This pamphlet has been compiled in pursuance of a resolution of the Convention-tion of the “Republican Party of Louisiana,” and of the “Central Executive Committee of the Friends of Universal Suffrage of Louisiana,” now the “Central Executive Committee of the Republican Party.”
It, comprises the most important of the proceedings of the “Committee” and Convention, and it is believed will be found to contain much that is not only highly interesting, but useful and important information to all who have the true interests of the rights and privileges of citizens at heart.
Within the boundaries of Louisiana are three hundred thousand citizens, who, until made Freemen by the “Emancipation Proclamation” of President Lincoln, were held in the bonds of slavery. Their owners were declared to be in a state of insurrection, disloyal to the Government, committing the greater of all crimes, that of treason to the mildest and most beneficial government that has ever existed.
These late owners of nearly one-half of the population still claim the authority to govern the whole, excluding the three hundred thousand emancipated and loyal citizens from taking any part in the government; thus subverting the first principles of a republican form of government – the right of representation.
A few loyal citizens, inspired by the same spirit of liberty and the rights of man that actuated our forefathers, the first patriots of our country, to organize the government under which the people have enjoyed more prosperity and happiness than the people of any other nation, either ancient or modern, have organized the party whose proceedings are detailed in these pages.
They now call upon all citizens and friends of liberty to aid them in the important work of obtaining for all, of whatever race or color, equal rights and privileges – that all may be represented in the halls of legislation in the State, and in the Congress of the United States – that ll may be equally entitle to represent and to be represented, to become electors, to vote and to be voted for; in a word, to be entitled to all the rights and privileges of citizens ship, including the right of suffrage.
The battle of bullets has been fought and the Union has gained the victory. The battle of ballots has commenced and will surely gain the victory, but may take a little more time. It will as surely win because the cause is just and because the strong arm of the Almighty Ruler of nations will aid the arms of the just in obtaining the victory.
The emancipated and unenfranchised citizens will find in these pages much that is designed to aid them in obtaining their political rights. They should read it whenever and wherever it may fall into their hands. Those who can read, should read and explain the object of it to their emancipated brethren who cannot.
The “Republican Party of Louisiana” is the first and only organized party that has earnestly adopted the cause of the unenfranchised, and will not lay down its arms until the object is attained.
These citizens, in every parish and on every plantation, should organize associations and clubs, in accordance with the “Republican Party of Louisiana,” and immediately open correspondence, addressing their communications to the Corresponding Secretary, at 49 Union street, New Orleans. They are advised to subscribe to the New Orleans Tribune, in the column of which paper they will find the important proceedings of the party, as well as much other matter that will interest them; and also all the important news of the times.
Emancipated and unenfranchised citizens, you are three hundred thousand, and the enfranchised are three hundred and fifty thousand. You have, therefore, but to claim and obtain your rights of citizenship, and to make friends of twenty is thousand of the enfranchised, when you will not only enjoy the blessings of Freedom, but will also have a majority, participating in the richest and best of all political blessings, that of choosing who you will have to make the new laws under which you will live, and love to obey. You will then, and not until then, become truly republican citizens, invested with all their rights and privileges, the greatest and best and most exalted of all the nations that exist.