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Minutes of the Fifth Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Colour in the United States; Held by Adjournments, in the Wesley Church, Philadelphia; from the first to the fifth of June, inclusive; 1835.
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the air with their voluminous ejaculations, and will be borne upwards by the power of virtue to the great Ruler of Israel, for deliverance from this yoke of merciless bondage. Let us not lament, that under the present constituted powers of this government, we are disfranchised; better far than to be partakers of its guilt. Let us refuse to be allured by the glittering endowments of official stations, or enchanted with the robe of American citizenship. But let us choose like true patriots, rather to be the victims of oppression than the administrators of injustice.
Let no man remove from his native country, for our principles are drawn from the book of divine revelation, and are incorporated in the Declaration of Independence, "that all men are born equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Therefore, our only trust is in the agency of divine truth, and the spirit of American liberty; our cause is glorious and must finally triumph. Though the blighting hand of time should sweep us from the stage of action; though other generations should pass away, our principles will live forever; we will teach our children, and our children's children, to hand them down to unborn generations, and to the latest posterity; not merely for the release of the bondman from his chains, nor for the elevation of the free coloured man to the privilleges 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 Am. Co. So. and A. A. S.S.
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