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Centennial: The American Negro from 1776-1876; Oration Delivered at Avondale, Ohio, 1876
			
                          [ 25 ]

where all were brothers, whose watch-word was "human-
ity."
    History can never wink at this important period in
our republic.  The negro soldier occupies as important a
place in history as any class of men who ever fought for
liberty. The white soldier will be praised because he de-
fended his liberty; the negro soldier will be praised be-
cause, having no liberty, he purchased it by the sword in
the great struggle of justice against oppression. It will
ever be the glory of the black man's government in Hayti
that he built it on the ruins of slavery, and ratified its be-
nign and humane principles with his own blood.
    Neither France nor England call glory in that they
freed St. Domingo; but the negro can boast that he threw
off his own yoke, drove his oppressors from the island,
conquered the skilled soldiery of England and France, and
built his own government upon the rock of human justice
and equal rights--a government that has stood during the
present century, and will stand through the ages to come!
And it will ever be the glory of the colored people of this
country that they unlocked their own prison-house; that
they saved the "Union;" and that they purchased their cit-
izenship with all its immunities; that they tore down the
walls of the slave institution; that they built a new gov-
ernment upon the broken shackles of four and one-half
millions of slaves. This is the negro's place in history-
his own deliverer, the defender of the Union.  And when
the  history of this country is written in truth--when
Freedom counts her jewels and reviews her glorious army
of martyrs--the negro will be there.

     "And there came the nameless dead--the men
       Who perished in fever-swamp and fen,
       The slowly starved of the prison-pen;




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

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