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Spaniard, in leathern jerkin, found not the Fountain of Youth, for us its sweet waters waited lovingly and to-day are caressed for our good by the soft airs of our South. When Spain's covetous eyes, under casque and helmet, failed to find the gold of the West, and by its mighty power change human destiny, it was given to us to enrich our freedom with its plenitude beyond the wealth of kings. He gave us vast rivers on whose shores in the one season the fleecy cotton, the yellow corn, the golden wheat, the wine and the oil, the fruit and the flowers, the seed-time and the harvest, shed their glory. He flooded this land with the sunshine which on the prairie and beside the mountain kisses from the fertile field the grain and the fruit, and from His exhaustless plenty He has filled our land with the mighty agents of civilization waiting but our touch to garner them into the rich treasures of our commerce. He kept for this people the play of the lightning and imprisoned for us the giant arms of the steam. He has planned for us mighty continents and seas and lakes and rivers and harbors and capes, by whose power we can grasp in our strong hands the Ultima Thule of commerce. He strengthened the hands of tyrants that people from all countries forsaking their homes should give to us their best and their bravest; and He broke to pieces the kings when they would shackle the progress and curb the holy aspirations of freedom and religion in this newest continent. In all the hoary ages He has filled the earth with tyrants and kings and has laid Africa close to their hands; yet, for reasons known only to His wisdom, He has reserved this free country as the land where the sigh of the slave and the rattle of his chain were more frequent than in any since the years began their race. For them. He made peaceful fields incarnadined with the blood of a free people, yet over the carnage He made His Son to walk, and after His “Peace, be still,” as on the troublous waters of Galilee, tenderness touched the heart and peace and unity and love passing all understanding reigned with the people. Then surely His mighty arms are around us and His Providence is with us. This thing, which we understand not and which our mortal eyes do not fully see, is for the ultimate glory of our people. Whether this race surrounding us as a cloud, educated and strengthened to its full stature through our trials and our sorrows, shall, on the shores of the Tanganyika, raising the sweet songs of praise learned on the banks of the Tennessee, the Kanawha, and the Mississippi, lead the Dark Continent to the light of the brighter day, or whether as our helper here in fashioning this newest and best land, is not yet for mortal man to know. But, sir, with all my soul, I believe that this people has been placed here so as in some inscrutable manner to glorify this civilization so surely touched with the Master's fingers and so certainly fashioned with His hands. Ah, sir, there is no

despair. The witnesses cannot fail.

Again, there is another reason why you should hurry the settlement of this franchise system and convert the Negro vote into an intelligent one as quickly as possible. With the exigencies of national life we, of the South, will ourselves shortly need the Negro vote. I look for the South to be as anxious to have the Negro vote counted as is the North to-day. The Negro vote heretofore has been allied to a political organization the bulk of whose existence is in the North and West. He has been generally opposed to the people among whom he lives. This has arisen for several reasons, that the Southern people were the people to whom he belonged as a slave, and for the further reason that he fell into the hands, during Reconstruction days, of those who preyed upon his credulity and ignorance and made him believe that the Southern people were his enemies. These impressions are rapidly losing their force and a newer and more intelligent class of Negroes is taking the place of the old. It is to me as plain as the open day that when the Negro is impressed with the idea that the white man of the South will treat him as fairly in politics as he does in business, he will gradually and surely incline to the support of the Southern people. It is inevitable. If this is not the case it is against the experience of all of the years. The Negro is drawing his living from the South. His every relation of life is with the Southern man. His existence is tied up with the Southern States. The laws generally enacted in the South are predicated upon the idea that the Negro will always vote against the Southern white man. This is a mistake. He will not. Nothing can be more certain than that he will ultimately become entirely affiliated with, and interested in, every policy of the Southern man. If the Negro does not become in time a good Southern man in every fibre of his being, he simply belies universal experience and breaks political precedent. When a question arises of sectional difference in the way of local policy in this country, as they are sure to arise in the Republic's life, you will need the Negro's vote and most surely you will get it. This condition is arising. It is rapidly coming. The South is no longer a great agricultural section, but it is becoming a great competitor with the North in all the commercial affairs of our national life. You will need every vote you can get to sustain your great commercial policies. The North will surely experience, as we have already experienced, the effect of the solid Negro vote. The South, most certainly, will be ultimately insistent that the Negro vote be counted. Then let the vote be an intelligent vote and let the question be settled and out of the way, and the Negro will be on the way to give us the assistance we shall certainly need. This system will allow a different status of franchise in the different States of the Union according to the general condition of education and property-holding in each State. It will not act upon every State as an inflexible national constitutional provision. In one State, according to the rate of illiteracy and property-holding, it will exclude a larger element of the population than in another State. In the other State, if there is a different ratio of illiteracy and property-holding, then a fair ratio of the population of that State would be touched by its provisions, thus acting fairly and equitably upon the peculiar conditions of each State. There is another and higher aspect of this question to be considered. By the ancestral clause in many States you pull the white man down, and with an educational franchise you push the Negro to the highest educational exercise. You place a premium upon the ignorance of the white man of the South. You say to him that there must be a higher educational basis for the Negro, and yet the white man can attain the highest rights of American citizenship and at the same time wallow in ignorance. It is a wrong to the white man, which will surely bear its fruit. I have not understood in my investigation of the Anglo-Saxon that he needs to have any handicap put on any other race. Mr. Chairman, the franchise system, as it is at present constituted in many of the States in the South, is, to say the least, practically the policy of repression. Repression has been tried at every age of the world's history and always with the same unvarying result —utter and tremendous failure. It leads nowhere. It raises no man. It demands no education. It holds ignorance as dense as ever. It drives away intelligence. It breeds discontent. It represses any rising

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