Harper's Weekly 06/29/1867


When the bill abolishing the slave-trade
passed the British House of Lords one of their
lordships arose and stalked out of the House,
declaring that he washed his hands of the ruin
of the British empire. We forget the details
of the direful events that were to follow the
voting of colored citizens in the District of
Columbia, but they were announced with pain-
ful accuracy when the bill of enfranchisement
passed. The President recounted some of
them when he vetoed the bill. He thought
that the suffrage would act upon the colored
people of the States as sweets attract wasps,
and that the entire colored population would
swarm into the District, so that ignorance and
prejudice might obtain political power even in
Washington, and even while his Excellency
occupied the White House.

But the result of the late election shows that
these fears of horrible disaster to the celebrated
temple of our liberties have been quite without
reason. Colored men have voted in Washing-
ton, and the country and the Constitution still
live. They will vote in the Southern States,
and still the country will endure. One by one
the hobgoblins will fade away in the growing
light, and the practical effect upon politics of
this tranquil transformation of slaves into voters
will be incalculably advantageous. In this, at
least, it will be found that honesty is the best

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