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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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W. R. Lawton , Missouri; David A . Robinson, Arkansas; Sam' l Lowery, Alabama; C. G. Wimbush, Georgia; J . W. Cromwell, Virginia; J. H. S. Parker, District of Columbia; Richard Allen, Texas; D. Jones, Oregon; John D. Lewis, Pennsylvania; Col. Robt. Harlan, Ohio; H. G. Newsom, Nebraska; T. W. Henderson, Kansas; J . W. James Indiana; Hon. J . H. Rainey, South Carolina; S. E . Hardy, Minnesota Committee.



To the honorable the Chairman and the Members of the Colored Men' s National Conference:

Your committee appointed to take under consideration the subject relative to the present migration of the colored people from certain Southern States to certain Northern States, having had the same under consideration, by leave do respectfully report as follows :

Taking into consideration the self-evident fact that oppression, Intimidation and violence of lawless men have and do now exist men who continue to outrage the rights and privileges granted said colored people by the Constitution of the United States, and render it almost, if not quite so, impossible for colored men to exercise with any degree of safety any of the rights, privileges, or immunities of American citizens, your committee is of the opinion that this exodus owes its origin to this fact more than any other. Your committee would further report that they have carefully examined the resolutions and papers referred to this committee, and after mature deliberation have concluded to report to your honorable body in accordance with the resolution, adopted by you in Thursday' s session to wit, dividing the subject under various headings.

FIRST—The Causes. The causes that have given rise to the migration among the colored people of the South are so generally known, and so numerous, that neither time nor space is at the command of your committee to enumerate them here. These are, however, some of the most potent causes which can be easily produced, and which will not occupy much time and space.

1. This migration movement is based on a determined and irrepressible desire, on the part of the colored people of the South, to go anywhere where they can escape the cruel treatment and continued threats of the dominant race in the South.

They are now told, and in addition thereto made to feel, the full force of this declaration: That this is a white man' s government, and that none; but white men shall govern it, rule in it, or dominate it. This declaration, in the opinion of every thinking man, is but Southern exemplification and revivication of the infamous partisan-accepted decision of the late Judge Taney, " that a Negro has no rights which a wliite man is bound to respect." Reason, sense, and justice have stamped this unrighteous verdict out from the statutes of our land; but it has found an abiding place in the South, and it is today one of their most cherished and faithfully-executed dogmas. Following up this pernicious creed, false as it is, those who insist on a white man' s government will not stop short of any means to practically disfranchise all who are not white men, on the grounds that all white men have equal rights, and that all other colors have just such rights as the whites may please to accord them.

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