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Proceedings of the National Conference of Colored Men of the United States, Held in the State Capitol at Nashville Tennessee, May 6, 7, 8 and 9, 1879.


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Proceedings of the National Conference of Colored Men of the United States, Held in the State Capitol at Nashville Tennessee, May 6, 7, 8 and 9, 1879.


Book (107 p. ; 23 cm.)















May 6, 7, 8 AND 9, 1879.








At 1 o' clock Tuesday, May 6, 1879, ex-Governor P.B.S. Pinchback, of Louisiana, advanced to the Speaker's stand of the House of Delegates, Nashville, Tenn., and said:

It was my purpose yesterday, when I was notified that it would be expected of me to call this Conference together, to make some extended remarks foreshadowing what I supposed would be its policy, but unforeseen circumstances have completely unfitted me for any extended remarks at this time. We supposed—at least I supposed—the objects of this Conference and mode of its formation was so familiar to the people of the country that we would meet with no opposition from any class, and more especially did we expect to receive a cordial greeting from the colored citizens of Tennessee. Many of us here to-day were here two years ago, and we look back to that time with pride and recall with pleasure the generous hospitality showered upon us by the people of Nashville, without respect to race or color, and we believed that, coming here at a time more important to all classes than at that time was, we would be received with open arms, and that every good citizen would give us his support. I am not prepared to say such treatment will be accorded to us. There seems to be a disturbing element here disposed to interfere with our deliberations. There seems to be a set of gentlemen, chosen by people in a meeting claiming to be delegates, who think they have greater rights than we have. Now, we have no objection to the delegation or otherwise, but we form the nucleus of this Conference and we supposed every man of good faith would come in here and help do the work. I trust that will be the result of this gathering, and, whether it is or not, I want to say to you, in all sincerity, that there is enough of us, men of caliber, who, if we do our duty, will leave here proud that we met together. I am satisfied of this. When I was selected to call this meeting I was instructed to call to the chair a gentleman well known to the country—Mr. John R. Lynch, of Mississippi. I therefore appoint Colonel Lewis of Louisiana, Messrs. Bentley of Georgia, and Nicholas of Indiana, to conduct him to the stand.

Mr. Lynch was then escorted to the stand. On taking the chair he said:

GENTLEMEN OF THE CONFERENCE: This is an unexpected honor



which you have conferred upon me, and, being unexpected, you will not require of me any extended remarks with regard to the course that is, contemplated being pursued by this Conference. I will not attempt to map out the course that you should pursue or to recommend what, in my judgment, you should do, but still I will take the liberty of making a suggestion or two: first, in regard to the aims, objects and purposes that the originators of this movement have in view, and to express the hope that your deliberations may be so characterized and conducted as to reflect credit upon the race with which we are identified, as well as upon the country of which we form a part.

Now, my friends, a number of gentlemen, whom you all will agree with me, having the interest of the colored people especially at heart, came to the conclusion several months ago that it would be advisable to have some leading colored men of the country assemble somewhere, not in the interest of any particular party , especially not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as free, independent American citizens, for the purpose of presenting to the country the grievances of the colored people. There were some differences of opinion as to how best this could be done. Some thought if we would meet in a convention as political conventions are usually called together, we would get together an organization of gentlemen who would best represent the feelings of the colored people, but, having considered the matter very maturely, carefully and considerately, we came to the unanimous conclusion that we would, in all probability, get a larger, better and possibly a more influential organization of the country, and have ex ended invitations to gentlemen of the country for the purpose of conferring together on the solution, not to speak authoritatively except as our standing in the community will authorize and justify us in doing, but that we would meet and present to the country some of the reasons that agitated the public mind in regard to the colored people, and Nashville was selected as the place and the 6th day of May as the time to have this general assembly. We are here in pursuance of that invitation. I am here to meet you and to express the hope that all who feel an interest will calmly, deliberately and dispassionately consider the questions for which we have been convened, and express the further hope that our action will be such as to reflect credit upon us.

Some things have occurred which did not present themselves to our attention. When this movement was inaugurated the present migration of colored people from the Southern States had not at that time begun, and it was not seriously apprehended that anything of the kind would be done, certainly not apprehended it would be done to the extent we find it has assumed. This, therefore, was not one of the chief objects for which we were convened or requested to convene, for that question did not present itself, but has since assumed important proportions. Now it is to be hoped we will calmly deliberate on that question. It is a question that demands our attention, attracts the attention of the country.

I will take the opportunity to make this suggestion, that in considering this matter you should bear in mind the fact that the South being the home of the coIored people, they being adapted to its climate, its soil—having been born and raised there—we should not advise them to leave there unless they have very good reason to do so. On the other hand, we should not advise them to remain where they are not well treated. [Applause.] But we should endeavor to indicate in their minds a sufficient amount of independence to say to the country and to the people with whom they are surrounded, that "if our labor is valuable, then it should command respect." [Applause.] That if we receive this respect, if our rights and privileges are accorded to us here, doing all we can to improve our condition, to that question I feel that we should live together. Further than that, at least, we should not go. If the colored man can



receive that treatment, attention, consideration and respect he is entitled to under the law in the South, the South is the place for him. If not, they are justified in receiving it where they can. [Applause.] Then let us go calmly, dispassionately, and when all classes begin to see their mistakes, perhaps all will come together, seal up all past differences, conceding the rights of all, and continued peace and harmony and good will and friendship will prevail, and the South will prosper.

J . W. Cromwell, of Virginia, was elected secretary, and F. L. Barnett, of Illinois, recording secretary.

Rev. G. W. Le Vere, of Tennessee, offered prayer.

J. Henri Burch, of Louisiana, moved that the secretaries make out a roll of delegates. Carried.

Robert Nicholas, of Indiana, was elected vice-president.

The Conference then took a recess until 3 p. m.


By the time the hands of the clock in the hall pointed to the hour of 3, the galleries were thronged until there was not even standing room.

Ex-Congressman Rapier, of Alabama, was appointed secretary, in the absence of one of the regular secretaries.

John D. Lewis, of Philadelphia, moved the appointment of a committee on order of business.

C. O. H. Thomas, of Tennessee, moved to strike out "five" and insert "one from each State."

Rev. Allan Allensworth, of Kentucky, moved to lay this motion on the table, which was lost.

The original resolution was then adopted, and the Chair announced the following committee : J . D. Lewis, of Pennsylvania ; James D. Kennedy, of Louisiana ; Richard Allen, of Texas ; C. O .H. Thomas, of Tennessee ; R. R. Wright, of Georgia.

Governor Pinchback called attention to the fact that the convention had taken a recess in order to allow a roll of delegates to be prepared. He called for the report of the roll of delegates.

This call was sustained, and the secretary read the roll of delegates as follows:

Alabama.—Rev. J . W. Washington, Uniontown; H.C. Binford, box 33, Courtland; Edward Pope, Samuel Lowery, D.S. Brandon, W. H. Council, Huntsville; Rev. W. O . Lynch, Rev. W.H. McAlpine, Marion; David Wilson, Rev. J . M. Goodloe, Huntsville; G. S. W. Lewis, Uniontown ; W. .J . Stephens, Selma; J.H. Thomason, Athens; S.P. Smith, Stevenson, Jackson county; Rev. Peter C. Murphy, Mobile; David Ripley; Rev. W.H. Ashe, Florence; L.W. Cummins, Mobile; Hon. J.G.Rapier, H. V. Cashin. Montgomery; P.J. Crenshaw, Athens.

ARKANSAS.—M. W.Gibbs, Little Rock; J. P. Jones, clerk of Desha, Watson; J. R. Rowland, Rev. J. T. Jenifer, Little Rock; H. W. Wadkins, Arkadelphia; George N. Perkins, Campbell; G. B. Antoine, Isaac Gillem , Little Rock; David A. Robinson, Pine Bluff; M.G. Turner, H. B. Robinson, Helena; S. H. Holland, Lake Village, Chicot county.

Georgia.—Rev. L. H. Holsey, Augusta; C. C. Wimbush, Rev. J. H. Wood, S. C. Upshaw, Atlanta; W. B. Higginbotham, Rome; Madison Blount;



J. H. Delamotta, Atlanta; Rev. Toby Stewart, Clinton; Rev. George Valentine. Atlanta; J. W. Brooks, Macon; Moses H. Bentley, Atlanta; W. A. Pledger, Athens R. R. Wright, Cutnbert.

ILLNOIS:—J. J. Bird. Cairo; F. L. Barnett, Chicago.

INDIANA.- R. Nicholas; Evansville; J. W. James, 184 Locust street, Evansville; F. D. Morton, 701 Chestnut street, Evansville; Rev. W. H. Anderson, pastor Third Baptist church, Terre Haute; Rev. Greene McFarland, Evansville; S. Daniels, Terre Haute; Rev. P. W. Johnson, Indianapolis; J. A. Braboy, Kokomo; G. L. Knox , Westfield; J. H. Clay, Greencastle; J. H. Walker, Terre Haute; Emmet Stewart, Brazil; J. W. Stewart.

KANSAS.—Rev. T. W. Henderson, Topeka.

KENTUCKY.—Allan Allensworth , W. H. Nicholl, Horace Lewis, Bowling Green; G.W.Gentry; G. W. Darden; Rev. Bishop Miles, Louisville; John Garnett, Glasgow; J. F. C. Snarden.

LOUISIANA.—P. B. S. Pinchback, James Lewis, Naval Office, J. Henri Burch, Lewis T. Kenner, James D. Kennedy, Chas. A. Burgeois, New Orleans.

MINNESOTA.—S. E. Hardy, St. Paul.

MISSISSIPPI.—J. R. Lynch, R. W. Fitzhugh, Theo. H. Greene, Natchez ; Thomas Richardson, Port Gibson ; Rev. J. H. Buftord, Stormsville ; David Wilson ; W. H. Maury ; B. G. Booth. Water Valley ; S. P. Cheers, Water Valley ; J.C. Mathews, Holly Springs.

MISSOURI.—Wm. R. Lawton, St. Louis ; J. W. Wilson.

NEBRASKA.—H. G. Newsom, Hastings.

OHIO.—Robert Harlan, Cincinnati.

OREGON.—Rev. D. Jones, Lexington, Ky.

PENNSYLVANIA.—J. D. Lewis, Wm. Still, Philadelphia ; F. J. Loudin, Ravenna, Ohio ; Dr. C. V. Wiley, Philadelphia.

SOUTH CAROLINA.—Hon. J. H. Rainey, Windsor.

TENNESSEE.—S. F. Griffin, Clarkesville ; Rev. D. E. Asbury, Paris; J. B. Bosley, Wm. Sumner, T. A. Sykes, Nashville ; Rev. Isaac Lane ; Rev. R. F. Boyd, Pulaski ; J. H. Hendricks, Goodlettsville ; Rev. G. H. Shafer , J. W. Grant, Nashville ; T. W. Lott, Jackson ; D. W. Williams. Brentwood ; L. A. Roberts, Grand Junction ; J. H. Kelley, Columbia ; Dr. J. F. McKinley, Nashville ; W. C. Hodge, Chattanooga ; H. H.Thompson, Pulaski ; Randall Brown, Nashville ; J. M. Smith, LaGrange, Fayette county ; A. J. Carr ; B. A. J. Nixon, Pulaski ; M. F. Womack ; A. F. A . Polk; A. N. C. Williams; W. A. Henderson, Jr., Chattanooga; B. J. Hadley, J. H. Burrus. Rev. D. Wadkins, W. F. Yardley. Rev. G. W. LeVere, J. C. Napier, Rev. C. O. H. Thomas, W. F. Anderson, Nashville.

TEXAS.—Richard Allen, Houston ; Rev. B. F. Williams, East Bernard Station ; J. R. Taylor, San Antonio ; N. W. Cuney, Galveston ; E. H. Anderson, Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn.

VIRGINIA.—R. A. Perkins, Lynchburg ; J. W. Cromwell, Washington,D.C.; John W. Averitt. Lynchburg.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.- J. H. S. Parker, Post Office Department, Washington.

The question having been raised as to the status of the officers of the Conference, several delegates said that permanent officers had been elected during a temporary organization.

J. Henri Burch wished it understood that the Conference was fully organized and ready for business.

G. W. Gentry moved that a permanent organization be effected, and that J. H. Rainey, of South Carolina, be permanent chairman.



Gov. Pinchback. I will explain this matter. I will defend the Chair in this———

Here B. F. Williams interrupted Gov Pinchback, and desired to make a motion, but was ruled out of order.

Gov. Pinchback. I have the floor.

There were one or two more interruptions, but Gov. Pinchback was declared to have the floor, as no motion could be made while he had the floor. He said that the Chair could not be forced to make an explanation, and he therefore rose in his defense. It was the intention of the primary convention held the night before to map out the work of the body, and the executive committee usurped no power in doing that which would command the respect of the public. [Applause.] The Speaker had been urged to accept the position he occupied. If there was any man in the convention who wanted the position he was not fit for it. [Applause.] The time had come when the office should seek the man and not the man the office. [Applause.]

B. F. Williams, of Texas, said he arose to ask for information. He said: " I have come a long ways, but I seem to be behind the times. [Laughter.] I ask it as a favor to be heard in the name of an old man. I feel I am not up to this crisis." A Delegate. " What is the crisis?" which remark Mr. Williams did not catch. Said he, continuing, " I want to find out what in all this convention is buried, hid, [laughter,] and some one fears the other is going to get to it first. [Laughter and applause.] Some one seems to think some one will somewhere be debarred from it."

A Delegate. The gentleman is discussing something not before the house.

Mr. Williams. I think this meeting is exactly before the house, [laughter,] and, as a part and parcel of this meeting, I am before the house. [Renewed laughter.] I wish to learn whether anybody is to be rewarded for coming here. There seems to be a terrible anxiety that some one will not be honored.

A Delegate. I rise to a point of order.

Mr. Williams, (pointing his finger toward the person interrupting him.) Now, look ahere, you are a young man, [laughter,] and I ask it as a favor as an old man—I migrated from this State forty-six years ago, and by the time you have had my experience, if you have had heard the prayers of our forefathers and mothers, [uproarious laughter,] you would feel this Conference was more like a house of mourning. Let us not come here seeking honor, to be looked up to as a great man. The man that is the greatest man let him furnish the greatest amount of brains. [Laughter and applause.] Mr. President, there is something the matter—something the matter somewhere ; somebody is suffering; somebody is in need; somebody needs help, and the assembly wants to know where this help is to come from. [Applause and laughter.] There are a good



many people here who seem to feel a tickling in their heels. [Immense applause from the galleries, followed by uproarious and prolonged applause.]

Ex-Congressman Rainey, of South Carolina, said he hoped there would be no further manifestations from the galleries, as it was not treating the Conference with proper respect.

Rev. Daniel Wadkins, of Nashville, offered the following:

Inasmuch as many of our people have mistaken the call for a National Conference to be a call for a National Convention, and, acting upon this mistake, have held meetings and elected delegates to meet in Nashville on the 6th of May, 1879 ; and as these persons and delegates have incurred the expense of both time and money in so doing ;

Resolved, That we now invite them to seats in this Conference, to participate in full with those invited by the National Executive Committee.

Resolved, That this invitation he extended to all so elected and sent from other States and Territories and from different counties in this State, hut not to any claiming the right from any meeting held in Davidson county.

No action was taken on the resolutions.

W. F. Yardley, of Tennessee, read the following resolution:

Resolved, That the present officers of the Conference be and they are declared to be the permanent officers of this body.

G. S. W. Lewis, of Alabama, said the delegates should at least have the right to choose their own officers. He seconded the resolution.

Ex-Congressman Rapier, of Alabama, asked, if the temporary officers should be removed, would it not invalidate all the action of the morning?

The Chairman. No.

The previous question was then demanded and the resolution was adopted. This action was loudly applauded.

John D. Lewis, of Philadelphia, moved the appointment of a vice-president from each State.

Several motions to table this resolution were made and were declared out of order. The motion was read as a resolution, and a call for the previous question on its adoption was not sustained.

M. H. Bentley asked what was the object of the resolution.

John D. Lewis said it was simply a matter of honor.

Mr. Bentley said they did not have time for honors. They didn't come here for honor, but for business. He moved to table the resolution.

A vote was then taken on this motion and it was adopted.

A division was called for and 87 voted to table the resolution.

J. H. Burrus briefly eulogized the Jubilee Singers, and moved that they be requested to sing one or two of their songs. This was adopted unanimously, and the Jubilee Singers appeared and were introduced to the Conference amid great applause.

The sung, "Steal A way to Jesus," was rendered in splendid style,



and was followed by a burst of applause. The " Lord's Prayer" was then chanted in equally as good style, and was followed by similar applause. The following are the names of the singers who were present: Miss Maggie Porter, Miss G. M. Gordon, Messrs. H. D. Alexander, B. W. Thomas, Calvin Anderson, F. J. Loudin.

Rev. J. T. Jenifer offered the following preamble and resolution, which was adopted:

Whereas we, the delegates of the colored citizens of the United States, in Conference assembled, having: heard with so much delight the sweet songs of the celebrated Jubilee Singers ;

Resolved, That we do hereby express our delight and thanks, and most respectfully request them to give us an entertainment at such a time as shall be hereafter arranged.

Rev. Allan Allensworth offered a resolution providing for the appointment of a committee of nine on resolutions. Referred.

Richard Allen, of Texas, moved for a committee of nine on rules.


C. O. H. Thomas asked that all members of the Conference who had papers, be allowed to have them referred to the appropriate committees. He also moved that some of these papers be now read.

The Chair said papers could be so referred.

Rev. D. Wadkins offered the following resolution:

In order to concentrate our thoughts and expedite the business of the Conference,

Resolved, That we define the work to be first, to ascertain as near as practicable the present condition of the colored people in the United States and Territories; and second, to suggest the proper course for them to pursue to ameliorate said condition.

The resolution was referred to the Committee on Resolutions.

Ex-Congressman Rainey offered a resolution calling for a committee on finance to collect funds for stationery, printing, & c. He also suggested that two pages should be appointed. The resolution was adopted.

Rev. G. H. Shafer offered a resolution that the delegates be seated by States. Agreed to.

Rev. Allan Allensworth moved that ---- Gooch and John Merry be appointed pages. Carried.

J. A. Braboy, of Indiana, offered the following resolutions:

Resolved, That it is the duty of this Conference to hear the grievances of our Southern brethren concerning their impaired rights, concerning education, and all their rights as American citizens, politics excepted.

Resolved, That unless the white friends take immediate steps to guarantee such rights, there will be an immediate emergency exist for an entire exodus of the race from the States in order to ameliorate their condition.

Resolved, That it is the duty of this Conference to appoint an executive committee at the capital of each State of the several States to aid, if



deemed necessary in locating these colonies in the various States, in order that they may make a good living and educate their children.

Resolved, That this Conference should take steps by appointing one man from each State, whose duty it shall be to call a national convention of the Republicans, the convention to meet in Cincinnati, to take under consideration their political rights, and any other business they may deem proper.

The resolutions were referred.

W. A. Pledger offered a resolution providing that all resolutions relating to migration be first referred to the Southern delegates.


J. Henri Burch asked if merely reading a resolution constituted a reference.

The Chair stated that the resolution had been referred at the request of the introducer.

Mr. Pledger said his resolution had been jeered at. He would be with them on any resolution which might hereafter be introduced.

W. H. Anderson, of Indiana, said he meant no reflection on any one.

Colonel Lewis, of Louisiana, suggested that the apologies of both parties be accepted.

G. S. W. Lewis offered the following, which was referred:

Resolved, That the action of the railroad conductors, in forcibly ejecting the ladies of the Jubilee Singers from the ladies' car, merits our undivided condemnation:

John D. Lewis, of Pennsylvania, from the Committee on the Order of Business, made the following report, which was adopted:

The Committee on Order of Business beg leave to submit the following:

1. They recommend that the Conference meet daily at 9 a. m., and remain in session until 12 p. m. The Conference to take a recess until 2 p. m., when it will remain in session until 5 p. m.

2. The morning session to be opened with prayer.

3. Reading of minutes.

4. Report of committees.

5. New business.

6. Reading of papers.

7. Discussion on said papers.

We recommend the appointment of the following-named committees, to consist of five members each:

1. Migration.

2. Education and Labor.

3. Permanent Organization.

4. Resolutions.

5. The Colored Press.

6. Address and Resolutions.

The resolution referred to your committee to appoint a committee on rules has been duly considered, and we recommend that " Cushing's Manual" be adopted as the guide for the government of this body. Your committee further recommend that debate on all questions brought before this Conference, except the subject of migration, be limited to seven



minutes, and in no case shall a member be allowed to speak more than twice on the same question without unanimous consent.

J. D. LEWIS, President.





A question then arose as to whether gas could be secured for a night session.

J. Henri Burch said no ; they had gas only in the day time.

G. L. Knox, of Indiana, said there was no use going through the streets in the day time in order to hold a night session. There was an impression abroad that the Northern delegates had come there to take away the colored people in the Southern States from their homes. That was not so.

The Conference then adjourned until 9 o' clock tomorrow morning.

After the Conference had adjourned an invitation to visit Central Tennessee College was read, and action thereon deferred.


The National Colored Conference was called to order at 9 o' clock by Permanent Chairman Lynch, and the proceedings were opened with prayer by Rev. J. T. Jenifer.

The Chairman stated that it was not necessary to read an extended report of the proceedings of the day before, as the American had very courteously made a very full and correct report of the proceedings, which possibly all had read.

The reading of the minutes was accordingly dispensed with.

On motion of Hon. James T. Rapier, of Alabama, the names of H. V. Cashin and P. J. Crenshaw were added to the list of delegates from Alabama.

Rev. J. T. Jenifer said that while they were much obliged to the press for an extended report, the Conference should not be under obligations to the American, for a more correct report of the names of the delegates than had been furnished by the committee. In many cases he found that the names were more correctly reported in the American than on the rolls.

The Chairman said that all delegates, when they arose, should announce their names and State, and then they would be certain to be reported correctly.

A request was made by the Chairman that there be no applause in the galleries.

Rev. T. W. Henderson, of Kansas, was enrolled as a delegate.

Governor Pinchback moved to increase the membership of the various committees from five to one from each State, or seventeen in each committee, that number of States being represented.



After considerable discussion, Rev. Allan Allensworth, of Kentucky, called the previous question.

Governor Pinchback' s motion then prevailed.

Invitations from the Central Tennessee College, Nashville Institute and Fisk University, were read.

Rev. Allan Allensworth moved that a special committee of five be appointed to report what time it would be best for the Conference to visit the above institutions.

J. D. Lewis, of Pennsylvania, moved as a substitute that the invitations be referred to the Committee on Education and Labor.


J. R. Taylor, of San Antonio, Texas, was enrolled as a delegate.

Rev. W. H. McAlpin, of Alabama, offered the following resolution:

Whereas there are questions of vast importance to come before the body; therefore

Resolved, That certain hours be set apart to consider the report of each committee, and that a committee of three be appointed to arrange the time for each committee to report and to consider said report.


By J. Henri Burch, of Louisiana:

Resolved, That the printed report of the recent Labor Convention held at Vicksburg, Miss., on May 3 to 6, be referred to the Committee on Migration, when appointed, with a request that they report back to this Convention whether, in their opinion, the real causes and remedies for the present exodus appear in any part of said report.


By R. R. Wright:

Resolved, That each delegation of the several States submit to this Conference, by written report, prior to the discussion of the topic of migration, a succinct statement of the true condition of the masses, or country inhabitants, of their respective States with regard to labor and education ; and be it further

Resolved, That such statement govern the action of this Conference with respect to the subject of migration.


By W. H. Council, of Alabama:

Resolved, That whereas the principal business men and farmers have entered into contracts for the present year. we deem this an untimely season to agitate the question of migration, believing that it would prove detrimental to the interests of all concerned.

2. That we are opposed to a general and sudden exodus of our people for any part of the country, but recommend a careful consideration of the matter for all who desire to migrate, and after such mature consideration and calm reflection, if they are satisfied that their condition can be improved by emigration, we advise gradual migration.

3. That the emigration question should be considered apart from politics, and should be based upon business calculation.




By J. H. Burrus, of Nashville:

Whereas by the history of the beginning, progress and final triumph of the idea of the right of the people in contradistinction of the Divine right of kings in the Old World, and by the inception and glorious termination of the "irrepressible conflict" between freedom and slavery in this country, as well as by the beginning, progress and successful ending of all progressive and liberal thought, new ideas in the world, we are admonished of the great need of the continual agitation of the question of familiar wrong to be supplanted by unfamiliar right; be it therefore

Resolved by this Conference, That we recommend to our people everywhere not to cease to protest before the civilized world and their fellow-citizens against the unjust, invidious and unchristian discrimination against their civil rights as American citizens now practiced in these United States, especially the Southern States.


By F. D. Morton, of Indiana:

Whereas there are many subjects of the greatest import to the colored citizens of this country, both as a part and a whole ; and

Whereas there are many of the ablest and most talented members of this Conference who have spent some time in preparing to make a special effort upon the subject of migration and others of equal import; therefore

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to receive the names of such persons who have especially prepared themselves upon any of the important questions which have been collected for the consideration of this Conference.

Resolved, That a special time be designated and announced, together with the name of the person or persons who desire to present the result of their investigation to this Conference.


Samuel Lowery, of Alabama, asked to present the following:

Whereas the Democratic party of the South have proclaimed to the world tha this is a white man's Government, made expressly for them, and that they will not suffer, at the peril of their lives, the choice of colored men to positions of honor and emoluments where they are in the majority ; and that they will resort to the disruption of this Government rather than suffer or permit the civil and political equality of our race in the South; and

Whereas we have trusted in vain the hope to enjoy perfect and complete liberty in this land of our ancestry, from whose unpaid labors its wealth and prosperity have sprung, and the pledge given us by the true Republicans of the North for freedom and human rights have been stealthily snatched from us and our posterity in encroachments, without any prospective redress. We are denied the right of a trial by a jury of our countrymen, in the administration of the judicial laws of Alabama, and as a consequence misdemeanors are executed as felonies, and the courts, as now administered, are crowding the prisons, coal mines and penitentiary, where our race are sold into slavery as in the days of yore, under the pretense and forms of law. They deny to us school privileges to improve the minds of our youths equally. We toil by day and night to make more cotton for the landlord than we did in slavery, and we enjoy no more than one peck of meal and two and a half pounds of pork with the labor of our women and children.

Therefore, believing the Lord has provided a land of freedom where we



can enjoy all the rights of humanity, and has opened the hearts of the Christian men and women of the American people of the North to aid us in our struggle to settle on them, and as a convention of the most prominent men of our race will shortly assemble at Nashville to perfect and complete such a settlement, on such a basis or plan which will promote our success and the pride and glory of the American people ; therefore, be it

Resolved, That this meeting send to the Nashville convention delegates, and pledge our efforts to aid this cause for our freedom, and we appoint an executive committee of fifteen colored men to organize this work. Referred.

George M. Perkins, of Arkansas, moved that no more resolutions be offered for the present. Carried.

On motion of W. F. Yardley, of Tennessee, Taylor Miller, of Rutherford, and J. H. Hopkins, of Maury county, were admitted to the floor of the Conference. He said they had been elected delegates under the impression that the Conference would be a convention.

Colonel Robert Harlan, of Ohio, moved that papers be now read, that the President might retire and appoint committees. Carried.

Vice-President Robert Nicholas was then called to the chair, and the President retired.

J. W. Cromwell, the clerk, then read a paper from Dr. A. T. Augusta, of Washington, D. C, on the sanitary condition of the colored people of the United States. [See Appendix A.]

W. H. Council, of Alabama, and Hon. J. H. Rainey, of South Carolina, commended the paper. The latter said :

Mr. President, I desire to ask indulgence of the Conference for a short time, while 1 submit a few remarks, in order that those present might understand who the author of the paper just read really is. Dr. Augusta is a gentleman of color, a practicing physician, and a resident of the city of Washington. He was the first medical and surgical officer of our race who was admitted to rank in the army of the United States being the first having the manhood and temerity to apply and risk the ordeal of a rigid examination, to which he was subjected.

To the credit of himself and his race he passed a successful examination, and it is worthy of note to say that he continued in the faithful and satisfactory discharge of his official duty until the close of the war. Sir, it is a source of pride, and inexpressible gratification to know that we have those fully identified with us possessing so high an order of talent as to treat intelligently scientific as well as other subjects of vital interest to us. Among us we have men of capacity and breadth of comprehension, giving them the power to grapple with intricate questions, involving literature, science, medicine, hygiene, and various other prominent branches. We have no special fault to find with our color, but we have cause for fault-finding when that is made the ground on which to construct prejudice and proscription against us.

The opportunity has come and is now at hand when, despite oppression and other unreasonable opposing elements, we will demonstrate our true manhood. We have shown our bravery in the late war by fighting under flag that gave us no protection, and for a government that repudiated and ignored our rights.

Let us strive as true men—press on emulating the good combinations



to be found in the character of the white man, and shun scrupulously his vices.

J. W. Cromwell, of Virginia, made some remarks complimentary to Dr. Augusta.

Elder Daniel Wadkins, of Tennessee, raised the point of order that they had come here to discuss subjects and not men.

Vice-President Nicholas said the reason he did not entertain the point of order was from the fact that whenever they could find a colored man whom they could eulogize, they should eulogize him. [Loud applause.]

Secretary Cromwell then read a paper written by J. C. Corbin, of Arkansas, on the political status of the colored people. [See Appendix B.]

J. T. Jenifer, of Arkansas, offered the following:

Whereas this Conference of the colored citizens of the United States is one of the most Interesting and important assemblies ever convened in America; and

Whereas the proceedings of this Conference should be published,

Resolved, That the Committee on Finance be most respectfully requested to propose some plan to the Conference for the publication of the proceedings in pamphlet form.


Several delegates desired to discuss the papers immediately after their being read.

The Chairman decided that according to parliamentary usage this could not be done. An appeal was taken from his decision declaring out of order a call for the previous question on a motion to have the papers immediately discussed. During the discussion which followed it was observed that Rev. Daniel Wadkins, of Tennessee, made a dozen several and distinct efforts to obtain the floor, but failed.

At this juncture the Chairman resumed his place, and, before any action was taken on the pending question, the hour of 12 had arrived and the Conference adjourned until 2 p. m.


The Conference reassembled at 2 p. m.

The following list of committees appointed by the President was then read :

RESOLUTIONS AND ADDRESS.-- Hon. P. B. S. Pinchback, Louisiana; Hon. M. W. Gibbs, Arkansas; Thomas Richardson, Mississippi; Allan Allensworth, Kentucky; J. W. Wilson, Missouri; Rev. W. H. Ashe, Alabama; W. A. Pledger, Georgia; J. W. Cromwell, Virginia; J. H. S. Parker, District of Columbia; Richard Allen, Texas; D. Jones, Oregon; William Still, Pennsylvania; J. J. Bird, Illinois; Colonel Robert Harlan, Ohio; H. G. Newsom, Nebraska; Hon. J. H. Rainey, South Carolina; S. E. Hardy, Minnesota; W. F. Yardley, Tennessee; F. D. Morton, Indiana; Rev. T.W. Henderson, Kansas.

EDUCATION AND LABOR.-- J. W. Cromwell, Virginia; H. C. Binford,



Alabama; J. T. Jenifer, Arkansas; J. H. Burrus, Tennessee; T. H. Green, Mississippi; W. H. Nichol, Kentucky; Colonel James Lewis, Louisiana; J. W. Wilson, Missouri; R. R. Wright, Georgia; J. H. S. Parker, District of Columbia; J. R. Taylor, Texas; D. Jones, Oregon; F. J. Loudin, Pennsylvania; John J. Bird, Illinois; Colonel Robert Harlan, Ohio; H. G. Newsom, Nebraska; Hon. J. H. Rainey, South Carolina; S. E. Hardy, Minnesota; J. H. Walker, Indiana; T. W. Henderson, Kansas.

RESOLUTIONS.—Hon. J. H. Rainey South Carolina; G. S. W. Lewis, Alabama; Isaac Gillem, Arkansas; T. W. Henderson, Kansas; W. H. Maury, Mississippi; John Garnett, Kentucky; Louis T. Kenner, Louisiana; J. W. Wilson, Missouri; Rev. Toby Stewart, Georgia; R. A . Perkins, Virginia; J. H. S. Parker, District of Columbia; E. H. Anderson, Texas; D. Jones, Oregon; William Still. Pennsylvania; J. J. Bird, Illinois; Colonel Robert Harlan. Ohio; H. G. Newsom, Nebraska; G. H. Shafer, Tennessee; J. A. Braboy, Indiana; S. E. Hardy, Minnesota.

PERMANENT ORGANIZATION.—J. D. Lewis, Pennsylvania; Rev. W. H. McAlpine, Alabama; J. P. Jones, Arkansas; Rev. G. W. LeVere, Tennessee; J. H. Bufford, Mississippi; J. F. C. Snowden, Kentucky; C. A. Bourgeois, Louisiana; W. R. Lawton, Missouri; T. W. Henderson, Kansas; J. H. Delamotte, Georgia; R. A. Perkins, Virginia; J. H. S. Parker, District of Columbia; E. H. Anderson, Texas; D. Jones, Oregon; F. L. Barnett, Illinois; Colonel Robt. Harlan, Ohio; H. G. Newsom, Nebraska; Hon. J. H. Rainey, South Carolina; S. E. Hardy, Minnesota; Rev. W. H. Anderson, Indiana.

COLORED PRESS.—F. L. Barnett, Illinois; W. F. Anderson, Tennessee; David Wilson, Mississippi; Bishop William H. Miles. Kentucky; Jas. D. Kennedy, Louisiana; W. R. Lawton, Missouri; David A. Robinson, Arkansas; Samuel Lowery, Alabama; C. C. Wimbush, Georgia; J. W. Cromwell, Virginia; J. H. S. Parker, District of Columbia; Richard Allen, Texas; D. Jones, Oregon; John D. Lewis, Pennsylvania; Colonel Robert Harlan, Ohio; H. G. Newsom, Nebraska; T. W. Henderson, Kansas; J . W. James, Indiana; Hon. J. H. Rainey, South Carolina; S. E Hardy, Minnesota.

MIGRATION.—J. T. Rapier, Alabama; George W. Perkins, Arkansas; T. W. Henderson, Kansas; J. C. Napier, Tennessee; R. W. Fitzhugh, Mississippi; G. W. Gentry, Kentucky; J. Henri Burch, Louisiana; W. R. Lawton, Missouri; W. B. Higginbotham, Georgia; John Averitt, Virginia; J. H. S. Parker, District of Columbia; B. F. Williams, Texas; D. Jones, Oregon; John D. Lewis, Pennsylvania; F. L. Barnett, Illinois; Robert Harlan, Ohio; H. G. Newsom, Nebraska; J. H. Rainey, South Carolina; S. E. Hardy, Minnesota; G. L. Knox, Indiana.

The secretary was requested to read several communications or letters from persons unable to attend the convention, among which was the following :

Charleston Colored Western Emigration Society,

Charleston, S. C, April 30, 1879.

At a meeting of the said society, held at the residence of the chairman on the 30th day of April, 1879, to take into consideration the question of what this society shall do in response to the call issued by our fellow-sufferers, the friends and promoters of the movement for the emigration of the colored people from the former Southern slave States of the Union to the free States and Territories of the country, for a convention to be held at Nashville, Tenn., on the 6th day of May proximo, the officers of this society and many other persons interested being present, and an informal discussion and free interchange of views upon the subject being had, it is on motion voted—



1. That it is with regret that this society finds it impossible to have personal representation at the said convention, and

2. That this society, now counting many adherents and coadjutors in South Carolina, herewith sends its hearty greetings to the convention at Nashville, and pledges co-operation by every lawful means in our power in carrying out the plans and purposes which said convention in its wisdom may devise and promulgate for the accomplishment of the common object of removing our people from the scenes of their great tribulations.

The colored population of the United States throughout the entire land, when the Government by the perfidy of the very people who now oppress us, had to maintain a gigantic struggle at arms to preserve its existence, was faithful among the faithless found.

In slavery itself, when smitten on the one cheek, we turned also the other ; we bided our time. But it hath pleased God to weaken the galling chains of slavery, so far as that consummation could be effected by law. But what is mere freedom to man without civil and political rights? Literally, we have no rights here which a white man is bound to respect. We are as lambs among wolves. If, at the risk of our lives, we approach the polls to vote at an election, our vote when deposited is rendered inoperative and ineffectual by the deposit by a political opponent of a pack of fifty tissue ballots, or otherwise our vote is wholly suppressed outright and never counted for the candidate of our choice. In the courts the colored man obtains no justice; partiality is the order there. The boast is proudly made that this is a white government.

Let us appeal to the good people of the country to aid us in changing the place of our abode to the free States and Territories. We have willing hands as ever ; we have strong arms still. We are sneeringly told that we are poor and have not the means of defraying our expenses in removing from here to the free States and Territories. We have no apology to make for our poverty. It comes illy from those who have enjoyed our unrequited labor for hundreds of years the taunt that we are poor.

Voted that the foregoing, signed by the officers of this society, be transmitted to the Nashville convention, with the request that the officers of said convention furnish this society with a certified copy of the proceedings of the said convention, and with such other papers as they may be in possession of of interest. M. G. Champlin, Chairman.

James N. Hayne, Secretary.

Having read the above communication, J . H. Burrus, of Tennessee, moved the reference of it and other letters to the Executive Committee, which motion was adopted and the papers so referred, after motions to lay on the table, a call for the previous question, and a reference to a special committee had been voted down.

C. O . H. Thomas, of Tennessee, called up the motion which was pending when the Conference adjourned at noon, in reference to the immediate discussion of papers after they had been read.

The Chairman ruled that the motion for an immediate discussion was in violation of the rules of order which had been adopted. The papers were not properly before the house until read and received, and a reference to a committee was the proper course to be taken for such papers or communications.

A resolution was adopted, on motion of J. D. Kennedy, that when the order of business was announced the roll should be called by States for business under that head.



Ex-Governor Pinchback made the point of order that the reading of papers was the present order of business, which point of order was sustained.

R. Allen, of Texas, offered the following:

Resolved, That this Conference, before it adjourns, elect a board of commissioners on migration, consisting of one gentleman from each State, to which all questions of migration may be referred.


C. O. H. Thomas, of Tennessee, desired to speak on a question of privilege.

The explanation which Mr. Thomas was seeking was given by the President.

The Secretary then read a paper from Wm. Stewart, of Bridgeton, N. J., on the " Necessity of a National Review Devoted to the Interests of the Negro-American." [See Appendix C.]

C. O. H. Thomas moved that thirty minutes discussion be allowed on the three papers which had been read.

The Chairman. Will the gentleman let me explain?

Mr. Thomas. Yes ; and be as plain as you can.

The Chairman. Then you cannot do what you desire by a discussion. The papers should be referred and we should have a report on these papers, and then we should have something to talk about.

Mr. Thomas. Then only the men who have prepared themselves can now be heard?

The Chairman. That is the only interpretation that can be placed upon it.

Rev. G. H. Shaffer. I move that each paper, when presented, be not read, but referred to the committee on the subject, and then let discussion follow on the report.

The motion was tabled by a vote of 60 to 45.

The reading of the next paper was called for.

The Chairman stated the next paper to be read was one by Bishop Miles, on the "Moral and Social Condition of the Negro." The reading of this paper was deferred for the present.

Rev. Allan Allensworth arose to a point of gallantry, stating that several gentlemen were sitting while ladies were standing. A change in position, as suggested by the delegate from Kentucky, was accordingly made.

The next paper on the programme was one by William Still, on the "Opportunities and Capabilities of Educated Negroes." [See Appendix D.]

As soon as the reading of this paper was concluded a number of delegates arose and endeavored to obtain the floor, ineffectually, however.

C. O. H. Thomas endeavored to discuss the paper, but was ruled out of order.

The following resolutions were offered by S. C. Upshaw, of Georgia:



Whereas both the members of this Conference and the citizens at large are anxious to have a more direct knowledge of the educational, social, financial and political condition of our people ; therefore

Resolved, That one or more members of each delegation from the Southern States be requested and allowed ten minutes for the purpose of deliberating upon the above subjects; and, further, that a designated hour be agreed upon for the above consideration.

By R. R. Wright, of Georgia:

Resolved, That it is the sense of this Conference that we highly appreciate and commend the action of Senator Windom and others who are striving to systematize the exodus of our despairing brethren from the oppressing South.

Resolved, That we hold in grateful remembrance the generous and liberal response of a portion of the country toward relieving our distressed and fleeing countrymen.

By W. A. Pledger:

Whereas matters pertinent to the colored race may arise that may necessitate the calling of a convention or conference unless otherwise provided for; therefore

Resolved, That an executive committee, composed of one delegate from each State, be appointed by the Chair.

Resolved, That the chairman of this convention be the chairman of that committee.

Referred to the Committee on Permanent Organization.

By Samuel Lowery, of Alabama: A resolution in reference to extending a welcome address to Gen. U. S. Grant. Referred.

By Rev. P. C. Murphy, of Alabama:

Whereas the various courts of the Southern States have denied the colored man the right of sitting on juries where civil and political acts are involved ; therefore

Resolved, That we, in National Conference assembled, do feel aggrieved as citizens of the United States of America, and ask that something be done.


By M. H. Bentley, of Georgia:

Resolved, That before taking final steps towards emigration, we ask for and demand our political rights in the South.

Resolved further, That in States where there are eight or nine Congressmen, we claim a representative of two of the ; where there are three or four districts, we claim one, and in that proportion throughout the Southern States.

Resolved, That the various districts now represented by white members take in rotation, each in turn, for colored representation.


By John J. Bird, of Illinois:

Whereas the late Labor Convention, held in Vicksburg, did, among other things, set forth the following, to wit: " The apprehension on the part of many colored people, produced by insidious reports circulated among them, that their civil and political rights are endangered, or likely to be ;" and

Whereas said declaration does, as is common among the class of men



largely represented in said convention, seek to avoid the real issues underlying the widespread and deep-seated dissatisfaction existing among our people in several of the Southern States ; and,

Whereas it is the sense of this Conference that the object of calling said convention one day in advance of this Conference, was intended to forestall its action on the subject of emigration; therefore

Resolved, That we, the representatives of the colored people of the United States, in National Conference assembled, do hereby deprecate such action, and denounce this wanton refusal to admit facts as they exist in regard to the political proscription, murderous and unjustifiable assaults upon innocent citizens in their midst, whose only offense is that they seek to exercise the rights accorded to them under the laws of our land and country.

Resolved, That we will not, shall not. receive these specious promises as a sufficient guarantee for future protection, but accept them as cunningly devised schemes to stay the present exodus of the colored people, who are seeking in a legitimate and praiseworthy manner to relieve themselves from the wrongs and oppression which have debased their labor,crushed their manhood, and denied them their inalienable and constitutional rights.


Governor Pinchback moved that in order to give the committees time to work, the Conference, when it adjourned, adjourn to meet at 12 m. tomorrow.

This met with a good deal of opposition, C. O. H. Thomas, of Tennessee, insinuating that the motion was made in order to practice some sharp dodge or legerdemain, which would be detrimental to the objects of the convention.

Gov. Pinchback said that the time had come in that convention when forbearance would be a crime.

He was here interrupted by C. O. H. Thomas and others, when he remarked that Thomas had disturbed the proceedings of that meeting more than any twenty men in it, and he did not propose to yield to his interruptions.

Several delegates arose to points and questions of order and information, which rather rasped the Governor, who said, tartly, that one rule did not seem to prevail in that meeting, and that was the rule of gentlemanly courtesy. He had never raised a question of privilege. He had uniformly sat quietly until the gentleman speaking was through, and then arose decently and gentlemanly, and he demanded of the Conference the same courtesy. He did not understand what those things meant. He understood the gentleman from Tennessee ( Mr. Thomas) was pregnant with a speech and was anxious to deliver it. The Governor said he was not there seeking place, but was there to help to do something for his poor downtrodden people . It was necessary to be deliberate about it. Committees were necessary in all deliberative bodies, and the Conference should go slow. It was the duty of the committee to put this report in such a form as the Conference would adopt, and he did not want to see the work half done. If the gentleman (Mr. Thomas) wanted the position on the committee in which the President had



seen fit to place him, (Governor Pinchback,) if he (Mr. Thomas) thought he could fill it, he was willing he should have it ; he would cheerfully yield to any who thought the responsibility was so light. A member should not impugn the motives of any other delegate. He had come there with none other than the best of motives. Was it not known that he had left the Constitutional Convention of Louisiana, of which he was a member, now in session in that State, to form the organic law of the Commonwealth? Would he leave that responsible position and come here unless he thought he knew the importance of the meeting ? And dared he ( Mr. Thomas) or any other honest man asperse his motives in the face of that fact? Would he ( Mr. Thomas) look back a few days ago, when, called by the people to serve in the Constitutional Convention, he had resigned the position of internal revenue officer at eight dollars per day to be a member of the convention at four dollars. He had sacrificed his blood, sacrificed his purse, to serve his people, and shame upon the man who arose to asperse such a man simply to raise a howl in the galleries. [Cries of "Shame!" "Shame!" "Shame!" ] He cared not for the cries of the galleries; he was there to perform his duty to his race. [Applause.] Governor Pinchback's motion was lost. J. J. Bird, of Illinois, offered the following:

Whereas we have listened with sorrow and regret to the remarks of the gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Burrus, recounting the cruel and uncivil manner in which the Jubilee Singers have been recently treated by the employees of one of the railroad companies of this State; therefore Resolved, That we the representatives of the colored people of the nation, in National Conference assembled, do hereby utterly denounce and condemn such acts as being indecent and inhuman in the extreme, and that the persons committing the same deserve the censure and condemnation of all good citizens, irrespective of sex , color or nationality . A motion was made to adopt the resolution unanimously. The President said it would be so adopted if' no objection was made. Objection was made by W. A. Pledger, of Georgia. W. F. Yardley, of Tennessee, thought that no man would object to the adoption of such a resolution. Richard Allen, of Texas, arose, and, looking in all directions, asked who was the man who made the objection. "Who is he?" he repeated over and over again. "I want him to stand up; I would like to see him." There was now a good deal of excitement. Pointing his index finger at Allen, Pledger said : " Here I stand ; I am the man, and as good a man as ever wore a pair of number sixes." He said he had objected under the idea that it was to be made to carry the former resolution introduced by Mr. Bird, to which he was opposed. He withdrew his objection, but not because of the menaces of the gentleman. Hon. J. H. Rapier, of Alabama, offered an amendment to



appoint a committee of three to secure legal counsel to bring suit in the Federal court against the railroad.

Carried, and the resolution as amended was adopted.

The Chairman appointed J. H. Burrus, W. F. Yardley, and Rev. G. W. Shafer, committee.

The Conference then adjourned until 9 o' clock to-morrow morning.



The National Colored Conference reassembled at 9 o' clock, President J. R. Lynch in the chair.

C. O. H. Thomas said he had remarked on the evening previous that he desired the following morning to answer pertinently the reflections cast upon him by Governor Pinchback, but as the Governor was not present he would postpone his remarks.

The following resolutions were offered and referred:

By B. A. J. Nixon:

To the honorable and august body of Colored Men in Conference assembled:

We, the people of Giles county, Tennessee, send greeting to your honorable body, and earnestly ask that you, after having carefully considered the various subjects announced by the Executive Committee, to present to us and the colored people all over these United States some remedy for the untold injustices which our people have endured and are enduring. We of Giles county can very easily enumerate the evils under which we have been laboring for more than a decade of years, but our best judgment and most extended research have been baffled when attempting to devise a remedy. It has been said, and wisely, we think, that in counsel there is much wisdom. Therefore, we ask your body to promulgate to the colored people of the United States some remedy for the innumerable injuries we are suffering.

Whereas the colored people of the Southern States are being stirred up on the subject of emigration; therefore

Resolved, That a committee be appointed by this Conference, to be known as the National Emigration Committee, consisting of one gentleman from each State, whose duty it shall be to organize similar committees in each of the Southern States.

By J. Henri Burch, of Louisiana:

Whereas there is now going on, and has been for some time past, an exodus of the colored people of certain Southern States to the State of Kansas and other Northern States ; and Whereas, while said exodus has on the one side attracted the attention, sympathies, and efforts of all lovers of universal equality before the law , it has on the other given rise to various harsh criticisms on the part of those opposed to emigration, who are using the silence of the Negro as a race to declare that it is put into operation solely for political purposes; that the Negro is happy and contented in the South, and that he has no real cause for emigrating, and other specious arguments calculated to place the emigrationists in a false position ; and



Whereas the purpose of dealing with this question as colored men and from a national standpoint ;

Resolved, That the Committee on Emigration, when appointed, be requested to take under consideration, and report back to this Convention, the following subjects pertaining to said exodus:

1. What are the causes that have given rise to the exodus movement among the colored people?

2. If there is any truth in the report that the scheme was gotten up to irate the North against the South?

3. What are the remedies to be pursued to stop the movement? Would the colored people accept concessions if made to them ; and, if so, of what nature?

4. Are the colored people pursuing the wisest course of migration?

5. How is this movement likely to affect the two political parties in their respective States and nationally?

6. Any other observations that may occur to the committee.

By T. W. Lott:

Whereas there is an unsettled state of affairs in the Southern States, resulting in the exodus of a large number of colored people from that section of the country ; and

Whereas this state of unrest is pervading the entire colored community, creating almost uncontrollable anxiety on their part as to the final result ; and

Whereas it is not the desire of the people, nor the sense of this Conference that the migration of said people continue without an adequate cause to the evident and irreparable loss to both the colored and the white ; and

Whereas it is expected that this Conference take into serious consideration this matter in all its various aspects ; be it therefore

Resolved, That it is due to the colored race, especially to those of our suffering brethren of the South, that this body do give a dispassionate, searching, and positive expression as to the existing causes, whether political or otherwise, with a view to the incitement of a more earnest endeavor looking to their removal and immediate restoration to confidence and prosperity in said States, and that, should said causes be traced to the unjust discrimination toward the colored man on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude as to the real, proper, and unmistakable source, that we, in the name of the oppressed race of which this body is a part, deprecate in unmeasured terms, as shocking to the highest sensibilities of an enlightened civilization, such discrimination, being an unmerited return for the noble achievements of the Negro, the blessings of which the white race are the favored recipients.

Resolved, That in the discussion of this momentous and all-absorbing question we indulge in no language which justly and impartially interpreted will cast any reflection upon the white man or reflect discredit upon this body.

By C. O. H. Thomas:

Resolved, That this Conference of representative colored men of the United States of America are pledged by the sacred bond of kindred blood and of a common humanity, to devote their best efforts for the establishment of civil and political rights;

Resolved, That the rights of the freedmen are inseparable from the condition of freedom. Therefore, being free and invested with that potent talisman of liberty, the ballot, which will enable us to maintain our rights, we here declare that we wish to possess and exercise, as prudent, law-abiding citizens, all the rights possessed in common by other



citizens of the United States. We furthermore avow our earnest hope that the noble men and women of our country who are seeking to lift up their sisters to a higher plane of womanhood by giving them a larger scope in the activities and responsibilities of life by means of the ballot, may succeed in consummating their great purpose, for it would be a wretched commentary upon our liberty-loving profession if we proved not our faith by our works in refusing to aid in the complete freedom and exultation of women.

Resolved, That the right to labor and to receive wages commensurate with the labor performed are sacred principles underlying the primal foundation of human society. It is, therefore, as much treason against God and humanity to close up an avenue of labor by which people gain a living as to steal the sweat of their brows by paying them wages inadequate to the work performed. The party in power, if it would continue to be the shepherd of the people, must not waver from the steadfast adherence to the principles which gave it its present glory.

Resolved, That the vast body of the working men of this country, white or colored, require a policy which shall elevate labor, giving them higher wages and better homes in the South, and throw open to them the avenues of industry and emolument to race.

Resolved, That we behold with feelings of deep mortification and regret the widespread demoralization of the almost utter advancement of earnest efforts for self-culture and intellectual development by our young men and women. We call upon our ministers and others to whose care is committed the moral and mental training of the young to strive with all their might to reclaim those who are walking down the broad road that leads to moral and physical death.

Resolved, We also deplore the existence of a fact equally bad. Among our so-called leading men there is no general spirit of public enterprise nor of laudable ambition to place within the hands of their race the means of their self-elevation; no building associations; no industrial avenues through which a knowledge of the various mechanical arts can be obtained. The work-shops, the counting-rooms, clerkships in stores, and employment in the busy commercial marts of our cities and towns are closed to us as a rule, and we have yet to learn the sad lesson that the spirit of caste and of prejudice will continue to prevail just so long as we are poor and needy.

Resolved, That on the subject of migration we will give it our special unbiased and unprejudiced consideration, and will so act as to redound to the good and benefit of all concerned -- to both rulers and the ruled.

By L. A. Roberts, of Grand Junction, Tenn.:

Whereas there is at the present time a spirit of emigration existing among the colored people of the South, especially in the valley of the Mississippi, caused by oppression and otherwise, and non-protection in their rights as American citizens in the several Southern States, with no prospect existing of a change for the better; therefore

Resolved, By this, the National Convention of colored citizens : First, that it is expedient and wise for all who can to emigrate to some parts of the United States where they can enjoy all the rights and immunities granted them under the Constitution and laws of the United States, without fear or molestation ; second, that in order to carry out the project of emigration systematically and advantageously, an emigration society be organized, whose duty shall be to assist those who desire to leave their homes in the South in so doing, and to reach their destination in any of the Northwestern States or Territories, to establish bureaus and agencies at one or more points on the Mississippi, Tennessee, Cumberland, Ohio and Missouri rivers, connected with the principal railroads leading West



and Northwest, to look after the welfare and interest of the emigrants at the several places of embarking, and change of ears and disembarking; third, that as the boats on the Mississippi river have refused to carry colored emigrants, steps be taken to charter one or more boats for that purpose, and if possible bring suit against those who have refused; fourth, this society shall be known as the "North American Colored Emigration Society," and shall in all respects be officered and managed as other societies of the same character which are best adapted to the wants and interests of those whom it seeks to benefit.

Referred to the Committee on Migration.

By James D. Kennedy, of Louisiana:

Resolved, That the Committee on Permanent Organization be instructed to inquire into the practicability of holding a conference every year, and report the result of labor at the earliest moment.


By W. F. Yardley:

Resolved, That it is the sense of this Conference that colored people should migrate to those States and Territories where they can enjoy all the rights which are guaranteed by the laws and Constitution of the United States, and enforced by the Executive departments of such States and Territories, and we ask of Congress of the United States an appropriation of $ 500,000 to aid in the removal of our people from the South.

T. W. Henderson, from Kansas, made a speech in which he stated that there was "smooth sailing" for the colored people in his State, and said he had come to the Conference at the suggestion of Gov. St. John, of Kansas.

R. Allen, of Texas, moved to postpone further consideration of the subject until 3 p. m. Carried.

By D. Jones, of Oregon: Resolution advising migration to the States and Territories of the far West.

By Rev. John A. Clay: Resolution authorizing the appointment of an executive committee with power to appoint auxiliary committees.

By J. H. Walker: Resolution authorizing the Conference to appoint a conference committee of five from each State, to confer from time to time on the condition of the colored people, and if possible to render aid to the same.

By G. W. Darden, of Kentucky:

Whereas the colored people of the South are so cruelly treated in the South, being slain by rifle clubs and lynch law; and

Whereas in the South slavery is not dead, but sleeping; and

Whereas in the South election day is a day of terror with the colored man; and

Whereas the Southern Negro is not as well treated as the Southern dog by the white man, who rightly claims that this is a white man's Government; and

Whereas the colored man is not recognized here as human, but, as Tom Paine asserted, as a species of the monkey; and

Whereas the ex-Confederate President seems to indorse Tom Paine by saying that the idea of educating the Negro is a piece of nonsense; therefore be it



Resolved. That the colored man of the South save his dollars and cents in order to emigrate.

Resolved That we pay no heed to such men as Fred. Douglass and his accomplices, for the simple reason that they are well-to-do Northern men who will not travel out of their way to benefit the suffering Southern Negro, and who are not for the interests of their race.

By G. W. Gentry: Resolution to make the subject of migration paramount in the discussion immediately upon the report of the committee.

Wm. R. Lawton, of Missouri, in lieu of a resolution, wished to present an appeal from the colored citizens asking for aid for the destitute emigrants in that State.

Objection was made, and the paper was read as a resolution.

By C. O. H. Thomas: Resolution expressing indignation at an order prohibiting colored citizens in New Orleans from holding their meetings after 10 p. m.

By Rev. G. H. Shaffer: Resolution demanding the employment of colored teachers in colored schools.

By W. F. Anderson: Resolution requesting the railroads to pass all delegates home free who paid full fare to the convention.

By J. H. Kelley: Resolution urging the adoption of a system of emigration.

By T. W. Lott: To appoint a committee of three on the colored press.

By J. W. Grant: Asking Congress to appropriate an amount for 259 years for the assistance of those needing aid to emigrate to Kansas.

By B. A. J. Nixon: That the Conference insist on the authorities in impaneling juries to give the colored a portion of the jury, and especially when the prisoners at the bar are colored; that when candidates are electioneering they be asked whether they are willing to grant that right.

By J. M. Smith, of Tennessee:

Whereas there is great excitement among our race of people that is causing great suffering: We therefore ask of this Conference to use their best influence in pacifying the minds of their countrymen. We ignore the practice that is played upon the colored man in this country. We therefore ask this honorable Conference to give some aid, if possible, to their countrymen. The real cause is the reduction of wages and the shameful manner in which we are treated in traveling over the great thoroughfares of the country. We also clamor for our rights as free citizens in the country, which are denied us. This excitement is causing an exodus which is causing much suffering. They are leaving the homes of their childhood, trusting their fortune to an experiment. It is an experiment which, if it fails, will ruin us forever. We therefore ask that this matter be carefully considered and the minds of the people pacified. Thousands have left their homes penniless, not knowing when or where it will end. We therefore demand all of our rights as citizens, and. unless we do receive our just rights, we resolve to emigrate to the North or Northwest. We pledge ourselves to come together in all parts of the country as free citizens and demand our rights. We know the color line has been struck, and unless it be withdrawn, we will immediately seek



for our suffrage, which, if it cannot be obtained here, we will remove from among them where we can enjoy our free privileges. We therefore ask this honorable Conference to use their best influence in our behalf.


By Rev. Allan Allensworth:

Whereas there is now an exodus of colored people from some of the Southern States; and

Whereas there are certain parties trying to mould a public opinion in the North to the effect that said exodus is a political trick, originated by and is being carried out for the Republican party, and that the Republican party is responsible for the suffering and losses occasioned by said exodus; therefore be it

Resolved, That we enjoin the public that the assertion is not true, but that said dissatisfaction and exodus is caused by the unrighteous, unlawful, unpatriotic and uncivilized treatment we receive from our " best friends " in the South, who exact exorbitant prices and rents for lands ; who discriminate in free school facilities, who discriminate upon railroads, steamboats and at railroad stations and hotel accommodations, while at the same time they charge the same fare ; who compel our ladies to ride in smoking-cars, among the roughest of travelers ; who deny us representation upon juries, and who fail to protect us in our contracts for labor, and who hold up to the world through their papers our ignorance, our superstition, and our crude efforts to live, and at the same time disparage our leading educated men. It is, therefore, at the door of our best friends we lay the source of all these evils.

Be it further resolved, That it is the belief of this conference that the Republican party is not responsible for the Freedman's Saving and Trust Company failure as a party.

By Randall Brown, of Nashville: To appoint a committee of twenty-two to name a place for emigration; that the Conference defray the expenses of this committee.

By L. A . Roberts: To tax each member of the Conference $1 or more to aid emigration.

Mr. J. D. Kennedy, of Louisiana, submitted the following estimate of the value of the colored laborer in the South for 1877 and 1878: Total value of cotton, sugar, molasses, rice and tobacco raised, $177,298,930 ; of manual and other labor, $158,000.

By J. C. Napier:

Whereas the civil and political rights of the Negro, from the Ohio river to the Gulf of Mex ico, are abridged and curtailed in every conceivable manner, he being denied almost every privilege that is calculated to elevate him in his moral, intellectual and political status ; as compared with the public school privileges of the white man, his are a mere mockery ; in the courts, as compared to that justice which is meted out to white men, his is entirely farcical, he seldom or never enjoying that right which the Constitution of our country guarantees to every citizen, namely, the right to be tried by a jury of his peers ; and

Whereas it appears there is no disposition on the part of a great majority of the Southern people to grant to the Negro those rights which the word citizenship should carry with it, or to relinquish any of their old customs and prejudices ; therefore.

Resolved, That it is the sense of this conference that the great current of migration which has, within the past few weeks, taken thousands of our people from our midst, and which is daily carrying hundreds from the



extreme Southern States, should be encouraged and kept in motion until those who are left are are awarded every right and privilege to which the Constitution and laws of our country entitle us; or, until we are all in a land where our rights are in no respect questioned.

By B. F. Williams: Setting apart June 19 as a national holiday for the colored people as the anniversary of the emancipation of the race.

The introducer was called on to " explain " this resolution. He said the people of Texas were in the last stage of creation, and that the colored people were freed on that day. It was not freedom until all were free, and therefore he had selected that day as the anniversary.

Rev. G. H. Shafler moved to amend by inserting the "22d of September," instead of "June 19."

W. H. Council moved to amend by inserting "January 1," as a more suitable day.

J. W. Cromwell moved to fix upon the 30th of March, when the fifteenth amendment was passed.

The vice-president thought January 1 the best day.

A member in the rear said they were not free yet. They were still killed in the South.

Mr. Williams. Yes, and they kill them in the North as well as in the South. [Laughter.]

Colonel Robert Harlan moved to lay the subject on the table.

A motion to adjourn prevailed and a recess was taken until 2 p. m.


The Conference resumed its deliberations at 2 p. m., and the business pending at the moment of adjournment, the resolution of B. F. Williams, setting aside the 19th of June as a national holiday for the colored people, was taken up.

The motion of Colonel Robert Harlan to table the resolution was rejected.

The amendment substituting January 1 was lost by a unanimous vote.

A vote was then taken on the amendment making the date of the holiday September 22, and it was rejected.

The original resolution was then adopted without amendment.

A motion to reconsider was tabled.

The following resolutions were offered and referred:

By P. J. Crenshaw:

Whereas we, the colored people of the several Southern States, meet with many disadvantages by the misunderstanding of each other; therefore be it

Resolved, That this Conference recommend the organization of printing press companies in each Southern State for their better understanding.

The following resolutions were offered and referred:



By Ferdinand L. Barnett, of Illinois:

Whereas we believe the American custom of spelling the word "Negro" without a capital, is an outgrowth of prejudice towards that race;

Resolved, That we call the attention of the press to the same, with the hope that the wrong will be remedied.

By David Wilson, of Huntsville:

Resolved, That this convention appoint a committee of one from each State a delegation to memorialize Congress and the Executive of the United States to locate in the West the "new Canaan" of the hope to the colored American, and from which he can found a State on Republican principles, to be governed by them, from governor down to the humblest officer, without fear or intimidation, being settlers and owning of the soil.

By Judge M. W. Gibbs : Resolution advising colored men to become land owners.

It was adopted by the Committee on Education, and will be found at the close of that report.

The author of the resolution made a short address, saying that the greatest drawback to the Negro, whether he lived North or South, was his poverty. He advised greater economy and the accumulation of wealth as one of the greatest levers of advancement and power. The colored men were going out of the South and Germans and Northern and Northwestern people were coming into it.

By H. W. Ward, of Arkansas:

Resolved, That a board of commissioners be appointed from the various States to select States and Territories whereto the colored people of the South may migrate.

By M. G. Turner :

Resolved, That the delegates from the different States elect one commissioner on migration from the delegation now in the National Conference, to which all questions of migration may be referred.

By George N. Perkins, of Arkansas ;

Resolution 1. Favoring wholesale emigration on account of oppression and intimidation.

2. That from each State one or more emigration commissioners be appointed to select homes for the oppressed.

3. Providing for the appointment of auxiliary emigration commissioners.

4. Indorsing Senator Windom's resolution.

5. Proclaiming that the Negro is not naturally inferior to the white man, and is capable of self-government.

6. To memorialize Congress for a redress of grievances.

Ex-Congressman Rainey called attention to the fact that some necessary expenses had been incurred. He desired a collection to meet these expenses.

J. W. Cromwell then read the report from the Committee on Education. [See Appendix E.]

John D. Lewis, of Pennsylvania, read the report of the



Committee on Permanent Organization, presenting a constitution and bylaws for a proposed organization, to be known as " The American Protective Society, to Prevent Injustice to the Colored People,"

[See Appendix F.]

J. T. Jenifer, of Kansas, offered a series of resolutions, concluding as follows:

That the school-book, the Bible and the ballot, the three great levers of American civilization, will, with industry and discretion, do for us what they have done for others; hence we shall be left to work out our own destiny in contact with our white brother in the land of our birth.

Judging from the progress made by the colored people, by the blessing of God, during the past fourteen years, the national tendency to peace and mutual understanding which is daily being brought about between the two races in America, we may sanguinely look for a proper adjustment of all our present difficulties.

That, meanwhile, we call upon the better classes of citizens of the South to bury their prejudices against us, if they have any. Let us come together as friends, and we demand their protection; because we are all in the same ship and must sink or swim together. Hence we call upon the press of the country, the framers of public opinion and educators of the popular mind, to cease their Negro hate and abusive misrepresentations of the colored race, and help to bring about this era of good feeling and peaceable adjustment which is so much desired by every good citizen of the United States.

The firm maintenance of these preambles we call upon all colored citizens to pledge their most earnest endeavors to propagate and maintain.

J. P. Jones, of Arkansas, offered the following, which were adopted:

Whereas we learn from well-founded rumor that Hon. Benjamin F. Butler has tendered and donated 20,000 acres of land in Wisconsin, and lion. Zach Chandler offered homes to one hundred families of color who are fleeing from their homes in various sections of the South; therefore

Resolved, That we extend to the honorable gentlemen our grateful thanks in the name of suffering humanity for their manifestation in recognizing the claims of a people whose condition appeals so strongly to the sympathy of the charitable.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the honorable gentlemen herein indicated.

The resolution of W. F. Yardley, introduced at the morning session, was then taken up.

James D. Kennedy, of Louisiana, moved to suspend the rules and proceed to the resolution memorializing Congress for the appropriation of $350,000 to aid the suffering freedmen in the West. The motion was carried. He offered an amendment that the Vice-President be requested to lay the same before the Senate for such action as they might deem necessary.

Colonel Robert Harlan said:

Mr. President, as to the present migration movement of the colored people let it be understood that we have the lawful right to stay or to go wherever we please. The southern country is ours. Our ancestors


settled it, and from the wilderness formed the cultivated plantation, and they and we have cleared, improved, and beautified the land.

Whatever there is of wealth, of plenty, of greatness, and of glory in the South, the colored man has been, and is, the most important factor. The sweat of his brow, his laborer's toil, his patient endurance under the heat of the semi-tropical sun and the chilling blasts of winter, never deterred the laborer from his work.

The blood of the colored man has fertilized the land and has cemented the Union. Aware of these facts, we should be baser than the willing slaves did we consent to the dictation of any men or body of men as to where we may go, when we shall go, or how long we shall stay.

The Republic owes to every citizen protection for his home and security for his rights. Let this security be given, and until that be done, let us cry aloud against those who refuse it, whether in the North or in the South. Let us remember all such in our prayers to the God of Liberty and of Justice, that He may punish them as they deserve. Let us remember them at the ballot-box, and fail not to inflict the retribution which they so justly deserve, and if we be obstructed in casting our votes, we can go where there will be no hindrance, and where we can vote as we please.

He who submits in silence to an injury may be avenged by a righteous heaven, but has little hope from man. Let us, therefore, keep the wrongs under which we labor before the public until an awakened sense of right and justice on both sides of Mason and Dixon's line shall work out a remedy. They need not tell us that there is no way to right our wrongs. The trouble is not in the want of a way; it is the want of a will. Let us exert the will and the way will be found. But this may take time, and while time runs many of us may perish. If the Government should fail to give protection to our people, it can do no less than aid those who wish to change their habitations to safer and better homes.

With these views before us, and believing in an all-wise Providence, we would be recreant to our principles, to our creed, to our race, and to our God should we neglect to use all the means in our power to bring about the desired results.

Such a measure would have a double effect; it would arouse the attention and self-interest of the North that the laws should be sternly enforced that regulate the purity of the ballot and security for the persons of the colored race, and it would strongly appeal to the interest and humanity of the Southern people to see that they should not lose an industrious and worthy population by reason of lawlessness and inhumanity. Let us, therefore, insist on some such measure as an alternative right.

Let us demand that the principles we assert be declared essential, in resolutions of legislatures and conventions, and made a part of our party platform.

Let us agitate, even as other classes agitate when their rights and wishes are disregarded.

We are Americans, and let us act as Americans have ever done when denied their rights. Cry aloud and spare not until our injuries are known and our wrongs are redressed and our demands are granted.

Let us frame an address and make an appeal to Congress for relief. Although the Democrats are in a majority, no matter. Some Democrats have a sense of justice, and others assume the virtue if they have it not; let us put them to the test. Let our motto be "Protection to our homes or homes elsewhere," and until the Government can be brought to aid migration, let private kindliness and enterprise be brought into action. Let us appeal to the people of the North, to corporations and to common carriers for aid, so that all who are oppressed in the land of their birth may find freedom in the land of their adoption. If the leading men of the


South will make another Egypt of these bright and sunny valley, then must the oppressed go forth into the promised land of liberty, into the Western States and Territories, where the people are at peace and the soil is free, and where every man can secure a home for himself and family with none to molest him or make him afraid.

Already many have seen the beacon light of hope and are making their way toward it, and if the oppression is continued more and more will burst their chains and take the road to liberty.

There are some signs of objection to this on the part of the land-owners. They want the colored man to stay and till the soil. Very well; then let them treat him justly and fairly and protect him from criminal lawlessness. If they cannot or will not do this, they have no more right to ask him to stay, as they have no legal right to forbid him to go, and any attempt to restrain this movement will be vain and futile.

It is not a flight of fugitive slaves, but a voluntary movement of freemen, seeking liberty and security. It is the exercise of the right of any American to better his condition by going from one part of the country to another, just as interest or fancy may lead him. If we cannot do this, we are not free, no more than are the serfs of Russia, who, until lately, were a part of the estate and sold as such, but, if we are to be re-enslaved we may as well die on the road to liberty as at the feet of tyrants. We may as well expire contending for liberty, aye, and far better, than in base submission to degrading slavery.

At present there seems to be no alternative.

The reaction has robbed Southern Republicans, both white and colored, of their votes and of their voices, and this has thrown the nation into the hands of our opponents, who are determined to strip us of the last measure of protection.

Our political rights in these States are wholly suspended or abrogated. We have nothing but the mockery of legal proceedings, and Attorney General Devens, the constitutional adviser of the President, informs us that there is no prospect of justice from Southern tribunals for the colored man. Possibly he did not intend to convey that impression, but if not, what does he mean? You may study his long and carefully prepared paragraphs without coming to any other conclusion than this, that at present there is no hope for justice to the colored man from Southern courts.

If, then, all stay, all must submit. If some go they will be free, and possibly, by their going, they will awake the ruling minds of the South to a sense of the necessity of what is right.

For these reasons, therefore, I am an advocate for migration as the only present practicable remedy for our wrongs, and I am for the exercise of that remedy in a large measure and at all hazards.

H. V. Robinson of Arkansas, said he came here from the convention at Vicksburg. What they did at Vicksburg would have a tranquilizing influence. But what good have you done here today? While you may have done some good, you have done a great deal of harm. One says that the colored people are self-supporting, and can go when and where they please. Another says, they are able to take care of and protect themselves. The next thing is a resolution asking Congress to donate $500,000 for the purpose of sending people to Kansas from this country. When the time comes that we cannot live in this country I am as much in favor of going to Kansas as anybody else. But let us be men ; let us be like white men and see the impossibility of taking 4,000,000



of people away and setting them suddenly down in a strange country.

A young delegate. Who paid you to come here?

Mr. Robinson. I suppose the young man is just out of school, and don't suppose he ever hoed cotton in his life. [Applause.]

The President. The gentleman's time has expired.

Hon. J. H. Rainey rose to a point of order, saying:

There is so much noise in this hall that we cannot hear what is being said. I want to add, that I think we ought to permit a difference of opinion to be expressed on so important and vital a question, in which we are so deeply interested. Any cause that cannot be discussed in both phases is no cause worthy of deliberation. I favor migration, but I want to proceed intelligently.

When the President had, by continued efforts, finally secured order, a delegate said, " I ask fair play for the gentleman."

Mr. Robinson:

Fair play need not be asked for me ; I will see that I have fair play. How can you expect white men to be tolerant to you when you show that you have no tolerance for each other? If you are right your views will bear the light, and if wrong they will not; if wrong they will not stand the test argument. I never went to school in my life. There are graduates of universities who ought to be able to respond to me, provided they have the facts on their side. I say that this resolution is calculated to deceive every ignorant man in Mississippi. You memorialize Congress to give $ 500,000 to assist the freedmen who have gone or can go to Kansas. You ask of men whom you have been all day abusing to extend charity to you, and you humble and debase yourselves in doing it. When you talk about poor starving black people, I am with them all the time. With what he earns, gets by law, begs or steals, he gets plenty; and I don't say this with any disrespect to colored men. The country is full of this cry of starvation. I have got five hundred acres in Mississippi; I mingle with them all the time, and they don't starve.

A delegate. Well, why do they want to migrate?

Mr. Robinson. Because it is on account of the oppression of the white people, but I am opposed to encouraging wholesale migration, and having the poor colored man strewn along the banks of the Mississippi, there to die.

Further remarks were made by W. H. Council, of Alabama; D. Wilson and J. Gillem, Arkansas.

John D. Lewis, of Philadelphia, moved the previous question; which was carried, and the resolution was then adopted.

H. V. Cashin, of Alabama, moved that the rules be suspended in order to allow Mrs. Dr. Wylie, of Philadelphia, to read the paper of Rev. Dr. B. T. Tanner, on the " Theory and Practice of American Christianity." [See Appendix G.] This motion prevailed, and the paper was accordingly read. A vote of thanks was tendered the author of the paper and also the reader.

The Conference then adjourned until 8 p. m.




At 8.20 p. m. the Conference was called to order by the Chairman. There was a good attendance on the part of delegates, about three-fourths of them being present, and a good attendance in the galleries.

A resolution not to have papers prepared by absent parties read was taken from the table and adopted.

C. O. H. Thomas arose to a question of privilege, and began to impeach the motives of ex-Governor Pinchback, but was ruled out of order.

J. H. Rainey moved that a collection be taken up to defray necessary expenses. Adopted. The total amount collected was $105.50.

A resolution providing for the printing of the minutes of the Conference was introduced and action deferred.

The Conference at 10.25 p. m. adjourned until tomorrow morning, at 9 o'clock.



The National Colored Conference reassembled at 9 o'clock, President Lynch in the chair.

Prayer by Rev. T. W. Henderson, of Kansas.

T. Richardson, of Mississippi, offered the following resolutions:

Recognizing the fact that the South is the natural home of the colored man, being adapted to the climate and familiar with the mode of producing that staple that forms a source of profit to the whole country, and with the assurance of his civil liberty and political rights, may in the future become a source of great profit to himself--

Resolved, That the question of the removal of our people from these districts or sections when their civil and political rights are abridged or ignored, be given that careful consideration and due deliberation that its importance demands.

Resolved, That this Conference encourage the removal of our people from those sections of the South alone where race, prejudice, or other consideration, render it apparently impossible for the two elements to live together in peace and harmony The resolutions were not entertained.

J. W. Cromwell, of Virginia, read a paper on the "Necessity of Industrial and Technical Education." [See Appendix H.]

J. T. Jenifer, of Arkansas, moved that a vote of thanks be tendered the author of the paper.


F. L. Barnett, of Illinois, read a paper on " Race Unity," and on motion of J. P. Jones, of Arkansas, a vote of thanks was tendered the author. [See Appendix I.]

Theodore H. Green, of Mississippi, read a paper on the " Elements of Prosperity," and received the thanks of the Conference. [See Appendix J.]



John J. Bird, of Illinois, said that he rose to a question of privilege. He desired to commend the reports which had been given in the American, but in that paper of that morning had appeared an editorial stating that "John J. Bird, of Illinois, rose up in the Conference, Thursday, to denounce by resolution, from the lofty standpoint of a man who knows nothing of the subject, the resolutions of the Vicksburg convention. Illinois is not, perhaps, the place where a man would be most likely to acquire information concerning affairs of the South, except strained through the patent back-action filter of John A. Logan, which reverses the principle of the filter and soils that which runs through it. The resolution of Bird is a substantial reiteration of Logan's cheap political clap-trap," & c. Mr. Bird said that, upon reading the editorial through to the close, the very admission of the editor was sufficient justification of the resolutions introduced by him. He did not get his information from Logan, but from the following editorial of the New Orleans Times of April 22:

Again, let us be perfectly frank. As we have said, the Negroes are leaving the State because there exists among them a sense of insecurity—an apprehension that their civil and political rights are in danger—a belief that they cannot have justice. The truth compels us to admit that these apprehensions are not altogether unreasonable; that they are the natural results of the conduct of a class of irresponsible young men—young politicians they think themselves—who have no interest in peace and order, since they have no ambition but to get office. That the acts of these people have been exaggerated by politicians of the other side; that Radical politicians, white and black, have been guilty of equal, if not greater, offenses, is all true. But the fact remains that the threatened emigration of the Negroes is to be traced to the conduct of this class, who seem to emulate the name of bull-dozers.

James D. Kennedy, of Louisiana, made a personal explanation in reference to the resolution offered by C. O. H. Thomas, of Tennessee, expressing indignation at an order prohibiting colored citizens of New Orleans from holding church service after the hour of 10 p. m. He stated that the order issued by the chief of police had been subsequently modified so as to apply to white and black churches alike, and that officers of the peace could not make arrests without the necessary information filed according to law. He made this explanation in justice to the municipal officers in New Orleans and the very general desire on the part of members of the Conference to know the facts of the case.

C. O. H. Thomas, of Tennessee, said the order was made to prevent the colored people from holding emigration meetings.

J. P. Jones, of Arkansas, offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That the several State organizations as perfected under the Committee on Permanent Organization be, and they are hereby, empowered to draft addresses in their several States, appealing to all boards of trade, cotton exchanges, and mercantile influences thereof to lend their aid in restoring that equity in principles that regulate the laws of supply and demand, to the end that the pledges made at the last session holden

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at Vicksburg by the representative heads of these several arms of indu to the Negroes of the country may meet a happy fruition.

J. W. Cromwell said that the resolution did not go far enou

An appeal to the boards of trade would be ineffectual. The ored people planted too much cotton. They should raise their own? meat.

The author of the resolution said he was willing to insert ?? amendment including an appeal to the planting interests. The amendment was agreed to and the resolution adopted.

           Several delegates rose to a question of privilege, but the Chairman
stated that they could proceed only by unanimous consensus.

Objection was made.

            E x -Governor P.B.S. Pinchback, of Louisiana, chairman of the Committee on Address, presented a report, which was read Rev. Allan Allensworth. [See A appendix K .] 
            After the reading of the report the Conference took a recess until

2 p.m.


                                   AFTERNOON SESSION.
              Samuel Lowery rose to a question of privilege, and read an

editorial published in the American of Thursday, with reference to meanderings North, while gleaning facts on silk culture. He (?) he went North with letters from men of eminence, of both co(?) and both parties, and the mission was indorsed by all. He went there, not to get money, but to see the machinery used in silk manufacture. He made some money preaching, but that was his (?) He would inform the editor of the American, that generous friends of his, who knew so much about the feelings of his race, that if the editor proposed to become the agent of the colored race and not the Conference, he would give him a full account of his trip to (?) North.

              At the suggestion of ex -Governor Pinchback, the report of

Committee on Address was read a second time. He said it was by far the most important paper to be presented to the convention since it was the address which was to go forth to the people of the United States as the voice of the convention on all topics. It far more important than the report on migration, for the Iatter was only an expression on one subject.

           Several delegates arose with points of order.

Governor Pinchback asked, energetically, if he could not speak without interruption. He said that the paper was not exactly what he wanted it to be. He supposed that each member would come prepared to furnish statistics of all the crimes committed in South during the past five or six years. It was at first intended to make the convention a Southern one, but Northern delegates were invited.

        Here G. W. Gentry arose excitedly and exclaimed several times

"Mr. Speaker! " but Gov. Pinchback did not yield the floor,

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e Conference endeavored to shout Gentry down, but he would not (?) down.

The Chairman. Take your seat. The gentleman need not yield unless he desires.

Governor Pinchback. I will yield.

G. W. Gentry, (addressing the Chair.) You are compelled to hear a delegate when he rises to a question. [Governor Pinchback' s remark will be found in Appendix L .] A t the conclusion of Governor Pinchback's speech G. W. Gentry said: "Since the gentleman made special remarks towards me and pointed towards me, I would like---[Laughter and applause.] Here Gov. Pinchback remarked that he understood Gov. Marks (?) without the bar, and moved that he be invited to take a seat on the platform.

The motion prevailed, and President Lynch appointed Governor Pinchback and Richard Allen to escort Governor Marks to the (?) and.

Secretary Cromwell also moved that the same courtesy be extended to Comptroller Gaines.

Mr. Gentry, of Kentucky, continued; I have always told the young men of my State that Pinchback was considerable of a man, (laughter and applause,] but I have not found him wielding that same influence in Louisiana and Mississippi that I expected.

        J. P. Jones, of Arkansas, rose to a point of order, saying that

they were not discussing Pinchback but the address.

       The President. The gentleman from Louisiana did not personally allude to any one.
       Mr. Gentry. Yes, he pointed at one. [Uproarious laughter and applause.]
      The President. If you do no more than point at him, you will be of

equal honor. [Laughter.]

       Mr. Gentry. Where is the gentleman ? [Loud laughter and immense applause.]
     Colonel Lewis, of Louisiana. If you will maintain the same status

with the people of Kentucky that Governor Pinchback does in Louisiana, they will honor you. [Great applause.]

     Mr. Gentry. I will state---
     Colonel Lewis. Will the gentleman yield for a question ?
     Mr. Gentry. No, sir ;not from Louisiana. [Laughter.]
      Mr. Gentry. In 1876, Pinchback made a speech before ten thou-

and Democrats---

      There were loud cries of "Time!" "Time!" and Mr. Gentry reluctantly subsided.
      Ex-Congressman Rainey was then called for, and several delegates requested that he take the Speaker's stand.
     Mr. Rainey. O, I prefer to be among the plebeians. [Laughter.]
     Colonel James Lewis. Several of the ladies wish to look at you.
     The Chairman. O, he is a married man. [Laughter.]



Mr. Rainey commenced by saying that he hoped the Conference would not be disappointed in what he would say. We may never hold another conference. The same faces will never be mirrored against these walls. It behooves us, then, to do what we can with a purpose ; that we send down to history our action, and, when it is read by the world, that we may not be ashamed of our action. We are a proscribed people, not because we crucified a Saviour, but because we have a different colored skin from others of this country. We have stood a great deal. We never rose and struck for freedom, as in San Domingo. The white people boasted of this, but it is well that we did not. Would they have had us strike down defenseless people, defenseless women and children? We showed our nobleness by not taking advantage of the situation. We want to say to the white people the time has come for us to give warning that we have stood all we can, and in more than one way we will show this soon. We have been enriching the white man, and the time has come when forbearance has ceased to be a virtue. We have come to that point when we doubt the protestations of those who say they are our best friends. Those in this Conference are here for a purpose. It is to be hoped that the proceedings will be read everywhere. It is to be deprecated that there was a necessity for emigration. We have stood too much now, and I would not blame any colored man who would advise his people to flee from the oppressors to the land of freedom. Pledges were made at Vicksburg. They have been made before, and they have always been broken.

A Voice. Yes, and they will always be broken.

The speaker then read a letter from a young friend in South Carolina, giving a melancholy view of the condition of the Negroes in the "Sunny Southland. He concluded by saying: "The people of South Carolina are with you in this movement, and we but await the time when we can join in a general emigration to a land of freedom."

J. J. Bird, of Illinois, made a lengthy speech similar in substance to the one made during the morning session. He devoted his remarks to a denial of any political significance in the resolutions introduced by the Northern delegates. While he was speaking Governor Marks entered the hall and was escorted to a seat near the reporters' table by Governor Pinchback.

G. S. W. Lewis, (addressing J.J. Bird.) Is this protracted discussion on this report designed to prevent the report on emigration from being presented ?

J. J. Bird. It is not my purpose.

W. F. Yardley said the proscription placed on the Negro should be removed. If there were places in the South where he could not vote his sentiments, that was a reason for migration. The shops were closed against him, clerkships could not be obtained, there was no opening for him. If he was a favorite he might get a place



as street-scavenger, or in a hotel to polish bones. [Laughter,] He did not believe in the popular delusion of forty acres and a mule. He knew that in any new country hard work would be necessary, but they would be free. It was not so bad in Tennessee as it was in other States, but there was oppression here. He wanted his children to stand higher than he did, to be skilled mechanics or professional men, but where was the opening in Tennessee? [A Voice. "Ain' t got none," and laughter.] But they must learn to respect each other. He then moved the previous question, when a tremendous confusion ensued, and a general demand forced the withdrawal of the motion.

Richard Allen, of Texas, rose, but yielded to ex-Congressman J.T. Rapier, of Alabama, who moved the previous question on the adoption of the report.

After a good deal of random disputing the motion for the previous question was carried.

J. D. Kennedy, of Louisiana, said that migration was not caused by low wages or the high price of land. If the people could be allowed to remain unmolested there would be no cry of migration to Kansas. There were many millions of acres uncultivated land in the South. He had hoped great things from the Vicksburg Conference, but it had adopted only a series of glittering generalities—the same old story. He did not believe that going to Kansas would better the colored race. He did not believe in any hasty exodus. He believed in migration, but he did not believe they should go without means to pay their passage and to buy homes. But to those who had gone, he would say, never; return. Better perish in Kansas than come back, for a return would make things ten times worse than it was before. He did not think this was the last Conference. They could find the money to come. It was this uneasiness among the Negroes that would make the white men of the South know that something was the matter.

The only fault in the report was the gingerly use of words where the General Government was concerned.

He thought the thanks of the Conference were due to the people of Nashville for their courteous treatment of the delegates. They had been uniformly kind. They should also thank the American for its able and correct reports of the proceedings.

W. H. Bentley, of Georgia, did not think the report full enough. J.W. James, of Indiana, said that he once thought that ex-Governor Pinchback had deserted the Negro, but he was glad to. find that he was mistaken. He indorsed every word that Pinchback had said. He denounced the statement in the American that the Northern Negroes came to encourage migration. He had left Tennessee for the far West because he could not get his rights. He was for migration unless the Negro could get his rights where he was.

Rev. Allan, Allensworth, of Kentucky, said he wanted to call



attention to an editorial in the American, but was interrupted by a delegate, who insisted that the gentleman confine himself to the question.

The report was then adopted.

J.T. Rapier, of Alabama, said that the Committee on Migration had had hundreds of resolutions referred to it, and had done the best they could. He moved an adjournment until 8 o' clock, at which time they would take up the report on migration, and take the vote after three hours' discussion, and call the previous question.

This was carried, and the Conference adjourned to 8 p. m.


On the reassembling of the Conference at 8 p.m., a report was submitted by the Committee on Press, appealing to the colored people to support the papers published by men of their own race. [See Appendix M.]

The report was adopted.

A resolution indorsing the action of Judge Rives, of Virginia, in bringing the State judges of that State to a strict account for their violation of the United States laws, in refusing to allow colored men to serve as jurors when their rights as citizens are at stake, was adopted.

The following report was presented and adopted:

Your Committee, to whom was referred the Jubilee Singers' civil rights case, have been as diligent and thorough in their endeavors to get at the true status of the case as the limited time allowed them would permit, and they beg leave to report as follows:

There have been one criminal and six civil suits brought in the Federal court.

There has never been any test made of the civil rights bill, and, to prosecute the suit in question it will require at least $500.

Your committee are of the opinion there never will occur a better opportunity to test the effectiveness of the civil rights bill, and therefore recommend that this Conference prosecute this case to a successful termination. To this end they recommend that a prosecuting committee of three be appointed to look after the case, receive all moneys raised for the purpose above expressed, pay out the same for expenses incurred in the prosecution, and turn over all surplus that may occur to the Kansas Emigration Aid Society; that at least two of said committee shall be residents of Nashville; that steps be immediately taken to raise $500, with which to prosecute the suits as vigorously as possible; that each State and district here represented shall contribute $28 towards this cause, except Oregon, which State shall contribute the remaining $24; that the chairman of the Conference appoint some one from each State here represented, whose duty it shall be to raise the amount apportioned to his State, and forward the same to the chairman of the prosecuting committee; that it shall be the duty of the prosecuting committee to furnish at least four colored journals full report of all moneys received and disbursed by them during the prosecution of said suits, when the same shall have been terminated.

J.H. BURRUS, Nashville, Tennessee,

Rev. G. H. SHAFFER, Nashville, Tennessee,

W. F. YARDLEY, Knoxville, Tennessee,




The Committee on Civil Rights was appointed the Prosecuting Committee, and the Collecting Committee, appointed under the report, are as follows :

J .C. Napier, Nashville, Tenn.; R. W. Fitzhugh, Natchez , Miss.; Rev.Bishop Miles, Louisville, Ky.; Col. James Lewis, New Orleans, La.; J . W. Wilson, St. Louis, Mo.; Judge M. W. Gibbs, Little Rock, Ark.; R.R. Wright, Cuthbert, Ga.; F. D. Morton, Evansville, Ind.; Hon. Richard Allen, Houston, Texas; Rev. D. Jones, Oregon; F. J. Loudin, Pittsburg, Pa.; F. L. Barnett, Chicago, Ill.; Col. Robert Harlan, Cincinnati, Ohio; H. G. Newsom, Hastings, Neb.; Hon. J . H. Rainey, St. Denis Hotel, New York.

The Committee on Migration submitted its report. [See Appendix N.]

It was read by J . H. Burch, of Louisiana.

Rev. J. C. Embry, who was to have opened with a discussion on migration, sent a letter, which will be found in Appendix O.

A debate of three hours on the report followed. Twenty-three speeches indorsing it were made, and at 12:15 a. m. the report was unanimously adopted.

Resolutions of thanks to the Chairman, Secretaries, Governor of Tennessee, the American, and the citizens of Nashville were adopted, and the following offered by T. Green, of Mississippi.

Whereas invitations to visit several institutions of this city have been tendered this Conference; and

Whereas, a press of business prevented us from complying with said invitations ; therefore

Resolved, That it is a source of deep regret that we could not find it practicable to visit said universities.

Resolved, That these institutions have our hearty support and undivided sympathy and cooperation in their great work of uplifting our people from the thraldom of ignorance to the light of education and refinement.

The Chairman, in a few words of good advice to his brother delegates, then pronounced the conference adjourned sine die.

J . W. CROMWELL , Secretary.

F. L. BARNETT, Recording Secretary.




There can be no subject so important to the colored people of this country as the condition of their health, because it makes very little difference what rights, either civil or political, that may be accorded to them, or what wealth they may accumulate, unless they enjoy health they will be of very little consequence to them. For they, too, must follow the destiny of all other races of mankind, and become extinct from the ravages of disease and a premature death. And this is true, not only of the colored race, but of all others. Take, for example, the fearful epidemics of the yellow fever that have swept over some portions of our Southern country, and we see that they have left death and desolation in their tracks, and those States that suffered most have become in some parts almost depopulated. Doctors and sanitarians have been taxed to their uttermost to apply means of cure; and sanitary measures, such as disinfectants, quarantine and isolation to stamp out the disease and prevent its recurrence. In fact the most extreme measures have been taken, especially in the epidemic of the past year, such as placing armed men on the line of infected districts or cities, with instructions to shoot down any person who might dare to pass to other parts. Not only has this been done in yellow fever, but also in small-pox , diphtheria, cholera, and the plague, or black fever, as it is sometimes called. This disease has recently visited Russia in an epidemic form, and in order to put a stop to its ravages, as it is said that about 90 per cent. die, the chief medical officer to the Emperor recommended the most energetic means, by which whole towns have been burnt to the ground, with the clothing of those that had been infected with the disease. His advice has been followed very closely, and the result so far has been very beneficial.

From the earliest ages of the world to the present, disease has threatened the destruction of portions of the human family. For we read in Holy Writ how the Egyptians were seized with a grievous plague which threatened their destruction, because they refused to let the children of Israel go; and also that the children of Israel themselves were threatened with annihilation during their journeyings, and in one instance 24,000 were slain in one day. In later days the cholera, diphtheria and yellow fever have made fearful inroads into the population of the world. In fact no large bodies of people can exist together any great length of time without being decimated, unless disease is guarded against in the most scrupulous manner. And especially is this the case with regard to large armies; and it has been found that more soldiers die of disease than are killed by the severest battle. This was true in the case of the late war of the rebellion, and although a great many men were killed belonging to McClellans's army in the battles near Richmond, more were lost in the



Chickahominy by disease. The same may be said of General Grant's army of the Potomac, that notwithstanding the great slaughter that was made of the army in the Wilderness, more died in hospitals from fevers and other specific diseases. This rule held good all through the war, and in all the armies, that disease made greater havoc among the troops than was made by casualties on the battlefield. So it was in the insurrection of Santo Domingo by the blacks, for while they fought with great bravery and desperation under such generals as Toussaint, L'ouverture, Dessalines and Christophe, and would, no doubt, have achieved their freedom and independence in any case, but the end was hastened by the great disaster produced by the diseases incidental to the climate. It is said that the flower of Bonaparte' s army was sacrificed by the thousands from yellow fever, dysentery and kindred diseases. Nor need we confine the rule to armies, but the same may happen on shipboard, so that great navies are sometimes rendered perfectly helpless by disease. We find also that large cities in certain parts of the country are sometimes rendered almost uninhabitable by bad drainage, causing zymotic or preventable diseases to rage in epidemic forms.

Now, with regard to the health of the colored people of this country. Since the abolition of slavery much has been said and written to discourage us and disparage us in the eyes of the world, and to make it appear that slavery is our normal condition; and many have been the predictions that we would soon pass away like the aboriginal inhabitants of Australia and many of the Indian tribes of this country. In order to make good these predictions many of our enemies have fabricated all sorts of reports of the fearful mortality raging among us, when in reality there are scarcely ten cities in the country where a correct record of the deaths and births of the white and colored people is kept, and I can say without fear of contradiction that there is not one which is kept of the colored people alone.

In 1866, a judge in Savannah, Georgia, in charging the grand jury, just after the city was turned over to civil authority, and subsequent to its occupation by General Sherman's army, said, among other things, "that he deplored the abolition of slavery, because the freedmen could not take care of themselves, and would soon become extinct from starvation and disease, and that the Barnum of a hundred years hence would perhaps have a petrified Negro to exhibit to the world that he once existed." It has been said time and again that the Negro by the side of the white man will die out, and the vital statistics, where they are kept, show a larger proportion of deaths among the colored people than among the whites. But I propose to show in this paper that the natural increase among the colored people is larger in proportion than among the whites. In this country there are, comparatively speaking, poor facilities for obtaining vital statistics. In fact the peculiar relations between the general Government and the States are such that there is no general law that can be enforced to obtain them. Each State has its own laws, and very few, if any, are strict in their observance, and still less attention is paid to give correct reports of the colored people. Most of their reports are consolidated so as to make no difference between whites and blacks. Therefore, it is difficult to get an approximation as to the percentage of the death and birth rate between the two races. The mortality, as shown by the reports among the colored people, has been very great of late, and it is so marked, that if it was not for their great natural increase, as I will show you directly, the predictions of the Georgia judge might soon be realized. In the statistics that I shall give, you will notice that I have paid more attention to the District of Columbia than any other section, for the reason that while the reports here are not entirely reliable, they are more nearly correct than any other city I know of,



especially with regard to the mortuary report; and as there is a large colored population here, a near approximation may be made of the death rate of other cities with similar numbers. The colored population of Washington and the District before the late war, say in 1850, was 13,746, but when the slaves were declared contraband of war, quite a large number flocked to the city, and in the census of 1870 it had increased to 40,000, and in 1877 the estimated colored population was 45,000. Now, while much may be said in commendation of the fairness of the late Board of Health towards the colored people, still they have done us an injustice, inasmuch as in 1870 the white population was said to be 91,567, and the colored 40,133, and in October, 1878, the whites 115,000 and the colored 45,000; but in November, after the census ordered by the District government was reported, it was found that the white population was 106,000 and the colored 54,000, and prior to that date the reports of vital statistics were based upon the figures mentioned above before the District census was made, and therefore the colored people have suffered; in that the percentage of the death rate was made larger than it should have been, while at the same time the percentage of the death rate of the white people was made smaller than it should have been.

The first report published by the Board of Health of this District was in 1873, and embraced seventeen months, including part of 1872, but it is so meager and incorrect that I shall pass it over and commence with the report of 1874, which states that there were—

Marriages—White 69, colored 43; births, white 944, or 8.93 per 1,000; colored, 590, or 14.74 per 1.000; twins, white 16, colored 10. Deaths—White 1,169, or 14.9 per 1,000; colored 998, or 22.45 per 1,000.

1875. Population—White 115,000, colored 45,000. Marriages—White 373 or 3.243 per 1,000; colored 321, or 7.133 per 1,000. Births—White 2,518, or 21.89 per 1,000; colored 1,397, or 31.04 per 1,000; still births, white 147, or 1.277 per 1,000; colored 223, or 4.955 per 1,000; twins white 39, colored 20. Deaths—White 2,210, or 19.22 per 1,000; colored 2,142, or 47.60 per 1,000; percentage of mortality of children under five years, white 425, colored 422.

1876. Population—White 115,000, colored 45,000. Marriages—White 348, or 3.026 per 1,000; colored 404, or 8.978 per 1,000. Births—White 2,568, or 22.330 per 1,000; colored 1,717, or 38.155 per 1,000; twins, white 32, or 2.78 per 1,000; colored 23, or 5.11 per 1,000; still births, white 143, or 1.243 per 1,000; colored 236, or 5.242 per 1.000. Deaths—white 2,153, or 1.872 per cent. of white population, and 50.706 per cent. of total mortality; colored 2,093, or 4.651 per cent. of colored population, and 49,294 per cent. of total mortality.

1877. Marriages—White 271, or 1.69 per 1,000; colored 281, or 1.75 per 1,000. Births—White 2,167, or 13.52 per 1,000; colored 1,725, or 10.80 per 1,000; twins, white 56, colored 36; still births, white 142, or .88 per 1,000; colored 230, or 1.44 per 1,000. Deaths—White 2,102, being 1.82 per cent. of white population, and 51.23 per cent. of the total mortality; colored 2,001, being 4.44 per cent. of colored population, and 48.76 per cent. of total mortality.

1878. Population, (old statement)—White 115,000, colored 45,000; population, (new statement,) white 106,000, colored 54,000. Marriages—White 273, colored 154. Births—White 1,685, colored 1,201; twins, white 9, colored 12; still births, white 110, colored 189. Deaths—White 1,572 or 13.67 per 1,000; colored 1,451, or 32.24 per 1,000.

Now, make the best we can of it, it cannot he denied that there is a fearful mortality among the colored people in the District of Columbia; and what are the causes for it? They are many, and I will mention some of them.

They depend a great deal upon the manner in which the people live. The



great influx of freedmen during the war produced a necessity for small houses to rent, and the sharp speculators of that day, who infested the city and preyed upon the Government and people, at once saw the chance of making money out of the necessities of those poor people, and consequently erected a large number of frame shanties, without any regard to their convenience, sanitary or healthy condition. These were built in rows and blocks. All met a ready rental at fabulous rates. Now, what was the condition of those shanties, some of which remain to the present day? I will describe one such as I have seen many times in performing the duties of a physician. I found a one-story room about 12 by 12 to 12 by 16 feet, and about seven feet in height, composed of inch and a half boards, the top or roof being covered with felt or gravel. There were no water-spouts to lead the water from the roof, and consequently it ran close to the foundation and under the house, where it often remained for an indefinite period, combined with other surface water and refuse matters. And in order to press stronger on your minds the true character of these mansions of woe, I will quote from the report of one of the sanitary inspectors his impressions of them :

"A shanty is defined by Worcester to be ' a mean cabin,' and that is evidently what they mean by the term in Washington and Georgetown, for no meaner cabins for temporary or permanent shelter can be found than some of our wretched poor are born and exist and die in, here at the capital of the United States. And strange as it may seem, none are so mean that they have not an owner mean enough to charge rent for them. Down in the alleys, below grade, with combination roof of felt, tar, shingles, rags, tin, gravel, boards and holes; floors damp and broken, walls begrimed by smoke and age; so domiciled are families, with all the dignity of tenants having rent to pay; perhaps four or five, or may be eight dollars a month, and proud of the distinction though often greatly exercised to meet their obligations."

This is the testimony. Now, these little shanties would often contain a man and his wife and from three to six children, and frequently his own or wife' s mother; and at the same time a stove, bedstead, table, a chair or two; perhaps a trunk or box containing provisions. The only openings to the building would be a window three by three and a small door. The stove was usually kept extremely hot, and the temperature of the room through the day would be from 75 to 85 degrees of heat, while at night, after the fire went out, the temperature would fall to the freezing point in extremely cold weather, because the walls of the shanty were neither lathed nor plastered, and therefore easily admitted the frost. In many there was a piece of carpet, or such like, which retained its place for an indefinite period. The floors were scarcely ever washed up, and the beds were never aired. All the cooking was done in the same room, and the receptacles for waste water and other refuse matter were kept there. In some cases I have found a large tenement house with every room filled, having many families crowded together, and everything in as bad condition as in the shanties mentioned above. Many of these were situated in narrow and damp alleys, and sometimes near marshy places and stagnant pools of water. Now, of the description that I have given of a large number of tenements inhabited by colored people of Washington, it must not be understood that all the colored people there live in that way; but, on the contrary, it will be admitted on all hands that there is no city in the United States where the colored people as a rule live better; and I am of the opinion that more of them own their houses, which are often furnished in quite a luxuriant style. Another source of disease and death are the schools. They are crowded to their utmost capacity, the ventilation and drainage in many of them arc bad, and some of their rules are really pernicious. For instance, the children are



pelled to be at school by a certain hour, and if they should get there before that time they are not allowed to go into the building until the hour has arrived, which in extreme cold weather is very severe upon the constitutions of young children, and especially if they have been ill already. Another is that the children are kept standing in line from five to ten minutes after recess, when they have been racing and become heated, where they often get chilled through while waiting to get in the building. And in the case of very young children it can readily be seen what effects it might have upon them. Then, again, after they get inside they are subject to cold draughts from the windows, which are opened by the teachers to ventilate the room, from the fact that the ventilation in other respects is defective. Of course the ventilation is absolutely necessary. and in fact very salutary to the teacher, who sits enthroned in the back part, and those who are seated near the center of the room, but those near the window suffer very severely after the exercise had during the recess. And, as I mentioned above, some of them may have just returned to school from an attack of measles, pneumonia, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and such like. The health officer of the District, in his last annual report, speaks especially of the bad ventilation of some of the school houses for colored children. I quote from page 19, in which he says:

"The building on Third street, between New York avenue and L street, is unfit for human habitation. Here we found 140 children packed into two rooms, each 14 feet long, 22 feet wide, and 11 feet high. Of course the air, to one coming from the outside, was stifling. An attempt had been made to ventilate by cutting holes through the thin boards of the structure, but it availed little, cold air being taken in, but the impurities not being carried out. It will be seen that there are but eighty-five and a fraction cubic feet of air allowed each pupil here, while the minimum quantity sanctioned by authorities is 200 cubic feet for each person, and this where provision is made for a constant supply of fresh air."

And thus he speaks of a number of them. Now, coupled with all this, is the severe discipline of the schools which bear heavily upon children that are placed under the most favorable auspices and conditions of health and other respects; and can it be wondered at that when they have been born and raised under such unsanitary conditions, and then packed away in such charnel-houses for six hours each school day in the year, and that many of these pupils are under the age of eight years, can it be wondered at, I say, that the colored people die in large numbers? Then, again, there are the absolute privations of the necessaries of life, such as food, clothing and fuel, from sheer poverty, caused partly by an over crowded city and partly by bad management. Another great necessity that they are often deprived of is proper medical attendance, and the want of which is the cause of a great amount of suffering and mortality there. During the time the city was under a municipal and territorial government, appropriations were made regularly to supply the poor with proper medical attendance, but since those governments have been abolished, and the District put under commissioners, very little has been done, from the. fact that Congress has failed to make the necessary appropriations. Consequently quite a large number of colored people have died from the want of these great necessities. The food they are often compelled to subsist upon tells very severely upon their health. It is often adulterated with all sorts of things. There are venders of sausages and other kinds of meats that are stale, who are unscrupulous enough to sell them for any price to get their money back, and the necessities of these poor people compel them often to buy the cheapest articles. And many times I have seen the children of poor colored people picking up in the market places Condemned vegetable and fruits, and many cases of sickness and death



have been traced to these sources. I am satisfied also that the night meetings of the colored people produce a great amount of sickness among them. Crowded together as they are in bad ventilated churches and meeting houses, with the temperature ranging from 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and in most cases during the cold weather the windows being closed, and no ventilation being allowed, no one will for a moment doubt its effects. These meetings are kept up till a late hour, and many if not the whole congregation, from the excitement and exercises attending upon the religious proceedings, are often bathed in perspiration, and in this condition are dismissed for home to cool off in the street, and therefore to contract catarrhs and pneumonias and various diseases of a fatal character. The same may be said of the pound parties and other promiscuous assemblages of various kinds. Now, notwithstanding that there has been a discrepancy in our favor of about 9,000 in the population that should have been placed to our credit in making out the death rate, still you will no doubt have noticed that the mortality of this District of the colored people has been fearful as compared to the white population. I think also that it is quite apparent as to the causes. I will now call your attention to the statistics in other cities as far as I can give them, because, as I have already told you, they are very imperfect everywhere:

1878. Population—Baltimore, Md., white,— colored—. Deaths—white 5,759, colored 1,574; births and marriages not classified.

1877. Population—Philadelphia, white 930,000, colored 30,000. Deaths—white 15,041, colored 963; births, white 17,619, colored 38.

1877. Population Richmond, Virginia,—white 44,400, colored 33,100. Deaths—white 677, colored 940; still births, white 41, colored 106. Deaths for seven years from 1871 to 1877, white 5,290, colored 6,492; births not classified.

1877. Population—Charleston, S. C., white 24,528, colored 32,012. Deaths— white 555 or 1 in 44.19, colored 1,258 or 1 in 25.44. Deaths for 1874, 1875, 1876 and 1877, white 2,56.5. colored 5,071; births and marriages not reported.

1877. St. Louis, Mo— Deaths, colored 554; births, colored 198; still born 38.

1871. Population of Ohio— White 2,601,946, colored 63,213; ,per cent. of colored to white 2.38. Deaths— white 24,208, colored 1,071; per cent, of colored to white 4.42. No statistics of births or marriages were reported in this year.

1872. Population same as in year before. Deaths—white 24,545, colored 657; per cent, of colored to white 2.67. Births white 59,744, colored 1,391; per cent, of colored to white 2.33, Increase by birth, whites 1.3 per cent., colored 1.1 per cent. No separate record of marriages.

1875. Population same as before. Deaths— white 26,812, colored 659; per cent, of colored to white 2.45. Births— white 58,988, colored 1,080; per cent, of colored to white 1.8. Increase by births, white 1.2 per cent., colored .66. Marriages, white 23,052, colored 437; per cent, of colored to white 1.8.

1876. Population same as before. Deaths—white 26.266, colored 726, per cent, of colored to white 2.7. Births—white 61,410, colored 1,165; percent, of colored to white 1.8. Increase by births, white .99 per cent., colored .71. Marriages, white 25,761, colored 422; per cent, of colored to white 1.6.

1877. Population same as before. Deaths—white 27,665, colored 795; per cent, of colored to white 2.8. Births— white 62,020, colored 1,543. Marriages, white 24,693, colored 892; per cent, of colored to white 3.6.


1871. Per cent, of deaths, 4.42; 1872, per cent, of deaths, 2.67; 1875, percent, of deaths, 2.45; 1876, per cent, of deaths, 2.7; 1877, per cent, of deaths, 2.8. Average per cent., 3.01



1872. Per cent, of births, 2.33; 1875, per cent, of births, 1.8; 1876, per cent, of births, 1.8. Average per cent., 1.62,

Per cent, of increase by births, 1872 white 1.3, colored 1.1; 1875, white 1.2, colored .66; 1876, white .99, colored ,71. Average white 1.16; average colored .82.

Per cent, of marriages, 1875, 1.8; per cent, marriages, 1876, 1,6; per cent, marriages, 1877, 3.6. Average per cent., 2.33.

Now I have given you the figures of births and deaths from some of the principal cities of the country, and i have come to the conclusion, and I have no doubt you will, that, notwithstanding the incorrectness of the reports, and especially of the birth rate, city life is not conducive to the increase of the colored population, but rather on the contrary to the decrease, and we might as well look the matter directly in the face. For in nearly every instance where I have examined statistics I find the same results.

And now that I have given the figures of the great mortality you will naturally enough ask, are there any remedies, and what are they? I answer there are remedies, and they are in the hands of the colored people who cannot throw the responsibility on other shoulders. In fact the eyes of the world are upon us, and it is to be hoped we will be equal to the emergency, and use the power in our hands to fulfill the destiny of the race. In the first place, it will be necessary for each city, town, or country to form sanitary associations, to co-operate with boards of health where they exist, and to look after the health of the colored population by getting up free public lectures on matters relating to sanitary affairs, such as ventilation, drainage, diet and the proper care of children. To the latter end they might imitate the old slave-holder, who made the old, worn out and superannuated slave women take care of the young children while their mothers were at work in the field or attending to other matters. And therefore houses might be rented in different parts of the city and be converted into nurseries, furnished with all the comforts for young children; and let them be put in charge of two or three old women acquainted with nursing, with doctors to look out for the sick, and allow mothers to place their children there during the day for a small fee, and no doubt in time they might become self supporting. Then, again, the colored churches should do as the white with regard to orphans, and form church orphan homes. In fact a number of churches might unite together in the large cities, and form one to be supported by the respective churches; and by such institutions you might gather in the young and idle children about the cities and byways. Now, it is a remarkable fact that nearly one-half the population die under five years of age, and of which the colored population furnishes about a little more than a half, from the same causes mentioned above when speaking about the general mortality. Many lives might be saved by having some institution to care for young girls, who are often led by the unscrupulous to a premature maternity. I know it will be said that such institutions are calculated to put a premium on vice, but it should be remembered that many of those who need such a place are often left orphans, and have not had the fostering care of a mother, and therefore more apt to be led astray than otherwise. And besides, they are human beings, subject to all the frailties of mankind, and very often not to be blamed so much as those who lead them captive; and I believe it will be more humane to protect them in their extremities, and afterwards to have them placed into some reformatory institution where they can learn some useful employment which may in time make good and useful woman of them. Such an association might also agitate It; subject of free or penny public baths one of the most important adjuncts for the preservation of health, and which should be established in every city.



Another question of the utmost importance for the attention of such an association is that of the great number of still births among the colored people, of which they furnish fully three-fourths of the whole number. Now, I have no doubt that some of them are produced by criminal practices, but a large majority of them are produced by accident, from the debilitated condition of many of the mothers, who are compelled very often to perform severe labor, such as washing , ironing and .scrubbing during pregnancy and near their confinement, as well as to inhabit the miserable shanties they live in. Therefore, let us do all we can to prevent this fearful cause of mortality, for there is no natural reasons why the colored people should be thus afflicted more than the white. The causes are, to a great extent, preventable by strict sanitary measures, which are within our reach. Let us endeavor to spread among them the following rules : Keep the body clean, and use every effort to get pure water, air and food. And let us see to it that our children are taught the laws of health. In fact every school, and especially every colored school, should be furnished with a competent instructor in physiology and the laws of health; and, indeed, let our educators themselves be taught these very laws, and then they will not over-crowd the school buildings, or the feeble young with perplexing and long hours of study. For, no doubt, many a child has his or her intellect dwarfed by being crammed with too much study, as well as brought to a premature grave.

Another remedy that belongs more especially to the parents and the clergy, is the inculcation of early marriages. For it has been proven that the married life is more conducive to longevity than the single; and, to be more explicit on that point, I will quote directly from the report of the Health Officer of this District for 1878 : " The average age of the married, as compared with the single, shows a decided advantage in favor of the married. In the white race the married male exceeds the unmarried over l4 years, the advantage in favor of the white female being less than one year. Among the colored we find the life of the married male exceeds that of the unmarried by over 171/2, and the life of the married female that of the unmarried by 12 years." But you will say to me your remedies and plans are too gigantic and impracticable. I do not believe it. The colored people build fine churches and maintain them, and why should they not build such institutions as I have suggested? Besides this, we are here over five million of people just emancipated and struggling for an existence in a country whose resources are boundless, and we must meet these difficulties, and face them and grapple with them. True it is that we have many kind friends among our white brethren, and they have and will help us; but we cannot and must not depend upon their assistance alone, and every man among us capable must use his best endeavors to instill right principles in the young, and give encouragement to the old. The sufferings of our people in the South are and have been such that it is absolutely necessary for them to seek a home in some other portion of our country, in which, it seems, they have taken the initiatory steps. Now, in their new homes they will require all the sanitary rules and information in our power to impart to them, to enable them to stem the tide of difficulties they will meet with in their struggles to create new homes for themselves, their families, and generations yet unborn. Now, notwithstanding that there has been such a large mortality among the colored people in the large cities, still that has not been the rule in the rural districts and small towns, and therefore let us urge upon the colored people to leave the cities and go into healthy localities where they can improve their sanitary as well as their financial condition. For to live in the large cities in such numbers breeds poverty, indolence and vice, and all the consequences attendant upon them, prominent among which are sickness and death.




"Wherever," says a very able writer on medical statistics, "pauperism with its wants and misery prevails, there the mother is more likely to die in labor; there still births will be more frequent; there the deaths will be more numerous during infancy; there epidemics will rage with more violence; there the recoveries from sickness will be fewer, and death will usually happen at an earlier period of life." Now, then, if this be true, and I am satislied in my own mind it is with regard to the colored people of the United States, then it is not only with questions of political economy, but still more important ones, namely: The great questions of humanity and the perpetuation of our race that we have to deal. The colored population of the United States has steadily increased, from their first introduction up to the last census, at the following rate, commencing. with the census of 1790. At that time there were 757,208; in 1800, 1,002,037; 1810, 1,377,808; 1820, 1,771.231; 1830, 2,328,642; 1840, 2,873,648; 1850, 3,638,808; 1860, 4,441,830; 1870, 4,880,009. Here it will be seen that the colored population has nearly about doubled itself in every thirty years, and no doubt the census of 1880 will establish the fact that there are six millions of colored people in the United States, being nearly as many as the white population of the South at the breaking out of the late rebellion. If, then, they should increase at the same ratio that they have in times past, it will be seen that in 1910 there will be 12,000,000; in 1940, 24.000,000, and in 1970, 48,000,000.

Now, this estimate is made upon the increase of the colored people, as reported by the several censuses that have been made, under the most unfavorable circumstances to us. But when we shall have been emancipated from the bonds of caste, poveity, and ignorance of the laws of health, we shall be able to claim a much larger increase than that enumerated above. For if has been proven by the statistics of the District of Columbia, which are the most correct, as far as the colored people is concerned, that I have examined, that their natural increase is greater in proportion than that of the white population. From 1874 to 1878, the total number of births reported in the District of Columbia was, for the white population. 9,922; and, for the colored, 0.630 the former composing two-thirds of the population and the latter one-third. So you will see that although the white population is twice as large as the colored population, their birth rate was only one-third larger. Now this estimate does not include the still births, of which the colored people furnished two-thirds, but which, under good sanitary regulations, may be largely reduced. Now. our increase is a substantial one, and I make use of the word substantial because in the increase of the white population it must be taken into consideration that there is a large emigration from all parts of the world, and especially Ireland and Germany, which swells their increase to a great extent every year, and therefore every decade these are all put into the census, whereas nearly every colored person placed upon the census rolls is a genuine increase by birth.

Another fact established by the vital statistics of the District of Columbia, and that is. we compare favorably with the white population in morals, inasmuch as during the five years mentioned above there were reported 1,334 marriages among the whites, and 1,204 among the colored. It is impossible in a paper like this to give full statistics of the various diseases that afflict colored people mostly, or the percentage of deaths of the different diseases between white and colored, but I propose in another communication, at no distant day, to lay before the public more correct and full statistics, with some rules and directions for the preservation of health, which I hope may be of some benefit to mankind, and more especially to the emigrants to Kansas.

A. T. AUGUSTA . M. A., M. D.

Washington. D. C., May 1, 1879,






Finding it to be impossible for me to attend the National Conference, I take this opportunity and manner of expressing my regret, and also my hope that this meeting will be a grand success, and that its deliberations may be conducted with such wisdom, calmness and dignity as to attract the respectful attention of the nation. Especially do I hope that the Conference will have the moral courage to admit the truth, utter the truth and face the truth, whether seemingly it shall be for or against us as a race. If the propositions it submits are tenable and reasonable, they will enforce conviction; otherwise they will only provoke recrimination. The topic assigned me, " The Political Status of the Negro," seems at first to call for merely a definition, and to resolve itself into a discussion of the topic whether it is more desirable to be disfranchised by the law, or in violation of the law.

Of the two conditions, that of being disfranchised by the law seems preferable, since it implies an absence of the violence which necessarily accompanies the other mode, or the political trickery which is sometimes used as an economical substitute for violence, being a little more genteel in appearance and no less conclusive in effect. That disfranchisement of the Negro, by some one or all of these means, has been effected in portions of the South is a fact attested in the strongest manner by eye witnesses, statistics and results of elections. That white men have been disfranchised in the South by law and in opposition to law, is another fact just as well established. That the fact of the Negro's disfranchisement is not one peculiar to his race; he simply followed the precedent set him long before by white men when he yielded to superior force. That they did so under peculiar circumstances is no reflection upon the manhood of the one or the other. But a condition of disfranchisement, whether it be in consequence of law or in violation thereof, must necessarily be temporary and transitory. The spirit of our age. the genius of our Government, the grave evils that follow in its wake, all strongly tend to shorten its duration; so that they that be with us are mightier than they that be against us. Like a pendulum, public opinion oscillates between extremes, but can rest only at the mean position. The Negro occupies an essential position in the political economy of the South, and is not destitute of social influence. Year by year, as statistics show, he increases in number, wealth and intelligence, the instrumentalities which alone can render his ballot effective in protecting his rights and securing his enjoyment of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is an admitted fact that his labor is the basis of the wealth of the South. Time will certainly develop the truth that his real welfare must be the object of as studious solicitude on the part of Southern political economists as that of the laboring classes of the North is on tlie part of Northern statesmen. If this lesson can be learned in no other school, it will be in that of experience, to whose stern teachings the most refractory must at length yield their acquiescence. Political experience teaches that overwhelming majorities are ominous. The projecting part, in parties as in matter, has a tendency to crack and fall. This principle secures to the Negro at least the portion of the " balance of power; " so that, as expressed by an Arkansas politician, " it don' t matter which end is up, he is worth something to somebody." It should be his desire to make that "something" a very



great something, and that "somebody" the body of his fellow-citizens; that is, he must, by hard and persistent labor elevate his race to a higher plane of intelligence, wealth and morality. Let him become inspired with this as a purpose; nay, the purpose of his life, and he will soon learn to cling- to those things that contribute to it, and to abandon those that lend in the opposite direction. First of all, let him have the moral courage to be poor at first that he may accumulate a competence at the last. Let him note well the ratio between his income and his expenditures, and dispense with all that is wasteful. One of his first objects should be to secure a home of his own, and, in making the purchase, to not forget that it must include, if a farm, fencing, implements and seed, but reserve a portion of his means for these necessaries. Next, let him remember that "righteousness exalteth a nation" and that " knowledge is power," and he will in due time see that a political status established upon these sure foundations is satisfactory and permanent, while that which depends solely upon the vagaries of political parties follows the fortunes of those parties, and like them are at the mercy of every caprice of public sentiment.



By Wm. Stewart, of Bridgeton, N. J.

Mr. Chairman., and Gentlemen of the National Conference of Colored Men:

Upon invitation of a sub-committee, I wish to invite your attention to this subject by picking out a few of the weaker reasons from the many powerful ones that may present themselves for your consideration for the necessity of a National Review devoted to our interests.

We all acknowledge the power and influence of the public press; we readily see with what ease an able editor of an able public periodical makes his thoughts and opinions become the thoughts and opinions of thousands; and upon questions of public weal--- deny it as vehemently as we may the periodical that regularly visits our firesides is silently but surely moulding our opinions in the same shape and fashions as those of the mind that controls the periodical.

The daily newspaper, although the excessive and almost incredible amount of brain-work that is required to make it up fresh and new every day produces many contradictions on minor topics, biases our judgment in the long run upon matters of main and general interest, and we find ourselves tracking over the ground of the editorials and congratulate ourselves with the discovery that our favorite daily paper thinks upon those matters and things precisely as we do, and we pronounce the editor to be a man of good judgment, with a level head upon most subjects. So silent and insidious is the power of the press in conveying to our understanding, enough our eyes, the thoughts, opinions and conclusions of other men, that we do not perceive that instead of the editor expressing our conclusions we only reveal those which he has already fathered.

The weekly paper, with its more mature thought, exerts doubtless a stronger influence over a given number of readers than does a daily of the same mental acumen, as well as furnishing us with news and opinions. The weekly press of the country exerts, to a very great extent, a power in the formation of character. Most especially is this true of literary



Weeklies, for the weekly literary paper that regularly visits your home and is handled by your children, will leave its mark for good or evil which will last through life. Of these two sorts we may well paraphrase a saying and say, like paper like people. The most elegant and polished of our periodicals are the magazines. With their varied store of information, of thought, of opinion and sentiment, they are welcomed in all walks of life by the old and young; and to the praise of American magazines be it said that a remarkable current of morality and Christianity pervades them, while those pernicious principles of socialism, agrarianism and infidelity are treated with an almost puritanical rigor. In moulding public opinion, however, magazines are about the least powerful of all our periodicals. The elegance of their make-up seems to destine them more for luxury than for utility in this direction. Even the pictorial or illustrated weekly seems to exert a greater influence in forming public opinion than do our magazines.

For great learning, deep research, and the most powerful thought, it seems to me that our reviews have a place specially allotted to them. In them we look for the ripeness of judgment, the most mature thought, and the most candid opinion. It seems to me that they represent the highest plane of civilization, or the highest intellectuality of it. Thrown aside by the popular reader as uninviting, it has the greater weight of influence among the truly learned and among those who, as editors of the public press, form and educate the opinions of the populace. The review is the fountain head of periodical and journalistic learning. Would you purify the waters of a stream, begin at the fountain head ; would you leaven a measure of meal, make light your leaven. Will you correct public opinion? it is public opinion which is so hard upon us. Of himself a person may not abhor us because we are black. Individually we may not be repugnant to the sense of a man or woman on account of our color. Where the, public eye is not upon them they may feel no disgust from associating with us. In the solitude of a far western plain the association of a black and a white man may be as cordial as that of two brothers. In the privacy of their own homes, where the clear eye and keen scent of public opinion cannot penetrate, the association may be still more cordial—nay, has been, as too many the children of white fathers and colored mothers and black fathers and white mothers could testify; but, for "opinion's sake," they prefer all such association to be strictly private and confidential.

Will you correct public opinion, and will you begin to do so by appealing, single-handed and alone, to each man of the public as you meet him? Or will you strive to do so with your own little monthly, weekly or daily paper? Vain tasks, either of them, you will say. Public opinion is held by the millions; it is moulded, formed and fostered by the thousands of the daily and weekly publications of the country. These in turn receive their inspirations from the learned and wise—the very solons of our civilization. Each interest finds there its own exponent. It is this source, this fountain, that we must reach. It is there our interests must be represented. Among the cultured and the great our infiuence must be felt. For this the necessity is that we enter the brotherhood of reviews, that our most learned minds may express their deepest thoughts, their most candid opinions, and their soundest judgments, with the certainty of having a respectable audience, and with the reasonable hope that some may be inspired by our interests, and that seed-germs may spring forth than shall, through the myriad publications of the press, permeate every current and rill of public opinion to its correction. There is another phase to this proposition, and a line of argument of a more common character, but it may appear more like an Illustration of what and how to do than an argument of a necessity for doing.



To see ourselves as others see us, may not always be agreeable, and, according to the Scottish bard, the task is not easy of accomplishment; but still more difficult is the task of making people see us as we desire to appear to them.

The American people delight to see the Negro in a humorous garb, or they are wont to see him in a ludicrous attitude. Americans are of a species of low, vulgar wit, which seeks vent and enjoyment iu the Brother Jonathan, or the Artemus Ward style ; they delight to drink in their philosophy after Josh Billings and their political ethics after the order of Petroleum V. Nasby. And this is the better side of American nature. But the supremest delight to which this American wit aspires is in contemplating and describing what they call the " Negro character." From the burnt cork negro minstrels to a choice poem, in their most elegant magazines, of "How Simmons took keah o' de baby," they will gulp down whole gustos of delight at the "Negro character." Our ignorance, our poverty, our education, our thrift, our uncouthness, our good address, our vices, our virtues, our families, our homes, our great men, our small men, and even the holy shrine of our religion are all ruthlessly dragged over to find food—grubs upon which to fatten this nauseating American vulgarism. And nothing is more disgustingly ludicrous than white people's efforts to thus portray the Negro character. Their periodicals, their literary papers, their religious papers, their magazines and their reviews teem with these distorted illustrations of the "Negro character; " and take to your home-circles, your fireside, the choicest of their magazines or reviews, and 'ere long your eye is offended and your family angered by disgusting caricatures or paraphrases upon, perhaps, your very kith and kin. To see ourselves always mirrored in this light does not serve to imbue us with the highest notions of our race, nor inspire us with very ennobling emotions towards the " Negro character; " and the very feelings which drive us from the minstrel shows, drive from our fire-sides the best of American literature, and its place is filled with the village political newspaper. There is a tremendous(in place of a better word) necessity for a powerful National Review which shall be backed with sufficient capital, and edited with sufficient power as will make it rank with the best and ablest reviews of the country—at least in comparison of constituencies and with its excoriating lash, correct this vulgar taste at its fountain head—the publishers of American literature.

Our opinions are worth something. Surely the opinions, the thoughts, the judgments of five million people are of some moment, but where can we find a mouthpiece? Where tongue and utterance? The press is supplied with the opinions, thoughts and judgments of men which it scatters in words of love or hate, of caution or chiding, of scorn or sarcasm, of entreaty or command, and men read them and ponder thereon and act as they are moved. But through what channel can the whites of this country ascertain what are the opinions, the thoughts, the judgments of the Negro-American? I grant you there are a dozen a score of tiny sheets fluttering in the breezes, and each little kiteling is battling away manfully and with all its little might for our people. They each and every one deserve more credit and greater support than they receive. I would there were dozens more of them, for many streams make a river. I say I grant you that there are a score or more of worthy little colored journals existing, but from their surroundings and the paucity of their supporters, the influence they exert either in the ethics of ourselves or the country is very small. We have not a periodical in the land of sufficient caliber to compel a quotation by the leading papers of the country.

If quotations are made from the Christian Recorder. The National Baptist, The Louisianian, The Watchman. or any other colored periodical by any white publication, it is on account of some purpose of its own



and not because of any respect the white publication may have for the rank or standing of those colored papers. None of those colored papers are in a position to force themselves upon the notice of their white confreres, unless, perhaps, they do so as mendicants.

White people prefer to show us off than to have us show ourselves off. If there are any dollars to be made off the Negro they prefer to make them. The white man wants to "run" the Negro now as always before. It seems to me that I have heard of a certain distinguished colored lecturer who, when he was talking by rote the talk that his white agents found was profitable talk to them, he was a most wonderful genius, but when he would talk to suit himself and tell the white folks what he thought about them and matters generally, he was a terribly bad fellow. Our agriculture, our fairs, our mechanical contrivances, our schools, our silk culture never become popular until their "special correspondent" has written them up, or their "special artist" has illustrated them, and the result of this is that

"Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,

And waste its fragrance on the desert air."

among us.

We have a very natural and very pardonable pride of race-identity whenever anything good and ennobling is accomplished by us.

Who of the race is not proud of that great scholar and teacher, that Christian pupil and modest man. Bishop Payne, or the learned traveler. Dr. Blyden, or our revered Douglass, or the gentle sculptress, Miss Edmonia Lewis, or the polished lawyer and accomplished gentleman. Minister Langston, with scores of others ; but, with the exception of Bishop Payne, to whom are they compelled to give the jewels of their best thoughts? To the white people! Our periodicals neither invite nor command their respect. For them to till our tiny journals with the rich, ripe treasures of their minds would be worse than casting pearls before swine; their thoughts and judgments and opinions would be lost to the world. They must go to the journals of the whites and lose their race identity.

We Negro-Americans do not tell to each other our grievances ; we simply know we have them, but we cannot express them to one another from one end of the land to the other, and the result of this is that people are disposed to think that our grievances are more imaginary than real ; that we have no real tangible grounds for complaint ; that we are perpetually happy and joyous, and that our complaining is merely the result of a chronic unrest. We cannot get our grievances in tangible shape without a more perfect and complete channel of communication.

The scientific, the literary, the political, or the religious world needs no Negro National Review. They are all supplied with reviews adapted to each specific field. Neither does the Negro- American have need of any review in any of these branches of civilization. If he seeks any information in doctrines of religion, in politics, in literature, in art and science, the works of the scholars of the world are before him and he can buy cheaper than he can make ; if he has anything to contribute to the ever swelling volumes of scientific or literary research, the magazines and reviews are accessible to his pen at only the cost of his race identity.

There are none to look after our interests but ourselves. "Othello's occupation's gone." Slavery is abolished ; the laws have been so amended that, ostensibly, we stand before the law equal with all other American citizens. The Anti-slavery men and Abolitionists sit idle. We have no further use for their services, public opinion informs us. The women-workers, who served fried chicken and biscuit to the passengers and tourists at the stations on the "Underground Railroad." may now sit twirling their thumbs as they listlessly rock to and fro with their eyes half closed, dreamingly croning, " nothing to do; I've nothing to do." Nathan



Broadbrim. the Quaker signal officer, was thrown out of employment until he got a job of looking after the interests of " Lo, the poor Indian." Even the affairs of John Chinaman, the heathen, found plenty of applicants willing to attend to them ; but John is educated and shrewd, and handles a great deal of money, so he can mind his own business without caring much about the interference of the 'Melican man.

Only the interests of the Negro- American suffer for want of attention. The interests of all other races and classes are sufficiently represented. There are authoritative German, French, Spanish, Italian, Irish, Welsh, Swedish, Scandinavian, scientific, literary, commercial, financial, agricultural, railway, mining, manufacturing, and medical journals attending to every conceivable interest throughout its every conceivable division and ramification, and in this busy world all the hands must be busy looking after their own interests. Then who can look after the interests of the Negro- American, and where is the authoritative journal to be the mouthpiece, so badly needed, for the whole race, a National Review untrammeled by sectarian bias, or a fawning, mercenary policy to keep up its existence? The race needs a National Review, devoted to its interests, for its own good. A taste for self-praise should be encouraged, but it can only be through praiseworthy merit ; and a taste for our own literature ought to be fostered, but it should only be when that literature is of a praiseworthy and wholesome character. "Let another praise thee and not thine own lips." says Holy Writ. When our people see that their National Review keeps good company; when they see that the best papers of the country make excerpts and quotations from it ; when they see that emanations from the pens of their own race are copied from their own colored review, and placed alongside of the productions of the greatest scholars of the age, they will not then be ashamed of a good colored newspaper, as many now are, but a pride of race will be strengthened, and they will find themselves extolling the capabilities of this one or that one and illustrating with quotations, selections, and the like. These, gentlemen of the Conference, are only a few of the reasons for the necessity of a National Review, devoted to the interests of the Negro-American ; but I am so sure that many others, and each one more powerful, will present themselves to you, that I am inspired with the hope that this Conference will enter into ways and means for raising a sufficient capital to insure its publication.




By William Still

According to the programme, I am to present for the consideration of this Conference some thoughts upon the "Opportunities and capabilities of educated Negroes."

Long before the advent of emancipation, and ever since, the attitude of our people in this country has absorbed no small share of my study. I have looked upon their condition with intense interest, feeling to be fully identified with them, however regarded. However, in the discussion of the subject, I take it for granted that I shall best meet the required demands by confining myself chiefly to the present momentous problem involving the Negro's status since emancipation.



To say that the dawn of freedom fifteen years ago found him other than very poor, without land, without education, without homes, without protection, universally prescribed, and wholly dependent, would be to deny facts with which all are familiar.

Although without a penny in his pocket, the gnawings of hunger soon admonish him that he must have something wherewith to satisfy this demand of nature. He is without a roof over his head. In this condition he is not safe either in sunshine or storm. Those who procured his freedom, save the army, are in distant parts of the country, far from being accessible to his immediate pressing appeals. But not so with those whom he had so recently been compelled to serve. They are all around him. In needing a shelter, or employment, or a piece of land to till or to purchase, or a store where to buy his provisions, clothing, medicine, or what not ; a physician to attend him when sick, a lawyer to defend him when in trouble, a scribbler to write him a receipt or an agreement, or a conveyancer to draw him up a deed, the only sources to apply to in ninety nine cases out of a hundred were those from under whose yoke he had been delivered.

Viewed in this light, what possible reason was there for supposing that millions of people thus situated would have other than severe and sore trials to encounter for at least a score of years before he could reap largely the fruits of freedom. Common sense alone would abundantly prove that without education, however industrious, he would be but poorly qualified to protect and economize his had earnings. And without being thus prepared to protect himself, how is he to get property? How is he to become a thrifty farmer or planter? How is he to get a footing as a storekeeper or tradesman? How is he to advance and become a skilled mechanic, an able attorney, a good physician, or a man capable of properly divining the word of truth in espousing the teachings of the Bible?

So long as the masses are found in this uneducated attitude the day is not yet when their peculiar troubles will cease. The fact that there was a universal hungering and thirsting for education among the freedmen when freedom had come, and at the same time a goodly number of noble- hearted, liberty loving men and women in the North who were ready and willing to brave the perils of the South to help satisfy this thirst and hunger, is abundant cause for trusting that the race will in due time be uplifted.

Surely there never was a people more needy and deserving of education. And it hardly can be too much to add that this generation will find it difficult, in surveying the various fields of Christian missions and philanthropic works, to find any laborers who have more nearly emulated the example of Him who said, "For I was hungered and ye gave me meat ; I was thirsty and ye gave me drink," [ & c.,] than some of the teachers among the freedmen in the South, as I shall endeavor more fully to indicate in another part of this paper.

This silent, potent force, this labor of love to God and good will to man has kept in a great measure the heads of the freedmen above the waves and billows.

In earlier dark days of his struggles, seeing his unprotected and wretched condition, the Government instituted the Freedmen's Bureau with a view of meeting his immediate pressing wants in various ways. Through this agency a great deal was accomplished for a short time, but through the politicians and bad management its usefulness was soon brought to naught.



At this grave juncture not a few adherents to the doctrine of emancipation felt well satisfied that if the ballot could only be given to the freedman, he would be well able to take care of himself against all odds. Accordingly the fifteenth amendment was passed, and the ballot came.

This boon was regarded as the top stone to the fabric, and a complete solving of the Negro problem.

He is henceforth expected naturally to vote right in a body for the party who conferred this boon upon him, notwithstanding his want of knowledge and his peculiar surroundings.

In the midst of this unsettled attitude, in order to encourage his aspirations and incite in him habits of economy, with a view of enabling him to buy property and to begin the world more independently, the Freedmen's Savings and Trust Company was organized. Doubtless this enterprise had its origin in the minds of men with the best intentions. And at first some men widely known for their worth and devotion to the cause of freedom were among its patrons and managers. But soon afterward unscrupulous men, under fair and insidious professions, by scheming, effected a radical change in the charter, and thus got the control out of the original hands into their own, when they had matters much as they desired them. How very sadly the freedmen had to pay for this operation is too well known.

However, in this bold undertaking the most signal fact verified was to the effect that even under very great poverty and ignorance more than 70,000 freedmen could be found ready and willing, on simple faith, to intrust their hard earnings to the amount of some $57,000,000 to the custody of this concern, under the delusion that the Government was fully obligated for every dollar of its liabilities, when, in fact, the Government was not liable for a single dollar.

In recalling the fiery trials and great hardships which the freedmen have had to undergo from without and within, my sole motive is only to intensify the fact which has unwaveringly been paramount in my mind, namely : under any circumstances, even the most favorable that could be expected, there are great suffering and very hard work for the Negro to undergo, in whatever light his condition may be regarded. But under no circumstances is his elevation to be accomplished and his rights respected, except through the medium of education.

And now I will endeavor to show how the Negro's opportunities and capacities may be made available in remedying his own ills, and in bringing deliverance, not only to himself, but in largely adding his quota toward helping to bring about peace, order and prosperity to the entire South :

1. He is about the only laborer in the South; he has been fully inured to hardships all his life ; he need apprehend no greater danger of having to compete with any other class of laborers. In a sense, therefore, he is in an attitude, with the aid of some book knowledge, to understand the value of his labor—capital. With education, when he works he will know how much he earns. Many ignorant laborers cannot tell. When he spends he will know how much he spends; an ignorant man cannot keep his account. When he buys a piece of land or undertakes to build, he will first sit down and count the cost, to see if he is able to finish; or whether some one is going to palm off upon him a bogus deed or a fraudulent agreement. When he works on shares, or deals at stores on credit until the crop is harvested, he will know how to keep his store book, and the importance of having his agreement and receipts, &c., carefully witnessed and safely preserved against the time of settlement. In thousands of instances an ignorant man is imposed upon simply because he can be imposed upon by impunity, by men who would not fancy being caught acting thus toward an intelligent one. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred this rule would be likely to hold good.



An intelligent man would not feel bound to work under or rent under a man whom he would have every reason to believe would cheat him when the settling day arrived. On the contrary, he would not only shun such an employer himself, but he would advise his friends to do likewise.

This management, although silent, would be very potent in effecting a remedy. The better class of Southerners would have no fault to find with this course, and the high-handed and outrageous element would have but little sympathy from any source, and very hard work to manage their operations.

2. With some book knowledge, a man in finding himself badly located could readily perceive how a change might better his condition. Through the aid of his geography, maps, books and papers, and his ability to hold correspondence with other localities, the way of getting out of his present thraldom would not be far to seek.

Every citizen, white or black, is free to exercise this privilege in this respect, no one will deny. If one place does not suit him he can go to another of his own choosing.

Here I am reminded that emigration is exciting a good deal of attention at the present day.

Never were men more in need of intelligence, in order that they might judge wisely concerning the present exciting crisis. If not wide awake, they are likely to jump out of the frying-pan into the fire.

But if he can read he may study and learn what practical emigration has done for millions on this continent. The great Western States, for instance; afford an opportunity for a good illustration. Emigration certainly has been the making of all the Western States, if not of this entire country. It was never conducted, however, under any en masse system, but generally on individual account or under the auspices of voluntary small companies.

While the great majority of these emigrants at first went poor they carried with them a thorough knowledge of husbandry, mechanism, store- keeping, trading and all kinds of industrial labor; besides very many had been inured to hardships, and were quite ready and willing to rough it in the woods, in log-cabins—to begin labor by cutting down and clearing up the forest under great difficulties. Among those thus emigrating were skilled laborers—men who could make axes, plows, cultivators and implements of husbandry of every description—men who could not only do the most ordinary manual labor, but could build great bridges, railroads, steamboats; who had a knowledge of printing; could publish papers and books, could teach schools of learning from the lower rudiments up to the higher mathematics—men who could construct factories, build foundries, organize banking institutions, &c. Besides in adjacent parts of the country capitalists were ready, whenever signs indicated successful investments, to furnish all necessary means if on no other ground than simply personal interest.

Now, I am compelled to say, with deep regret, that our poor people are not prepared to emigrate under any such encouraging aspects. They have been too long shut out from the light of knowledge to be ready for any en masse emigration movement. In going, with very few exceptions, they could only hope to find employment as hewers of wood and drawers of water, in fields where laborers might be sufficiently numerous to meet all demands either in rural districts or in the towns. Thus with apparently continued hard struggles, only to combat, the road to success would still be dark and discouraging.

The Great Teacher said on one occasion :

"For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that



behold him begin to mock him, saying, this man began to build and was not able to finish."

How applicable this lesson is to every--day life, and if heeded how often men would be prevented from butting their heads against a stone. With the "army of ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand," the "sitting down and counting the cost" might be of the greatest consequence.

A hint to the wise is sufficient.

3. Equality in business. This is a question that should interest every intelligent colored man.

More or less from a boy I have studied this question, and since emancipation I have weighed the situation of our people, uneducated and almost universally filling the ordinary lower callings as laborers, with intense interest. Scarcely have I ever met with an intelligent colored man from the South but that I am sure to ply him with a number of questions after this order: "How are the freedmen getting on? Are they getting education and into more comfortable houses? Are some getting into business; if so, what? Is the marriage relation being more firmly cemented?" Generally the answers have indicated much improvement, in some instances very marked, notwithstanding the outrages in some neighborhoods. In order that I may the more forcibly bring out the idea that I wish to convey, I will here quote an extract from an old letter written by the poetess and lecturer, Mrs. Harper, directly from the old mansion of the late ex-President of the Confederacy, which reads thus :

"My Dear Friend: It is said that truth is stranger than fiction; and if ten years since some one had said that in less than ten years you will be in the lecture field; you will be a welcome guest under the roof of the President of the Confederacy, though not by special invitation from him; that you will see his brother's former slave a man of business and influence; that hundreds of colored men will congregate on the old baronial possessions: that a school will spring up there like a well in the desert dust; that this former slave will be a magistrate upon that plantation; that labor will be organized upon a new basis; and that under the sole auspices of the moulding hands of this man and his sons will be developed a business whose transactions will be numbered in hundreds of thousands of dollars, would you not have smiled incredulously? And I have lived to see the day when the plantation has passed into new hands, and these hands once wore the fetters of slavery. Mr. Montgomery, the present proprietor by contract of between five and six thousand acres of land, has one of the most interesting families that I have ever seen in the South. They are building up a future which, if exceptional now, I hope will become more general hereafter. Every hand of his family is adding its quota to the success of this experiment of a colored man both trading and farming on an extensive scale. Last year his wife took on her hands about 130 acres of land, and with her force she raised about 107 bales of cotton. One daughter, an intelligent young lady is postmistress, and I believe assistant book-keeper. One son attends to the planting interest, and another daughter attends to one of the stores. The business of this firm of Montgomery & Sons has amounted, I understand, to between three and four hundred thousand dollars a year."

This was very refreshing news to me when it was first received ; so much so that I put it into the hands of Col. J . W. Forney, and he published it in the press with a fitting editorial. One more incident worthy of note, namely: for several seasons. I have been informed, this enterprising firm has competed with the leading cotton-planters of the South, has at the annual fairs held at St. Louis, and two seasons at least has carried off the premiums.



Here, too, are other notable cases, both male and female, who have, achieved wonders, considering their opportunities, which right be named, but I cannot take the time now to particularize them. However, it is with especial satisfaction that we can point so definitely to a family who have accomplished so much in so short a period of time. Indeed this is precisely the kind of power we want to see growing among us. True, it makes but little noise, but it is very potent in dealing deadly blows against prejudice and in favor of our common manhood.

I apprehend but few comparatively realize how greatly our cause would be strengthened by even a very moderate number of substantial business men in the various branches of productive industry—conducting farms, stores, trades, and engaged in literary pursuits that require brains. These matters should deeply concern us, especially those of us who are educating our sons and daughters. Only as we are showing signs of improvement and determination in these respects shall we be able to retain the sympathy and co-operation of our old friends and enlist the interest and agency of new ones. So long, or wherever we are not found advancing under freedom, and with the opportunity of education, we shall do little toward breaking down the color line or toward conquering the prejudices which now proscribe our sons and daughters,who are fitted by education and character to fill stations in life other than menial ones.

I am aware than I am now treading on tender ground, and would gain forego doing so if I could be just to my subject and my unfortunate race by shunning this unsavery truth, upon which I think we need have our minds stirred about as much as any other that I know of—of temporal nature at least; for I feel quite convinced when looking at the attitude of our people, and the work before them, that there is but one way out of the old ruts into the liberty and prosperity that we feel naturally and legally entitled to, namely, simply "redeeming the time," by intense earnestness, by rigid economy, by encouraging one another in every honorable and commendable undertaking, by acquainting ourselves with the lives and labors of good men and women who have labored successfully to bring about great reforms ; and have had overwhelming difficulties to overcome . Also by studying the lives of individuals who have had great poverty to begin with and no friends to aid them ; but with undaunted courage, perseverance, and a firm faith, have removed the mountain, and established themselves among the foremost men of their day.

Our country is full of characters of this description, both of native and foreign birth, and, I am glad to say, some among our people not excepted.

Knowledge is power," is one of the books we ought to study well, after acquainting ourselves with the Book of Proverbs. Also, we should not forget to make ourselves familiar with another work of great value, namely, a volume called " Pursuit of knowledge under difficulties."

The lives of self-made men are readily obtainable for a mere trifle, and contain generally very profitable and instructive reading, when well-selected. By reading such instructive works, and by ignoring all light and trashy literature of a yellow-cover grade, we could summon to our aid the well-digested thoughts of men of character and great success, which would doubtless inspire us greatly in struggling through our difficulties.

The truth is, good books of all kinds are so cheap and so common, on every vital subject, that no man who can read is excusable if he is not well-informed generally. Indeed, we must make hay while the sun shines.

For it must be admitted that the public attention is in a peculiar sense



turned toward us and in a measure, whether we understand it or not, we are held responsible to demonstrate by unmistakable signals that we are advancing morally, mentally, and financially.

Now, it will not do for us to cry, there is a lion in the way all the time, but we must move the lions out of the way ourselves occasionally.

Many of the hardships which daily besets us on every hand would soon vanish under intelligent business enterprises and energy.

In the days of slavery, when many believed and advocated the doctrine that the Negro had no brains or mental capacity for business, oratory, or science, our good old abolition friends wanted no better combatants torefute this fallacy than the fugitive slave, matchless orator, and able editor, Frederick Douglass, now the honored marshal of Washington. The giant intellect and powerful eloquence of Rev. Samuel R. Ward proved effective on one occasion in uelling a New York mob (black as night he was) when the police force seemed utterly powerless with that mob. It seemed almost providential to have suchmen as Henry Bibb, William Wells Brown, J. W. Loguen, and many others (who had all worn the yoke, and had only released themselves by escaping on the underground railroad) demonstrate by their rapidly-acquired intelligence and education that it took but a very few years for a fugitive to render himself capable of writing an interesting narrative, or filling an editorial chair, or of instructing and entertaining large audiences either in America or on the other side of the ocean.

The freedmen have only to seek to emulate the example of these men in order to make their mark in business, letters, art, or any of the advanced callings among educated men. Indeed, only as desert can be proved by the acquisition of knowledge and the exhibition of high moral character in examples of economy and a disposition to encourage industrial enterprises, conducted by men of our own ranks, will it be possible to make political progress in the face of the present public sentiment.

Being far behind in the race,our people must not deem it too great a requirement to be obliged to put forth double exertions to catch up. If they undertake farming, they must try not only tohave their lands well cultivated, but they must have their houses, barns, fences, stock, &c., all up to the times. Again, if we turn our attention to mechanism, we must have our eyes single to one paramount aim, namely: to let our work prove that there is no color line in mechanism or art. If we should choose to fill a sphere of a professional character, as physician or attorney, we must not imagine that our patients or clients are ignorant, and will be satisfied with mere pretension or ordinary attainment; and, if we fail of success, that we can be execused simplyby pleading prejudice. If we venture to open a shop or store, let us not forget that we mustnot only sell as cheap as anybody else, but we must sell equally as good goods, and at the same time be a little more accommodating to every body, without regard to race,coloror politics. If we would avail ourselves of credit, we must learn to practice by the rule—our word is our bond. By such a single eye to success, however unfair or over-exacting such demands might seem in the eyes of some, our advancement would be steady and sure, and the results in every way sufficiently gratifying to make up for whatever self denial and extra pains or labor required.

One fact all must agree upon, namely: Our condition is very lowly, and in many respects sad. And there are no signs discernible to my mind that we are likely to have our status improved very soon, either through politics or the liberal bestowal of land, money or the preferments of any positions by the Government. Hence, we have nowhere else to look but to self-reliance and to God.

4. True, we are not friendless. We are not without wise and faithful counselors and instructors. We are not without sympathizers who



pity us and wish us well, if nothing more. We are not without a Government that acknowledges us as citizens and equals before the law. We are not debarred from emigrating to the North if we cannot live in peace at the South. We can go to any foreign land if we cannot endure our lot in the land of our nativity. We are largely accessible to churches, and some very good schools have been provided for us. And now I wish briefly to consider our opportunity with regard to the educational work existing for our special benefit. This is an agreeable task, although it would be very hard to portray, or even feebly indicate, the labors and achievements of the noble-hearted and self-sacrificing men and women who have been diffusing education among the freedmen in various Southern States during the last decade.

Before me I have the annual report of the American Missionary Association for 1878, and find that the society have 37 schools, colleges and universities in the South, 7 of which are regularly chartered, and are located as follows:


Number of pupils, 332. The course of instruction embraces three years. During this period the pupils are made as proficient as possible in reading, penmanship, arithmetic, United States history, grammar, phsiology, moral science, natural philosophy, vocal training, Bible lessons; likewise instruction in agriculture, &c.. &c.. General S. C. Armstrong being principal.


In this institution, under the presidency of Rev. John G. Fee, the peculiarity of the color line is not known. Here the higher branches, embracing the classics, are taught, and its success has been highly gratifying.


This widely known and justly famed university is represented by an able faculty and the popular Jubilee Singers, and, without a doubt, is destined to accomplish a marvelous work for freedom, and to live long in history. Rev. E. M. Cravath is its president; number of pupils, 338. The instructions embraces mental and moral science, Greek, Latin, French, mathematics, music, &c.


Rev. E. A. Ware is president. English branches and the higher mathematics are here taught also. Number of pupils, 244.


Chartered in 1869. Rev. E. P. Lord, principal. Number of pupils, 272. English branches, with higher grades, are also taught in this institution.


There are 190 pupils in the various departments of this institution, with the regular higher branches taught, under the presidency of Rev. G. Stanly Pope.


Here a thorough corps of able professors and teachers is found, and the pupils number 287. President, Rev. W. S. Alexander.

My allusion to the work of the American Missionary Association must suffer single with these 7 institutions. Of course, this only simply indicates the great work that is being carried forward in this single direction. The remaining 29 schools in the South supported by this organization, although deserving the highest commendation, cannot be characterized here,



simply for want of time and room. Indeed, I regret having to treat in the same manner some fifty or more like institutions, under the auspices of Methodist. Presbyterian, Protestant Episcopal friends, &c., who have been quietly though earnestly pushing the cause of education effectively among the freedmen. Add to this list some seventeen theological schools, under the auspices of various denominations, namely : Congregational, Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist, and a faint idea, at least, maybe gathered respecting the opportunity of the Negro to-day over his opportunity fifteen years ago, or before freedom was proclaimed.

Material might here be found for a large volume of rare interest and great value, and I trust the day is not far distant when a colored man of ability will engage in the work of diligently gathering these rich materials, and will bring forth in a manner not only creditable to himself and race, but will also do equal credit to the scores of worthy and faithful teachers.

Doubtless the time will come when an enterprising historian will take advantage of the opportunity to honor the heroic and brave Christian men and women who have faithfully labored in this mission.

Of two other universities not to allude to would be to leave my task very incomplete. I wish now to speak of Wilberforce University, at Xenia, O., and Lincoln University, Oxford, Chester county, Pa. Wilberforce is under the general conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and chiefly since its organization has been presided over by the senior Bishop of that denomination, Rev. D. A . Payne, D. D., in the success of which his whole being has been deeply interested, and to make this institution an honor and a powerful agency to the Negro of this country, especially that it might appear that a university could be conducted under the supervision of colored professors, and well-taught students graduated there, who need not be ashamed of their Alma Mater ; and the success has been highly gratifying in this respect. The classics are taught also algebra, arithmetic, geometry, grammar, geography, composition, music, &c. While it must be admitted that it has had many head winds to encounter, it has steadily been growing in interest and popularity, and is wielding a commendable influence. Professor B. F. Lee, one of its graduates, has been president ever since the resignation of Bishop Payne.

Lastly, I must conclude my notice of the opportunity offered our people, by various fountains of learning, sustained by philanthropic benevolence, by a brief description of that unrivaled school, Lincoln University. Having been more or less acquainted with its workings for the last twenty years, I can speak unhesitatingly. My oldest son graduated there ; also two of my nephews graduated in the collegiate course and likewise in the theological. I have been personally acquainted with most, if not all, of the professors, and have had great opportunity of becoming informed about them indirectly through many of the students and graduates, and all I need say, I have the very highest esteem for Lincoln University.

This following extract of a letter from the president, Rev. J. N. Rendall, D. D., received only a few days before I left Philadelphia, will indicate precisely what ideas are held by the president and faculty with regard to educating colored students, and to my mind the argument is unanswerable :

"Our desire and aim is to give to the colored youth who come to us every advantage in education which we ourselves possess. Whatever is good for our minds is good for them. If it quickens, if it sharpens, if it refines, if it enlarges the view, they need these benefits, and have an immediate use for them. It is a great mistake to imagine that the leaders in thought and in society among the colored people only need to know a little of arithmetic and of the other common branches. These are essential, but they are not all. Society is to be organized ; churches are to be



established and administered ; the principles of domestic economy are to be applied, and industry encouraged. It will not answer to make the foundations of these widest Interests narrow. These precious interests must be intrusted to the hands of men who have the advantage of a liberal culture in the world's experience, as it is given in history and in scientific discovery. Above all, they ought to be imbued with the principles of Christian morality.

"There is no special morality or gospel for colored men. They must have what the world has gained by its long experience, add what God has given in his bounty. This effort is not premature, so far as it respects the ability of the colored youth to profit by it. We have found our students able to learn all that we can teach. There is the same diversity of talent among them as in others. We say this from an experience with both classes.

Now, I ask, in conclusion, that you will compare the opportunities which I have presented with those of fifteen or twenty years ago, and see if there is no room for thankfulness and encouragement ; see if there has not been very decided improvement, and see if there is not good reason for every one of us to renew our efforts to advance education and true and undefiled religion ; to promote more economy, more union, more regard for morality, more willingness to seek out and extend a helping hand to the "million" who are of the most lowly and degraded. In this wide field, oh, what a strong and clear voice comes to us all, heed it not as we may : "He that reapeth receiveth the wages !" "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand !" "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to them that endure to the end !"

I fear, my friends, that we have hardly waked up to behold what opportunities and capabilities there are all around us, by which we might elevate our manhood, and forever settle the question of our equality before all mankind.



Your committee, to whom was referred the educational and laboring interests of the colored people of these United States, would respectfully submit the following :

The wisest of men says : "Where no counsel is, the men fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." Another great man has fittingly said: "If we do not educate, we must perish by our own prosperity." Yet another of earth's most gifted sons hath eloquently declared: "If you will, you can rise. No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent."

"Do not be lulled to sleep by the flatteries which you hear, as if your participation in the national sovereignty made you equal to the noblest of your race. You have many and great deficiencies to be remedied, and the remedy lies, not in the ballot-box, not in the exercise of your political powers, but in the faithful education of yourselves and your children."

The outcome of having to depend upon others to keep your business accounts is thus faithfully depicted by the next laconic illustration of the yearly settlement between the Mississippi Valley planters and the ignorant colored laborers. Says the planter:

One is a one, two is a two,

So all for me and none for you.




In view of the facts and quotations above mentioned, we, the members of the National Conference of Colored Men in Nashville assembled, May 6, 1879, most respectfully, but earnestly, recommend to our brethren all over these United States that as American citizens and as progressive men and women, they do take for their motto :

Ignorance is the curse of God.

Knowledge is the wing on which

We fly to heaven.

We further urge them to use their influence and suffrage at all times in the interest of public schools. We also urge upon them the great importance of giving their children a liberal education, and of using their influence to induce their neighbors likewise to give their children good educations. We also ask all our fellow citizens, of whatever race or party, to join with us in developing such a healthy state of public sentiment that the operation of the school systems in many of the States may be so modified that the public schools of said States may become more general in numbers and effective in operation. We would also recommend to the various State Legislatures the adoption of compulsory systems of public education.

Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed upon conference from each State to memorialize their respective Legislatures relative to this all-important question, and ask that a more efficient system of this great bulwark of our freedom, happiness, rights and liberties be established.

It is the sense of this Conference that separate schools are highly detrimental to the interests of both races, and that such schools foster race prejudice, but where they do exist colored teachers should be employed in colored schools in preference to white teachers.

This National Conference memorializes Congress to place in the hands of a board of regents of colored men the sum of $300,000, the amount of unclaimed bounty of the colored soldiers and sailors of the Federal army during the rebellion, the same to be used in establishing and maintaining an Industrial and Technical School for colored youth in the unoccupied buildings at Harper's Ferry, or at some other easily accessible point.

The National Conference respectfully request the superintendent of the census to so interest his subordinates that the amount of wealth, the manufactures and commerce directly controlled by our people, be reported separately as well as consolidated in the aggregates reported, so that any future action affecting the social condition of our people may be determined by reliable statistical information, such as the annexed table of statistics, furnished by J. D. Kennedy, of Louisiana.


Commodity. | Quantity. | Total value. | Proportion produced by colored labor.

Cotton bales | 4,811,265 | $220,446,288 | 2/3 equals $137,778,930

Sugar,hhds., estim'd | {1,127,753

Molasses, gals., do | 14,237,280} | 13,000,000 | 13,000,000

Rice, tierces, do | 300,000 | 3,000,000 | 3,000,000

Tobacco, hhds | 560,000,000 | 39,200, 00 | 3-5 equals 23,520,000


No estimate for grain, stock, cattle, vegetables.

Menial services of women and children, 1,000,000@$100per an., $100,000,000

Mechanical work, manufacturing 100,000@ 500 do. 50,000,000

Transportation, Steamboats, drays, etc. 20,000@ 400 do. 8,000,000





That the first want of the colored laborer, whether he shall remain at the South, or shall emigrate to the West, is to become a land-holder to his own home.

That, in view of the opportunity to obtain land by homestead from the United States, or purchased on easy terms from individuals in several of the Southern and Western States, the colored farmer who year after year contents himself with hiring his labor, without an effort to obtain land, not only impedes his own material progress, but is a heavy weight upon the uplifting of his race.





We the colored people of the United States of America, in Conference assembled at Nashvile, Tennessee, this 6th day of May, 1879, do declare the first principle of a republican government to be equality of its citizens before the law. and the obligation of the Government to protect all classes of citizens by its law ; that we recognize with profound regret the existence of a race-distinction, having caste and prejudice as its principles, and directed toward the colored people of the country with such force of discrimination as to nullify the Constitution and render the law enacted thereunder inoperative ; that the civil, political and intellectual advancement of our race is thereby seriously impaired, and the life and property of our people are unjustly abused ; therefore,

Be it resolved, That we do hereby form ourselves into a national society, to be duly incorporated under the laws of the United States, and to be called the American Protective Society to Prevent Injustice to the Colored People.

Section 1. The objects of the society shall be : 1. To foster a national union. 2. To protect civil and political rights. 3. To facilitate educational and moral improvement. 4. To encourage the purchase of agricultural land, and the removal thereon from all States where colored people are unjustly treated. 5. To encourage agricultural and business capacity. 6. To improve the sanitary relations among the colored people.

Sec. 2. That this society be duly organized by a majority of the members of this conference enrolling themselves as members thereof, and that the said society be officered by the officers-elect of this and each successive Annual Conference, who shall hold their respective offices for one year, with power to add to their number one vice-president for each State in the Union ; who shall act as an executive committee for the whole, with power to issue certificates of authority to the V ice-President for each State to organize and establish a branch society, under the same name and for the same objects, in any State of the Union-- there being a State executive committee of one from each congressional district ; and who shall have power to fill all vacancies for unexpired terms caused by death, resignation, removal from their State, or inactive service.

Sec. 3. That in Conference assembled the officers present of the executive committee shall form a quorum for any act in committee.

Sec. 4. The President of this society and the Vice-President of any State, in the absence of the executive committee, shall have power to



issue a certificate for the formation of any branch society, to be formed under the seal of this society.

Sec. 5. That each branch society shall be organized under seal and to the order of the Vice-President of the State wherein formed, for the objects herein named, and governed according to the established laws of this society and the customary usage of their State as to their respective officers, membership, and by-laws, and who shall, in the absence of a national incorporation, incorporate under the laws of their respective States.

Sec. 6. That the society solicit the co-operation and assistance of capitalists, moneyed men. and other benevolent societies to assist in promoting healthy settlements of colored people in the West upon agricultural lands ; that each branch society shall be empowered to receive gifts or bequests from any person or persons who may die within the district where such branch society may be located, and to collect in a legitimate way from any source whatsoever any money or aid for the advancement of the society and objects herein named, and, to report the same to the State vice-president semi-annually.

Sec. 7. That the application of all funds thus collected shall be applied, by the State whereof it shall have been collected, for the objects herein named, subject to the approval of the vice-president of the State thereof, and subject also to an assessment of 10 per cent, upon all moneys received by each branch society, to be paid into the treasury of the American Society, and distributed by them, subject to the approval of the executive committee thereof.

Sec. 8. Any person shall be eligible to membership of this society who shall be twenty-one years of age, and who shall favor and approve the objects of the said society ; and that all other existing societies having like purposes, and accepting the laws of this society, may be received in a body as branch societies thereof.

Sec. 9. That each branch society shall have the privilege of sending one delegate to the Annual Conference for fifty members. and one delegate for every additional one hundred members thereof

Sec. 10. That the executive committee of this society shall have the power to nominate and invite to every Annual Conference as many members thereof as will fairly and proportionately represent each State in the Union.

Sec. 11. This society shall meet annually in convention, at such time and place as the executive committee may select, and those present at such meeting shall constitute a quorum -- public notice of the same. to be given in at least one newspaper of each State.

Sec. 12. The vice-president of each State shall place a concise, written statement of the workings of each society formed in his State in the hands of the president at least two weeks before the annual meeting, which statement must show place and time of meeting, the number of members. the number of officers, the net amount of money received and paid out, and the purpose for which it was paid out, and what, if any, established society has amalgamated therewith.

Sec. 13. The president shall open each Annual Convention of the society with an address, in which he shall communicate the most noteworthy events in each State which may have any bearing on the objects of this society, to make a recapitulation of the reports received by him of branch societies in every State, and to advise such measures as in his judgment should receive the attention of the convention immediately after which the convention shall nominate and elect its officers for the ensuing year. The same person shall not be elected president two years in succession.




1. The word State, wherever used hi this constitution, shall be deemed to be equivalent to State, Territory , and the District of Columbia.

2. Dues.—Each member shall pay $1 to the treasury as annual dues, and no person shall be qualified to exercise any privilege of membership who is in default. Such dues shall be payable and the payment thereof enforced as may be provided by the by-laws. Members shall be entitled to receive all publications of the society free of charge.

3. Amendments.—This constitution may be altered or amended by a vote of three-fourths of the members present at any Annual Conference; but no such change shall be made at any Annual Conference at which less than thirty members are present.

4. Reference.—Any disagreement or controversy which may arise between any branch societies, or between any branch society and the National Society, shall be referred to and fully determined and settled by the executive committee of the National Society.

The treasurer of the National Society and the treasurer of each branch society must keep all moneys received by them on deposit in some bank or safe trust company, and furnish a bond to be approved by the respective societies as security for the same, and all amounts paid out must be approved by the respective societies :


This is to certify that the National Conference of colored men convened at Nashville, Tenn., May 6, 1879, organized an American Protection Society.

The bearer ______________________________________________

was duly appointed vice-president according to the provision of the constitution adopted by said society, and is hereby invested with full power and authority to carry out the intention of said society.

_________, President.

_________ , Secretary.

Your committee further recommend that the president appoint the following gentlemen vice-presidents of their respective States, in conformity with the said constitution : Alabama, J. T. Rapier ; Arkansas, Geo. M. Perkins; Georgia, W. P. Pledger; District of Columbia, J. H. S. Parker ; Indiana, Robert Nicholas ; Illinois, John J. Bird ; Minnesota, S.E. Hardy; Kansas, T. W. Henderson; Kentucky, Rev. Allen Allansworth ; Louisiana, James D. Kennedy; Missouri, Rev. John H. Johnson ; Pennsylvania, Wm. Still ; Mississippi, Thomas Richardson ; Ohio, Robt. Harlan ; Oregon, Rev. Daniel Jones ; South Carolina, Hon. J. H. Rainey ; Texas, Richard Allen ; Virginia, Robt. A. Perkins; Tennessee, J. C. Napier.

All of which we respectfully submit :

J .D. Lewis, Pennsylvania; W. H. McAlpin, Alabama; J. P. Jones, Arkansas ; Rev. G. W. Levere, Tennessee ; J . H. Bufford, Mississippi ; J. F. C. Snoden, Kentucky; C. A. Burgos, Louisiana; W. R. Lawton, Missouri ; H. G. Newsom , Nebraska ; Hon. J. H. Rainey, South Carolina ; S.E. Hardy, Minnesota; Rev. W. H. Anderson, Indiana; T. W. Henderson, Kansas ; J. H. Delamotte, Georgia ; J. H. S. Parker, District of Columbia ; E. H. Anderson, Texas; Rev. D. Jones, Oregon ; F. L. Barnett, Illinois ; Robt. Harlan, Ohio.

The following, on nomination of their delegations, were selected as the State executive committee of the American Protective Society, to perfect the organization in their respective districts :

Indiana—Robert Nicholas, F. D. Morton, Simon Daniels, Mr. Knox , C.



C. Braboy. J . H. Walker, J. W. Johnson, J. W. James, G. McFarland, G. H. Clay, W. H. Anderson, Bennett Stewart, S. B . Archie.

Georgia—E. R. Belcher, R.R. Wright, Elbert Head, Horace King, C. C. Wimbush , J. W. Brooks. S. C. Upshaw, J. H. Delamotta, W. A. Pledger.

Virginia—P. J. Carter, R.G.L. Paige, R. A .Perkins, J. G. Baugh, M.R. De Mortie. W. P. Ryder.

Kansas—T. W. Henderson, W. B. Townsend, J. M. Brown.

Alabama—1. Rev. P. C, Murphy, Mobile. 2. H. V. Cashin. 3. Perry Mathews. 4. G. S. W. Lewis, 5. G. W. Braxdall. 6._____. 7._____. 8. Rev. W. H. Ashe.

Missouri—J . W. Wilson, W. R. Lawton, Jas. M. Turner, Davis North. J. W. Hughes, Andrew Hubbard, Moses Dickson, J. J. Bruce, James Matlocler, Burley Jones, C. R. Coleman, John Lang, G. W, Dupee.




By Rev. B. T. Tanner.

Christianity is the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ. American Christianity is that phase of it found in America, meaning by America the United States; for it is a significant fact that this heterogeneous nation has audaciously possessed itself of the continental appellation. Before, however, we address ourselves directly to the subject presented, it is in place to recognize the fact that American Christianity in many of its phases is largely a thing of America, therefore measureably distinct from European Christianity, and measurably distinct from the Christianity of Asia or of Africa, in so far forth as the Divine faith may be said to have taken foothold upon either of these two great divisions of the earth. A continent eventually gives individuality to the religions faith of the people who eat its bread and drink its waters and regulate their lives in accordance with its political and social institutions. Therefore is it perfectly legitimate to speak of a continental Christianity; or, as in the case in hand, of American Christianity as contradistinguished from the Christianity of the other continents, perfectly legitimate to inquire as to its theory and practice. The question, therefore, in place to ask is: What has been the phase of individuality given the American theory of Christianity by the agencies, physical. political and social, recognized above; and to what extent have they affected its practice?

The theory of American Christianity, what is it?

At this moment we deem it in place to say that the theory of Christianity in general is one thing, the theory of the multiplied forms of ecclesiasticism, or what might be called churchianity, is quite another. Christianity is of God, ecclesiasticism is of men; this of earth, that of heaven. Christianity draws on our faith; ecclesiasticism on our judgment; this suffers change, that endures forever.

And yet nothing is more common than to hear men speaking of them as one and the same. We are quite ready to confess that they should be one and the same, at least mankind thinks so; quite ready to confess that the followers of each of the various systems claim that they are. But in view of the fact that these systems vary greatly from each other, it is very certain that each of them cannot be the exact counterpart of Christianity.



unless we, credit it with chameleon-like properties. Nothing can be truer than the axiom: If the Roman theory of ecclesiasticism be Christianity, then the Greek theory and the Protestant theory cannot be accepted as Christianity, but only as approaches to it. And so of each and all the systems which are equally the glory and shame of Christendom. If one of these systems be exactly true, the others, to the extent that they differ, are exactly false. But we comfort ourselves with the fact, as we have said, ecclesiasticism—Roman, Greek or Protestant—is one theory ; Christianity is another; and so of their respective theories. That we may the more readily comprehend the theory of Christianity let us for a moment look at those forms of ecclesiasticism which govern Christendom, for it should be remembered that the agencies heretofore recognized are even more prolific in producing the one than in giving individuality to the other.

As we have intimated, Christendom may be said to have three leading ecclesiastical theories.

The first of them is, possibly , the Roman theory. We say possibly, for we prefer not to touch the question of priority as respectively urged by the Latins of the West and the Greeks of the East. But it could not be expected that we should present here the hundred and one shades of belief which go to make up this theory, a theory which claims to be the exact and only counterpart of Christianity. It is sufficient to say that it is roundly autocratic; that it finds the Word of God, not only in the written word, as received by the ancient Christians and the more ancient Jews, but supplemented by the apocryphal books, lifted by the Tridentine council to the level of the canonical. These, with the traditions of the early Church, and the decisions of the councils as held from time to time, constitute the sources of its authority. That, however, which destinguishes this theory of Roman ecclesiasticism from the ecclesiasticisms of the world is the recognition of the Bishop of Rome as Christ's vicegerent, and consequently clothed with the largest possible plenipotentiary powers.

Quite similar to the theory of the Latins is the theory of the Greeks ; so similar indeed, that to characterize it, it is only necessary to show wherein it differs from the Roman or the Latin. All that Rome accepts in the shape of scriptures and traditions, rites and ceremonies, with the Apocrypha and slight differences in the service, Constantinople—the recognized head of Greek ecclesiasticism accepts, rejecting only the claims of the Pope to universal primacy. This they stoutly deny, and when called upon to submit, curiously enough make answer in the words of the great Gregory, (himself one of the popes,) that the title of "universal bishop, by whomsoever assumed, is profane, anti-Christian and infernal."

The third and last of the ecclesiastical theories is Protestantism.

Whatever else Protestantism may or may not be, it certainly is not what the Pontiff, the venerable Leo XIII declares it to be. Says he, in his famous Eucyclical of 18th December, 1878: " You, reverend brethren, very well know that the object of the war which ever since the sixteenth century has been waged by the innovators against the Catholic faith, and which has every day increased in intensity down to the present time, has been that, by the setting aside of all revelation and the subversion of every kind of supernatural order, an entrance might be cleared for the discoveries, or rather, the delirious imaginations of mere reason."

With due deference to the saintly character of the Pontiff, it is only necessary to say that, as a Roman is justly supposed to know more of the Roman theory of ecclesiasticism than any one else, and the Greek of the Greek theory, even so ought Protestants to be credited with a more exact knowledge of the theory they accept than any one else. Protestantism, as its name indicates, is indeed a protest against what its early founders



regarded as abuses in the two theories named above. But while it is thus largely negative, there is a still larger vein of the positive in it, in that it exalts the written word of God to a supremacy never before given. The Protestant theory of ecclesiasticism may be defined as the theory that accepts the Bible as the one rule, and the only authoritative rule for life and practice. What it commands is to be done ; what it forbids is to be let alone.

We have given here, briefly, the theories of the three leading ecclesiastical organizations of the world—theories, as we have said, largely distinct from the theory of Christianity. And yet, according to the world's usus loquendi, they are often regarded as one and the same, while there is the very gravest necessity for recognizing the distinction. Failing therein, white men in Europe have voted, in so far as they were able, both out of existence. Failing therein, both white men and black men in America, while they have not gone to the mad length of those in Europe, have stumbled as upon a rock. Referring to this sad subject as it relates to white men, the Independent, ( N. Y.,) has said:

"Among all the earnest-minded young men who are at this moment leading in thought and action in America, we venture to say that four- fifths are skeptical of the great historic facts of Christianity. What is taught as Christian doctrine by the churches claims none of their consideration, and there is among them a general distrust of the clergy as a class and an utter disgust with the very aspect of modern Christianity and of church worship."

Referring to this subject as it relates to black men. Bishop Payne writes:

"Rev. B . T. Tanner:

"Dear Doctor: In answer to your query as to my personal knowledge of the effect of American caste upon the most thoughtful of our race, time will only allow me to mention two examples: Mr. R. F., one of the most gifted young men of the city of P., born and reared in it—born and reared in the bosom of the P. E . Church, had prepared himself for confirmation. But within a week or ten days of the Sabbath when that rite was to be performed by Bishop Onderdonk, he (the Bishop) made a speech in favor of African colonization, in which lie uttered sentiments so adverse to the interests of the colored American that Mr. R. F. said : 'No such bishop will I allow to put his hands on my head.' Then he gradually drifted into such bitterness against the "church " that he subsequently said to me, 'I will just as soon go to a brothel to be taught morality as to go to any one of your churches.'

"Another member of the same family, who, like her gifted brother, was born and reared in the bosom of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and lived in it till she was the mother of a half dozen children, in reply to my exhortations for self-consecration to Christ, said to me: 'Show me the black man's God, and I will serve him ; he is not the black man' s God, he is the white man's God.'

"This lady belonged, like her brother, not to the ignorant classes of colored people, but to the highly intelligent and wealthy class. She was independent in her circumstances; kept her servants and a white governess in her homestead.


D. A . PAYNE."

In what consists the mistake of these chivalrous souls? Verily it is that they failed to recognize the fact that churchianity is a thing as distinct from Christianity as the servant is from the master, as the dry tree is from the tree that is green, as the light of the moon is from the light of the sun, as man is from God.

We have seen the theories of the church, let us see what is the theory of Christianity, especially the theory of American Christianity.



And here we dare not touch upon any disputed dogmas; for the moment dispute occurs, necessity for belief ceases, and the matter passes over from the realm of Christianity to the realm of ecclesiasticism. In the Christian realm men see eye to eye : "Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion."

What is the theory of Christianity, that theory in regard to which men, indeed, see eye to eye, and because they do, gives us the plain guarantee of its divinity? Brief, indeed, is this divine theory; so brief that it may be given in less than a dozen words. It is with the sequence which logically follows—God your Father, Christ your Savior, Man your Brother. More than this is ecclesiasticism ; nothing less than this is Christianity. Herein is that theory about which there is not, as there must not be, any contradiction. With it upon their lips, the Latins and the Greeks, with upturned eyes, repeat together the glorious "Pater Noster; " with it upon their lips both Greek and Latin cry out: "All hail, Luther! All hail, Calvin !"

How eminently worthy is such a theory as this to be called Christian, after the glorious Christ. Until the Christ revealed it the world was all astray. None could tell the relation man bore to the God whom even the heathen recognized; none could tell the relation man bore to his neighbor. Nor was any found to point unerringly to a Saviour sufficiently potent to take away the sin of the world. But the Christ broke the silence of the ages, and symphonies of music were heard all around. The Christ dispelled the clouds and floods of light poured down from the upper realm. The problem was solved—the enigma made plain. God is Father, Jesus is Saviour, man is brother. In this consists the soul, body and divinity of the theory of Christianity in general, and of American Christianity in particular; for it is to be asserted without fear of contradiction, that in no portion of Christendom has louder and longer paeans of praise been sung to this revelation than in America. And so great has been the influence of the agencies recognized, we might say that God as Father, Christ as Saviour and man as brother are the very bulwarks of our American theory of religion. Upon these have been builded that spiritual temtle which to-day is the glory of the Republic.

Leaving this, therefore, we approach the subject of the Practice of American Christianity, and we could but wish its treatment afforded the same high pressure as did the treatment of its theory. But alas, alas, a defection, as it relates to the four millions of Africo-Americans in the land, greater than that the world ever before witnessed, with brazen eyes, is seen to stare truth in the face, and with a spirit akin to that of the Malachian age, asks: "Wherein have we despised Thy name? Wherein have we polluted Thee?"

The tameness with which we spoke of the nation's enthusiasm for that theory of Christianity which presents not only God to us as Father and Christ as Saviour, but man especially as brother, was doubtless observable; and yet abundant room was given us for exhibiting what the bohemians of to-day call " gush," but we did not. We failed to enter into particulars; failed to tell how the fathers engrafted it into the very Constitution itself ; aye, made it the corner-stone of the political structure they built; failed to tell how it was the inspiration of the days that tried men's souls; failed to tell how our poets have so attuned their harps to its music that it is the one key recognized by the world. Especially, did we fail to tell how the agencies of the continent, physical, political and social, ministered to it, as did the angels minister to him who was tempted in the wilderness. But in the practice of all this they have fallen infinitely lower than has man ever fallen from so high and glorious an ideal ; lower than did the Jews fall in the wilderness; lower than they fell in



the days of judges, and lower than they fell in the days of their last prophet. Circumcision has been neglected, even the circumcision of the heart. Human sacrifice has been practiced—the human sacrifice of slavery—while God, who cast jewels of truth to the nation, has been turned upon and not rent, (for divinity is insecable,) but impudently questioned.

The practice of American Christianity, what has it been in the past? What is it in the present? As we approach the subject, aptly may we quote Scripture, "How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the morning ! How art thou cast down to the ground, which didst weaken the nation !"

The practice of American Christianity, politically and ecclesiastically, has been, and morally is, such as to make the world hold up its hands in horror. Politically, how have they framed mischief by a law ecclesiastically? How have they gone with the multitude to do evil?

We speak of the practice of American Christianity politically. What was it? Let the slave enactments of the several State Legislatures show. In his work, "Sketch of the Laws Relating to Slavery," Judge Stroud lays down twelve propositions, in which is seen the burden of the outrage imposed upon the Christian bondmen of America by the Christian slaveholders of America. They are as follows :

Proposition 1. The master may determine the kind and degree, and time of labor to which the slave shall be subjected.

Proposition 2. The master may supply the slave with such food and clothing only, both as to quantity and quality, as he may think proper.

Proposition 3. The master may, at his discretion, inflict any punishment upon the person of his slave.

Proposition 4. All the power of the master over his slave may be exercised, not by himself only in person, but by any one whom he may delegate as his agent.

Proposition 5. Slaves have no legal right of property or things, real or personal ; but whatever they may acquire belongs in point of law to their masters.

Proposition 6. The slave, being a personal chattel, is at all times liable to be sold absolutely, or mortgaged or leased, at the will of his master.

Proposition 7. He may also be sold by process of law for the satisfaction of the debts of a living, or the debts and bequests of a deceased, master, at the suit of creditors or legatees.

Proposition 8. A slave cannot be a party before a judicial tribunal in any species of action against his master, no matter how atrocious may have been the injury received from him.

Proposition 9. Slaves cannot redeem themselves nor obtain a change of masters, though cruel treatment may have rendered such a change necessary for their personal safety.

Proposition 10. Slaves being objects of property, if usurped by third persons, their owners may bring suit and recover damages for the injury.

Proposition 11. Slaves can make no contracts.

Proposition 12. Slavery is hereditary and perpetual.

When it is remembered that Judge Stroud builds these propositions upon foundations of laws as they existed in the Southern States of antebellum days, the terribleness of this practice of American Christians will be made to appear. We could almost wish for time to refer to these enactments themselves, but owing to the ground that it would be necessary for us to travel over, it is impossible. Sufficient is it to say that in the certification of his dozen propositions, instead of painting too deeply the facts, as might rationally be supposed from the darkness of the picture presented, the Judge may justly be charged with a somewhat miserly use of his abundant materials.



As stated above, these propositions rest upon the action of the States in their semi-sovereign capacity. But let us glance at the action of the States as a whole in the capacity of their full nationality. What has been the practice of the nation? In the Constitution, section 2, article 4, we find these words :

"No person held to service or labor in one State, under the law thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."

According to the decision of the Supreme Court, this constitutional provision is only to be exercised by the Federal Government. In the exercise of that unhappy interrogative, Congress, in the year 1793 and in the year 1850, ordered the rendition of bondmen who had the pluck and fortune to escape from the slave States into the States nominally free. Of the inhumanity, to say nothing of the non-Christianity of the act of 1793, the men of this generation know nothing, save as they may glean from the provisions of the act itself, and from contemporaneous history. Not so, however, with the act of 1850 ; for of its unnatural, unchristian and ungodly provisions, the men of to-day know only too much. Concerning these provisions we will be personally silent, confessing to what Scripture says, without, of course, appropriating to ourself the wisdom : "Surely oppression maketh the wise man mad."—Eccles.. vii, 7.

The just Judge, however, whom we have had occasion already to mention, referring to the shameful fact that both these acts of Congress intrusted the awful power of rendition into slavery to the judgment of a single person, and utterly regardless, too, of his capacity, moral or otherwise, says :

"But the strong objection to the tribunal is that a question affecting human liberty, not for a day or year, but for a life time, is committed to one person, and that person chosen by the very men who would take away the inestimable gift of the Great Author of our being."

There will be found those ready to say that such proceedings as we have been describing were the work of men who can only be called Christians in the most far-fetched sense. We would only be too glad to recognize the strength of the point taken, were there any weight in it, but no feather was ever more imponderable. Is it not a fact that not a few of them stood high in the church, and prided themselves on being called reverend? And, lastly, is it not a fact that when these very enactments were not officially indorsed by the leading church organization of the country, they were passed over in sphinx-like silence, and the man of their number who dare lift up his voice against the great iniquity was pronounced an innovator, a disturber of the peace ; aye, in the majority of cases he was pronounced an infidel.

We could wish that some pen would do for the churches of the country what Judge Stroud has done for the State Legislatures and for Congress, put them on record. Not for purposes of revenge would we have this done, but rather as a warning to future generations. Wherefore does God, in his Word, record the defection of his people, individually and collectively, but that his people in all after time might be warned? Even so would we have recorded the defection of the American church and people from the high Christian ideal marked out in the Divine Word, and which they profess to embrace in all its height, depth, length and breadth, embrace even with enthusiasm. Especially would we have this done for the additional reason that they have never repented of their past recognition of and affiliation with slaveholders ; at least, they have never repented in the eyes of men, and are still largely, both in the North and in the South, in the practice of the slave-holding spirit.

But what have we to say directly upon the practice of American



Christianity, by professed Christians? In answer to the query, let us give the action of a few of the Ieading church bodies. We begin with the Friends or Quakers. These pride themselves and are prided upon in the record they present. When compared with the record of others, they possibly have occasion to congratulate themselves, as has undoubtedly the man with one eye occasion to ongratulate himself upon his seeing capacity,when he finds himself numbered with men having no eyes. And yet even in regard to the Quakers, we can hear the great Evangel of time say: "Nevertheless I have found somewhat against thee." What is it? Let history tell, and in its own words. We quote from "Stroud's History and Genealogy of the French Colony :"

"A short time after Francis Daniel Pastorious arrived in Pennsylvania he became a member of the Society of Friends. He married about that time Anna, the daughter of Dr. Klosterman, of Muhlheim. He was one of the first who had any misgivings about the institution of slavery, and in 1688 he wrote a memorial against slave-holding, which was submitted to the meeting of Germantown Friends, and by them approved of, and Pastorious was appointed to lay the memorial before the yearly meeting held in Philadelphia the same year. It was the first protest against Negro slavery submitted to a religious society in the world. Whittier, the poet, who had an opportunity of seeing the original manuscript, says it was a bold and direct appeal to the human heart. The memorial found but little favor with the yearly meeting, and it was said that Pastorious returned to his home at Germantown with sadness depicted on his countenance."

Westcott, the historian, says the first person who wrote a book showing the evils of slavery was Ralph Sandeford, a young merchant on Market street, Philadelphia. He had resided for some time in one of the West India islands, and had witnessed the cruelties inflicted upon his fellow-man, and in the year 1728 his book was published, showing the evils of the system, and for so doing he was disowned by the Society of Friends.

Upon this action of the Quakers we have only to say, when it is remembered that precedents are portentous either for weal or woe, it assumes gigantic proportions. A different action at such an early period, followed up with that audacity which Christian faith inspires, as reckless as the assertion may seem, might have saved the nation from centuries of guilt and suffering.

From the Quakers we turn to the Baptists, concerning whom it is only necessary to make a single historical quotation. Says Daniel Benedict in his "General History of the Baptist Denomination in America," 1813, vol. 2, page — :

"The Baptists are by no means uniform in their opinion of slavery. Many let it alone altogether ; some remonstrate against it in gentle terms ; others oppose it vehemently ; while far the greater part of them hold slaves, and justify themselves the best way they can."

From the Baptists we come to the Presbyterians. We mention the action of two members of the great Presbyterian family ; the one with possibly the cleanest record ; the other with the same regard to that, that is possibly the worst. In 1832 the united Presbyteries in the western synod passed the following resolution : "That the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ calls upon all Christians to renounce the evil (slavery) as soon as it can be done without worse consequences to society and the slaves themselves." Just as if either society or the slaves themselves could suffer worse consequences. But how they improved on this empty statement, let Mr. L. Boyd (Springfield, Ohio,) tell us:

"We were present," says he, "at the meeting of the general synod of the West, held at New Concord, Ohio, in 1841, and remained during all



their sessions, and had an inhabitant of another planet, or a person from a distant part of our own globe been there, and heard all their deliberations as I did, he could not have known, either from their prayers, sermons, or any discussions on the floor of the synod, that human slavery existed in the country."

Of the Old School Presbyterians it is sufficient to say that in the general assembly of 1845 they passed a resolution that "slaveholding as it exists in the United States is no bar to Christian fellowship."

Passing over the practice of Roman Catholics and Protestant Episcopalian Christians, whose icy conservatism is well known, we conclude with the Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Methodist Episcopal Church.

When we say that the churchmen of the Methodist Episcopal Church South believed in slavery and Negro subordination, and followed up that belief with a consistency absolutely admirable, in that seven hundred of them absolutely laid down their lives for it in the late war between the States, we can with mutual satisfaction say "good day."

Had the Christians of the Methodist Episcopal Church followed up their belief with the consistency of their Southern brethren, then indeed would we have had presented the most beautiful picture of the age. But, alas, with steps growing weaker day by day they pursued the tenor of their way, and thereby justify the remark of a historian : "The Methodists in some places set out on this principle : their ministers preached against slavery ; many set them at liberty ; but I believe at present (1813) their scruples are nearly laid aside."

Admire the certain sound of 1784 :

"Question 12. What shall we do with our friends that will buy and sell slaves? Answer. If they buy with no other design than to hold them as slaves, and have been previously warned, they shall be expelled and permitted to sell on no consideration."

But mark the change twelve years wrought : "And if any member of our society purchase a slave, the ensuing quarterly meeting shall determine on the number of years in which the slave so purchased shall work out the price of his freedom."

The sound of 1824 is completely changed, and slaveholding is recognized in the church of Wesley, who pronounced slavery "the sum of all villainies."

"Our preachers," says the general conference of 1824, " shall prudently enforce upon our members the necessity of teaching their slaves to read the word of God, and to allow them time to attend upon the public worship of God on our regular days of divine service."

But perfectly distressing to the ear is the sound sent out by the Methodist conference, annual and general, in the years that followed.

Take the following, for instance, as passed by the general conference of 1840, in the city of Baltimore. It was offered by the Rev. A. G. Ferr, of Georgia : "Resolved, That it is inexpedient and unjustifiable for any preacher to permit colored persons to give testimony against white persons in any State where they are denied that privilege by law.' "

The Ohio annual conference, after they indorsed the above, passed the following : "Resolved, That those brethren of the North who resist the abolition movements with firmness and moderation are the true friends of the church, the slaves of the South, and to the Constitution of our common country."

New York, following in the wake, passed the following : "First. That this conference fully concur in the advice of the late general conference (1840) as expressed in their pastoric address. Second. That we disapprove of the members of this conference patronizing, or in any way giving countenance to, a paper called Zion's Watchman, because, in our opinion,



it tends to disturb the peace and harmony of the body by sowing dissension in the church."

But it may be argued that this gradual defection of the Methodist Episcopal Church from the truth was owing to its connection with the South. It would be unjust not to recognize some force in these remarks. Exactly how much, however, may be seen when we inquire as to their action after the great session of 1844.

Notwithstanding the rule of 1784 had long been inoperative, yet was it allowed to recur in the Book of Discipline. But, in 1860, sixteen years after their severance from the South, in that darkness which immediately proceeded the light, the law of 1784 declaring slave-holding sufficient cause for expulsion, was made to give way to the following harmless expression of opinion : "We believe that the buying or selling of human beings to be used as chattels is contrary to the laws of God and nature, and inconsistent with the Golden Rule and with the rule of our discipline, which requires us 'to do no harm,' and 'to avoid evil of every kind.' We therefore affectionately admonish all our preachers and people to keep themselves pure from this great evil, and to seek its extirpation by all lawful and Christian means."

So much for the Practice of American Christianity in the past. But what of its practice in the present ?

We confess that this is by far the greater question of the two The gauge of man's conduct that tells is not the gauge of yesterday, but of to-day. With this measuring-rod in hand let us proceed to measure the present practice of American Christians. Already do we hear expressions of deepest satisfaction at the suppressed symmetry and beauty presented. And we admit that to the superficial eye there is occasion for satisfaction. What is more beautiful than the action, say, of the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church South laying their holy hands on the heads of their late bondsmen and exalting them to the lofty work, not of the ministry in general, but that of the Episcopacy itself ; nor stopping here, but preparing for them a most excellent discipline, and publishing and editing for them a most creditable paper ?

And so likewise the Southern Presbyterian Church. What right is more delectable to the average vision than seeing them lay off a Presbytery for their colored brethren, and give it the sanction and influence of their great names? Remembering that these are the days of Southern men and Southern territory, we are, ready to grant them a phase of beauty most attractive to a phase of vision not uncommon to human eye. But if these be satisfying, how infinitely more so is the practice of the Christians of the North, especially such Christians as operate with the American Missionary Association, and the Methodist Episcopal Church; nor will we be invidious in distinction, but say of all the Christian denominations of the mighty North, Protestant and Catholic : How grand is the work of the American Missionary Association! How Christian is its practice ! Behold the schools and the churches it sustains in the land of the freedmen. Its last report presents the following statistics :

Missionaries at the South, 69. Teachers at the South, 150. Churches at the South, 64. Church members at the South, 4,189. Total number of Sabbath-school scholars, 7.436. Schools at the South, 37. Pupils at the South, 7, 229.

Quite similar is the doing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as the following summation of its work shows :

Chartered institutions, 5. Theological schools, 3. Medical colleges, 2. Institutions not charted, 10.

In these institutions the number of pupils taught during the year is classified an follows : Biblical, 400; law, 25; medical, 30 ; collegiate, 75 ;



academic, 275 ; normal, 1,000 ; intermediate, 510 ; primary, 605. Total, 2,940.

But sad to tell, there is a fly in all the precious ointment of American Christians, the fly of caste. There is a fly in the matter of that Southern ordination; for why leave out these faithful children of the church, and tell them henceforth, act for yourself? There is a fly in the matter of colored Presbyteries, for why draw the line at all? There is, in short, a fly in all the Godlike Christians of the great North, in that they are endeavoring to keep up the middle wall of the partition between the two classes, if not at the South, certainly at the North. All through the South, as at the North, the great M. E. Church says to her black children, "go there," and to her white children, "come here." Separate schools, separate churches, and separate conferences is the order the day. And as with this great church to-day, so with the other churches of the land. Everywhere in the North and in the South caste prevails, differing only in degree ; the churchmen of the North reprimanding the churchmen of the South. You can ostracise the Negro to the extent of keeping him out of your parlor, but don't kill him, especially don't keep him from voting the Republican ticket. And where is the difference between this reprimand and the reprimand an intemperate father gives to his sons? "My son," said he, "you can drink two glasses of rum, but don't drink three." The spirit that practices moral ostracism upon a man solely on account of his color, is twin to the spirit that practices political ostracism for the same reason.

To the colored American both are equally hateful and hated. He wars upon both, having vowed a vow like to that of Hannibal of old, that he will never sheathe his sword till both lie bleeding and dead at his feet. Nor has he any respect for the men that practice either. It is a trial to him that he must at times listen to their soft talk. His soul rankles to say, "they are a trouble unto me ; I am weary to bear them."

And yet, brethren, the morning cometh. Caste is doomed, its death is simply a question of time. The Chang of slavery is already dead. The Eng of caste must follow. America will not fail of her destiny. Her theory of Christianity is to be her practice. Called of God to solve the highest political and social problem, its perpetuity is assured till the work has been done, to the furtherance of which I invoke the blessing of Almighty God.




There are two classes of reasons upon which the necessity for industrial education for the colored youth of this country is based; first, those which apply to all youth because of the necessities and requirements of the age; second, those which grow out of certain arbitrary social regulations which are stronger than municipal law.

The last census of the United States showed that there had been a large movement of population from the country to the larger towns and cities, North as well as South. Whole families, whose previous occupations have been rural and agricultural in their character, are brought to struggle for existence in the sharp competition of city life. As a consequence,



hundreds and thousands of unskilled laborers are thrown upon a market wherein skilled labor is most in demand. There could be but one result from this—a reduction in the price of labor, and a decrease of its purchasing power.

Such a condition of affairs did not end here. Low wages gave way to none. Starvation and want followed closely in its train. Crime brandished her weapons of blood. Disease and premature death lingered near.

Ordinarily these results, in a time of general prosperity, would have arrested the attention of the close and observing student; but in a time of general depression, such as that which has characterized the last six years, these results are intensified to an alarming degree. The instinct of self-preservation endeavors to assert itself, hence we have outbreaks, strikes, labor riots, and subsequently socialistic organizations threatening the rights of private property, gangs of predatory individuals on every public highway and in every city, at least of the Northern and Middle States, begging for bread, but not willing to work. However much such an abnormal condition of society might excite our commiseration, its proposed attack on our right of property causes us at once to take up the defensive. In legislative halls, in social science conventions, in the periodicals of the day, remedies are demanded, and they are as readily proposed.

1. There are those who say that in restrictive legislation the remedy lies.

Some States have resorted to this method of stamping out the tramp by the severe discipline of the work-house. The success of this plan has not been assured, and even if it were practicable, it would be well to pause before adopting a plan which only implies an increased burden of taxation before which the national debt would pale in insignificance. Again, this remedy cannot be an effective one, because the terrors of fine and imprisonment will not appease the pangs of hunger, afford shelter from that inclemency of the weather, or cover the body with raiment. These are the demands which primarily send forth thousands into the world, eventually to swell the ranks of those who defy law and authority, and disregard public and private rights. The remedy which the law gives does not satisfy these demands, and therefore is inadequate.

2. The policy of colonization from the large cities to the public domain has been urged with a great deal of persistency by a few, who believe the remedy lies through a redistribution of population. A large outflow from the cities to till the soil would undoubtedly beget habits of industry and a regard for individual rights which do not now obtain among the dangerous classes of society.

It is true that the effect upon labor of such a policy would at once be seen in the increased prosperity of those who, remaining in the city, could obtain better food, live in better houses, and thereby prevent mortality rates from presenting the ghastly spectacle of a continual epidemic; but so rooted to city life have these people become that, let the inducements be never so flattering, the proportion of those who would accept the opportunities held out would comparatively be so small that the general conditions of the problem still remain. Given a city population which increases in larger proportion than the demands of trade and commerce for employment, what must be done, not only in the interest of prosperity, but to preserve society itself from the destructive inroads of socialism? This is the overshadowing question of the hour. Restrictive laws have been proven inadequate, and the dangerous classes will not voluntarily give up city life. What, then, remains to be done?

3. "Educate, educate," is the cry. Well, the fact is, in those sections of our common country wherein education has been made as free as the air we breathe, do we find this army of unemployed persons largest, and


the most facile victims of demagogism and most eager to drink in the pernicious doctrines to which we have referred.

It may be well to note that it is in the kind, not the quantity, of education that the proper and effective remedy lies. It goes without saying that if an advertisement for a book-keeper, teacher, or clerk, were inserted in the columns of our daily papers, the responses would be far more numerous than if inquiry be made for a skilled architect, a draftsman, a civil engineer, or a proficient chemist; and yet, though the latter when found manifest no preference for the former occupations, in a majority of cases, it would be found that he was equally as competent to teach or to keep accounts as a large number of so-called professional men. But by industrial or technical education, undertaken by Government, as in European cities the education which trains the hand and the eye, which gives instruction in all those sciences upon which all the different processes of manufacture depend, and upon which the development of the natural resources of the earth is based, the education which enters into the realm of art itself the future man will be fully equipped to grapple with those conditions of modern life which require a higher skill and an unending variety of resource, as application after application of science apparently narrows the field in which manual and direct individual labor is employed.

There is no doubt that the advent of machinery, as a force in the activities of life, has wrought a revolution in the labor systems of the past ; but had man' s eyes and hands- better still, had his artistic sense- kept pace with this force, there would be no permanent derangement, but constant and continual readjustment of labor forces would solve the problem.

That in this establishment and maintenance of technical schools, the proper and effective remedy for the evils resulting from the rush of unskilled labor to the centers of population is found, is fully illustrated in the rapid increase of such schools in our country, and the favorable results of their establishment.

In 1870 there were 17 such schools, with 144 teachers, and 1,413 pupils ; in 1872, 70 schools, 724 teachers, and 5,395 pupils, but in 1875 the number rose to 74 schools, 758 teachers, and 7,157 pupils.

A writer who has given this matter special attention says:

"Muhlhausen, Creuzot, and Besancon, with their celebrated industrial schools ; Belgium, with 50 such institutions and 15,000 apprentices, who had attended these schools with great satisfaction to themselves and the manufacturers ; France, with its 12,000 industrial scholars, and Germany, with its 52,127 apprentices in 1,450 industrial schools, are sufficient proof of the practicability of such institutions."

In these general reasons the necessity for the industrial training of our youth stands justified ; but there are special and urgent reasons why of all classes in this country, the colored youth need this kind of training rather than that which has not enabled the present generation to favorably accommodate itself to the constantly recurring changes in our social development.

To a certain extent, these reasons are quite fully set forth in an address delivered by me last year before the Virginia Historical and Educational Association, entitled "Wanted—A Policy ; " as follows :

"Improvements in machinery, cheapening the cost of production, and the increased artistic taste necessary to insure products which will stand rival competition, make it possible for none but the thoroughly educated mechanic and artisan to have any place in the workshops of the future. If the future Negro-American is to take any honorable position in the labor market of the country, one thing is clear : he must fit himself for the changed requirements and necessities of that market. In one section of the country he is so weak, numerically, as not to rise to the dignity of an




integral factor in the race problem; but in the South, where he counts his forces by hundreds of thousands, and where he figures as conspicuously in the factory of the city as on the plantation of the country, the revolution which machinery is effecting brings this matter at once to our serious consideration. In the past, in the South, the colored mechanic not only held his own but in many places rivaled and surpassed his white brother, who either was kept down by a false public sentiment against honest toil, or pushed to the wall by a futile competition with slave labor.

'Today this public sentiment among the whites is giving away to the stern logic of want and necessity, while the colored mechanic, now his own free man, has not the moral support of the landed aristocracy which he once monopolized. Today white mechanics in the South are induced to labor by the offering of premiums and prizes. Can the colored mechanic, under these changed conditions, successfully compete with the white artisan? This is a question of the immediate future, to which a false prejudice on the part of our intelligent youth against learning trades, but slowly passing away, does not give a favorable answer. These inquiries are, therefore, both pertinent and suggestive.

"Rev. H. H. Garnett. in a lecture delivered last winter (1877-'78) before the colored people of Brooklyn, made the unwelcome statement that in the Northern cities, in the business of barbering, whitewashing, kalsomining, and catering, of which the colored people had a monopoly a generation past, they have not only not held their own but been practically pushed out of these employments in many localities. Is not the same tendency true in the South? Years ago who would have thought of the sight of a white barber, and yet he is upon us, and the white young man can be seen on the streets of our Southern cities, going to and from the tobacco-factory, where he is perfectly willing to work at what the Negro thought he alone would do.

"Can it be said that this falling off, this deficiency, is compensated by a corresponding increase in other and more honorable callings? No; for the marked absence of the colored man from the counting-room or behind the desk of the merchant is as conspicuous now as then. Certainly these additional obstacles which the Negro has to overcome advises us to seek out the policy by which the colored people can build up their industrial and artistic forces, hold their own in the lucrative employments circumstances gave them, and make for themselves places in others.

"One way of fostering the industrial and artistic element in our nature is by the establishment of industrial and training schools for the youth of both sexes, in which they can be taught various handicrafts—the boys, such as wood and metal work, carving, drawing, designing, draughting, printing, painting, and the- elements of mechanics; the girls, sewing, shirt and dress making, weaving, embroidering, designing, and wood-engraving. In this way a higher class of skilled laborers in our race will be produced than we have to-day—a class prepared to compete with the intelligent German or the ingenious French workman."

A sound policy would seem to dictate that the establishment of industrial and technical schools demands our earliest attention and our most persistent efforts. First, because in that section of country in which the majority of our people are found, and where they have been accustomed to labor in the different trades, the opportunities for learning trades in the past afforded through the self-interest of the slave-holder, do not now exist, owing to the increasing hostilities of trade unions, founded on caste. Second, because no institution exists today in the South which has ample facilities for giving that thorough and comprehensive technical instruction needed. There are institutions in which this instruction is incidental and subordinate, where a few—two or three



—can learn a few trades and callings, but no place where this is the principal design and not secondary to other objects. Third, because the present system of education will result in an undue prominence of professional men, of lawyers without briefs, doctors without patients, preachers without congregations, starving in the midst of plenty, while, the hidden resources of our country lie undeveloped for those of another race who have received the benefits of a technical education. Fourth, because the first result of this new training will be to give the race a direct representation in the industrial, manufacturing and commercial interests of the country. Fifth, at present our youth are confined to a few occupations, by reason of the prejudices and traditions of the past; but this practical education, by developing our talent and mechanical skill to a higher degree than can be reached by mere empiricism, will unquestionably open, and open forever, lucrative avenues of employment hitherto confined to the white American. Sixth, because if the Negro possesses art capabilities of a high order, this is the best possible preparation for their rational and symmetrical development.




Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Conference:

The subject assigned me is one of great importance. The axioms which teach us of the strength in unity and the certain destruction following close upon the heels of strife and dissension, need not be here repeated. Race elevation can be attained only through race unity. Pious precepts, business integrity, and moral stamina of the most exalted stamp, may win the admiration for a noble few, but unless the moral code, by the grandeur of its teachings, actuates every individual and incites us as a race to nobler aspirations and quickens us to the realization of our moral shortcomings, the distinction accorded to the few will avail us nothing. The wealth of the Indies may crown the efforts of fortune's few favored ones. They may receive all the homage wealth invariably brings, but unless we as a race check the spirit of pomp and display, and by patiently practicing the most rigid economy, secure homes for ourselves and children, the preferment won by a few wealthy ones will prove short-lived and unsatisfactory. We may have our educational lights here and there, and by the brilliancy of their achievements they may be living witnesses to the falsity of the doctrine of our inherited inferiority, but this alone will not suffice. It is a general enlightenment of the race which must engage our noblest powers. One vicious, ignorant Negro is readily conceded to be a type of all the rest, but a Negro educated and refined is said to be an exception. We must labor to reverse this rule; education and moral excellence must become general and characteristic, with ignorance and depravity for the exception.

Seeing, then, the necessity of united action and universal worth rather than individual brilliancy, we sorrowfully admit that race unity with us is a blessing not yet enjoyed, but to be possessed. We are united only in the conditions which degrade, and actions which paralyze the efforts of the



worthy, who labor for the benefit of the multitude. We are a race of leaders, every one presuming that his neighbor and not himself was decreed to be a follower. To-day. if any one of you should go home and announce yourself candidate for a certain position, the following day would find a dozen men in the field, each well prepared to prove that he alone is capable of obtaining and filling the position. Failing to convince the people, he would drop out the race entirely or do all in his power to jeopardize the interest of a more successful brother.

Why this non-fraternal feeling? Why such a spirit of dissension? We attribute it, first, to lessons taught in by-gone days by those whose security rested in our disunion. If the same spirit of race unity had actuated the Negro which has always characterized the Indian, this Government would have trembled under the blow of that immortal hero. John Brown, and the first drop of fratricidal blood would have been shed, not at Fort Sumter, but at Harper's Ferry. Another cause may be found in our partial enlightenment. The ignorant man is always narrow-minded in politics, business or religion. Unfold to him a plan, and if he cannot see some interest resulting to self, however great the resulting good to the multitude, it meets only his partial approbation and fails entirely to secure his active co-operation. A thin reason applies, not to the unlearned, but to the learned. Too many of our learned men are afflicted with a mental and moral aberration, termed in common parlance " big-headed." Having reached a commendable degree of eminence, they seem to stand and say, " Lord, we thank Thee we are not as other men are." They view with perfect unconcern the struggles of a worthy brother; they proffer him no aid, but deem it presumption in him to expect it. They may see a needed step but fail to take it. Others may see the necessity, take steps to meet it, and call them to aid. But, no; they did not lead; they will not follow, and half of their influence for good is sacrificed by an insane jealousy that is a consuming fire in every bosom wherein it finds lodgment.

A few of the prominent causes which retard race unity having been noticed, let us look for the remedy. First, our natural jealousy must be overcome. The task is no easy one. We must look for fruits of our labor in the next generation. With us our faults are confirmed. An old slave once lay dying, friends and relatives were gathered around. The minister sat at the bedside endeavoring to prepare the soul for the great change. The old man was willing to forgive every one except a certain particularly obstreperous African who had caused him much injury. But being over-persuaded he yielded and said: " Well, if I dies I forgives him, but if I lives - dat darkey better take care." It is much the same with us; when we die our natures will change, but while we live our neighbors must take care. Upon the young generation our instruction may be effective. They must be taught that in helping one another they help themselves; and that in the race of life, when a favored one excels and leads the rest, their powers must be employed, not in retarding his progress, but in urging him on and inciting others to emulate his example. .

We must dissipate the gloom of ignorance which hangs like a pall over us. In former days we were trained in ignorance, and many of my distinguished hearers will remember when they dare not be caught cultivating an intimate acquaintance with the spelling-book. But the time is passed when the seeker-after-knowledge is reviled and persecuted. Throughout the country the public school system largely obtains; books without number and papers without price; lend their enlightenment; while high schools, colleges and universities all over our broad domain throw open their inviting doors and say, " Whosoever will may come."

We must not fail to notice any dereliction of our educated people. They must learn that their duty is to elevate their less favored brethren, and



this cannot be done while pride and conceit prevent them from entering heartily into the work. A spirit of missionary zeal must actuate them to go down among the lowly, and by word and action say : '"Come, with me and I will do you good."

We must help one another. Our industries must be patronized, and our laborers encouraged. There seems to be a natural disinclination on our part to patronize our own workmen. We are easily pleased with the labor of the white hands, but when the same is known to be the product of our own skill and energy, we become extremely exacting and hard to please. From colored men we expect better work, we pay them less, and usually take our own good time for payment. We will patronize a colored merchant as long as he will credit us, but when, on the verge of bankruptcy he is obliged to stop the credit system, we pass by him and pay our money to the white rival. F or these reasons our industries are rarely remunerative. We must lay aside these "besetting sins" and become united in our appreciation and practical encouragement of our own laborers.

Our societies should wield their influence to secure colored apprentices and mechanics. By a judicious disposition of their custom, they might place colored apprentices in vocations at present entirely unpracticed by us. Our labor is generally menial. We have hitherto had a monopoly of American's menial occupations, but thanks to a progressive Caucasian element, we no longer suffer from that monopoly. The white man enters the vocations hitherto exclusively ours, and we must enter and become proficient in professions hitherto exclusively practiced by him.

Our communities must be united. By concerted action great results can be accomplished. We must not only act upon the defensive, but when necessary we should take the offensive. We should jealously guard our every interest, public and private. L et us here speak of our schools. They furnish the surest and swiftest means in our power of obtaining knowledge, confidence and respect. There is no satisfactory reason why all children who seek instruction should not have full and equal privileges, but law has been so perverted in many places, North and South, that sanction is given to separate schools ; a pernicious system of discrinrination which invariable operates to the disadvantage of the colored race. If we are separate, let it be from " turret to foundation stone." It is unjust to draw the color line in schools, and our communities should resent the added insult of forcing the colored pupils to receive instructions from the refuse material of white educational institutions. White teachers take colored schools from necessity, not from choice. We except of course those who act from a missionary spirit.

White teachers in colored schools are nearly always mentally, morally, or financially bankrupts, and no colored community should tolerate the imposition. High schools " and colleges are sending learned colored teachers in the field constantly and it is manifestly unjust to make them stand idle and see their people taught by those whose only interest lies in securing their monthly compensation in dollars and cents. Again colored schools thrive better under colored teachers. The St. Louis schools furnish an excellent example. According to the report of Superintendent Harris, during the past two years the schools have increased under colored teachers more than fifty per cent, and similar results always follow the introduction of colored teachers. In cases of mixed schools our teachers should be eligible to positions. They invariably prove equal to their requirements. In Detroit and Chicago they have been admitted and proved themselves unquestionably capable. In Chicago their white pupils outnumber the colored ten to one, and yet they have met with decided success. Such gratifying results must be won by energetic, united action on the part of the interested communities. White people



grant us few privileges voluntarily. We must wage continued warfare for our rights, or they will be disregarded and abridged.

Mr. President, we might begin to enumerate the rich results of race unity at sunrise and continue to sunset and half would not be told. In behalf of the people we are here to represent, we ask for some intelligent action of this Conference; some organized movement whereby concerted action may he had by our race all over the land. Let us decide upon some intelligent. united system of operation, and go home and engage the time and talent of our constituents in prosperous labor. We are laboring for race elevation, and race unity is the all-important factor in the work. It must be secured at whatever cost. Individual action, however insignificant, becomes powerful when united and exerted in a common channel. Many thousand years ago, a tiny coral began a reef upon the ocean' s bed. Years passed and others came. Their fortunes were united and the structure grew. Generations came and went, and corals by the million came, lived, and died, each adding his mite to the work, till at last the waters of the grand old ocean broke in ripples around their tireless heads, and now, as the traveler gazes upon the reef, hundreds of miles in extent, he can faintly realize what great results will follow united action. So we must labor, with the full assurance that we will reap our reward indue season. Though deeply submerged by the wave of popular opinion, which deems natural inferiority inseparably associated with a black skin, though weighted down by an accursed prejudice that seeks every opportunity to crush us, still we must labor and despair not---patiently, ceaselessly, and unitedly. The time will come when our heads will rise above the troubled waters. Though generations come and go, the result of our labors will yet be manifest, and an impartial world will accord us that rank among other races which all may aspire to, but only the worthy can win.




A desire among nations to improve, to succeed and to obtain lasting happiness, tranquillity, peace and comfort, is a characteristic of humanity and a predominant spirit wherever civilization holds nntrammeled sway. We are placed in this large and beautiful world, which is so admirably adapted to the attainment of these blessings, to make the best of life, to provide for our happiness and comfort. If we fail to do this we are unworthy the dignity which distinguishes us from the lower animals. The philosophy oh human life, in a few words, therefore is. " Live for something; be something." In this age of progress this requisition can and should not be ( with those who have the true spirit of the age infused in them) optional; it is and must be compulsory; not a physical compulsion that cannot be, as every man is, his own free agent; but a compulsion emanating from the invincible power of a nobler intervening-- the soul, the honor, the pride of man.

What man or race of men possessing these properties could rust out their existence by a failure to improve and better their condition. Such a class of men would be unworthy the name and distinction of men; aye, they would lack the instinct of the lower animals, being lost to every principle of honor and respectability: aliens lo industry; slaves to



laziness and ignorance; obstacles to society, and impediments to civilization. To escape and prevent this disreputable estimate we, as representatives of our race, are here assembled. We have deep-rooted in us the demands and requisitions of this age. We desire to improve ; we desire to play a respectable and honorable part in the great drama of life. We feel, know, and are confident that we have the sensibilities to merit and claim this standing as a race. What we need is the determination and resolution to develop these susceptibilities, and claim a recognition commensurate with them.

We occupy a peculiar and rather complicated position in this country—a position which most seriously engages our attention, and materially affects our prosperity and advancement. Being endowed with the blessings of freedom and clothed in the distinction of citizenship, we can but feel interested in an attempt to improve our condition and make an effort to pry into the mystic future, to see what lies therein that will redound to our good. It is unquestionably necessary and fitting that we have this national deliberation upon the problem of our future status in this country. Our situation demands it; the drift of a rightly-inclined, philanthropic public sentiment demands it ; that invincible spirit implanted in the heart of man, which prompts him to elevate himself to a standard of usefulness, honor and respectability, demands it; all those sacred ties and chords of affection which binds us with love and devotion for our race demands it ; this, the age of progress, demands it. Since the demand is so pressing in its nature and so urgent a necessity, let us resolve to do whatever we can to uplift our people from the lamentable surroundings of the present, and endeavor to ameliorate their condition.


God has made of one blood all nations of the earth—one man of His creation is the common father of us all. If any difference exists affecting the rights and dignity of humanity, He disavows the distinction. We are all alike descended from Adam and Noah, in the same line, the same unbroken succession of posterity. We are the children of the same father. One God has made us all. Our composition and physiology, our aptitudes and inclinations are the same. These facts are true and cannot be refuted. All mankind are, and must, therefore, be brothers.

But, alas! this is, most unfortunately, far from being the situation of humanity, and most especially as applied to our race. Can any legible or humane reason be assigned why the dignity of this part of God's creation is placed in such a pitiable dilemma, and caused to stand alone as a separate and distinct people? In equity, justice and fairness none can be assigned save the ignoble, dishonorable and inhuman distinction based upon difference in color. Shame upon the boasted grandeur of American refinement and civilization that this simple difference of color should draw the line of demarcation between the populace of this great Republic, in violation to every principle of honor and justice, and in utter contradistinction to the doctrines of that sacred charter and hallowed scroll which once redressed the wrongs of this country, promulgating and declaring that no distinction should exist between humanity. Mark the language:

"All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights."

Should the rights promised by the great Declaration be violated and sacrificed to the trivial difference of color? Should this be a government of one, two or three colors and classes, or should it be a government of all colors and classes, of "all men," as declared by its founders? Much to be lamented is it that this Government, dedicated to human rights, should countenance an infringement upon the sacred charter of its



liberties, and fix the color of the skin as the sign of separation and the line of demarcation. A purely civilized and Christian judgement denounces and deplores such a preposterous alienation from the laws of truth and justice. In the clear and comprehensive view of honest manhood, it matters not whether we be white, black, yellow or red, we are men; gifted with common manhood and entitled to common rights. May the silent but effective workings of Him who knows no color, race or nationality, speed the day when this unchristian and inhuman question of color shall cease to have and occupy a place in the memory of humanity; when all men shall be brought to recognize the common fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of men.

Let us, fellow-citizens, do whatever lies in our ability to bring about this happy condition of affairs. Let us by our actions show that we are worthy the brotherhood of all men, and entitled to a recognition as such, religiously, socially and politically. Our interests in this country are identical, and if success is desirable they are inseparable. In our Southern section this fact is undeniably true, one class possessing the capital, the other labor; and if it were possible for them to move on harmoniously in solid phalanx , each assisting the other—burying deep into oblivion the prejudices and animosities of the past, fostering a mutual and reciprocal brotherly feeling—how much happier, how much more prosperous would we be. Prosperity and happiness would brood over the land ; domestic comfort and peace would take the place of the strife, confusion and turmoil that now retard progress, and ours, indeed, would be a happy land.

Should these hopes of philanthropy fail to ripen into fruition, we must not become derelict ; our mission must be fulfilled; our part on the great stage of human life must be played. Let us never, though the sky be dark above and gloomy forebodings infest our pathway, be discouraged and fall by the way-side. We can never achieve prestige and recognition from irresolution and inaction. We must be up and doing. Our march must be onward and our motto higher.


That the progress of our race in this country during the brief period of our recognition as citizens has been remarkable, no one actuated by righteous inclinations will assume the province of denying. A decade or two is a brief period in the history of a race ; it is sufficient, however, to form a correct inference and estimate of what the developments of the future will attest, provided a wholesome and judicious use be made of the advantages vouchsafed. The pitiable surroundings that marked our early history is too well known to necessitate a reiteration; it occupies too conspicuous a page in the history of this country not to be known. Ah. yes, it is known, and it will be remembered as long as that heaven-employed agency, "justice," occupies a place in the hearts of the good and brave.

Turned out, as we were, upon the charities and mercies of a busy world, having been deprived of those advantages which would have enabled us to assume the duties and responsibilities of American citizenship co-equal with the various races of our mixed population, it could not have been reasonably expected that an illustrious beginning and an instantaneous solution of the complicated machinery of American citizenship would mark our early history; but actuated and inspired by patriotic love and devotion for our country, having unutterable gratitude for those who fought the battles of freedom for us, before we could fight for ourselves, we embarked on the great ship of State, hoping and praying that the magnanimity and justice of a beneficent heaven would smile upon us, fit us and cause us to bear the name and perform the duties of citizens with becoming dignity. Numberless are the obstacles that have served



to impede our progress; but with ail surrounding adversities and impediments, we have endeavored to stem the current and push onward to the moorings of a just and honorable estimate as American citizens. Whether or not we are entitled to these, I shall not say. I will appeal to that supreme tribune—the conscience of this nation—to answer for me. Submissively, earnestly and patiently have we longed, waited and prayed for a better and brighter era to dawn upon us. Our hopes, desires and anticipations have resulted in no more than their conception. We feel by virtue of our present surroundings and condition that our advancement is not as fast as it should be; we feel that there is vast room for improvement.

Being actuated by these feelings, and prompted by a desire and anxiety to better our condition, we are here in this National Conference to deliberate and discuss our condition, and ascertain the medium through which a change maybe effected, and an extrication from the thraldom of our present circumstances.


The all-absorbing topic that now agitates our people in this country, and especially in the South, is migration. The colored people of the South hold in their hands the boasted grandeur and material wealth of that section. They also possess the most potent means of all success, that is, labor. Labor rightly estimated is, indeed, the most powerful and effective element of success; without this no wealth, no happiness, no comfort could be obtained—all of these blessings are the products of successful labor. No region under the heavens is better adapted and more conducive to the race than the South, The only question that interests them is: Can they, in this section, situated as they now are, work out a successful and peaceful destiny? Does their labor meet with a just and commensurate recompense? Are their rights and liberties duly respected ?

These are the questions to be discussed l and settled for them. Loth and unwilling are these people to leave the homes of their birth, the joyous surroundings and pleasant associations of their childhood; grievously does it affect them to leave the soil within whose bosom sleeps those who were near and dear to them. These people, though untutored and deemed inferior, possess those feelings of attention and devotion to "home" and and its surroundings that are possessed by the erudite and refined. Their souls, bedewed with the memories of happy and joyous associations, cause them to reluctantly turn their backs upon home to seek abodes in distant and unknown regions ; but the unconquerable spirit of manhood arises within them and inspires them to seek homes where labor is better respected and compensated, and their rights better regarded. In equity and justice can they be blamed? An emigration of any magnitude cannot fail to seriously and disastrously affect the material wealth of the South. If large numbers of our people, stimulated by the hope of bettering their condition, leave the South, the very grave question of "What will become of us?" will soon disturb the repose of those who are most benefited by the labors of the race in that section. It has already caused great commotion, and in many instances pledges and promises for an improvement upon the present manner of conducting affairs in that section have been made. It is needless to say that, if they are carried out to the letter, it will redound to the lasting good of both the laborer and the land owner.

This section is, as is well known, one of the finest regions that adorn the face of creation, inexhaustible in its resources, unparalleled in the fertility of its soil, and unsurpassed in the salubrity of its climate. The fertility and productive properties have ever existed in this section. Yes. they existed during the countless ages of the forgotten past, when its hills,



dales and swamps slept in undisturbed quiet, the capacities of the soil undeveloped. and the wealth and grandeur of the section lingered in "blissful repose."

The resources and requisites for the establishment and upbuilding of a great and powerful section of this Union were known and dwelt upon with unspeakable admiration, but they would have slept on in quiet and undisturbed reality,

Through the still lapse of countless ages,

had there nor been a race of people possessing the constitution, physical strength and ability to draw out the resources and develop the fertility. What race of people was this? Need I say? The answer comes back to me from the old hills and swamps of the South, now worn out, "the Negro." He alone had the physical composition to draw out of the soil the wealth which the section boasts of. Had it not been for the labor of this people the richness of this great section would have remained in the ground, where God placed it. What race could supply the demand? What race could take their places in this section now, should they leave? Without elimination I assert, none. The powerful rays of a Southern summer' s sun would make even the much-talked of "heathen Chinese" seek the umbrageous splendor and comfort of some tall gum or oak. It is asserted by many that the Chinese will supply the demand. The New Orleans Picayune the official journal of the State of Louisiana. I think, expressed the sentiments of the South when it said:

"They would suffocate European civilization and all those elements of the progressive evolution of science and art and industry. * * * If the Negro laborers leave us, let us see to it that Louisiana becomes not a State composed of Asiatic heathen, although they may work for ten cents a day."

It is well known that the place and labor of the Negro in the South cannot be supplied. Without them and their labor the fields of the great" king of the South, "Cotton," would be replaced by the less productive thistle, grass and weeds, and the disparaged planter could only survey, in pensive quietness, what once was the pride of his being, the establishment of his comfort, and the source of his wealth. The South would fall far short of what it now is without this much abused and despised people.


Agriculture is an agency of acknowledged importance in every division of the civilized world. The cultivation of the soil is coeval with the existence of the human family. When man came pure and immortal from the hands of his Creator, he was placed in a beautiful and well furnished garden, and the injunction of the Creator to him was, "Dress, adorn and keep it." After the infringement of God's command by man, the obligation to till the soil was renewed. The decree and mandate of Heaven ordained that by the "sweat of his brow" " he should cultivate the soil. No race of people are better adapted, titled and qualified for this all important and necessary calling than ours. Their relations to it are natural; they are naturally fond of it; hence their great success.

In every country and in every situation agriculture is essential to the increase, subsistence and happiness of man." In all stages of society it is alike needful to its well-being and prosperity, and has accordingly been held in the highest repute from the most remote ages. It is a commendable and honorable art, as well as it is useful and beneficial. Gideon, the renowned judge and warrior of Israel, was called from the plow to preside over the fortunes of that nation. Cinncinatus immortalized by the conquest of the Volsci abandoned his plow to lead the Roman armies to battle and to victory. Washington, whose name will be hallowed by the



reverence of unnumbered ages, was devoted to agriculture, even to passion, and one of his proudest distinctions was that of a good farmer. The gallant Putnam, when he heard of the battle of Lexington, was plowing in his field; he left his plow in the furrow and hastened on to strike a blow for the liberties of his country.

Agriculture, therefore, is not to be considered as an insignificant and unworthy calling. It is an art of necessity, the only durable source and foundation of power and plenty; the most respectable, the most honest, the most useful, and the most beneficial secular profession in the world. Since agriculture and its utility are of such vast importance to the progress and well-being of countries and nations, it cannot fail to be peculiarly favorable to freedom and independence. No art or calling is better adapted to inspire the human family with a love for freedom and a longing for independence. No nation has ever enjoyed these blessings in the total neglect of agriculture. It is inseparably interwoven and linked with the progress of society, the happiness, comfort and freedom of man.

History sustains the fact that whenever a nation becomes slack in its attention to the concerns of agriculture, it must be no small degree attributable to the want of a proper regard and estimate for freedom and independence.

As the command of Heaven was expedient to make and induce man to labor and cultivate the earth for his happiness and comfort, so should the efforts of the philosophic and enlightened of our race be directed toward impressing upon them the necessity of paying due attention to this most important of all human arts, and to labor, the great basis of human sustenance.


Of all the agencies that serve to further advancement and produce happiness and refinement, education stands first and foremost. Its power and efficacy in the attainment of these has been forcibly exemplified during all ages, and it is an undoubted fact that it will continue to wield this commanding power and influence in shaping the affairs and destinies of nations for all coming ages.

Liberty has always been dependent upon intelligence. Freedom, duly balanced, properly regulated, and happily enjoyed, has no other foundation for a perpetual existence, except in the intelligence of the people. The world's history informs us that political, religious, and social melioration must result from this source. Inform the minds of the people and they will have discernment to discover and know their real and best interests; when they are ignorant they are liable to be deceived by every "wind and doctrine," become the victims of misguided fidelity, and the property of unprincipled demagogues. Education enables them to think and reflect, judge and determine for themselves. Knowledge is power; let it depart, and liberty will become an exile.

" Without knowledge," said the immortal Sumner, "there can be no progress. Vice and barbarism are the inseparable companions of ignorance, for to do what is right we must first understand what is right."

Education, therefore, is designed to lessen the evils and augment the blessings of human life. To live well and to do well in whatever station assigned us on the stage of life, is the great business interest and duty of man, and to the attainment of these ends the efforts of instruction should be mainly directed. It is intimately connected with happiness of man in whatever sphere he moves--religious, social; and political. If a desire to be and remain ignorant be predominant, he may indeed do without it, as no one ought to be compelled to become respectable and happy; but he cannot answer the end of his being without some share of



educational training; and he who is devoid of a spirit to improve is certainly an incubus to society and a dead weight to this progressive age.

If, therefore, we wish to elevate our race to a higher standard of honor, respectability, and recognition, we must see that they are educated. We must use our utmost endeavors to push forward the great ear of education, and impress upon the people the necessity of their throwing off the despicable yoke of ignorance and superstition, and fitting themselves properly to live up to the demands and requirements of the age. Our Government, recognizing the utility, benefit, and blessings of an intelligent populace, has instituted a system of free public education. The doors of the school-house are open alike to all. It is said to the poor as well as the rich: "Go fit and qualify yourself for the duties of citizenship;" but, sad to say, too many are heedless of the command. Let us warn them of this irreparable injustice which they are not only doing themselves but their race. Those who are prejudiced by the fear of our ultimate success always dwell with marked emphasis upon the evil that emanates from the careless and reckless, not upon the good which we endeavor, through our humble efforts, to achieve. Let us from to-day form a new resolution: to work as we never have before. Let us unfurl the banner of education to the breeze , and implore all to look upon it, imbibe its benefits, thereby becoming fitted to lead useful and honorable lives. The wonder-working developments of this nineteenth century demand an intelligent populace; a thousand physical and moral causes are in operation to produce the grand result, and a failure to improve the means and advantages allotted would be unpardonable, base, and ignoble. The vast and impressive prospects of creation, with its innumerable agencies and requisites for the happiness and comfort of man, are all before us; the glory of the heavens, the beauty and adaptability of the earth, the grandeur and sublimity of the ocean, the fertility of the hills, dales, and swamps, the inexhaustible resources of the mine and quarry, all unite in one common language to man--their monarch--to improve. They are all calculated to inspire and impress upon man the necessity of his improvement.


In solving the problem of a successful destiny, self-reliance should be considered as a commendable, distinguishing, and most beneficial element. We are unmistakably and unchangeably the framers of our own destiny, and above all things we should strive to depend upon our own industry.

In matters of a secondary importance, substitution and dependence may be practiced; but in the all-important duty of making a creditable and honorable history, we should fit ourselves in such a manner as to be self-reliant. I do not pretend to say that we should be independent of all about us; that cannot be. We are by nature dependent creatures. Man is a being who, from the cradle to the grave, is constantly undergoing changes, and without the care and assistance of others he could not exist. I mean that spirit of independence which will prompt us to rely upon our own industry, depend upon our own resources, and work our such a history as will demand the appreciation and admiration of those who righteously desire to see the race prosper.

"The gods help those who help themselves." Let us realize this fact, govern ourselves accordingly, and it cannot fail to be a grand step toward advancement.


In unity there is strength and perpetuity. If we ever wish to succeed as a race, we must be united. There exists among our people too much of the spirit of antagonism, and too much diversity of sentiment. These are damaging qualities and cannot fail to cause retrogression. If



we hope to obtain the recognition for which we are striving, it must be through associated action. As long as a multiplicity of opinion is adhered to; as long as there is a variance between those who aspire to lead and the followers; as long as a division is in the ranks, we will hear the thunders of retrogression roaring around us, and the curse of inferiority hurled at us, and we will make no progress, but remain just where we are now. Let us endeavor to remedy this evil. The real and best interests of the people should be discussed and agreed upon; the medium through which a most speedy and beneficial change can be effected, adopted by all; then let leader and follower, in unbroken column, resolve to remain united, and not be so easily led off by every wind and doctrine. Thus shall we make a grand advance toward our elevation and establish a precedent which will do us good for all time to come.


We have a great mission to perform, and its accomplishment can only be creditably attained through determination, perseverance and labor, for without these we can accomplish nothing. The eyes of the world are upon us, scrutinizingly watching the record and history which we are making for ourselves. No one unbiased by prejudice can reasonably doubt that we have the susceptibilies and capacities sufficient to enable us to make a history worthy of respect and admiration of all men and nations. What we need is unceasing and untiring labor to develop these faculties. This cannot fail to harbinger success, and redound to our lasting good. Though at present our future seems dark and gloomy, fears encompass us, let us not become weary and discouraged, let us endeavor to imbibe renewed vigor and increased inspiration from our unwholesome surrounding and complex situation. It is said that tlie darkest hour is just before dawn; if so let us strive to realize the fact that the present period of our history is about the gloomiest of our experience, and endeavor to fit ourselves for the dawn of a better and brighter day; but while we hope and long for this change, let us ever remember and never lose sight of the fact, that we are the prime agents in the work. It is our destiny that we are framing, and we must assume the conspicuous part in the drama. Let us, however, feel that we are not alone in this great struggle; we have honest, earnest friends to aid us, if we but help ourselves; beneficent heaven smiles above us and will rear up friends to our cause; considerate, just, and philanthropic humanity, regardless of geographical lines and State boundaries, from the South as well as the North, will meet us and extend to us a helping hand. Animated and cheered by this, let us toil on until a change is effected, and the opposing forces which now retard our advancement shall no "longer lie in cold obstruction" across our pathway. Let us ever keep in view and properly estimate the efficacy of that most potent and indispensable element, "Labor;" let us ever direct the attention of our people to it. and impress upon them the necessity of their paying due attention to it.

To the education of our people, let us consecrate and dedicate the hours of our existence, realizing the fact that liberty, freedom. and happiness have not other bulwark for their enjoyment and perpetuity but in education. In proportion to the love you bear for your race; in proportion to the ardor with which you long to see them elevated to a higher and more commanding standard of refinement, honor, and respectability; by how much you desire to see them adequately qualified to move on with the enlightened of this progressive age, by so much will you endeavor, wherever you are, wherever fate assigns you by all the means in your power, to furnish them with those truly fundamental and cardinal elements, education, christianity, morality and virtue. Let education have our first and fondest care; religion then, one of civilization' s chief and



fairest hand-maids, cannot fail to extend its mild, humanizing, and refining influences about the strongholds of ignorance, iniquity and vice causing those demoralizing and degrading obstacles, which have so ruthlessly laid waste the honor and character of the race, "to skulk away and hide in chaos." Then we will arise from our present unhappy situation, and in association with the wise and good, revolve in a sphere more appropriately commensurate with the dignity of humanity. Then will the charge of inferiority cease to be hurled at us, and victorious over all the elements that now serve to retard our advancement, we will prove to the world that our station is, and should be, in the galaxy of earth's grandest, proudest, and best races.


K .


Three years ago, last month, there assembled in this city what at the time was generally believed would be the last national gathering of colored men to consider their relations to and interests in this country as a distinct element.

The rapidity with which the race had passed from the lowest status to a common level before the law with the most favored in the land, warranted the belief that the day of our complete deliverance from all forms of prejudice, oppression, wrong and outrage was near at hand, and with its glorious dawn we would merge into the common brotherhood of the nation, forming a part of a homogeneous, contented and happy people. But that fond delusion has been dispelled. We find ourselves compelled by circumstances of the gravest nature to meet again to consider the educational, moral, material and political interests of our people, and to state our grievances to the country.

It has been said by one of the distinguished men of this country, one who has contributed as much toward shaping the ideas and sentiments of the American people as any other man, living or dead, " that agitation is the method that plants the school by the side of the ballot-box. Agitation prevents rebellion, keeps the peace and secures progress. Every step she gains is gained forever. Agitation is the atmosphere of brains," If in the past agitation has been the elementary power which has served to crystalize and mould public opinion into law—has really formed the basis of a true government, in order to arouse public sentiment in behalf of our rights, we deem it expedient to resort to agitation as being the sure and proper method by which to reach the ears of the American people, and thereby obtain fully the sacred rights which we are by nature and the laws of the country, of which we form a component part, entitled to.

Fifteen years have elapsed since our emancipation, and though we have made material advancement as citizens, yet we are forced to admit that obstacles have been constantly thrown in our way to obstruct and retard our progress. Our toil is still unrequited, hardly less under freedom than slavery, whereby we are sadly oppressed by poverty and ignorance, and consequently prevented from enjoying the blessings of liberty, while we are left to the shame and contempt of all mankind. This unfortunate state of affairs is because of the intolerant spirit exhibited on the part of the men who control the State governments of the South today. Free speech in many localities is not tolerated. The lawful exercise of the rights of citizenship is denied when majorities must be overcome. Proscription meets us on every hand; in the school-room, in the church that



sings praises to that God who made of one blood all the nations of the earth; in places of public amusement, in the jury-box and in the local affairs of government we are practically denied the rights and privileges of freemen.

We cannot expect to rise to the dignity of true manhood under the system of labor and pay as practically carried out in some portions of the South today. Wages are low at best, but when paid in scrip having no purchasing power beyond the prescribed limits of the land owner, it must appear obviously plain that our condition must ever remain the same; but with fair adjustment between capital and labor, we, as a race, by our own industry, would soon be placed beyond want, and in a self-sustaining condition.

Our people in the North, while free from many outrages practiced on our brethren in the South, are not wholly exempt from unjust discriminations. Caste prejudices have sufficient sway to exclude them from the workshop, trades, and other avenues of remunerative business and advancement.

We realize that education is the potent lever by which we are to be elevated to the plane of useful citizenship. We have the disposition and natural ability to acquire and utilize knowledge when equal facilities are accorded, but we are denied the necessary advantages, owing to the defective common-school system and non-enforcement of laws in most of the Southern States. We therefore favor and recommend a national educational system embracing advantages for all, the same to be sustained by the proceeds derived from the sale of public lands

Wholly unbiased by party considerations, we contemplate the lamentable political condition of our people, especially in the South, with grave and serious apprehensions for the future. Having been given the ballot for the protection of our rights, we find, through systematic intimidation, outrage, violence and murder, our votes have been suppressed, and the power thus given us has been made a weapon against us.

The migration of the colored people now going on from several of the Southern States, has assumed such proportions as to demand the calm and deliberate consideration of every thoughtful citizen of the country. It is the result of no idle curiosity, or disposition to evade labor. It proceeds upon the assumption that there is a combination of well-planned and systematic purposes to still further abridge their rights and privileges, and reduce them to a state of actual serfdom. It is declared in Holy Writ "that the ox that treadeth out the corn shall not be muzzled."

If their labor is valuable, it should be respected. If it is demonstrated that it cannot command respect in the South there is but one alternative, and that is to emigrate. But as the South possesses many advantages for them, they would prefer to remain there if they could peaceably enjoy the rights and privileges to which they are legally entitled and receive fair and equitable remuneration for their labor. The disposition to leave the communities in which they feel insecure, is an evidence of a healthy growth in manly independence, and should receive the commendation and support of all philanthropists. We, therefore, heartily indorse the National Emigration Aid Society recently organized at Washington, D.C., and bespeak for it a successful issue in its laudable undertaking.

We view with gratification the recent efforts of the planters of Mississippi and Louisiana, at the Vicksburg Convention, to effect an adjustment of the labor troubles existing in that section of the country. Believing that through such movements it is possible to establish friendly relations, adjust all differences between the races, and secure a final and satisfactory settlement of the grave causes underlying the unsettled and inharmonious condition of affairs now obtaining among them at the South, we would respectfully recommend to both classes the adoption of similar



action in the future for the settlement of al disturbing public questions which may arise between them.

Having said so much with regard to the disabilities under which we labor on account of influences over which we have no control, we are not unmindful of the all-important fact that we are to a great extent the architects of our own fortunes, and must rely mainly on our own exertions for success. We, therefore, recommend to the youth of our race the observance of strict morality, temperate habits and the practice of economy, the acquisition of land, the acquiring agricultural education, of advancing to mercantile positions and forcing their way into the various productive channels of literature, art, science and mechanism. The sooner a knowledge of our ability to achieve success in these directions is acquired, the sooner we will overcome the apparently insurmountable obstacles to our elevation.

In the struggle for independence our blood mingled with that of the white man in defense of a common cause. When our flag was insulted on the high seas and naturalized citizens outraged, we sprang promptly to our country's call in the war which followed. We did not stop to consider the fact that, although Americans, we were not citizens; that although soldiers, we were not freemen. In the war of the rebellion, after emancipation, we responded by thousands in the country' s defense; and on the high seas, in tented camp and rille parapets, the prejudice of race and caste were forgotten in the heat of conflict, and the cause of secession disappeared beneath the bodies of white and black alike. In the light of these facts we demand, in the name of the citizenship conferred by the organic law of the land, in the name of humanity and Christian brotherliood, the same treatment accorded the other nationalities of our common country nothing more, nothing less. If the government has the right to, surely it has the power to enforce the laws made for our protection. We have reached a crisis in the history of the race. With us it is a question of citizenship upheld by the moral sentiment of the country and protected by its physical power, or of citizenship in name invaded, outraged and winked at whenever party necessities and exigencies require the stifling of the will of a majority in tlie interest of party ascendency more than that, it is a question of life and existence itself. We have submitted patiently to the wrongs and injustice which have been heaped upon us, trusting that in the fullness of time a generous and humane public sentiment would bring to our relief the enforcement of all laws passed for our protection. If the nation desires to maintain the proud position it has attained, it must say and prove to the world that every man in our midst is free and equal, and that the same means will be used to protect its colored citizens in the right of citizenship as have been used to avenge tlie insults and outrages against the country' s flag; and for the accomplishment of these ends, we invoke the prayers and sympathies of all liberty-loving citizens.




Mr. President: My original intention as one of the early advocates of the Conference was to have it composed exclusively of Southern colored men. I did not believe that any considerable number of our Northern brethren, enjoying as they do, with exceptional instances, every right and privilege of citizens, would care to make the sacrifice of time and



expense necessary to attend a conference with us. But I am glad the proposition was abandoned, and that our Northern brethren were invited and are here today to aid us in our deliberations. I am glad to welcome among us such a man as Mr. Wm. Still, of Philadelphia, whose learning, high moral character and devotion to the interests of his race command for his utterances respectful attention throughout the country. I know far better than the gentleman from Kentucky the condition of the colored people in the North. They were not freed until the shackles were struck off their Sonthern brethren. [Applause.] The opponents of the Conference predicted that it, like all colored conventions, would amount to nothing, except to furnish an opportunity to a number of brainless blatherskites to rise to " pints" of order, privilege questions, questions of information and the like, but I am glad to know that it will be productive of good, although we have a few of that class here who insist upon interrupting our proceedings. The eloquent, moderate and manly speech of our worthy president has done much for the success of our Conference. It has drawn from the Nashville American- a paper not very friendly to us the admission that there is intelligence, moderation, and frankness and safe leadership among us. Let us demonstrate this fact by listening to such men as Lynch, Rainey and others, and not take up the time of this body with points of order.

The speaker then rapidly reviewed the causes which led to the formation of the Republican party and the liberation of the colored man. He contrasted the time when the colored men were slaves, and now when they were sitting in conference in the proud capital of a Southern State. The colored man was the favored child of the nation, and the time had now arrived when public opinion had said, You have done enough for him. "Emancipated and enfranchised, with every means possessed by the white man for his protection, the country expects us to protect ourselves. Our wives and daughters are as dear to us, and our homes as sacred as those of the white man, and we must defend and protect them precisely as the white man does.

"Now, Mr. Reporter," said Governor Pinchback, "don't put me down as an incendiary and exciting my people to violence. I am only advising them to do just what you would do, or any other white man when struck, to strike back. For I will tell these people they may go to Kansas or elsewhere, and if they act there as they do here, they will not escape persecution. Races, like individuals, must protect themselves. If you will show me a man that will let everybody hit and kick him about, I will show you a man that everybody is kicking; and the same is true of races. It has been circulated all over Nashville that I came here to oppose emigration, and to commit this Conference against it. This is not so. I am one of those who believe it to be the duty of every man aspiring to leadership in a crisis like this to tell the people what he regards as the truth. He who follows in the wake of the multitude is not fit for leadership. I know it is sweet to have the popular applause, and I love it as dear as any other man, but I trust I shall never obtain it at the sacrifice of duty. I am not opposed to systematic emigration. If you can sell your property for anything like its value—not sacrifice or give it away—and go with sufficient to establish yourselves in your new homes, I say go, but I am not in favor of indiscriminate emigration. "To mislead the ignorant masses at a time like this, when such grave consequences are involved, I think will be not only a mistake but a crime."

A passing reference was made by the speaker to the Jews, who, a few years ago, did not own a foot of land in Europe. Now one of that despised race was the Premier of England, and the Rothschilds hold the key of the money treasures of Europe.

The deplorable condition of Ireland a few years ago, was also given a



passing notice. The Irish people revered Daniel O ' Connell, but whom do the colored men lionor among their race?

The love and respect of the white race for their prominent men, which is one of the secrets of their success, is illustrated in the South by the reverence they have for the memory of Robert E. Lee. In its great centers monument piles are erected to perpetuate his memory. The whole country loves General Grant and delights to honor him. Starting as the colonel of an Illinois volunteer regiment, he passes up through every grade of rank known to the army, and having no more honors to confer in recognition of his services, the rank of lieutenant-general was created and conferred upon him; not satisfied with that the rank of general was established and he was made general; not satisfied with that he was elected President of the United States ; not satisfied with that he was elected for the second term, and I believe I reflect the Republican sentiment of the country when I say it is their desire to elect him for a third term. [Immense applause.]

We, alone, of all the races, have no leaders. I lay no claim to leader- ship, but if I did, I would not lead some of you. Here a delegate inquired if Governor Pinchback meant anything personal, " No; I do not mean the whole Conference," said the Governor, " but those who have so persistently disturbed the proceedings."

Governor Pinchback closed his remarks as follows :

" Mr. President and gentlemen of the Conference, in my labors for the advancement and elevation of the race, I am not altogether unselfish. I am laboring to make the road through life for my children easier than it was for myself; and if, when at last called to answer the dread command, "Dust to dust,' I can feel like Toussaint L ' Overture, when he was borne away from his home by Napoleon' s soldiers, pointing back to it, said; You think you have destroyed the tree of liberty; 1 am only a branch; I have planted the tree itself so deep that ages can never root it up '—I shall be amply rewarded." [Great applause,]



We hail with pride the successful operation of a number of papers owned and controlled by colored men. Though their numbers are few, (between 20 and 30,) still they are sufficient in number and quality to prove that we may become successful in the hitherto almost untried fields of journalism. ' It is not only a prerogative, but a bounden duty, to enter every branch of industry that tends to enlighten and elevate, and none more certainly conduces to that end than intelligent journalism.

As in every industry, the pioneers in this profession are called upon to " bear the burden and heat of the day. " They run the race patiently and with perseverance, hoping that in due time they shall reap their reward. Colored papers are generally the result of a labor of love. Few of them are remunerative; few appreciated; but ther proprietors labor on, partly compensated by the conviction that they are doing a duty, and partly in the hope of ultimate success.

We should rally to the support of our journals, because they are the especial and natural conservators of our rights, willing to defend us when



and wherever assailed. However fairly the organs of the white people may be disposed to act, still their natural prejudices will invariably tinge their reports with injustice. No one can speak for us so satisfactorily as we can speak for ourselves. By a system of well-conducted papers we will be brought in close communion with one another, and in this way greatly promote race unity.

Our talented persons will find a channel through which their best thoughts may flow. Our communities can be educated by a proper sense of appreciation of our own workmen. Our rights can be asserted and demanded, not by persons actuated only by a sense of right, but by those who are the sufferers and speak from experience. Intelligence begets independence, and as we become a reading people we should be well supplied with such papers as present the dark side of current questions, as well as the bright side, to the end that our independence be judicious and reasonable.

In consideration of these and other advantages, we earnestly desire to present this matter to every colored person, with the hope that it will be viewed in the light of its great necessity. We appeal to every one of the race to select some good, responsible colored journal, and give it cheerful financial support. Do not magnify failings nor impugn its honest motives, but judge it with that leniency deservedly due to apprenticeship in every branch of industry.

By the united support of the race our journals will become paying institution; their editors will be enabled to render better service; the rights of the people will be better protected, and the general intelligence faithfully reflected through their columns will command universal respect, and will tend in a great degree to that place among other races that only true merit can win.


By Committee on Press:

Whereas the press of any nation is a true exponent of its mental and moral worth;

Whereas the progress of the colored people will be greatly facilitated and exemplified by intelligent, well-sustained colored journals;

Resolved, That we consider ourselves in duty bound, and hereby urge every colored person to give hearty support to the maintenance of an enlightened colored press.

By ex -Congressman Rainey, South Carolina:

Resolved, That the secretaries of this Conference be, and are hereby, authorized to compile the minutes of our proceedings, and publish the same in pamphlet form.

By J. W. Wilson, Missouri :

Resolved, That the colored press should take a decided stand for free, unrestricted and equal school privileges for colored children, and in localities where separate schools only are supported it should use every exertion to have only colored teachers employed in the colored schools.

By Ferdinand L. Barnett, Illinois:

Whereas the custom of spelling the word "Negro" without a capital letter is apparently the outgrowth of prejudice against that race;

Resolved, That we call attention to the error, and request the American Press to correct the same.

Respectfully submitted, F. L. Barnett, Illinois; W. F. Anderson, Tennessee; David Wilson, Mississippi; Bishop Wm. H. Miles, Kentucky; J as. D. Kennedy, Louisiana



W. R. Lawton , Missouri; David A . Robinson, Arkansas; Sam' l Lowery, Alabama; C. G. Wimbush, Georgia; J . W. Cromwell, Virginia; J. H. S. Parker, District of Columbia; Richard Allen, Texas; D. Jones, Oregon; John D. Lewis, Pennsylvania; Col. Robt. Harlan, Ohio; H. G. Newsom, Nebraska; T. W. Henderson, Kansas; J . W. James Indiana; Hon. J . H. Rainey, South Carolina; S. E . Hardy, Minnesota Committee.



To the honorable the Chairman and the Members of the Colored Men' s National Conference:

Your committee appointed to take under consideration the subject relative to the present migration of the colored people from certain Southern States to certain Northern States, having had the same under consideration, by leave do respectfully report as follows :

Taking into consideration the self-evident fact that oppression, Intimidation and violence of lawless men have and do now exist men who continue to outrage the rights and privileges granted said colored people by the Constitution of the United States, and render it almost, if not quite so, impossible for colored men to exercise with any degree of safety any of the rights, privileges, or immunities of American citizens, your committee is of the opinion that this exodus owes its origin to this fact more than any other. Your committee would further report that they have carefully examined the resolutions and papers referred to this committee, and after mature deliberation have concluded to report to your honorable body in accordance with the resolution, adopted by you in Thursday' s session to wit, dividing the subject under various headings.

FIRST—The Causes. The causes that have given rise to the migration among the colored people of the South are so generally known, and so numerous, that neither time nor space is at the command of your committee to enumerate them here. These are, however, some of the most potent causes which can be easily produced, and which will not occupy much time and space.

1. This migration movement is based on a determined and irrepressible desire, on the part of the colored people of the South, to go anywhere where they can escape the cruel treatment and continued threats of the dominant race in the South.

They are now told, and in addition thereto made to feel, the full force of this declaration: That this is a white man' s government, and that none; but white men shall govern it, rule in it, or dominate it. This declaration, in the opinion of every thinking man, is but Southern exemplification and revivication of the infamous partisan-accepted decision of the late Judge Taney, " that a Negro has no rights which a wliite man is bound to respect." Reason, sense, and justice have stamped this unrighteous verdict out from the statutes of our land; but it has found an abiding place in the South, and it is today one of their most cherished and faithfully-executed dogmas. Following up this pernicious creed, false as it is, those who insist on a white man' s government will not stop short of any means to practically disfranchise all who are not white men, on the grounds that all white men have equal rights, and that all other colors have just such rights as the whites may please to accord them.



As citizens of the States in the South and of the United States, the colored people of the South, invested with the rights, prerogatives, and high privileges of citizenship by the national Congress, do dispute the title of the white man to the sole government of this country, whether he is situated in South Carolina or Massachusetts, Louisiana or Kansas.

It is also a well-known fact that during the past two years the Democratic party in the South has had entire control of all their respective State governments, until the South has, under such control, passed into the proverb, "the solid South." They have, in plain words, their own local self-governments, and in every instance it has resulted in handing over every Southern State to Democratic rule, whether they were entitled to it or not. The colored people of the South have closely watched events that have transpired under this new order of things. They have felt keenly the policy which transferred them from a National and Republican protection—so far as ' their lives and rights were concerned—to a solid Democratic South, against which the Southern Negro had so determinedly and persistently voted since he possessed the right to vote.

But even then we did not hear of any extended migration movement on the part of the colored people so transferred. No, not even because Democracy and the champions and defenders of a white man's government had obtained complete control of their votes, their rights—aye, even their lives. It is only now, after two years' experience of the true inwardness of Democratic rule from a Southern standpoint, that the colored people are fleeing from what they justly consider the inadequateness, unwillingness, or downright refusal and failure—call it what you will—of the Democratic party to protect them in their civil, religious, and political rights.

2. Another and important cause is the almost, if not the total, failure on the part of any Democratic State administration in the South to faithfully carry out and perform their promises made to the colored people when said Democracy assumed control of their respective State governments.

The whole country knows what those Democratic promises were—made in some instances through Democratic orators, newspapers, conventions, but more notably, and in many instances, through legislative enactments. They were telegraphed all over the country, and published in nearly every newspaper in the land. We were to have no more political proscription; no more murders for political or color causes. The courts were to protect their black as well as their white citizens. The white lion and the black lamb were to lie down together, and a local democratic self-government was to lead them toward a new era of peace, prosperity, and good will to all men in the Southern States. Need we ask, have these legislative promises been kept? True, Democracy has "led" the colored man; but it has led him to believe that any place is better for him than his present home.

In the short space of two years the Democratic party of the South has fully satisfied the colored people here that they are not the safe custodians of their political and civil rights. They also find that the political prejudices of the Democratic party are paramount to all promises heretofore made by the representatives of said party; for, be it remembered, these promises were not made to the colored people alone, but to the Federal Government and the people of the United States; and the colored man naturally argues that if the Democratic party of the South proves false to promises made to such high authorities, he certainly has no hope for their being carried out with him. He has been made to feel, very sensibly, that the more vigorously he remonstrates against Democratic rule by the ballot the greater the disfavor in which he stands, and the larger the measure of the local denial of his constitutional rights.



Finally, as to the causes: The colored people of the Southern States have become thoroughly alarmed at the constant attacks on their political and civil rights, not only by legislative enactments and verdicts of courts, but more especially through and by the medium of State constitutional conventions. These conventions have been called in nearly every State once ruled by Republicans, but now under the rule of the Democratic party. In every instance the openly-avowed object for the holding of these constitutional conventions by Democrats is to overturn and repeal all laws passed by Republican conventions or legislatures looking toward the protection of colored people in all of their political, civil, and educational rights. In nearly every instance whenever these conventions have been held by Democrats, restrictions upon the rights of colored people have been enacted and passed to the statute-books of the State. These Democratic enactments have made the colored people the target for so-called vagrant laws, unjust poll-taxes, and curtailed educational advantages, and all legislation has been toward enfeebling them in all that Republican legislation strengthened and protected them.

The colored people of the South have no way of judging what Democracy in that section of the country will do in the future, only by what they are now doing and have done in the past ; and, judging by that, they have come to the conclusion that it is better to fly to evils (if any there be) they know not of, rather than to continue under the present evils, to which they have fallen heir through a Democratic bequest.

SECOND. Is there any truth in the report, that it is a scheme gotten up to irate the North against the South?

Your committee think it unjust to attribute this exodus or migration of colored people from the South to any such motives. It might as well be charged that such alone were the motives of the early abolitionist who demanded liberty for the slaves, and who perished in his demands until slavery was abolished. His scheme was founded on righteousness, justice, and right ; and if at this time certain men of the North are to-day demanding civil, religious, and political rights for the freedmen of the South at home if possible, elsewhere if necessary ; they are but making a grand finale of the original human undertaking of their predecessors who labored so faithfully that slavery should be abolished from our land. There may be, in some instances, those who would exult over the depopulation of the South, of her laboring classes, but such is not the great underlying principle of this exodus. This emigration scheme is not a spurt or sudden impulse, but the culmination of events which have been in an embryo condition since the war.

You will, doubtless, remember that near the close of the late war an effort was made to remove the colored people of the Southern States to Liberia, and for that purpose money was contributed by individuals, and the scheme started. It did not, however, succeed, owing to a disinclination of any great number of colored people to avail themselves of an opportunity to leave the United States. Another Liberian emigration scheme was started last year in South Carolina, but did not accomplish much. But these two instances differ materially from the present migration; while the colored people have always exhibited a disinclination to leave the South for any foreign country, they have never exhibited a disinclination to leave any Southern State, where, under Democratic rule, their rights have been curtailed or threatened. Notably is this the case in South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. A steady stream of colored people from these States has been pouring into Mississippi and Louisiana for the past four or five years, solely on account of the unjust laws enacted by Democratic constitutional conventions and legislatures, whose principal achievements were the repeal of nearly every law passed by Republicans for their protection. They came into Louisiana and Mississippi



because these States were under Republican rule, and they left Alabama, Georgia, and other Southern States because they were under Southern Democratic rule. Surely, if they left those States because of the evils in operation against them there, it is but natural that they should leave Mississippi and Louisiana, for they are experiencing the same there. There are no other Southern States for them to go to, consequently they will take Horace Greeley's advice, and go West.

For these and many other reasons which your committee could adduce, if time and space permitted, your committee is clearly of the opinion that the migration of the Southern colored people to Kansas and other Northern States is not for the purpose of irritating the North against the South.

THIRD.—What are the remedies to be pursued to stop the movement ? Would the colored people accept concessions if made to them ; and if so, of what nature?

This proposition, like the first one, is of such moment that your committee could not find time or space at this time to enter into an extended argument on this subject.

There is no desire on the part of the colored people of the South to deny the fact that they are thoroughly attached to their homes in the South, and would prefer remaining there than going anywhere else on earth. Indeed, so great is their love for the South that no ordinary consideration would induce them to abandon it. This declaration is amply proven by the fact that, although their former masters went into the rebellion to continue and strengthen their system of slavery, the slaves remained quietly at home and tilled the soil and cared for the families of the absent Confederate soldiers. When they were called into the service of the United States as soldiers, they served; but when they were discharged they returned to their former plantations, even as the Confederate soldier returned to his home. When Abraham Lincoln proclaimed them free, they did not abandon their homes, except in some instances to follow the American flag as a protection to them in their newfound freedom; and here they have attempted to stay, under all manner of iniquities, outrages and wrong; but as these were perpetrated on him during the time that Republican laws were in the ascendency, he stayed, hoping in the final triumph of right over might. But to-day all this is changed. The Democracy rule; their promises to the colored people have not been kept; legislation, capital and one class of people are against them; he has been subjected to greater outrages under Democratic rule than ever before under Republican rule; and even now their rights are further threatened.

There must be no uncertain powerful public sentiment in the country at large, and a returning sense of justice in the disturbed localities. To start with this course will be to suggest and apply correctives to the abuses which have brought about this migration, and the dominant class, convinced not only of the wickedness but the folly of their proscription may so enforce the law as to secure to all citizens the enjoyment, practically, equality of rights.

In this event the migration would be undoubtedly checked, and even if it was persevered in, but comparatively few would avail themselves of this dernier resort. However, it cannot successfully be denied that proscription and outrage against the colored people have obtained In certain localities to such an extent as to breed profound discontent and prevalent restlessness in many communities, and which must be absolutely and unmistakably allayed in order to estop this flight of the colored people out from their modern Egypt.

We affirm that only by the equal justice of laws grouping together the common interests of all her citizens, regardless of race or parties; the



strength of the united energies, minds and sinews of her whole people; the experience and maturity of the intellect and wisdom of her true sons; and the willing, eager thirst after protection in all their rights here at home, by her unfortunate colored citizen—freedom from persecution, violence and bloodshed--by only these just results can a remedy be found which will surely induce these people to remain.

Fourth.—Have colored people pursued the wisest course by migrating?

Your committee simply answer this question by referring to the history of those who have in the past left their homes, firesides and fortunes, and sought perfect freedom from persecution, proscription and might triumphing over right, and gone forth among strangers, in strange lands, seeking for that which they were denied at home.

Fifth.—Question. How is the movement likely to attract the two political parties in the next canvass, both State and national?

Answer. The political effect of this migration is afar off, and in our opinion, considerably removed from the next campaign. If, under the existing state of affairs, they all stay, the South is hopelessly Democratic, although there are more Republicans in the Southern States than Democrats. If they are compelled to leave—why, the Southern States are Democratic still. So much for the State. Nationally it will be some time before the Southern States would be made to feel the loss of her colored voters, probably not until after the next United States census is taken, when each Southern State may find herself minus one or more Congressmen, and this loss added to the representation of some Northern State.

But the Negro of the South does not desire to predicate his right to free suffrage on the score of controlling the offices in the gift of his party alone: he believes that his duty as a voter is that he may assist in perpetuating this Union against those who may, in the future, attempt, as they did in the past, to destroy it, or even separate it. The Negro voter of the South believes, and takes pride in that belief, that their votes are necessary to support, sustain and perpetuate the great principles of the Republican party, and further the scheme of universal suffrage, a united country and a prosperous, happy future for all their citizens, irrespective of race, color, nationality or party.

In the South especially has the Negro been led to believe that his vote was necessary to keep the Southern States within the Union, and to assist in reorganizing these States in keeping with the Constitution of our land. How well he has performed his duty, with what fidelity and faithfulness, and at what sacrifices he has carried his sacred responsibilities, need not be repeated here.

What the Negro voter of the South demands politically is not the mere vote. What he demands is that it shall be as safe to deposit a colored republican vote in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi or Louisiana, as it is to cast a while Republican vote in New York, Pennsylvania or Massachusetts. He demands that Republicanism in the South, whether successful or otherwise, shall be as safe and free from terrorism as it is in the North. Nothing short of this will satisfy the colored voter of the South, and if he cannot enjoy these natural privileges in tlie South, he will be pretty apt to seek some other place within the United States where he can exercise them without fear or hindrance.

Question. Any other remarks or observations that may occur to you?

Answer. We have already said so much on the subject that it is hardly necessary for us to add any more in the shape of remarks or observations.

The colored people, by their involuntary pilgrimage hence for some spot in this country where they can live as freemen, free to vote and act



in all that belong to American citizens, sweep away the oft-repeated declaration of Democratic orators, Congressmen and newspapers, that under Democratic rule the Negro of the South was better off, better contented and better protected than he was under Republican rule. Southern Democratic orators in Congress may assert that the Negro is quiet and contented under their government. They are quickly and decisively answered by the fact that they are leaving their sunny Southern homes for Northern climes and the fullest liberty. This exodus is an argument against the declaration of their content, and an argument that can neither be gainsaid nor successfully denied.

We beg leave to submit the following resolutions : Whereas the political and civil rights of the colored people from the Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico are abridged and curtailed in every conceivable manner;

Whereas there seems to be no disposition on the part of the great majority of Southern whites to better this condition of affairs, or to grant the colored people their full rights of citizenship; and

Whereas a further submission to the wrongs imposed, and a further acquiescence in the abrogation of our rights and privileges would prove us unfit for citizenship, devoid of manhood, and unworthy the respect of men; therefore

Resolved, That it is the sense of this Conference that the great current of migration, which has, for the past few months, taken so many of our people from their homes in the South, and which is still carrying hundreds to the free and fertile West, should be encouraged and kept in motion until those who remain are accorded every right and privilege guaranteed by the Constitution and laws.

Resolved, That we recommend great care on the part of those who migrate. They should leave home well prepared with certain knowledge of localities to which they intend to move ; money enough to pay their passage and enable them to begin life in their new homes with prospect of ultimate success.

Resolved, That this Conference indorse the Windom Committee as the permanent National Executive Committee on migration.

Resolved, That the American Protective Society, organized by this Conference, be, and are hereby, authorized and ordered to co-operate with the said committee in the earnest endeavor to secure homes in the West for those of our race who are denied the full enjoyment of American citizenship.

We also recommend the adoption of the following resolution :

Resolved, That this Conference recommend that the National Executive Committee, of which Senator Windom is chairman, appoint a committee of three to visit the Western States and Territories, and report not later than the 1st of November upon the health, climate, and productions of said States and Territories.

Hon. J. T. Rapier. Alabama; George N. Perkins, Arkansas; J. C. Napier, Tennessee; R. W. Fitzhugh, Mississippi; G. W. Gentry, Kentucky; Hon. J. H. Burch, Louisiana; W. R. L awton, Missouri; W. B. Higginbotham, Georgia; .John Avertt, Virginia; J. H. S. Parker, District of Columbia; B. F. Williams, Texas; D. Jones, Oregon; J. D. Lewis, Pennsylvania; F.L. Barnett, Illinois; Colonel Robert Harlan, Ohio; H. G. Newsom, Nebraska; Hon. J. H. Rainey, South Carolina; S. E. Hardy, Minnesota; G. L. Knox, Indiana—Committee.






Washington, D. C., May 5, 1879.

To the President and Members of the National Conference of Colored Men, assembled at Nashville, Tennessee:

GENTLEMEN: Having been associated with our fellow citizens who united in the call for this Conference, and having been selected by the Executive Committee to introduce discussion here upon the subject of migration, and finding it impossible, on account of the pressing duties of my position at this time, to attend the Conference, I take the liberty of addressing you this note. Happily for me, and perhaps for us all, thousands on thousands of our brethren lately resident in the lower States of the Mississippi Valley have introduced the discussion before us, and that, too, in the most effective manner, challenging the attention of the whole country by their spontaneous and sublime uprising.

Migration from the South to the West is no longer a theory to be discussed in reference to practicability and the wisdom of such action, but it is a fixed fact. Thousands have gone; other thousands will follow. The migration of the colored people from the South is but a repetition of the old, old story in human history. It is the last recourse of a rising, free and manly people to escape from evils which they cannot otherwise successfully resist. Believing, as I have for years, that this means is the best available to us of solving at least in part our difficulties in the South, I have earnestly advocated the measure everywhere.

For many years to come it will be impossible for colored men to enjoy in the South the liberty and justice ordained by the Constitution of our country. The long habit of lordly authority on the one hand, and subjection of the masses on the other, cannot easily be put away. It is impossible with the white people of the South at this day to regard the Negro as a man entitled to equal citizenship and consideration. They cannot think of him except as a servant, subject to orders, and whose first duty is to obey. Hence their difficulty when they would influence his conduct in attempting to do so by use of those means by which one free man should try to control another, by setting before him the motives of honor, prosperity, and reward. In their views of colored inferiority and rightful subordination they are perfectly honest and sincere. But we should show them that we are equally honest and sincere in our objection to such consideration and the treatment that naturally follows, and we should be as positive and emphatic as a thunder-drum in affirming the determination to submit to oppression no longer. Finally, as a Western man, familiar with its condition and wants, I affirm that there is room there for a full round million of this people. Only let them be distributed. We should avoid huddling together in any one State or community. Let them spread abroad in all the great States and Territories of the great and growing West, and thus secure for themselves and their children the blessing of freedom, education, and justice.

With heartfelt greeting, and the wish that you may have a harmonious and profitable session, believe me, yours, for the welfare of our race and the glory of our country, J. C. Embry.




Tennessee.— Randall Brown, $ 1; T. A. Sykes, 1; T. W. Lott, 1; L. A. Roberts, 1; B , A. J. Nixon, 1; A. F. A. Pope, 50 cents; J.H. Burrus, $1; W. F. Yeardlev, 1; J. C. Napier, 1; W. F. Anderson, 1; J.M. Smith, 1; Dr. J. McKinly, 1; W. A. Henderson, 1; H. H. Thompson, 1; R. F. Boyd, 1; B. J. Hadley, 1; Wm. Sumner, 1; G. H. Shaffer, 1; J. W. Grant, 1; J. H. Kelly, 1; M. F. Wamack, 1; Rev. D. Watkins, 1; Rev. G. W. LeVere, 1; Rev. C. O. H. Thomas, $ 1; J. B. Bosley, $1; J.H. Hendricks, 1; W. C. Hodge, 1; S. Griffith, 50 cents.

Mississippi.— J. R. Lynch, $1; Theo. H. Greene, 1; Rev. J. H. Bufford, 1; S. P. Cheers, 1; D. Wilson, 1; R. W. Fitzhugh, 1; Thos. Richardson, 1; B. G. Booth. 1; J. C. Matthews, 1; W. H. Maury, 1.

Kentucky.— A. Allensworth, $ 1; John Garnett, 1; Horace Lewis, 1; W. H. Nichol, 1; G. W. Gentry, 1; G. W. Darden, 50 cents.

Louisiana. F. B. S. Pinchback, $ 1; J. H. Burch, 1; J. D. Kennedy,1; J. Lewis, 1; L.T. Kenner, 1; Charles A. Burgeois, 1.

Missouri.— W. R. Lawton, $1; J. W. Wilson, 1.

Arkansas.— W. Gibbs, $1; J. R. Rolland, 1; H. W. Watkins, 1; H. B. Robinson, 1; S. H. Holland, 1; F. B. Antoine, 1; J. P. J ones, 1; J.T. Jenifer, 1; George N. Perkins, 1; Isaac Gillam, 1; David A. Robinson, 1;M. G. Turner, 1.

Alabama.— H. C. Binford, $ 1; D. S. Brandon, 1; Rev. W. O. Lynch, 1; Rev. J. M. Goodloe, 1; J. H. Thomason, 1; Rev. W. H. Ashe, 1; Hon. J. T. Rapier, 1; P. J. Crenshaw, 1; G. S. W. Lewis, 1; S. Lowry, 1; W.H. Councill, 1; Rev. W. H. McAlpine, 1; W. J. Stevens, 1; Rev. P. C. Murphv, 1; L. W. Cummins. 1; H. V. Cashin, Esq., 1; David Wilson, 1; E.D. Pope, 1.

Georgia.— C.C. Wimbush, $1; W. B. Higginbotham, 1; J. H. Delamotta, 1; R. R. Wright, S.C. Upshaw, 1; Madison Blunt, 1; W. A. Pledger; M. Bentley, 1.

Indiana.— R. Nichols, $1; F. D. Morton, 1; Rev. G. McFariand, 1; J. A. Braboy, 1; Simon Daniels, 1; J. W. James, 1; Rev. W. H. Anderson, 1; G. L. Knox , 1; J. H. Walker, 1.

Virginia.—J. W. Cromwell, $1; John Averitt, 1; R. A. Perkins, 1.

District of Columbia.—J. H. S. Parker, $1.

Texas.— R. Allen, $1; B. R. Taylor, 1; E. H. Anderson, 1; B. F. Williams, 1; N. W. Cuney, 1.

Oregon.— Rev. D. Jones, $1.

Pennsylvania.—J. D. Lewis, $1; Hon. Wm. Still, 1.

Illinois.—F. L. Barnett, $1; J. J. Bird, 1.

Ohio.—Colonel R. Harlan, $1.

Nebraska.— H. G. Newsom, $1.

South Carolina.—Hon. J. H. Rainey, $1.

Minnesota.—S. E. Hardy, $1.

Kansas.—T. W. Henderson, $1.

Several letters and papers from eminent gentlemen and associations in different parts of the country were submitted, which if published would swell this pamphlet far above its present size. As the net amount raised by the conference did not meet one half of the expense of publishing these proceedings, I trust it will be considered no lack of disrespect that these valuable papers do not now see the light. Respectfully,

J. W. Cromwell,


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National Conference of Colored Men of the United States (1879 : Nashville, TN), “Proceedings of the National Conference of Colored Men of the United States, Held in the State Capitol at Nashville Tennessee, May 6, 7, 8 and 9, 1879.,” Colored Conventions Project Digital Records, accessed April 18, 2024,