Harper's Weekly 07/04/1863


LOYAL CITIZENS.

In the first days of the excitement in Pennsyl-
vania over the late invasion an urgent official ap-
peal was made “to the colored men of Harrisburg”
to turn out to work upon the fortifications for “the
assistance of your country and the capital of the
old Keystone State.” Nothing could be more sensi-
ble. All loyal hands and hearts should work to-
gether in the common defense. And what is the
corollary? That all loyal hands and hearts should
share in the common benefit. Let us hope, then,
that every loyal white Pennsylvanian cheek will
be a little colored with shame by the reflection that
the “old Keystone State” disfranchises the men
whom she thus summons to her defense. And,
above all, let us hope that nobody will lose his
temper at the suggestion. For you may swear,
and rail, and damn every nigger that was ever
born to your heart's content, and be as hopelessly
confused in twaddle about races, and amalgama-
tion, and the intention of nature as you choose,
but you will still be unable to show yourself or
any body else why an intelligent, industrious, loy-
al man is not a good citizen, whatever his color
may be.


In the beginning of the war there were some
who said that if we white men couldn't save the
country it might go to pieces. They did not think
so last week at Harrisburg. And they would not
have been very wise men if they had. For the
sneer had neither principle, philosophy, common
sense, nor common honor to recommend it. It was
begotten of thoughtlessness and prejudice. Our
Government is not one of race or color. It is not
founded upon the points in which men differ, but
upon the manhood in which they are all agreed.
It does not aim at social equality, which is a mere
phrase. It aims at the protection of the personal
and political rights of man. The war for its main-
tenance, therefore, is not that of Americans, or Ger-
mans, or Irishmen, or of white, black, red, or brown
races, but of every true man who lives under its
protection.



Website design © 2000-2004 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2004 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com