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Report: Colored Men's Convention.
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Methodist Conference--Colored Convention Proceedings--Complaints of Marion County Lynchings--A Waif Found, Etc.
[Special Telegram to The News.]
Austin, July 12.—The District Conference of M. E. Church South met in the Senate chamber to-day, Bishop Linens? Parker presiding. The following preachers were present: A. E. Goodwin, J. W. Whipple, M. H. Porter, James A. Duncan, M. S. Hotchkiss, C. W. Thomas, W. Wooton, H. Younger, H. L. Raven, B. D. Orgain, R. G. Price, A. J. Bates, C. D. Morgan, J. Russell Allen, G. W. Sullivan and James S. Burns. Mr. Wooton was elected secretary. The usually committees were appointed and disciplinary business transacted. The reports read indicated improvement in the condition of the various charges. A communication from Dr. F. A. Mood, president of the Southwestern university, was received and referred, with a letter from the published of the Christian Advocate to the Committee on Books, etc. The conference, learning of the death last night of Mrs. Olivia Hotchkiss, wife of a member of the conference and sister of ex-United States Marshal Russell, concluded to attend the funeral at the First Presbyterian church to-morrow, the bishop to preach the funeral sermon. Rev. M. H. Porter preaches to-night, and E. B. Chappel to-morrow night.
The Colored Men's State convention met again this morning. Some excitement grew out of a resolution denying that this convention had abandoned the Republican party, but the chair settled it by ruling that the proposition was out of order. He declared he would vacate the chair if politics were discussed. On appeal his decision was sustained.
Considerable debate occurred over a resolution providing for a committee of three, to petition the legislature for $100,000 appropriation to enlarge the Prairie View Normal school. Opposition was made on the senseless notion that because all these normal schools were not open to students of all colors, the colored people should not ask this aid. The objection to the school was made that when the board of directors visited it, the principal teachers and students did not assert their equality and sit down at their meals with their white visitors.
Delegate Sublett, of Brenham, rebuked these grumblers in good style. He said the Democratic legislatures had dealt liberally with the colored people. He appreciated the fair and impartial distribution of the school fund; white and colored people shared alike in the benefits conferred. The legislature of Texas had done more for the colored people than that of any other State—much more than they appreciate. He knew of school districts of 200 colored children where the State distributed $800 and only thirty children went to school. The State's bounty was not appreciated. For one he appreciated the liberal provision for the normal school, but here it seems colored men who would forego all this bounty, and these invaluable privileges for the shadow of social equality. The State might have said these teachers and school officers should be white, but they selected colored teachers and men who had made the school a success. At our last convention a committee was appointed to ask for improvements for the college, and the legislature said they would do the best they could, and they did provide liberally. Now you would have us say to the governor and legislature, if you will allow us to sit down and eat with you, we will accept $100,000 for our colored school. You would have a school for social equality, and not a school for education. There is ignorance enough in Texas to fill hundreds of such schools, and as long as there is so much ignorance in our race, that long is socially equality impossible.
The resolution was adopted, and L.M. Sublett, E. H. Anderson and J. N. Johnson appointed on the committee. Anderson is principal of the Normal school.
The committee reported as address to the people. It congratulates the people upon the friendly relations of the races in Texas; assumes upon the colored people are exceptional, and that the great body of the white people are friendly; otherwise if all were hostile their people would be annihilated. They condemn lynch law. As railway passengers they are badly treated. Don't want in this matter to ask for social equality, but freely accept social separation with equal accommodation on the trains for the same pay. Complimented the Missouri-Pacific on its fair and just treatment of colored passengers; advised their people to discharge ignorant and immoral teachers and preachers whose teachings and example keep superstition and vice alive. Discouraged immigration from the State, and even from county to county, unless for the best of reasons. He recommend the purchase of lands and homes and production of home comforts and necessaries before producing articles for sale. Young men should be encouraged to learn trades; advises local organizations to encourage all these aims; advises against petty litigation, and advises teachers and leaders to encourage friendly relations with the whites. The closing stanza lets the Republican party know that the colored people remain solid in that organization.
The address was adopted; also, a resolution providing for county organizations to select delegates to the next State convention. Also a resolution indorsing the colored lawyer J. N. Johnson, of Austin, and a resolution of thanks to the newspaper and officers of the convention. A collection was made to print the proceedings. After which a white lawyer, Mr. Garland. of this city, delivered an address to show the unity of the human race. Before he got through he very nearly proved the Caucasian race to be neither white, gray nor brown, and to have absorbed a considerable amount of negro blood from the African races along the Mediterranean sea. He pointed to the Darwinian theory and other doctrine of modern times as indicate of a common origin, and beginning of all the races of man. He grieved over the fact exemplified in the decisions of the courts up to the Federal Supreme Court, that the judiciary is indoctrinated with the ante-bellum idea that the negro race is necessarily an inferior and degraded one.
Judge Terrell, who happened in at this time, was called on to make a speech, and made some pointed remarks. He indicated it was of no consequence had his race even come from a tadpole. The matter of consequence was its present situation and tendency, and the matter of moments for this convention to consider was, what will promote the interests of the colored people? There is much to encourage the black people here. Their lot is cast among a friendly people, making liberal provision for the education of both races, The white people, without coercion, and when two of the States only gave the colored children what education taxes on property of colored people would supply, had deliberately endowed all the children, white and black, with fifty million acres of land for their education, in value exceeding the endowment of all the States of the Union for public schools. The resolutions of the convention with respect to social equality and grievances against railroads he deprecated as tending to impede the growth of friendly relations between the races. The white people had a paramount interest in the enlightenment and elevation of the colored race. They did not desire to transmit to their posterity the grievous contest with the ignorance and superstition of the enfranchised blacks. The white race considered the education and civilization of the blacks a duty to the blacks and to the descendants of the white race.
The convention thanked the two speakers and adjourned sine die, subject to call.
The governor received a letter from five colored persons of Marion county, complaining of the lynching of the rapists in that county; that several young men had been likewise lynched, and that the county judge and county officers would not protect them from lynch law. They appeal to the governor for protection, and threaten to take the law in their own hands if their demand is not complied with. To which the governor replied: The charge you make against the people of Marion county is a very grave one. It is a very unfortunate state of affairs that induces a people to take the law in their own hands. I am slow to believe, as you state, that the man who was mobbed for the assault on Mrs. Rogers, from which she died, was, so far as the proof went, insufficient. The persons who took charge of the man must have had the strongest evidence of his guilt. But no matter what the proof was, I regret the law was not allowed to have full sway. The other remark in your letter that there were two or three young colored men slaughtered in this way is not intelligible. It does not appear form your statement that you have appealed to the law. You say that your county judge, and other county officers will not protect you. You do not complain of any wrong or injury to yourselves. For the wrongs, as you allege, committed against otters, you do not say you have made any direct or specific appeal to the law. For these alleged wrongs to others, you threaten to take the law into your own hands, and repeat exactly what you complain of in others. If an effort is made to allow the law to take its course, the executive will endeavor to see that it is not impeded; but sensational appeals, based upon no facts, and showing no resort to the law, can not be responded to by the executive. The State of Texas is doing all she can for the colored man, and if he will show by his conduct that he appreciates these efforts; they will be continued. Whatever disturbs the black man in Texas, disturbs the white man. This government is trying and will continue to try to administer its laws in the interest of all the people alike, and it will and does expect all the people, black and white, to assist with moral force, example and otherwise to uphold and enforce our laws. In conclusion, I have to say that your ultimatum and threat to redress supposed wrongs, through methods of your own, are not calculated to do you any good.
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