Knox College Struggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
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The Colored Man
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TitleThe Colored Man
DescriptionEditorial in the Galesburg Republican newspaper from April 9, 1870, page 4, about the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving African American men the right to vote.
Constitutional amendments
Subject (LCSH)Galesburg (Ill.) - Newspapers; United States. Constitution. 15th Amendment;
AuthorGalesburg Republican
Time Period1870s
Date Created (original)April 9, 1870
IdentifierMicroforms Cabinets
RightsThis item is out-of-copyright.
CollectionStruggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
Date Digital2012-08-22
The fifteenth amendment to the con-
stitution of the United States is now
part of the law of the land, despite the
futile opposition of the Venerable Gam-
mons of the democratic school of poli-
tics. The sooner men of all parties re-
alize the fact that the negro is a legal
voter and clothed with equal political
rights the better it will be for all con-
cerned. The colored man is now a vo-
ter and a citizen, and even democratic
politicians, who are proverbially slow to
learn will recognize him as such.
The negro having thus obtained his
rights and privileges, we hope he will
not imagine that they give him the
right to saunter on the street corners
and loiter in low saloons. The proper
and only way to prove himself capable
of citizenship is to go to work and stay
at work. We are not one of those re-
publicans who think a dark skin should
shield vice, indolence and general unfit-
ness for the duties of life. Let us
again repeat that the negroes must cul-
tivate industry and education if they
would live down prejudice, and a half-
dozen of them loafing on a street corner
will still do much towards keeping them
in a menial and secondary condition.
The leading colored men should drive
the stragglers either to work or out of
Knox county--toil is the inevitable des-
tiny of mankind, and its decrees should
not be forgotten by those who are bask-
ing in the sunshine of their newly ac-
quired freedom.
We do not by any means belong to
that class, either, who consider the Afri-
can the superior of the foreign-born cit-
izen, and neither do we believe, in the
slightest degree, that the negroes alone
saved the republic during the late war.
Had we depended on negro prowess
or intelligence we greatly fear that Mr.
Jefferson Davis and gentlemen of that
ilk would now be making and executing
laws in Washington.
This is our deliberate conviction, and
it may go for what it is worth. What we
started out to say was this: The negro is
now on an equal footing with the white
man, and, in the name of all that is right
and just, let him hereafter take his chan-
ces in the battle of life. Being a citizen
he should be responsible for his actions,
and he has it in his power to make him
self re-spected if he proves himself in
dustrious and capable. The colored man
will also find it greatly to his advant-
age to have as little to do with politics as
possible. He cannot earn a subststence
for himself or family by listening to the
specious pleadings and representations
of scheming politicians, and the more
he avoids that class of men the more
he will be respected. Let the colored
be sober, upright and industrious, and
he will be sure to obtain respect, be
sides insuring his prosperity and welfare.
Let it be understood that a black skin
is no excuse for vagrancy and idleness.
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