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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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withering the fair and natural hopes of our happiness, resulting from the enjoyment of that invaluable behest of God to man—FREEDOM.
It is not to be expected that we would enter into a disquisition, with a view to satisfy the minds of those who fancy they are interested in prolonging the miseries of their fellow men; on that subject, it is presumed the greatest stretch of human reason has been employed to elucidate its repugnance to the precepts of the Gospel; its infringement on the natural rights of man; its injury to the interests of those who cleave to it on the score of supposed interest, and its repugnance to the happiness, as well as to the interests of society in general. From these considerations, the conviction is forced upon us that they willingly and wilfully shut their eyes against the clearest evidences of reason. In that state of helplessness in which we were, schools were erected for our improvement, and from them great benefit has resulted. Schools have been erected by philanthropists, and many of us have been educated without so much as knowing when, or by whom, the edifices had been reared. But the manifest improvement that we have made, loudly demands we should employ the talents we possess in assisting the philanthropists of the present time in their endeavours for our further advancement. A host of benevolent individuals are at present actively engaged in the praiseworthy and noble undertaking of raising us from the degradation we are now in, to the exalted situation of American freemen. Their success eminently depends upon the succour and encouragement they receive from our united efforts to carry into effect those plans recommended for the government of our conduct. With a strong desire for our improvement in morality, religion, and learning, they have advised us strictly to practise the virtues of temperance and economy, and by all means early to instruct our children in the elements of education. The Convention being perfectly convinced of the impossibility of our moral elevation without a strict adherence to these precepts, has conceived it to be its duty earnestly to call upon our brethren to give their aid and influence in promoting an object so desirable. In conformity to the recommendation of the former Convention, we are happy to have it in our power to state, that several temperance societies have been formed in most, if not in all, the states represented. In the course of the proceedings, will be found an elaborate report on the subject of temperance, to the careful perusal of which we invite the especial attention of our brethren. That societies for mental improvement, particularly among the females, have been established in several places, and a manifest improvement has marked their progress. Some diligence has also been employed in extending the benefits of education to a considerable number of children, who had been before neglected, and mental feasts have been held, of mixed companies of males and females, in some of the cities, on the recommendation of our very worthy friend, the Rev. Simeon S. Jocelyn, of New Haven.
From these promising beginnings we eagerly anticipate a speedy and extensive spread of those principles so justly calculated to dignify human nature; and earnestly hope a universal imitation
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