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Reports on Two Iowa Conventions

1857IA.2.pdf

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in God for the advancement of our cause; believing the patriotism and progress of the American people sufficient to recognize our rights in common with the rest of mankind.

To the report upon Emigration we would especially call the attention of our readers, and we do it because we object to some of their conclusions.

We have never, and our friends will do us the justice to say so, broached the subject of Emigration while lecturing in the States, but carefully refrained from any discussion on the subject. On the other hand, we have always denounced in unmeasured terms, the infernal schemes concocted by the American Colonization Society, to force the free colored people from their native home to a common grave in Africa. We thought it to be our duty to demand in the name of a constitution, that we believe to be capable of an Anti-slavery construction, every right that is guaranteed to the poorest and meanest white man in the land. In this we were sincere, because we believe while colored man consent to remain in the United States, its their duty to battle unceasingly for their rights. But when it comes to the question, where can their interests individually and collectively be best promoted? We answer unhesitatingly CANADA, CANADA, and no splendid declamation or Pompous rhetoric about the land of our nativity, or the patriotism and progress of the American people, can change this conviction in us, so long as one slave remains upon the soil to lift his fettered hands to God. We deny that "our enemies are conniving at every scheme to remove us from the soil of our nativity." The Committee knows as well as we do, that Pro-­slavery men in the United States never urge the propriety of the free colored people emigrating to Canada, on the contrary they use every argument against it. The oppressors of our race in the United States are sagacious, they know that in union there is strength. Their dreams of future conquest and plunder are disturbed by visions [sic] of black regiments upon the Canadian frontier, with the red cross of St. George at their back. In emigrating to Canada we cannot possibly make our condition worse, but we have every chance of making it better, to argue otherwise would be fool hardy in any man or set of men. But we are asked if we intend to leave our brethren in bonds? We answer no. The same reasons that induced us to leave slave-­holding in Virginia, where many of our own relations are in slavery, has [ ] us to exchange the partial liberty in one of the so‐called free states, for that sure and perfect freed in secured to every man by the genius of the British constitution. The example of successful Lawyers, Doctors, Merchants and Mechanics among the colored people of Canada, must necessarily effect the institution of slavery, especially if the materials used were formerly its victims. These are moral weapons and at the same time effectual ones in over-­throwing slavery. Archimedes said that if he had a place whereon to stand, he would turn the world upside down. Colored men in the States need a spot whereon to stand, so that they can get a lever under slavery. We have that spot here in Canada, where all may labor unitedly too for the extinction of American slavery, and if there is not power enough in our fulcrum to raise that bloody system to its very foundation, we will get old England to lean upon it, and slavery will be at an end. - H.F.D.

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