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the time has come for estrangement to cease between people who by the ordinance of God must live together. Gladly do I welcome the happy signs; nor can I observe without regret the colored people in organized masses resisting the friendly overtures, even to the extent of intimidating those who are the other way. It is for them to consider carefully whether they should not take advantage of the unexpected opening, and recognize the "bail-bond" given at Baltimore as the assurance of peace, and unite with me in holding the parties to the full performance of its conditions. Provided always that their rights are fixed, I am sure it cannot be best for the colored people to band together in a hostile camp, provoking antagonism and keeping alive the separation of races. Above all, there must be no intimidation; but every voter must act freely, without constraint from league or lodge. Much better will it be when the two political parties compete for your votes, each anxious for your support. Only then will that citizenship by which you are entitled to the equal rights of all have its natural fruits. Only then will there be that harmony which is essential to a true civilization.
The present position of the colored citizen is perilous. He is exposed to injurious pressure where he needs support. But I see no early extrication except in the way now proposed. Let him cut adrift from managers who would wield him merely as a political force, with little regard to his own good, and bravely stand by the candidate who has stood by him. If Democrats unite with him, so much the better. The association, once begun, must naturally ripen in common friendship and trust.
I am for peace in reality as in name.
bottom of my heart I am for peace, and I welcome all that makes for peace. With deep-felt satisfaction I remember that no citizen who drew his sword against us has suffered by the hand of the executioner. In just association with this humanity will be the triumph of Equal Rights, when the promises of the great Declaration are all fulfilled, and our people are united, as never before, in the enduring fellowship of a common citizenship. To this end there must be Reconciliation. Nor can I withhold my hand. Freely I accept the hand that is offered, and reach forth my own in friendly grasp. I am against the policy of hate; I am against fanning ancient flames into continued life; I am against raking the ashes of the Past for coals of fire yet burning. Pile up the ashes; extinguish the flames; abolish the hate!
And now, turning to the Democratic party, I hold it to all the covenants solemnly given in the adoption of a Republican platform with Horace Greeley as candidate. There can be no backward step.
WATCHWORD FOR THE CANVASS.
WITH no common sympathy I observe that Mr. Hendricks, a leading Democrat, whom I knew and esteemed in the Senate, has recently announced his acceptance of the Constitutional Amendments with their logical results. He proposes, as a proper key-note to the popular movement now swelling to a sure triumph, "Just Laws and Public Virtue." This is a worthy aspiration, entirely fit for the occasion. My watchword is, "The Unity of the Republic, and the Equal Rights of All, with Reconciliation." Such is my heart-felt cry; and wherever my
voice can reach, there do I insist upon all these, humbly invoking the blessings of Divine Providence, which, I believe, must descend upon such a cause.
Accept my best wishes for yourselves personally, and for the people you represent.
And believe me, Gentlemen,
Your faithful friend,
To Dr. AUGUSTA, WILLIAM H. A. WORMLEY, and others.
LETTER TO SPEAKER BLAINE.
AUGUST 5, 1872.
JULY 31, 1872, Mr. Blaine addressed a letter to Mr. Sumner through the newspapers, arraigning him as recreant both to party and principle, in the position taken by him on the Presidential question in his recent Letter to Colored Citizens. Mr. Sumner responded as follows:
WASHINGTON, August 5, 1872.
EAR SIR, I have seen the letter addressed to
me by you through the public prints, and I notice especially, that, while animadverting upon my support of Horace Greeley, you say not one word in vindication of that compound of pretensions known as Grantism in contradistinction to Republicanism, which you would install anew in the Government.
You are greatly concerned about the company I keep. To quiet your solicitude, I beg leave to say, that, in joining the Republicans who brought forward an original Abolitionist, I find myself with so many others devoted to the cause I have always served that I had not missed you until you hastened to report absence; nor had I taken account of the "Southern Secessionists," who, as you aver, are now coöperating with me in support of this original Abolitionist, except to rejoice, that, if among former associates some like yourself hesitate, their places are supplied from an unexpected quarter.
You entirely misunderstand me when you introduce an incident of the past, and build on it an argument why I should not support Horace Greeley. What has Preston Brooks to do with the Presidential election? Never, while a sufferer, did anybody hear me speak of him in unkindness; and now, after the lapse of more than half a generation, I will not unite with you in dragging him from the grave, where he sleeps, to aggravate the passions of a political conflict, and arrest the longing for concord. And here is the essential difference between you and me at this juncture. I seize the opportunity to make the equal rights of all secure through peace and reconciliation; but this infinite boon you would postpone.
Seven years have passed since the close of our Civil War; but, unhappily, during all this period a hostile spirit has continued to exist between the contending sections, while the rights of colored fellow-citizens have been in perpetual question. Seven years mark a natural period of human life. Should not the spirit be changed with the body? Can we not after seven years begin a new life, especially when those once our foes repeat the saying, "Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God"?
I declare my preference for an original Abolitionist as President, and you seek to create a diversion by crying out that Democrats will support him. To which I reply, So much the better. Their support is the assurance that the cause he has so constantly guarded, whether of Equal Rights or Reconciliation, is accepted by Democrats; and this is the pledge of a true union beyond anything in our history. It is a victory of ideas, without which all other victories must fail.