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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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John J. Bird, of Illinois, said that he rose to a question of privilege. He desired to commend the reports which had been given in the American, but in that paper of that morning had appeared an editorial stating that "John J. Bird, of Illinois, rose up in the Conference, Thursday, to denounce by resolution, from the lofty standpoint of a man who knows nothing of the subject, the resolutions of the Vicksburg convention. Illinois is not, perhaps, the place where a man would be most likely to acquire information concerning affairs of the South, except strained through the patent back-action filter of John A. Logan, which reverses the principle of the filter and soils that which runs through it. The resolution of Bird is a substantial reiteration of Logan's cheap political clap-trap," & c. Mr. Bird said that, upon reading the editorial through to the close, the very admission of the editor was sufficient justification of the resolutions introduced by him. He did not get his information from Logan, but from the following editorial of the New Orleans Times of April 22:
Again, let us be perfectly frank. As we have said, the Negroes are leaving the State because there exists among them a sense of insecurity—an apprehension that their civil and political rights are in danger—a belief that they cannot have justice. The truth compels us to admit that these apprehensions are not altogether unreasonable; that they are the natural results of the conduct of a class of irresponsible young men—young politicians they think themselves—who have no interest in peace and order, since they have no ambition but to get office. That the acts of these people have been exaggerated by politicians of the other side; that Radical politicians, white and black, have been guilty of equal, if not greater, offenses, is all true. But the fact remains that the threatened emigration of the Negroes is to be traced to the conduct of this class, who seem to emulate the name of bull-dozers.
James D. Kennedy, of Louisiana, made a personal explanation in reference to the resolution offered by C. O. H. Thomas, of Tennessee, expressing indignation at an order prohibiting colored citizens of New Orleans from holding church service after the hour of 10 p. m. He stated that the order issued by the chief of police had been subsequently modified so as to apply to white and black churches alike, and that officers of the peace could not make arrests without the necessary information filed according to law. He made this explanation in justice to the municipal officers in New Orleans and the very general desire on the part of members of the Conference to know the facts of the case.
C. O. H. Thomas, of Tennessee, said the order was made to prevent the colored people from holding emigration meetings.
J. P. Jones, of Arkansas, offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That the several State organizations as perfected under the Committee on Permanent Organization be, and they are hereby, empowered to draft addresses in their several States, appealing to all boards of trade, cotton exchanges, and mercantile influences thereof to lend their aid in restoring that equity in principles that regulate the laws of supply and demand, to the end that the pledges made at the last session holden
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