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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Colored People's Educational Convention held in Jefferson City, Missouri, January , 1870.
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wants in a manly, dignified manner. There was work for this Convention, but only a few things to which attention could be given, and hoped that the members would unite their efforts, and center their thoughts upon these. All discussion here on the subject of Normal schools looks to the necessity of separate schools. And here one thing is to be taken into consideration: A large number of colored children residing in townships can not be reached by separate schools, owing to the fact that there are sometimes only five or six children in a township. The concentration of colored people in towns and cities should be discountenanced, and their employment in the townships in agricultural pursuits favored. To this end, means of education should be provided for them.
He advised sending a committee to the State Legislature, petitioning for schools in destitute places. The constitution does not require separate schools; it only permits them. The colored people of the State need a law which will admit colored children in white schools, where no colored schools have been provided. There is no question that you need a Normal school. The cry is universal, "Give us colored teachers.” A member of the Legislative Assembly said to me lately: “It is doubtful whether we can get the bill for a colored Normal school through.” Said I, "If you have two Normal schools, you must give the colored people one. (Great applause.) If you have but one, they need that more than the whites.”
The speaker advised memorializing the Legislature, asking for such things as they needed; a memorial drawn up in such a manner as will show people a thousand miles away, and the world, fifty years hence, that you know your wants. You are doing business for your children. He recommended the support of newspapers, especially of those published in the interest of colored people in St. Louis. He advised the support of the branch of the National Freedman's Savings Bank, located in St. Louis, and gave a summary of the history of the present bank in Washington, D. C. Unanimity of action was recommended.
The speaker was enthusiastically applauded throughout the course of his remarks.
Major J. B. Merwin, of St. Louis, being introduced to the Convention by the Chairman, spoke as follows:
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