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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 32.pdf

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32

Allen Coffin, delegate from the Workingmen's Club of the Government Printing Office, introduced the following resolutions, and moved their reference to the Business Committee:

Whereas, The principles announced by the fathers of the Republic, that "all men are created equal" and possess certain "inalienable rights," and that the true purpose of government is to establish to perpetuate liberty, justice and equality ; therefore

Resolved, That all laws, customs, ceremonies, and organizations, either of church or State, which discriminate prejudicially against color, nationality, condition, or laudable avocation, are in direct violation of the fundamental principles of republicanism. and consequently ought not to exist in the United States.

Resolved, That Labor is entitled to its just reward, by whomsoever performed, and the denial of such pay to women because they are women, for equally efficient work, is a grievance which demands redress.

Resolved. That it is the duty of the national government to encourage and sustain the associations which seek the elevation of working men and women, particularly those based upon the principle of co-operative industry, inasmuch as labor is the active agent in developing the vast resources of the country, and the real sources of national prosperity.

Resolved, That the employment of children of tender years by corporations, as a means of adding to their greed of profit, is a disgrace to the civilization of the age, and sadly detrimental to the physical and mental development of American citizens.

Resolved, That the public lands belong to the people, and government has no right to deprive them of their legal possession by granting monopolies of the same to corporate wealth.

Resolved, That while there exists neither reason nor necessity for antagonism between capital and labor, each being essential to the other, no fact is more patent than that capital, as now employed, is inimical to the interests of labor, and the working men's remedy is in co-operative industry, in possessing their own capital and employing their own labor.

Resolved, That the benefits of the eight-hour law ought to be extended to all classes of laborers throughout the country, whether in the employ of the Government, or corporations, or private enterprises.

Resolved, That impartial suffrage, and the representation of minorities ought to be secured and maintained throughout the Republic.

Resolved, That the President of the United States ought to be elected by a direct vote of the people in order that the principles of the Republic may be more fully realized.

Hon. C.M. Hamilton, Delegate from Florida offered the following resolution which was referred to the Business Committee:

Whereas, there exists in the Southern States-as one of the consequences of the institution of slavery-an organized "Land Monopoly" which is baleful alike to domestic, and national prosperity ; and Whereas extensive combinations have been entered into by the land owners in the South, for the purpose of maintaining said land monopoly, pledging themselves to sell not a foot of land, an implement of agriculture, or a farm-animal to the freed people, with the willful, malicious design of keeping the freemen in as dependent a condition as possible, individually, socially and politically ; and whereas so long as this land monopoly prevails, the avenues of prosperity, and personal independence are closed against the national freedmen-the laboring millions of the south ; therefore.

Resolved, By the National Colored Labor Convention, That every possible legitimate measures be taken, in conjunction with the laboring masses of the country, to overthrow this cruel barrier to our progress-the monstrous "Land monopoly" of the South.

Mr. Hamilton said in support of his resolution, that perhaps it was not generally known to the country that there existed to-day in the South-as one of direful consequences of the institution of slavery-a land monopoly as wide-spread, and as baneful to the liberty, and pursuit of happiness of the colored people as was that institution itself ; that it had its

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