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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored People : held at Albany, New-York, on the 22d, 23d and 24th of July, 1851.
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BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS
removal to Africa, without the expressed application originally emanating from the intelligent colored people directly, themselves.
Then why should they assume a responsibility, unmooted and unauthorized by those whom it is calculated to affect injuriously; a scheme, the very essence of which is so palpably a wrong, and so impracticable, that it can never be accomplished. The intelligence, the spirit of humanity, the progressive moral sentiment of the age is averse to it. It is folly's foil to urge it. It is madness to contemplate its success.
And to tell us that we cannot rise to a standard of high, moral, social, and intellectual elevation with the white man of this country, throws no damper of timidity over our all exertions, and resolute perseverance, to pursue the attainment of these objects, with the indomitable spirit of Americans struggling for American rights.
Have we not many things to encourage us? Have we not even amid all deprivations and degradations slowly, yet steadily made advances in the improvement of our moral condition and mental acquirements? The darkness of the past; the dawning light and developments of the present; and the bright hopeful future, all inspire us with confidence to go onward, aiming upward, trusting in the will of Providence, and the growing moral sentiment of the people, that the withheld rights of one portion of the American people will yet, sooner or later, be bestowed upon them.
The opposite of this, no man whose mind is freed and unfettered from the corroding effects of color-prejudice believes.
All our interests are indissolubly identified with the country through weal or woe. And it matters not if colossal impediments obstruct the way, they are but temporary, and we, by the help of God, intend to remain and work out our elevation, and the disenthrallment of our brethren from slavery.
The slow movement of the emigration of free colored people, only 7,000 in 30 years, throws a gloom over the desired speedy accomplishment of the object of the society, and hence the effort made to increase its capacities, and extend its powers for operating more effectually. They have appealed to State legislatures, and have succeeded in getting several of these authorities to move in the matter, by passing resolutions commendatory of the scheme, and recommending the national government to undertake the expense of colonizing all who will go. Some of the most prominent statesmen have given it their approbation. One particularly, who indicates his willingness that the Land Fund should be so appropriated as to facilitate the peaceable conclusion of this project, to wit, our banishment. Virginia by a law enacted in 1849, appropriates $30,000 for the benefit of this nefarious scheme. Maryland has too a fund of long standing for the same purpose. But we must express our happy pleasure at the failure of the Colonization Society of this State, to obtain at the recent session of the Legislature, an appropriation of $10,000 yearly, for two years, for the malicious purposes of sending the colored people from this State to Africa, and to procure the broad seal of approval of the Commonwealth to such a measure. We entertain no fears however, should such a measure pass the Legislature. We have too much confidence in the good sense and love of home of the people.
We give below the result of the operations of the society, from its earliest state down to the year 1850. Not very flattering, surely, in view of the ratio of increase of the colored population in the United States. The entire number of emigrants sent to Liberia by the American Colonization Society, and its auxiliaries from each State, from 1820 to 1850, inclusive.
Rhode Island, 32
New Jersey, 1
District of Columbia, 101
North Carolina, 846
South Carolina, 344
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