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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the State Convention of the Colored Men of the State of Ohio, Held in the City of Columbus, January 21st, 22d and 23d, 1857.
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Resolved, That in the death of L. D. Taylor society has lost one of its best men, the colored people. one of their most active and energetic members, and the poor slave a real friend.
Resolved, That a copy of the above resolutions be furnished by the Secretary to his bereaved family, and the same entered on the minutes of the Convention.
Pending the consideration of these resolutions, Messrs. C. H. Langston, D. Jenkins and James E. Evans in short speeches bore testimony to the high moral character and great usefulness of Mr. L. D. Taylor.
On motion of Mr. D. Jenkins, it was resolved that Mr. C. H. Langston be requested to furnish his remarks for publication with the proceedings of the Convention.
Mr. Langston spoke in substance as follows:
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: -- I arise in obedience to a call of this Convention, to perform the solemn and melancholy duty of saying a few words on the life, labors and death of our departed brother and fellow laborer, Lorenzo Dow Taylor.
Although it is a painful task for us to dwell upon the death of the great and good, and to contemplate the loss which the world has sustained in their death, yet we may with profit, pleasure and delight meditate upon their goodness, their virtue and their benevolence, and hold up to ourselves those sublime characteristics as a burning light to lighten our pathway to usefulness and renown. For
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing leave behind us
Foot-prints on the sand of time;
Foot-prints that perhaps another
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Mr. Taylor was born in the western part of the State of Virginia, about the year 1815, and was therefore at the time of his death (April 25th, 1856,) about forty-one years of age. Of his early history I can say but little, for it is concealed in that black and impenetrable obscurity in which Slavery always seeks to envelope itself and its victims. Notwithstanding the same commonwealth which gave birth to the honored champions of human liberty, Washington, Henry and Jefferson, gave birth to Mr. Taylor, yet the latter was born a Slave. Although Henry had shouted, "Give me liberty or give me death," and Jefferson had declared that "all men are created free and equal," and Washington had led the hosts of Liberty from conquering unto conqueror, still in their native State, the galling fetters of the bleeding bondman were not broken, and the Old Dominion still produces its thousands of infant Slaves. Mr. Taylor, in his youth, was, of course, surrounded by all the blighting influences which crowd upon the fiendish institution of Slavery. His native State is remarkable for its pretended love of liberty, and its real love of despotism. It is renowned for its slaveholding, its slave-breeding and its slave-trading. It is famed for its ignorance and its odious laws, which forbid, under heavy penalties, the teaching of colored children to read their own names, the name of the God who made them, or of the sun which gives them light.
Under these degrading circumstances, and these odious and damning laws did our demised friend begin life, and in this deplorable and wretched condition spent many of his early years. By some unforeseen but kind providence he was emancipated from this state of thraldom -- the relation of master and Slave being abrogated -- and he joyfully removed with his parents to the free State of Ohio. He here commenced the cultivation of his mind, and having left the dominion of human Slavery, he had fondly hoped to enter the schools of learing unrestrained, and thereby prepare himself for future usefulness. But, alas! he was doomed to the saddest disappointment. In this free and otherwise liberal State he encountered a bulwark of prejudice more formidable
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