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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 8.pdf

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Hon. A.M. Clapp in employing colored printers at the Government Printing Office in opposition to the ravings of negro haters was taken up and passed.

After action on the above resolutions the Hon. A.M. Clapp, Congressional Printer, was next discovered to be in the crowded audience, who, on motion, was invited to occupy the stand and address the Convention, which he did in eloquent terms, noting the vast changes that politics had produced in the people of the country. Alluding to the time when he commenced active life, men who held the advanced ideas of himself were sometimes socially ostracized, but having the precepts of the New Testament for his guide, he believed himself to be right, and would continue to do his duty, fearing none but the great God above who controls the affairs of men. Alluding to the appointment of Mr. Lewis H. Douglass as a compositor in the Government Printing Office said he (Douglass) asked for employment. He asked him if he was a compositor; receiving an affirmative answer, he again asked for his name. On being told it, Mr. Clapp remarked, " I confess there was magic in that name; and I told him to go to work." He said that having all the respect in the world for the gentlemen as individuals composing the Printers Union, he has none whatever for their Congressional Printer. That he requested the Printers' Union to modify their law regulating the number of apprentices that shall be employed to conform to his wishes, which they very graciously did, and that among the number of apprentices he has appointed two colored boys, one of whom is greatly above the average intelligence of boys of his age of any race.

Mr. Clapp was frequently applauded throughout the delivery of his address.

On motion of A.M. Green, of the District of Columbia, the following resolution was adopted :

Resolved, That in the two gentlemen who have addressed us this evening, the Hon. Sayles J. Bowen and the Hon. A.M. Clapp, this Convention recognizes two of its most able and available champions and friends ; men who by their aggressions upon the foul prejudice against the black man's right to an equal chance in the race of life entitle them to claim a place in the front rank of the great progressive party of this Republic.

Mr. Allen Coffin, of the District of Columbia, offered the following resolutions :

Resolved, That the accumulated wealth of the nation, being the result of labor already performed, out to be taxed on a graduated basis, so as to make the burden of taxation to bear heaviest upon those who have reaped the lion's share of Amen can toil.

Resolved, That the national debt ought to be paid in gold, or its equivalent, in accordance with the spirit and intent of the acts of Congress under which it was contracted.

Mr. Coffin made some very suggestive remarks germane to the great question at issue between capital and labor, which were favorably received and applauded, and asked that the resolution be referred to the Business Committee.

Adjourned until 10 o'clock A.M. Tuesday, December 7, 1869.


The Convention met this morning at 10 o'clock, and opened with prayer by the Rev. M.B. Derrick.

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