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Progress of the Negro Race: Address at a Patriotic Race Service, Philadelphia
			
have reduced their mortality considerably in twenty years, and
particularly infant mortality; and to have increased their birth-
rate. Better houses, better food, better work, have all contributed
to make more and better negroes. In 1863 there were four mil-
lion four hundred thousand negroes in this country. Today there
are twelve million. In 1860 there were fifty-six thousand negroes
in this State. Today are over two hundred and fifty thou-
sand of them, the largest number of them in the North being
in this State.
  At this exposition thousands of people were in attendance
each day and evening. On the opening day one hundred thou-
sand people saw the great exposition parade, and twenty-five
thousand were on the grounds.  These grounds were policed by
colored policemen under a colored lieutenant, and there was not
a single arrest and at no time was the patrol summoned to take
away a prisoner. This fact showed the negro to be a law-abid-
ing and peaceful citizen, respecting the authority of his own
race.

            Mechanical Genius of the Race
  As to the negro's mechanical ability we have heard much, but
it remained for the exposition to show by tangible evidence what
they could do. When it was first said that the negro race wanted
a building for their exposition it was thought impossible, but the
negro mechanics in four weeks built a set of Exposition Build-
ings, a credit to themselves and to the Commonwealth. The plans
were drawn by negro architects and superintended by negro fore-
men. Never before in this State have so many skilled negro me-
chanics been at work on a single job. But no more will there be
any excuse for any one to doubt the mechanical skill of the Penn-
sylvania negro.
  Pennsylvania always has stood in the front rank in her at-
titude toward negro advancement. Here the first schools were
established for negro education. This was the first State to
abolish slavery. Here was established the first society for the
abolition of slavery, the learned Benjamin Franklin being its first
president. Here the "under-ground railway" was established,
and here John Brown laid his plans for the great raid which
shook this country from center to circumference and plunged it
                              19




			
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Progress of the Negro Race: Address at a Patriotic Race Service, Philadelphia


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