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Newspaper Reports on the Convention of the Colored Inhabitants of the State of New York, August 18-20, 1840


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to see the earnest and willing spirit that had brought each individual brother here, kept up in so friendly a manner; he reciprocated the patient manner in which they had yielded to his frequent opposing decisions, and hoped and trusted that the work which that had accomplished, would tell for much good on our whole people.

On motion of Uriah Boston, it was

Resolved, That the thanks of the convention be tendered to the secretaries, for the willing manner in which they have performed their duties.

The Vice President, Rev. John T. Raymond, here presented to the President, and through him to the delegates generally, sentiments expressive of the cordial feeling of the people of Albany toward them, in whose behalf he spoke, and expressed their entire approval of the measures and spirit adopted by the convention, and their thanks in anticipation of the probable good influence that would follow from the views that from day to day had been thrown out in the meetings.

A short reply was again made by the President.

A hymn was sung, and the closing prayer made by the Rev. Theodore S. Wright. Adjourned.

Colored American, October 31, 1840, January 2, 9, 1841


"Hereditary bondsmen, know ye not,

Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow!"

Brethren:--The Convention had been held. The sentiments and determination of our people are before the public. We have taken our position. You are now called upon for exertions of such strength and peculiarity of character as never before distinguished the colored people of this State--exertions in behalf of one of the most cherished and precious rights of freemen.

The mind of our people if fixed and determined; and the course of events and the arrangements of His providence, make manifest the will of God, that here on this continent we are to remain, citizens of this republic, inhabitants of the soil, till the latest periods of time. How--in what condition--shall we and our posterity live here? We are not satisfied with our present condition in the state. If we look into the past, we behold nothing inviting there. We see nothing but "chains and slavery." Our lot for the last two centuries, has been oppression, of a severe and unmitigated character. From this state we have been but a few years relieved. During this time, we have been working our way up, with steady perseverance, to respectability and intelligence. Improvement and elevation, then, for the future, is the universal sentiment among us. The man who is willing that we should remain in the sad and unfortunate circumstances in which we now are, is unworthy the exalted privileges of a freeman.

It is the nature of man, and his destiny, to be ever progressive. In this feature of character, we sympathize with the rest of our fellow-creatures. We cannot escape from it. Society is all alive about us. It is pressing onward toward higher excellence, laying new plans for increased social happiness, carrying out divers modes for a purer, and more elevated, and more general enjoyment of civil and political rights and prerogatives. The deep foundations of political injustice are now being broken up. Political disputting forth just and reasonable exertions for rights--are intent upon escaping from the slough of political wrong, injustice, and oppression, in which they have been kept from a free and healthy exercise of their best powers. And shall we remain inactive?--we, who have and are now suffering so much from political wrong, from legal proscription!

Colored men of New York! Are you willing that your people should longer constitute the proscribed class? Are you willing ever to be deprived of one of the dearest rights of freemen? Are you willing to remain quietly and inactively, political slaves? Are you willing to leave your children

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