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BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
the age ; less, however, from the eloquence of the speaker than from what he had to say, his pointing out how the whites and blacks could live together in harmony in the South. The Boston Transcript said of this speech : “It seems to have dwarfed all the other proceedings and the Exposition itself. The sensation that it has caused in the press has never been equalled.” We give the main portions of this address.)
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND CITIZENS : One-third of the population of the South is of the Negro race. No enterprise seeking the material, civil, or moral welfare of this section can disregard this element of our population and reach the highest success. I but convey to you, Mr. President and Directors, the sentiment of the masses of my race when I say that in no way have the value and manhood of the American Negro been more fittingly and generously recognized than by the managers of this magnificent Exposition at every stage of its progress.
It is a recognition that will do more to cement the friendship of the two races than any occurrence since the dawn of our freedom.
Not only this, but the opportunity here afforded will awaken among us a new era of industrial progress. Ignorant and inexperienced, it is not strange that in the first years of our new life we began at the top instead of at the bottom ; that a seat in Congress or the State Legislature was more sought than real estate or industrial skill; that the political convention or stump speaking had more attractions than starting a dairy farm or truck garden.
A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal, “Water, water ; we die of thirst !” The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back, “Cast down your bucket where you are.” A second time the signal, “Water, water ; send us water !” ran up from the distressed vessel, and was answered, “ Cast down your bucket where you are.'
And a third and fourth signal for water was answered, “ Cast down your bucket where you are.” The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket, and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River. To those of my race who depend on bettering their condition in a foreign land, or who underestimate the importance of cultivating friendly relations with the Southern white man, who is their next-door neighbor, I will say : “ Cast down your bucket where you are,”-cast it down in making friends in every manly way of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded.
Cast it down in agriculture, in mechanics, in commerce, in domestic service, and in the professions. And in this connection, it is well to bear in mind that whatever other sins the South may be called to bear, when it comes to business, pure and simple, it is in the South that the Negro is
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
given a man's chance in the commercial world, and in nothing is this Exposition more eloquent than in emphasizing this chance. Our greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labor, and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life; shall prosper in proportion as we learn to draw the line between the superficial and the substantial, the ornamental gew. gaws of life and the useful. No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top. Nor should we permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities. To those of the white race who look to the incoming of those of foreign birth and strange tongue and habits for the prosperity of the South, were I permitted I would repeat what I say to niy own race, “Cast down your bucket where you are." Cast it down among the eight millions of negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when to have proved treacherous meant the ruin of your firesides. Cast down your bucket among those people who have, without strikes and labor wars, tilled your fields, cleared your forests, builded your railroads and cities, and brought forth treasures from the bowels of the earth, and helped make possible this magnificent representation of the progress of the South. Casting down your bucket among my people, helping and encouraging them as you are doing on these grounds, and to education of head, hand, and heart, you will find that they will buy your surplus land, make blossom the waste places in your fields, and run your factories.
While doing this, you can be sure in the future, as in the past, that you and your families will be surrounded by the most patient, faithful, law-abiding and unresentful people that the world has seen. As we have proved our loyalty to you in the past, in nursing your children, watching by the sick-bed of your mothers and fathers, and often following them with tear-dimmed eyes to their graves, so in the future, in our humble way, we shall stand by you with a devotion that no foreigner can approach, ready to lay down our lives, if need be, in defence of yours, interlacing our industrial, commercial, civil and religious life with yours in a way that shall make the interests of both races one. In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.
Notable Women Orators
"HE advent of woman into the field of oratory
belongs in great measure to the latter half
of the nineteenth century. Kept for ages from any active participation in the political affairs of the nations, deprived of all opportunity of attaining the higher education, and confined as closely as possible to domestic duties and social interests, it is not surprising that the appearance of woman upon the rostrum in the past was almost a thing unknown. The greater freedom and broader education which came to her within the nineteenth century caused a marked change in this situation of affairs. And this was especially the case in the United States, whose republican institutions favored free thought and untrammeled action among all classes of the community. Naturally such great moral issues as those of the abolition of slavery and the development of the temperance cause came early to the front, and enlisted the active co-operation of many women of broad thought and warm sympathies. But while woman was encouraged in giving her most earnest attention to these evils, the field of politics was firmly closed against her; it not being opened until 1848; when the first Woman's Rights Convention was called. In the succeeding period the voice of woman has been often and effectively heard, dealing with the varied subjects of woman suffrage, temperance reform, slavery abolition, and other moral and political issues. Woman as an orator has come to stay, and fairly claims a place in our record of the world's oratory,
ELIZABETH CADY STANTON (1815-1902)
THE DISTINGUISHED ADVOCATE OF WOMAN'S RIGHTS
LIZABETH CADY STANTON passed a life spent in forceful
displays of oratory, and in active labors for the political and
legal advancement of her sex, organizing movements in favor of the rights of women, and literary labors directed to the same end. The daughter of Judge Daniel Cady, of Johnstown, New York, she early dispiayed marked intelligence, and her indignation at being refused admittance to the college in which her brother was educated had much to do with the trend of her later life labors. She, however, studied Latin and Greek and stored her mind with much useful information. In everything she undertook she proved that she had the courage and ability displayed by her brothers. Marrying Henry B. Stanton, a prominent orator and writer on anti-slavery subjects, in 1840, she entered actively into the abolitionist movement, and was a delegate to the World's Anti-Slavery Convention held in 1841 in London. The Woman's Rights movement was inaugurated by her and Lucretia Mott, they issuing a call for the first convention, which met in 1848 at Seneca Falls, New York. She was the soul of the convention, and all her life afterward worked actively for the cause thus instituted. In 1895 her eightieth birthday was celebrated in New York by three thousand delegates from women's societies. orator Mrs. Stanton was forceful, logical, witty, sarcastic and eloquent.
A PLEA FOR EQUAL RIGHTS [On the assembling of the first Woman's Rights Convention, July 19, 1848, Mrs. Stanton delivered an impressive oration, of which we give the eloquent peroration.
Our churches are multiplying on all sides; our missionary societies, Sunday-schools, and prayer meetings, and innumerable charitable and reform organizations are all in operation ; but still the tide of vice is
ELIZABETH CADY STANTON
swelling; and threatens the destruction of everything, and the battlements of righteousness are weak against the raging elements of sin and death. Verily the world waits the coming of some new element, some purifying power, some spirit of mercy and love. The voice of woman has been silenced in the state, the church, and the home, but man cannot fulfill his destiny alone, he cannot redeem his race unaided. There are deep and tender cords of sympathy and love in the hearts of the down-fallen and oppressed that woman can touch more skillfully than man. The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation, because in the degradation of woman the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source. It is vain to look for silver and gold from the mines of copper and lead. It is the wise mother that has the wise son. So long as your women are slaves you may throw your colleges and churches to the winds. You can't have scholars and saints so long as your mothers are ground to powder between the upper and nether millstone of tyranny and lust.
How seldom, now, is a father's pride gratified, his fond hopes realized, in the budding genius of his son. The wife is degraded, made the mere creature of caprice, and the foolish son is heaviness to his heart. Truly are the sins of the father visited upon the children to the third and fourth generation. God, in His wisdom, has so linked the human family together, that any violence done at one end of the chain is felt throughout its length; and here, too, is the law of restoration-as in woman all have fallen, so in her elevation shall the race be recreated. Voices” were the visitors and advisers of Joan of Arc. Do not “voices” come to us daily from the haunts of poverty, sorrow, degradation and despair, already too long unheeded ?
Now is the time for the women of this country, if they would save our free institutions, to defend the right, to buckle on the armor that can best resist the keenest weapons of the enemy-contempt and ridicule. The same religious enthusiasm that nerved Joan of Arc to her work nerves us to ours. In every generation God calls some men and women for the utterance of the truth, a heroic action, and our work to-day is the fulfilling of what has long since been foretold by the prophet-Joel ii. 28 : “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy." We do not expect our path will be strewn with the flowers of popular applause, but over the thorns of bigotry and prejudice will be our way, and on our banners will beat the dark storm-clouds of opposition from those who have entrenched themselves behind the stormy bulwarks of custom and authority, and who have fortified their position by every means, holy and unholy. But we still steadfastly abide the result. Unmoved we will bear it aloft. Undauntedly we will unfurl it to the