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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 49.pdf

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must ever most conspicuously twinkle in the firmament of this division of the Western Hemisphere.

We next invite your attention to a few facts, upon which we predicate the claims of the black race, not only to the tropical regions and South temperate zone of this hemisphere, but to the whole Continent, North as well as South. And here we desire it distinctly to be understood, that, in the selection of our places of destination, we do not advocate the Southern scheme as a concession, nor yet at the will nor desire of our North American oppressors; but as a policy, by which we must be the greatest political gainers, without the risk or possibility of loss to ourselves. A gain by which the lever of political elevation and machinery of national progress must ever be held and directed by our own hands and heads, to our own will and purposes, in defiance of the obstructions which might be attempted on the part of a dangerous and deep—designing oppressor.

"From the year 1492. the discovery of Hispaniola—the first land discovered by Columbus in the New World—to 1502, the short space of ten years, such was the mortality among the natives, that the Spaniards, then holding rule there, 'began to employ a few' Africans in the mines of the Island. The experiment was effective—a successful one. The Indian and the African were enslaved together, when the Indian sunk, and the African stood.

It was not until June the 24th, of the year 1498, that the Continent was discovered by John Cabot, a Venitian, who sailed in August of the previous year, 1497, from Bristol, under the patronage of Henry the VII, King of England."

In 1517, the short space of but fifteen years from the date of their introduction, Carolus the V, King of Spain, by right of a patent, granted permission to a number of persons annually to supply the Islands of Hispaniola, (St. Domingo,) Cuba, Jamaica and Porto Rico, with natives of Africa, to the number of four thousand annually. John Hawkins, a mercenary Englishman, was the first person known to engage in this general system of debasing our race, and his royal mistress, Queen Elizabeth, was engaged with him in interest and shared the general profits.

The Africans, on their advent into a foreign country, soon experienced the want of their accustomed food, and habits and manner of living.

The aborigines subsisted mainly by game and fish, with a few patches of maize, or Indian corn, near their wigwams, which were

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