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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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interested in should we not hail the progress of this nation? Yes! and in the hour of trial we shall act in accordance with this resolution."
Mr. H. M. Collins said--"It is not always right to wait for public sentiment before taking a position; it is better to go for the right and wait for public sentiment to come to it. Speaking of what we would do in case of an invasion, we may judge of the future by the past. At the time of the Mexican war, our young men at Pittsburgh held a meeting to decide upon the propriety of going to Mexico; the elder heads opposed the plan, and our Young America stayed at home; but what was the fact? If we did not oppose Mexico directly, we did indirectly; it made the fact evident, too, that colored young men, under similar circumstances, are influenced by similar motives and feelings with the whites."
Mr. C. M. Wilson said--"Being on the Business Committee I wrote this resolution; all the resolutions that come from the Committee are not approved by them; it is their duty to arrange and present business, and it is for the Convention to take such action upon it as they may deem expedient or right; that can only be determined upon by the exchange of opinions. If gentlemen think that the adoption of this resolution will be productive of good, why not adopt it? For my own part I think it will, because it is conciliatory and in harmony with the popular American view of things."
Mr. Detter said--"Let us proceed to take the vote upon this resolution. There are, probably, many gentlemen who are in favor of it without alteration, while others regard it as stating what who would modify or reject. Let us now dispose of it."
Mr. J. Francis proposed to amend, by striking out all the words after "sympathise with it in its adversity."
Mr. Ferguson said--"Upon the whole, I like the resolution as it is; in dealing with enemies, my course is to oppose them with their own weapons; knife against knife, pistol against pistol: still, gentlemen, it cannot be denied, that we are surrounded by peculiar circumstances; while acting in the midst of enemies, it is necessary we should be politic.
"Much has been said of progress; what is progress? It is to go forward to the light before us to new and higher ideas; for example, history and experience show us the defects of old customs, manners, and institutions, and also prove their excellencies. Progress is to reject the evil, to accept the good, and go forward trusting in development. Infinite power and wisdom has established the laws of progressive development; we limit that power and wisdom when we doubt the possibility of progress beyond present attainments. The difference between the Fejee Islander and Daniel Webster illustrates progress; so there is improvement all the way from the lowest barbarism to the highest point of present civilization, and beyond, interminably.
"Republicanism is progress from the old politics. New York and Ohio were thoroughly pro-slavery; their late political action is the result of progressive ideas; it is the kind of progress we hail; and there is a propriety in our saying it to the world as showing that we see, weigh, and appreciate it.
"Again, why should we not declare our readiness to defend our country against foreign invasion? We claim this as our country; the love of our native land; as it is a duty, so it is natural; we feel its power and acknowledge its obligations; wrongs I know are inflicted upon us, but we are struggling for right, strong in the hope that it will prevail; in the trial hour, as our fathers did, we would again prove the justice of our claims, and no sooner refuse to defend our country than the whites. It is, indeed, simply the defence of our bread and butter; to this point it comes at length."
The vote upon the amendment of Mr. Francis being call for, was taken, and the amendment adopted.
Mr. Barbadoes moved to recommit the resolution--motion lost.
Mr. Ferguson moved to adopt the resolution as amended.
The vote was taken with the following result--Ayes, 27; Noes, 29.
Resolution No. 5 being read, was, on motion of Mr. Newby, recommitted, for the purpose of altering its phraseology.
Resolutions 6, 7, and 8, were also recommitted.
Resolutions 9,10, 11, and 12 were read and adopted.
Resolution No. 13 was again read, pending a motion to adopt.
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