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AP English Language and Composition
AP Exam Essay -- February 22
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Alfred M. Green delivered the following speech in Philadelphia in April 1861, the

first month of the Civil War. African Americans were not yet permitted to join the

Union army, but Green felt that they should strive to be admitted to the ranks and

prepare to enlist. Read the speech carefully. Then write an essay in which you

analyze the methods that Green uses to persuade his fellow African Americans to join

the Union forces.


The time has arrived in the history of the great   

Republic when we may again give evidence to the

world of the bravery and patriotism of a race in

whose hearts burns the love of country, of freedom,

and of civil and religious toleration. It is these grand                   (5)

principles that enable men, however proscribed, when

possessed of true patriotism, to say, “My country,

right or wrong, I love thee still!”

It is true, the brave deeds of our fathers, sworn and

subscribed to by the immortal Washington of the                       (10)

Revolution of 1776, and by Jackson and others in the

War of 1812, have failed to bring us into recognition

as citizens, enjoying those rights so dearly bought by

those noble and patriotic sires.

It is true that our injuries in many respects are                           (15)

great; fugitive-slave laws, Dred Scott* decisions,

indictments for treason, and long and dreary months

of imprisonment. The result of the most unfair rules

of judicial investigation has been the pay we have

received for our solicitude, sympathy and aid in the                   (20)

dangers and difficulties of those “days that tried

men’s souls.”

Our duty, brethren, is not to cavil over past

grievances. Let us not be derelict to duty in the time

of need. While we remember the past and regret that                (25)

our present position in the country is not such as to

create within us that burning zeal and enthusiasm

for the field of battle which inspires other men

in the full enjoyment of every civil and religious

emolument, yet let us endeavor to hope for the future                (30)

and improve the present auspicious moment for

creating anew our claims upon the justice and honor

of the Republic; and, above all, let not the honor and

glory achieved by our fathers be blasted or sullied by

a want of true heroism among their sons.                                   (35)

Let us, then, take up the sword, trusting in God,

who will defend the right, remembering that these are

other days than those of yore; that the world today is

on the side of freedom and universal political

equality; that the war cry of the howling leaders of                     (40)

Secession and treason is: “Let us drive back the

advance guard of civil and religious freedom; let us

have more slave territory; let us build stronger the

tyrant system of slavery in the great American

Republic.” Remember, too, that your very presence                   (45)

among the troops of the North would inspire your

oppressed brethren of the South with zeal for the

overthrow of the tyrant system, and confidence in the

armies of the living God—the God of truth, justice

and equality to all men.                                                              (50)


*A slave who sued in federal court for his and his family’s freedom


AP English -- Taryn Barber -- Largo High School -- 2006/2007