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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 66.pdf

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64

It is, fellandw-countrymen, a fixed fact, as indellible as the Coven: ant of God in the Heavens, that the colored people of these United States~ are the slaves of any white person who may choose to claim them! What safety or guarantee have we for om~selves or families ? Let us, for a moment, examine this points Supposing some hired spy of the slave power, residing in Illin- ois, whom, for illustration, we shall call Stephen A., Counsel B., a- mercenary hireling of New Yotk, and Commissioner C., a slave- catcher of Pennsylvana, should take umbrage at the acts or doings of any- colored person or persons in a free State; they may with im- punity, send or go on their knight errands to the South, (a did a hireling of the sia e power in New York-~a lawyer by profession,) give a description of such person or persons, and an agent with warrants may be immediately despatched to swear them into slave- ry forever. We tell you, fellow-countrymen, any one of you here as~enibled your humbl6~ committee who report to you this addressmay, by the laws of this land, he seized, whatever the circumstances of his birth; whether he descends from free or slave parentswhether born North or South of Mason and Dixons Lineand era the set-~ ting of another sun, be speeding his way to that living sepulchre,. and death chamber of our racethe curse and scourge of this coun- try~the Southern part of the United States. This is not idle spec- ulation, but living, nakedy undisguised truth. A member of your committee has received a letter fifom a gen- tleman of respectability and standing in the South, xVho writes to the following effect. We copy his own words There are at fhis moment, as I was to-day informed by Colonel one of our first magistrates in this city, a gang of from twenty. five to thirty vagabonds of poor white men, who for twenty-five dol- lars a head, clear of all expensesj are ready and willing to go to thand North1 make acquaintance with the blacks in various pluc~s send their descriptions to unprincipled slave holders here-.--for there are many of this k{nd to be found among the poorer class of masters and swear them into bondage~ So the free blacks as well as fugi~ tive slaves, will have to keep a sharp watch over themselves to get. clear of this scheme to enslave them. 1-lere, then, you have but a paragraph in the great volume of this political crusade, and legislative pirating by the American people,

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