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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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and nursed you, our fathers made the soil feed you, and kept the fire burning in your grate - are compelled to beg, in the zenith hour of 1886, your favors. Two generations are before you; the one born in the cradle of slavery, the other born in the cradle of liberty; the one saw the light 'mid the discussions of your fathers; the other mingled their infants voice with the retreating sound of the cannon. We belong to the South - the "New South." Your own progress in the questions of human liberty, and our own thirst for draughts from higher fountains, and, indeed, in obedience to the demands of our constituents, we venture to lay before you in a manly, honorable way the complaints of 271,481 as true-hearted Kentuckians as ever came from the loins of the bravest, truest, and most honored of women, sired by the most distinguished fathers. As Kentuckians we meet you with the feelings and aspirations common and peculiar to those born and surrounded by the greatness of your history, the fertility of your soil, the nobility of your men and the beauty of your women. We come, plain of speech, in order to prove that we are men of judgment, meeting men who are really desirous of knowing our wants. We are still more satisfied that we can but gain your admiration, and only offend by acting the part of a hypocrite or dealing in doubtful expressions. We shall not stand on the order of our presentation of each matter. First, then, we come to ask you to grant by legislative enactment all our fill and complete "civil rights." If we ask less we would not be true to ourselves and doubly false to those who sent us. And though we ask in mild, gentlemanly language, we are nevertheless very much in earnest. What is "civil rights?" We do not, as a lawyer would, give the exact forms of law, but we gather from State laws passed by other Legislatures that it means to protect the citizen in the full enjoyment of every public place opened by license, protected by police and privileged by pay. In other words, when a place is opened for the public, the whole public should be admitted for the price demanded to that same class of accommodations and to the same price demanded to that same class of accommodations and to the same general treatment. Let us define "social rights,' as we understand it, so that we may not be misunderstood. "social rights' is a misnomer; there are "social priv-
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