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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.

1865SC-Charleston.21.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

ADDRESS

OF THE COLORED STATE CONVENTION TO THE PEOPLE

OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA. ________

FELLOW CITIZENS:—We have assembled as delegates representing the colored people of the State of South Carolina, in the capacity of State Convention, to confer together and to deliberate upon our intellectual, moral, industrial, civil, and political condition as affected by the great changes which have taken place in this State and throughout this whole country, and to devise ways and means which may, through the blessing of God, tend to our improvement, elevation, and progress; fully believing that our cause is one which commends itself to all good men throughout the civilized world; that it is the sacred cause of truth and righteousness; that is particularly appeals to those professing to be governed by that religion which teaches to "do unto all men as you would have them do unto you."

These principles we conceive to embody the great duty of man to his fellow man; and, as men, we ask only to be included in a practical application of this principle.

We feel that the justness of our cause is a sufficient apology for our course at this time. Heretofore we have had no avenues opened to us or our children—we have had no firesides that we could call our own; none of those incentives to work for the development of our minds and the aggrandizement of our race in common with other people. The measures which have been adopted for the development of white men's children have been denied to us and ours. The laws which have made white men great, have degraded us, because we are colored, and because we were reduced to chattel, slavery. But now that we are freemen, now that we have been lifted by the providence of God to manhood, we have resolved to come forward, and like MEN, speak and act for ourselves. We fully recognize the truth of the maxim that "God helps those who help themselves." In making this appeal to you, we adopt the language of the immortal Declaration of Independence, "that all men are created equal," and that "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are the right of all; that taxation and representation should go together; that governments are to protect, not to destroy

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