LET US ALONE.
Political Bondage Substituted for Chattel Slavery.
Lemuel C. Moore, a colored man from Mississippi, Monday night, in New York City, addressed the Dry Goods Men’s Democratic Club, and made the following unique remarks on the Force bill:
“The whites and intelligent negroes of the South stand together on the proposition that the welfare of the South will get a terrible set-back if the proposed Force bill becomes a law. Our prosperity depends upon continued peace, and the Force bill would mean continued disquiet, if not revolution. The people of the South look to the North, and especially to the State of New York, to prevent this intended wrong. We know that the Force bill is intended to deprive us of political power and place it in the hands of partisan Supervisors of Election, who would make of us political slaves – as much political slaves as we once were physical slaves.
“I tell you in all candor that if the Republicans retain their power long enough to pass the Force bill there will not be Republicans enough, black and white, this side of the Mason-Dixon line to protect the negroes of the South. That surprises some of you, I see. Let me tell you that the day of the bloody shirt has passed with us. The Africo-American has begun thinking for himself. He finds that he was taken from slavery to be placed in political bondage, and he sees that with a Force bill in operation there would be no such thing possible as political liberty for the Southern voter, black or white.
“What we want is to be let alone to work out our own salvation. What in the world is the matter with us down there, anyway, that they want to be bothering us all the time? Has any other part of the country shown greater commercial progress in the last 10 years than the South? Are we not building factories and railroads, schools, churches – doing everything of the kind as well as any other part of the country? But with a Force bill – oh, my friends, if you knew the country as I know it, you would know that the measure should be called the Desolation bill.”