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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the National Conference of Colored Men of the United States, Held in the State Capitol at Nashville Tennessee, May 6, 7, 8 and 9, 1879.
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1. That it is with regret that this society finds it impossible to have personal representation at the said convention, and
2. That this society, now counting many adherents and coadjutors in South Carolina, herewith sends its hearty greetings to the convention at Nashville, and pledges co-operation by every lawful means in our power in carrying out the plans and purposes which said convention in its wisdom may devise and promulgate for the accomplishment of the common object of removing our people from the scenes of their great tribulations.
The colored population of the United States throughout the entire land, when the Government by the perfidy of the very people who now oppress us, had to maintain a gigantic struggle at arms to preserve its existence, was faithful among the faithless found.
In slavery itself, when smitten on the one cheek, we turned also the other ; we bided our time. But it hath pleased God to weaken the galling chains of slavery, so far as that consummation could be effected by law. But what is mere freedom to man without civil and political rights? Literally, we have no rights here which a white man is bound to respect. We are as lambs among wolves. If, at the risk of our lives, we approach the polls to vote at an election, our vote when deposited is rendered inoperative and ineffectual by the deposit by a political opponent of a pack of fifty tissue ballots, or otherwise our vote is wholly suppressed outright and never counted for the candidate of our choice. In the courts the colored man obtains no justice; partiality is the order there. The boast is proudly made that this is a white government.
Let us appeal to the good people of the country to aid us in changing the place of our abode to the free States and Territories. We have willing hands as ever ; we have strong arms still. We are sneeringly told that we are poor and have not the means of defraying our expenses in removing from here to the free States and Territories. We have no apology to make for our poverty. It comes illy from those who have enjoyed our unrequited labor for hundreds of years the taunt that we are poor.
Voted that the foregoing, signed by the officers of this society, be transmitted to the Nashville convention, with the request that the officers of said convention furnish this society with a certified copy of the proceedings of the said convention, and with such other papers as they may be in possession of of interest. M. G. Champlin, Chairman.
James N. Hayne, Secretary.
Having read the above communication, J . H. Burrus, of Tennessee, moved the reference of it and other letters to the Executive Committee, which motion was adopted and the papers so referred, after motions to lay on the table, a call for the previous question, and a reference to a special committee had been voted down.
C. O . H. Thomas, of Tennessee, called up the motion which was pending when the Conference adjourned at noon, in reference to the immediate discussion of papers after they had been read.
The Chairman ruled that the motion for an immediate discussion was in violation of the rules of order which had been adopted. The papers were not properly before the house until read and received, and a reference to a committee was the proper course to be taken for such papers or communications.
A resolution was adopted, on motion of J. D. Kennedy, that when the order of business was announced the roll should be called by States for business under that head.
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