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Centennial: The American Negro from 1776-1876; Oration Delivered at Avondale, Ohio, 1876
                          [ 35 ]
ciated by the best families of Virginia, that in 1803 he was
invited by President Jefferson to visit him at his home in
Monticello, where he was spending his vacation.
    Banneker fell asleep in 1804, in the midst of his liter-
ary labors, at the ripe age of seventy-two, universally
beloved and lamented.
    But time would fail me to call your attention to such
men as James McCune Smith, a graduate of the university
at Edinburgh, Scotland; Charles L. Reason, the mathema-
tician; James M. Whitfield, the poet; James W. C. Pen-
nington, the theologian ; Frederick Douglass, the matchless
orator: Dr. William Wells Brown, the erudite historian;
Alexander Crummell, the pulpit orator; Daniel A. Payne,
the religious philosopher; David Ruggles, the polished
writer; Peter H. Clark, the experienced teacher;--Henry
H. Garnett, Robert Purvis, Philip A. Bell, William C. Nell,
J. Madison Bell, and other distinguished colored men of let-
ters; not to forget such women as Charlotte Forten, Fran-
cis E. Harper, Edmonia Lewis, Fanny Jackson, and others.
     It is hinted at times that the negro can not compete
with the white races; that he can not endure under the
highest forms of civilization; that he can not master the
intricate and subtle problems of the college curriculum;
that he is dying rapidly--more rapidly since he is free, etc.
The mercy of silence is too good for that class of fanatical
negro-haters, who never found out all of the black man's
idiosyncrasies until he got out of their cruel bondage.  I
point them to the maritime statistics, not only of America,
but of Europe, proving beyond conjecture that the negro
makes the best sailor! I point them to the living, breath-
ing, disgraceful facts in connection with slavery, that the
negro, both sexes, endured fatigue and exposure second
only to the brute.  I ask the American people to call to
remembrance the valor, military skill, and endurance of


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



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