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Proceedings of the Colored National Labor convention : held in Washington, D.C., on December 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th, 1869.
1869-WASHGINGTON DC-Colored national Labor Convention 4.pdf
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influence equal to capital. That which is known as the labor movement is growing in strength. I beseech our friends to be mindful of the same, to take such action in the premises as will draw to their party, away from a corrupt dishonorable influence and intelligent agitators for reform in the matter of labor; they, with the colored laborers and voters will be a host for the right.
The colored man's struggle until now has been for naked existence, for the right to life and liberty; with the fifteenth amendment, henceforth his struggle will be in pursuit of happiness; in this instance, it is to turn his problem; it is racking the brains of the ablest economist; the most we can hope to effect, at this gathering, is a crude organization; the formation of a labor bureau to send out agents, to organize colored labor throughout the land, to effect a union with laborers without regard to color.
Good has come out of Nazareth. Slavery; when it existed, shut out the light to the end of shutting out the right; it had however, to have some light for its own purposes. It did not permit the educated white mechanic and laborer from the North and abroad to come within its darkened abode; to teach its subjects the slaves, mechanical arts : they now have those arts as freemen. In the North, from selfish motives, from prejudice, to serve their then Southern masters, they would not teach or encourage the colored man in mechanism; so that, whatever mechanical acquirements, with some exceptions, exist among colored men in the country, are to be found in the South. They are crying for organization. We desire Union with the white laborer for a common interest; it is the interest of both parties, that such a union should exist, with a fair, open and unconcealed intent; win no aim to destroy any organization, political or otherwise; with no thought of fostering dishonr, whether in the nation or in the individuals; repudiating all attempts to weaken obligations engaged in openly, seriously, with a full knowledge of the same ; with an intent to share honorably all obligations "as nominated in the bond." I think that i may say, in behalf of the delegates here assembled. that they stand ready to extend an earnest hand of welcome to every effort, associated or otherwise, that looks to the dignity of labor, to its enjoyment of full remuneration and protection, and which shall manifest a spirit to be in harmony with the capital in every instance, when capital shall be properly mindful of its true interest in harmonizing with labor.
Mr. Sampson, of North Carolina, nominated Mr. H.P. Harmon, of Florida, temporary Secretary; adopted.
On motion, Hon. J.H. Harris of North Carolina, addressed the Convention.
On motion, Mr. Richard Trevellick, President of the National Labor Congress was invited to address the Convention and to a seat on the platform.
On motion, Mr. John M. Langston, of Ohio, was invited to address the Convention.
The Committee on Credentials reported the names of two hundred and forty delegates, more than half of whom were not present. Report received and adopted.
On motion, a committee of one from each State, Territory, and the District of Columbia was appointed on permanent organization.
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