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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Colored national convention, held in Rochester, July 6th, 7th, and 8th, 1853.
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condition to meet-mistakes and errors of our own to correct-and therefore we need the accumulated knowledge, the united character, and the combined wisdom of our people to make us (under God) sufficient for these things.—The Fugitive Slave Act, the most cruel, unconstitutional and scandalous outrage of modern times—the proscriptive legislation of several States with a view to drive our people from their borders—the exclusion of our children from schools supported by our money—the prohibition of the exercise of the franchise--the exclusion of colored citizens from the jury box--the social barriers erected against our learning trades--the wily and vigorous efforts of the American Colonization Society to employ the arm of government to expel us from our native land--and withal the propitious awakening to the fact of our condition at home and abroad, which has followed the publication of "Uncle Toms Cabin”—call trumpet-tongued for our union, cooperation and action in the premises.
Convinced that the number amongst us must be small, who so far miscalculate and undervalue the importance of united and intelligent moral action, as to regard it as useless, the undersigned do not feel called upon here for an argument in its favor. Our warfare is not one where force can be employed; we battle against false and hurtful customs, and against the great errors opinion which support such customs. Nations are more and more guided by the enlightened and energetically expressed judgment of mankind. On the subject of our own condition and welfare, we may safely and properly appeal to that judgment, Let us meet, then near the anniversary of this nation's independence, and enforce anew the great principles and self-evident truths which were proclaimed at the beginning of the Republic.
Among the matters which will engage the attention of the Convention will be a proposition to establish a NATIONAL COUNCIL of our people with a view to permanent existence. This subject is one of vast importance, and should only be disposed of in the light of a wise deliberation. There will come before the Convention matters touching the disposition of such funds as our friends abroad, through Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe may appropriate to the cause of our progress and improvement. In a word, the whole field of our interests will be opened to enquiry, investigation and determination.
That this may be done successfully, it is desirable that each delegate to the Convention should bring with him an accurate statement as to the number of colored in habitants in his town or neighborhood—the amount of property owned by them—their business or occupation—the state of education—the extent of their school privileges and the number of children in attendance, and any other information which may serve the great purposes of the Convention.
In order that no community shall be represented beyond its due proportion, it is intended that the Convention shall only be composed of regularly chosen delegates, appointed by public meetings, and bearing credentials signed by the President of said meetings.
It is recommended that all colored churches, literary and other societies, banded together for laudable purposes, proceed at once to the appointment
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