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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 51.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

49

setlement on the coast of Virginia, the name then given to all that extent of country which forms thirteen States.-Ib. p. 39.

 The whole coast of the country was at this time explored, not for the purpose of trade and agriculture-because there were then no such enterprises in the country, the natives not producing sufficient of the necessaries of life, to supply present wants, there being consequently nothing to trade for-but, like their Spanish and Portugese predecessors, who occupied the Islands and different parts of South America, in search of gold and other precious metals. 
   Trade and the cultivation of the soil, on coming to the new world were foreign to their intention or designs, consequently, when failing of success in that enterprise, they were sadly disappointed. 
  "At a time when the precious metals were concieved to be the peculiar and only valuable productions of the new world, when every mountain was supposed to contain a treasure, and every rivulet was searched for its golden sands, this appearance was fondly considered as an infallible indication of the mine. Every hand was eager to dig. 
   "There was now," says Smith, "no talk, no hope, no work; but dig gold, wash gold, refine gold. With this imaginary wealth, the first vessel returning to England was loaded, while the culture of the land and every useful occupation was totally neglected. 
  "The colonists thus left, were in mlserable circumstances for want of provisions. The rernainder of what they had brought with them was so small in quantity, as to be soon expended-and so damaged, in course of a long voyage, as to be a source of disease. 
     In their expectation of getting gold, the people were disappointed, the glittering substance they had sent to England, proving to be a valueless mineral. Smith, on his return to Jamestown, found the colony reduced to thirty-eight persons, who, in despair, were preparing to abandon the country. He employed caresses, threats, and even violence, in order to prevent them from executing this fatal resolution." Ibid, pp. 45-6. 
   The Pilgrims or Puritans, in November, 1620, after having organized with solemn vows to the defence of each other, and the maintenance of their civil liberty, made the harbor of Cape Cod, landing safely on "Plymouth Rock," December 20th, about one month subsequently. They were one hundred and one in number, and from the toils and hardships consequent to a severe season, in 

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