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Address to the Fourth Annual Convention of the Free People of Color of the United States : delivered at the opening of their session in the City of New York, June 2, 1834 by William Hamilton.

1834 New York National Convention Address.2.pdf

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It is with the most pleasing sensations, and feelings of high gratification, that I, in behalf of my colored fellow citizens of New York, tender you of the delegation to this convention a hearty welcome to our city. And in behalf of the conventional board, I repeat the welcome. And, gentlemen, with regard to myself, my full heart vibrates the felicitation.

You have convened to take into consideration what may be the best means for the promotion of the best interest of the people of color of these United States, particularly of the free people thereof.

And that such convention is highly necessary, I think a few considerations will amply show.

First, the present form of society divides the interest of the community into several parts. Of these, there is that of the white man, that of the slave, and that of the free colored man. How lamentable, how very lamentable it is that there should be, any where on earth, a community of castes, with separate interests! That society must be the most happy, where the good of one is the common good of the whole. Civilization is not perfect, nor has reason full sway, until the community shall see that a wrong done to one is a wrong done to the whole; that the interest of one is or ought to be the common interest of the whole. Surely

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