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- The 1853 Manual Labor College Initiative
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- Mobility, Migration, and the 1855 Philadelphia National Convention
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- What Did They Eat? Where Did They Stay?
- Black Wealth and the 1843 Convention
- Black Women's Economic Power
- The First National Convention
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- Equality Before the Law: California Black Convention Activism, 1855-65
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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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[The following communications were received by the Convention and deemed worthy of publication :]
LETTER FROM SAMUEL AARON.
NORRISTOWN, PA., JULY 3, 1853.
To the Rochester Convention of Colored Americans:
DEAR BRETHREN:--I feel the deepest interest in the wisdom, integrity and results of your Convention. I urged my friends here to have themselves, by all means, worthily represented; and can say, with truth, that their delegate Mr. Augusta, is the man whom I should have preferred, had the choice been left to me. But for his solicitation, I should scarcely have penned these lines, for fear of seeming otherwise.
My strong conviction is, that my colored fellow-citizens in America should calmly and bravely breast the tide of prejudice, which I am persuaded flows more from caste than color. Let them first of all embrace the religion of the blessed Jesus; then cultivate their mental and moral powers to the utmost; seek each for himself, and diffuse among others, a knowledge of mechanical, commercial, agricultural, scientific and literary pursuits. See that mental capacity, and energy, and early tastes are trained for their proper career--just as judicious white men consult for the talents and predilections of their children.
Some of the brightest men in our country now are of African type. Real greatness everywhere is mostly proportioned to, and measured by the difficulties overcome; and if so, the colored of our nation have a chance to win the true sublime--for they are abused for their degradation, and forbidden the means to rise. But, with God's help, they can rise; and I look to your Convention now with a prayerful hope that you may speak to them with the power of the Prophet's voice, when he called to the bones in the valley of vision.
I not only trust that my colored brethren may yet elevate themselves, but that God may use them to save this nation from that abyss of ruin towards which its brutal pride and folly are driving it headlong. Let it see an outraged people rise to virtue and wisdom in its midst, and in spite of its malignity; and surely prejudice itself must melt, and the blindest eye must see the glory of truth and the safety of virtue.
Our people have trampled you into ignorance, insulted your weaknesses' and nailed you on the cross of slavery; but may God grant you, dear brethren, a resurrection to intelligence, and to that Christ like magnanimity that shall forgive a tyrant foe, and preach the glad tidings of man's capacity, with the Divine favor, to advance in wisdom, virtue and happiness.
Very sincerely your
Friend and brother,
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