The Negroes in Illinois
The Hon. James C. Allen, democratic union candidate at large, for congress, from this state, in his Chicago speech, said:
I do not think a greater curse could befall the people of Illinois, than the pouring into it of a flood of negroes, who are without effort or provision for taking care of themselves. And yet this is being done; they come here, and they have to be fed or they will starve. If they are fed, you will have to exact of paid labor in return, and every one of them you employ in your workshop, on your farm or in your houses, drives a white laborer away. [Cheers.] — Gentlemen, in all contests between my own race and the negro race, I am for my own race, [Prolonged cheering.] Why only the other day a car full of contrabands came into the town of Charleston and were dumped out, in about the same place that a certain general's forces were recently dumped out of the place they had occupied. I saw their arrival, and took occasion to notice the great outrage that was played upon the people of Illinois. A friend of mine, and a republican, too, said to me, "I never voted for a democrat in my life, but I am with you on the nigger question. — My son, who was my only support, has been taken by the government, and they have given me a black nigger in exchange." [Laughter.] He did not like the exchange. [Renewed laughter.] — How are we to help it? I know not. Our efforts may be paralyzed, but I have the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. I think our state officers, our governor, is recreant to his duty in permitting this outrage upon the people. [Great and long continued applause.] — The democratic convention at Springfield passed a set of resolutions upon the question. I know not whether this importation is to be continued, but if it is, is it a necessity of the war? I call upon the president to take one other step in reference to them: I insist that the president suspend the constitution and make the negroes legal tender, so that we can do something with them. [Great laughter and applause.] Now if the president will only make them legal tender, we can pay up our debts to the Yankees in the New England States in that currency. [Unbounded applause.] That is one mode which I think would enable us to clear of them.