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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Minutes and proceedings of the Third annual Convention, for the Improvement of the Free People of Colour in these United States, :held by adjournments in the city of Philadelphia, from the 3d to the 13th of June inclusive, 1833.
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While in view of what has been accomplished, we have cause of gratitude, and of encouragement, yet much very much remains to be done. The RUM system, like that of slavery, is upheld by ignorance, avarice, and incorrect views of duty. Alike they are exerting a withering influence--both, blessed be God, are receding before omnipotent truth; but the triumph is to be achieved over deep rooted prejudices, and long cherished and stubborn habits but the light of truth, in its energy and majesty, is adequate for its accomplishment.
While upon other portions of the community, a flood of light is pouring forth from the press and from the pulpit, there is among us criminal remissness in the diffusion of correct principles on this subject—To free our brethren from the chains of American oppression, and to clear away the mists of prejudice, which so unjustly attempts to withhold from us our rights, as American citizens, our hope and confidence is in the diffusion of correct moral principle; this alone, is adequate to induce those whom we represent, to feel the obligation of banishing, at once, and for ever, the use of strong drink, and with it the fruitful source of the evils which retard our best interests.
That the Convention may act with more efficiency, and assume an attitude to guide public opinion, your Committee have deemed it important to make a few suggestions.
They recommend during the present session of the Convention, the formation of a Conventional Temperance Society, to be styled THE COLOURED AMERICAN CONVENTIONAL TEMPERANCE SOCIETY; that the officers and managers of which be appointed from different sections of the country; and that it hold its Annual Meeting during the time and at the place of the Meeting the Convention.
The utility of such an organization is obvious; the design of which should not be to descend to the drudgery and minute attention to detail the appropriate work of other societies engaged in this good work, but to give an impulse to, and to exercise a supervision over the Temperance effort, throughout our portion of community. Every member will be a pledged and authorised Agent, happily adapted to exert an influence in the formation of Societies, and in securing the co-operation of the friends of moral reform, and of the friends of the people of colour.
Such a Society, from its relative position to our population, will form a medium of statistical information, which cannot be as well procured in any other way. It will promote unity of feeling and action, which in this work are of intrinsic importance. Whatever doubt may be entertained of man's capacity single handed, to do much good, it cannot be doubted when he allies himself to others. "Union is full of strength and encouragement."
Your Committee further suggest, the importance of an endeavour to call up the attention of our population generally to this momentous subject, more particularly, that of influential individuals; for at every successive step taken in the investigation of this subject, with its bearing upon our political and moral interests, we have been shocked, and humbled, at the criminal apathy which pervades the minds of many or our intelligent and useful men, and many of our pious men too, on this obviously important
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