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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 1586   View pdf image (33K)
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It is perfectly proper to educate a horse; but
it does not follow that you thereby make the
horse the equal of a man.
Mr. CHAMBERS. To read and write?
Mr. PUGH. You can educate a horse in
other ways than to read and write. But
when it comes to a person who can be taught
to read and write, I submit to the gentleman
from Kent (Mr. Chambers,) that it would be
better to do so. If you could teach a horse
to read and write it would be a good thing ;
but you cannot do that. But you can teach
the negro to read and write.
Mr. CHAMBERS. Not all of them.
Mr. PUGH. Well, some of them, then.
You cannot teach some white men to read
and write. But to the extent that you do
teach all classes, white and black, to that ex-
tent you benefit the State. It is an obsolete
idea that it is not better to educate all classes
of the community. There is no human being
so low that be cannot be improved to some
extent by education. And I am astonished
that the gentleman from Worcester (Mr. Pur-
nel) should object to the amendment of the
gentleman from Baltimore city (Mr. Stockbridge)
And I am also very much aston-
ished that he sees in that amendment some
evidence that we acknowledge that the negro
is our equal. I have no such fear, and never
had any such fear.
Mr. MILLER. Will the gentleman allow me
to ask him a question?
Mr. PUGH. No, sir. I have allowed ques-
tions to be asked me heretofore, but I have
not been allowed to ask some questions in
return. Therefore I have come to the con-
clusion to permit none to be asked me.
The PRESIDENT. And the President will
sustain you in that.
Mr. PUGH. Now I object to this notion
that it makes the negro the equal of the white
man to educate him. I have never had any
such fear. The gentleman says, and says
justly, that he is responsible for that state-
ment for himself. I also say that the Al-
mighty created the negro race our inferiors.
I am not at all afraid of their becoming our
equals, when the Almighty intended they
should be our inferiors. I made use of an
illustration upon a former occasion, and I
will use it again here. if the Almighty made
the white race the superior of the: black race,
can it be possible, if those two races are de-
veloped to their fullest extent, that in spite
of the intention of the Almighty they can
ever be made equals? Take two men, the
one six feet high, and the other five feet high ;
that is their stature, so designed by the Al-
mighty. Put them upon the same platform,
the one by the side of the other, if they
stand upright men, there is no way in which
their two heads can be upon the same level,
unless he who is the taller man should stoop.
Now other gentlemen may do as they please;
but we do not intend to stoop. I do not in-

tend to indorse the idea that the white man
should go down to the level of the black
man. And I do not intend to indorse the
idea that the negro shall be elevated to the
level of the white man, since it is God's wis-
dom, that it shall not be so.
But I claim from motives of political econ-
omy, as well as from motives of morality and
of religion, that the negro shall be educated,
shall be developed to the highest degree of
.which he is capable. I claim it, because it
is. the proper course to be pursued, in order
to fully develop the resource's of the nation;
it is the proper course to bepursued, in order
to make the labor of the nation the most
available. For that reason I am in favor of
educating everybody, of every color. And I
will stand upon that platform everywhere.-
There is a want of equality in all society.
And you might as well say it is not proper to
educate a certain class of white people, be-
cause thereby you elevate them to alevel
with the aristocrats. By education you de-
velop most fully all the resources of the peo-
ple. And it is very well suggested by the
gentleman from Harford, now sitting near
me (Mr. McComas,) that the best way to save
tile community from crime is to educate the
Now I have objections besides those I have
stated to this apprenticing of negroes, espe-
cially to their masters. I shall vole for the
amendment of the gentleman from Baltimore
city (Mr. Stockbridge,) but even if that is
adopted, I shall not vote for the proposition
of the gentleman from Caroline (Mr. Todd.)
1 am opposed to it because it gives the .pre-
ference to and selects the former masters;
to that extent it undoes the very work we
have done. We have specially provided in
our bill of rights that no man shall have any
claim upon another by reason of the institu-
tion of slavery. Now if we acknowledge, as
we shall do by adopting this proposed section,
that the former master has the right to go
into court and claim the first place in their
consideration in apprenticing these negroes,
to that extent we give the master control
over his slave. I am opposed to recognizing
even the faintest shadow of this institution,
for reasons already given here in detail in
this debale. I am not ashamed, nor am I at
all backward in making the assertion, that 1
am opposed all the time, here and every-
where, from principle and from religions
conviction, to the instituion of slavery.
And I am opposed to it aside from those
considerations. I am opposed to it, because
from the bottom of my heart I believe that
it has ever been an element of discord in this
nation, and that it has brought this nation
to the verge of ruin. I believe that as firmly
as I believe in Almighty God. And believ-
ing that, I will not recognize anywhere, or
in any way) the shadow of the shade of the
existence of any right of the master over the

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 1586   View pdf image (33K)
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