the American people need, and what the whole racial question
requires, is a treatment of common sense.
In the invitation received by me from the pastor of Zion
Temple are the following words: "We are interested in the re-
habilitation of the Republican party throughout this Nation as
we believe that the best interests of the 12,000,000 negro people
in this country can be subserved through the above-named party."
I would not take advantage of a gathering of this character to
introduce politics of an ordinary or factional nature, but the
proposition set forth in the words I have quoted is a statement
of fact which none can gainsay, and is a declaration of broad,
statesman-like policy. Who can deny that it was the Republican
party, under the leadership of the Immortal Lincoln, which made
the fight for union and for freedom, and carried to a successful
conclusion one of the greatest wars of modern times? Every
step taken since then by State Legislatures and by Congress for
the protection, amelioration and betterment of the negro has
been due to the action of Republicans.
The negro was brought to this country against his will and
retained for several generations in a condition of servitude. His
advantages were few, and when we criticise him today we should
bear in mind that his opportunities for advancement have only
been presented within, practically, the present generation. To
preserve the Union, free the negro, and establish him in his
citizenship, required enormous sacrifices on the part of the
patriotic Republicans of the North.
Sublime Words of Lincoln
Let us recall the words of the Immortal Lincoln in his second
Inaugural Address. The London Times pronounced it the most
sublime state paper of the century, and equally competent critics
have called it a masterpiece of political literature:
"It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just
God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other
men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The
prayers of both could not be answered-that of neither has been
answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes: 'Woe
unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that of-
fenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.
If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those of-