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Proceedings of the Colored national convention, held in Rochester, July 6th, 7th, and 8th, 1853.
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Whereas, The social condition of the colored inhabitants of this country, in its developments, shows, beyond a question, the necessity of social reform, and a better regulation of our domestic habits; therefore,
Resolved, That this Convention urge upon the clergy, who are not only our spiritual, but our social and moral instructors, to begin the reform, by urging upon the people who attend their preaching the neccessity of a social reform : to use more untiring exertion than heretofore; to induce parents to pay more attention to the domestic education of their children; to prepare them for a better condition in society; to instill in them a desire for their elevation in society; to instill in them a desire for better occupations than the mass are brought up to; to give them higher notions of what the genius and spirit of the country requires of us, than they now have; to teach them more regular habits; and this Convention would urge upon parents the fact, that while the mass of the people are generally employed in menial service, from necessity, while this may not, of itself, bring reproach upon a people, yet it must be admitted that, should we bring up our children to the same employment, it will, of necessity, engraft upon them unstable habits—a disregard for the mechanical branches, as well as unfit them for regular employments; and instead of elevating their character for the future, we shall place them beneath our own position, and give them rather the downward, than the upward tendency.
Resolved, That to secure a more permanent attention to business habits than heretofore, and the acquisition of mechanical branches, it is necessary that some decisive measure be taken to open and secure the avenues of mechanical trades to our youth; and that, as a primary measure, it is necessary that it be known to parents and youth who are willing to take colored apprentices in their workshops; and further, that it is now expedient that intelligence offices be established, which shall register the names and places of business of such mechanics as are willing to employ colored youth ; and also names, age, residence, &c., of such youth as are desirous of learning trades.
Resolved, That it is the duty of colored men, in any way connected with mechanical or business houses, enjoying the confidence of their employers, to use all fair and honorable means to secure for themselves business advantages, and especially, to secure the admisson of their children, or the children of others into mechanical establishments; and in every way practicable to use their influence to secure and extend business advantages and business connection to those now excluded from it.
Resolved, That it is now expedient and necessary for those who have accumulated some means, to employ such means in some one or more of the general avenues of business and profit, and to make for themselves a better business character than we now possess, and thus open and secure the way for the development of new business, and right business talent.
Resolved, That the attempt to create a successful colony on the coast of Liberia is an attempt to accomplish an end in violation of the admitted laws of human civilization, and in violation of the physical laws of the human constitution.
Resolved, That, as for the American Colonization Society, we have no sympathy with it, having long since determined to plant our trees on American soil, and repose beneath their shade.
Resolved, That the several towns and cities represented in this Convention be, and are hereby advised to procure copies of Garrison's Thoughts on Colonization: and that they be advised to reiterate the resolves and addresses contained in the first part of that work, on the head of the Free People of Color.
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