Thursday, May 15, 2014




Many strange and peculiar things are taking place in our country. Certainly within the last six or eight months, there has been more complaint about the unsettled condition of affairs between the races, than at any time preceding the period mentioned and the inauguration of Rutherford B. Hayes.

During the campaign of 1874, the colored people were told by Republican "stump" speakers, that Democratic ascendency, Democratic victory, would be followed by all of the colored people being put back into slavery. That with the election of a Democratic president would come the paying off of the debt incurred in raising the insurrection and rebellion against the government: that the slaves would be paid for, with interest; and that the Confederate soldiers would be pensioned.A Democratic president was, however, elected.

Although the intelligent Negroes of the country did not believe that there was a possibility of their re-enslavement, there were millions of poor "ignorants" who did fear that such would be the result, and when "these" heard of Cleveland's induction into office, great was their alarm. Public meetings had to be held in a number of places to reassure them of their perfect freedom under a Democratic administration as well as under a Republican.

One old colored man, before the report reached him that all was safe, had cut his throat and entered the great beyond. 

In another case, the facts showed an old man, with his personal property, making his way back to his old master's home, saying, when questioned about it: “I am not gwine to wait for 'em to come after me; I am gwine back myself." 

After much talk it was fully explained to him how the administration could change hands politically without interfering with his rights, liberties and privileges as a free man, in the least. He returned home rebuking himself for being so foolish as to have considered seriously the possibility of his again being made a slave.

Mr. Cleveland entered the presidential office and left no stone unturned, which had for its trend and intendment the proving to the Negro, beyond question, that his rights were just as secure
under Democratic as under Republican rule. He did all he could to teach the black race, that all men, without regard to color or previous condition, were equal before the law.

Political figures showed that very few Negroes voted for Cleveland. In spite of their opposition and solidly voting against him and his party, Mr. Cleveland did not hold them answerable, but like the noble man that he was, and is to-day, freely forgave them their political trespasses, and proceeded to deal out offices to them with a lavish hand.

One of the best paying offices in the government, he gave to a black man, Lawyer J. C. Matthews, of Albany, New York, and after his rejection by a Republican senate, on the grounds of his being a non-resident, Mr. Cleveland sent him back by reappointment to the senate, and again they rejected him, ostensibly because he was a non-resident of the District of Columbia,but really because he was a Negro who dared to do his own thinking, bidding defiance from the campaign of 1872, to the Republican party lash and party whip. 

Still this Democratic president, who is the grandest living humanitarian, sent to the senate another Negro, James Monroe Trotter, who was also a non-resident, and one who alleged that he was his own “political boss." The senate of the United States "chewed crow" and confirmed him, knowing, as they did, that Mr. Cleveland would order a carload of Negroes to Washington but what that office should go to the Negro race.

Office after office was given to the Negroes by him.  Recommendations in reference to the " Freedman's Bureau" and the “Republic of Liberia" were sent to the senate. Hence, when the Republicans decided, preceding the assembling of their convention, that the antipathy of Democrats towards Negroes would not be as powerful a weapon as it had been, they were puzzled to know what to do in order to stir the voters up.

The message of Mr. Cleveland, asking for a reduction of the tariff, was declared to be their shibboleth. Their old man of the sea (Blaine), who was away in Italy, hastened to cable-gram the under men of the Republican host what position to take.

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