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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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69 NEW YORK 1851
advanced for our extermination from these shores, and hyperbolical because unsubstantiated by evidence, practicable and conclusive.
Were it actually necessary--more than that, were it desirable here--we could enter into a statistical review, and instance several localities of colored people, and example very many individuals, (even though surrounded by disadvantageous embarrassments,) who have made and are still making rapid improvement in the highest development of their moral and mental capacities.
Fellow citizens, let no fascinating inducements--no eloquent rhetoric--no eulogistic encomiums of Liberia, draw you into the snares of your dear, philanthropic, and expatriating friends. But by every renewed means in your power, while you will do nothing intentionally and directly detrimental to the development, civilization, and evangelization of Africa, by opposing any man, or a body of men, who choose to emigrate there or elsewhere, under other influences than the Colonization Society of this country, battle against this hydra-head of iniquity--this subtle scheme and corruption, at all times, and under all circumstances, now, henceforth, and forever.
We now call your attention as members of this Convention, as brothers, as citizens, as countrymen, to a fact, though not generally known, is too true. We ask you, can you right heartily sanction the course proposed to be pursued by the Liberians in their solicitude to be recognized by the government of the United States? They are willing, in the language of Mr. Gurley's report, "in view of the peculiarities of the condition of the free colored people, and others of the African race" (meaning the slaves) "in this country, they well know and have no wish by any relations which may be established their and the United States, to cause inconvenience or embarrassment."
They are willing, in substance, to bow slavishly to the worst sense, feelings, and views of the American government, by offering to clothe the white citizens of the United States with full diplomatic power to act as ambassadors, minister plenipotentiary, &c., &c., for Liberia, thus virtually remaining unrepresented, providing the United States confides to the citizens of that republic any business it might desire transacted in Africa with the authorities of said republic.
Was there ever such a treaty formed and ratified in the history of civilized nations? Has the United States government ever placed the nation's seal of honor and fidelity to such a negotiation? But she has refused to recognize the independence of Hayti, and she will refuse to recognize the independence of Liberia,21 according to the universal mode and manner of recognizing free and independent nations; the power of locomotion; the protection of citizens of each country, at home or abroad; the mutual interchange of ministers, counsellors; security to commerce, &c., &c.
No, fellow-citizens, we do not believe that you would as Americans, endorse such an inglorious negotiation. We believe, if the question were put to the entire colored people of the United States, for their consideration, we would hear, by way of response, one long, loud acclamation, rising up simultaneously from the city, the village, the valley, the mountain side, No! No!! Never!!! Never!!!
C. Edward Seth,
Benjamin F. Cutler,
Report of the Committee on Elective Franchise
To the People of the State of New-York:
Most sovereign citizens of the State of New-York, your motto is "excelsior," higher and still more high; inspiring as this sentiment must be to every intelligent inhabitant, you will therefore not be surprised at being addressed on the practical application of the principle contained in the above sentiment, though it should come from the most humble of its inhabitants. We, the colored citizens and inhabitants of the State, appeal to you in view of your supreme power, and the intelligence with which you are possessed, in behalf of our rights; a boon that must be ever sacred to men raised under a Democratic and Christian form of government. In the year 1821, unfortunately for us and unwisely for the State, the colored citizens of the State were left trammelled and humbled by the convention of the above date. For forty-
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