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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Second Annual Convention of the Colored Citizens of the State of California, Held in the City of Sacramento, Dec. 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th, 1856.
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in that open protest, at home and abroad, even against the laws and policy of their native country."
Mr. Moore said:--"If it is to build up slavery, that is quite another thing. I do not think this is the intended meaning of the language; neither do I think the friends need to fear that the country will make any more progress in that direction. It is true the south continues to threaten, that if she is not allowed to bully the people, and drive the country further in this progress backwards, thus extending the area of slavery, and consolidating their power, so that they may suppress free thought, free speech, and a free press, break down the last vestige of liberty, all but the liberty for themselves to be the national masters and overseers; why then they will dissolve the Union. But we know these threats, as the politicians say, are for buncombe; the south don't mean it; they, indeed, dread nothing so much.
"But, then, I don't think it possible for them to get the North to go any further downward; they are beginning to combine in self-defense, acting upon the principle of "the greatest good to the greatest number," with the definition that that is "number one." The people of Yankeedom deserve no special credit from us; it is not sympathy with our condition; but whencesoever comes this manliness in them, I am glad to see it. Slavery is welding the chains about the white man, and they are galling him; herein too is a sign of hope; taking up arms is scarcely compatible with my profession; if it were, I am inclined to think I should 'right about face.' "
Mr. F. G. Barbadoes said:--"It is with sorrow that I have listened to the intemperate expressions uttered by gentlemen in opposition to the fourth resolution. I do not entirely endorse that resolution, for the reason that I think some of its expressions unnecessary at this time. I speak of that portion referring to invasion by a foreign foe. Our country, thank God, is not menaced by such a probability; should that time come, I doubt not, that the colored man will be found as he ever has been in all the wars of America, fighting for home and liberty.
"With the affairs of England or other foreign nations, we have nothing to do at this time. With the question of Slavery, and the Union, we have nothing to say. This is not the time or place for the introduction of such inflammable and discordant subjects.
"We are here as American citizens, amenable to the laws and claiming their protection by right of nativity, while acting upon a matter strictly local in its nature, benefits, and effects, viz., the removal of a special grievance in the laws of our adopted State; a grievance which leaves us without a shadow of safety or protection for our families and property from the incursions of the robber, incendiary, or assassin. It is to the carrying out of this purpose that we should gather all our strength, and concentrate all our efforts.
"I appeal to the good sense of this Convention, if the introduction of all matter not directly touching the points for which we have assembled, should not be promptly suppressed? We cannot, in justice to our constituents, allow such subjects to have occupancy in this Convention. I trust that the resolution may be withdrawn, and that harmony may be restored."
Mr. Newby said:--"Mr. Barbadoes dislikes the language used in reference to this resolution; he calls it rash, incendiary, and yet he is opposed to the resolution; yes, to that part which refers to foreign invasion. What fallacy is this! The policy recommended by gentlemen may be very good, but let us not promulgate a lie. How long shall we be governed by this degrading policy? I do not believe it necessary that we should assume a position so wanting in respect; we concede much to the public continually in our intercourse with them, by our words and actions, by the humility of our general deportment; it is not necessary we should be hypocritical; neither interest or true policy so dictate; right thinking men would despise us for it. We have permitted this sort of policy to govern our conduct long enought, not that we should make it a point to offend, but speak frankly and truthfully. Intelligent whites know and appreciate intelligence wherever they see it; they despise cowardice and duplicity; we know that we should act, as they know they would in the same circumstances, because it is right so to act.
"The Petitions sent in to the Legislature--and were respectful [illegible] humble. Should we fall down upon our knees and kiss their feet? There is no necessity for this; let the people know what we feel and what we think;
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