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


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insurrection should come about. He had counted the cost. If he had one hundred relations at the South, he would rather see them die to-day, than to live in bondage. He would rather stand over their graves, than feel that any pale-faced scoundrel might violate his mother or his sister at pleasure. He only regretted that he had not a spear with which he could transfix all the slaveholders at once. To the devil with the slaveholders! Give him liberty, or give him death. The insurrection could be accomplished as quick as thought, and the glorious result would be instantaneously attained.

A vote was taken, and the motion was lost. This was by far the most spirited discussion of the Convention.

The resolutions introduced last evening were adopted, on motion of Mr. Peneton.

A Committee on publication was appointed, consisting of W.C. Nell, J.B. Smith, J.J. Smtih, Geo. Allen, B.C. Perry, and it was voted to print the proceedings in pamphlet form.

A poem which was appropriate to the close of the proceedings, was read by Mr. B.C. Perry.

Voted, That we tender to the Men and the Women of New Bedford our grateful acknowledgement, for the courtesy and hospitality so generously extended to us during our Convention sojourn in their beautiful Garden City.

Voted, That the thanks of the Convention are hereby expressed to the President and officers for the able, prompt, and faithful discharge of their several duties.

A prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Johnson, and after a few words of congratulation from the President, the Convention adjourned.

The Liberator, August 13, 1858.


1. Josiah Henson was the fugitive slave who helped many slaves escape from slavery, was the author of a famous autobiography, and he helped Harriet Beecher Stowe with information about slavery when she was writing Uncle Tom's Cabin.

2. William Tell was the legendary fourteenth century Swiss patriot. Not much is known about him, and there is no valid proof that he ever existed.

3. The Reverend Henry Bleby (1809-1882) was a longtime missionary to Jamaica and Barbadoes. Commenting upon his missionary work among the blacks in the West Indies, the National Anti-Slavery Standard, in a biographical note dated July 24, 1858, reported that he had labored among them 'both before and since their emancipation. His object in coming to this country is to receive such contributions as the liberality of the friends of the Negro race may prompt them to bestow, to assist in the erection of schools, that the advantages of education may be more widely extended amongst the colored children of Barbadoes, where he now exercises his ministry. Mr. Bleby was one of the missionaries whose places of worship were destroyed by opponents of Negro instruction during the severe struggle which preceded the abolition of slavery in the British Colonies, and he sustained indignities and outrages in his person and family similar to those which Southern intolerance inflicts upon the faithful friends and teachers of the slaves; and once, after being covered with tar, narrowly escaped burning to death."

4. Henry John Temple (1784-1865), or Lord Palmerston, was British prime minister from 1855 to 1858 and again from 1859 to 1865.

5. Benjamin Robbins Curtis (1809-1874) was an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court at the time of the Dred Scot Decision. His dissenting opinion received wide publicity, and shortly after the decision was promulgated, Curtis resigned his seat on the court, due in part to irreconcilable differences with Taney.

6. The Reverend Hosea Easton of Massachusetts was an active participant in the early Negro convention movement and the presiding officer of the Hartford Literary and Religious Institution when it was founded in 1834.

7. British Major Pitcairn was killed, it is generally assumed, by a volley from the musket of Peter Salem, one of the Negroes who fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

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