, 8 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
US House of Representatives passed Civil Rights Bill of 1875 on 2/4/1875. Speaking in support of the bill that day was Rep. James Garfield of Ohio: "The warnings uttered today are not new. During the last twelve years it has often been rung in our ears that by doing justice 1/8
to the Negro we shall pull down the pillars of our political temple and bury ourselves in its ruins. I remember well when it was proposed to put arms in the hands of the black man to help us in the field. I remember in the Army of the Cumberland 2/8
where there were twenty thousand Union men from Kentucky and Missouri and we were told that those men would throw down their arms and abandon our cause if we dared to make the Negro a soldier. Nevertheless the men whose love of country was greater than their prejudice 3/8
against color stood firm and fought side by side with the Negro to save the Union. When we were abolishing slavery by adopting the thirteenth amendment we were again warned that we were bringing measurable calamity upon the Republic. Did it come?... 4/8
Again when the fourteenth amendment was passed the same wail was heard, the wail of the fearful and unbelieving. Again when it was proposed to elevate the Negro to citizenship, to give him the ballot as his weapon of self-defense, we were told the cup of destruction 5/8
was filled to its brim. But, sir, I have lived long enough to learn that in the long run it is safest for a nation, a political party, or an individual man to dare to do right, and let the consequences take care of themselves, for he that loseth his life 6/8
for the truth's sake shall find it. What is this bill? It is a declaration that every citizen of the United States shall be entitled to the equal enjoyment of all those public chartered privileges granted under State laws to the citizens of the several States. 7/8
For this act of plain justice we are told that ruin is again staring us in the face! If ruin comes from this, I welcome ruin." 8/8 #twitterstorians #civilrights #Reconstruction #BlackHistoryMonth
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