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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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said, "I come from Massachusetts, where we are jealous of every right. I received information a few days ago that a sergeant in the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment, who is a splendid penman, had been detailed by his captain as a clerk in his department; and that, when the officer in command learned this, he immediately ordered the sergeant back to his regiment, saying in his order, that 'no Negro will be allowed to hold any position in this department except that of a cook or a laborer.' A copy of this order was forwarded to me; and I immediately presented the case to our most excellent Governor, who was going to Washington that evening. The result is, the sergeant is restored back to his position as clerk, and the officer who made the order has suddenly left for the North. [Applause.] This result was at once forwarded to me; and I immediately communicated it to his Excellency the Governor, when he sent me this noble reply:—



BOSTON, Oct. 4, 1864.


DEAR SIR,—I am glad to hear of the favorable result in the case referred to. I had no doubt what the result would be; but it is through you that I first learned it definitely. I thank you for your kind expressions of acknowledgement to me personally; and with a constant willingness to do my part, always, to insure equal opportunities for usefulness and success in all the occupations and duties of life, to men of equal intelligence, industry, and integrity, whether they be white or black,

I am very truly yours,


[Great applause.]

"All we ask is equal opportunities and equal rights. This is what our brave men are fighting for. They have not gone to the battle-field for the sake of killing and being killed; but they are fighting for liberty and and equality. [Applause.] We ask the same for the black man that is asked for the white man; nothing more, and nothing less. When our men fight

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