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Minutes of the Freedmen's Convention, Held in the City of Raleigh, on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th of October, 1866

1866NC.23.pdf

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24

who formerly owned this race to repine. He believed but few did repine. It was submitted to as an event which no human foresight could have averted. He thought the general good feeling between the two races in this State should be cultivated and strengthened. This was the home of the black man as well as of the white. The two races should mutually sustain each other. The black man needed the knowledge the white man had of the arts and sciences, and of history and government. He was also dependent on the white man for lands and houses. The white race needed the black as aids in cultivating and improving the country. They might also be needed to defend the country against foreign foes. They would be the main reliance in some portions of the State in producing the great staples. The first care of the black people should be to procure homes, no matter how cheap or small. To do this they must be industrious, temperate and economical. Labor was the first great consideration. They had no time to waste at public gatherings—they should not congregate in the towns in greater numbers than might be necessary for business ; and they should avoid all temptation to idleness and dissipation. The first thing was to get homes, and the next was, while they still labored to improve and add to their possessions, to educate their children. Education was good for all races and colors. "Knowledge was power." As a general rule, people were virtuous and useful in proportion as they were educated, and vicious and useless in the world when sunk deep in ignorance. Knowledge, like the sun, was for all. He believed the colored race was capable of much greater mental improvement than they had thus far reached. Their memories were certainly very good. This might be the result, to some extent, of their condition of slavery, in which the memory had been developed by their habit, as they could not write, of charging their minds with facts and events. He had observed that the colored child was apt to learn. But memory was merely the common laborer who brought and piled up the materials ; judgment was the builder.

Gov. H. in conclusion, said the true interest of the colored race was to cultivate the friendship of the whites ; and the

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