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Descendants of Ham.
Paper read before the Literary Society. Mr President. Ladies and Gentlemen: In choosing this subject it is not my purpose to merely give a narra tive of what the Negro race has ac complished in a very short period of time, but rather to prove that the Ne gro has an ancestry and a history to which it may refer with much pride and of which it may be Justly proud. All races except the Negro race con sider It a great honor to trace their ancestry back to ancient times. It has been said and is still being said that the Negroes have no ancestors, and we ourselves are ever bemoaning and lamenting tne fact that we are descendants of Ham, upon one of whose sons a curse was pronounced. A more serious and erroneous mistake could not be mad**. The sons of Ham were as follows: Mlzraim, Cush. Phut and Canaan Remember the curse was pronounced upon Canaan, the youngest sou of Ham. and not upon Mizralm. Cush and Phut. Another important thing we must remember is this: It is commonly I said that God pronounced the curse j upon Canaan. Such is not true. It j was Noah himself who pronounced the curse upon Canaan. In Gen. S»; 24. 25 verses we find those words: "And Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." Thus you see the curue was pronounced upon Canaan only. Regardless of this fact, however. Canaan and his descendants became a great people and mighty rulers. Ca naan and his descendants peopled Pal . •'Milne, and they ruled this country for hundreds of years When tin* prom Ise was made to Abraham the descend ants of Canaan were in Palestine, when Israel came up out of Egypt four hundred years later they were still in possession of it; and even after the Israelites had entered upon their promised possessions two tribes, the Jebuslles and (he Sidonians, re aisled them for four hundred years Not until David became king were the Jebunites driven out, and be did not succeed in driving out the Sidonians The Phoenicians, the founders of Carthage, were descendants of Ca-! naan. Ancient history proves this fact And since we know it is char arterialic of the Cam aslan to try to deprive the Negroes of everything that Is honorable and commendable, lot us quote from Rollin. one of the earliest historians. He says: "The Canaan lies are the same people who are called almost always Phoenicians by j the Greeks." Dr. Darnes also says' that the Phoenicians are descendants of the Canaanltes. In hla common (aides on Mat. xv;22 he says this of the woman who met Jesus on the coasts of Tyro and Sldon: "This woman In also called a Greek, a Blro- Phoenician by birth.” On the same text Dr. Abbott also says: "The term Canaan was the older title of the! country, and the Inhabitants were auc* < ceaalvoly termed Cannaniles and ( Phoenicians, as the inhabitants of En land were successively called Britons I ami Englishmen .” All students of history are well' aware of what Uie Carthagonians. the I direct descendants of Canaan, did for] the world In the way of art, science and literature. In speaking of the Carthagenlan government Rollin says: “The government of Carthage was founded upon principles of most con- i siimmate wisdom; and It is with rea son that Aristotle ranks this republic in the number of those that were held i in the greatest esteem by the dents, and which were fit to serve as i THE STATESMAN. DENVER. COLORADO. a model for others.” What race would not be proud of such an ancestry as that of the descendants of Canaan? So great is such an ancestry that the blue-eyed Anglo-Saxon has tried to rob the Negro race of any claim to it what ever. us now turn our attention to the direct ancestors of the Negro race. It is a historical fact that Egypt and Bthoopla were peopled contempora neously by Mizralm and Cush, the two older sons of Ham; and these two countries fur a long time were confed erated under one government, being a similar people in politics and litera ture. One of the first and most emi nent historians has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Egypt and Ethe opia were first among the early rao nachies. and that an ancestor of the Negro race was one of the first of the earth’s great monarchs. Hollin. speak ing of the sons of Ham. says: Cush settled in Etheopia and Mizraim in Egypt.” Both the Holy Scriptures, j the discoveries of science and ancient j history show with conclusive evidence that the ancient Egyptians were black. Tlie book of Psalm continually speaks jof Egypt as being the land of Ham. Here are a few verses from the book Psalm; “And he smote all the first ; born in Egypt ; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham.” Psalm 78:51. “Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.’ Psalm 105:23. He sent Moses, his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen They shewed his signs among them, and wonders .In the land of Ham.” Psalm 105:26, 27. ‘They forgot God their Saviour, which had done great things in Egypt; Wondrous works in the land of Ham.” Psalm 106:21, 22 As a further evidence that the an dent Egyptians were black and were Negroes let us quote from Herodotus This writer traveled extensively through Egypt and was therefore well acquainted, from his own observations, with the appearance of the people. Speaking of the Egyptians he uses the following words; “Black In com | plexlon and wooly haired.” Black with projecting Ups.” That the an Iclent Etbeopians were also Negroes i the most eminent historians agree. And we also have this Scripture query concerning them: “Can the Etheo plan change his skin?” Solomon, the wise man, married a Negro woman, having married the daughter of Pha raoh. king of Egypt. Sufficient evidence being given to show that the ancient Egyptians and Ktheopians were Negroes let us now 'review their Intellectual capabilities According to history Africa was at one time the nursery of science and lit jerature. It was from this point that .science and literature were dlssemi- I nated among the Greeks and Romans. | Solon. Plato. Pbythagoras and many other learned men of ancient Greece 'made many trips Into Africa in search of knowledge. History proves that the Greeks represented Minerva, their fa 1 vorite goddess of wisdom, as an Af I rlcan princess. Multitudes of people | flocked from all parts of the world to 1 receive instruction from the African I Euclid who was. just three hundred | years before Christ, at the head of the most celebrated mathematical institu tion in the world. Africa has been termed the cradle of the ancient church: and we all know it was the asylum, so to speak, of the Infant Sav iour; for it was Into Egypt that Jo seph fled with the (,'hlld Jesus and his mot her to escape Herod, king of Ju dea. Mat. 2:13-15. Some of the most noted fathers and writers of the prim- Hive church were Africans. Among them were such men as Origen, Tertul lian, Augustine, Clemmens, Alexandri nus and Cyril. How dare then anyone .say that Africa is without her her aldry of science and of fame, or that the Negro race has no ancestry and history to which it may refer with a sense of honor? History also proves that the whole race of Africa sprang from the Egyp tians and Etheopians. And everybody certainly does know that the Negroes of North America, of Central America and South America descended orig inally from the African tribes. Now, the question is, What have the Ne groes of the three Americas accom plished? Have they done anything that is praiseworthy or that deserves favorable comment? The answer is, Yes. During the antebellum days the white people of America said that the Negroes were stupid, immoral, degen erate and not capable of attaining unto a high standard of civilization; and the same is said by many whites of today. Just what the white people have said about the Negroes the Ro mans said about the Britons. Both Cicero and Caesar said that the Brit ons were so stupid and uncivilized that they were not fit to be Homan slaves. As proof of such I will give two or three of their statements. Cicero, writing to his friend Atlicus. has this to say: “The ugliest and most stupid slaves In Rome came from Briton; do not buy slaves fro mßrilon. on account of their stupidity, and their inaptitude to learn music and other accomplish ments.” Caesar, speaking of the Brit ons. says: In their domestic and so cial habits the Britons are as degraded as the most savage nations.” Dr. Phil lip has this to says about what Cicero <aid concerning the Britons: “Seated one day in the house of a friend in ( ape Town with a bust of Cicero in my right hand, and one of Sir Isaac Newton on the lett. 1 accidentally opened a book on the table at that passage in Cicero’s letter to Atlicus in which the philosopher speaks so con temptuously of the natives of Great Briton Struck with the curious coin cidence arising from the circum stances in which I then found myself placed, pointing to the bust of Cicero, and then to that of Sir Isaac Newton. 1 could not help exclaiming: ‘Hear what that man says of that man’s country.’ ” Tlie descendants of the Britons, many centuries ago, refuted every thing the Romans said about them and became the dominant race of the world. And so have the Negroes re luted what the white people of Amer ica have said concerning them, and they will in time become the dominant race of the world. Those who are less optimistic than myself think such is impossible. So thought the Romans of the Britons. The professor of an cient history at Yale University star tled the whole American continent six years ago when he said that the Negro race would in time become the dominant race of America. This stands to reason when all things are taken into consideration. It is an ac knowledged fact that the American Negroes have done more and have ac complished more in forty years than any other race in the world. A race that can produce such men as Toussaint L’Ouverture, Banniker, Crispus Attacks. Fred Douglass, Bishop Allen, B. T Washington, fccar boroug, Dubois, Bowen. Kelley Miller and hundreds of others that could be mentioned has a fair chance of taking the first place among the races of the world. But, you may say. they are the exceptions. And true this may be. So it is with all races. The men who are most conspicuous in the public eye. and who are most spoken of, and pointed to as the beacon lights of any race are the exceptions. Bis mark. who exerted all his energies toward the unification of Germany, was an exception; Gladstone, who strived long and hard for the conver sion of England from a feudal to a democratic commonwealth, was an ex ception: George Washington. "The Father of his country,” was an excep tion: Lincoln, who gave his life for the maintenance of the Union and the abolition of slavery, was an excep tion; President Roosevelt, the father of "a square deal” and the “open door policy,” is an exception. The Negro can do anything that the while man can do. Educationally he has reduced his illiteracy forty-five per cent.; he has written more than five hundred books; there are in the Unit ed States at least 30,000 Negro teach ers, 2,000 lawyers, more than 2,000 doctors, 180 inventors and 400 Negro newspapers. He has furnished a thor oughly equipped man to fill any chair of learning in the universities of the United States. The accumulations made by the Negro in wealth and property since the emancipation is marvelous. I will give some figures taken from the “Twentieth Century Negro Litera ture”; They own— Banks 3 Magazines 5 Newspapers 400 Value of — Libraries $ 500.000 Drug stores 500,000 School property 20,000.000 Church property 42,000.000 160.000 farms 400.000.000 150.000 homes 350,000,000 Personal property 200.000,000 With such a showing as this the race should be greatly encouraged. In dividuals may lose hope, but the race never will. Before closing I desire to impress one thing upon your minds. Nowhere in this paper have 1 encouraged Negro emigration to Africa, for I am bitterly opposed to it. The Negro is an Amer ican citizen; he is an integral part ot the American nation: this is his coun try; ho belongs here, and here hy will stay. I Just a word concerning those who are trying to get away from the race, who are trying to shield their identity with the descendants of Ham; in other words, trying to be while. I ask anyone in this audience to point out or name one person of that class who has ever amounted to anything, who has ever done anything, or who is do ing anything for the good of his race or any other race. The white people do not care to be identified with such persons: but they do laugh and sneer at them for being so small, narrow minded and ignorant. It is just as im possible for these would-be race de serters to mingle with the decent classes of white people as it is for the Mississippi river to change its course. Such persons are dupes, sneaks, knaves, and a disgrace to the Negro race. 1 would give this advice: Be yourself, be real, be what you will or may. but first of all be yourself and the world will like you better for it. In closing this paper I know of no words more appropriate than those of the following poem. ‘ Some of these days all the skies will be brighter. Some of these days all the burdens be lighter. Hearts will be happier, souls will be whiter. Some of these days. Some of these days, in the deserts up- Fountains shall flash while the joy bells are ringing. And the world, with its sweetest of birds, shall go singing. Some of these days. Some of these days; Let us bear with our sorrow, Faith in the future—its light we may borrow. There will be joy In the golden to morrow— Some of these days.” DR. GEO. W. COFFEY,