•narrow and selfish. It has been heard and answered a thous¬
and times over. It is the argument of the crowned heads and
privileged classes of the world. It is as good against our Re¬
publican form of government as it is against the negro. The
wonder is that its votaries do not see its consequences. It does
away with that noble and just idea of Abraham Lincoln, that
•our government should be a government of the people, by the
people, and for the people, and for all the people.
These gentlemen are very learned, very eloquent and very
able, but 1 cannot follow them. Much learning has made them
mad. Education is great, but manhood is greater The one
'is the principle, the other is the accident. Man was not made
as an attribute to education, but education is an attribute to
man. I say to these gentlemen, first protect the man and you
will thereby protect education. I would not make illiteracy a
•bar to the ballot, but would make the ballot a bar to illiteracy.
Take the ballot from the negro and you take from him the
means and motives that make for education. Those who are
already educated and are vested with political power and have
thereby an advantage, will have a strong motive for refusing
to divide that advantage with others, and least of all will they
divide it with the negro to whom they would deny all right to
participate in the government.
I, therefore, cannot follow these gentlemen in their propo¬
sition to limit suffrage to the educated alone. I would not
make suffrage mere exclusive, but more inclusive. I would
not have it embrace merely the elite, but would include the
lowly I would not only include the men, I would gladly include
the women, and make our government in reality as in name a
government of the people and of the whole people.
But manifestly suffrage to the colored people is not the
cause of the failure of good government, or the cause of trouble
in the Southern States, but it is the lawless limitations of suf¬
frage that makes the trouble.
Much thoughtless speech is heard about the ignorance of
the negro in the South. But plainly enough it is not the ignor¬
ance of the negro, but the malevolence of his accusers, which is
the real cause of Southern disorder The illiteracy of the negro
has no part or lot in the disturbances there. They who con¬
tend for disfranchisement on this ground know, and know very