“The colored Americans ask no special favors as a class,—and no special protection as a race. All they ask and insist upon is equal civil and political rights, and a voice in the government under which they live, and to which they owe allegiance, and for the support of which they are taxed. They feel that they are entitled to such consideration and treatment, not as a matter of favor but as a matter of right. They came to the rescue of their country when its flag was trailing in the dust of treason and rebellion, and freely watered the tree of liberty with the precious and patriotic blood that flowed from their loyal veins.
“There sits upon the floor of this convention to-day a distinguished gentleman whose name is upon the lips of every patriotic American citizen. The gentleman to whom I refer, is the member from the great and important State of New York, Theodore Roosevelt, who, as the brave leader of the American troops, led the charge upon San Juan Hill. In following the lead of that gallant officer on that momentous occasion, the colored American again vindicated his right to a voice in the government of his country. In his devotion to the cause of liberty and justice the colored American has shown that he was not only willing and ready at any and all times to sacrifice his life upon the altar of his own country, but that he is also willing to fight side by side with his white American brother in an effort to plant the tree of liberty upon a foreign soil. Must it now be said, that, in spite of all this, the colored American finds himself without a home, without a country, without friends, and even without a party? God forbid!
“Mr. Chairman, the colored American has been taught to believe that when all other parties and organizations are against him, he can always look with hope and encouragement to conventions of the Republican party. Must that hope now be destroyed? Must he now be made to feel and to realize the unpleasant fact that, as an American citizen, his ambition, his hopes and his aspirations are to be buried beneath the sod of disappointment and despair? Mr. Chairman, the achievements of the Republican party as the friend and champion of equal civil and political rights for all classes of American citizens, constitute one of the most brilliant chapters in the history of that grand and magnificent organization. Must that chapter now be blotted out? Are you now prepared to confess that in these grand and glorious achievements the party made a grave mistake?
“It was a most beautiful and imposing scene that took place yesterday when a number of venerable men who took part in the organization of the Republican party, occupied seats upon the platform of this convention. The presence of those men brought to mind pleasant and agreeable recollections of the past. Until the Republican party was organized, the middle classes, the laboring people, the oppressed and the slave had no channel through which to reach the bar of public