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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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After the regular battle of the day, the evening skirmish by the sharpshooters is looked forward to with peculiar interest. This pyrotechnical display of the torpedoes of poetry and sky-rockets of oratory sped along their fiery track, and the whiz and buzz and frequent explosion made the "grand, gloomy, and peculiar" largely predominant. The speakers were greeted by the usual crowded and eager auditory. The hall and galleries, which will seat fully two thousand persons, were crowded to suffocation.
The ball was opened by Mr. Edwin Coombs, of Massachusetts. He read and criticised a leading editorial in one of the city papers, on the subject of the honesty, industry, and general capabilities for self-government as exhibited by the freedmen under the new regime. Mr. Coombs thought the article in question rather "foggy," abounding more in typographical and editorial blunders, than in sound sense and logical conclusions. The speaker handled the article without gloves, and proved the utter fallacy of the popular idea that editors either do, or should know everything.
Sergeant Thomas Long, of the first S. C. Colored Troops, was next called to the stand, and made a Davy Crocket, ad captandum speech that had considerable point and power. He proposed to take the bell off Massachusetts and put it upon South Carolina. He was pleased to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and he would not pluck a single green wreath from the glorious 54th Massachusetts Regiment. But the first South Carolina Colored Regiment had precedence in point of organization. She was "first at the cross and last at the grave;" and when the annuals of this war shall be written up, it will be found that she has made her mark not only upon the bloody field of battle, but upon the illumined scroll of freedom.
Rev. B. F. Randolph responded to a call from the President in a speech abounding in thought, and enforced by a serious earnestness which impress the minds and commanded the attention of the House. He is a pleasing speaker, calm and deliberate, and took the position that thought, like the ladies, "when unadorned is adorned the most." We regret our inability to give the prominent points of this excellent address.
Allen Coffin, Esq., editor of the Leader, was then introduced, and, though laboring under the effect of a late severe indisposition, he was, nevertheless, enabled to address the House in a pleasing and instructive strain for some fifteen minutes. He cheerfully bore testimony to the accuracy and justice of Sergeant Long's remarks in reference to the colored soldiers of Massachusetts and South Carolina; and while he would not pluck a single laurel from the garland of the Palmetto State, he would say in the language of a most distinguished Senator, in replying to one of South
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