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Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored Men of the State of Tennessee, :with the addresses of the convention to the white loyal citizens of Tennessee, and the colored citizens of Tennessee. : Held at Nashville, Tenn., August 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th, 1865.
1865-NASHVILLE TN-STATE CONVENTION OF THE COLORED MEN OF TENNESSEE.6.pdf
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120 STATE CONVENTIONS, 1865
read, and call the attention of the citizens of Nashville to an extract from the Nashville Dispatch, which, by its knowledge and intellect aims to exalt and advance the instructions of the United States. "A Negro Convention!" Is your Chairman a negro? or your Secretary, or any of your officers, or your other members or those sergeants sitting over there? They are all mixed blood. We are not ashamed of the term "negro," but to call it a "negro convention" is a lie. It is a lie! I don't call the reporter a liar, but when he copied it he wrote down a lie. May be it was because he was ignorant. The editor of the Colored Tennessean is as white6 as the correspondent of the New York Herald. It is none of my business to discuss these matters, but it is very hard to tell whether there is any pure blood or not, because white men used to love colored women very much. I hope the reporters will take me down as saying "dis" "dat" "de oder," and the "deformities of de constitu-tion." I know more of syntax than them all put together. They ridiculed me because my skin was darker than theirs. It won't pay! It won't pay!
"The African church yesterday was the scene of an immense congregation of negroes from all parts of the States, both men women of every shade."
This is going North and I want the antidote or cure to go with it. I don't care for myself. I know I will utter some things that will be the sub-ject of criticism, but I don't care.
"The church was filled to its utmost capacity and their linen coat tails floated out of the windows." They should have the United States flag and not they displayed it by showing their coat tails. The black man's coat tails is the United States flag, and they displayed it by showing their coat tails. "Delegates were in attendance from all parts of the State and the convention was strictly of the colored persuasion. So far as we could learn there were only two white men in atten-dance--a chaplain and the editor of the Press and Times."
A Captain of Gen. Fisk's staff was there and who is Gen. Fisk? A man whom President Johnson approves and has confidence in--a man who has fought the great battles-- restored our war-torn fortunes, seized the forlorn hope and carried it on to victory!
A man from Missouri. I am glad he is from Missouri, that he was educated in a slave State. He says: put the black man in the field; Give him the rights of citizenship and we are safe. Who is the greater man; the reporter and editor of the Nashville Dispatch, or Gen. Fisk? The Dispatch man if asked, would black Andy Johnson's shoes,and if Gen. Fisk asked him to dinner, he would put in his best smile and say: "why, really General! General! General!" (and the speaker made illustrative gesticulations of exquisite politeness.)
When letter-writers tried to break down Gen. Grant, at the time Buell' was in command, (I don't think I could get three cheers for Buell now) the reporters said Grant drinks whiskey. Certain of them went to the President and said "General Grant drinks." Mr. Lincoln said, "wheat kind of liquor does he drink?" "Bourbon whiskey," said they. "I want to prescribe that for the other Generals in the army," said Mr. Lincoln.
I would not have the press derided. It was by their touching letters of bellion a fatal blow, and caused their star spangled banner a wave over the whole country. But they are fond of making a joke at the expense of the darky.
The speaker had great respect for many of the white men of the south, who would no more think of turning their old infirm slaves out of doors than their own children. HE was a thief; but if a white quarter-master stole $50,000 is was smoothed over. A darky stole a pig--a white man stole $10,000. The former was a thief, the latter respectable. "We learned there were only two white men present." It was a lie, there were more.
A white man said to me this morning: "Well, Uncle, how are you getting along?" I was glad to know that I had a white nephew. Governor Brownlow I think is a patriot, but I do not indorse his policy in toto. I believe that if a dark breeze in the shape of negro suffrage blew over Tennessee, he (Gov-ernor) would not object to ride upon it into the United States Senate. That is human nature, and human nature is weak. But let us bury the past; let byegones be byegones, and shout victory over the grave of past remembrance.
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