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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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mittee, introduced by Mr. Poinsett this morning, which was made the special order for 10 o'clock A. M., to-morrow.
The Committee on Credentials reported arrivals of delegates from Sumter.
On motion, the House then adjourned.
The regular business of the Afternoon Session was suspended, and the Convention resolved itself into a social, convivial mass meeting to hear the speakers which had been appointed to make addresses. The house was densely crowded, and the strictest order and decorum presided.
The first speaker which occupied the stand was the Rev. J. C. Gibbs. He made a telling, spirit-stirring speech, and was rapturously applauded. He took a moderate, common sense view upon the present state of the country, as bearing upon the prospects and interests of the freedmen. He advised educated thought, as knowledge is the power they now most need.
John Chestnut, of Camden, was the next speaker. He dwelt on the subject of labor, a topic of most vital interest just at this time. He handled his subject well, and thinks that the freedmen will work, and work well and willingly, if the proper opportunities are afforded them. His speech abounded in good sense and sound logic.
Rev. R. H. Cain was called out, and responded in a speech of direct power and concentrated thought. He has a military way of massing his arguments, and hurling them like an avalanche against the weaker portion of the lines of his opponent. He has a fine command of language, and seems to be at home in the higher domain of popular oratory. He uses words to express his ideas, and not to adorn them, and never sacrifices sense to sound. The fruit predominates over the flowers, and those who hear him once will find the desire increased to repeat the intellectual repast. His subjects were free Suffrage and the Labor Question, both of which he treated in an able and masterly manner.
A. J. Ransier, one of the Secretaries. was the next speaker. He confined himself mostly to the question, "What has Ham done?" He made some very good points, and was frequently applauded. He said that an eminent divine of this city, in the course of a sermon delivered some time ago, in derogation of the African race, made use of the following language: "Ham has never given to the world an orator; he has never given to the world a writer, a warrior, or man of note." He contradicted the statement in toto, adduced evidence proving that Ham has done something; Ham has
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