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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 29.pdf

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30

composed, to be chained within its grasp, as it is for the puny arm of rebellious man to control the operations of the universe.

We will endeavour to establish in our people a correct knowledge of their own immortal worth, their high derivation as rational, moral and intelligent beings. We shall appeal to them to abandon their prejudice against all complexion and bury them in oblivion, and endeavour to live in the same country as children of one common father, and as, brethren possessing the same holy, religious faith, and with a zeal determined on the promotion of great and glorious objects. We shall endeavour to impress on them, at all times, to maintain in every station of life that affability of manner, meekness, humility and gentleness, that ornaments the Christian character; and finally, we will appeal to Heaven for the purity of our motives, and the rectitude of our intentions, and to men for the means of prosecuting them; to Christians, philanthropists and patriots, without regard to creed, profession, or party. In short, we shall aim to whatever seemeth good, consistent with these principles, for the promotion and welfare of our people.

Having now stated the most prominent objects that will command our attention and support, there are others, that from mere custom and usage, many might suppose it were our duty to vindicate. From these we must respectfully dissent, viz.: We will not stoop to contend with those who style us inferior beings. And as we know of no earthly tribunal of sufficient competency and impartiality to decide on a question, involving the natural superiority of individuals and nations, we shall not submit so grave a decision to creatures like ourselves, and especially to our enemies. In the preamble of our constitution, we claim to be American citizens, an<I we will not waste our time by holding converse with those who deny us this privilege, unless they first prove that a man is not a citizen of that country in which he was born and reared. Those that desire to discuss with us the propriety of remaining in this country, or of the method of our operations, must first admit us as a cardinal point, their equals by nature, possessing [like?] themselves, from God, all those inalienable rights, that are universally admitted to be the property of his creatures. We will not admit that strength of mind lies concealed in the complexion of the body. Having now performed a duty we owed to the people of these United States, in explaining the whole course of action, of an Institution for the improvement of the

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