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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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could hardly be conceived unless by a mind that had prepared itself for it by participating in the commission of the first. My moral nature, therefore, revolts, with an abhorrence which I cannot express, from those recommendations of the governors of some of the southern States, who have proposed to expel from their borders all free colored persons, under the terrible penalities of imprisonment and a subjugation to slavery of them and their descendants. The proposition made last year, in the Senate of the United States, by a Senator from Massachusetts, to appropriate the entire proceeds of the sales of the public lands--estimated to be worth $200,000,000--to transport the colored population from the slave States, which would instantaneously set in motion the legislative and physical power of those states to expel that population (and would have given the strongest guarantees for the security and the perpetration of slavery among them,) from their homes, I regard as one of the most wicked ideas ever conceived by the human mind. And I give it this bad eminence, in full recollection of the command of Herod to murder all the Hebrew children under two years of age, of the persecution and massacre of the Albigenses and Waldenses, and other culminating instances of human wickedness.
But while I would oppose every form of force or intimidation to expel the colored people from the land of their nativity, I should rejoice beyond measure to see great, intelligent and powerful African communities springing up, wherever by their power or their proximity, they could encourage or succor their enslaved brethren in this country. And I cannot see why the benevolent and moral energy of the free colored people amongst us should not flow into this channel.
There is one other means of emancipation--such as our revolutionary fathers adopted against Great Britain, and such as Hungary has lately adopted against Austria, not only with the justification, but with the approval of the civilized world. For this there are two conditions: a sufficient degree of oppression to authorize an appeal to force, and a chance, on the part of the oppressed, of bettering their condition. The measure of the first condition is already full--heaped up--running over. The second condition will be fulfilled, either when the slaves believe they can obtain their freedom by force, or when they are so elevated and enlarged in their moral conceptions, as to appreciate that glorious supplication of Patrick Henry, "Give me liberty or give me death!"
It is most devoutly to be implored that God will save the slaveholders from the madness of defying that vengeance that will assuredly be visited upon them, if they continue much longer to act upon, or to advocate the atheistic dogma that slavery is to be eternal. The very declaration that slavery shall be eternal will give birth to the resolve that it shall not be eternal! Hence, inevitable collision. And the ultimate result of collision is as certain as the fulfillment of any natural law;--as certain as that gun powder will explode on the application of fire, or that the generation of steam, without vent, could convert the solid earth itself into another group of asteroids. In such a collision, on one side is the power of man; on the other side is the Omnipotence of God, "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity," said the sure word of prophesy. "The Almighty hath no attribute," says Mr. Jefferson, "which can take part with us in such a contest." However disastrous may be the result of the first, or the tenth, or the hundredth struggle on the part of the slave; however many of the colored Hancock's and Adams' of that resolution may be singled out for vengeance and be placed beyond the reach of pardon; however may Blums and Batthyasnies may be massacred in cold blood, each death will be transfigured into a multitude of more glorious lives, and for every drop of heroic blood which the earth shall drink, it will send back and armed man.
Now, there are two things which, above and beyond all others, the Angel this Apocalypse will proclaim: first, a warning to the slave-Power, deep and piercing as an afflatus of the Spirit of God, to escape this retribution, by a voluntary and timely abandonment of its unholy domination, and second, if the admonition is resisted, the inexorable and awful certainty of the doom of that power.
Now this third method of emancipation, though infinitely to be deprecated, though to be accepted only in case the preceding methods fail to bring relief, yet as an alternative to endless slavery, it is to be hoped for
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