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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 34.pdf

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35

higher attainment, than solving the most difficult problem in Euclid is now. They might have at that time performed, what some people expect of them now, in the then barren state of science, but they are now no longer capable of reflecting brilliancy on our national character, which will elevate us from our present situation. If we wish to be respected, we must build our moral character, on a base as broad and high as the nation itself—our country and our character require it—we have performed all the duties from the menial to the soldier—our fathers shed their blood in the great struggle for independence. In the late war between Great Britain and the United States, a proclamation was issued to the free colored inhabitants of Louisiana, Sept. 21st, 1814, inviting them to take up arms in defence of their country, by Gen. Andrew Jackson. And in order that you may have an idea of the manner in which they acquitted themselves on that perilous occasion, we will refer you to the proclamation of Thomas Butler, Aid-de-Camp.

You there see that your country expects much from you, and that you have much to call you into action, morally, religiously and scientifically. Prepare yourselves to occupy the several stations to which the wisdom of your country may promote you. We have been told in this Convention, bv the Secretary of the American Colonization Society, that there are causes which forbid our advancement in this country, which no humanity, no legislation and no religion can control. Believe it not. Is not humanity susceptible of all the tender feelings of benevolence? Is not legislation supreme—and is not religion virtuous? Our oppressed situation arises from their opposite causes. There is an awakening spirit in our people to promote their elevation, which speaks volumes in their behalf. We anticipated at the close of the last Convention, a larger representation and an increased number of delegates, we were not deceived, the number has been ten fold. And we have a right to expect that future Conventions will be increased by a geometrical ratio, until we shall present a body, not inferior in numbers to our state legislatures, and the phenomena of an oppressed people, deprived of the rights of citizenship, in the midst of an enlightened nation, devising plans and mea-

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