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Centennial: The American Negro from 1776-1876; Oration Delivered at Avondale, Ohio, 1876

                     1620 TO 1776.
    American slavery had its birth simultaneous with the
landing of the Mayflower.  As an institution, it reaches
beyond, anterior to the American State; as a blessing and
a curse, they have walked through this new land of prom-
ise in the west.  Freedom, as a fair young lady with lithe
limbs, gladsome face, and flowing tresses, has been espied
in her beneficent march from the golden sands of the Pa-
cific to the orange and palm of Florida. We have seen
her coming o'er the brow of majestic mountains, through
the golden harvests of the west, through the sugar-cane
and rice, with her locks emersed with the dew of the
mountain, and her garments perfumed with the lily of the
valley.  But, as we have watched her in her glorious
march, we have discerned the dark specter slavery at her
side, with his lean, lank arm locked in hers; and wherever
his dark shadow has fallen, there have been degradation
and death. From Jamestown and Plymouth Rock they
began their companionship, which soon ripened into a
friendship based upon the relations of trade and capital.
But fair Freedom soon found out that her health and life
were imperiled by this companionship; and habit had ren-
dered severance almost impossible.  Only after a fierce
struggle was Freedom enabled to free herself, to divorce
herself from slavery; and with disheveled locks, bleeding
limbs, pale cheek, languid eye, and aching heart, she is to-
day conscious of the imminent danger in which she placed
herself and her votaries, when stepping from the deck of
the noble Mayflower; she, without meditation, accepted
the wooings of the inhuman Cavalier of Jamestown.
     Such, in brief, is the story of Freedom and Slavery.
But let us particularize. The Mayflower landed at Ply-
mouth Rock on the 22d of December, 1620, and in the



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Centennial: The American Negro from 1776-1876; Oration Delivered at Avondale, Ohio, 1876



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