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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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of people away and setting them suddenly down in a strange country.
A young delegate. Who paid you to come here?
Mr. Robinson. I suppose the young man is just out of school, and don't suppose he ever hoed cotton in his life. [Applause.]
The President. The gentleman's time has expired.
Hon. J. H. Rainey rose to a point of order, saying:
There is so much noise in this hall that we cannot hear what is being said. I want to add, that I think we ought to permit a difference of opinion to be expressed on so important and vital a question, in which we are so deeply interested. Any cause that cannot be discussed in both phases is no cause worthy of deliberation. I favor migration, but I want to proceed intelligently.
When the President had, by continued efforts, finally secured order, a delegate said, " I ask fair play for the gentleman."
Fair play need not be asked for me ; I will see that I have fair play. How can you expect white men to be tolerant to you when you show that you have no tolerance for each other? If you are right your views will bear the light, and if wrong they will not; if wrong they will not stand the test argument. I never went to school in my life. There are graduates of universities who ought to be able to respond to me, provided they have the facts on their side. I say that this resolution is calculated to deceive every ignorant man in Mississippi. You memorialize Congress to give $ 500,000 to assist the freedmen who have gone or can go to Kansas. You ask of men whom you have been all day abusing to extend charity to you, and you humble and debase yourselves in doing it. When you talk about poor starving black people, I am with them all the time. With what he earns, gets by law, begs or steals, he gets plenty; and I don't say this with any disrespect to colored men. The country is full of this cry of starvation. I have got five hundred acres in Mississippi; I mingle with them all the time, and they don't starve.
A delegate. Well, why do they want to migrate?
Mr. Robinson. Because it is on account of the oppression of the white people, but I am opposed to encouraging wholesale migration, and having the poor colored man strewn along the banks of the Mississippi, there to die.
Further remarks were made by W. H. Council, of Alabama; D. Wilson and J. Gillem, Arkansas.
John D. Lewis, of Philadelphia, moved the previous question; which was carried, and the resolution was then adopted.
H. V. Cashin, of Alabama, moved that the rules be suspended in order to allow Mrs. Dr. Wylie, of Philadelphia, to read the paper of Rev. Dr. B. T. Tanner, on the " Theory and Practice of American Christianity." [See Appendix G.] This motion prevailed, and the paper was accordingly read. A vote of thanks was tendered the author of the paper and also the reader.
The Conference then adjourned until 8 p. m.
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