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Scripto | Transcribe Page
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 25.pdf
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the people to thinking on this subject. Occasionally they could slip in a word in their sermons. He was sorry to learn that preachers were unpopular in this Labor Convention. He had been a laborer all his life, and he knew no other society but theirs. All the professions here were ruled out. This was not right; all the men here who had rubbed their backs against a college wall were avoided; he was not one of them, but they could not afford to be separated from the working classes. They should make common cause against a common enemy. Oppression was their enemy. He had just returned from among the old rebels of the South. The poor white families there were even in the worse condition than the black. The power that has crushed the black man had not spared the white. If colored men would work together with more earnestness, Georgia would not now be cutting up the devil. [Applause.] [A voice.—"How about Virginia?"] Bishop Campbell.-"Why, the negroes let the rebels pull the wool over their eyes there." [Laughter.] What if the Republican party should stop where they are; what if our Moses should get into the White House. again? Where would our race be? Under our gallant Vicksburg general at the White House, he expected to drive the devil out of them yet, if the colored men will at the same time stand by the party that has done so much for them. He owed the people who had crushed them to the earth no ill will, but he wanted them reconstructed and the devil whipped out of them. A rebel had told him that they were now overcome but not subdued.
Mr. Lowry, of Tennessee, was invited to sing "John Brown's body," which he did, and the entire audience joined in the chorus.
Mr. J.K. Rourk, of North Carolina, was next introduced and addressed the meeting.
Mr. Lowry, of Tennessee, gave an interesting account of the political affairs of that State, saying that what the colored people wanted most was education.
Bishop J.W. Loguen, of New York, was next introduced. He said he could go back to his State rejoicing that he had seen so much intelligence congregated as was here. He was not a eloquent speaker, but an eloquent worker, as thousands of his color could testify who had passed over the underground railroad in the days of slavery. He was a co-worker with old John Brown: had eat, slept, and prayed with him, but was not at Harper's Ferry with him. He gave a very interesting account of his (L.'s) [?] escape from slavery when a youth; of his connection with the underground railroad, with which he had been an active agent, of his knowledge of John Brown years ago, and finally of his return back again to his native State—Tennessee just after the war was over, and the many incidents of his journey there, of his finding his mistress alive, and the changed condition of things there since he had left.
He kept the attention of the audience for nearly an hour, reciting the remarkable experience of his life, detailing very graphically the manner and language of the colored people of the South in the old times, and the overbearing and proud style of their masters and mistresses.
Mr. John Watson, of Ohio, also spoke giving a somewhat similar experience.
Hon. Charles H. Porter, of Virginia, addressed the Convention, and after his remarks the Convention adjourned.
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