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Minutes and Proceedings of the First Annual Convention of the People of Colour, held by adjournments in the city of Philadelphia, from the sixth to the eleventh of June, inclusive, 1831.
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vention feel happy to report to their brethren, that our efforts to establish a settlement in that province have not been made in vain. Our prospects are cheering; our friends and funds are daily increasing; wonders have been performed far exceeding our most sanguine expectations : already have our brethren purchased eight hundred acres of land--and two thousand of them have left the soil of their birth, crossed the lines, and laid the foundation for a structure which promises to prove an asylum for the coloured population of these United States. They have erected two hundred log houses, and have five hundred acres under cultivation.
And now it is to your fostering care the Convention appeal, and we appeal to you as to men and brethren, yet to enlarge their borders.
We therefore ask of you, brethren--we ask of you, philanthropists, of every colour, and of every kindred, to assist us in this undertaking. We look to a kind Providence, and to you, to say whether our desires shall be realized, and our labours crowned with success.
The Convention has done its duty, and it now remains for you, brethren, to do yours. Various obstacles have been thrown in our way by those opposed to the elevation of the human species; but, thanks to an all-wise Providence, his goodness has as yet cleared the way, and our advance has been slow but steady. The only thing now wanted, is an accumulation of funds, in order to enable us to make a purchase agreeable to the direction of the first Convention ; and, to effect that purpose, the Convention has recommended, to the different Societies engaged in that cause, to persevere and prosecute their designs with doubled energy ; and we would earnestly recommend to every coloured man, (who feels the weight of his degradation,) to consider himself in duty bound to contribute his mite towards this great object. We would say to all, that the prosperity of the rising generation mainly depends upon our active exertions.
Yes, it is with us to say whether they shall assume a rank and standing among the nations of the earth, as men and freemen, or whether they shall still be prized and held at market price. Oh, then, by a brother's love, and by all that makes man dear to man--awake in time ! Be wise ! Be free ! Endeavour to walk with circumspection : be obedient to the laws of our common country ; honour and respect its lawmakers and lawgivers : and, through all, let us not forget to respect ourselves.
During the deliberations of this Convention, we had the favour of
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