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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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important of these theories, that of the American Colonization Society, not only because it pursues, by its dependent agents the most irrational course to effect the object they profess to have in view, as unfolded by them to the people of the North, but that the supporters of the system at the South are among the moat talented and respectable of their citizens; how these men should advocate a cause so incommensurate to produce the avowed desired effects, seems involved in impenetrable mystery. But it is worse than idle when the address is made to the common sense of common men, to ask whether a child or person born in the United States of America can be considered a native of England. The philanthropists of this association have endeavoured to establish, as a primary belief, that the coloured child, that is, the child not white, no matter how how many generations he may be able to trace in a lineal ascent, is an African, and ought to be sent to the land of his forefathers—Africa. When they have worked up the fancy of their hearers to that pitch that they really believe us to be Africans, it becomes an easy matter to excite their sympathy so that they readily loose their purse-strings, and voluntarily contribute to the beneficent scheme of the Society to restore us to the land of our nativity. The show of seeming seriousness in combatting so ludicrous a position, if it was not upheld by a very respectable portion of the intelligence of the country, might create a doubt of the intent.
But this society has most grossly vilified our character as a people; it has taken much pains to make us abhorrent to the public, and then pleads the necessity of sending us into banishment. A greater outrage could not be committed against an unoffending people; and the hypocrisy that has marked its movements, deserves our universal censure. We have been cajoled into measures by the most false representations of the advantages to be derived from our emigration to Africa. The recommendation has been offered as presenting the greatest and best interests to ourselves. No argument has been adduced, other than that based on prejudice, and that prejudice founded on our difference of colour. If shades of difference in complexion is to operate to make men the sport of powerful caprice, who can pretend to determine how long it may be before, on this principle, the colonists may be again compelled to migrate to the land of their fathers in America.
The conduct of this institution is the most unprincipled that has been realized in almost any civilized country. Based and supported as it was, by some men of the greatest wealth and talent that the country boasts, under the sanction of names so respectable, the common sense of the community was led astray, little imagining that any thing more was designed. than appeared on the surface, viz. the improvement of the condition of the people of colour, by their removal to Africa, and the evangelizing of that continent. The hidden insidious design in our removal, political expediency, was confined to the few that organized the society; its secret purposes have been kept as close as possible. But Southern inquisitiveness demanded a developement of the secret, with which they were satisfied, and it received their support—while the North, prompted by sentiments of benevolence towards us, entered
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