No man is benefited by defrauding another man of his inalienable and political rights. If John Jones, colored man and tax-payer, is excluded from the polls In Chicago… A wrong is done to Jones... Jones owes allegiance to the same government, is obliged to help support it, must obey its laws, pay taxes to it and fight for it … Why, then, is he not entitled to the protection from it, and to the same voice at the ballot-box? There is no answer in the negative to this interrogatory, founded in reason. Jones is disfranchised and wronged in person and rights, solely because the wrong doers have the power to injure him, and have a prejudice against the shade of his complexion. There is no other reason or cause in the world.
Note: In 1871, Jones was elected as Cook County Commissioner, and is believed to be the first African American to be elected to public office in the State of Illinois.
Dennis Naglich who authored this article, was an Archaeologist with the Illinois State Museum Collection Center in Springfield, Illinois. Sadly, he passed away on April 6, 2020.