Equality Before the Law


1 Oberlin College was a center of abolitionism before the Civil War and was a station on the Underground Railroad. Oberlin students and professors were involved in the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue of 1858, in which Langston's brother, Charles, played a leading role in defying the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

2 Sumner died on March 11, 1874. As he lay on his deathbed, too sick to recognize visitors, he kept entreating: "You must take care of the civil-rights bill- my bill, the civil-rights bill- don't let it fail." See David Herbert Donald, Charles Sumner and the Rights of Man (New York: Knopf, 1948), 586.

3 At the constitutional convention at Guaimaro, April 10, 1869, six months after the Ten Years' War for independence started, the Cuban revolutionists adopted the first constitution of free Cuba. The twenty-fourth article declared that "all the inhabitants of the Republic are absolutely free"

4 Spain emerged victorious from the Ten Years' War, and slavery was not abolished in Cuba until October 7, 1886.


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