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Scripto | Transcribe Page
An Address to the people of the United States, adopted at a conference of colored citizens, held at Columbia, S.C. July 20 and 21st, 1876.
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ADDRESS OF A COLORED CONVENTION.
nation of such outrages as that which characterized the assassination of inoffensive and unoffending citizens at Hamburgh.
We do most earnestly invoke you to place upon this wanton and inhuman butchery the indelible stigma of the public abhorrence.
It is not too much to anticipate that you who have solemnly and irrevocably declared that this country is a nation composed of but one order of citizens will also insist that security to life and property shall be equally extended to all. Nor is it too much to anticipate that partiality for that just and wise solution of the great problem of emancipation and enfranchisement will induce and influence you to support the Government in its every effort to do away such iniquities as the Hamburgh massacre.
Since our emancipation we have, as a class, been peaceable and law, abiding, docile and forbearing—forbearing to such a degree that in the presence of stupendous wrongs and gross outrages daily and hourly inflicted upon our persons and committed against our property, although conscious of our rights, we have manifested a spirit of patience and endurance unheard of and unknown in the history of the most servile population.
We ask that we be not cruelly goaded on to madness and desperation by such unholy burdens as are imposed upon us. We ask that, constituting as we do, a large producing class in our State, contributing what bone and sinew we possess to the development of its industries, we be not hindered by violence in our endeavors to increase the prosperity and material wealth of our commonwealth, and in our efforts to advance the commercial interests of our country.
We would also appeal to the law-abiding and peace-loving citizens of our own State to render all their assistance in the maintenance of peace, in the preservation of order, in the cultivation of harmony, in the enforcement of the law, and the vindication of the peace and dignity of our State. We would remind them that such a course is not only a matter of duty, but a matter of paramount interest. We would remind them that violence begets violence, that disorder is the parent of disorder, and that crime induces crime. If such lawless acts become general in our State, capital will continue to avoid our borders as though we were stricken with the deadly plague, our agricultural interests will be wholly destroyed, our commerce will become sick unto the death, and our general business become involved in complete bankruptcy and utter ruin.
We call upon every order of our fellow citizens to discountenance a policy so prolific of evil; a policy so ruinous in its tendencies; a policy that must surely end in entailing upon our State rapine and bloodshed and anarchy and confusion. More especially we call upon the business men and property-holders of the state to bend their energies towards the removal of this deadly nightshade of mob-law and violence, which hangs over our commonwealth "like a portentous cloud, surcharged with irresistible storm and ruin."
We would also call upon his excellency the governor of the State to invoke every constitutional agency and legal method for the enforcement of the laws and the arrest and punishment of those, whoever they are, that may be shown to have been principals or accessories, or aiders and abettors, in the recent murders committed at Hamburgh. We do most earnestly call upon his excellency to see that the law, in this Hamburgh outrage, as well as in all other cases of infraction and violation of the public peace and general security, be most faithfully executed. We do most respectfully invoke him to assert and maintain the supremacy
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