A Million Ready to Go

Washington Post: October 7, 1894

Bishop H. M. Turner, D. D., of Atlanta, Ga., passed through the city yesterday en route to the Bermudas. He was asked what progress he was making in getting the Southern negro to emigrate to Africa, and replied that at least a million were ready to go, but few had the money to meet their expenses. However, the African Steamship Company, which has been organized and has bought a steamer to ply between this country and Africa, would take emigrants for $41.

“Are you interested in the steamer?” he was asked.

“Only a thousand dollars’ worth,” was the bishop’s reply. He said the country was laboring under a great mistake when it supposed that he as begging people to go to Africa. “I am doing no such thing; yet,” he continued, “I do tell our people everywhere that the negro will never be anything in this country but a menial, domestic, and a scullion. I care not how rich and learned he may be, and the only way to command respect is to build up a civilized, thrifty, and powerful nation, and unless we get at it soon there will not be a spot left upon the globe to establish such a nation. We have no leaders. We have a few prominent accidents, who have succeeded in getting some notoriety at the expense of the colored people, but who never make a speech or suggest an idea that serves as a remedy for the evils that afflict the negro.”

“Who do you think will be the next President?” he was asked.

“Oh, my God! you have got me now. I do not care who, since he is a friend of my race. But the man above all others who would stir the colored voters from one end of the Nation to the other is Justice Harlan, of the Supreme Court, whether he was nominated by the Democratic or Republican party. And the negro who would not work and vote for him ought to be hung, unless he was a known fool.”

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