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Proceedings of the Southern States Convention of Colored Men, held in Columbia, S.C., commencing October 18, ending October 25, 1871.

1871SC-Regional-Columbia_Proceedings 13.pdf

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14

individual in the party, and that if any person, whether he be at the head of the party or not, shall have, in my opinion, proved recreant to the best interests of that party, I shall not hesitate, by reason of any rewards, or on account of any fear or favor, to state the fact. It has been asserted that I am an anti-Grant man—that I am opposed to the Federal administration, as it exists at this time. I desire to call the attention of gentleman from other States to my position; and I feel fully assured that my colleagues from my own State will bear me out, and that the people of my own commonwealth will assert the truthfulness of what I say, when I state that there is no man with equal means at his disposal, with equal advantages, with equal endowments, who has done more to sustain the present Federal administration than I have done in my humble capacity. I have stood side by side with the patriotic men of this State, in supporting the Republican party of the Union. I have met dangers in common with others of South Carolina. I have been often in the State of Georgia, to raise my voice in behalf of that administration, and in support of the very man whom it has been charged by this irresponsible agent I am opposed to. In 1868, in common with every other Republican, I perilled all for his support. We did it at a time when this false, foul, irresponsible agent had no vote to give him. We stood side by side, then, as we have stood to the present time, for that administration. When others faltered, we stood firm. I will call attention to the fact that, whilst it has been alleged here that I am opposed to His Excellency the President of the United States, that it has not been a month since in yonder Senate Chamber, in a Convention of the State Central Committee of this State, I raised my voice in behalf of that administration, and called on my friends and co-laborers to endorse, in a communication, its course. I was the bearer of that communication to His Excellency, and had the honor of presenting it to him. Have not my course and my labors during the short time that I have served in the body to which I have the honor to belong, through the suffrages of my fellow-citizens in this State, been a sufficient vindication, and shown that not only am I a friend to my own race, but an ardent supporter to the Republican administration? Have I not, in common with my honored colleague who sits on my left (Mr. Rainey), in common with my honored friend who sits on my right (Mr. Walls), raised my voice, not only in behalf of the people of the Congressional District I represent, not only in behalf of the people commonwealth of South Caroline, but restricted by no territorial limit, have I ever been wanting, when the opportunity offered, to raise my voice in defence of the rights of my people in every part of this country? Questions affecting the District of Columbia, too, found in me an ardent supporter, and I have ever been a hard worker for the welfare of others' constituencies. I feel that the members of this Convention will

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