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Minutes and Proceedings of the Second Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Color in these United States, held by adjournments in the city of Philadelphia, from the 4th to the 13th of June, inclusive, 1832.

1832PA 31.pdf

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CONVENTIONAL ADDRESS

To the Free Colored inhabitants of these United States.

FELLOW CITIZENS:—

We have again been permitted to associate in our representative character, from the different sections of this Union, to pour into one common stream, the afflictions, the prayers, and sympathies of our oppressed people; the axis of time has brought around this glorious, annual event. And we are again brought to rejoice that the wisdom of Divine Providence has protected us during a year, whose autumnal harvest, has been a reign of terror and persecution, and whose winter has almost frozen the streams of humanity, by its frigid legislation. It is under the influence of times and feelings like these, that we now address you. Of a people situated as we are, little can be said, except that it becomes our duty, strictly to watch those causes that operate against our interests and privileges; and to guard against whatever measures that will either lower us in the scale of being, or perpetuate our degredation in the eyes of the civilized world.

The effects of Slavery on the bond, and Colonization on the free. Of the first we shall say but little, but will here repeat the language of a high minded Virginian in the Legislature of that state, on the recent discussion of the slave question before that honorable body, who declared, that man could not hold property in man and that the master held no right to the slave, either by a law of nature or a patentee from God, but by the will of society; which we declare to be an unjust usurpation of the rights and privileges of men.

But how beautiful must the prospect be to the philanthropist, to view us, the children of persecution, grown to manhood, associating in our delegated character, to devise plans and means for our moral elevation, and attracting the attention of the wise and good, over the whole country, who are anxiously watching our deliberations.

We have here to inform you, that we have patiently listened to the able and eloquent arguments produced by

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