And allusion here is made to no obscure and insignificant men, but to men of large and unusual ability, by means of which they have been lifted into high places in the country and State from which they have gained wide reputation and extended influence, indeed two of them have made for themselves a reputation and influence as wide as the world and as enduring as the principles of liberty and equality which they have so ably and fearlessly advocated.
And first of Hoar and South Carolina second, of Charles Sumner, bleeding on the floor of the Senate, theird of Wm. Lloyd Garrison, forbidden to visit the Capital city of his native country. These cases are but specimens and indicate the condition of the dominant class in our country -- the class representing the intelligence, the wealth and power under the regimen of slavery.
And where, then, was the slave and the negro nominally freed? The former was a chattel numbered with beasts and creeping things, while the latter led a miserable life in disappointed expectation of that freedom denied him under the black laws of the country. But through the dread arbitrament of way, sanctioned and sanctified in the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution we enjoy while we celebrate our emancipation, which is truly national. [Applause.]
But more still, we rejoice today in that enfranchisement under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, which signifies the possession of all civil rights and the enjoyment of all political powers. [Applause.]
Thus endowed, under the law of our country, God and humanity, as well as duty to both, bid us go forward in life, meeting all its responsibilities in the spirit of true men and patriotic citizens, cultivating among us all those things which are made for the peace and prosperity of our countrymen and the glory and perpetuity of our Union, and the free institutions which, under the fostering folds of our National flag and in the sunlight of our national freedom, are of natural and abundant growth. [Applause.]
General Howard's efforts to educate the negro, not to speak of the work first accomplished in feeding, clothing, and protecting the emancipated millions. Four millions negroes children and adults are to be educated and fitted to live under democratic institutions, the destiny of which, to a great extent, is controlled by each individual citizen. The means by which the work can be done is by furnishing the primary grammar and high school and college, by establishing normal schools to supply the immense demand for teachers by affording the freedmen, as far as possible, the same advantages offered by a Massachusetts school system of common schools for one class to all the poeple of the South. The work was begun in Government barracks, furnished by the Bureau, as fast as the Union forces vacated them and retired from the South.
Fortunate has it been for the negroes of the country that we have had a man with views broad enough to comprehend the present and future educational wants of our brethren of the South and who dared to spend the funds in his hands in furnishing permanent educational facilities. Unfortunate only that the Government (which has performed the great act of justice calling us together today) had not entrusted to this brave and good man fifty millions to be expended in rendering us justice educationally. The nation will yet thank him for the small investment that he has made. The negroes of the South will always be grateful to him, and they will not hesitate to denounce any who may oppose his efforts in their behalf.
Do you know the President of the United States? He is the only man who gave to the negro the vote and official position under the Government! [Three cheers for Grant.] Do you know the Postmaster General of the United States? He is the only man who seconded the proposition of the President, and gave the negro official place in his Department! [Cheers for Creswell] When I forget the flaxen hair of these men I sometimes find myself wondering if they are purely white -- if they have not some portion of negro blood in their composition. [Laughter.] Let the colored race ever go forward with the motto Perpetua inscribed on their banners. [Great applause.]