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THE ORDINANCE OF 1787

ADDRESS OF HON. CYRUS G. LUCE

I should fail to do justice to my own sentiments did I neglect to do honor to the representatives of these states where slavery then existed, did I fail to note the fact that each of these states cast its solid vote on the 13th day of July, 1787, to make freedom, and not slavery, the law governing the northwest territory. And we must in justice honor the men who had the patriotism, though surrounded by slavery, to see and act for the best interests of posterity. And while in our hatred of slavery and in the strife of political conflict, and in the fiercer passions of war, we have thought hard thoughts and said severe things of the policy of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia, we should never forget that their representatives had it in their power to have defeated the provision a hundred years ago, which has forever rendered this country a home of freemen. This tribute to the birthplace of my mother and of my maternal ancestors is cheerfully and truthfully rendered. The representatives from these states were at least in this one respect as loyal to the principles of freedom as were the representatives from Massachusetts and New York. This is the centennial year of the adoption of the ordinance, and it is well that we celebrate the occasion. Its spirit has sometimes been misunderstood or perverted, but within the next 12 months it will be appreciated as never before. It will J>e celebrated and its praises sung. The most important of all these celebrations will be held at Marietta on the 7th of April, 1888, just one hundred years from the first settlement of the territory at that place.

Michigan


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