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THE QUESTION OF RACE.
283 "Since that law has been put on the statute books I have seen in the public press notices, in more than one form that efforts are to be made by trying to take technical advantage of some provisions put in the law for the express purpose of seeing that no injustice was done to the corporations.
“Just think of it! Of the corporations striving to work the undoing of the law, seizing on the provision inserted for the protection of the corporations themselves. I do not think it possible that the law can be declared unconstitutional on the grounds claimed, but I wish to emphasize the danger these men bring, not only to the State, but to the corporations they represent.
“I say this as one who deprecates class or social hostility; the franchise tax has come to stay. The corporations should make up their minds absolutely that if success attended the attempt to show the present law to be unconstitutional—a possibility I do not conceive-a more drastic law would be placed on the statute books. Let them learn that on the one side; and may you on the other side instruct your representatives, that they approach the subject in no spirit of vindictiveness, in no spirit of demagogy, but with a view to do equal justice to all men.
"I am glad Frederick Douglass has left behind him men of his race who can take up his mantle; that he has left such a man as Booker T. Washington, a man who is striving to teach his people to rise by toil to be better citizens; by resolute determination to make themselves worthy of American citizenship, until the whole country is forced to recognize their good citizenship.
"I am glad to have the chance to come here because I feel that all Americans should pay honor to Frederick Douglass. I am glad to be able to speak to so many men of his race and to impress on them, too, the lesson to be drawn from the life of such a man. I am more than glad to speak to an audience of Americans in the presence of a monument to the memory of Frederick Douglass, a man who possessed the eminent qualities of courage and disinterestedness in the service of his country; to appeal to you to demand those qualities in your public men that made Douglass great-qualities that resulted in the courageous performance of every duty, private and public."
This oration was delivered more than a year before the nomination of Theodore Roosevelt for the Vice-Presidency-a year and nine months before the latest Presidential election. In the oration of Roosevelt in the unveiling of the Rochester monument to Frederick Douglass, he introduces and honors the name of Booker T. Washington. Frederick Douglass said Abraham Lincoln was a man whose manner never contained a proclamation of recognition that he was a black man, and, therefore, one who offended propriety in being present in the White House or anywhere else. Not only did the Governor of New York, twenty-one months before he was elected in the several States by the electors of the States, and the vote counted by Congress, the two bodies in
joint session witnesses, honor the memory of a great black man in his State; but he referred to the taxation of franchises, and as was said in complimenting another man, free and bold in his address, he “slammed his weighty words right at his hearers.”
It would be an evasion not to say something on the color question, that to some extent has succeeded the slavery question, as it has been pressed upon the general attention and complaint in that connection made, that the war amendments of the Constitution are not enforced, and so held in abeyance by the construction that they nullify each other; that it would be well to abolish the XVth Amendment, for it has interfered with the XIVth Amendment, which itself would permit the States in which the racial question is paramount, to disfranchise a portion of the citizens, by consenting to the reduction of the apportionment of representatives and electors in Congress and the Electoral College. The idea behind this proposal is that it is most desirable the Nation should not have a constitutional nullification, inflicting a cureless wound; and if the States with a very considerable proportion of men of color should favor a qualified suffrage, they could do so by abandoning the strength in national affairs, gained by the irregular disfranchisement managed indirectly; but that is another question, and perhaps both North and South would think the remedy for the nullification of the Constitution by the dominant class worse than the evil, and, therefore, no cure.
ROOSEVELT IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
"Strenuous Life" There-First Night in President's Home-Dignity Need Not be Tedi
ous-Quickened Foot-Steps—The Functions of Luncheon-Busy Day-Horseback Ride-The President upon a Gallop-New Year's Reception-Play of the Children Pleases All.
HE manner of the life of President Roosevelt at the White House
excites much interest. He has changed habits as constrained by the
pressure of cares of office, and these affect him less than would be assumed by the unacquainted. Under all conditions, he is systematic as active. He must have his regular hours, his walks and rides, time to himself, and change of occupation. That which he does is according to his custom, but attracts more attention than formerly, for he differs from other Presidents more in ways than years.
The presence of young children in the White House is a new and attractive feature. They “move” with vivacity, and there are none who molest them or make them afraid. The stir of young life they make is pleasing to all, with possibly the exception of those whose business is to seek the appointing power and run upon, not a barbed iron fence, but an iron wall-so stalwart and stern if beaten against by impatient irritation that it has the effect of calming the obtrusive and loquacious, who have strong opinions about Booker Washington, and the Civil Service reform classifications, and any impediment to soft and speedy acquiescence in the personal request of the functionaries.
Booker Washington himself, has in one respect, a close sympathy with the President. The objective point of the distinguished colored leader of his people, is not to find office for them. Mr. Washington is not an office-seeker. He has a great many kinds of good sense, and thinks the men of his race who are demanding places they are not fitted to fill, should be treated exactly like the white folks should be; that is, refused the offices they are not fit for, no matter how threatening they may be as to turning up in the Republican Conventions hereafter, where resolutions are passed and perhaps nominations made. Mr. Washington believes the cause of the colored people will not be helped, but impeded, by vehement politicians pushing claims on account of color. The
work done in the South under the leadership of this colored Washington, who is like a father of his people, is in the highest degree considerate and commendable, and should be supported by all good citizens heartily. The great work in Alabama under his beneficent direction is the most promising chapter in the history of his race, and the most important, conspicuous and wholesome incident in the story of the progress of the solution of the problem of races in our midst.
It would be a strange spectacle, indeed, if it should appear that the Chief Executive of the "government of the people and for the people," should be restrained by a question of complexion from extending a courtesy to a representative man of his color, of more people than live in the most populous of our States, New York, and twice as many as the population of all the States that ordained the Constitution and formed our "more perfect Union.”
The luncheons at the White House by President Roosevelt are a new feature, but are already a well established function. The President does not allow his time to be occupied other than he directs. He does not receive callers in the afternoon unless upon special occasion. Appointments are made to see him at certain minutes sharp, and 12:40 P. M. is about the latest in the day, for he gives himself a brief recess after the morning exercises before he goes to luncheon. He greets his guests, leads the way to the family dining room, and there is a round table with an abundance of simple food.
Those unfamiliar with the White House may not all know that the great room of the House is the East Room, literally "The East Room," on the main floor of the "mansion." The President has abolished the words "Mansion House" on the official stationery. Formerly, letters from the White House business department were dated from the “Executive Mansion.” Now the letter heads are printed “White House.” It is an American “House,” though said to have been planned by a French architect, and "White House" is more Republican and Democratic than “Mansion.” The reception rooms, with the family and state dining rooms, are on the first floor, and the west end of the grand central hall is a pleasant, informal spot. The business offices occupy the second story, east end, immediately over the East room.
The visitor who has business with the President, or thinks so, passing the northern portico door, turns to the left, and on entering finds a stairway nigh the door into the East Room. On the landing above is a hall ample for a reception room. The comfortable seats are usually filled. In the northeast corner of the House is the important department of the Secretary to the President. Mr. George B. Cortelyou, the official Secretary, known to the world as the gentleman who aided in that capacity President McKinley, and to whom all the people are indebted for his rare intelligence, taste, tact, and forceful ability in serving the dying President with faithful vigilance, and obtaining for the Cabinet the few words from him that they, above all other