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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 31.pdf

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Estimating the number of freedmen who would probably avail themselves of the right of settlement, on the terms proposed, at two hundred thousand, (200,000,) or about one-fourth (1/4) of the able-bodied colored males in the southern States, the government could give each colored settler forty (40) acres, and still have a residue of over thirty-eight millions of acres of public land in the South the value of which residue would be greatly enhanced by the contiguity of numerous settlements to it, the opening of roads, &c. ; while the population thus endowed would add proportionately to the sources of national taxation, and would thereby not only swell the aggregate products of American industry, but would add greatly to the list of consumers or purchasers of many of those products which they cannot now enjoy.

Your memorialists are assured and believe that the existing homestead and preemption laws will, with some modifications and extensions, accomplish the result herein desired.

And your memorialists further pray that your honorable body will enact a law authorizing the President to appoint a land commission, to consist of suitable persons, whose duty it shall be to purchase lands in those southern States in which there are no public lands, and have the same divided into tracts of forty (40) acres each, and sold to freedmen at cost price, payment to be made in instalments, and to be completed in five (5) years ; the whole sum to be thus used in the purchase of homesteads for freedmen not to exceed two millions ($2,000,000) of dollars.

And your memorialists further pray that the railroad grants of public land made by the Government to several of the railway corporations in the southern States, and by them forfeited by reason of their non-compliance with the conditions annexed to the same; be not revived, but that the lands embraced in such lapsed grants be brought within the operations of the homestead act, as herein prayed for.

And your memorialists will ever pray, &c.

We hereby certify that the above memorial was unanimously adopted in the National Labor Convention begun to be holden in the city of Washington, D.C., on Monday, the 6th day of December, A.D. 1869.

J.H. HARRIS. North Carolina. President National Labor Convention. T.J. MACKEY, South Carolina, SELLA MARTIN, Massachusetts, JOHN P. SAMPSON, Ohio, W.T.J. HAYES, North Carolina, WILLIAM J. WILSON, New Jersey, M. VANHORN, Rhode Island, A. WARD HANDY, Pennsylvania, J.H. RAINEY, South Carolina, JAMES T. RAPIER. Alabama. CHARLES H. PETERS, District Columbia, WILLIAM PERKINS, Maryland, J.W. LOGUEN, New York CALEB MILBURN, Delaware, Vice Presidents National Labor Convention

Attest: Lewis H. Douglass Secretary.

On motion of Mr. Waugh, of Rhode Island, it was

Resolved, That we hereby express our most extreme contempt for , and opposition to, the efforts being made to galvanize into active existence the American Colonization Society, and that we entreat the parties, that if they have a spark of honesty in their natures to be consistent and go to Africa themselves, if they be as earnest and sincere in their professions of love for Africa, as they would have us believe, that it is our intention to remain, and labor here on our native soil.

Aaron M. Powell, of New York, offered a resolution requesting Congress to authorize the appointment by the President of a land commissioner for the purpose of purchasing eligible land for homesteads, the title thereof to be held until by instalment, without interest, it shall have been paid for, when the money so employed, not to exceed $2,000,000, shall be refunded to the National Treasury. Passed.

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