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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Colored National Convention, held in Franklin Hall, Sixth Street, Below Arch, Philadelphia, October 16th, 17th and 18th, 1855.
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working ten hours per day, and even after this there are many who have still wide room for improvement.
Considering, then, the necessity under which we labor of being at least equal, if not superior as workmen, in order to overcome the prejudice existing against us, we cannot believe that the disconnected hours applied to attaining the said trades will suffice in the limited period, to give that proficiency of execution and workmanlike ability which we believe to be indispensably necessary to success in business, and the ultimate triumph of our enterprise.
An institution such as is now under consideratIon, wIll not be able to accomplish much for the masses. Our people are wide-spread as are the free states of this Confederacy, their wants are varied as their localities, and all demand that their requirements should be equally cared for. The great number of our people are poor, and in consequence would be unable to avail themselves of such advantages as the institution might afford, even if it was their wish so to do.
What then is to be done? What new means must we devise? From all sides we hear the demand for occupations that shall keep pace with the rising intelligence of our people. This then is the subject which is daily forced upon us, and it must be met with a determination to adopt such plans as will be most certain of success within our reach, and likely to do the greatest good to the largest number. Having objected to the plan proposed for the accomplishment of the desired object, it will of course be expected that we will suggest some substitute. This we will endeavor to do, and will present the skeleton of a plan, believing that the concentrated wisdom of the convention now about to assemble will be able to fashion it into such a "harmonious whole" as will meet the end we have so much desired.
Let the National Council, when duly organized, establish as a part of their operations a Mechanical Bureau, accumulating a fund to be employed in the promotion of the Mechanic Arts amongst colored men. They shall organize in the several
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