New York Times, from The Late Convention of Colored Men (1865)

“..yet when you and our immediate oppressors met in deadly conflict upon the field of battle, the one to destroy and the other to save your government and nationality, we, with scare an exception, in our inmost souls espoused your cause, and watched, and prayed, and waited, and labored for your success.”

Despite the hardships and the discrimination that the slaves had to endure from the whites, the slaves were undoubtedly still willing to help the federal government and with two hundred thousand colored troops as evidence it was clear that the slaves were willing to put their lives on the line to help. In return for helping, it is only obvious that the slaves should be granted “freedom”, however this freedom wasn’t exactly the type of freedom the slaves were looking for. Disregarding the slaves’ devotions and their sacrifices, they were left at the mercy of the “subjugated but unconverted rebels.” The only thing the blacks asked for was equality between them and the whites and having acknowledgement of their presence and the right to vote. It is only right to grant them their wish and pass down laws that will be able help them protect themselves.