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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 100.pdf

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Our people are vitally interested in the proper solution of this problem, and we must take an important part in its solution. We must assist in giving quiet and peace and order and prosperity to the whole South. To you, gentlemen, is committed that great and solemn duty of inaugurating a policy for a whole race. See that you act wisely, and act promptly. You have great obstacles to encounter and overcome. Against the new state of things is arrayed nearly all of the splendid talent of the South. Against the new order of things are arrayed nearly all the wealth and power in the land. Against the new order of things, are arrayed nearly all the press of the South. Yet these must be overcome. And I entreat you, colored men of the South, to enter upon this work without delay. If you act wisely you cannot over-estimate the importance of the results of your deliberations.

Strive earnestly to secure a hearty co-operation of all the patriotic and moral forces in the South, to secure the supremacy of law, to protect the equal rights of all, to put society on the road of progress and improvement. Do these things, and success is ours.

The motives that prompt us are all-imposing. Centuries look down upon us, overshadowing us with a cloud of noble spirits, who have consecrated their lives to the same great cause. The oppressed of the world watch. with breathless anxiety, the issue of our struggle, and call to us to be faithful and true to the cause of humanity and God. They call to us from the mountain wilds of Cuba; they call to us from the prison houses of Europe; they call to us from the bleak and icy plains of Siberia. Let us be faithful to the trust committed to us, and the world will bless us as the worthy recipients and noble defenders of the priceless heritage of liberty.

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