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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Colored People's Convention of the State of South Carolina, held in Zion Church, Charleston, November, 1865. Together with the declaration of rights and wrongs; an address to the people; a petition to the legislature, and a memorial to Congress.
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speech. We could not do him justice. Only they who heard and felt it can properly appreciate it. He dwelt on discipline and obedience to the laws, and showed what had been accomplished by it both in the Crimean war and in the late revolution.
Mr. H. Jude Moor was then introduced, and spoke of the delicate position in which he was placed as a South Carolinian, as a speaker before a convention of colored citizens. He had no hand in freeing the slaves, but since a convention of his own fellow citizens had passed an ordinance of emancipation, and declared the slaves free, he saw no inconsistency in addressing them as freemen. Slavery, according to the constituted law of the state, is now dead and beyond resurrection, The outposts have surrendered, and the citadel might as well be given up. There can be no middle ground between slavery and freedom. There is no political purgatory, no halfway house where legal absolution is to be administered. The stern logic of events must be recognized and appreciated. The great battle has been fought and won, and it is sheer madness now to attempt to dodge the responsibility. The South fought gallantly, and commanded the admiration even of our enemies and of the world. Fate decided against us. Slavery was the stake, and we lost; and it is now the part of patriots and Christians to lay down our arms, and accept as quiet and peaceable, law-abiding citizens, the condition of things as they are. It is not our fault, but our misfortune. He that does the best his circumstances will admit does well, acts nobly, angels can do no more. Let us yield like men and cease the bitter strife, even of words. We need not delude ourselves with the idea that this war is to be fought over again. Secession is dead. It died with slavery and will never be revived. The experiment of the last four years out to satisfy even the most stubborn and obdurate. The Government is stronger to-day than it ever was. It has proved its ability to maintain, intact, its integrity in the face of one of the most gigantic and obstinate revolutions the world ever saw. The Republic is now a fixed fact; a permanent institution, a house built upon a rock, against which the storms of faction and sectionalism may bear in vain. If we of the South will learn wisdom from the past, and are true to ourselves, a career of happiness and prosperity is before us, of which we now, in that day of our gloom and despondency, may little dream.
W. B. Scott, editor and proprietor of the Colored Tennessean, responded to call for a speech, and gave his audience a touch of North Carolina oratory with Tennessee cross. He was no orator, "as Brutus is," and should not attempt anything on the sky-rocket or spread-eagle order. But in a strain of good, sound sense he gave his audience a plain, practical talk on the rise, progress, and present state of the cause and prospects of the freedmen of Tennessee. He expressed himself hopeful of the future, and thinks
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