he has been found present to every call to duty. Some
months ago the white military of Richmond asked the
Common Council to appropriate $25,000 for to build them
an armory hall; it was granted. Some time after the colored
military asked for only four-fifths of the above-named
amount, for the purpose of erecting them a hall; they were
On the 31st of September last, when a great part of
this continent was shaken by an earthquake shock, Rich¬
mond was thrown into great alarm; the penitentiary walls
fell and the inmates left to escape. Alarm was given for
the soldiers to appear at arms, and the colored soldiers were
the first to reach the grounds.
The last to be compensated, but the first to serve on duty.
Now, gentlemen, I ask in the name of this common¬
wealth, in behalf of the Negro, with such strong and ever-
living evidences of his obedience and fidelity to his country,
do you not think he has rights that the white man should
The Negro with all of his faithfulness does not ask to be
exonerated above all others, but that only he be given a
fair representation in all places and at all times.
Having said so very much about the past and present
things, the thought is suggested to me that many would
ask: "What of the future?" The future is bright and
lovely. Judging it by the past, we must presume that rich
things are in store.
As for the Negro, he carries his destiny in his own hands;
what he is to be or possess, depends irresistibly upon his
If you would be noble,
Work and toil to make the way;
If you would be happy,
Seek to find the brighter day.