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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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than Alpine steeps -- those mighty barriers which the hand of nature has lifted up as a limit to human ambition. This colossal mountain of negro hate, "rearing its lofty head to Heaven," bade defiance to every attempt to ascend its rugged cliffs. This pro-slavery spirit closed the doors of schools colleges and seminaries, not only against Mr. Taylor, but against every colored man, woman and child in the State. This accursed prejudice became embodied in a code of enactments known as the "Black Laws of Ohio." At the very threshold of the State Mr. Taylor was met by this heathenising code, and denied a legal residence in the State, as well as every other immunity enjoyed by its citizens. By these laws, the public schools withheld from him their invaluable blessings. This adamantine wall of prejudice and negro hate propped and supported by statutary and constitutional enactments required an almost superhuman energy and perseverance in a colored man to scale its summit, triumph over its power and influence, and rise to moral and intellectual eminence. L. D. Taylor did possess this energy and perseverance. He did triumph over and these almost insurmountable obstacles, and rose to a high eminence of morality and intelligence.
As a father, Mr. Taylor was kind and indulgent, yet never forgetting the admonitions of Scripture, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." As a husband, his distinguishing characteristics were love and devotion. Being ever under the influence of these God-like traits of character, he made every sacrifice to render his family comfortable and happy, always remembering that "he who neglects to provide for those of his own household is worse than an infidel." As a citizen, his life and conduct were the purest exemplification of the deep and abiding faith which he possessed in that glorious and divine truth which says, "Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." As a scholar, he very far surpassed thousands whose opportunities for mental culture were much superior to his own. While he did not so much excel in the knowledge of letters, he seems to have fully appreciated the wise man's advice when he says, "Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom, and with all thy getting get understanding." As a philanthropist and reformer, Mr. Taylor had those invaluable elements of character without which no reformatory enterprise can be pushed to a successful and speedy termination; namely, a fixed and unyielding determination, a "dauntless spirit," and an active and self-sacrificing energy. To convince him that any reform was in accordance with the immutable principles of rectitude, at once enlisted him in its support and advocacy, and when once engaged in any cause, his self-consistency, his inflexible will and his indefatigable exertions made him a mighty champion in its support. For twenty years Mr. Taylor was not only an active and untiring advocate of the cause of temperance, but a consistent temperance man having never been known to taste one drop of ardent spirits during that time. He was a barber, and as such was expected, in accordance with the prevalent as well as profitable custom, to follow his ordinary avocation on the Sabbath day. But so determined was he in his course of moral duty, that neither the prevalence nor the profit of the custom had any effect upon him. Although he did not belong to any religious organization, yet while men of high standing in the church were desecrating the Sabbath by pursuing their secular business on that day, Mr. Taylor might be seen surrounded by his family making his way to the church. In the anti-slavery reform he was always zealous and active, every remembering "those in bonds as being bound with them." The bleeding fugitive escaping from republican despotism to monarchial liberty, found in him a sincere and devoted friend and a ready and efficient helper.
The labors of Mr. Taylor, in the cause in which we are now engaged, must not be overlooked or forgotten. The moral, intellectual and political elevation of the colored people was a cause ever dear to his heart. He labored constantly and earnestly for its promotion.
This, I believe, is the first State Convention of colored men ever held in Ohio without his presence. He has always been with us in these efforts for self-elevation, and we have always been proud to honor him as one of our greatest benefactors. But he is gone. His warning voice will no more be heard in our assemblies, and while we are forced to grieve over the loss which his family, the cause of the slave and our own cause has sustained in the death of this great and good man, we are happy to know that he has so LIVED and so acted as not only to hand his name down to posterity with undying honor
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