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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Minutes and address of the State Convention of the Colored Citizens of Ohio, convened at Columbus, January 10th, 11th, 12th, & 13th, 1849.
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worthy of reflection and remark. The colored man has been allowed to come up, without insult and without reproach--to enter into a place hitherto deemed sacred to the white alone, and standing there, to plead the right to be deemed a man and a brother, and to claim a community of interest in ask that appertains to humanity--to say "our God", and to beg permission to say "our country,"
A prepared address was delivered by Wm. H. Day, a young man from Oberlin, upon the subject of grievances which the colored people of the United States, both in slavery and emancipated,suffer in with those borne by the fathers of the Republic under the rule of Great Britain, before the Revolution. The parallels drawn between the two cases were extremely striking and forcible, and for beauty of composition and propriety of delivery, the oration could bear a comparison with the labored efforts of men of far greater and far higher pretensions.
At the close of Mr. Day's address, the audience was agreeably entertained by a speech from John M, Watson, of Cleveland. Mr. Watson announced himself as a native born citizen of Virginia, the land of Washington, and a "self-emancipated slave." He thought he recommend himself and his and his remarks to the Democrats present, by the fact that he was born upon the same soil, and had breathed the air that blew over the hills, with Thomas Jefferson; An emigrant from a sister State, he came here to beg as a boon the bestowal upon him and those who were in his situation, of those privileges which were freely granted as a right to the emigrant from Ireland or from Germany. He went into an examination of the black laws, there constitutionality, and their legal and effect. "They work," he said, degradation to the black and disgrace to the white man. If they are a dead letter, why leave them as a monument of the of the past. If they are a living law, interpose prevent the horrid injustice of which they be made the instruments in future."
The address was a strong and a good one, and was enlivened by sparks of genuine wit, which elicited frequent and tumultuous applause. The speaker himself was an evidence of what a soul can do even under the pressure of extraordinary difficulties, In his case it has a man.
The meeting was enlivened by some fine singing, and was model of all that was decorous and respectable.
The North Star, January 26, 1849.
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