Rollin, Frank [Frances] A.
|CHAPTER XII. -- THE INTERNATIONAL STATISTICAL CONGRESS AND LORD BROUGHAM.|
WHILE in London transacting business connected with the exploration, it was Delany's privilege to attain a distinction never before reached by a colored American under like auspices.
At this time he appeared more prominently before the American public, owing to his presence in that august assembly known as the International Statistical Congress, presided over by His Royal Highness Albert, Prince Consort of England.
At this Congress had convened the most intellectual and distinguished representatives of all the nations of the civilized world. *
(*) Extract from the report of the
proceedings of the fourth session of the International Statistical Congress, held in London, July
16, 1860, and the five following days:--
"Opening Meeting of the Congress.
"At four o'clock His Royal Highness, the Prince Consort, arrived at Somerset House attended by the Earl Spencer, the Lord Waterpark, Major General Hon. C. Grey, Colonel F. Seymour, C.B., and Lieutenant Colonel Ponsonby. His Royal Highness was received in the outer hall of King's College by the Right Hon. the President of the Board of Trade and the Right Hon. W. Cowper, M.P., Vice-President of the Congress, the Earl of Shaftesbury, the Earl Stanhope, Sir James Clark, Bart., Rev. Dr. Jeff, Principal of King's College, and Dr. Guy, and the Secretaries, Dr. Farr, Mr. Valpy, and Mr. Hammack. A guard of honor of the Queen's (Westminister) Rifle Volunteers, with the band of the corps, was in attendance to receive his Royal Highness.
"Amongst the noblemen and gentlemen present were the Honorary Vice-President, including the official delegates, His Excellency the Count de Persigny, Ambassador of France; His Excellency Monsieur Musurus, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkey; Monsieur Sylvain Van de Weyer, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Belgium; the Baron do Cetto, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Bavaria; the Count de Bernstorff, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Prussia; the Commander de Carvalho Moreira, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Brazil; George Mifflin Dallas, Esq., Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America; the Count Apponyi, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Austria; the Count de Vizthum, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Saxony; Monsieur de La Rive, Envoy Extraordinary of Switzerland; Lord Brougham, the Earl of Shaftesbury, Earl Stanhope, Lord John Russell, M.P., Viscount Ebrington, Lord Monteagle, Lord Wriothesley, Lord Harry Vane, M.P., the Lord Mayor, Mr. Bouverie, M.P., Mr. Slaney, M.P., Sir John Bowring, Major General Sir C. Paisley, Rear Admiral Fitz Roy, Colonel Sykes, M.P., Right Hon. Joseph Napier, Right Hon. W. Hutt, M.P., Mr. Monckton Milnes, M.P., Sir Roderick I. Murchison, Mr. Nassau, Senior, Mr. Pollard Urquhart, M.P., Sir F.H. Goldsmid, Bart., M.P., the Registrar General of England, the Registrar General of Ireland, Sir R.M. Bromley, K.C.B., Mr. Caird, M.P., Mr. Fonblanque, Mr. Crawfurd, Mr. Newmarch, Mr. Edwin Chadwick, Mr.L.J.Leslie, Mr.S.Gaskell, Mr.J.Heywood, Mr. Babbage, Alderman Salomans, M.P., Mr. Mowbray Morris, Mr.T. Chambers, Mr. Lumley, Colonel Dawson, Dr. Babington, Mr. J. Glaisher, Dr. Balfour, Dr. Sutherland, Mr. Hodge, Mr. Edgar, Mr. Hastings, Mr. T. Webster, Mr. S. Redgrave, Mr. A. Redgrave, Professor Leone Levi, Dr. R.D. Thomson, Mr. H.G. Bohn, Mr. Hendricks, Sir Ranald Martin, C.B., Dr. Letheby, Dr. McWilliam, C.B., Mr. Simon, Mr. Horace Mann, Mr. Hill Williams, Mr. Panizzi, Mr. Tidd Pratt, Dr. Varrentrapp of Frankfort, Dr. Neumann of Berlin, Dr. Muhry of Hanover, Lieutenant-Colonel Kennedy, Mr. F. Purdy, Dr. Norton Shaw, Mr. A. Bonham Carter, Mr. R. Hunt, Mr. W.Clode, Chevalier Hebeler, M. Koulomzine and M. Von Bouchen of Russia, M. Chatelain of Paris, M. Carr van der Maeren, Le Chevalier Debrang, Mr. Peter Hardy, Captain Sierakowski and Professor Kapoustine of Russia, Dr. Otto Hubner, M. Coquerel, Professor Chicherin of Moscow, Dr. Bialloblotzki, Mr. J.G. Cogswell, Mr. D.V. McLean, Dr. Schwabe of Berlin, M. Villemsens of Paris, Dr. Delany of Canada, Mr. H.Ayres, Mr. T. Michell, M. Grigorieff of St. Peteresburg, the President of the College of Physicians, the President of the College of Surgeons, Dr. Bryson, Mr. S. Brown, Mr. Jellicoe, Mr. Yates, Mr. Holland, Dr. Greenhill, Captain, D. Galton, Mr.Thwaites, and a large body of gentlemen who had been specially invited to take part in the proceedings of the Congress." To this, by virtue of his position
The value of his position in that learned gathering was doubly enhanced and appreciated by him. It was a triumphant recognition of the progress of his race, as well as of the ability of the representative. His admission into that Congress was not based upon national credentials,--for they would have been refused to him,
His sterling ability won for him the friendly interest of the great Lord Brougham, who, at the first meeting, called the attention of the American minister to him, which remark, being construed offensively, resulted in the withdrawal of the American delegates, at the head of which was Judge Longstreet of Georgia. Through them and their pro-slavery partisans north and south, Major Delany acquired a popularity distasteful with the American public, to whom the circumstance was known imperfectly, and then only in a prejudicial manner. So many comments were made by the press, all tending to produce the utmost unpleasantness between the two countries, that it seemed likely to have resulted in a more disagreeable misunderstanding, but was checked by the inevitable ridicule which attached to it.
When the news of the withdrawal of the American delegates first reached the public, it was through an official sources--a letter from Judge Longstreet, the American representative to the Congress. It was given to the public through Hon. Howell Cobb, of Georgia, secretary of the treasury under the Buchanan administration. And as it was only through this medium, we propose to furnish the statement of the principal personage in the affair, decisive and trustworthy, and also to reproduce the letter of Judge Longstreet, which, in view of the position occupied by them both at this time, will be of additional interest.
"This is a subject upon which I never desire to enter.
"And since Judge Longstreet withdrew from that body immediately after the organization, and before doing anything, going home, and having nothing to report but the cause of his delinquency or remissness, his official report to the secretary of the treasury necessarily being concerning me, therefore I am compelled to give the facts as to how it really transpired. And certainly no one of the most sensitive delicacy about matters of this kind will accuse me of dragging in extraneous matter. Indeed, it ceases to be a question of propriety, and turns entirely upon a question of right, as to whether or not I have the right of self-defence against an attack by a high official of the government? Or is it not the government which attacks me through its foreign representative and cabinet minister? The entire affair was contrary to my desire, and by no means flattering to me, as Judge Longstreet, reported as officially follows."
We give the following from the report of the secretary of the treasury for the year ending June 30, 1860:--
Letter from A.B. Longstreet to Howell Cobb.
London , July 21, 1860.
Sir : My mission to the International Congress terminated abruptly, even before the first regular meeting for the transaction of business.
At the appointed time (16th instant) a preliminary meeting was called, to appoint officers and arrange the order of business for the regular meetings. All the foreign delegates were declared to be vice-presidents, and, by invitation of the chairman, took their seats as such upon the stand. Lord Brougham was, I think, the last member of the Congress who entered the hall, and was applauded from the first glimpse of him until he took his seat; it was near and to the left of the chair. Mr. Dallas, appearing as a complimentary visitor, was *
(*) Here, as elsewhere mentioned, Judge, Longstreet is again in error, he not having remained long enough to make himself acquainted with the Congress. Mr. Dallas was not a "complimentary visitor," abstractly considered, as the judges reference would infer, but, by general rule, an ex-officio member of the Congress,--a vice president,--as was every envoy extraordinary, or minister plenipotentiary to her majesty's court, and consequently had taken his seat as one of the high officials of an International (the World's) Congress, and not Great Britain's, much less England's Congress. The Congress belonged as much to Mr. Dallas as to his lordship, and, may it be permitted, even his royal highness. The great assembly simply sat by turn of appointment in Great Britain, and doubtless in time will come to the United States, especially now that they have reached the point of consummate of national justice. was seated to the right, in a rather conspicuous position. Things thus arranged, the assembly waited the presence of his royal highness, the prince consort, who was to preside and open the meeting with an address. He soon appeared, delivered his address, and took his seat. As soon as he concluded, and the long-continued plaudits ceased, Lord Brougham rose, complimented the speech very highly and deservedly, and requested all who approved of it to hold up their hands. We did so, of course. This done, he turned to Mr. Dallas, and addressing him across the prince's table, said, "I
What England can promise herself from exciting the ire of the United States, I cannot divine. Surely there is nothing in the past history of the two countries which offers to her the least encouragement to seek contests with the great republic, either national or individual. Will not her championship of the slave against his master be in full time when the slave shall complain of his lot and solicit her interference.
My reasons, more at large, for the course that I have pursued, will be found in the London Morning Chronicle, herewith transmitted, which, in its slightly-modified form, I pray you to regard as a part of my report.
I am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,
Hon. Howell Cobb , Secretary of the Treasury.
The American Delegate and Lord Brougham.
To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle.
Sir : After what occurred at the first meeting of the Statistical Congress, I withdrew immediately from that body, intending to offer no reasons for my course, because, from what I saw, I judged that they would not be worth the paper on which they might be written. I reserved them, therefore, for my own government. After waiting a while to see what comments the papers would make upon the opening sense of the Congress, I
A.B. Longstreet .
To the Public.
Before I terminate my first and last visit to Europe, I deem it due to my country and myself to leave behind me a word of comment upon a most remarkable incident of that visit. It may be of some service to the people on both sides of the Atlantic. England owes to my country much respect--to my native state a little. I came hither as a delegate (and by accident the only delegate) from the United States to the International Congress, now in session at this place. The appointment was made by request of the authorities of this country. I am a native of the State of Georgia, the birthplace of the two gallant Tattnalls, the one well known to me, the other well known to England. He was that humane and chivalrous commodore, who, at the peril of his commission and his life, rescued the captain and the crew of Hope's sinking ship from a watery grave at Peiho. He has received much praise for the deed, but not quite all that is due to him, for in yielding to his generous impulses, he forgot that his no less gallant brother was borne from the battle-field at Point Peter, severely wounded by British Muskets. What is done in war should be, but is not, always forgotten in peace. The commodore's conduct was approved by his government-- that government which Mr. Dallas represents at the court of St. James.
The Statistical Congress convened, a preliminary meeting was held to appoint officers and arrange the order of business. All the foreign delegates were declared to be vice-presidents, and they took their seats on the platform with the presiding officer. Mr. Dallas, a complimentary visitor, took his seat to the right of the chair, Lord Brougham to the left. All things being now in readiness for the opening of the regular meetings, his royal highness, Prince Albert, appeared, took the chair, and opened the meeting with that admirable address which has been published, and which carries its highest commendation on its face. As soon as he had concluded, and the long-resounding plaudits ceased, Lord Brougham rose, and after a few remarks strongly and deservedly complimentary of the address, and after calling
Now, if the noble lord's address to the American minister was meant for pleasantry, I must be permitted to say that the time, the subject, and the place were exceedingly unpropitious to such sallies. If it was meant for sarcasm, it was equally unfortunate in conception and delivery. If it was meant for insult, it was mercilessly cruel to this lordship's heart, refinement, dignity, and moral sense. I could readily have found an apology for it in his lordship's locks and wrinkles, if it had not been so triumphantly applauded. The European delegates understood it; the colored gentleman understood it; and from the response of the latter we can collect unerringly its import. It was meant as a boastful comparison of his lordship's country with the minister's. It was meant as a cutting reflection upon that country where negroes are not admitted to the councils of white men. This is the very least and best that can be made of it, and the dignity of the American minister's character and office, his entire disconnection with slavery personally, and his peculiar position in the assembly, were no protection to his country from this humiliating assault; nay, he is selected as the vehicle of it before the assembled wisdom of Europe, who signify openly their approbation of it. All the city papers that I have seen differ from each other in their report of this matter, but they all soften its rugged features somewhat. The Times is the most correct, but at fault in making Lord Brougham preface his remarks to Mr. Dallas with, "I hope my friend, Mr. Dallas, will forgive me for reminding him," &&;c., and in making Dr. Delany (the colored gentleman) say to Lord Brougham, "who is always a most unflinching friend of the negro." If one or the other of these remarks
Now, I take leave to say that a Briton was the last man on earth who should cast contemptuous reflections upon the United States, and the delegates the last men on earth who should have countenanced them. Not one of them, not a man on all the broad surface of Europe, can assail that country without assailing some near home-born friends of his own language and blood, or some kinds man by short lineage from a common ancestry. She spreads herself out from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Gulf to the Lakes, and through all the length and breadth she is one vast asylum for the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden, the persecuted of the world. Her sons are a multitudinous brotherhood of all climes, religions, and tongues, living together in harmony, peace, and equality, so far as these can possibly prevail within her borders. Say what you may, think as you may, sneer as you may, at her "peculiar institutions;" she is, after all, the good Samaritan of nations. Do a people cry and waste from famine? She loads her ships with supplies, and lays them at the sufferer's doors without money and without price. Do an oppressed people strike for liberty? You will find some of her sons under their flag. Does a wife's cry come across the water for help to find a noble, long-missing husband? She fits out her ships; her volunteers man them; they search nearly to the pole; learn the husband's fate; disburden the wife's heart from suspense, and then lie down and die from the exposure and toils of the search. Does she find a nation's sloop of war afloat, still sound but unmanned? She puts her in decent trim, and sends her to her owner in charge of her own men and at her own expense. "Bear with me." If "I am become a fool in glorying, ye have compelled me, for I ought to have been commended to you."
Such a nation is not to be taunted, certainly not by Great Britain. Her slavery is a heritage, not a creature of her own begetting. It was forced on her against her wishes, her prayers, and her protestations; screwed down upon her, pressed into her, until it has become so completely incorporated with her very being, that it is now impossible to eradicate it. The term
There are about 4,000,000 of slaves in the United States. They are worth, at a very moderate calculation, $240,000,000 but as we wish to keep within the realm of morality, we cast that little item aside. There they are, from a day old to one hundred years old--ignorant, helpless, thriftless, penniless. What would become of them if set free? They would suffer, languish, die. Does charity, does religion, demand of us to put them in that condition? How are they to live? "Support them yourselves," said a man to me once, of more negrophilism than brains. What would we have to support them on, and what obligation is there upon one class of freemen to support another? The very act of emancipation would consign nineteen twentieths of the masters to abject penury and want. There would be no more conscience, mercy, or remorse in the scramble between the races for the provision on hand at the date of the act, than there is for the means of safety among the crew of a sinking ship. The last year's crop of cotton was, in round numbers, 4,500,000 bales. Three fourths of this amount goes abroad, and most of it to England. Will the reader take the trouble to compute the amount of shipping it takes to transport that quantity of cotton from America to Europe, the number of hands employed in the transportation, and the number employed in working up the raw material? Shipping, seamen, manufacturers, under-workmen, must all go by the board the first year of emancipation. Now, add to the exports 80,000 tierces of rice and 128,000 hogsheads of tobacco in the same category (nearly), and tell me if it is possible to conceive of a greater calamity that could befall the world than the immediate emancipation of the slaves of the United States. Nine millions,
Now, I could say much more to show the utter impracticability of emancipation in the United States, even upon the score of humanity; but enough is said until what is said be fairly answered. Until it is fairly answered, until some practicable means is pointed out of ridding ourselves of slavery, I enter my most solemn protest against all denunciation of our country on account of it. It is like denouncing a man because he carries an incurable
Whatever his lordship did not intend by the remark,--and I am ready to believe that he did not intend to wound,--he certainly did intend to bring to the minister's notice that England made no distinction between men on account of their color; and herein his lordship was lamentably unfortunate, for the whole scene showed that not only he, but all his applauders, make a marked distinction between colors. Would not his lordship have had more respect for the feelings of any white man than to have made him the object of special notice--and such a notice!--to men gathered from all quarters of the world? Would his lordship's discourtesy to a white man have been applauded, as it was, by gentlemen of refinement and delicacy? True, it hit Dr. Delany's sensibilities exactly in the right place, for he returned thanks for it; but the chances were a thousand to one that it would have enkindled his indignation. "What!" he was likely to have said, "is it a boast of the nobility of England that I am admitted to a seat among white men?" His thanksgiving, too, was applauded--a thing not exactly in keeping with our ordinary dealings with white men. And when he proclaimed the indubitable fact, "that he was a man," again he was applauded. If any other mind had arisen in the assembly, and said the selfsame thing, he would have been laughed, at, not applauded. Again: his lordship pointed him out as a "negro,"--that was the world,--not, as some of the gazettes have it, a "colored person," or "Colored gentleman;" the Times has it right. Now, if he had felt a due regard for the doctor's rank, would he not have softened his designation, as the papers have kindly done for him? I am told that the doctor is a member of the Geographical Society, and a delegate from Canada. If so, I demand, by all the canons of courtesy, why he was not called to the stand as one of the vice-presidents, and placed right
A. B. Longstreet. .
P. S. I forget to mention many kind invitations that I have received from distinguished personages. I declined them all, not indifferently nor disrespectfully, but because they were obviously given to me as a member of the Congress, which I was not when they reached me, and never shall be.
Note . The Epistle to Philemon has been an enigma to commentators for seventeen hundred years. That it is the fruit of divine inspiration has never been questioned by Christians; and it is but a letter from Paul to a brother, pleading for a runaway slave whom the sent home to his master. Read it, and see the Christians who joined in it. In Paul's day they did not steal negroes and murder their masters. There were no Browns and Hugos in those days. Philemon was beloved of Paul, was doubtless a preacher, and had a church in his house. Is not the enigma now solved? Can we not now see why the epistle was inspired? What would become of us if we were bound to emancipate under all circumstances, or forfeit heaven? I have only hinted at the horrors of the thing.
"It was made the subject of inquiry by some as to the means by which I entered that scientific assemblage.
"By the established usages of this annual assembly, any persons of known scientific attainments, great authorship, mechanical inventions of mathematical complication, researches and discoveries in topographical, geological, or geographical explorations, are regarded as legitimately entitled to the consideration of the royal commissioners, three of whom are always appointed by the sovereign or ruler of that country to which the succeeding Congress is assigned to meet. These commissioners have all the arrangement of the coming Congress in their hands, and issue all the commissions of special membership to those not accredited as national representative delegates.
"By courtesy, the diplomatic representatives of every nation present are ex-officio vice-presidents, with two specially selected vice-presidents.
"When the time drew near for the arrival of his royal highness, the Congress was organized, the members taking their seats, and the official dignitaries seated on the platform.
"The royal crimson chair, and one on either side reserved for the prince and his associates, vice-president, were vacant. Great demonstrations were made, which gave evidence that some important personage approached, when it was soon observed that it was the arrival of the ex-lord high chancellor of England He was escorted to his seat on the platform.
"Soon after, music was heard, succeeded by the entry of pages, unrolling the crimson carpet, which preceded
"The prince, with his usual dignity, now arose, bowed, and commenced reading one of the most profound and philosophically simple and comprehensive addresses delivered during the present century.
"In the course of his remarks, he alluded to his former preceptor, Count Vishers, paying great compliments to him. He concluded amidst suppressed applause, suggestive of a feeling which hesitated to show itself, for fear of committing an impropriety before the royal author. That great and generous-hearted gentleman, Lord Brougham, instantly arose, and addressing the congress, said, 'I rise not to address myself to his royal highness , but to you, my lords and gentlemen of the congress , not to permit the presence of his royal highness to restrain you from giving vent and full scope to that outburst of applause, which you are desirous of giving in approbation of that great good sense, philosophical and most extraordinary discourse, to which we had the honour and pleasure, as well as profit, of listening.'
"Immediately taking his seat, the assemblage gave vent to rapturous applause. As it concluded, he again rose to his feet, remarking in general terms that it was
"He also made allusions to the presence of the imperial director of public works from France, the representatives from Brazil, Spain, and some other countries, as an evidence of the progress of the age; then taking his seat, and instantly arising in such a hasty manner, as though something important had been omitted, that he attracted the attention of the entire assembly; when, extending his hands almost across his Royal Highness, he remarked, `I would remind my friend, Mr. Dallas, that there is a negro member of this Congress' (directing his hand towards me): smiling, he resumed his seat. Mr. Dallas, seeming to receive this kindly, bowed and smiled.
"Count Vishers now rose to reply to the compliments made to him by the prince; then followed the director of the public works from France, followed by the Brazilian representative, and concluding with the Spanish diplomatist.
"While I fully comprehended his lordship's interest, meaning, and its extent, the thought flashed instantly across my mind, How will this assembly take it? May it not be mistaken by some, at least, as a want of genuine respect for my presence, by the manner in which the remarks were made? And again, would not my silence be regarded as inability to comprehend a want of deference on the part of his lordship? Or should I not be accused of regarding as a compliment a disparaging allusion towards me? These thoughts passed
"I rise, your Royal Highness, to thank his lordship, the unflinching friend of the negro, for the remarks he has made in reference to myself, and to assure your royal highness and his lordship that I am a man.' I then resumed my seat. The clapping of hands commenced on the stage, followed by what the London Times was pleased to call 'the wildest shouts ever manifested in so grave an assemblage.'
"So soon as the applause had subsided, the prince arose and announced the Congress adjourned, to meet at two o'clock the next day; the sections to meet in their several departments at ten, to meet the general Congress at two.
"These were my words verbatim. Why Judge Longstreet's sarcastic interpolations, I do not know, nor am I able to account for such manifestations.
"They were not simply British, as the learned judge complained in his singular report to the secretary of the treasury, 'because the loudest and wildest shouts' came from the Continental members. These manifestations I can only attribute to a spontaneous outburst of gratification to them at a scene so unexpected in all its relations, without any reference whatever to the United States. And Judge Longstreet entirely misinterpreted the interest and meaning of the manifestation.
"I take pleasure in making the correction now, as far as the generous great are concerned, that it may be favorably recorded in the history of our time,
"The next day, when the general Congress convened, on calling for the reports from the several sections, which presented the papers for ratification before that body, alphabetically arranged, and by courtesy commencing with America, it was discovered that the entire American representation, except Dr. Jarvis, from Boston, Mass., had withdrawn, --the fact being stated by the doctor, who presented the paper placed in his hands by Judge Longstreet, whose office it was to present it as head of the representation, and only direct national delegate (Dr. Jarvis being only a state delegate). Lord Brougham, the first vice-president, who, in the absence of the royal president, filled the chair, arose, remarking, 'This reminds me of a statement made in the papers this morning, that I had designedly wounded the feelings of the American ministèr at this court, which I deny as farthest from my intention, as all who know me (and I appeal to the American minister himself, Mr. Dallas being a friend of mine), whether I have not uniformly stood forth as the friend of that government and people? Now, what is this "offence" complained of? Why, on the opening of this august assemblage (possibly the largest in number, and the most learned, that the world ever saw together from different nations, to be among whom any man might feel proud, as an evidence of his advance,
"The noble and philanthropic lord then took his seat amidst another cause of offence ."
These are the facts of that historical incident quoted from his own writings on the subject. Whatever may have been the motive underlying the action of the southern judge besides the reasons given to the public by him, it is not our province to interfere with; but if it were his intention to bring the high-toned negro delegate, receiving the same honors accorded to the other members of the Congress, into derision, in his undignified haste his failure was most signal in Europe, as well as with most thinking persons, not governed by their prejudices, in America. *
(*) As to the insulting allusion on page 114, presented for the
consideration of the British public, that the American slaveholders could "beatify them with
precisely four millions such as myself," alluding to their degraded, uneducated, slaves, I am
admonished, against retailing in a manner which would otherwise be justifiable in view of the
great changes brought about by the mistaken cherished ideas of such gentlemen as Judge
Longstreet, and the consequent effects everywhere throughout the South, imploringly staring us
in the face.
And in reply to the inquiry, page 114, "To what section does he belong? I do not find him allotted to either," a reply will be found in the Transactions of the International Statistical Congress, London, 1860; and had he remained to "belong to a section" at all, he would have been clear of the historical blunder which he is found to have made.
And finally, regarding the singular inquiry, page 114, "To how many of the entertainments has he been invited?" were I capable of either weakness or vanity in that direction, I might allude to them, as does the learned judge, page 115, but would rather refer him to those to whom he appeals, as having been complimented by, and simply conclude by the allusion that had he himself been at all the entertainments, he could not have failed to see Dr. Delany at many. The uncalled-for allusion to the reception given by his royal highness has been previously replied to.
The following comment, written at the time, is from the papers of his friend, Mr. Frederick Douglas, who, towering in colossal grandeur beside the self-made heroes of our country, his eagle glance noting every pulse-throb of the great American body politic, seems a proper exponent of these indisputable facts.
"Dallas and Delany.
"Some of our American journals, to whom black in anything else than in the human heart is a standing offence, are just now 'taking on' very ruefully about what they are pleased to call a flagrant insult offered to the American minister, Mr. G. M. Dallas, by Lord Brougham, at a meeting of the International Statistical Congress, held in London. Small pots boil quick, and soon dry up, but they do boil terribly while they are at it.
"It would hardly be safe to say whereunto our present wrath would carry us, were we not somewhat restrained and held down by the onerous burdens of electing our president for the next four years. As an American, and being of the unpopular complexion, we are rather glad to see this sensitiveness. The most disgusting symptoms sometimes raise hopes for the recovery
"Never was there a more telling rebuke administered to the pride, prejudice, and hypocrisy of a nation. It was saying, 'Mr. Dallas, we make members of the International Statistical Congress out of the sort of men you make merchandise of in America. Delany in Washington is a thing; Delany in London is a man. You despise and degrade him as a beast; we esteem and honor him as a gentleman. Truth is of no color, Mr. Dallas, and to the eye of science, a man is not a man because of his color, but because he is a man, and nothing else.' To our thinking, there was no truth more important and significant brought before the Statistical Congress. Delany's presence in that meeting was, however, more than a rebuke to American prejudice. It was an answer to a thousand humiliating inquires respecting the character and qualifications of
"But why should Americans regard the calling attention to their characteristic prejudice against the colored race as an insult? Why do they go into a rage when the subject is brought up in England? The black man is no blacker in England than in America. They are not strangers to the negro here; why should they make strange of him there? They meet him on every corner here; he is in their cornfields, on their plantations, in their houses; he waits on their tables, rides in their carriages, and accompanies them in a thousand other relations, some of them very intimate. To point out a negro here is no offence to anybody. Indeed, we often offer large rewards to any who will point them out. We are so in love with them that we will hunt them; and of all men, our southern brethren are most
"The answer to these questions may be this: In America the white man sees the negro in that condition to which the white man's prejudice and injustice assign him. He sees him a proscribed man, the victim of insult and social degradation. In that condition he has nothing against him. It is only when the negro is seen without these limitations that his presence raises the wrath of your genuine American Christian. When poor, ignorant, hopeless, and thoughtless, he is rather an amusement to his white fellow-citizens; but when he bears himself like a man, conscious of the godlike characteristics of manhood, determined to maintain in himself the dignity of his species, he becomes an insufferable offence. This explains Mr. Dallas, and explains the American people. It explains also the negroes themselves. It is often asked why the negroes do not rise above the generally low vocations in which they are found? Why do they consent to spend their lives in menial occupations? The answer is, that it is only here that they are not opposed by the fierce and bitter prejudice which pierces them to the quick, the moment they attempt anything higher than is considered their place in American society. Americans thus degrade us, and are only pleased with us when so degraded. They tempt us on every side to live in ignorance, stupidity, and social worthlessness, by the negative advantage of their smiles; and they drive us
"Had Mr. Delany been a mean, poor, dirty, ignorant negro, incapable of taking an honorable place among gentlemen and scholars, Mr. Dallas would have turned the specimen to the account of his country. But the article before him was a direct contradiction to his country's estimate of negro manhood. He had no use for him, and was offended when his attention was called to him.
"There was still another bitter ingredient in the cup of the American minister. Men can indulge in very mean things when among mean men, and do so without a blush. They can even boast of their meanness, glory in their shame, when among their own class, but who, when among better men, will hang their heads like sheep-stealing dogs, the moment their true character is made known. To hate a negro in America is an American boast, and is a part of American religion. Men glory in it. But to turn up your nose against the negro in Europe is not quite so easy as in America, especially in the case of a negro morally and intellectually the equal of the American minister."
Before leaving London, Delany read, by special request, a paper on his researches in Africa, before the Royal Geographical Society, and as a traveller and explorer, received the privileges extended by that body, and as such was received with due courtesy in many of the noted places dedicated to art and science, both in England and Scotland; among them, the Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln's Inn Fields, the Hospitals, Geological
From a general invitation extended to the members of the Congress, and a special one to himself, by the Right Hon. Lord Brougham and Vaux, ex-lord high chancellor of England, he received his membership, and attended the Congress of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science at Glasgow, Scotland, the September following. Here a distinguished recognition of his worth awaited him. While at this Congress he elicited expressions of a most complimentary character from Lord Brougham, who presided here with the usual dignity ascribed to him at the International Congress in the absence of his royal highness.
The following is extracted from the Report of the First Section on Judicial Statistics, by the president (Lord Brougham) and Dr. Asher--
"I think I am authorized, not only on the part of the council of the society, but on the part of the authorities in Scotland, strongly to recommend and to invite all persons to attend that Congress. The authorities take the greatest interest in it, both at Edinburgh and at Glasgow. The magistrates of both countries, and the judges, take the greatest interest in the Congress; and I hope they will not be disappointed in having the attendance of many foreign gentlemen from different parts of the continent; and I also hope that our friend Dr. Delany will attend upon that occasion, for he will then be in the country which first laid down the maxim and the principle of law: That the moment a slave (which Dr. Delany is not, but which his ancestors were) touches British ground, his fetters fall off. That
After the close of the Congress, he was invited to lecture on the subject of his explorations, in many parts of England and Scotland, meeting everywhere with marked success, for nearly seven months. At these lectures an appreciative audience greeted him: among them many of the elite of the kingdom convened, as was manifested at his reception lecture at Brighton, on the seaside, during the watering season, given in the pavilion of the Marine Palace of William IV.
At the conclusion of these, he prepared to return to Africa, having entered into obligations in England and Scotland, especially the latter place,--which in good faith are yet to be fulfilled, --when the secession of South Carolina reached Great Britain.
With almost prophetic vision he saw the great work apportioned for his race in the impending struggle.
Therefore he turned his thoughts homeward to prepare himself for his portion of it.
Hastening home from a land where he was everywhere the recipient of distinguished courtesy, in order to cast his lot with his people for good or evil fortune, he reached Canada forty-five days before the attack on Fort Sumter.
There he remained watching the progress of the rebellion, which, from the first, he foresaw, and thus expressed himself, that it would be long and desperate in its course.
The following is the speech of Dr. Delany, at the close of the International Congress:--
"I should be insensible, indeed, if I should permit this Congress to adjourn without expressing my gratitude for the cordial manner in which I have been received, from the time when I landed in this kingdom to the present moment, and in particular to the Earl of Shaftesbury, the president of the section to which I belong, as well as to every individual gentleman of that section, it matters not from what part of the world he came. I say, my lord, if I did permit this Congress to adjourn without expressing my gratitude, I should be an ingrate indeed. I am not foolish enough to suppose that it was from any individual gentleman of that section, it matters not from what part of the world he came. I say, my Lord, if I did permit this Congress to adjourn without expressing my gratitude, I should be an ingrate indeed. I am not foolish enough to suppose that it was from any individual merit of mine, but it was that outburst of expression of sympathy for my race(Africa), whom I represent, and who have gone the road of that singular providence of degeneration, that all other races in some time of the world's history have gone, but from which, thank God, they are now fast being regenerated. I again tender my most sincere thanks and heartfelt gratitude to those distinguished
We subjoin to this an extract from the Globe, published in Toronto, Canada, by which the attention of the House of Lords was called to him:--
"In the course of his remarks in asking a question in the House of Lords for the production of certain papers relating to the suppression of the slave trade, Lord Brougham said that his noble friend near him (Lord Shaftesbury) could bear testimony to the useful assistance given to the department of the Statistical Congress, over which he presided, by Dr.Delany, the negro member of the Congress. (Lord Shaftesbury,'Certainly.') He had shown great talent in his addresses to the section. He had also appeared at the general meeting over which he (Lord Brougham),in the prince consort's absence, presided."
The following extract is from page 39 of the Transactions National Asso. Prom. S. Science:--
"At our first meeting in 1857, the subject of Judicial Statistics was brought under consideration, in one of the able and useful papers read by Mr. L. Levi, and in consequence of the discussion which took place, very considerable improvements were introduced into that department of the treasury, so that, at our last Congress, hopes were entertained of such complete and regular information being afforded, as the Annual Report of the Minister of Justice presents in France. A most important step has since been made in that direction. The meeting of the International Statistical Congress has been held under the presidency of the
(*) His lordship is in error in regard to the birthplace, as elsewhere shown. It is truly painful to reflect that,
" Note .--It was stated to Dr. Delany that he would be in the country which first pronounced the great decree of a slave's fetters falling off the moment he touched British ground. This was first decided by the courts of Scotland, in the case of Knight, a negro, 1778. In Somerset's case, 1772, the courts of England had not laid down the rule generally, but only that a negro could not be carried out of the country by his master. In the Scotch case, the printed argument was prepared by Mr. McLaurin (afterwards Lord Cleghorn, son of the celebrated mathematician), and the appropriate motto which he prefixed to his paper was:--
'"Quamvis ille niger, quamvis tu candidus esses.'" Ibid. p. 53.
A most remarkable feature noticed in the position of the learned lord, in relation to Major Delany, was the occasion which he took to proclaim to him--a black man, and for the first time before such a distinguished audience--that important historic fact in legal jurisprudence, as found in note above, that it was in Scotland in 1722, the great declaration was made by
It is also worthy of record that so many long years should elapse, and he be made the first to receive the great decision from history correctly given by no less personage than the ex-high lord chancellor of England.