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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Colored State Convention assembled in St. Paul's A. M. E. Church, Lexington, Ky., November 26.
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ADDRESS OF REV. WM. J. SIMMONS, D. D.,
Chairman of the Committee of Colored Citizens, appointed by the State Convention of the Colored Citizens recently held in Lexington, Ky., to lay before the State Legislature the grievances of the colored citizens.
Gentlemen of the Committee of the State Senate on Propositions and Grievances and the Joint Committee on Education:
We thank you for the very kind manner in which you have paved the way to this patient and careful hearing. Such an auspicious opening argues a most successful completion of the errand on which we have come. In order that you may feel as we do, we ask you to put yourselves in our places, and after we are through, then regaining your own vantage ground, look back on your struggling neighbors. Only the history of the two races in our beautiful country could give birth to such a scene as this. That we, born Americans, finding distinctions in law, should be driven to appeal to a portion of the same body-politic for rights and equalities; and though American, sovereigns ourselves, because too weak, bend the suppliant knee, craving that we might be given that which appears rightly ours without contest. We feel some pride, and are consequently jealous of the good name of the State and of the United States. We also feel humiliated that a foreigner who has never felled a tree, built a cabin, or laid a line of railway, seems more welcome to this shore, and is accorded every facility for himself and children to make the most of themselves, even before naturalization; which we, seeing them happy in a new found asylum, and knowing you from our youth up - our mothers washed your linen
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