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The Slave Must Be Free

Mary Ann Darnes

July 25, 1855 — Ceremony for the Attucks Guards, after presenting a flag from a ladies’ association, Cincinnati OH


Should the love of liberty and your country ever demand your services, may you, in imitation of that noble patriot whose name you bear, promptly respond to the call, and fight to the last for the great and noble principles of liberty and justice, to the glory of oyour fathers and the land of your birth.

The time is not far distant when the slave must be free; if not by moral and intellectual means, it must be done by the sword. Remember, gentlemen, should duty call, it will be yours to obey, and strike to the last for freedom or the grave.

But God forbid that you should be called upon to witness our peaceful homes involved in war. May our eyes never behold this flag in any conflict; let the quiet breeze ever play among its folds, and the fullest peace dwell among you!



Source: History of the Negro Race in America, Vol. II, by George Washington Willlams (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1883), pp. 145-146.


Also: The Three Sarahs: Documents of Antebellum Black College Women, eds. Ellen NicKenzie Lawson and Marlene Merrill (New York: The E. Mellen Press, 1984), p. 284.