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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.

1835PA 23.pdf

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24

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 would 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, in moral and intellectual endowments, and that our visages may be as so many Bibles, that shall warn this guilty nation of her injustice and cruelty to the descendants of Africa, until righteousness, justice and truth, shall rise in their might and majesty, and proclaim from the halls of legislation that the chains of the bondsman have fallen, that the soil is sacred to liberty, and that without distinction of nation or complexion she disseminates alike her blessings of freedom to all mankind.

Then let us rally around her standard and aid in cementing and perpetuating that bond of union.

As it regards the latter institution, we believe that it is preparing the way for that desirable event. With them we will make one common cause, satisfied to await the same issue.

With them we are willing to labour for its achievement, and terminate our lives as martyrs, in support of its principles. We will raise our moral flag, bearing for its inscription, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you;" under this banner we will rally our countrymen without distinction of caste or complexion.

We therefore declare to the world, that our object is to extend the principles of universal peace and good will to all mankind, by promoting sound morality, by the influence of education, temperance, economy, and all those virtues that alone can render man acceptable in the eyes of God or the civilized world.

We therefore consider it due to our friends, and our enemies, nay, to the world, that previous to our taking this decided stand, we should make this just exposition of our sentiments. We have drawn out principles of human rights from an authority above

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