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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 28.pdf

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29

adds annually to the value of his farm, and he is becoming every year a wealthier man.

An Agricultural life also tends to equality in life. The community is a community of farmers. Their occupations are the same; their hopes and interests the same; they occupy a similar position in society; the ones is not above the other, whether of the proscribed or any other class, they are all alike farmers. And as it is by placing men in the same position in society that all castes fade away, all castes in this case will be forgotten, and an equality of rights, interests and privileges only exist. An Agricultural life then is the life for a proscribed class to pursue, because it tends to break down all proscriptions.

Your Committee cannot close these suggestions without refering to the beneficent act of GERRIT SMITH, ESQ., which has opened the way to our people to the farmers life. They refer to it also because they wish to urge those possessed of these advantages to use them, as well from the influence it will exert upon others as for the benefit that will result to themselves. Your Committee think they see in this beneficent act of Mr. Smith's, a Divine Providence directing our people to this mode of life as well as opening the way to it. They regard this as a God-send, which, like other gifts of God, is not to be slighted, but used and not abused; and which, if used, will give to us a character, a name and a place among the people of the earth, useful to ourselves, gratifying to the donor and honorable to God. For here we have put into our hands, without money and without price, the means to place us in independent and happy circumstances And we believe that the destiny of our people now hangs upon the use to be made of this gift by those to whom it is given, as much as upon any one thing that presents itself to our consideration. That, if this land shall be settled and improved, and the wilderness made to bud and blossom as the rose, as bud and blossom it may, by its now present owners, that they will work for themselves a character and create an influence that shall command the respect for themselves and their brethren, of those who now very little respect us; that will stop the mouths of those who speak slightly of us, and will exert an influence upon our brethren who have not shared in those gifts, to turn their attention to and engage in the pursuit of Agricultural life.

Your Committee, aware that this gift of land by Mr. Smith concerns the people of the State of New York directly, have nevertheless, referred to it here, with the hope that the Convention will pass the Resolutions in reference to this matter herewith submitted, both to evince our appreciation of those gifts, and to express our high regard for the donor, as well as to exert some in-

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