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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Maryland Free Colored People's Convention, July 27-28, 1852.
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vancement, which convinces us that it cannot be that the two races will ever overcome their natural prejudices towards each other sufficiently to dwell together in harmony and in the enjoyment of like social and political privileges, and we therefore hold that a separation of ourselves from our white neighbors, many of whom we cannot but love and admire for the generosity they have displayed towards us from time to time, is an object devoutly to be desired and the consummation of which would tend to the natural advantage of both races.
Resolved, That comparing the relative advantages afforded us in Canada, the West Indies, and Liberia--these being the places beyond the limits of the United States to which circumstances have directed our attention--we are led to examine the claims of Liberia particularly, for there alone, we have been told, that we can exercise all the functions of a free republican government, and hold an honorable position among the nations of the earth.
Resolved, That this Convention recommend to the colored people of Maryland the formation of societies in the counties of this State and the city of Baltimore, who shall meet monthly, for the purpose of raising means to establish and support free schools for the education of our poor and destitute children, and for the appointment each month of a person whose duty it shill be to collect such information in relation to the condition of the colored emigrants in Canada, West Indies, Guiana, and Liberia, as can be obtained by him from all available sources, which information shall be brought to these monthly meetings above alluded to, and read before them for the instruction of all, in order that when they are resolved, if they should so resolve to remove from this country to any other, they may know what will be their new homes.
Resolved, That as this subject is one of the greatest importance to us and the consideration of which, whatever may be the result, cannot be put aside, we recommend to our people in this State to establish and maintain an organization in regard to it, the great object of which shall be enquiry and discussion, which, without committing any, may lead to accurate information; and that a convention like the present, composed of delegates from the respective counties in the State and from Baltimore city, be held annually at such times and places as may be hereafter designated.
Resolved, That in thus expressing our opinions it is not our purpose to counsel emigration as either necessary or proper in every case. The transfer of an entire people from one country to another, must necessarily be the work of generations. Each individual now and hereafter must be governed by the circumstances of his own condition, of which he alone can be the judge, as well in regard to the time of removal, as to the place to which he shall remove; but deeply impressed ourselves with the conviction that sooner or later removal must take place, we would counsel our people to accustom themselves to that idea.
Resolved, That this Convention recommend to the ministers of the gospel among the free colored.population of Maryland to endeavor, by contributions from their congregations and by other means, to raise funds for the purpose of forwarding the object of educating the children of the destitute colored persons in this State; and that they also impress upon the minds of their bearers the benefits which would necessarily result from the development of their intellects, and the bringing into fullest use those mental powers and reasoning faculties which distinguish mankind from the brute creation; and that this be requested of them as a part of their duty as ministers of the religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
F. Harris entered his protest against the adoption of the fourth resolution.
A motion made to adjourn sine die at 2 o'clock, P.M., was lost; and a resolution restricting each speaker to five minute speeches was adopted.
Wm. Perkins spoke of the law enforced in Kent county, by which the children of free colored persons, whom the officers decided the parents were unable to support, were bound out; and also of the law which prohibited a colored person returning to the State if he should happen to leave it. They were oppressed and borne down.
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