Title: "Congo Free State"

Journal: Evening Bulletin

Place of Publication: Maysville, Kentucky

Date: October 8, 1904

Place: Congo Free State


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Congo Free State

Booker T. Washington Arraigned the Belgian Government For Alleged Outrages There.

Blot on Modern Civilization.

Negro Villages Have Been Burned, Their People Murdered and Maimed, Mr. Washington Declared.

Eighty-One Human Hands Hung Up to Dry to Be Presented to the Belgians, Showing That Soldiers Did Their Duty.

Boston, Oct. 8. -- In a brief after-dinner speech delivered before the International Peace congress, Booker T. Washington arraigned the Belgian government for the alleged outrages in the Congo Free State, declaring that he had evidence of abuse and cruelty and said that a state of affairs existed that was a blot upon modern civilization.

Introducing Mr. Washington, Robert Treat Paine, president of the congress and toastmaster of the evening, referred to him as "Honored almost universally throughout this country, but especially in Boston."

At this the distinguished company arose and greeted Mr. Washington as it did not other guests of the evening. Mr. Washington was seated at the head table beside Miss Lund, daughter of Herr John Lund, of Norway.

After acknowledging the unusual spontaneous reception, Mr. Washington at once pledged into an ernest declared were being perpetrated upon the blacks of the Congo Free State.

"I have testimony direct," he said, "from Dr. Sheppard and from the lips of Dr. Morrison, two men who have gone into the Congo Free State to work among their own people, and whose story of sacrifice is one of the dramatic incidents of history. The influence of the civilized world should be felt and should free these people from the barbarities they are now suffering. Their villages have been burned, their people murdered and maimed. Dr. Sheppard tells me that he has seen with his own eyes in one village 81 human hands hung up to dry to be presented to the Belgian authorities toe how that the soldiers did their duty.

"And these atrocities are committed for the sake of wealth and self-aggrandizement. Europe should set a better example to my pepole in Africa. I speak for them; yes, as I speak for the black of Africa, so do I speak for the white of Europe, for no man can abuse the one without thereby lowering all humanity.

"There is another condition concerning which my race should have the sympathy and help of such an organization as this. There exists in our own country mobs of men who are given to lynching and burning men for supposed or real crimes without due process of law. Nothing in the last ten years has so rejoiced me as the voiced sentiment of certain parts of the south within the past few weeks against this form of outrage.

"Race hatred never settled any problem upon this earth. The way for one race to show a greater degree of superiority over any other is by a greater degree of kindness, of thoughtfulness and of brotherly love. No race is free indeed so long as it is ruled by passion and brute force."

Mr. Washington closed by pledging to the cause of peace the forts of his people. He was loudly cheered and many of the delegates crowded about him to shake his hand.