Aberdeen Examiner clipping

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McLeod, Murdock M.; Slavery--United States; Speeches, addresses, etc.; Aberdeen (Miss.)

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Address of Hon. M. M. McLeod, (colored), at the Recent Emancipation Celebration in Aberdeen.

The following report of the address of Hon. M. M. McLeod, of Hinds county, on the occasion of the Emancipation Celebration in Aberdeen on the 8th of May, has been prepared at our request, and will be read with interest by intelligent men of both races:

After the address of Mayor Love, Hon. M. M. McLeod, of Hinds county, who had been chosen as the Orator of the Day, was introduced, he said in substances that the event commemorated to day, has completely changed the status of a race, and entirely altered the policy and political action of the greatest Republican Government that ever existed in the world. In what he would say on this occasion, he would not attempt to follow in the beaten path of those who have delivered orations and written essays on the great theme of the emancipation of the slave; and while not wishing in the least to abate the praise and gratitude due to Mr. Lincoln, and the great men whose advice and counsel supported him in issuing that great State paper, that made free four millions of slaves, yet by the light of the history just prior to that act and by the events which had transpired, he would assert and by citations of history sustain the assertion, that the cause of the issuance of the proclamation of emancipation was a MILITARY NECESSITY. Authors and speakers, too, had with much of sentiment and eloquence, claimed that philanthropy and humanity generally had much to do with it, but the history of the events of that day and time, flatly contradicted them, and if that history proved anything it was that, "it was never dreamed of" that an emancipation, sudden, complete and without pecuniary compensation to the owners of slaves, would ever take place. The speaker then went on to show that the secession of the States that went into the Confederacy in fact changed the relations of the Federal Government towards the institution of slavery; he read extracts from the first inaugural address of Abraham Lincoln, also the plank in the platform of the Republican party in 1860, stating the exact position of the party, and the President elected by it in reference to slaves, showing them to be pledged to the enforcement of the fugitive slave law and protection of slave property in States where it then existed. Referring to the history of the war during the time prior to the issuance of the proclamation of warning - September 22nd 1862, which gave 100 days notice to all concerned - he read extracts from the message of the President; Report of Secretary of War to Congress; General Orders in the field by army officers, such as Butler, Fremont, Hunter, etc., also the orders of Lincoln modifying and repealing the military idea on the subject of emancipation, together with the reply of President Lincoln to a public letter of Horace Greeley about the attitude of the administration in the matter of emancipation, the speaker argued that some gratitude was due to those on the other side who fought with Lee, Jackson, Hood and Johnston, so bravely and determinedly for a right they believed they had, and thus created a military necessity, which forced the issuance of a proclamation to free the slave, as a war measure. The idea of the South that the freedom of the slave was in the nature of a calamity, had been lived down. The prosperity of the race numerically, materially and in an intellectual view were then advanced. The prosperity of our State and the peaceful relations between the races here, was said to be the task left to the sons of the old master and the old slave. The contrast between free labor and its results as of to-day, and slave labor of a generation ago was made and presented elaborately. The educational needs and the work done in that behalf by his race was referred to and a glowing compliment paid to those of the North, who were contributing money to advance education of negroes in the South, in this connection the speaker referred to the Blair bill which recently passed the Senate and eulogized the Senators from this State, not only for their votes, but for their eloquent and masterly speeches in advocating it. The Oration was concluded with a forcible appeal for the two races to work together in the material upbuilding of the South, and the advancement of their moral condition, it being a joint labor, in which mutual results beneficial in their nature must follow, etc.




Aberdeen Examiner, “Aberdeen Examiner clipping,” Mississippi State University Libraries, accessed September 28, 2023, https://msstate-exhibits.libraryhost.com/items/show/784.

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