The adoption of the Amendments by the voters of Iowa has made a few thousand new citizens out of beings who have hitherto been considered mere "brutes." The number of negroes in the State of Iowa, however, is not enormous and the additional voters made by the Amendments will not be as large in numbers as many supposed. In this county there are about fifty colored voters. A majority of these are able to read and write and are not such ignorant creatures as the democracy would have us believe. To these colored men we have a few words to say. Now that the Republicans of Iowa have conferred upon you the right which you have so long coveted and which you would never have received from any other source, it behooves you to prove yourselves worthy of the great boon with which you have been intrusted. The great objection which has been urged against you has been that you are ignorant and not qualified to exercise the elective franchise.- We grant that many of you are ignorant, but you have had but little opportunity in the past to acquire knowledge and this is ample excuse for your ignorance. But there is now no longer any excuse for your remaining in ignorance, and our advice to you all, both old and young, is to lose no time in acquiring all the knowledge you can. If you cannot read and write, learn it at once. Spend the long winter evenings before you in studying.- We know that you are capable of learning, and we desire to see you press forward as rapidly as possible. If you educate yourselves, you can not only use the right of suffrage more understandingly, but you can perform all other duties which may fall upon you in a better manner.

We trust that every colored man in Mt. Pleasant will procure a copy of each ticket voted by the different parties at the late election and keep them for future reference. These tickets show plainly which party contains the friends of the negro.- Upon the Republican ticket was printed: For the amendment giving the negro the right to vote. Upon the Democratic ticket was printed: Against the amendment giving the negro the right to vote. By all means procure a copy of these tickets, and, in the future, when a democrat comes around fishing for your vote, just show him the ticket voted by that party in 1868 and we’ll bet that he will leave on the double quick.

Colored men of Henry county! You are now free American Citizens. It remains with you to say whether or not you will prove yourselves MEN! We believe you will.

("Mount Pleasant Journal", Friday, November 13, 1868, page 4)

NOTE: Resource provided by Henry County Heritage Trust; transcription done by Hayley A. Hopper, University of Northern Iowa Public History Field Experience Class, Spring 2022.

Contributed to Henry County IAGenWeb, March 2022.

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