It was not permitted that Lincoln should survive to see this glorious consummation, but the great Captain [cheers] in whom he trusted implicitly [cheers], and to whom in his last speech he attributed all the honor of leadership in the stupendous military operations which closed the war, now by authority of the people occupies the Presidential Chair. [Applause.] In his inaugural address he expressed a desire for the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment [applause], and he has ever since shown his sincerity by his unceasing labors to accomplish that result. [Cheers.] His [sincerity] may be gathered from the language of his recent proclamation, where he declares the ratification to be "the most important event that has occurred since the nation came into life." To him more than to any other living man is its final success attributable. [Long continued cheering.] The leading part which he has taken in dedicating the colored race to freedom and to the service of our common country has crowned his career with the most admirable triumph of his life, and has fully established the truth of that saying, once applied to Cromwell, but which Cromwell lived to verify only in part --
"Peace hath her victories
No less renown'd than war." [Applause]
I know not how the account between the races will stand after another generation shall have passed away. Henceforth the destinies of the African race will be for the most part in their own keeping. I have no fears of what the future has in store for them. [Applause.] Their patient forbearance and their sturdy fortitude in the past was well as the unexampled zeal they are everywhere exhibiting in the education of their children assure me that they will not fail for want of manly effort. [Applause.] It is the duty of the white race to protect and sustain their African fellow citizens rather than to seek to hinder and overthrow them. [Applause.] How that duty will be discharged the Maker of all men will judge impartially.
But whatever may be the fate of races or of individuals, it is sure that the pillars of the Republic have been strengthened and planted deeper in the everlasting hills. [Cheers.] We have fully paid the dreadful penalty demanded of us as a reparation for our national sin. The reign of blood an violence has past, and the gentle spirit of Peace has returned with healing in her wings and a song of kindness on her lips. [Applause.] Listen, oh fellow citizens! to her heaven inspired teachings. [Cheers.] Let us banish all bitterness and rancor from our hearts and moved afresh by the love of our country and our fellow men, let us join hands and hopefully go forth to meet and discharge the manifold obligations of the future. [Applause.] This is all that is required of us to fulfill the prophetic words of Milton -- "Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks, methinks I see her as an eagle muing her mighty youth and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday beam, purging and unscaling her long abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance."