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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Report on the Virginia State Colored Convention held in Richmond, May 27, 1869.
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Dr. Harris, the candidate for Lieutenant Governor on the Wells ticket, in accordance with invitation, then addressed the Convention. He is a bright mulatto of respectable appearance, and his intelligence cannot be denied. He is not much of an orator, but possesses a remarkable aptness for illustration by anecdote, and is an interesting talker. His speech was thoroughly radical, and he counseled his hearers to act upon the principle that instinct was more reliable than reason, and therefore it was better that they rely upon those of their own race, ignorant though they might be rather than upon those who possessed that intelligence that might yet prove dangerous to them. He told them that they must contend for every right that would make the colored man equal, as he deserved to be, with the white man. He told them to trust no white man unless he showed by his deeds that he was in earnest in his professions towards the colored man. There were many white Republicans who could not be trusted. There were in the State 104,000 colored votes and 120,000 white votes. In order to secure the election their candidates, over 10,000 white votes would be necessary. There were at least 10,000 white Republicans in the State, and it would be very easy to know whether they had been true to their professions or not by the number of votes cast. If the Governor was elected and Lieutenant-Governor defeated, they could know that his name had been stricken off because
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