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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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world and the ages yet to come. [Cheers.] He we are met, not to hear each other talk, not to mourn over the terrible shadows of the past; but we are here to prove our right to manhood and justice, and to maintain these right, not by force of mere appeal, not by loud threats, not by battle-axe and sabre, but by the divine right of brains, of will, of true patriotism, of manhood, of womanhood, of all that is great and noble and worth striving for in human character. We are here to ring the bells at the door of the world; proclaiming to the nations, to the white main in his palace, the slave in his hut, kings on their thrones, and to the whole broad universe. that WE ARE COMING UP! [Applause.] Yes: we are, at last; and going up to stay. He loveth and chasteneth: but he also saves; but save those first who help themselves. Sheer folly to expect to be raised to a coveted position without self-endeavor. There are two great principles in operation in this world. One is that of progression; the other, that of development: one is the body of success; the other is its soul: the one makes us scholars merely; and the other makes us MEN,—and that, and that only, is the pearl for which we are seeking. Progress means acquisition of knowledge; and it is very good, if well applied: and yet a man may have a hundred libraries by heart; he may be master of a hundred sciences; a walking encyclopaedia,—and yet be a worthless drone in the world. It is not the thought-gatherer who makes his mark in the world; but it is the thought-producer who is the man of mark and value. Development means persistent culture of our latent powers; and we need it. Slavery and ignorance, liberty and light! It is the mind, not the dollars, that makes the man. Here the orator turned toward the blood-stained flag of the Louisiana regiment, apostrophized it, spoke of Cailloux and Ingraham who fought and bled upon the field where it waved, and with all his power besought his hearers never to disgrace it by word, act, or thought. [Applause.]
Rev. Jonathan C. Gibbs, of Pennsylvania, was then introduced, and spoke in a highly interesting manner. We regret we have no report of Mr. Gibbs's speech.
John S. Rock, Esq., of Boston, was the next speaker. He
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