GLC06132: The colored patriots of the American Revolution, with sketches of several distinguished colored persons: to which is added a brief survey of the condition and prospects of colored Americans, 1855: Page #9
Original title: GLC06132_00009.jpg
INTRODUCTION TO PAMPHLET EDITION.
THE following pages are an effort to stem the tide of prejudice against the colored race. The white man despises the colored man, and has come to think him fit only for the menial drudgery to which the majority of the race has been so long doomed. "This prejudice was never reasoned up and will never be reasoned down." It must be lived down. In a land where wealth is the basis of repu-tation, the colored man must prove his sagacity and enterprise by successful trade or speculation. To show his capacity for mental culture, he must BE, no merely claim the right to be, a scholar. Professional eminence is peculiarly the result of practice and long experience. The colored people, therefore, owe it to each other and to their race to extend liberal encouragement to colored law-yers, physicians, and teachers — as well as to mechanics and arti-sans of all kinds. Let no individual despair. Not to name the liv-ing, let me hold up the example of one whose career deserves to be often spoken of, as complete proof that a colored man can rise to social respect and the highest employment and usefulness, in spite not only of the prejudice that crushes his race, but of the heaviest personal burthens. Dr. DAVID RUGGLES, poor, blind, and an inva-lid, founded a well-known Water-Cure Establishment in the town where I write, erected expensive buildings, won honorable distinc-tion as a most successful and skillful practitioner, secured the warm regard and esteem of this community, and left a name embalmed in the hearts of many who feel that they owe life to his eminent skill and careful practice. Black though he was, his aid was sought sometimes by those numbered among the Pro-slavery class. To be sure, his is but a single instance, and I know it required preëmi-nent ability to make a way up to light through the overwhelming mass of prejudice and contempt. But it is these rare cases of strong will and eminent endowment, — always sure to make the world