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Proceedings of the Convention of the Equal Rights and Educational Association of Georgia : assembled at Macon, October 29th, 1866 : containing the annual address of the president, Captain J.E. Bryant

1866 Macon GA State Convention.12.pdf

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9

no organ, but will, I think, unite in supporting the Loyal Georgian, if it is published by a stock company. The white Union men of the South, who met in convention at Philadelphia in September, took strong grounds in favor of justice and equal rights for all. Indeed they advocated the same principles that you advocate. They were in favor of giving to colored citizens the same rights that white citizens enjoy. There are, then, in Georgia, three parties who think alike, the Republican party, the Equal Rights Association , and the Union League. The Loyal Georgian is the only paper in the State that advocates the policy of these parties, and I have reason to believe that the white Union men of the State will assist the paper, if it is published by a stock company, but, for reasons which I will not explain, they will not now assist us very much. I feel certain that, if the paper is published by a stock company, it will receive the assistance of this Association, the Union League, and Republican party. We can not only continue the publication of the paper, if we receive the support of these parties, but we can also enlarge it and make it truly a power in the State I say, therefore, that it is impossible, in my opinion, for the Association to continue the publication of the paper, even in its present size, but it can be published by a stock company, composed of friends to the cause we advocate, and, by so doing, bring to its support all classes of citizens who are friendly to the cause of equal rights.

THE POLICY TO BE PURSUED FOR THE YEAR TO COME.

The founders of this Association believed in the truths set forth in the Declaration of Independence, " that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." To labor to secure these rights, this Association was organized. Then, the country had just passed through a long and bloody war; a war inaugurated to establish a government, whose corner-stone was to be slavery. The North and the South had contended for the mastery; the South fighting for slavery--the North, to prevent the destruction of the Government. It is true that the slaves were emancipated by the North; but this was done-not because it was right; not because slavery was wrong; not because the Government had protected the worst system of tyranny that ever disgraced the world; and, seeing the wickedness of the institution, (an institution repugnant to the theory upon which the Government was founded) had determined to be true, at length, to the teachings of the fathers--but because it was necessary to save the Government. I have long believed that, but for the over-ruling providence of God, your people would now be held in slavery, and thus held, until the people of this country had been educated to understand the enormity of the

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