris, or
Rameses II., went out of the city with ten thousand infantry and two
hundred chariots, with charioteers armed for war, from each gate at one
time, having an aggregate of one million two hundred thousand warriors.
The conquest of this proud and mighty prince was carried to the banks
of the River Indus, conquering every nation as he passed; where he set
his memorable pillars, with the peculiar inscription, “Sesostris, the
king of kings, has conquered the world to the banks of the Indus;” when
he evacuated the country, and returned to his own, having vindicated
the prestige and dignity of his name.

Who were the builders of the everlasting pyramids, catacombs, and
sculptors of the sphinxes? Were they Europeans or Caucasians, Asiatics
or Mongolians? Will it be at once conceded that the authors of the
symbolic mythology and hieroglyphic science are identical? Upon this
point there is but one opinion. The inventors or authors of the one
were the builders or architects of the other.

Among what race of men, and what country of the globe, do we find
traces of these singular productions, but the African and Africa? None
whatever. It is in Africa the pyramids, sphinxes, and catacombs are
found; here the hieroglyphics still remain. Among the living Africans
traces of their beautiful philosophy and symbolic mythology still
exist. In the interior their architecture and hieroglyphics are still
the subjects of their art. Through all time the arts of a people have
been among the clearest evidences of identity.

Asia has her several peculiar orders of architecture, the Chinese and
Japan being identical; that among the Hindoos the type of the others.
Europe has her Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite, with
Gothic, and other modifications of modern orders.

If the originators and builders of the pyramids and sphinxes had been
Asiatics, is it not certain that the same architecture would have been
found in Asia? of Europeans, in Europe? There is nothing more certain
than it would; and the entire absence of all traces of the purely
African architecture, arts, and symbolic religion and mythology among
other races and in other countries than the Africans and Africa, makes
it simply preposterous for the white race to claim these as productions
of their own.

Would the Asiatic or the European, who had erected the architectural
monuments in Africa, have lost their arts? Would they not have
originated another as they returned to their original homes? Do the
fixed, especially original, arts of a people leave them simply by a
change of countries? Certainly not; as among the greatest advantages
to be gained by emigration is the arts that are taken by the people to
a country. And had the architectures of Africa been an importation,
originated by or among any other people than themselves, is it not one
of the most striking known to history by ages of experience, that it
would have been found in some other country among the descendants of
the originators and authors, and not been found in Africa alone, and
peculiar to the African race? Were they Persians who had succeeded by
conquest in Africa? Were they Greeks under Alexander? Were they Greeks
and Romans who made their advent into Egypt with Antony? or those who
fled in dismay under Pompey, after the famous defeat of Pharsalia?
or Jews under tetrarch governments? Certainly not; as all of them,
from the Persian to the Jewish advent, found these arts and sciences
there. And is it not known to history that Egypt was the “cradle of the
earliest civilization,” propagating the arts and sciences, when the
Grecians were an uncivilized people, covering their persons with skins
and clothing, anterior to the existence of the she-wolf with Romulus
the founder of Rome?

On the invasion of the Saracens, A. C. 146 years, the African library,
known as the “Alexandrian Museum,” was known to contain in manuscript
seven hundred thousand volumes. The secretiveness of the Africans was a
matter of history for ages known to the world, their arts and sciences
being held as sacred, and propagated with the greatest caution. The
kings and priests were the first recipients; the nobles and gentlemen
the other. All Egypt and Ethiopia regarded this library as the “hope
and expectation” of their countries.

The value of the collection will be estimated by remembrance of its age
and manner of obtaining, printing then being unknown to the world. The
age of the library, from its first collections, was coequal with the
first dawn of science among them.

And had this immense fountain of knowledge been transmitted to
posterity, the African would have had a history and a name. And I
repeat, with emphasis, that the loss of the African library was a
catastrophe unequalled in the age of the world, as bearing on the
destiny of a people and a race.

But the “Museum” was made the centre of attraction; the Saracen
invaders surrounded the stupendous edifice; orders were given that not
a relic be preserved; the flambeau was the weapon of attack; assault
and fire was the command,--when the accumulated literature, art and
science, of four thousand years’ collection, sent fire and smoke
towards the heavens, more destructive in its consequences than the
world had ever before witnessed! The African library, the depository
of the earliest germs of social, civil, political, and national
progress, the concentrated wisdom of ages, stood in flames! Fourteen
days burning, the building in ruins, and the light of science and
civilization, for generations, was extinguished, and Africa became a
prey to avarice, imposture, and oppression!

So enlightened, polished, and humane were this race, that after the
birth of Jesus, subsequent to the downfall of Egypt by the Saracens,
the “warning of the Lord to Joseph” was to take the young child
and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until they
are all dead who seek the child’s life. Nor can it be denied that
the African race were that which the “Spirit of the Lord” meant,
because, notwithstanding Saracen subjugation in Egypt, the African
polity, civilization, and humanity still prevailed. Besides, it is a
historically known fact that Greeks and Jews were with the Romans in
government and sentiments against this Messiah, the promised king of
the Jews; all conspiring for his deposition in the event of his coming.
It will also be remembered that after the crucifixion and ascension,
that Africa was the only country which held prestige enough to send a
national representative to “Jerusalem to worship” under the Christian
doctrine, as propagated by the scattered and terror-stricken apostles;
the Ethiopian eunuch, a man of great authority, and chief lord of her
majesty, Queen Candace’s, royal treasury.

One word more, and I close a review already too elaborate; but driven
by necessity to the defence of my race, duty compelled me to the point
where I cease. Would any other race than the African, in the symbolical
statues of the sphinxes, have placed the great head of a _negro woman_,
on the majestic body of a lion, as an ideal representation of their

If it be the “glory of the white race to know that they have had these
qualifications in sufficient measure to build upon this continent a
great political fabric,” it is also the glory of the black race to
know that they have had these qualities in sufficient measure to build
a great political fabric long before the whites, imparting to them
the first germs of civilization, and enlightening the world by their
wisdom. And the most momentous, extraordinary international conspiracy
against the African race, which this memento commenced to expose, has
never been by convention annulled nor abrogated, and, therefore, still
stands optional with either party to continue or withdraw; it is fondly
and confidently hoped will not be encouraged nor induced to continue
by an equally extraordinary, if not momentous, official denunciation
against that race, from the executive of one of the most powerful
nations existing on this globe.

And in behalf of my race, once proud, polished, and elevated,--at the
feet of whose philosophers the learned and eminent of the world sought
wisdom, as did “Herodotus, the father of history,” and others,--may I
fondly hope that another generation will not pass away till Africa,
in and by her own legitimate children, gives evidence of a national
regeneration, breathing forth with fervid and holy aspirations in the
religious sentiments of her native heart and beautiful words of one
of her own native languages: _Bi-Olorum Pellu_--“the Lord has been
merciful to us.”

And in behalf of my emancipated brethren in America, may the blessings
of that God, whose signal promise must and will be fulfilled, despite
political official anathema, rest upon the devoted head and in the holy
heart of the most eminent prelate, Father Felix, Archbishop of Orleans
in France.

_Political Destiny of the Colored Race on the American Continent._

_To the Colored Inhabitants of the United States_:--

Fellow-Countrymen: The duty assigned us is an important one,
comprehending all that pertains to our destiny and that of our
posterity, present and prospectively. And while it must be admitted
that the subject is one of the greatest magnitude, requiring all that
talents, prudence, and wisdom might adduce, and while it would be folly
to pretend to give you the combined result of these three agencies, we
shall satisfy ourselves with doing our duty to the best of our ability,
and that in the plainest, most simple, and comprehensive manner.

Our object, then, shall be to place before you our true position in
this country (the United States), the improbability of realizing our
desires, and the sure, practicable, and infallible remedy for the evils
we now endure.

We have not addressed you as _citizens_,--a term desired and ever
cherished by us,--because such you have never been. We have not
addressed you as _freemen_, because such privileges have never been
enjoyed by any colored man in the United States. Why, then, should
we flatter your credulity, by inducing you to believe that which
neither has now, nor never before had, an existence? Our oppressors
are ever gratified at our manifest satisfaction, especially when that
satisfaction is founded upon false premises; an assumption on our
part of the enjoyment of rights and privileges which never have been
conceded, and which, according to the present system of the United
States policy, we never can enjoy.

The _political policy_ of this country was solely borrowed from, and
shaped and modelled after, that of Rome. This was strikingly the case
in the establishment of immunities, and the application of terms in
their civil and legal regulations.

The term _citizen_, politically considered, is derived from the
Roman definition, which was never applied in any other sense--_cives
ingenui_; which meant, one exempt from restraint of any kind. (_Cives_,
a citizen; one who might enjoy the highest honors in his own free
town,--the town in which he lived,--and in the country or commonwealth;
and _ingenui_, freeborn--of GOOD EXTRACTION.) All who were deprived
of citizenship--that is, the right of enjoying positions of honor and
trust--were termed _hostes_ and _peregrini_; which are public and
private enemies, and foreigners, or aliens to the country. (_Hostis_,
a public, and sometimes private, enemy; and _peregrinus_, an alien,
stranger, or foreigner.)

The Romans, from a national pride, to distinguish their inhabitants
from those of other countries, termed them all “citizens,” but,
consequently, were under the necessity of specifying four classes of
citizens: none but the _cives ingenui_ being unrestricted in their
privileges. There was one class, called the _jus quiritium_, or the
wailing or _supplicating_ citizen; that is, one who was continually
_moaning_, _complaining_, or _crying for aid or succor_. This class
might also include within themselves the _jus suffragii_, who had the
privilege of _voting_, but no other privilege. They could vote for one
of their superiors--the _cives ingenui_--but not for themselves.

Such, then, is the condition, precisely, of the black and colored
inhabitants of the United States; in some of the states they answering
to the latter class, having the privilege of _voting_, to elevate their
superiors to positions to which they need never dare aspire or even
hope to attain.

There has, of late years, been a false impression obtained, that the
privilege of _voting_ constitutes, or necessarily embodies, the _rights
of citizenship_. A more radical error never obtained favor among an
oppressed people. Suffrage is an ambiguous term, which admits of
several definitions. But according to strict political construction,
means simply “a vote, voice, approbation.” Here, then, you have the
whole import of the term _suffrage_. To have the “right of suffrage,”
as we rather proudly term it, is simply to have the _privilege_--there
is no _right_ about it--of giving our _approbation_ to that which our
_rulers may do_, without the privilege, on our part, of doing the
same thing. Where such privileges are granted--privileges which are
now exercised in but few of the states by colored men--we have but
the privilege granted of saying, in common with others, who shall,
for the time being, exercise _rights_, which, in him, are conceded to
be _inherent_ and _inviolate_: like the indented apprentice, who is
summoned to give his approbation to an act which would be fully binding
without his concurrence. Where there is no _acknowledged sovereignty_,
there can be no binding power; hence, the suffrage of the black man,
independently of the white, would be in this country unavailable.

Much might be adduced on this point to prove the insignificance of
the black man, politically considered, in this country, but we deem
it wholly unnecessary at present, and consequently proceed at once to
consider another feature of this important subject.

Let it then be understood, as a great principle of political economy,
that no people can be free who themselves do not constitute an
essential part of the _ruling element_ of the country in which they
live. Whether this element be founded upon a true or false, a just or
an unjust basis, this position in community is necessary to personal
safety. The liberty of no man is secure who controls not his own
political destiny. What is true of an individual is true of a family,
and that which is true of a family is also true concerning a whole
people. To suppose otherwise, is that delusion which at once induces
its victim, through a period of long suffering, patiently to submit
to every species of wrong; trusting against probability, and hoping
against all reasonable grounds of expectation, for the granting of
privileges and enjoyment of rights which never will be attained. This
delusion reveals the true secret of the power which holds in peaceable
subjection all the oppressed in every part of the world.

A people, to be free, must necessarily be _their own rulers_; that
is, _each individual_ must, in himself, embody the _essential
ingredient_--so to speak--of the _sovereign principle_ which composes
the _true basis_ of his liberty. This principle, when not exercised
by himself, may, at his pleasure, be delegated to another--his true

Said a great French writer, “A free agent, in a free government,
should be his own governor;” that is, he must possess within himself
the _acknowledged right to govern_: this constitutes him a _governor_,
though he may delegate to another the power to govern himself.

No one, then, can delegate to another a power he never possessed; that
is, he cannot _give an agency_ in that which he never had a right.
Consequently, the colored man in the United States, being deprived of
the right of inherent sovereignty, cannot _confer_ a franchise, because
he possesses none to confer. Therefore, where there is no franchise,
there can neither be _freedom_ nor _safety_ for the disfranchised. And
it is a futile hope to suppose that the agent of another’s concerns
will take a proper interest in the affairs of those to whom he is under
no obligations. Having no favors to ask or expect, he therefore has
none to lose.

In other periods and parts of the world, as in Europe and Asia, the
people being of one common, direct origin of race, though established
on the presumption of difference by birth, or what was termed _blood_,
yet the distinction between the superior classes and common people
could only be marked by the difference in the dress and education
of the two classes. To effect this, the interposition of government
was necessary; consequently the costume and education of the people
became a subject of legal restriction, guarding carefully against the
privileges of the common people.

In Rome the patrician and plebeian were orders in the ranks of her
people--all of whom were termed citizens (_cives_)--recognized by the
laws of the country; their dress and education being determined by
law, the better to fix the distinction. In different parts of Europe,
at the present day, if not the same, the distinction among the people
is similar, only on a modified, and in some kingdoms, probably more
tolerant or deceptive policy.

In the United States our degradation being once--as it has in a hundred
instances been done--legally determined, our color is sufficient,
independently of costume, education, or other distinguishing marks, to
keep up that distinction.

In Europe when an inferior is elevated to the rank of equality with the
superior class, the law first comes to his aid, which, in its decrees,
entirely destroys his identity as an inferior, leaving no trace of his
former condition visible.

In the United States, among the whites, their color is made, by law and
custom, the mark of distinction and superiority; while the color of the
blacks is a badge of degradation, acknowledged by statute, organic law,
and the common consent of the people.

With this view of the case,--which we hold to be correct,--to elevate
to equality the degraded subject of law and custom, it can only be
done, as in Europe, by an entire destruction of the identity of the
former condition of the applicant. Even were this desirable, which
we by no means admit, with the deep-seated prejudices engendered by
oppression, with which we have to contend, ages incalculable might
reasonably be expected to roll around before this could honorably be
accomplished; otherwise, we should encourage, and at once commence,
an indiscriminate concubinage and immoral commerce of our mothers,
sisters, wives, and daughters, revolting to think of, and a physical
curse to humanity.

If this state of things be to succeed, then, as in Egypt, under the
dread of the inscrutable approach of the destroying angel, to appease
the hatred of our oppressors, as a license to the passions of every
white, let the lintel of each door of every black man be stained with
the blood of virgin purity and unsullied matron fidelity. Let it be
written along the cornice in capitals, “The _will_ of the white man
is the rule of my household.” Remove the protection to our chambers
and nurseries, that the places once sacred may henceforth become the
unrestrained resort of the vagrant and rabble, always provided that the
licensed commissioner of lust shall wear the indisputable impress of a
_white_ skin.

But we have fully discovered and comprehended the great political
disease with which we are affected, the cause of its origin and
continuance; and what is now left for us to do is to discover and
apply a sovereign remedy, a healing balm to a sorely diseased body--a
wrecked but not entirely shattered system. We propose for this disease
a remedy. That remedy is emigration. This emigration should be well
advised, and like remedies applied to remove the disease from the
physical system of man, skilfully and carefully applied, within the
proper time, directed to operate on that part of the system whose
greatest tendency shall be to benefit the whole.

Several geographical localities have been named, among which rank the
Canadas. These we do not object to as places of temporary relief,
especially to the fleeing fugitive,--which, like a palliative, soothes,
for the time being, the misery,--but cannot commend them as permanent
places upon which to fix our destiny, and that of our children, who
shall come after us. But in this connection we would most earnestly
recommend to the colored people of the United States generally, to
secure, by purchase, all of the land they possibly can while selling at
low rates, under the British people and government; as that time may
come, when, like the lands in the United States territories generally,
if not as in Oregon and some other territories and states, they may be
prevented entirely from settling or purchasing them,--the preference
being given to the white applicant.

And here we would not deceive you by disguising the facts that,
according to political tendency, the Canadas, as all British America,
at no very distant day, are destined to come into the United States.

And were this not the case, the odds are against us, because the
ruling element there, as in the United States, is, and ever must be,
white; the population now standing, in all British America, two and a
half millions of whites to but forty thousand of the black race, or
sixty-one and a fraction whites to one black!--the difference being
eleven times greater than in the United States,--so that colored
people might never hope for anything more than to exist politically by
mere sufferance; occupying a secondary position to the whites of the
Canadas. The Yankees from this side of the lakes are fast settling in
the Canadas, infusing, with industrious success, all the malignity and
negro-hate inseparable from their very being, as Christian democrats
and American advocates of equality.

Then, to be successful, our attention must be turned in a direction
towards those places where the black and colored man comprise, by
population, and constitute by necessity of numbers, the _ruling
element_ of the body politic; and where, when occasion shall require
it, the issue can be made and maintained on this basis; where our
political enclosure and national edifice can be reared, established,
walled, and proudly defended on this great elementary principle of
original identity. Upon this solid foundation rests the fabric of
every substantial political structure in the world, which cannot exist
without it; and so soon as a people or nation lose their original
identity, just so soon must that nation or people become extinct.
Powerful though they may have been, they must fall. Because the nucleus
which heretofore held them together, becoming extinct, there being no
longer a centre of attraction, or basis for a union of the parts, a
dissolution must as naturally ensue as the result of the neutrality of
the basis of adhesion among the particles of matter.

This is the secret of the eventful downfall of Egypt, Carthage, Rome,
and the former Grecian states, once so powerful--a loss of original
identity; and with it, a loss of interest in maintaining their
fundamental principles of nationality.

This, also, is the great secret of the present strength of Great
Britain, Russia, the United States, and Turkey; and the endurance of
the French nation, whatever its strength and power, is attributable
only to their identity as Frenchmen.

And doubtless the downfall of Hungary, brave and noble as may be her
people, is mainly to be attributed to the want of identity of origin,
and, consequently, a union of interests and purpose. This fact it
might not have been expected would be admitted by the great Sclave in
his thrilling pleas for the restoration of Hungary, when asking aid,
both national and individual, to enable him to throw off the ponderous
weight placed upon their shoulders by the House of Hapsburg.

Hungary consisted of three distinct “races”--as they called
themselves--of people, all priding in, and claiming rights based
on, their originality,--the Magyars, Celts, and Sclaves. On the
encroachment of Austria, each one of these races, declaring for
nationality, rose up against the House of Hapsburg, claiming the
right of self-government, premised on their origin. Between the three
a compromise was effected; the Magyars, being the majority, claimed
the precedence. They made an effort, but for the want of a unity of
interests--an identity of origin--the noble Hungarians failed. All know
the result.

Nor is this the only important consideration. Were we content to remain
as we are, sparsely interspersed among our white fellow-countrymen, we
never might be expected to equal them in any honorable or respectable
competition for a livelihood. For the reason that, according to the
customs and policy of the country, we for ages would be kept in a
secondary position, every situation of respectability, honor, profit,
or trust, either as mechanics, clerks, teachers, jurors, councilmen, or
legislators, being filled by white men, consequently our energies must
become paralyzed or enervated for the want of proper encouragement.

This example upon our children, and the colored people generally, is
pernicious and degrading in the extreme. And how could it otherwise be,
when they see every place of respectability filled and occupied by the
whites, they pandering to their vanity, and existing among them merely
as a thing of conveniency?

Our friends in this and other countries, anxious for our elevation,
have for years been erroneously urging us to lose our identity as
a distinct race, declaring that we were the same as other people;
while at the very same time their own representative was traversing
the world, and propagating the doctrine in favor of a _universal
Anglo-Saxon predominance_. The “universal brotherhood,” so ably and
eloquently advocated by that Polyglot Christian Apostle[9] of this
doctrine, had established as its basis a universal acknowledgment of
the Anglo-Saxon rule.

The truth is, we are not identical with the Anglo-Saxon, or any other
race of the Caucasian or pure white type of the human family, and the
sooner we know and acknowledge this truth the better for ourselves and

The English, French, Irish, German, Italian, Turk, Persian, Greek, Jew,
and all other races, have their native or inherent peculiarities, and
why not our race? We are not willing, therefore, at all times and under
all circumstances to be moulded into various shapes of eccentricity, to
suit the caprices and conveniences of every kind of people. We are not
more suitable to everybody than everybody is suitable to us; therefore,
no more like other people than others are like us.

We have, then, inherent traits, attributes, so to speak, and native
characteristics, peculiar to our race, whether pure or mixed blood; and
all that is required of us is to cultivate these, and develop them in
their purity, to make them desirable and emulated by the rest of the

That the colored races have the highest traits of civilization, will
not be disputed. They are civil, peaceable, and religious to a fault.
In mathematics, sculpture and architecture, as arts and sciences,
commerce and internal improvements as enterprises, the white race may
probably excel; but in languages, oratory, poetry, music, and painting,
as arts and sciences, and in ethics, metaphysics, theology, and legal
jurisprudence,--in plain language, in the true principles of morals,
correctness of thought, religion, and law or civil government, there is
no doubt but the black race will yet instruct the world.

It would be duplicity longer to disguise the fact that the great issue,
sooner or later, upon which must be disputed the world’s destiny, will
be a question of black and white, and every individual will be called
upon for his identity with one or the other. The blacks and colored
races are four sixths of all the population of the world; and these
people are fast tending to a common cause with each other. The white
races are but one third of the population of the globe,--or one of
them to two of us,--and it cannot much longer continue that two thirds
will passively submit to the universal domination of this one third.
And it is notorious that the only progress made in territorial domain,
in the last three centuries, by the whites, has been a usurpation and
encroachment on the rights and native soil of some of the colored races.

The East Indies, Java, Sumatra, the Azores, Madeira, Canary, and Cape
Verde Islands; Socotra, Guardifui, and the Isle of France; Algiers,
Tunis, Tripoli, Barca, and Egypt in the North, Sierra Leone in the
West, and Cape Colony in the South of Africa; besides many other
islands and possessions not herein named; Australia, the Ladrone
Islands, together with many others of Oceanica; the seizure and
appropriation of a great portion of the Western Continent, with all its
islands, were so many encroachments of the whites upon the rights of
the colored races. Nor are they yet content, but, intoxicated with the
success of their career, the Sandwich Islands are now marked out as the
next booty to be seized in the ravages of their exterminating crusade.

We regret the necessity of stating the fact, but duty compels us to the
task, that, for more than two thousand years, the determined aim of
the whites has been to crush the colored races wherever found. With a
determined will they have sought and pursued them in every quarter of
the globe. The Anglo-Saxon has taken the lead in this work of universal
subjugation. But the Anglo-American stands preëminent for deeds of
injustice and acts of oppression, unparalleled, perhaps, in the annals
of modern history.

We admit the existence of great and good people in America, England,
France, and the rest of Europe, who desire a unity of interests among
the whole human family, of whatever origin or race.

But it is neither the moralist, Christian, nor philanthropist whom we
now have to meet and combat, but the politician, the civil engineer,
and skilful economist, who direct and control the machinery which moves
forward, with mighty impulse, the nations and powers of the earth.
We must, therefore, if possible, meet them on vantage ground, or, at
least, with adequate means for the conflict.

Should we encounter an enemy with artillery, a prayer will not stay the
cannon shot, neither will the kind words nor smiles of philanthropy
shield his spear from piercing us through the heart. We must meet
mankind, then, as they meet us--prepared for the worst, though we may
hope for the best. Our submission does not gain for us an increase
of friends nor respectability, as the white race will only respect
those who oppose their usurpation, and acknowledge as equals those who
will not submit to their oppression. This may be no new discovery
in political economy, but it certainly is a subject worthy the
consideration of the black race.

After a due consideration of these facts, as herein recounted, shall we
stand still and continue inactive--the passive observers of the great
events of the times and age in which we live; submitting indifferently
to the usurpation by the white race of every right belonging to the
blacks? Shall the last vestige of an opportunity, outside of the
continent of Africa, for the national development of our race, be
permitted, in consequence of our slothfulness, to elude our grasp, and
fall into the possession of the whites? This, may Heaven forbid. May
the sturdy, intelligent Africo-American sons of the Western Continent

Longer to remain inactive, it should be borne in mind, may be to give
an opportunity to despoil us of every right and possession sacred to
our existence, with which God has endowed us as a heritage on the
earth. For let it not be forgotten that the white race--who numbers but
_one_ of them to _two_ of us--originally located in Europe, besides
possessing all of that continent, have now got hold of a large portion
of Asia, Africa, all North America, a portion of South America, and all
of the great islands of both hemispheres, except Paupau, or New Guinea,
inhabited by negroes and Malays, in Oceanica; the Japanese Islands,
peopled and ruled by the Japanese; Madagascar, peopled by negroes,
near the coast of Africa; and the Island of Hayti, in the West Indies,
peopled by as brave and noble descendants of Africa as they who laid
the foundation of Thebias, or constructed the everlasting pyramids and
catacombs of Egypt,--a people who have freed themselves by the might of
their own will, the force of their own power, the unfailing strength of
their own right arms, and their unflinching determination to be free.

Let us, then, not survive the disgrace and ordeal of Almighty
displeasure, of two to one, witnessing the universal possession and
control by the whites of every habitable portion of the earth. For such
must inevitably be the case, and that, too, at no distant day, if black
men do not take advantage of the opportunity, by grasping hold of those
places where chance is in their favor, and establishing the rights and
power of the colored race.

We must make an issue, create an event, and establish for ourselves a
position. This is essentially necessary for our effective elevation as
a people, in shaping our national development, directing our destiny,
and redeeming ourselves as a race.

If we but determine it shall be so, it _will_ be so; and there
is nothing under the sun can prevent it. We shall then be but in
pursuit of our legitimate claims to inherent rights, bequeathed to
us by the will of Heaven--the endowment of God, our common Parent. A
distinguished economist has truly said, “God has implanted in man an
infinite progression in the career of improvement. A soul capacitated
for improvement ought not to be bounded by a tyrant’s landmarks.” This
sentiment is just and true, the application of which to our case is
adapted with singular fitness.

Having glanced hastily at our present political position in the world
generally, and the United States in particular,--the fundamental
disadvantages under which we exist, and the improbability of ever
attaining citizenship and equality of rights in this country,--we call
your attention next to the places of destination to which we shall
direct emigration.

The West Indies, Central and South America, are the countries of our
choice, the advantages of which shall be made apparent to your entire
satisfaction. Though we have designated them as countries, they are,
in fact, but one country, relatively considered, a part of this, the
Western Continent. As now politically divided, they consist of the
following classification, each group or division placed under its
proper national head:--

                               Square     Population
                               miles.      in 1840.


    Guadeloupe,                   675      124,000
    Martinico,                    260      119,000
    St. Martin, N. part,           15        6,000
    Mariegalente,                  90       11,500
    Deseada,                       25        1,500


    Santa Cruz,                    80       34,000
    St. Thomas,                    50       15,000
    St. John,                      70        3,000


    St. Bartholomew,               25        8,000


    St. Eustatia,                  10       20,000
    Curacoa,                      375       12,000
    St. Martin, S. part,           10        5,000
    Saba,                          20        9,000


    Margarita,                     00       16,000


    Cuba,                      43,500      725,000
    Porto Rico,                 4,000      325,000


    Jamaica,                    5,520      375,000
    Barbadoes,                    164      102,000
    Trinidad,                   1,970       45,000
    Antigua,                      108       36,000
    Grenada and the Granadines,   120       29,000
    St. Vincent,                  121       36,000
    St. Kitts,                     68       24,000
    Dominica,                     275       20,000
    St. Lucia,                    275       18,000
    Tobago,                       120       14,000
    Nevis,                         20       12,000
    Montserrat,                    47        8,000
    Tortola,                       20        7,000
    Barbuda,                       72        0,000
    Anguilla,                      90        3,000
    Bahamas,                    4,440       18,000
    Bermudas,                      20       10,000


    Hayti,                        000      800,000

In addition to these there are a number of smaller islands, belonging
to the Little Antilles, the area and population of which are not known,
many of them being unpopulated.

These islands, in the aggregate, form an area--allowing 40,000 square
miles to Hayti and her adjunct islands, and something for those the
statistics of which are unknown--of about 103,000, or equal in extent
to Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and little
less than the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Ireland, and the
principality of Wales.

The population being, on the above date, 1840, 3,115,000 (three
millions one hundred and fifteen thousand), and allowing an increase of
_ten per cent._ in ten years, on the entire population, there are now
3,250,000 (three millions two hundred and fifty thousand) inhabitants,
who comprise the people of these islands.


                                       in 1840.

    Guatemala,                         800,000
    San Salvador,                      350,000
    Honduras,                          250,000
    Costa Rica,                        150,000
    Nicaragua,                         250,000

These consist of five states, as shown in the above statistics, the
united population of which, in 1840, amounted to 1,800,000 (one million
eight hundred thousand) inhabitants. The number at present being
estimated at 2,500,000 (two and a half millions), shows in thirteen
years, 700,000 (seven hundred thousand), being one third and one
eighteenth of an increase in population.


                      Square miles.    Population in 1840.

    New Grenada,         450,000          1,687,000
    Venezuela,           420,000            900,000
    Ecuador,             280,000            600,000
    Guiana,              160,000            182,000
    Brazil,            3,390,000          5,000,000
    North Peru,          300,000            700,000
    South Peru,          130,000            800,000
    Bolivia,             450,000          1,716,000
    Buenos Ayres,        750,000            700,000
    Paraguay,             88,000            150,000
    Uruguay,              92,000             75,000
    Chili,               170,000          1,500,000
    Patagonia,           370,000             30,000

The total area of these states is 7,050,000 (seven millions and fifty
thousand) square miles; but comparatively little (450,000 square miles)
less than the whole area of North America, in which we live.

But one state in South America, Brazil, is an abject slaveholding
state; and even here all free men are socially and politically equal,
negroes and colored men partly of African descent holding offices
of honor, trust, and rank, without restriction. In the other states
slavery is not known, all the inhabitants enjoying political equality,
restrictions on account of color being entirely unknown, unless,
indeed, necessity induces it, when, in all such cases, the preference
is given to the colored man, to put a check to European assumption and
insufferable Yankee intrusion and impudence.

The aggregate population was 14,040,000 (fourteen millions and forty
thousand) in 1840. Allowing for thirteen years the same ratio of
increase as that of the Central American states,--being one third
(4,680,000),--and this gives at present a population of 18,720,000 in
South America.

Add to this the population of the Antilles and Guatemala, and this
gives a population in the West Indies, Central and South America, of
24,470,000 (twenty-four millions four hundred and seventy thousand)

But one seventh of this population, 3,495,714 (three millions four
hundred and ninety-five thousand seven hundred and fourteen) being
white, or of pure European extraction, there is a population throughout
this vast area of 20,974,286 (twenty millions nine hundred and
seventy-four thousand two hundred and eighty-six) colored persons,
who constitute, from the immense preponderance of their numbers, the
_ruling element_, as they ever must be, of those countries.

There are no influences that could be brought to bear to change this
most fortunate and Heaven-designed state and condition of things.
Nature here has done her own work, which the art of knaves nor the
schemes of deep-designing political impostors can ever reach. This is a
fixed fact in the zodiac of the political heavens, that the blacks and
colored people are the stars which must ever most conspicuously twinkle
in the firmament of this division of the Western Hemisphere.

We next invite your attention to a few facts, upon which we predicate
the claims of the black race, not only to the tropical regions and
_south temperate zone_ of this hemisphere, but to the whole continent,
North as well as South. And here we desire it distinctly to be
understood, that, in the selection of our places of destination, we
do not advocate the _southern_ scheme as a concession, nor yet at the
will nor desire of our North American oppressors; but as a policy by
which we must be the greatest political gainers, without the risk
or possibility of loss to ourselves. A gain by which the lever of
political elevation and machinery of national progress must ever be
held and directed by our own hands and heads, to our own will and
purposes, in defiance of the obstructions which might be attempted on
the part of a dangerous and deep-designing oppressor.

From the year 1492, the discovery of Hispaniola,--the first land
discovered by Columbus in the New World,--to 1502, the short space
of ten years, such was the mortality among the natives, that the
Spaniards, then holding rule there, “began to employ a few” Africans
in the mines of the island. The experiment was effective--a successful
one. The Indian and the African were enslaved together, when the Indian
sunk, and the African stood.

It was not until June the 24th, of the year 1498, that the continent
was discovered by John Cabot, a Venetian, who sailed in August of the
previous year, 1497, from Bristol, under the patronage of Henry VII.,
King of England.

In 1517, the short-space of but fifteen years from the date of their
introduction, Carolus V., King of Spain, by right of a patent, granted
permission to a number of persons annually to supply the islands of
Hispaniola (St. Domingo), Cuba, Jamaica, and Porto Rico with natives
of Africa, to the number of four thousand annually. John Hawkins, a
mercenary Englishman, was the first person known to engage in this
general system of debasing our race, and his royal mistress, Queen
Elizabeth, was engaged with him in interest, and shared the general

The Africans, on their advent into a foreign country, soon experienced
the want of their accustomed food, and habits, and manner of living.

The aborigines subsisted mainly by game and fish, with a few patches
of maize, or Indian corn, near their wigwams, which were generally
attended by the women, while the men were absent engaged in the chase,
or at war with a hostile tribe. The vegetables, grains, and fruits,
such as in their native country they had been accustomed to, were
not to be obtained among the aborigines, which first induced the
African laborer to cultivate “patches” of ground in the neighborhood
of the mining operations, for the purpose of raising food for his own

This trait in their character was observed and regarded with
considerable interest; after which the Spaniards and other colonists,
on contracting with the English slave dealers--Captain Hawkins and
others--for new supplies of slaves, were careful to request that an
adequate quantity of seeds and plants of various kinds, indigenous to
the continent of Africa, especially those composing the staple products
of the natives, be selected and brought out with the slaves to the New
World. Many of these were cultivated to a considerable extent, while
those indigenous to America were cultivated with great success.

Shortly after the commencement of the slave trade under Elizabeth and
Hawkins, the queen granted a license to Sir Walter Raleigh to search
for uninhabited lands, and seize upon all unoccupied by Christians. Sir
Walter discovered the coast of North Carolina and Virginia, assigning
the name “Virginia” to the whole coast now comprising the old Thirteen

A feeble colony was here settled, which did not avail much, and it was
not until the month of April, 1607, that the first permanent settlement
was made in Virginia, under the patronage of letters patent from James
I., King of England, to Thomas Gates and associates. This was the first
settlement of North America, and thirteen years anterior to the landing
of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock.

And we shall now introduce to you, from acknowledged authority,
a number of historical extracts, to prove that previous to the
introduction of the black race upon this continent but little
enterprise of any kind was successfully carried on. The African or
negro was the first _available contributor_ to the country, and
consequently is by priority of right, and politically should be,
entitled to the highest claims of an eligible citizen.

    “No permanent settlement was effected in what is now called the
    United States, till the reign of James the First.”--_Ramsay’s
    Hist. U. S._, vol. i. p. 38.

    “The month of April, 1607, is the epoch of the first permanent
    settlement on the coast of Virginia, the name then given to all
    that extent of country which forms thirteen states.”--_Ib._ p.

The whole coast of the country was at this time explored, not for the
purpose of trade and agriculture,--because there were then no such
enterprises in the country, the natives not producing sufficient of the
necessaries of life to supply present wants, there being consequently
nothing to trade for,--but, like their Spanish and Portuguese
predecessors, who occupied the islands and different parts of South
America, in search of gold and other precious metals.

Trade and the cultivation of the soil, on coming to the New World, were
foreign to their intention or designs, consequently, when failing of
success in that enterprise, they were sadly disappointed.

    “At a time when the precious metals were conceived to be the
    peculiar and only valuable productions of the New World, when
    every mountain was supposed to contain a treasure and every
    rivulet was searched for its golden sands, this appearance was
    fondly considered as an infallible indication of the mine.
    Every hand was eager to dig.…

    “There was now,” says Smith, “no talk, no hope, no work; but
    dig gold; wash gold, refine gold. With this imaginary wealth
    the first vessel returning to England was loaded, while the
    _culture of the land_ and every useful occupation was _totally

    “The colonists thus left were in miserable circumstances for
    want of provisions. The remainder of what they had brought with
    them was so small in quantity as to be soon expended, and so
    damaged in course of a long voyage as to be a source of disease.

    “... In their expectation of getting gold, the people were
    disappointed, the glittering substance they had sent to England
    proving to be a valueless mineral. Smith, on his return to
    Jamestown, found the colony reduced to thirty-eight persons,
    who, in despair, were preparing to abandon the country. He
    employed caresses, threats, and even violence in order to
    prevent them from executing this fatal resolution.”--_Ramsay’s
    Hist. U. S._, pp. 45, 46.

The Pilgrims or Puritans, in November, 1620, after having organized
with solemn vows to the defence of each other, and the maintenance
of their civil liberty, made the harbor of Cape Cod, landing safely
on “Plymouth Rock” December 20th, about one month subsequently. They
were one hundred and one in number, and from the toils and hardships
consequent to a severe season, in a strange country, in less than six
months after their arrival, “forty persons, nearly one half of their
original number,” had died.

    “In 1618, in the reign of James I., the British government
    established a regular trade on the coast of Africa. In the year
    1620 negro slaves began to be imported into Virginia, a Dutch
    ship bringing twenty of them for sale.”--_Sampson’s Historical
    Dictionary_, p. 348.

It will be seen by these historical reminiscences, that the Dutch ship
landed her cargo at New Bedford, Massachusetts,--the whole coast, now
comprising the old original states, then went by the name of Virginia,
being so named by Sir Walter Raleigh, in honor of his royal mistress
and patron, Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen of England, under whom he
received the patent of his royal commission, to seize all the lands
unoccupied by Christians.

Beginning their preparations in the slave trade in 1618, just two years
previous,--allowing time against the landing of the first emigrants
for successfully carrying out the project,--the African captives and
Puritan emigrants, singularly enough, landed upon the same section of
the continent at the same time (1620), the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and
the captive slaves at New Bedford, but a few miles, comparatively,

    “The country at this period was one vast wilderness. The
    continent of North America was then one continued forest …
    There were no horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, or tame beasts of
    any kind … There were no domestic poultry … There were no
    gardens, orchards, public roads, meadows, or cultivated fields
    … They often burned the woods that they could advantageously
    plant their corn … They had neither spice, salt, bread, butter,
    cheese, nor milk. They had no set meals, but eat when they
    were hungry, or could find anything to satisfy the cravings of
    nature. Very little of their food was derived from the earth,
    except what it spontaneously produced … The ground was both
    their seat and table … Their best bed was a skin … They had
    neither iron, steel, nor any metallic instruments.”--_Ramsay’s
    Hist._, pp. 39, 40.

We adduce not these extracts to disparage or detract from the real
worth of our brother Indian,--for we are identical as the subjects
of American wrongs, outrages, and oppression, and therefore one
in interest,--far be it from our designs. Whatever opinion he may
entertain of our race,--in accordance with the impressions made by
the contumely heaped upon us by our mutual oppressor, the American
nation,--we admire his, for the many deeds of heroic and noble daring
with which the brief history of his liberty-loving people is replete.
We sympathize with him, because our brethren are the successors of his
in the degradation of American bondage; and we adduce them in evidence
against the many aspersions heaped upon the African race, avowing that
their inferiority to the other races, and unfitness for a high civil
and social position, caused them to be reduced to servitude.

For the purpose of proving their availability and eminent fitness
alone--not to say superiority, and not inferiority--first suggested to
Europeans the substitution of African for that of Indian labor in the
mines; that their superior adaptation to the difficulties consequent to
a new country and different climate made them preferable to Europeans
themselves; and their superior skill, industry, and general thriftiness
in all that they did, first suggested to the colonists the propriety of
turning their attention to agricultural and other industrial pursuits
than those of mining operations.

It is evident, from what has herein been adduced,--the settlement of
Captain John Smith being in the course of a few months reduced to
thirty-eight, and that of the Pilgrims at Plymouth from one hundred and
one to fifty-seven in six months,--that the whites nor aborigines were
equal to the hard, and to them insurmountable, difficulties which then
stood wide-spread before them.

An endless forest, the impenetrable earth,--the one to be removed, and
the other to be excavated; towns and cities to be built, and farms to
be cultivated,--all presented difficulties too arduous for the European
then here, and entirely unknown to the native of the continent.

At a period such as this, when the natives themselves had fallen
victims to the tasks imposed upon them by the usurpers, and the
Europeans also were fast sinking beneath the influence and weight
of climate and hardships; when food could not be obtained, nor the
common conveniences of life procured; when arduous duties of life were
to be performed, and none capable of doing them, save those who had
previously, by their labors, not only in their own country, but in the
new, so proven themselves capable, it is very evident, as the most
natural consequence, the Africans were resorted to for the performance
of every duty common to domestic life.

There were no laborers known to the colonists, from Cape Cod to Cape
Lookout, than those of the African race. They entered at once into the
mines, extracting therefrom the rich treasures which for a thousand
ages lay hidden in the earth; when, plunging into the depths of the
rivers, they culled from their sandy bottoms, to the astonishment
of the natives and surprise of the Europeans, minerals and precious
stones, which added to the pride and aggrandizement of every throne in

And from their knowledge of cultivation,--an art acquired in their
native Africa,--the farming interests in the North and planting in
the South were commenced with a prospect never dreamed of before the
introduction on the continent of this most interesting, unexampled,
hardy race of men. A race capable of the endurance of more toil,
fatigue, and hunger than any other branch of the human family.

Though pagans for the most part in their own country, they required not
to be taught to work, and how to do it; but it was only necessary to
bid them work, and they at once knew what to do, and how it should be

Even up to the present day, it is notorious that in the planting states
the blacks themselves are the only skilful cultivators of the soil, the
proprietors or planters, as they are termed, knowing little or nothing
of the art, save that which they learn from the African husbandman;
while the ignorant white overseer, whose duty is to see that the work
is attended to, knows still less.

Hemp, cotton, tobacco, corn, rice, sugar, and many other important
staple products, are all the result of African skill and labor in the
southern states of this country. The greater number of the mechanics of
the South are also black men.

Nor was their skill as herdsmen inferior to their other proficiencies,
they being among the most accomplished trainers of horses in the world.

Indeed, to this class of men may be indebted the entire country for the
improvement South in the breed of horses. And those who have travelled
in the southern states could not have failed to observe that the
principal trainers, jockeys, riders, and judges of horses were men of
African descent.

These facts alone are sufficient to establish our claim to this
country, as legitimate as that of those who fill the highest stations
by the suffrage of the people.

In no period since the existence of the ancient enlightened nations of
Africa have the prospects of the black race been brighter than now; and
at no time during the Christian era have there been greater advantages
presented for the advancement of any people than at present those which
offer to the black race, both in the eastern and western hemispheres;
our election being in the western.

Despite the efforts to the contrary, in the strenuous endeavors for
a supremacy of race, the sympathies of the world, in their upward
tendency, are in favor of the African and black races of the earth. To
be available, _we_ must take advantage of these favorable feelings,
and strike out for ourselves a bold and manly course of _independent
action_ and _position_; otherwise, this pure and uncorrupted sympathy
will be reduced to pity and contempt.

Of the countries of our choice, we have stated that one province and
two islands were slaveholding places. These, as before named, are
Brazil in South America, and Cuba and Porto Rico in the West Indies.
There are a few other little islands of minor consideration: the Danish
three, Swedish one, and Dutch four.

But in the eight last referred to, slavery is of such a mild type,
that, however objectionable as such, it is merely nominal.

In South America and the Antilles, in its worst form, slavery is a
blessing almost, compared with the miserable degradation of the slaves
under our upstart, assumed superiors, the slaveholders of the United

In Brazil color is no badge of condition, and every freeman, whatever
his color, is socially and politically equal, there being black
gentlemen, of pure African descent, filling the highest positions in
state under the emperor. There is, also, an established law by the
Congress of Brazil, making the crime punishable with death for the
commander of any vessel to bring into the country any human being as a

The following law has passed one branch of the General Legislative
Assembly of Brazil, but little doubt being entertained that it
will find a like favor in the other branch of that august general
legislative body:--

“1. All children born after the date of this law shall be free.

“2. All those shall be considered free who are born in other countries,
and come to Brazil after this date.

“3. Every one who serves from birth to seven years of age, any of those
included in article one, or who has to serve so many years, at the end
of fourteen years shall be emancipated, and live as he chooses.

“4. Every slave paying for his liberty a sum equal to what he cost his
master, or who shall gain it by honorable gratuitous title, the master
shall be obliged to give him a free paper, under the penalty of article
one hundred and seventy-nine of the criminal code.

“5. Where there is no stipulated price or fixed value of the slave, it
shall be determined by arbitrators, one of which shall be the public
_promoter_ of the town.

“6. The government is authorized to give precise regulations for the
execution of this law, and also to form establishments necessary for
taking care of those who, born after this date, may be abandoned by the
owners of slaves.

“7. Opposing laws and regulations are repealed.”

Concerning Cuba, there is an old established law, giving any slave
the right of a certain _legal tender_, which, if refused by the
slaveholder, he, by going to the residence of any parish priest, and
making known the facts, shall immediately be declared a freeman, the
priest or bishop of the parish or diocese giving him his “freedom
papers.” The legal tender, or sum fixed by law, we think does not
exceed two hundred and fifty Spanish dollars. It may be more.

Until the Americans intruded themselves into Cuba, contaminating
society wherever they located, black and colored gentlemen and ladies
of rank mingled indiscriminately in society. But since the advent
of these negro-haters, the colored people of Cuba have been reduced
nearly, if not quite, to the level of the miserable, degraded position
of the colored people of the United States, who almost consider it a
compliment and favor to receive the notice or smiles of a white.

Can we be satisfied, in this enlightened age of the world, amid the
advantages which now present themselves to us, with the degradation and
servility inherited from our fathers in this country? God forbid. And
we think the universal reply will be, We will not!

Half a century brings about a mighty change in the reality of existing
things and events of the world’s history. Fifty years ago our fathers
lived. For the most part they were sorely oppressed, debased, ignorant,
and incapable of comprehending the political relations of mankind--the
great machinery and motive-power by which the enlightened nations of
the earth were impelled forward. They knew but little, and ventured
to do nothing to enhance their own interests beyond that which their
oppressors taught them. They lived amidst a continual cloud of moral
obscurity; a fog of bewilderment and delusion, by which they were of
necessity compelled to confine themselves to a limited space--a _known_
locality--lest by one step beyond this they might have stumbled over a
precipice, ruining themselves beyond recovery in the fall.

We are their sons, but not the same individuals; neither do we live in
the same period with them. That which suited them, does not suit us;
and that with which they may have been contented, will not satisfy us.

Without education, they were ignorant of the world, and fearful of
adventure. With education, we are conversant with its geography,
history, and nations, and delight in its enterprises and
responsibilities. They once were held as slaves; to such a condition
we never could be reduced. They were content with privileges; we will
be satisfied with nothing less than rights. They felt themselves
happy to be permitted to beg for rights; we demand them as an innate
inheritance. They considered themselves favored to live by sufferance;
we reject it as a degradation. A subordinate position was all they
asked for; we claim entire equality or nothing. The relation of master
and slave was innocently acknowledged by them; we deny the right
as such, and pronounce the relation as the basest injustice that
ever scourged the earth and cursed the human family. They admitted
themselves to be inferiors; we barely acknowledge the whites as equals,
perhaps not in every particular. They lamented their irrecoverable
fate, and incapacity to redeem themselves and their race. We rejoice
that, as their sons, it is our happy lot and high mission to
accomplish that which they desired, and would have done, but failed for
the want of ability to do.

Let no intelligent man or woman, then, among us be found at the present
day, exulting in the degradation that our enslaved parents would gladly
have rid themselves had they had the intelligence and qualifications to
accomplish their designs. Let none be found to shield themselves behind
the plea of our brother bondmen in ignorance, that we know not _what_
to do, nor _where_ to go. We are no longer slaves, as were our fathers,
but freemen; fully qualified to meet our oppressors in every relation
which belongs to the elevation of man, the establishment, sustenance,
and perpetuity of a nation. And such a position, by the help of God our
common Father, we are determined to take and maintain.

There is but one question presents itself for our serious
consideration, upon which we _must_ give a decisive reply: Will
we transmit, as an inheritance to our children, the blessings of
unrestricted civil liberty, or shall we entail upon them, as our only
political legacy, the degradation and oppression left us by our fathers?

Shall we be persuaded that we can live and prosper nowhere but under
the authority and power of our North American white oppressors? that
this (the United States) is the country most, if not the only one,
favorable to our improvement and progress? Are we willing to admit
that we are incapable of self-government, establishing for ourselves
such political privileges, and making such internal improvements as
we delight to enjoy, after American white men have made them for

No! Neither is it true that the United States is the country best
adapted to _our_ improvement. But that country is the best in which our
manhood--morally, mentally, and physically--can be _best developed_;
in which we have an untrammelled right to the enjoyment of civil and
religious liberty; and the West Indies, Central and South America,
present now such advantages, superiorly preferable to all other

That the continent of America was designed by Providence as a reserved
asylum for the various oppressed people of the earth, of all races, to
us seems very apparent.

From the earliest period after the discovery, various nations sent a
representative here, either as adventurers and speculators, or employed
laborers, seamen, or soldiers, hired to work for their employers. And
among the earliest and most numerous class who found their way to the
New World were those of the African race. And it has been ascertained
to our minds, beyond a doubt, that when the continent was discovered,
there were found in the West Indies and Central America tribes of the
black race, fine looking people, having the usual characteristics
of color and hair, identifying them as being originally of the
African race; no doubt, being a remnant of the Africans who, with the
Carthaginian expedition, were adventitiously cast upon this continent,
in their memorable adventure to the “Great Island,” after sailing many
miles distant to the west of the “Pillars of Hercules,”--the present
Straits of Gibraltar.

We would not be thought to be superstitious, when we say, that in all
this we can “see the finger of God.” Is it not worthy of a notice here,
that while the ingress of foreign whites to this continent has been
voluntary and constant, and that of the blacks involuntary and but
occasional, yet the whites in the southern part have _decreased_ in
numbers, _degenerated_ in character, and become mentally and physically
_enervated_ and imbecile; while the blacks and colored people have
studiously _increased_ in numbers, _regenerated_ in character, and have
grown mentally and physically vigorous and active, developing every
function of their manhood, and are now, in their elementary character,
decidedly superior to the white race? So, then, the white race could
never successfully occupy the southern portion of the continent;
they must, of necessity, every generation, be repeopled from another
quarter of the globe. The fatal error committed by the Spaniards, under
Pizarro, was the attempt to exterminate the Incas and Peruvians, and
fill their places by European whites. The Peruvian Indians, a hale,
hardy, vigorous, intellectual race of people, were succeeded by those
who soon became idle, vicious, degenerated, and imbecile. But Peru,
like all the other South American states, is regaining her former
potency, just in proportion as the European race decreases among them.
All the labor of the country is performed by the aboriginal natives
and the blacks, the few Europeans there being the merest excrescences
on the body politic--consuming drones in the social hive.

Had we no other claims than those set forth in a foregoing part of this
address, they are sufficient to induce every black and colored person
to remain on this continent, unshaken and unmoved.

But the West Indians, Central and South Americans, are a noble race
of people; generous, sociable, and tractable--just the people with
whom we desire to unite; who are susceptible of progress, improvement,
and reform of every kind. They now desire all the improvements of
North America, but being justly jealous of their rights, they have
no confidence in the whites of the United States, and consequently
peremptorily refuse to permit an indiscriminate settlement among them
of this class of people; but placing every confidence in the black and
colored people of North America.

The example of the unjust invasion and forcible seizure of a large
portion of the territory of Mexico is still fresh in their memory; and
the oppressive disfranchisement of a large number of native Mexicans,
by the Americans,--because of the color and race of the natives,--will
continue to rankle in the bosom of the people of those countries, and
prove a sufficient barrier henceforth against the inroads of North
American whites among them.

Upon the American continent, then, we are determined to remain despite
every opposition that may be urged against us.

You will doubtless be asked,--and that, too, with an air of
seriousness,--why, if desirable to remain on this continent, not be
content to remain _in_ the United States. The objections to this--and
potent reasons, too, in our estimation--have already been clearly shown.

But notwithstanding all this, were there still any rational, nay, even
the most futile grounds for hope, we still might be stupid enough to
be content to remain, and yet through another period of unexampled
patience and suffering, continue meekly to drag the galling yoke and
clank the chain of servility and degradation. But whether or not in
this God is to be thanked and Heaven blessed, we are not permitted,
despite our willingness and stupidity, to indulge even the most
distant glimmer of a hope of attaining to the level of a well-protected

For years we have been studiously and jealously observing the course
of political events and policy on the part of this country, both in
a national and individual state capacity, as pursued towards the
colored people. And he who, in the midst of them, can live without
observation, is either excusably ignorant, or reprehensibly deceptious
and untrustworthy.

We deem it entirely unnecessary to tax you with anything like the
history of even one chapter of the unequalled infamies perpetrated on
the part of the various states, and national decrees, by legislation,
against us. But we shall call your particular attention to the more
recent acts of the United States; because, whatever privileges we may
enjoy in any individual state, will avail nothing when not recognized
as such by the United States.

When the condition of the inhabitants of any country is fixed by
legal grades of distinction, this condition can never be changed
except by express legislation. And it is the height of folly to expect
such express legislation, except by the inevitable force of some
irresistible internal political pressure. The force necessary to this
imperative demand on our part we never can obtain, because of our
numerical feebleness.

Were the interests of the common people identical with ours, we, in
this, might succeed, because we, as a class, would then be numerically
the superior. But this is not a question of the rich against the poor,
nor the common people against the higher classes, but a question of
white against black--every white person, by legal right, being held
superior to a black or colored person.

In Russia, the common people might obtain an equality with the
aristocracy, because, of the sixty-five millions of her population,
forty-five millions are serfs or peasants; leaving but twenty millions
of the higher classes--royalty, nobility, and all included.

The rights of no oppressed people have ever yet been obtained by a
voluntary act of justice on the part of the oppressors. Christians,
philanthropists, and moralists may preach, argue, and philosophize as
they may to the contrary: facts are against them. Voluntary acts, it
is true, which are in themselves just, may sometimes take place on the
part of the oppressor; but these are always actuated by the force of
some outward circumstances of self-interest equal to a compulsion.

The boasted liberties of the American people were established by a
constitution, borrowed from and modelled after the British _magna
charta_. And this great charter of British liberty, so much boasted of
and vaunted as a model bill of rights, was obtained only by force and

The barons, an order of noblemen, under the reign of King John,
becoming dissatisfied at the terms submitted to by their sovereign,
which necessarily brought degradation upon themselves,--terms
prescribed by the insolent Pope Innocent III., the haughty sovereign
Pontiff of Rome,--summoned his majesty to meet them on the plains of
the memorable meadow of Runnymede, where, presenting to him their own
Bill of Rights--a bill dictated by themselves, and drawn up by their
own hands--at the unsheathed points of a thousand glittering swords,
they commanded him, against his will, to sign the extraordinary
document. There was no alternative: he must either do or die. With a
puerile timidity, he leaned forward his rather commanding but imbecile
person, and with a trembling hand and single dash of the pen, the name
KING JOHN stood forth in bold relief sending more terror throughout the
world than the mystic handwriting of Heaven throughout the dominions
of Nebuchadnezzar, blazing on the walls of Babylon. A consternation,
not because of the _name_ of the king, but because of the rights of
_others_, which that name acknowledged.

The king, however, soon became dissatisfied, and determining on a
revocation of the act,--an act done entirely contrary to his will,--at
the head of a formidable army spread fire and sword throughout the

But the barons, though compelled to leave their castles, their houses
and homes, and fly for their lives, could not be induced to undo that
which they had so nobly done--the achievement of their rights and
privileges. Hence the act has stood throughout all succeeding time,
because never annulled by those who _willed_ it.

It will be seen that the first great modern Bill of Rights was obtained
only by a force of arms: a resistance of the people against the
injustice and intolerance of their rulers. We say the people--because
that which the barons demanded for themselves, was afterwards extended
to the common people. Their only hope was based on their _superiority
of numbers_.

But can we, in this country, hope for as much? Certainly not. Our case
is a hopeless one. There was but _one_ John, with his few sprigs of
adhering royalty; and but _one_ heart, at which the threatening points
of their swords were directed by a thousand barons; while in our case,
there is but a handful of the oppressed, without a sword to point, and
_twenty millions_ of Johns or Jonathans--as you please--with as many
hearts, tenfold more relentless than that of Prince John Lackland, and
as deceptious and hypocritical as the Italian heart of Innocent III.

Where, then, is our hope of success in this country? Upon what is
it based? Upon what principle of political policy and sagacious
discernment do our political leaders and acknowledged great
men--colored men we mean--justify themselves by telling us, and
insisting that we shall believe them, and submit to what they say--to
be patient, remain where we are; that there is a “bright prospect and
glorious future” before us in this country! May Heaven open our eyes
from their Bartimean obscurity.

But we call your attention to another point of our political
degradation--the acts of state and general governments.

In a few of the states, as in New York, the colored inhabitants have
a partial privilege of voting a white man into office. This privilege
is based on a property qualification of two hundred and fifty dollars
worth of real estate. In others, as in Ohio, in the absence of organic
provision, the privilege is granted by judicial decision, based on a
ratio of blood, of an admixture of more than one half white; while in
many of the states there is no privilege allowed, either partial or

The policy of the above-named states will be seen and detected at
a glance, which, while seeming to extend immunities, is intended
especially for the object of degradation.

In the State of New York, for instance, there is a constitutional
distinction created among colored men,--almost necessarily compelling
one part to feel superior to the other,--while among the whites no such
distinctions dare be known. Also, in Ohio, there is a legal distinction
set up by an upstart judiciary, creating among the colored people a
privileged class by birth! All this must necessarily sever the cords of
union among us, creating almost insurmountable prejudices of the most
stupid and fatal kind, paralyzing the last bracing nerve which promised
to give us strength.

It is upon this same principle, and for the self-same object, that
the general government has long been endeavoring, and is at present
knowingly designing to effect a recognition of the independence of
the Dominican Republic, while disparagingly refusing to recognize the
independence of the Haytien nation--a people four fold greater in
numbers, wealth, and power. The Haytiens, it is pretended, are refused
because they are _negroes_; while the Dominicans, as is well known
to all who are familiar with the geography, history, and political
relations of that people, are identical--except in language, they
speaking the Spanish tongue--with those of the Haytiens; being composed
of negroes and a mixed race. The government may shield itself by the
plea that it is not familiar with the origin of those people. To this
we have but to reply, that if the government is thus ignorant of the
relations of its near neighbors, it is the height of presumption, and
no small degree of assurance, for it to set up itself as capable of
prescribing terms to the one, or conditions to the other.

Should they accomplish their object, they then will have succeeded
in forever establishing a barrier of impassable separation, by
the creation of a political distinction between those peoples, of
superiority and inferiority of origin or national existence. Here,
then, is another stratagem of this most determined and untiring enemy
of our race--the government of the United States.

We come now to the crowning act of infamy on the part of the general
government towards the colored inhabitants of the United States--an act
so vile in its nature, that rebellion against its demands should be
promptly made in every attempt to enforce its infernal provisions.

In the history of national existence, there is not to be found a
parallel to the tantalizing insult and aggravating despotism of the
provisions of Millard Fillmore’s Fugitive Slave Bill, passed by the
Thirty-third Congress of the United States, with the approbation of a
majority of the American people, in the year of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ eighteen hundred and fifty.

This bill had but one object in its provisions, which was fully
accomplished in its passage, that is, the reduction of every colored
person in the United States--save those who carry free papers of
emancipation, or bills of sale from former claimants or owners--to a
state of relative _slavery_; placing each and every one of us at the
_disposal of any and every white_ who might choose to _claim_ us,
and the caprice of any and every upstart knave bearing the title of

Did any of you, fellow-countrymen, reside in a country, the provisions
of whose laws were such that any person of a certain class, who,
whenever he, she, or they pleased, might come forward, lay a claim
to, make oath before (it might be) some stupid and heartless person,
authorized to decide in such cases, and take, at their option, your
horse, cow, sheep, house and lot, or any other property, bought and
paid for by your own earnings,--the result of your personal toil and
labor,--would you be willing, or could you be induced by any reasoning,
however great the source from which it came, to remain in that country?
We pause, fellow-countrymen, for a reply.

If there be not one yea, of how much more importance, then, is your
_own personal safety_ than that of property? Of how much more concern
is the safety of a wife or husband, than that of a cow or horse; a
child, than a sheep; the destiny of your family, to that of a house and

And yet this is precisely our condition. Any one of us, at any moment,
is liable to be _claimed_, _seized_, and _taken_ into custody by any
white, as his or her property--to be _enslaved for life_--and there is
no remedy, because it is the _law of the land_! And we dare predict,
and take this favorable opportunity to forewarn you, fellow-countrymen,
that the time is not far distant, when there will be carried on by the
white men of this nation an extensive commerce in the persons of what
now compose the free colored people of the North. We forewarn you,
that the general enslavement of the whole of this class of people is
now being contemplated by the whites.

At present, we are liable to enslavement at any moment, provided we are
taken _away_ from our homes. But we dare venture further to forewarn
you, that the scheme is in mature contemplation, and has even been
mooted in high places, of harmonizing the two discordant political
divisions in the country by again reducing the free to slave states.

The completion of this atrocious scheme only becomes necessary for each
and every one of us to find an owner and master at our own doors. Let
the general government but pass such a law, and the states will comply
as an act of harmony. Let the South but _demand_ it, and the North will
comply as a _duty_ of compromise.

If Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts can be found arming their
sons as watch-dogs for Southern slave hunters; if the United States
may, with impunity, garrison with troops the court-house of the freest
city in America; blockade the streets; station armed ruffians of
dragoons, and spiked artillery in hostile awe of the people; if free,
white, high-born and bred gentlemen of Boston and New York are smitten
down to the earth,[10] refused an entrance on professional business
into the court-houses, until inspected by a slave hunter and his
counsel, all to put down the liberty of the black man, then, indeed, is
there no hope for us in this country!

It is, fellow-countrymen, a fixed fact, as indelible as the covenant of
God in the heavens, that the colored people of these United States are
the slaves of any white person who may choose to claim them!

What safety or guarantee have we for ourselves or families? Let us, for
a moment, examine this point.

Supposing some hired spy of the slave power residing in Illinois,
whom, for illustration, we shall call Stephen A., Counsellor B., a
mercenary hireling of New York, and Commissioner C., a slave catcher of
Pennsylvania, should take umbrage at the acts or doings of any colored
person or persons in a free state; they may, with impunity, send or go
on their knight errantry to the South (as did a hireling of the slave
power in New York--a lawyer by profession), give a description of
such person or persons, and an agent with warrants may be immediately
despatched to swear them into slavery forever.

We tell you, fellow-countrymen, any one of you here assembled--your
humble committee who report to you this paper--may, by the laws of this
land, be seized, whatever the circumstances of his birth, whether he
descends from free or slave parents--whether born north or south of
Mason and Dixon’s line--and ere the setting of another sun, be speeding
his way to that living sepulchre and death-chamber of our race--the
curse and scourge of this country--the southern part of the United
States. This is not idle speculation, but living, naked, undisguised

A member of your committee has received a letter from a gentleman of
respectability and standing in the South, who writes to the following
effect. We copy his own words:--

    “There are, at this moment, as I was to-day informed by
    Colonel W., one of our first magistrates in this city, a gang
    of from twenty-five to thirty vagabonds of poor white men,
    who, for twenty-five dollars a head, clear of all expenses,
    are ready and willing to go to the North, make acquaintance
    with the blacks in various places, send their descriptions to
    unprincipled slaveholders here,--for there are many of this
    kind to be found among the poorer class of masters,--and swear
    them into bondage. So the free blacks, as well as fugitive
    slaves, will have to keep a sharp watch over themselves to get
    clear of this scheme to enslave them.”

Here, then, you have but a paragraph in the great volume of this
political crusade and legislative pirating by the American people over
the rights and privileges of the colored inhabitants of the country.
If this be but a paragraph,--for such it is in truth,--what must
be the contents when the whole history is divulged! Never will the
contents of this dreadful record of crime, corruption, and oppression
be fully revealed, until the trump of God shall proclaim the universal
summons to judgment. Then, and then alone, shall the whole truth be
acknowledged, when the doom of the criminal shall be forever sealed.

We desire not to be sentimental, but rather would be political; and
therefore call your attention to another point--a point already
referred to.

In giving the statistics of various countries, and preferences to many
places herein mentioned, as points of destination in emigration, we
have said little or nothing concerning the present governments, the
various state departments, nor the condition of society among the

This is not the province of your committee, but the legitimate office
of a Board of Foreign Commissioners, whom there is no doubt will be
created by the convention, with provisions and instructions to report
thereon, in due season, of their mission.

With a few additional remarks on the subject of the British Provinces
of North America, we shall have done our duty, and completed, for the
time being, the arduous, important, and momentous task assigned to us.

The British Provinces of North America, especially Canada
West,--formerly called Upper Canada,--in climate, soil, productions,
and the usual prospects for internal improvements, are equal, if not
superior, to any northern part of the continent. And for these very
reasons, aside from their contiguity to the northern part of the United
States,--and consequent facility for the escape of the slaves from the
South,--we certainly should prefer them as a place of destination. We
love the Canadas, and admire their laws, because, as British Provinces,
there is no difference known among the people--no distinction of
race. And we deem it a duty to recommend, that for the present, as
a temporary asylum, it is certainly advisable for every colored
person, who, desiring to emigrate, and is not prepared for any other
destination, to locate in Canada West.

Every advantage on our part should be now taken of the opportunity of
_obtaining_ LANDS, while they are to be had cheap, and on the most easy
conditions, from the government.

Even those who never contemplate a removal from this country of chains,
it will be their best interest and greatest advantage to procure
lands in the Canadian Provinces. It will be an easy, profitable, and
safe investment, even should they never occupy nor yet see them. We
shall then be but doing what the whites in the United States have for
years been engaged in--securing unsettled lands in the territories,
previous to their enhancement in value, by the force of settlement
and progressive neighboring improvements. There are also at present
great openings for colored people to enter into the various industrial
departments of business operations: laborers, mechanics, teachers,
merchants, and shop-keepers, and professional men of every kind. These
places are now open, as much to the colored as the white man, in
Canada, with little or no opposition to his progress; at least in the
character of prejudicial preferences on account of race. And all of
these, without any hesitancy, do we most cheerfully recommend to the
colored inhabitants of the United States.

But our preference to other places over the Canadas has been cursorily
stated in the foregoing part of this paper; and since the writing
of that part, it would seem that the predictions or apprehensions
concerning the Provinces are about to be verified by the British
Parliament and Home Government themselves. They have virtually
conceded, and openly expressed it--Lord Brougham in the lead--that the
British Provinces of North America must, ere long, cease to be a part
of the British domain, and become annexed to the United States.

It is needless--however much we may regret the necessity of its
acknowledgment--for us to stop our ears, shut our eyes, and stultify
our senses against the truth in this matter; since, by so doing, it
does not alter the case. Every political movement, both in England and
the United States, favors such an issue, and the sooner we acknowledge
it, the better it will be for our cause, ourselves individually, and
the destiny of our people in this country.

These Provinces have long been burdensome to the British nation, and
her statesmen have long since discovered and decided as an indisputable
predicate in political economy, that any province as an independent
state, is more profitable in a commercial consideration to a country
than when depending as one of its colonies. As a child to the parent,
or an apprentice to his master, so is a colony to a state. And as the
man who enters into business is to the manufacturer and importer, so is
the colony which becomes an independent state to the country from which
it recedes.

Great Britain is decidedly a commercial and money-making nation, and
counts closely on her commercial relations with any country. That
nation or people which puts the largest amount of money into her
coffers, are the people who may expect to obtain her greatest favors.
This the Americans do; consequently--and we candidly ask you to mark
the prediction--the British will interpose little or no obstructions
to the Canadas, Cuba, or any other province or colony contiguous to
this country, falling into the American Union; except only in such
cases where there would be a compromise of her honor. And in the event
of a seizure of any of these, there would be no necessity for such a
sacrifice; it could readily be avoided by diplomacy.

Then there is little hope for us on this continent, short of those
places where, by reason of their numbers, there is the greatest
combination of strength and interests on the part of the colored race.

We have ventured to predict a reduction of the now nominally free into
slave states. Already has this “reign of terror” and dreadful work of
destruction commenced. We give you the quotation from a Mississippi
paper, which will readily be admitted as authority in this case:--

    “Two years ago a law was passed by the California legislature,
    granting _one year_ to the owners of slaves carried into the
    territory previous to the adoption of the constitution, to
    remove them beyond the limits of the state. Last year the
    provision of this law _was extended twelve months longer_.
    We learn by the late California papers that a bill has just
    passed the Assembly, by a vote of 33 to 21, _continuing
    the same law in force until 1855_. The provisions of this
    bill embraces _slaves who have been carried to California
    since the adoption of her constitution_, as well as those
    who were there previously. The large majority by which it
    passed, and the opinions advanced during the discussion,
    _indicates a more favorable state of sentiment in regard to
    the rights of slaveholders in California than we supposed

No one who is a general and intelligent observer of the politics of
this country, will after reading this, doubt for a moment the final

At present there is a proposition under consideration in California
to authorize the holding of a convention to amend the constitution of
that state, which doubtless will be carried into effect; when there is
no doubt that a clause will be inserted, granting the right to _hold
slaves at discretion_ in the state. This being done, it will meet with
general favor throughout the country by the American people, and the
_policy be adopted on the state’s rights principle_. This alone is
necessary, in addition to the insufferable Fugitive Slave Law, and the
recent nefarious Nebraska Bill,--which is based upon this very boasted
American policy of the state’s rights principle,--to reduce the free
to slave states, without a murmur from the people. And did not the
Nebraska Bill disrespect the feelings and infringe upon the political
rights of Northern _white_ people, its adoption would be hailed with
loud shouts of approbation, from Portland, Maine, to San Francisco.

That, then, which is left for us to do, is to _secure_ our liberty; a
position which shall fully _warrant_ us _against_ the _liability_ of
such monstrous political crusades and riotous invasions of our rights.
Nothing less than a national indemnity, indelibly fixed by virtue of
our own sovereign potency, will satisfy us as a redress of grievances
for the unparalleled wrongs, undisguised impositions, and unmitigated
oppression which we have suffered at the hands of this American people.

And what wise politician would otherwise conclude and determine? None,
we dare say. And a people who are incapable of this discernment and
precaution are incapable of self-government, and incompetent to direct
their own political destiny. For our own part, we spurn to treat for
liberty on any other terms or conditions.

It may not be inapplicable, in this particular place, to quote, from
high authority, language which has fallen under our notice since
this report has been under our consideration. The quotation is worth
nothing, except to show that the position assumed by us is a natural
one, which constitutes the essential basis of self-protection.

Said Earl Aberdeen recently, in the British House of Lords, when
referring to the great question which is now agitating Europe, “One
thing alone is certain, that the only way to obtain a sure and
honorable peace, is to _acquire a position_ which may _command_ it; and
to gain such a position, _every nerve and sinew_ of the empire should
be strained. The pickpocket who robs us is not to be let off because he
offers to restore our purse;” and his lordship might have justly added,
“should never thereafter be intrusted or confided in.”

The plea, doubtless, will be, as it already frequently has been raised,
that to remove from the United States, our slave brethren would be left
without a hope. They already find their way in large companies to the
Canadas, and they have only to be made sensible that there is as much
freedom for them South as there is North; as much protection in Mexico
as in Canada; and the fugitive slave will find it a much pleasanter
journey and more easy of access, to wend his way from Louisiana and
Arkansas to Mexico, than thousands of miles through the slaveholders
of the South and slave-catchers of the North to Canada. Once into
Mexico, and his farther exit to Central and South America and the West
Indies would be certain. There would be no obstructions whatever. No
miserable, half-starved, servile Northern slave-catchers by the way,
waiting, cap in hand, ready and willing to do the bidding of their
contemptible Southern masters.

No prisons nor court-houses, as slave-pens and garrisons, to secure the
fugitive and rendezvous the mercenary gangs, who are bought as military
on such occasions. No perjured marshals, bribed commissioners, nor
hireling counsel, who, spaniel-like, crouch at the feet of Southern
slaveholders, and cringingly tremble at the crack of their whip. No,
not as may be encountered throughout his northern flight, there are
none of these to be found or met with in his travels from the Bravo
del Norte to the dashing Orinoco--from the borders of Texas to the
boundaries of Peru.

Should anything occur to prevent a successful emigration to the
south--Central, South America, and the West Indies--we have no
hesitancy, rather than remain in the United States, the merest
subordinates and serviles of the whites, should the Canadas still
continue separate in their political relations from this country, to
recommend to the great body of our people to remove to Canada West,
where, being politically equal to the whites, physically united with
each other by a concentration of strength; when worse comes to worse,
we may be found, not as a scattered, weak, and impotent people, as we
now are separated from each other throughout the Union, but a united
and powerful body of freemen, mighty in politics, and terrible in
any conflict which might ensue, in the event of an attempt at the
disturbance of our political relations, domestic repose, and peaceful

Now, fellow-countrymen, we have done. Into your ears have we recounted
your own sorrows; before your own eyes have we exhibited your wrongs;
into your own hands have we committed your own cause. If these should
prove inadequate to remedy this dreadful evil, to assuage this terrible
curse which has come upon us, the fault will be yours and not ours;
since we have offered you a healing balm for every sorely aggravated

                                            MARTIN R. DELANY, Pa.
                                            WILLIAM WEBB, Pa.
                                            AUGUSTUS R. GREEN, Ohio.
                                            EDWARD BUTLER, Mo.
                                            H. S. DOUGLAS, La.
                                            A. DUDLEY, Wis.
                                            CONAWAY BARBOUR, Ky.
                                            WM. J. FULLER, R. I.
                                            WM. LAMBERT, Mich.
                                            J. THEODORE HOLLY, N. Y.
                                            T. A. WHITE, Ind.
                                            JOHN A. WARREN, Canada.


[1] This paper will be found on p. 327.

[2] This sword was a relic of the revolutionary war, presented by
Frederick the Great to General Washington, and was kept in the
Washington family until that time.

[3] Extract from the report of the proceedings of the fourth session of
the International Statistical Congress, held in London, July 16, 1860,
and the five following days:--

    “_Opening Meeting of the Congress._

    “At four o’clock His Royal Highness, the Prince Consort,
    arrived at Somerset House, attended by the Earl Spencer, the
    Lord Waterpark, Major General Hon. C. Grey, Colonel F. Seymour,
    C. B., and Lieutenant Colonel Ponsonby. His Royal Highness
    was received in the outer hall of King’s College by the Right
    Hon. the President of the Board of Trade and the Right Hon.
    W. Cowper, M. P., Vice-President of the Congress, the Earl of
    Shaftesbury, the Earl Stanhope, Sir James Clark, Bart., Rev.
    Dr. Jeff, Principal of King’s College, and Dr. Guy, and the
    Secretaries, Dr. Farr, Mr. Valpy, and Mr. Hammack. A guard
    of honor of the Queen’s (Westminster) Rifle Volunteers, with
    the band of the corps, was in attendance to receive his Royal

    “Amongst the noblemen and gentlemen present were the
    Honorary Vice-President, including the official delegates,
    His Excellency the Count de Persigny, Ambassador of France;
    His Excellency Monsieur Musurus, Ambassador Extraordinary
    and Plenipotentiary of Turkey; Monsieur Sylvain Van de
    Weyer, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of
    Belgium; the Baron de Cetto, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
    Plenipotentiary of Bavaria; the Count de Bernstorff, Envoy
    Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Prussia; the
    Commander de Carvalho Moreira, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
    Plenipotentiary of Brazil; George Mifflin Dallas, Esq., Envoy
    Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United
    States of America; the Count Apponyi, Envoy Extraordinary and
    Minister Plenipotentiary of Austria; the Count de Vitzthum,
    Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Saxony;
    Monsieur de La Rive, Envoy Extraordinary of Switzerland; Lord
    Brougham, the Earl of Shaftesbury, Earl Stanhope, Lord John
    Russell, M. P., Viscount Ebrington, Lord Monteagle, Lord
    Wriothesley, Lord Harry Vane, M. P., the Lord Mayor, Mr.
    Bouverie, M. P., Mr. Slaney, M. P., Sir John Bowring, Major
    General Sir C. Paisley, Rear Admiral Fitz Roy, Colonel Sykes,
    M. P., Right Hon. Joseph Napier, Right Hon. W. Hutt, M. P., Mr.
    Monckton Milnes, M. P., Sir Roderick I. Murchison, Mr. Nassau,
    Senior, Mr. Pollard Urquhart, M. P., Sir F. H. Goldsmid,
    Bart., M. P., the Registrar General of England, the Registrar
    General of Ireland, Sir R. M. Bromley, K. C. B., Mr. Caird,
    M. P., Mr. Fonblanque, Mr. Crawfurd, Mr. Newmarch, Mr. Edwin
    Chadwick, Mr. L. J. Leslie, Mr. S. Gaskell, Mr. J. Heywood,
    Mr. Babbage, Alderman Salomans, M. P., Mr. Mowbray Morris,
    Mr. T. Chambers, Mr. Lumley, Colonel Dawson, Dr. Babington,
    Mr. J. Glaisher, Dr. Balfour, Dr. Sutherland, Mr. Hodge, Mr.
    Edgar, Mr. Hastings, Mr. T. Webster, Mr. S. Redgrave, Mr. A.
    Redgrave, Professor Leone Levi, Dr. R. D. Thomson, Mr. H. G.
    Bohn, Mr. Hendricks, Sir Ranald Martin, C. B., Dr. Letheby,
    Dr. McWilliam, C. B., Mr. Simon, Mr. Horace Mann, Mr. Hill
    Williams, Mr. Panizzi, Mr. Tidd Pratt, Dr. Varrentrapp of
    Frankfort, Dr. Neumann of Berlin, Dr. Mühry of Hanover,
    Lieutenant-Colonel Kennedy, Mr. F. Purdy, Dr. Norton Shaw, Mr.
    A. Bonham Carter, Mr. R. Hunt, Mr. W. Clode, Chevalier Hebeler,
    M. Koulomzine and M. Von Bouchen of Russia, M. Chatelain of
    Paris, M. Carr van der Maeren, Le Chevalier Debrang, Mr. Peter
    Hardy, Captain Sierakowski and Professor Kapoustine of Russia,
    Dr. Otto Hübner, M. Coquerel, Professor Chicherin of Moscow,
    Dr. Bialloblotzki, Mr. J. G. Cogswell, Mr. D. V. McLean, Dr.
    Schwabe of Berlin, M. Villemsens of Paris, _Dr. Delany of
    Canada_, Mr. H. Ayres, Mr. T. Michell, M. Grigorieff of St.
    Petersburg, the President of the College of Physicians, the
    President of the College of Surgeons, Dr. Bryson, Mr. S. Brown,
    Mr. Jellicoe, Mr. Yates, Mr. Holland, Dr. Greenhill, Captain
    D. Galton, Mr. Thwaites, and a large body of gentlemen who had
    been specially invited to take part in the proceedings of the

[4] Here, as elsewhere mentioned, Judge Longstreet is again in error,
he not having remained long enough to make himself acquainted with the
Congress. Mr. Dallas was not a “complimentary visitor,” abstractly
considered, as the judge’s reference would infer, but, by general
rule, an _ex-officio_ member of the Congress,--a vice president,--as
was every envoy extraordinary, or minister plenipotentiary to her
majesty’s court, and consequently had taken his seat as one of the high
officials of an International (the World’s) Congress, and not Great
Britain’s, much less England’s Congress. The Congress belonged as much
to Mr. Dallas as to his lordship, and, may it be permitted, even his
royal highness. The great assembly simply sat by turn of appointment in
Great Britain, and doubtless in time will come to the United States,
especially now that they have reached the point of consummate of
national justice.

[5] As to the insulting allusion on page 114, presented for the
consideration of the British public, that the American slaveholders
could “beatify them with precisely four millions such as myself,”
alluding to their degraded, uneducated slaves, I am admonished against
retaliating in a manner which would otherwise be justifiable in view of
the great changes brought about by the mistaken cherished ideas of such
gentlemen as Judge Longstreet, and the consequent effects everywhere
throughout the South, imploringly staring us in the face.

And in reply to the inquiry, page 114, “To what section does he belong?
I do not find him allotted to either,” a reply will be found in the
_Transactions of the International Statistical Congress_, London, 1860;
and had he remained to “belong to a section” at all, he would have been
clear of the historical blunder which he is found to have made.

And finally, regarding the singular inquiry, page 114, “To how many
of the entertainments has he been invited?” were I capable of either
weakness or vanity in that direction, I might allude to them, as does
the learned judge, page 115, but would rather refer him to those to
whom he appeals, as having been complimented by, and simply conclude
by the allusion that had he himself been at all the entertainments,
he could not have failed to see Dr. Delany at many. The uncalled-for
allusion to the reception given by his royal highness has been
previously replied to.

[6] His lordship is in error in regard to the birthplace, as elsewhere

[7] See page 327.

[8] Mr. Shadd was elected Vice-President in the place of Mr. Bailey,
who left the Province for New Caledonia.

[9] Elihu Burritt.

[10] John Jay, Esq., of New York, son of the late distinguished jurist,
Hon. William Jay, was, in 1852, as the counsel of a fugitive slave,
brutally assaulted and struck in the face by the slave-catching agent
and counsel, Busteed.

Also, Mr. Dana, an honorable gentleman, counsel for the fugitive
Burns, one of the first literary men of Boston, was arrested on his
entrance into the court-house, and not permitted to pass the guard of
slave-catchers, till the slave agent and counsel, Loring, together
with the overseer, Suttle, _inspected_ him, and ordered that he might
be _allowed_ to pass in! After which, in passing along the street, Mr.
Dana was ruffianly assaulted and murderously felled to the earth by the
minions of the dastardly Southern overseer.



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