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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Colored Men's State Convention of New York, Troy, September 4, 1855.
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worthy of imprisonment for life, he shall receive the sum of $10. But if, on the contrary, he acquits the prisoner, he is to receive only $5. Isn't that a "Hail, Columbia, happy land," provision?
Mr. Douglass then proceeded to establish the position that the Slave States demand that the North shall execute their laws and cited the case of Passmore Williamson in proof. He contended that Mr. W. had committed no crime. He had broken no law of Pennsylvania, but was incarcerated for breaking the laws of Virginia. He dwelt upon the provisions of the Fugitive enactment, which decrees that there shall be "no refuge for the stricken slave through the length and breadth of this fair land--no spot upon which he can plant his foot and say, "Here, by the blessing of God's Providence, and my own right, I am a free man." He contended that the nation is at present in a state of anarchy--that the government of the the United States has resigned its functions to three thousand lawless border ruffians of Missouri. A struggle has gone on in that territory [Kansas] and it has resigned its ballot-boxes and its liberties with an ease which puts to shame the fighting before Sebastopol. The reason is obvious. The walls at Sebastopol are of granite.The walls of Kansas are of dough! [Illegible]. He says they do not mean to go to Liberia, if they can avoid it. On this point we are somewhat in the position of the boy John when he was going to visit his Uncle Robert. Said he, "I am going to Uncle Robert's. I am going to stay six weeks. And I am going to do just as I please--that is, if Uncle Robert will let me." We intend to remain in this country--if you will let us. And although there is physical force enough here to drive us out, I do not think there is moral force enough to do it. So we may embody our sentiments in the old song which they used to sing at camp meetings:
Bredren, we hab been wif you, And still is wif you, And mean to be wif you to the end!
He argued at some length upon the ground that prejudice against color was not natural, but conventional, and quoted many happy anecdotes to strengthen his position. On retiring he said: "I am thankful for your kindness in listening to me, and beg you not to forget, in the playfulness of my last remarks, the sober earnestness of the first."
The committee appointed to nominate officers for the New York State Suffrage Association would respectfully report as follows:
President--Frederick Douglass, of Rochester. Vice Presidents--Wm. Rich,Troy; Francis Thompson, Schenectady; Wm. J. Hodges, Williamsburgh; J. W. Loguen, Syracuse. Secretaries--Jas. McCune Smith, A.M., M.D., New York; J. C. Gibbs, A.B., D.D., Troy. Treasurer--Richard Wright, of Albany. Board of Managers--Philip A. Bell, New York; E. H. Mathews, Troy; Wm. J. Wilson, Brooklyn; J. W. Duffin, Geneva; Peter W. Ray, M.D., Williamsburgh.
[Signed by all the members.] Moved and seconded that the report be adopted. [Carried, and the Officers elected.]
Morning Session--Thursday, 10 o'clock Convention assembled. Prayer by Rev. U. C. Farlen.
On motion, the thanks of the Convention were tendered to the white citizens of Troy for their favorable expression in favor of the suffrage question, last evening.
On motion the thanks of the Convention were tendered to Mr. Rand for cheerfully and generously giving them the opportunity to occupy the very best Hall in the city for public assemblies and public speaking.
Votes of thanks to the citizens of Troy and the Press of Troy were also adopted.
Resolutions approving of the call for a National Convention to be held in Philadelphia on the 16th of October next, and recommending to the favorable consideration of that body the subjects of mechanical trades, education
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