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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania State Equal Rights' League. Held in the City of Harrisburg, August 9th and 10th, 1865.
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PROCEEDINGS OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE PENNSYLVANIA
STATE EQUAL RIGHTS' LEAGUE, HELD IN
THE CITY OF HARRISBURG, AUGUST 9TH AND 10TH, 1865
In accordance with the Constitution of the State League, and in pursuance of a notice issued by the Executive Board, the League met in the Union Wesleyan Church, Harrisburg, on Wednesday morning, August 9th, at 10 o'clock.
The meeting was called to order by Mr. President Peck, who read the 27th Psalm, after which prayer was offered by Rev. J. Henry.
The President then addressed the meeting as follows:—
Gentlemen of the State League:--We have assembled together in this Annual Meeting under very peculiar circumstances. Last February, by Divine Providence, we met here in State Convention, though coming together under disadvantageous circumstances. We are favored again with the blessings of our heavenly Father in being permitted to assemble on this occasion. Notwithstanding many changes that have taken place in the operations of the League, yet in them all we can clearly see the hand of a higher power pointing to our deliverance. The tide of opposition against our best interests will never be able to withstand the hand of an over-ruling Providence, provided we do our duty and trust that Providence. We have all things to hope for and nothing to fear.
The great difficulty, so far as my observation extends, with our people, is the want of unanimity of purpose in carrying out the declaration of sentiments sent forth to the world by our National and State Leagues. The history of no nation presents an instance that a people, who were ever raised or elevated, were not possessed of a sense of their degradation, and thoroughly united upon all measures connected with their welfare. It is to be regretted that the colored people seem more divided than any other.
The great object of the National League was to form for the people a channel of communication which would meet the end to be desired. As an evidence of the want of unity, I have learned, though I have been in the city but an hour or two, that here, the very place where we assembled last February to advance the interests of the League, the spirit of disorganization has prevailed. There is no movement that can be brought about that will enable us to see eye to eye in the great matters which we ought to have under consideration, as well as the design of the National League, which is calculated to promote our cause.
The question for us to settle is, Is the design a good one? If so, are we not bound to be united together, and to put our efforts into such form as that they will tend to our good?
No one will deny for a moment that the design of the National League should engage the attention of not only every colored man--every negro--but of every white man. I use the term negro in no disparagement, but as an expressive term. There is no reflection in the term Irish or German, and the adoption of proper means will make the word Negro as respectable as either.
Notwithstanding the great tide which has been setting against us, we have every thing to hope for, and so long as the God of nations is in our
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