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Letter from Washington

The enrollment for drafting has been going on
in the City for some days, and it is very amusing
to see the excitement it has produced among both
colored and white. The excitement among some
of the whites originate​ from a want of disposition
to help the Government to put down the rebel-
​, because they don't want to "fight for nig-
​." They are willing to fight for "the consti-
​ as it was." What absurdity! What sane
man could ever think for a moment to restore
the Union as it was! It is just as impossible as
it would be for the leopard to change his spots.
The excitement among our colored friends is
caused by they being somewhat in a fog, that is
they want to know what they are going to fight
for. A strange question to my mind, when we
as a people look around us, and see what the
Government is doing for us. Shall we be idle
spectators to the whole scene? Not at all, by
no means. Take for example this district; a
free district, every man has his word, and having
the law upon his side, it is his own fault, if he
suffers himself to be imposed upon. What care
I about prejudice, if I have law. Let us stand
up like men and go into this war with brave
hearts, and those rights the Government cannot
give us, let us fight for them, we cannot expect
to be

Carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease
Whilst others fought to gain the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas.

Whilst I was writing the foregoing part of my
letter, two men came in with large portfolios in
their hands, and as they approached me with "How
do you do sir?" and I very politely responding
to their salutations, they asked me my name.
I could then readily perceive that they were the
enrollers. I told them my names. The next
question was my age. This question was a
poser. Here I was in a dilemma, too old for the
draft; and being a great ladies man I told my
age in a very stammering manner, but to my
mortification, as soon as they learned my age,
they turned upon their heels and said: "We have
got no use for you." The old familiar words came
across my mind instantly

"Would that I were a boy again."

Men of color, my fellow-citizens, do not stop
to ask the question: "What are we going to
fight for?" but enlist, buckle on your armour,
and with strong arms and brave hearts go into
this war and fight for your rights. Did Tous-
​ L'Ouverture stop to ask that question? Did
his followers stop to ask that question. No, no,
not at all. They rose up with all their strength
and struck blow after blow for freedom, and this
day their posterity are enjoying the fruits of
their victories. Let us as people emulate their

In connexion​ with this subject, I am proud to
say that the First Colored Regiment is full, and
two companies of the Second Regiment mustered
in. I had the pleasure of making them a visit
the other day, and I was highly delighted at the
kind reception I met with. So soon as I entered
the camp, I heard one of them exclaim: "Why,
yonder' a Bob the Logician!" and such a shak-
​ of hands. When I got home, my arm felt,
as if it had been using sledgehammers all day,
and here let me assure you when these boys get
into battle, somebody will be hurt. They have
a splendid camp ground, comfortably located.
In a word, they have everything they can desire.

I had an invitation to attend the mass con-
​ at Poughkeepsie, for the encouragement
of enlistment of colored men for the war. I re-
​ that circumstances deprived me of the
pleasure of being there. I do not suppose there
could be a convention for any object that would
delight me so much as the object of abovenamed

There is no news of any importance in our
city at present. The fall of Vicksburg and Port
Hudson gladdens the hearts of all good Union
men, while the hearts of the Secesh in our midst
drop and give way. But the news of the un-
​ riots in your City seem to give the
Copperheads new life. They think the time has
arrived when the republic must fall. But how
vain is their hopes. This riot in New York will
be a lasting disgrace upon that City. The fiends
used the draft as a pretext for the purpose of
carrying out their hellish designs on poor inoffen-
​ and defenceless​ colored people. Their at-
​ upon the Orphan Asylum in my opinion is
an unpardonable crime, and God will bring his
withering curse upon the perpetrators. The ex-
​ occasioned by the riots in your City re-
​ me of that when the Rebel General Lee
was about to make his raid into Pennsylvania.
There is a very large family here in this city of
our people (when I say our people I mean the
colored people), the father of which is Mr. Tim-
​ Weakback. He has many children, grand-
​ and great-grandchildren. In a word,
the family is too numerous to count. When Lee's
whereabouts was a mystery, they would say:
"Washington's gone!" "How so?" says I.
"The rebels are at the gates of the City." "Why,
says I, if they were only at the gates, I would be
satisfied, but they have been in the City ever
since the rebellion broke out." I must confess,
I am not only amused, but vexed at this Weak-
​ family. As soon as the Government meets
with a reverse, and Washington is threatened by
the rebels, they then begin to give way in the
back and knees. They forget to remember that
God doeth all things well, that whatever may be
our reverses and the prolongation of the war, it
will be for the benefit of the colored man.