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Proceedings of the Convention, of the Colored Freemen of Ohio, Held in Cincinnati, January 14, 15, 16, 17 and 19, 1852.

1852OH.18.pdf

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291

OHIO, 1852

man, there will remain no doubt about the final issue of the con- rsy now enlisting the attention of both countries. It rejoices my t, .gentlemen, to know that the colored race are becoming more active in their rights. The Convention to which you allude will result in 'good I cannot doubt, and materially aid the cause of emanci;ation. None can so and efficiently against tyranny and as the of themselves. Nevertheless, all should bear in mind that ""blessed injunction "remember those who are in bonds as being bound with tbem." You justly remarked that the people of the old world and of the new have taken up the problem of human rights, and are solving it for themselves. This is the surest indication of final success. Kossuth's present ·mission to the'United States appears to my mind strikingly analogous to St. Paul's at corinth, where he proclaimed, "He whom yeignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." The very happy and forcible manner in which Kossuth elucidates tlie great.principle of and the glorious doctrine of human Progress, cannot to produce a and most beneficial effect on the mind and beartof the American people. The principle of Law which he elaborated so and powerfully to the New York Bar, ought to be indeliby impressed on every throughout the world. It isa great elementary principle which sbould be at the very threshold of moral and political investiga- tion." I here quote a few lines from the commencement of that speech:

Let me say, as a member of your profession, in respect to my opinion about the of as opposite.to customary law; you have the great of and though may be a piece of presumption for one to state a principle contrary to his, yet I would remark I differ from him. I confess I am no friend to codification. "I am no friend to it because I am a friend to free and unresisted progress. It is an iron hand that hinders the circulation of intelligence, and fetters the development whiCh freely must go on towards boundless perfection--the destiny of humanity. In conclusion, gentlemen, allow me to express my best wishes for your welfare, -'and for the cause you seek to promote."

Charles Durkee.

John I. Gaines and others, Central Committee.

Washington, Dec. 26th, 1851.

Gaines, Day, Jenkins, and Jackson: Gentlemen:--Yours of the 17th inst., is just received, and it gives me great pleasure to see our colored friends actively moving in so just and an enterprise as stated in ·your letter. You have to· encounter a' most unjust and illiberal prejudice, which everybody knows, is all wrong; but it nevertheless, exists, and you must take things as they are, and not as they should be. The first thing, then, on your part, is to overcome this "prejudice, by proving in your own persons that it is untrue and unfounded. In order to this, I would advise, as far as possible, that you should with- draw from all menial employments, form yourselves into communities by your- selves, when, by cultivating the soil, and practicing the mechanical arts, you will soon attain to independence, and thus situated you will have the of educating your children, and bestowing upon them those advantages Wb1Ch they cannot, at present enjoy, while scattered about among the white pe?ple: They will thus acquire habits of self-respect and independence, and th1s compel your white brethren to respect you: and I doubt not, soon convince them, that with equal opportunities, you are by no means their in- feriors. I rejoice to see that the colored people have taken their own des- tinies into their own hands. This is the right way. All just men will sym- pathize with them, and aid them all in their power. But, all, their ultimate emancipation, must depend upon themselves. Be temperate, industrious, and by all means in your power, promote among yourselves the cause of education, and the result cannot be doubtful. The color of the skin is nothing,--when was it ever known that virtue, industry and intelligence were respected? When these results of your present most patriqtic enterprise shall be realized, those who defame you most, will be the first to do you rev,erence.

I rejoice to see you organizing among yourselves, form one great brother- "hood throughout the State, so that you can all co-operate to the same great

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