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Reminiscences of the Proclamation of Emancipation
214              THE  A. M. E. REVIEW

sion of it and fled. The next sheet was grabbed for by several, and
was torn into tatters. The third sheet from the press was grabbed
for by several, but I succeeded in procuring so much of it as con-
tained the proclamation, and off I went for life and death. Down
Pennsylvania Ave. I ran as for my life, and when the people saw
me coming with the paper in my hand they raised a shouting cheer
that was almost deafening. As many as could get around me lifted
me to a great platform, and I started to read the proclamation. I
had run the best end of a mile, I was out of breath, and could not
read. Mr. Hinton, to whom I handed the paper, read it with great
force and clearness. While he was reading every kind of demonstra-
tion and gesticulation was going on.  Men squealed, women fainted,
dogs barked, white and colored people shook hands, songs were sung,
and by this time cannons began to fire at the navy-yard, and follow
in the wake of the roar that had for some time been going on behind
the White House. Every face had a smile, and even the dumb
animals seemed to realize that some extraordinary event had taken
place.  Great processions of colored and white men marched to and
fro and passed in front of the White House and congratulated Presi-
dent Lincoln on his proclamation. The President came to the window
and made responsive bows, and thousands told him, if he would come
out of that palace, they would hug him to death. Mr. Lincoln, how-
ever, kept at a safe distance from the multitude, who were frenzied
to distraction over his proclamation.
     I do not know the extent that the excitement in Russia led to,
when the humane Emperor proclaimed the freedom of twenty-two
million serfs, I think in 1862, but the jubilation that attended the
proclamation of freedom by His Excellency Abraham Lincoln, I am
sure has never been surpassed, if it has ever been equaled. Nor do
I believe it will ever be duplicated again. Rumor said that in several
instances the very thought of being set at liberty and having no more
auction blocks, no more Negro-traders, no more forced parting of
man and wife, no more separation of parents and children, no more
horrors of slavery, was so elative and heart gladdening that scores of
colored people literally fell dead with joy. It was indeed a time of
times, and a half time, nothing like it will ever be seen again in this
life. Our entrance into Heaven itself will only form a counterpart.
January 1st, 1913, will be fifty years since Mr. Lincoln's proclama-
tion stirred the world and avalanched America with joy, and the
first day of next January, 1913, our race should fill every Church,
every hall, and every preacher regardless of denomination should
deliver a speech on the results of the proclamation.


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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 29, Num. 3

Reminiscences of the Proclamation of Emancipation


Volume:  29
Issue Number:  03
Page Number:  211
Date:  01/1913


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