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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 50.pdf

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generally attended by the women, while the men were absent engaged in the chase, or at war with a hostile tribe. The vegetables, grains and fruits, such as in their native country they had been accustomed to, were not to be obtained among the aborigines, which first induced the African laborer to cultivate "patches" of ground in the neighborhood of the mining operations, for the purpose of raising food for his own sustenance.

This trait in their character was observe and regarded with considerable interest; after which the Spaniards and other colonists, on contracting with the English slave dealers—Captain Hawkins and others—for new supplies of slaves, were careful to request that an adequate quantity of seeds and plants of various kinds, indigenous to the continent of Africa, especially those composing the staple products of the natives, be selected and brought out with the slaves to the New World. Many of these were cultivated to a considerable extent, while those indigenous to America were cultivated with great success.

Shortly after the commencement of the slave trade, under Elizabeth and Hawkins, the Queen granted a license to Sir Walter Raleigh, to search for uninhabited lands, and seize upon all unoccupied by Christians. Sir Walter discovered the coast of North Carolina and Virginia, assigning the name "Virginia" to the whole coast now comprising the old Thirteen States.

A feeble colony was here settled, which did not avail much, and it was not until the month of April, 1607, that the first permanent settlement was made in Virginia, under the patronage of letters patent from James I, King of England, to Thomas Gates and associates. This was the first settlement of North America, and thirteen years anterior to the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock.

And we shall now introduce to you, from acknowledged authority, a number of historical extracts, to prove that previous to the introduction of the black race upon this continent, but little enterprise of any kind was successfully carried on. The African or negro was the first available contributor to the country, and consequently is by priority of right, and politically should be, entitled to the highest claims of an eligible citizen.

"No permanent settlement was effected in what is now called the United States, till the reign of James the First.—Ramsay's Hist, U.S., Vol. 1, p. 38.

The month of April, 1607, is the epoch of the first permanent

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