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Scripto | Transcribe Page
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
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Current Saved Transcription [history]
While the financial visit was pending, a song was called for, and sung finely by Mr. Robert Hamilton. The President then introduced Miss Edmonia Highgate, an accomplished young lady of Syracuse. Miss Highgate urged the Convention to trust in God and press on, and not abate one jot or tittle until the glorious day of jubilee shall come.
Mr. J. Mercer Langston, Esq., of Ohio, was the next speaker. He began by saying that he was a believer in the Declaration of American Independence; and proceeded to show that all people in the land, white and colored, were slaves to the oligarchy which inaugurated the present rebellion; and that the effort we are making to secure rights for the colored men was also one to secure the recognition of the rights of the white men of the country. Mr. Langston referred at length to Attorney-General Bates's opinion as to the citizenship of colored men, and claimed that that was a complete answer to the arguments and cavils against us.
As a voter in Ohio, under the law as construed, which enables men to vote who are more white than black, he had supported the Republican party, and he expected to do it again.
He ascribed the good done, however forced, to that party; and he meant to vote with and for them.
Mr. Langston's speech had many good points, all worthy of consideration. The argument to our opponents was full and convincing, and the speech was frequently interrupted with hearty applause.
Rev. J.C. Gibbs, of Pennsylvania, was called for by the President as one of the appointees for the evening; but he declined to speak.
The President then called upon Rev. Henry Highland Garnet; but, at that late hour, he also declined.
A motion was then made that Rev. Mr. Garnet be appointed the first speaker for the following (Thursday) evening, which motion was unanimously adopted.
The President then referred briefly to the position taken by the preceding speakers, and close by calling attention to the sessions of the Convention. After the singing of the "Battlecry of Freedom," in which all joined, the Convention adjourned.
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