DARC Ethiophile Chronicles
On this day
January 6, in 1874, Congressman Robert Brown Elliot delivered one of the most eloquent speeches of the times in defense of Charles Sumner's civil rights bill. Elliot's hour-long speech began: 'I regret, sir, the dark hue of my skin may lend color to the imputation that I am controlled by motives personal to myself in advocacy of this great measure of national justice. Sir, the motive that impels me is restricted to no such narrow boundary, but is as broad as your Constitution. I advocate it, sir, because it is right.' A major sourthern Reconstruction politician, Elliot was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives at the age of 38 and was among the first African-Americans in the U.S. government.