(Note: this is in response to Frederick Douglass' letter that we ran on February 10th.)
I must, with great emphasis, set straight the words proffered by Mr. Frederick Douglass yesterday with regards to the Homestead Bill of 1854.
You state that the Homestead Act of 1854 excludes "Blacks" or any incarnation thereof and leans greatly towards so called "Whites" or of "Whitish skin." You also imply that we look upon you as a mistake, as anything but human, and go so far to reference directly "REPUBLICANS" in your statement. While I personally find it abhorrent to even have to stoop to these levels, the words stated in your letter forces my immediate and pointed response.
You, sir, obviously are not aware of the fact that we Republicans formed from the remnants of the Whig party and those of the Barnburner Democrats opposed to the current state of this country and slavery specifically. You, sir, obviously are not aware that we've been voting on legislation that allows Blacks both their freedom and the right to land, both of which have been fervently resisted by the Democratic Party. The only exceptions to having access to land under the Republican sponsored bill are to those who raised arms against our young country. It was the Senate who defeated the legislation in 1852, and the Senate who will likely defeat it again this time even though you predict it will pass. The southern Democrats infesting the Senate have no desire to allow Blacks the right to own their own land. It is a threat to the very institution of slavery they've come to enjoy.
I will let you in on a little secret though. I am a bit of a seer, though I am loath to let that out for fear of retribution. God-fearing that I am, my colleagues have a great fear of things they don't understand you see. So, it is with great trepidation and reluctance that I let you in on my secret as it may hurt my standing within the town. My gift of clairvoyance though is only reliable a few small years into the future and the far distance future is as much a mystery to me as it is to all others. Therefore, my prediction is that this bill as it is will be denied by the senate this year. It will also be denied again in a few years; though rest assured, my friend, that salvation is coming. I foresee a great president to be elected in 1860 who will ultimately proclaim freedom for Blacks in the North. I see also that he is one of us, one of the Republican Party. And I also see that we Republican's in the North will cry over many of our men, both young and old, in defending the Black Man's right to freedom. I see that the Black Man also will cry over his dead and wounded as well. For, as we free them, they gladly take up arms and shed their blood in the cause of liberating their brothers and sisters in slavery.
These things I see, dear sir. It is my most fervent desire that our future efforts allow you to become everything God wants you to be.
Kevin Vorshak writes from Alliance, Ohio.
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