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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Cazenovia Fugitive Slave Law Convention, August 21-22, 1850.
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Current Saved Transcription [history]
Mr. Loguen reported two addresses from the fugitive slaves--one to the slaves, and the other to the Liberty Party. After an extended discussion upon the former, they were both adopted.
The following persons, being nominated, were appointed to constitute the Chaplin committee: James C. Jackson,7 Joseph C. Hathaway, Samuel J. May, Charles A. Wheaton, G. W. Clark, Wm. R. Smith, George W. Lawson, Cyrus P. Grosvenor, G. W. Johnson of N. Y.: Francis Jackson, John G. Whittier of Mass.: Silas Cornell, Thomas Davis of R. I., C. D. Cleveland, E. M. Davis, of Pa., C. C. Foote of Mich.; Hon J. R. Giddings of Ohio; Hon. G. W. Julian Ind.: Hon. C. Durkee, Wis.
The series of 17 resolutions, reported by Gerrit Smith as Chairman of the Business Committee were after much discussion adopted.
A contribution was then called for to meet the expenses incurred in visiting Mr. Chaplin, and in other matters connected with his [case].
The sum of $168.79 was raised in answer to this call.
Vote of thanks to Mrs. Wilson for the use of her grove.
Each session of the Convention was opened with prayer and George W. Clark and the Edmonson sisters, who were once in slavery, favored the Convention with occasional songs.
A Letter to the American Slaves from those who have fled from American Slavery
Afflicted and Beloved Brothers:--The meeting which sends you this letter, is a meeting of runaway slaves. We thought it well, that they, who had once suffered, as you still suffer, that they, who had once drank of that bitterest of all bitter cups, which you are still compelled to drink of, should come together for the purpose of making a communication to you.
The chief object of this meeting is, to tell you what circumstances we find ourselves in--that, so, you may be able for yourselves, whether the prize we have obtained is worth the peril of the attempt to obtain it.
The heartless pirates, who compelled us to call them "master," sough to persuade us, as such pirates seek to persuade you, that the condition those, who escape from their clutches, is thereby made worse, instead of better. We confess, that we had our fears, that this might be so. Indeed, so great was our ignorance, that we could not be sure that the abolitionists were not the friends, which our masters represented them to be. When they told us, that the abolitionists, could they lay hands upon us would buy and sell us, we could not certainly know, that they spoke falsely; and whey told us, that abolitionists are in the habit of skinning the black man for leather, and of regaling their cannibalism on his flesh, even such enormities seemed to us to be possible. But owing to the happy change in our circumstances, we are not as ignorant and credulous now, as we once were; and if did not know it before, we know it now, that the slaveholders are as great liars, as they are great tyrants.
The abolitionists act the part of friends and brothers to us; and our only complaint against them is, that there are so few of them. The abolitionists, on whom it is safe to rely, are, almost all of them, members of the American Anti-Slavery Society, or of the Liberty Party. There are other abolitionists: but most of them are grossly inconsistent, and, hence, not entirely trustworthy abolitionists. So inconsistent are they, as to vote for anti-abolitionists for civil rulers, and to acknowledge the obligation of laws, which they themselves interpret to be pro-slavery.
We get wages for our labor. We have schools for our children. We have opportunities to hear and to learn to read the Bible--that blessed book, which is all for freedom, notwithstanding the lying slaveholders who say it is all for slavery. Some of us take part in the election of civil rulers. Indeed, but for the priests and politicians, the influence of most of whom is against us, our condition would be every way eligible. The priests and churches of the North, are, with comparatively few exceptions, in league with the priests and churches of the South; and this, of itself, is sufficient to account for the fact, that a caste-religion and a Negro-pew are found at the North, as well as at the South. The politicians and political parties of the North are
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