Prof. S. S. Calkins was next called for, and said for the first time in our history he could, with entire consistency, address such an audience as "fellow citizens of the United States." He had to-day heard it remarked that "the niggers were having a good time." This would have hurt his feelings had he not earlier that morning been kindly assured that he was not to blame for not being a white man! Had not the white people cause for rejoicing to? When a wrong is committed the perpetrator is the worst injured. When the chain of oppression is broken, the oppressor has greater reason for thanksgiving than has the oppressed. We had crossed the Red Sea, it was true, but we must compass Edom. We must encounter the wilderness of prejudice and copperhead hostility. Pharaoh, the Egyptian Tyrant, was the first copperhead, (after we leave the history of Sodom), and the modern type would follow as soon and as far as they dare, and still hope by some means to destroy the fruits of this victory. When they could not drive they would try to flatter, and secure the vote of the colored man. He hoped the colored voter would remember who had been his friends, and stand for the country's safety, by those who had been the instruments, through toil and sacrifice, of bringing in this glorious day. The ship of individual and national destiny was now in their own hands. They had left the hold, that dungeon below deck, and were ushered into the free air above--into the glorious light of acknowledged manhood. The y were now to unfurl their sails, and use the power of every passing breeze--to tale the helm and pilot her where they will. There is the haven of prosperity, peace and happiness, where truth and virtue reign, and yonder is the wreck-lined shore, where that monster, vice, triumphs in the hopeless ruin of his victims. Choose now your course, and make such choice that your children can not doubt your wisdom. Then when they see the fruitful hills and fertile plains which stretch across this continent from shore to shore, bud and blossom under the culture of 100,000,000 of virtuous, intelligent, happy freemen, they will write in the annals of thecountry's progress to
that "consummation devoutly to be wished" among the first great strides, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Mr. R. J. Robinson, of Wellington, followed with a characteristic, pithy speech. He believed the newly enfranchised citizens would vote right -- vote intelligently, on the side of human rights. All were white now. No American citizens would be stopped at the polls and asked if his mother was black -- if his father was not of a dark color -- and if his father and mother were married. Then what about his grandfather and grandmother -- were they not of African decent? and finally, "can you swear whether they were male or female?" He felt joyous at the victory, but this was not the time to put off the armor. Work on, and having raised the slave to citizenship raise the citizenship to the highest type of manhood.
Hon. James Monroe spoke some time, and was listened to with great interest. He glanced at the other side of the picture, and spoke of the conflicts before us. We had met the enemy's skirmish line, and had triumphed, but the heavy warfare was yet to come. He spoke of the great moral needs of the country, and expressed his conviction that the Grace of God alone could eradicate the evils which afflicted us, and which weighed the nation as well as the individual down towards ruin: The days of simplicity should reappear, and that pride which exalts only to destroy should be discouraged in every social circle, that the generations to come might not be the victims of its poison:
We wish we could do Mr. Monroe's speech better justice. He fully sustained his reputation, evincing the thoughtfulness of a scholar and the heart of a philanthropist.
The Oberlin Brass Band discoursed appropriate music during the evening, which was highly appreciated by the audience. After the exercises at the church closed, fireworks were displayed on Tappin Square.
A son of Mr. J. T. Baker was severely injured by a rocket, which was the only sad casualty of the occasion.
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