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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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In view of the facts and quotations above mentioned, we, the members of the National Conference of Colored Men in Nashville assembled, May 6, 1879, most respectfully, but earnestly, recommend to our brethren all over these United States that as American citizens and as progressive men and women, they do take for their motto :

Ignorance is the curse of God.

Knowledge is the wing on which

We fly to heaven.

We further urge them to use their influence and suffrage at all times in the interest of public schools. We also urge upon them the great importance of giving their children a liberal education, and of using their influence to induce their neighbors likewise to give their children good educations. We also ask all our fellow citizens, of whatever race or party, to join with us in developing such a healthy state of public sentiment that the operation of the school systems in many of the States may be so modified that the public schools of said States may become more general in numbers and effective in operation. We would also recommend to the various State Legislatures the adoption of compulsory systems of public education.

Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed upon conference from each State to memorialize their respective Legislatures relative to this all-important question, and ask that a more efficient system of this great bulwark of our freedom, happiness, rights and liberties be established.

It is the sense of this Conference that separate schools are highly detrimental to the interests of both races, and that such schools foster race prejudice, but where they do exist colored teachers should be employed in colored schools in preference to white teachers.

This National Conference memorializes Congress to place in the hands of a board of regents of colored men the sum of $300,000, the amount of unclaimed bounty of the colored soldiers and sailors of the Federal army during the rebellion, the same to be used in establishing and maintaining an Industrial and Technical School for colored youth in the unoccupied buildings at Harper's Ferry, or at some other easily accessible point.

The National Conference respectfully request the superintendent of the census to so interest his subordinates that the amount of wealth, the manufactures and commerce directly controlled by our people, be reported separately as well as consolidated in the aggregates reported, so that any future action affecting the social condition of our people may be determined by reliable statistical information, such as the annexed table of statistics, furnished by J. D. Kennedy, of Louisiana.


Commodity. | Quantity. | Total value. | Proportion produced by colored labor.

Cotton bales | 4,811,265 | $220,446,288 | 2/3 equals $137,778,930

Sugar,hhds., estim'd | {1,127,753

Molasses, gals., do | 14,237,280} | 13,000,000 | 13,000,000

Rice, tierces, do | 300,000 | 3,000,000 | 3,000,000

Tobacco, hhds | 560,000,000 | 39,200, 00 | 3-5 equals 23,520,000


No estimate for grain, stock, cattle, vegetables.

Menial services of women and children, 1,000,000@$100per an., $100,000,000

Mechanical work, manufacturing 100,000@ 500 do. 50,000,000

Transportation, Steamboats, drays, etc. 20,000@ 400 do. 8,000,000



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