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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Convention, of the Colored Freemen of Ohio, Held in Cincinnati, January 14, 15, 16, 17 and 19, 1852.
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284 BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS
Seneca county Post Office Address
W. A. Scott, } Tiffin.
G. J. Reynolds,
John Winfield, } Sandusky City.
H. H. Todd,
P. Byrd, } Urbana
J. Critic, } Burlington.
G. W. Bryant.
Burnet House, Cincinnati, December 16,1851.
Gentlemen: -- Your favor of yesterday, informing me of the proposed meeting of the Colored citizens of the State, to take "such measures as are best calculated to enhance the moral, social and political interests" of your people, is received. You do me no more than justice in saying I hold the cause of human rights "sacred." The times also, are "auspicious" for the consideration of these things. For my part, as much as I sympathize with Hungary and her noble sons, I have just as much heart for the wrongs of Africa and her sons! I care nothing for that "right" which regards caste -- nothing for that philanthropy which extends not to all men of all climes and all colors! If any nation in the Providence of God, happens to be poorer and weaker than another, so much the more does every generous heart feel their woes.
I have no faith in the permanent inferiority of nations! I think all history proves the opposite. Virtue, patience, energy, self-denial and an eternal purpose to improve, may place the African where the Saxon now is! whilst the opposite vices may degrade the Saxon below the African! I avoid no responsibility. My advice shall be given as freely as it is asked. Let it go for what it is worth. So far then, as "morals" are concerned, you will find the best guide in the Christian teachings. In that we all agree. Treating with contempt, all those false teachers of Christ, who recognize caste among nations, let us take more to our hearts those followers of our Savior, who honor God by the recognition of the Brotherhood of men! So far as "social" interests are concerned, my opinion is, that you have a long probation before you-- so long as the slavery of your race exists in a portion of the Union, I regard social equality, even in the free States, as impossible. But then, as Burns has it, "a man's a man for all that." I would advise universal education as the first desideratum -- rigid economy in dress, and all luxuries. The blacks should "get money." Let them go into the trades -- become farmers -- manufacturers -- where capital and employment are wanting -- let them combine, and thus diminish the expense of living, and increase their productive power. Action -- action -- action -- must be the panacea for your present woes, and the "Sessame" of future regeneration. With regard to "political" rights, you must abide your time! I think nothing can be done at present by public resolves, &c. The best road to political elevation lies through the road of INDUSTRY and SELF-RESPECT, which will at last wear us into a generous magnanimity.
Above all, allow me, who am regarded (unjustly, though it be,) as a man of blood, to make obedience to the laws the first basis of all elevation, or,
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