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Proceedings of the Colored national convention, held in Rochester, July 6th, 7th, and 8th, 1853.


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will symbolize on the one hand human excellence is rough hewn by self-exertion, and on the other, fashioned into models of beauty by reflection and discipline.

Let us educate our youth in such wise, as shall give them means of success, adapted to their struggling condition, and ere long following the enterprise of the age, we may hope to see them filling everywhere positions of responsibility and trust, and, gliding on the triple tide of wealth, intelligence and virtue, reach eventually, to a sure resting place of distinction and happiness.

Respectfully submitted,


Pending the motion to adopt, Mr. Douglass read a letter addressed by himself to Mrs. Stowe. This letter was read to inform the Convention what representation the writer had made to Mrs. Stowe, respecting the condition and wants of the free colored people.

ROCHESTER, March 8th, 1853.


You kindly informed me, when at your house, a fortnight ago, that you designed to do something which should permanently contribute to the improvement and elevation of the free colored people in the United States. You especially expressed an interest in such of this class as had become free by their own exertions, and desired most of all to be of service to them. In what manner, and by what means, you can assist this class most successfully, is the subject upon which you have done me the honor to ask my opinion.

Begging you to excuse the unavoidable delay, I will now most gladly comply with your request, but before doing so, I desire to express, dear Madam, my deep sense of the value of the services which you have already rendered my afflicted and persecuted people, by the publication of your inimitable book on the subject of slavery. That contribution to our bleeding cause, alone, involves us in a debt of gratitude which cannot be measured ; and your resolution to make other exertions on our behalf excites in me emotions and sentiments, which I scarcely need try to give forth in words. Suffice it to say, that I believe you to have the blessings of your enslaved countrymen and countrywomen; and the still higher reward which comes to the soul in the smiles of our merciful Heavenly father, whose ear is ever open to the cries of the oppressed.

With such sentiments, dear Madam, I will at once proceed to lay before you, in as few words as the nature of the case will allow, my humble views in the premises. First of all, let me briefly state the nature of the disease, before I undertake to prescribe the remedy. Three things are notoriously true of us, as a people. These are POVERTY, IGNORANCE and DEGRADATION. Of course there are exceptions to this general statement ; but these are so few as only to prove its essential truthfulness. I shall not stop here to inquire minutely into the causes which have produced our present condition; nor to denounce those whom I believe to be responsible for those causes. It is enough that we shall agree upon the character of the evil, whose existence we deplore, and upon some plan for its removal.


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