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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Minutes of the First Colored Convention, held in the City of Portland, October 6, 1841.
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At a meeting of colored citizens favorable to a call for a State Convention, held in the city of Portland, June 11th, 1841, A. N. Freeman in the chair, and J. W. Lewis, Secretary, the following preamble and resolution were unanimously adopted. That if acting conformably to the will of our Creator in securing our own happiness and the happiness of our fellow men, are objects of the highest moment, then we are loudly called upon to cultivate and extend the great principles of Virtue and Truth: and therefore Resolved, That it is expedient to hold a Convention of the people of color in this State the ensuing Fall, for mutual consultation, and the general benefit of our people.
The undersigned were appointed a committe to prepare and issue an address to our people. This they submit as A CALL to the Colored citizens of Maine and N. Hampshire.
Fellow Citizens; We invite your attention to this Call of a State Convention to be held in the city of Portland on Wednesday, the 6th day of October next.
Brethren, we think this meeting ought to be regarded, and hope it will be with peculiar interest by every Colored man and woman among us, and no pains spared to render it interesting and profitable.
Our own, our native land demands, our posterity, our enslaved brethren, and our own interests for time and eternity, demand an immediate effort for our moral and intellectual elevation. The consideration and adoption of the means to these great ends we ought no longer to defer.
As individuals we must mainly achieve our high purposes, yet it is proper and necessary for us to embody our efforts.—We shall need all the counsel, sympathy, encouragement and strength of union; and by it, with the blessing of God, we may wisely plan, and successfully accomplish the mightiest enterprise. We need a nucleus around which may gather the moral energy of our whole population: and we beg of you a candid and prayerful attention to this matter. Citizens, as you love your country, and would have it a mountain of holiness and a dwelling place of righteousnoss, think of the subject and come. Fathers, would you have the paths of wisdom, honor and profit opened to, and every encouragement given to your beloved offspring to walk in them, consider it well, and come. Mothers, withhold not your influence. The characters of Newton, Wesley, Whitfield and Washington tell of the powers of maternal influence. We may have noble minds among our people.—Exert your influence to furnish occasion and encouragement that they may be ornaments to society and blessings to mankind.
Come all. A trodden down and peeled people ought not to rest. Oppression is not heaven inherited by any one. Such a condition is not, cannot be consistent with our duties as moral beings. The largest liberty is essential to humanity. The means for our full emancipation are within our reach; and we cannot longer refuse to use them, and be innocent.
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