Title: A Day Well Spent
Source text: R. H. [Hamilton, Robert], "A Day Well Spent," The Anglo-African 20 February 1864: .
Date: February 20, 1864
Civil War Washington ID: cww.02522
A DAY WELL SPENT.
This day has been, by both Houses of Con-
gress, devoted, almost entirely, to the interest
of the colored man—to the advancement of his
social, educational, and martial rights; and
hence, to the best interests of the country.
EXCLUSION OF COLORED PERSONS FROM THE CARS.
Resolved, That the Committee on the District
of Columbia be directed to consider the expe-
diency of further providing by law against the
exclusion of colored persons from the equal en-
joyment of all railroad privileges in the District
This resolution was taken into immediate
Senator Pomeroy said, "I wish the Senator
would so amend his resolution that it might
prevent the difficulties the colored men have in
getting out of this district. They cannot go
on a railroad, or get out of the district."
Mr. Sumner's special reason for offering the
resolution was to call attention to the recent
expulsion of Dr. Augusta from the cars.
Mr. Hendricks (Ind., of course), thought the
outrage was the other way. The company
have provided cars expressly for negroes. The
difficulty arose because this negro would not
take one of the cars, but claimed the right to
ride in one provided for white men and women.
The Senator found himself in one of the colored
cars one day, and, as he thought himself an in-
truder, he got out.
(We, certainly, must congratulate the col-
ored people on the quiet removal of such an as-
sociate, and can but commisserate the honorable
Senators that they are compelled to endure the
society of such a fool. Thank God that the
time is rapidly approaching when no such crea-
tures will be permitted to find a place in that
Mr. Grimes (Iowa) said,
"I have found my-
self in some of the cars, and I did press myself
upon their attention and rode with them, and I
did not consider myself disgraced by riding to
the Senate Chamber in a car with some colored
Mr. Sumner, after some eloquent remarks,
submitted the following letter:
I have the honor to report that I have
been obstructed in getting to the Court this
morning by the conductor of No. 32 of the
Fourteenth street line of the City railway. I
started from my lodgings to go to the hospital
I formerly had charge of, to get some notes of
the case I was to give evidence in, and hailed
the car at the corner of Fourteenth and I
streets. It was stopped for me, and when I
attempted to enter, the conductor pulled me
back, and informed me that I must ride on
front with the driver, as it was against the
rules of the company for colored persons to
I told him I would not ride on front and he
said I should not ride at all. He then ejected
me from the platform and at the same time
gave orders to the driver to go on. I have
therefore been compelled to walk the distance
in the mud and rain, and have also been delay-
ed in my attendance upon the court.
I therefore, most respectfully request, that
the offender may be arrested and brought to
A. T. Augusta, B. M.,
Surgeon Seventh U. S. Colored Troops.
Capt. Clippington, Judge Advocate.
Mr. Sumner believed that the writer of that
letter has as much right in that car as the Sen-
ator from Indiana, and that the rejection of the
Senator from the car would bring as much dis-
grace upon the Capital as the ejection of the
Mr. WILSON, Massachusetts, said, it is a case
that I think calls for the action of Congress.
I know no right this company has to make
these distinctions here in the Capital where
all persons are free and equal before the law.
He also called attention to the fact that colored
men were compelled to ride in a cattle car on
the military railroad which lead to the "front."
Messrs. Pomeroy, Wilson and Clark, stood
boldly by the cause of liberty, and the resolu-
tion was adopted by a vote of 30 to 10.
PAY OF COLORED TROOPS.
On motion of Senator Wilson, the resolution
to equalize the pay of soldiers in the U. S.
army was taken up.
The pending question being on the amendment
proposed by Mr. Conness (Cal.) in line nine af-
ter the words, "during the whole time in which
they shall be in such service," and to insert the
words, "from and after the passage of this
act;" so that the resolution will read:
That all persons of color who have been, or
may be mustered into the military service of
the United States shall receive the same uni-
form, clothing, arms, equipments, camp equip-
age, rations, medical and hospital attendance,
pay and emoluments, other than bounty, as
other soldiers of the regular or volunteer for-
ces of the United States, of like arm of the
service, from and after the passage of this act;
and that every person who shall hereafter be
mustered into the service shall receive such
sums in bounty as the President shall order in
the different States and parts of States of the
United States, not exceeding $100.
Mr. FOSTER (Conn.) opposed the amendment
and favored the original resolution, because
many of the colored troops had enlisted with
the understanding that they were to receive the
same pay as white soldiers. This he knew to
be the case in South Carolina, for instructions
to that effect had been received by Gen. Sax-
ton from the War Office.
Mr. Fessenden (Maine) favored the amend-
Mr. Sumner, after complimenting Mr. Foster,
struck some powerful blows in behalf of the
colored troops, as did also, Mr. Wilson.
After a few words from Messrs. Doolittle and
Conness, the subject was laid over.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
The bill for the establishment of a Bureau of
Freedmen's Affairs was read extenso, and was
supported in an elaborate speech by Mr. Eliot,
of Massachusetts. We regret that we cannot
publish his remarks in full, but our readers will
be treated in our next with a few extracts.