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Convention of the Colored Citizens of Massachusetts, August 1, 1858.

1858MA.8.pdf

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103

MASSACHUSETTS, 1858

believe the whites thought the colored men inferior. He had no respect for the Supreme Court that would so infamously take from him his rights. It is a great misfortune that the colored man is so submissive. He is too religious in the wrong sense. His fears are played upon. He is taught to look forward to the new Jerusalem, as an asylum from all his woes. He wanted a part of that new Jerusalem here. Better that every colored man in the nation were struck down dead, than to live another year as he is now. The fear of hell was taught us. We were told that God, in His own time, would work out deliverance. God's time to do right was now. No doubt it was intended to re-open the African slave trade. He did not much regret it. Equalize the numbers of whites and blacks in the country, and it would be 'hands off.'

C.L. Remond regretted that he was obliged to ask for rights which every pale-faced vagabond from across the water could almost at once enjoy. He did not go so far as Uncle Tom, and kiss the hand that smote him. He didn't believe in such Christianity. He didn't object to the 'decision,' and the slave bill, any more than to the treatment of the colored race in Iowa and Kansas. The exodus for the colored men of this country is over the Constitution and through the Union. He referred to parties, and asked what either of them had done for freedom. The free soil and republican parties had, alike, been false. We must depend upon our own self-reliance. If we recommend to the slaves in South Carolina to rise in rebellion, it would work greater things than we imagine. If some black Archimedes does not soon arise with his lever, then will there spring up some black William Wallace16 with his claymore, for the freedom of the colored race. He boldly proclaimed himself a traitor to the government and the Union, so long as his rights were denied him for no fault of his. Our government would disgrace the Algerines and Hottentots. Were there a thunderbolt of God which he could invoke to bring destruction upon this nation, he would gladly do it.

Thomas S. Chester, of Liberia, made a few gratulatory remarks on the events the day commemorated.

Robert Morris spoke of the progress of the colored people in this State. Formerly they were all slaves; now they are free, and can vote. He believed in voting. He should stump his district, and thought he might be elected to the Legislature. He advised the colored people to stand together and vote together. Let them demand a member of the school committee, and then a representative. Let the children, black and white, be educated together, and prejudice is conquered. Children never have any feeling against the colored people until taught it by their parents. Intelligence will be the great regulator. He would have the plantations at the South made uninhabitable through fear of the uprising of the slaves.

H.O. Remington, of the Finance Committee, reported that a collection which was taken up, amounted to $29.70.

Mr. Alexander Roberts, the inventor of the machine alluded to in the resolutions, took the stand for the purpose of explaining the operation of his apparatus. It was a contrivance to assist firemen in their labors, and to enable them to attack fires in warm places into which no engine could penetrate. After Mr. Roberts remarks, the Convention adjourned until the morning.


Tuesday.

The Convention having re-assembled in the morning, business opened at about ten o'clock, after a prayer by Rev. Mr. Randolph, of Boston. Mr. Nell, of the Business Committee, then commenced the reading of Resolutions. The following two were adopted without discussion:--

Resolved, That we heartily endorse the petition to be addressed to the Massachusetts Legislature by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, for the enacting that no person who has been held as a slave shall be delivered up by any officer or court, State or Federal, within this Commonwealth, to any one claiming him on the ground that he owes 'service or labor' to such claimant by the laws of one of the slave States of this Union.

Resolved, That in due appreciation of the glorious fact, that in the good old Bay State there now exists no proscription of our children from the public schools, we would urge all parents and guardians to use their every influence to secure the punctual attendance at school of the children in their localities.

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