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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 25.pdf

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and the privations which we have suffered, we presented an equal amount of intelligence with that class of Americans that have been so peculiarly favoured, a very grave and dangerous question would present itself to the world, on the natural equality of man, and the best rule of logic would place those who have oppressed us, in the scale of inferiority. This we do not desire; we love the appellation that records the natural and universal rights of man, (to enjoy all the attributes of human happiness,) too well, to deprive a single being on earth of such an heavenly inheritance. We can never consent to degrade the creation of man by even attempting to defend the impartiality of his Author. If there be those who doubt that we are made in the image of God, and are endowed with those attributes which the Deity has given to man, we will exhibit them our "hands and side."

The general assertion that superiority of mind is the natural offspring of a fair complexion, arrays itself against the experience of the past and present age, and both natural and physiological science. The ignorance that exists on this subject we are not accountable for, nor are we willing to admit a theory alike irreconcilable with philosophy and common sense.

It is in view of these mighty evils that exist in our country, which are truly national, that has caused us to meet in annual convention for six successive years to take into consideration the best method of remedying our present situation by contributing to their removal; during which period we have associated the collected wisdom of our people, in their representative character, from half the states of this Union, extending from Maine to Washington, southernly, and from thence westwardly to Cincinnati, Ohio, and have come to the conclusion to form a National Moral Reform Society, as a means best calculated to reach. the wants and improve the condition of our people.

We have selected four valuable subjects for rallying points, viz.: Education, Temperance, Economy, and Universal Liberty. We hope to make our people, in theory and practice, thoroughly acquainted with these subjects, as a method of future action. Having placed our institution on the high and indisputable ground of natural laws and human rights, and being guided and actuated by the law of universal love to our fellow men, we have buried in the bosom of Christian benevolence all those national distinctions,

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