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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Minutes of the Fourth Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Colour, in the United States; held by adjournments in the Asbury Church, New York, from the 2nd to the 12th of June, inclusive, 1834.
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of the bondman from his chains, nor for the elevation of the free coloured man to the privileges of citizenship ; nor for the restoration of the world from infidelity and superstition; but from the more fatal doctrine of expediency, without which the true principles of religion can never be established, liberty never secure, or the sacred rights of man remain inviolate.
It is our fortune to live in an era, where the moral power of this nation is waking up to the evils of slavery, and the cause of our oppressed brethren throughout this country. We see two rival institutions* invoking the benevolence of nations to aid in changing our condition. The former proposes an indirect action on the sin of slavery, by removing the free, to the land of their fathers. The latter, a direct action on the subject of slavery by denouncing its guilt, while it pleads for the elevation of the free coloured man in the land of his nativity.
The former we reject. First, Because it is unnecessary, there being sufficient amount of territory on this continent to contain ten times the number of its present inhabitants. Secondly, Because it is anti-republican in its nature and tendency; for if our country were now overflowing with a redundant population, we should deny the right of any one class of men to designate those that should be first removed. Thirdly, Because if the few be removed, we have no security that slavery would be abolished; besides, if that were achieved, the victims of prejudice could scarcely be removed in a century, while the prejudice itself would still exist. Therefore we, as ardent lovers of our country's welfare, would be guilty of leaving it to writhe under the dominion of a prejudice inimical to the principles of morality, religion and virtue, while on the contrary we might have aided its removal. Therefore we believe and affirm that the duty we owe to the land of our birth, the interest of our suffering brethren, the cause of justice, virtue and religion, appeal to us in the most emphatic strains to remain on our soil, and see the salvation of God and the true principles of freedom.
Therefore we do not desire to see our numbers decreased, but we pray God that we may lawfully multiply in numbers,
• The Am. Co. So. and A A. S. S.
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