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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
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through the Red Sea, over sandy wastes, into the land of promise and plenty,—glorious Canaan; and so now he is leading us, and with us this nation, through the Red Sea of human blood, towards the glorious highlands of Justice and Freedom. [Applause.] In the olden time, God passed in wrath over Egypt's hoary strand, and smote the first-born of the oppressor with quick and sudden death, and lo! where is the house in this land, whether of the black man or the white, whose lintels and door-posts bear not the red sign? which have not been smitten with the splash of human gore?
And yet his paths are plain. Let the nations take warning! God never sleeps! Wherefore let us all take heart. He fights our battles; and, where he fights, he wins. Wagner, Hudson, Petersburg, and all the other battles of this war, have not been fought in vain; for the dead heroes of those and other bloody fields are the seeds of mighty harvests of human goodness and greatness, yet to be reaped by the nations and the world, and by Afric's sable? descendants on the soil of this, our native land. Be of good cheer! Behold the starry flag above our heads! What is it? It is the pledge of heaven, that we are coming up from the long dark night of sorrow towards the morning's dawn: it is the rainbow of eternal hope, set in our heaven, telling us that we shall never again be drowned in our own salt tears, forced up from our very souls' great depths by the worshippers of Moloch,—bloody-handed Mammon: it is a guaranty, by and from the God of heaven, that we, the mourners, may and shall be happy yet. My very soul leaps onward a full century; and its vision falls on fertile fields, with no slave-driver there, no hearts crushed by fierce oppression, no more heads bowed down. Ay! my soul listens already to the glad prelude of a song of triumph welling up from myriad hearts, and swelling into a paean that fills the vast concave of heaven itself with the deep-toned melodies of an universal jubilee. [Great applause.]
The body I now address is to be not only an historical one; but if we do our duty, as we will, the most important in its results and effects, not only upon us here banded together in the firm concord of brotherhood, but to the nations of the
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