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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]
the name of the "African Civilization Society," and defended the motion in an earnest, pertinent speech; giving in that speech the history of the success attending the establishment of schools in Washington City. Mr. Cain at the same time labored to show that the object of the African Civilization Society is not to colonize the colored people.
He then read the instructions given by his constituents, especially that part relating to the freedmen, and suggested respectfully that the interest of the freedmen had not been sufficiently considered by this Convention; that the African Civilization Society was now doing a noble part in caring for them and their children, and ought, as a society of colored men, to have the support of this Convention and the people generally.
The Rev. W.P. Newman, of Ohio, rose to enforce the idea, that the work of elevating our brethren must be committed to the colored men of the country. Mr. Newman was very pointed in reference to the present action of the Baptist Home-Mission Society; which society was now holding sacredly, for the rebels who should be left, the church property in the South, just as far as they were able so to do. Mr. Newman referred to the Ex-Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Chase; who, he said, was far ahead, on this subject, of the religious organizations of the land. Mr. Chase said, in a letter urging him to return from the West Indies to the United States, that the great work of lifting up the freedmen must be committed to the colored people of the country.
Mr. George T. Downing, of Rhode Island, said, "I regret the introduction of this subject at so late a period in the Convention, when so many delegates have already left for home; but when that Society, through its representatives, asks this Convention for what may be used as an indorsement of that Society, it seems to me there is deception involved in it! I think it well to thank all who have aided the freedmen; but we must be careful not to be made tools of. The exertions of this Society have been where friends have been numerous and where schools are springing up daily: where the Society was needed, it did not go. I do not charge all with the motives of its founders. It is the child of prejudice; and its
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