White or Black!
If the people of Illinois would not have the state overrun by tens of thousands of the negroes whom the war is letting loose upon the country, they must adopt the article of the new state constitution in the following words:
"No negro or mulatto shall migrate to or settle in this state after the adoption of this constitution. No negro or mulatto shall have the right of suffrage, or hold any office in this state. The general assembly shall pass all laws necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this article."
This article is submitted separately from the constitution, and will form a part of it only as the article and the constitution shall both be adopted.
It is designed to furnish a remedy, if the people shall choose to resort to it, for an impending gigantic public evil.
It does not affect the present resident negro population, only as it denies to them the privileges of suffrage and holding office. This population may remain in the state. It erects a barrier to the increase, by immigration, of the negro population. That is all.
Its adoption will be a firm step in the march of civilization. To admit a large negro population into the state is to lower the standard of civilization. How can white labor be subjected to the degrading and ruinous competition of negro labor without lowering the standard of civilization?
If the people of Illinois shall neglect this opportunity to preserve the state to the use and benefit of the white race forever, they will have committed an error of the gravest magnitude.