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- The First National Convention
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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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to emigrate to this country, for we know not who among you, prefers rationa independence and the honest respect of his fellow men, to that mental sloth and careless poverty, which you already possess and your children will inherit after you." Once more. The address says: "Judge then, of the feelings with which we hear the motives of the colonization society traduced, and that too, by men too ignorant to know what that society has already accomplished, too weak to look through its plans and intentions, or too dishonest to acknowledge either. But without pretending to any prophetic sagacity, we can predict to that society the ultimate triumph of their HOPES and LABORS and the disappointment and defeat of those who oppose them." It is unnecessary to say that this language has never been softened or modified, and it has much the appearance of having been manufactured in America, and sent out to order.
We believe that our fathers were sagacious in their first impression of the colonization scheme. It was well known, that at the time this scheme first came to light, the whole country went for it. There was not even a second-rate white man that stood with us. Our fathers made the first attack alone, and with fearful odds against them. We conclude with the following resolutions :
I. It is not true that the free colored people have been induced by abolitionists to oppose the colonization scheme. Our fathers set us the example, and we are more and more convinced of the wisdom of that example.
II. That the several colored communities represented in this Convention be advised to procure copies of Garrison's Thoughts on Colonization, and to re-resolve, and to confirm the several resolutions and addresses of that work, under the head of
"VOICES FROM THE COLORED PEOPLE."
In behalf of the Committee on Colonization,
To the Committee on Publication of the Minutes of the National Convention of
the Colored People :
GENTLEMEN:-- I regret that it will be impossible to submit the Report on Statistics in time to be incorporated with the minutes. The facts placed in my hands in the Convention are entirely too few, in regard to the People of Color, their wealth, occupations, school privileges, churches, societies, &c., &c., to form the basis of an accurate or even proximate report. And the members of the Committee on Statistics, with two exceptions, have failed to furnish any further facts up to this date.
This is the less to be regretted, as the census of 1850 will be published in a few weeks, containing much additioual matter of deep interest in this connexion.
The report, when complete, will be submitted to, and published under the direction of, the National Council or its Committee on Publications.
Very respectfully yours,
J. McCUNE SMITH,
Chairman of Com. on Statistics
NEW YORK, August 18th, 1853.
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