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Harper's Weekly 04/16/1864


EQUALITY.

It was very amusing to read the report of the
debate between Mr. Pendleton of Ohio, and
Mr. Broomall of Pennsylvania, upon the Mon-
tana Territorial bill. The Senate made the
very natural provision in that bill that only
male citizens of the United States should vote.
Now the pro-slavery gentlemen repose in great
comfort upon what they call a decision of the Su-
preme Court that negroes are not citizens; so
that if they really believe that the question is
settled, they ought not to be troubled by a bill
in which the word “white” would be sheer tau-
tology.


So when Mr. Pendleton called attention to
the fact that the word white had been stricken
out, Mr. Broomall asked him why he was
troubled, since the court had decided that ne-
groes were not citizens? Mr. Pendleton re-
plied that his anxiety was to know whether Mr.
Broomall and his friends agreed with the court.
Mr. Broomall asked him if he were not satis-
fied with the decision. Mr. Pendleton asked
him in return whether he thought that it had
been so decided. Mr. B. said that he had read
so. Mr. P. still wished to know if Mr. B.
thought so. Mr. B., according to the summary,
replied that he was not called upon to review
the decision. Whereupon Mr. Pendleton an-
nounced that his object in bringing the matter
to a vote was to test the sincerity of the oft-re-
peated declaration of the Union men that they
were not in favor of negro equality.


“Here's richness!” quoth Mr. Squeers over
his skimmed milk. Here's statesmanship! We
trust that Mr. Pendleton will have had his
vote before this, and that every Union man in
the House will be present, and in a clear voice
declare that the Congress of the American peo-
ple holds this truth to be self-evident that all
men, including Ohio Copperheads as well as the
brave brethren of Robert Smalls, and the black
heroes of Milliken's Bend, Port Hudson, Fort
Wagner, and Olustee, are created equal, and
with an inalienable right to life and liberty so
long as they behave themselves, and that the
right to throw a vote shall not be determined by
a man's height, nor the fashion of his clothes,
nor the shape of his hat, nor the color of his skin.


It is quite time that this absurd talk about
“negro equality” was ended. Does Mr. Pen-
dleton
believe in “French equality,” or “Irish
equality,” or “Chinese equality?” Does he
think a drunkard and degraded man of any na-
tion, who can neither read nor write, who is a
nuisance and a pest, has a higher claim to “equal-
ity” than Frederick Douglass? Let him be
careful how he answers. Noscitur a sociis. Rob-
ert Smalls
is a much more valuable and hon-
orable citizen of the United States than Robert
Toombs.



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