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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.22.pdf

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24

bravely, as they always do, they don't like to be cheated out of the glory and the positions they so dearly earn. Many of our grandfathers fought in the Revolution, and they thought they were fighting for liberty; but they made a sad mistake, and we are now obliged to fight those battles over again, and I hope, this time, to a better purpose. We are all loyal. Why are we not treated as friends? This nation spurned our offers to rally around it, for two long years, and then, without any guaranties, called upon us at a time when the loyal white men of the North hesitated. We buried the terrible outrages of the past, and came magnanimously and gallantly forward. In the heroism displayed at Milliken's Bend, Port Hudson, Fort Wagner, Olustee, in the battles now going on before Richmond, and everywhere where our men have faced the foe, they have covered themselves all over with glory. [Applause.] They have nobly written with their blood the declaration of their right to have their names recorded on the pages of history among the true patriots of this American Revolution for Liberty. [Applause.] Witness, if you please, the moral heroism of the Massachusetts soldiers, spurning the offers of seven dollars a month, which the Government insultingly tempted them with for eighteen months, when it was known that they were without the means, and that many of them had wives at home and children crying to them for bread when there was none to give them. But they bore it manfully, and have lived to see the right triumph. [Applause.] My friends, we owe much to the colored soldiers; not only to the Massachusetts men, but to every brave man who has taken up the musket in defence of liberty. [Applause.] They have done wonders for the race. Let us stand by them and their families, and be ready at any and at all time to assist them, and to give them a word of cheer.

"Though we are unfortunately situated, I am not discouraged. Our cause is flying onward with the swiftness of Mercury. Every day seems almost to be an era in the history of our country. We have at last reached the dividing-line. There are but two parties in the country to-day. The one headed by Lincoln is for Freedom and the Republic; and the other, by McClellan, is for Despotism and Slavery. There can be no

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