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Scripto | Transcribe Page
State Colored Men's Convention
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Governor Kellog said:
I have listened with satisfaction to the remarks of Senator West. I see here two members of Congress, and I, like many here, desire to hear from them. They and I and your presiding officer constitute your government. They say we are on trial. I shall not say much on that point, because I think it is more appropriate to hear from our representatives. I am a part of you, and I must stand or fall with you, and I am glad it is so. I thank you for the compliment and the generous welcome you have given me. when these fiery signals of animosity have been around me for the past eight months. I lean with renewed confidence on the great heart of the Republican party as represented in this assemblage. That party has traveled footsore? for the past twelve months. The time is not far distant when I will return with you over the same ground. Life is full of changes and contrasts. One year ago we were denounced. One year ago today a court took jurisdiction of a case, and it is sufficient to say is is alone. It is a maxim of the common law that he who is entitled to the possession of a thing, no matter how he gets it, can not be dispossessed of it. The Times, an able and fair-minded journal, though opposed to as, says the colored people are Republican to a man. Then the Fusion registration shows they are a majority in the State of 9000. They have a right to be heard. I am glad to say they all vote and record their votes. Then, no matter what technicality of that case may be upset, it can't upset us.
The black man is politically as good as a white man, and though he may not be able to enter his parlor he has the right to go everywhere any man can go by paying for it: and any man who would deprave him of that right is a thief and a robber.
Governor Kellog then contrasted this convention with the one which which was to meet next week. He drew a parallel between the work they would try to do, and the contradictory progress they were engaged in. He gave a scathing review of the Legislatures of 1865, 1866 and 1867 which measured the State debt $16,700,000, when there was not a black man in it, and compared that with the later ones, very much to the disadvantage of the former. He implored his audiors to support him that he might not be in the position at the end of his term of being compelled to pay as Governor Roman and in 1842 (when there were no thieving carpet-baggers or ignorant negroes in the Legislature):
"I leave the office with which I have been honored with the painful conviction of having done very little for the good of the State, and having often failed in preventing what was injurious. It affords me some relief, however to be able to say that I have refused my signature to various bills which,
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