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Convention of Colored Citizens in Texas

1873TX State Brenham_Reports.4.pdf

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150

Platforms of Political

gressional legislation wring from their reluctant hands what we now would gratefully receive as a generous concession, and which would most emphatically tend to create and strengthen bonds of fraternal feelings.

It is a misfortune for both races that the Southern white men seem determined to leave their colored fellow-citizens nothing to be grateful for, as every right we enjoy has been forced from their grasp, in face of stern opposition and openly expressed hatred. Had even a part we now enjoy been voluntarily conceded, the mass of the colored people would have patiently waited until time and education fitted them for the rest, and many of the evils of legislation, to which the South has been exposed, could have been avoided. With stolid obstinacy they have clung to their prejudices. Yet we do not despair and feel our duty to ourselves and them render it imperative for us to hold out the olive branch, and express a willingness to cooperate with them in any measure for the advancement of the interests of our State and the welfare of its citizens. We appeal to them to meet us with the free concession of our civil rights in their hands, and will thus become a truly homogeneous people, animated by one common purpose, and that purpose the prosperity of the State.

At all times and under whatever circumstances, imbued with the most kindly feelings for our fellow-citizens, we deny the charge heretofore made that we have met in secret meetings, to war, or in any manner array ourselves against any class or classes of the community. That now, as ever, we are actuated by purely laudable motions in our political conduct, conducing as we believe, to the best interests of our State. In order, however, that all feelings or passion hitherto arrayed because of political gatherings, wherein we have participated, may be hereafter dispelled, we invite and request our fellow-citizens throughout the State, to hold and attend their meetings of a public character openly and before all, inasmuch, as to-day armed with the panoply of American citizenship, we need no longer fear malicious opponents in the exercise of our public rights.

"With charity for all, and malice toward none" of our fellow-citizens, we appeal to the law-abiding and honest people of Texas, of whatever political party, to join with us in deprecating the outrages and wrongs perpetrated upon the colored people in various sections of our State, because of our new relations as freemen and citizens, and we ask that all acts of violence towards us, from whatever source, shall be condemned by the public sentiment of the community in such unequivocal terms as that law and order shall be enforced.

We also recommend to our people the acquisition of land and homesteads, and that they do not support for office any man or set of men who are likely to place obstacles in the way of their success in this direction.

We also urgently recommend to them that they refuse to support for any office whatever any man who is not pledged against repudiation

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