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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 1252   View pdf image (33K)
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that some of the members who voted for this
amendment did so without thinking that by
putting in this word " white," they were
prohibiting any portion of this tax from ever
being used for the education of free colored
people. I think that merely for the sake of
depriving the slaveholding counties for some
years of an advantage in the distribution of
this fund, members are sacrificing great and
important interests of the State, and are
binding up the State to that much farther
expense, should the legislature hereafter feel
called upon to provide separate schools for
free colored people.
Now, I myself ardently desired to put into
this report a provision making it incumbent
upon the legislature to provide for the educa-
tion of colored people. But because I
believed the people of the State, or the legis-
lature, were not ready for that, and might
not be ready for years to come, I did not
even press the proposition upon the attention
of the committee, I am perfectly willing to
allow the counties, that at present have a
large black population, to have the benefit
of this fund for years, in the hope that at the
end of that time the legislature will provide
some system for the education of the free
colored people of this State. I think this is
a question of material interest, of most vital
interest to the whole population of this State ;
not only to the free counties, but eventually
to those counties in which these blacks now
are, and in which they will probably continue
to live. Educated black labor will be worth
more than ignorant black labor, and I hope
that some members who have not taken this
view of this question will vote to reconsider
this amendment.
Mr. BERRY, of Prince George's. I was
fully aware of the importance of this ques-
tion, and had considered it in all its bearings.
I therefore offered this amendment know-
ingly, after considering it maturely. I was
unwilling to receive any portion of this school
fund for the negro population of our portion
of the State, without it was applied to their
education. I knew that the very next step
would be to say that the negroes .must be
educated, and that the people must be taxed
for their education. Now if these blacks are
made free, I am opposed to their remaining
in the State of Maryland. If they are freed,
I am in favor of a system of colonization
that will take then from among us, and
establish them, if you please, as an indepen-
dent nation of the earth.
It has been wisely said by members of the
same party with which the gentleman from
Baltimore city (Mr. Cushing) is now acting,
that the white and black races cannot co-exist
in a state of freedom; and I believe it. They
are antagonistic races. The negro race is
incapable of self-government, more so than
the white race, and I believe the white race
is unfit for self-government. I am therefore
opposed, and shall ever be opposed to the
blacks being educated in our midst, to take the
place of white men. lam opposed to it be-
cause of their, race, because of the distinctive
marks that have been put upon them by na-
ture. If they are to be educated at all, take
them and colonize them, and educate them by
Although I knew some members of nay own
party differed with me in opinion, still I was
aware of all the bearings of this question. 1
am unwilling to receive any part of this school
fund, when, having received it, we may be
called upon as an act of justice to apply it to
the education of these blacks.
Mr. THOMAS I am sorry that I am forced
to disagree with my colleague (Mr. Cushing)
in relation to the principle which he advo-
cates as to the education of the free colored
people of this State, He says that there is
involved in this question the principle of the
education of the tree colored people. I admit
it. But while I admit that that principle is
involved, I am utterly opposed to being
myself taxed for the. education of any black
man, I do not care who be may be.
The gentleman made a beautiful speech this
morning in relation to the advantages of ed-
ucation upon the minds of the rising genera-
tion in fitting them to exercise the dirties of
freemen under a free government. Now we
do not propose to give the colored man the
right to vote, or the right to hold office.—
Still you want to tax me and other free white
men in the State of Maryland for the purpose
of educating colored men and fitting them to
do what your constitution prohibits them
from doing; fitting them to become citizens
in the sense in which I am a citizen; to qual-
ity them as I am, and as my children will be
hereafter, if I ever have any, to hold office.
And there is another reason why I am op-
posed to it. I am opposed to this section for
the same reason that the gentleman from
Prince George's (Mr. Clarke) is in favor of it.
He is in favor of the section as reported, be-
cause it will give to his county, which has a
less white population than some others, a
larger amount of this tax. Now I am in fa-
vor of this amendment, because by putting in
this word " white," as the city of Baltimore
has a far larger proportion of white population
than it has of colored, we shall get a larger
proportion of the school fund than the coun-
ties. And on that account I am in favor of
this amendment.
Mr. CLARKE, I desire to say a word or two
on this subject. I regret to differ with my
colleague (Mr. Berry) in my views upon this
matter. His amendment, it appears to me,
involves no sacrifice of principle, but it in-
volves the cutting down one-half of the fund
which my county would be entitled to receive
under this section as reported. And in con-
sideration of what is due to the cause of edu-
cation in the counties, I cannot cast a vote for

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 1252   View pdf image (33K)
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