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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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The subjects which will come up for consideration and action, are many and great. In a "Call" we can of course allude, and briefly too, to but a part of them.
Next to our personal relations to our Heavenly Father, the subject of Education should interest us. We cannot measure its importance, but we feel it in our relations to man. And the power it has given to others, it offers to us. Through the goodness of God knowledge is held to our lips and we may drink even to that which is life eternal. It has no prejudices, but whosoever will, may come.
We are identified with the poor, suffering, bleeding slave of the South. He is our brother. The claims of kin are added to the claims of humanity upon us to labor directly and heartily with the philanthropist, to undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free. The condition of our enslaved brethren greatly affects our own. We cannot expect the full enjoyment of all our rights while the influence of Slavery is felt in our land.
The baneful influence of intemperance has been felt by multitudes among us. Prejudice is, alas! too strong without any cause. None of us, therefore, by intemperance or any vicious indulgence, should contribute in the least to foster it. Temperance is proving a blessing to all who embrace her. Elevating and purifying, her ways are pleasantness, and her paths peace. And in her ways alone is there certainty of final triumph.
We would also ask your attention to the important subject of the future occupations of our offspring. The employment naturally affects the disposition and mind as well as the condition. Some corrupt the principles; others contract the mind ; while others leave its powers stagnant. If such employments do not degrade they cannot have an elevating tendency. Our aims require that their minds and hearts be guarded from all evil influences; that their occupations be favorable to the developement and cultivation of the mind; consistant with sound principle; such as generate enlarged views and generous sentiments; and such as will render them as useful as their talents will permit. Such desirable employments there are, and some of them are open to us.
It is neccessary that we should have all the statistical information we can procure in regard to our numbers, occupations, and resources, and benevolent and other societies supported among us. And we hope every one will come prepared to give such information.
Brethren, Our enterprise is a great one, and will demand the influence and labor of every one. None can be spared. And none we trust will increase our difficulties by their indifference. Our brethren in other States are moving in this cause. Come, let us take counsel together; encourage each others' heart; strengthen each others' hand; and planting, in humble relience upon the Great Deliverer, await the sun and shower of his favor, and the plentiful harvest. Yours truly, for truth and right, A. N. FREEMAN, J. W. LEWIS, A. W. NILES, Com,
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