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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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established and administered ; the principles of domestic economy are to be applied, and industry encouraged. It will not answer to make the foundations of these widest Interests narrow. These precious interests must be intrusted to the hands of men who have the advantage of a liberal culture in the world's experience, as it is given in history and in scientific discovery. Above all, they ought to be imbued with the principles of Christian morality.

"There is no special morality or gospel for colored men. They must have what the world has gained by its long experience, add what God has given in his bounty. This effort is not premature, so far as it respects the ability of the colored youth to profit by it. We have found our students able to learn all that we can teach. There is the same diversity of talent among them as in others. We say this from an experience with both classes.

Now, I ask, in conclusion, that you will compare the opportunities which I have presented with those of fifteen or twenty years ago, and see if there is no room for thankfulness and encouragement ; see if there has not been very decided improvement, and see if there is not good reason for every one of us to renew our efforts to advance education and true and undefiled religion ; to promote more economy, more union, more regard for morality, more willingness to seek out and extend a helping hand to the "million" who are of the most lowly and degraded. In this wide field, oh, what a strong and clear voice comes to us all, heed it not as we may : "He that reapeth receiveth the wages !" "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand !" "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to them that endure to the end !"

I fear, my friends, that we have hardly waked up to behold what opportunities and capabilities there are all around us, by which we might elevate our manhood, and forever settle the question of our equality before all mankind.



Your committee, to whom was referred the educational and laboring interests of the colored people of these United States, would respectfully submit the following :

The wisest of men says : "Where no counsel is, the men fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." Another great man has fittingly said: "If we do not educate, we must perish by our own prosperity." Yet another of earth's most gifted sons hath eloquently declared: "If you will, you can rise. No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent."

"Do not be lulled to sleep by the flatteries which you hear, as if your participation in the national sovereignty made you equal to the noblest of your race. You have many and great deficiencies to be remedied, and the remedy lies, not in the ballot-box, not in the exercise of your political powers, but in the faithful education of yourselves and your children."

The outcome of having to depend upon others to keep your business accounts is thus faithfully depicted by the next laconic illustration of the yearly settlement between the Mississippi Valley planters and the ignorant colored laborers. Says the planter:

One is a one, two is a two,

So all for me and none for you.


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