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    [Francis J. Parker]. Printed Circular Addressed to Senator Hiram R. Revels. Three integral pages, 7.75" x 9.75", Boston, March 23, 1870. Upon gaining the readmission of Mississippi into the United States and representation in the Congress after the Civil War, Revels (1827-1901), a Republican, became the first African American United States Senator, serving from February 23, 1870 to March 3, 1871. Following Revels first speech on the floor of the Senate, Colonel Francis J. Parker, 32nd Massachusetts Infantry during the late war, writes to Revels refuting the latter's claim that "...When the Federal armies were thinned by death and disaster...the sable sons of the South that voluntarily rushed to the rescue..." and "...that the colored race saved the noble women of New England and the Middle States..."

    Parker offers a different perspective, saying: "I deny that in any sense whatever 'the colored race saved the women of New England'...I deny that, by reason of anything connected to the war, the Northern people of my race are under any obligation whatever to yours...I shall go farther, and assert that...the sable sons of the South...[due] to the absence in them of the ordinary elements of manhood, - to their cringing cowardice and despicable poltroonery, - to the aid and comfort which they gave to the insurgent power, - we owe the unforeseen prolongation of the contest, and the bloodshed, grief, and loss which followed thereupon."

    After outlining the ways in which Africans (in his mind, at least) aided more the Southern cause than the Federal one, he says: "If a dozen or two of your intrepid race could have been brought at critical periods...the war would have been far shorter, and its cost in life and treasure very much less...No, Senator, whatever may be due to individuals, we owe your race, as such, - nothing; and it is well, as you enter our political arena, that this should be fairly understood." Next to Revels name on the first page, someone has written, in pencil, "A Negro." Smoothed folds; remnant of adhesive on the verso of page three. Else fine.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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