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Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored People and Their Friends; held in Troy, NY; on the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th of October, 1847

1847NY 21.pdf

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22

By the mysterious providence of God, we find that captivity has dispersed our race far and wide. Long years of darkness, imbecility and slavery, have been our portion. But God hath appointed us unto restoration. For princes shall come out of Egypt, and Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God. We bless and praise Jehovah's name that he ever liveth to carry out his own counsels of judgment and mercy. To this island of Jamaica, he hath been especially gracious. He hath brought to our shores the inestimable boon of Freedom, and opened before us a career of glory that is sufficient to animate and inspire the most apathetic and deadened soul. What hath the Eternal here wrought? He hath conferred upon us the blessings of free institutions, and the gift of a country, in the most endearing sense of that term. We are the great body of the people. We have a climate which seems made for us, and we for the climate. SureIy, "the lines have fallen unto us in pleasant places, and we have a goodly heritage." The price by which great things may be obtained is in our hands, and our only desire is that it may be used wisely and for the best of purposes. But to make our advantages of the best possible avail, we need encouragement and co-operation from our brethren and friends throughout the world. Lend us your prayers and your sympathies, and we stipulate on our part, that the great experiment which is now in progress for the elevation of our long injured race, shall be thoroughly successful and satisfactory in its results. It is our blessing, notwithstandmg hItherto it has not been in our power to turn it to the best account, that we are surrounded by similar moral and political institutions, and speak a language the same as that spoken by the great body of our brethren in America, and friends in other parts of the world. In this we are afforded great facilities for correspondence. We also possess a goodly number of churches and chapels and schools, such as our present circumstances might be thought to admit of. In these institutions no caste distinctions are tolerated. Our civil and political advancement is, upon the whole, encouraging, In the jury box, in the magistracy, in the municipal corporations and the Legislature, we are rapidly filling our places. But in one respect our progress does not keep pace with our general advancement. In the Commerce of the country we have no proportionate share. Now the relation existing between us and our brethren of North America, is one of mutual sympathy and co-operation in all that pertains to the general welfare of the race, and your co-operation with us, is in nothing more demanded than in Commercial enterprise. In this island our people constitute phatically the market, and in America abound those commodities which are in the greatest demand amongst us. There is

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