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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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Pennsylvania, 1865 (page 145)
Nevertheless, we do not object to a reasonable standard of mental culture in addition to loyalty, being demanded as a qualification for voters, irrespective of color or clime. And God will never permit the angel of peace to smile on this land until justice is done us--the persecuted and despised.
Resolved, 3, That in the whole progress of the war for Liberty and Union, it is out highest boast that we have disappointed our enemies in every thing.
They asserted we would be disloyal, we have been loyal; they feared we would be cowardly, we have been brave; they asserted we would rise in lawless insurrection, and murder indiscriminately women and children--we have been docile and patient, prayerfully waiting for "the coming of the Lord." We will disappoint them still further. The Union now means Liberty, and has our hearts, our brains, and our muscles. When it means Justice, it shall have our influence and our votes.
Resolved, 4, That we approve the policy of retaining the colored troops in the field as a promise of hope to us. Much as we individually wish for the return of our sons and brothers to the pleasurable pursuits of home, yet their retention gives the nation its most zealous and reliable soldiers, and gives us the hope that the powers that be are irrevocably committed to the policy that will give us the rights as well as the duties of citizenship, and
Whereas, There have been many statements from colored soldiers, apparently well founded on fact, that these gallant men, especially those serving in Texas, are too often wantonly subjected to the most cruel treatment while in health, and when ill, deprived of medicines and proper medi[cal] [attention], --Therefore be it
Resolved, That we utter our earnest protest against this, the crowning act of injustice instigated by American prejudice; and that remonstrances upon the subject be addressed to the Honorable Secretary of War, and, also, to Lieutenant General Grant. The foregoing resolutions were adopted without debate.
Resolved, That we regard the circulation of the speeches of Hon. Wm. D. Kelley, Wendell Phillips and Frederick Douglass, and the letters of Elizur Wright and Robert Dale Owens, on the necessity of making all men equal before the law, as being of the highest interest and importance at this time, and we urge upon all our auxiliaries and other associations, the necessity of purchasing and circulating [illegible].
Resolved, That this League instruct the representatives elected to the National Equal Rights' League, for the State of Pennsylvania, to urge the reduction of the fifty dollar fee. (Adopted without debate.)
Resolved, That the Business Committee having examined the Constitution of the Agricultural, Commercial, Literary, and Beneficial Society of West Philadelphia, and reported favorably thereon, we do commend it and similar associations to our people generally. Adopted without debate.
Resolved, That any member of the State League, or of any of the subordinate Leagues, who refuse to accommodate and treat colored men, under all circumstances, in his place of business, as he treats white men, is guilty of the grossest dereliction of duty.
Moved by Mr. Vance, of Harrisburg, tht it lie over till 4 o'clock. Carried.
Whereas, In union there is strength, and the surest way of accomplishing any end at which we may aim is, first to understand our wants, and secondly, how to secure their gratification by the most lawful means; therefore,
Resolved, That having accepted the plan as adopted by the National Convention of colored men, entitled the National Equal Rights' League, we do entreat the people of the country to unite with us, heart and hand, in the work.
Resolved, That in the existing state of affairs, it becomes our especial duty to forgive past errors, pass over present differences, and unite for our mutual protection and future prosperity.
Resolved, That the present crisis renders it obligatory upon each and every one, to lay his shoulder to the wheel, and contribute every possible assistance he can render, making "a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether."
Resolved, That the unswerving loyalty and patriotism of our colored soldiers and sailors, as evidenced by their unsullied courage, their sacrifice of
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