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Proceedings of the National Emigration Convention of Colored People Held at Cleveland, Ohio, On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, The 24th, 25th, and 26th of August, 1854

1854 Cleveland OH State Convention 45.pdf

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control by the whites, of every habitable portion of the earth. For such must inevitably be the case, and that, too, at no distant day, if black men do not take advantage of the opportunity, by grasping hold of those places where chance is ln their favor, and establishing the rights and power of the colored race.

We must make an issue, create an event, and establish for ourselves a position. This is essentially necessary for our effective elevation as a people, in shaping our national developement, directing our destiny, and redeeming ourselves as a race.

If we but determine it shall be so, it will be so; and there is nothing under the sun can prevent it. We shall then be but in pursuit of our legitimate claims to inherent rights, bequeathed to us by the will of Heaven—the endowment of God, our common parent. A distinguished economist has truly said, "God has implanted in man an infinite progression in the career of improvement. A soul capacitated for improvement ought not to be bounded by a tyrant's landmarks." This sentiment is just and true, the application of which to our case, is adapted with singular fitness.

Having glanced hastily at our present political position in the world generally, and the United States in particular—the fundamental disadvantages under which we exist, and the improbability of ever attaining citizenship and equality of rights in this country—we call your attention next, to the places of destination to which we shall direct Emigration.

The West Indies, Central and South America, are the countries of our choice, the advantages of which shall be made apparent to your entire satisfaction.

Though we have designated them as countries, they are in fact but one country—relatively considered—a part of this, the Western Continent.

As now politically divided, they consist of the following classification—each group or division placed under its proper national head: The


Consist of: Square miles. Population in 1840

Guadaloupe, - - 675 - - -124,000

Martinico, - - - 260 - - 119,000

St. Martin, N. part, - 15 - - - - 6,000

Mariegaiante, - - 90 - - - 11,500

Deseada, - - - 25 - - - - 1,500

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