On the morning of the 4th of March, Dr. Stowe called to invite me to address the students at Lane Seminary, on the following Sabbath evening, on the subject of missions and the working of freedom in the West Indies. I readily promised to comply, glad of an opportunity to address so many of the future pastors of the American Churches, who will occupy the field when emancipation is sure to be the great question of the day. In fact, it is so already.
Stay at Cincinnati (continued)—The Orphan Asylum—A Coloured Man and a White Fop treated as each deserved—A Trip across to Covington—Mr. Gilmore and the School for Coloured Children—“The Fugitive Slave to the Christian”—Sabbath—Mr. Boynton—Dr. Beecher—Lane Seminary—Departure from Cincinnati.
In the afternoon we went with Mrs. Judge B—— to see an Orphan Asylum, in which she took a deep interest. Requested to address the children, I took the opportunity of delivering an anti-slavery and anti-colour-hating speech. The building, large and substantial, is capable of accommodating 300 children; but the number of inmates was at that time not more than 70. While the lady was showing us from one apartment to another, and pointing out to us the comforts and conveniences of the institution, the following colloquy took place.
Myself.—“Now, Mrs. B, this place is very beautiful: I admire it exceedingly. Would you refuse a little coloured orphan admission into this asylum?”
The Lady. (stretching herself up to her full height, and with a look of horror and indignation),—“Indeed, we would!”
Myself.—“Oh, shocking! shocking!”
The Lady.—“Oh! there is another asylum for the coloured children; they are not neglected.”
Myself.—“Ay, but why should they not be together?—why should there be such a distinction between the children of our common Father?”
The Lady. (in a tone of triumph).—“Why has God made such a distinction between them?”
Myself.—“And why has he made such a distinction between me and Tom Thumb? Or (for I am not very tall) why has he made me a man of 5 feet 6 inches instead of 6 feet high? A man may as well be excluded from society on account of his stature as his colour.”