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Scripto | Transcribe Page
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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human legislation.—Therefore we cheerfully enter on this moral warfare in defence of liberty, justice, and humanity, conscious that whether we live to witness its completion, or die in anticipation of its glorious results, that it has already been committed to the friends of liberty and christianity throughout the world, and to them we look for its final consummation.—We therefore mutually pledge ourselves to these principles, the cause and the world, to do all that in our power lies, to hasten the period when justice and universal liberty shall sway the sceptre of nations.
To the American people.
Fellow Citizens—We form a portion of the people of this continent, on whom an unmeasurable amount of obloquy, and scorn, and contempt have been poured, on account of the depravity of our morals ; and who have been educated under the influence of a system, that impairs the mental vigour, blights with its blasting influence the only successful hope on which the mind can be reared, that keeps from our grasp the fruits of knowledge, the favour or just and equitable laws, and presents a formidable barrier to the prosecution of arts and sciences of civilized life. The lucrative avocations, mechanic arts, and civil associations by which men acquire a knowledge of government, and the nature of human affairs, have been almost wholly reserved as a dignified reward, suited only to the interest and use of the fairer complexion. Yet, in despite of all these, when all the avenues of privileged life have been closed against us, our hands bound with stationary fetters, our minds left to grope in the prison cell of impenetrable gloom, and our whole action regulated by constitutional law and a perverse public sentiment, we have been tauntingly required to prove the dignity of our human nature, by disrobing ourselves of inferiority, and exhibiting to the world our profound Scholars, distinguished Philosophers, learned Jurists, and distinguished Statesmen. The very expectation on which such a requisition is founded, to say the least, is unreasonable, for it is only when the seed is sown that we can justly hope to reap. If amidst all the difficulties with which we have been surrounded,
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