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Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored Men; held in the City of Syracuse, N.Y.; October 4, 5, 6, and 7, 1864; with the Bill of Wrongs and Rights; and the Address to the American People

1864NY.14.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

14


He recapitulated the acts passed by the Congress of the nation favorable to the colored people of the country, and rendered a tribute of praise to the parties instrumental in securing them; but he wanted, at the same time, to have the colored people of the country look the facts of the case in the face, and to consider the dangers which threaten them even now. The tardiness of justice awarded was then forcibly dwelt upon, and the late speech of Mr. Secretary Seward submitted to a pointed review in brief, so far as it intimates that if peace by any means be secured the status of the colored people should remain as it is to-day. Mr. Douglass was not unmindful of the hopeful side of the question, but felt that we were safest when we knew our danger.

The President then introduced Rev. J. Sella Martin, of New York. Mr. Martin began by referring to the principles which could be seen underlying the present contest in this land, and especially to the hand of Providence in behalf of the colored man. God had interfered mercifully for the oppressed, and had offset the nation's acts against the black man by meeting them at every point. When the war began, the colored man was employed only to dig ditches. The colored man wrought there, and wrought worthily; but the nation was not prepared to advance him to any point beyond that, until, in the order of Providence, there was removed from command the great ditch-digger of the nineteenth century. So from one point to another had the colored people, in the order of Providence, passed on and up to their proud position to-day.

Mr. Martin was hopeful in God and in the nation, and looked forward to see liberty and enfranchisement blessing the whole people. The speech was compact, earnest, eloquent; and, like Mr. Douglass's, well received.

The President said, as the audience were now in such good humor, he proposed that they keep so until they should be visited by the Finance Committee, after which they would be addressed by a young colored lady. He said, "You have your Anna Dickinsons; and we have ours. We wish to meet you at every point."

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