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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 11.pdf
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Resolved, That the Government of the United States, republican in form, is a Government of the people, for the people, and by the people, and that all men are equal in political rights and entitled to the largest political and religious liberty compatible with the good order of society, as, also, the use and enjoyment of the fruits of their labor and talents : and that no laws should be made by any legislative body to the advantage of one class and against the interest and advantage of the other, but that all legislation should be for the benefit of all the people of any particular State and of the United States should be permanent consideration with all the citizens thereof.
Resolved, That we return our thanks to Divine Providence for the immense natural resources that are within the geographical limits of the Unites States of America, whereby the application of diligent and patient labor is capable of producing from its vast and unbounded supply has become the greatest moral agent known to man, in that it affords a refuge for the oppressed of all lands to impure their condition, and, by the influence of our institutions, elevate them to their proper standard of manhood, its rebounding influence is to destroy the tyranny and despotism of the Old World.
Resolved, That we fell it to be a duty that we owe to ourselves, to society, and to our country, to encourage by all the means within our reach industrial habits among our people, the learning of trades and professions by our children without regard to sex ; to educate and impress them with the fact that all labor is honorable and a sure road to wealth ; that habits of economy and temperance, combined with industry and education, is the great safeguard of free republican institutions, the "elevator of the condition of man, the motive power to increase grand and commerce, and to make the whole people of this land the wealthiest and happiest on the face of the globe."
Resolved, That regarding the labor of the country the common property of the people, that no portion should be excluded therefrom because of a geographical division of the globe in which they or their forefathers were born, or on account of statutes or color, but that every man or woman should receive employment according to his or her ability to perform the labor required, without any other test ; that the exclusion of colored men and apprentices from the right to labor in any department of industry or workshops in any of the States and Territories of the United States by what is known as "Trades' Unions" is an insult to God and injury to us, and disgrace to humanity. While we extend a free and welcome hand to the free immigration of labor of all nationalities, we emphatically deem imported contract Coolie labor to be a positive injury to the working people of the United States is but the system of slavery in a few form, and we appeal to the Congress of the United States to rigidly enforce the act of 1862, prohibiting Coolie importation, and to enact such other laws as will best protect. and free, American labor against this or any similar form of slavery.
Resolved, That we do not regard capital as the natural enemy of labor ; that each is dependent on the other for its existence ; that the great conflict daily wages between them is for the want of a better understanding between the representatives of capital and labor, and we therefore recommend the study of political economy in all of our labor organizations as a means to understand the relationships of labor to capital, and as a basis for the adjustment of many of the disputes that arise between employer and employee.
Resolved, That we recommend that the establishment of co-operative workshops, land, building and Ican associations among our people as a remedy against their exclusion from other workshops on account of color as a means of furnishing employment as well as a protection against the aggression of capital and as a the easiest and shortest method of enabling every man to procure a homestead for his family ; and to accomplish this end we would particularly impress the greatest importance of the observance of diligence in business, and the practice of rigid economy in our social and domestic arrangements.
Resolved, that we regard the use of intoxicating liquors as the most damaging and damnable habits practiced by the human family ; that we denounce the infamous practice planters have in drenching their employees with this poison drug until or without cost, intending to stupefy their brain and incapacitate them to know the condition of their accounts the value of their labor and to rob them of their sense and feelings of humanity ; that we appeal to our people to discountenance the use of intoxicating liquors because of its effects to shorten life, and because it is the great
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