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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Report on the Texas State Colored Men's Convention in Houston
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was warmly applauded.
"Fellow Citizens of Texas, Gentlemen of the Colored Conference: In behalf of the citizens of Houston in general and in behalf of his honor, the mayor, and of the colored folks in particular, it was made my pleasant duty last night to say to you, Welcome! Welcome to our homes, to any comforts found therein, and welcome to our hearts. We are glad to have you in our midst, because we believe that your purpose in coming is a good one, and that we can reasonably expect beneficial results.
Should the overcrowded condition of our city at this time, together with the inclemency of the weather, detract in any degree from your personal comfort and pleasures, know that it is no fault of Houston's hospitable people, but simply the inevitable. Again allow me to welcome you to our council halls and to our best wishes that your deliberations may be harmonious, peaceful, discreet and wise.
"As our city of magnolias at this season is perfumed by sweet odors emanating from the extracts out of nature's own laboratory, so may your meeting be pervaded by the spirit of brotherly harmony and crowned with good and wholesome results.
"As from ours, the great railroad center, radiates lines in every direction, carrying comfort and prosperity to the inhabitants throughout the state, so may sparks emanate from this conference that shall kindle a flame of undying unity, ameliorate the condition and lighten the prospects of every lover of fair play and freedom. And now for a third and last time, I bid you welcome."
Response on behalf of the conference by Dr. D. J. Starnes was replete with eloquence, and met the entire approval of the conference.
Prof. F. O. Richardson read the call, which was as follows:
Houston, Tex., April 18.--Dear Friends: You will no doubt agree with us that the evils from which we, as a race, suffer may be summed up as follows:
1. Anti-negro statutes, such as the "separate coach law."
2. Mob violence.
3. Non-representation on juries.
These evils have come either from vicious laws enacted by previous legislatures, or from the want of laws affording relief.
If these evils are the direct result of legislation, when needed to correct existing evils, would it not be wise for us to at least attempt to concentrate the votes of our race upon such candidates for our suffrage, particularly those who aspire to representative or senator, as are willing to give practical recognition to the just claims of the negro of Texas--to those rights which accrue to him by virtue of his citizenship--and who are opposed to class legislation on racial grounds? This will bring about such a selection of legislators as will repeal these laws, because the balance of power is with us in the state. Facts and figures to prove this will be submitted.
We propose to hold a conference of race-loving men on Thursday. May 23, 1895, in the city of Houston, during the confederate reunion, for the purpose of deliberating upon these conditions, which we deem oppressive; to plan out measures of relief, and to organize to carry into effect the measures or plans of action adopted.
We are of the opinion that such a gathering would be of great interest to you, and that nothing to which we could call your attention would excite a livelier concern than the subject matter of this letter.
You are therefore invited to be present. We feel that we need your counsel, sympathy and active co-operation in this matter, and that the existing political conditions are such that you can do more for our race now than ever before.
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