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Proceedings of the Colored national convention, held in Rochester, July 6th, 7th, and 8th, 1853.


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Proceedings of the Colored national convention, held in Rochester, July 6th, 7th, and 8th, 1853.


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FELLOW CITIZENS:—In the exercise of a liberty which, we hope, you will not deem unwarrantable, and which is given us, in virtue of our connection and identity with you, the undersigned do hereby, most earnestly and affectionately, invite you, by your appropriate and chosen representatives, to assemble at ROCHESTER, N. Y., on the 6th of July, 1853 under the form and title of a National Convention of the free people of color of the United States.

After due thought and reflection upon the subject, in which has entered a profound desire to serve a common cause, we have arrived at the conclusion, that the time has now fully come when the free colored people from all parts of the United States, should meet together, to confer and deliberate upon their present condition, and upon principles and measures important to their welfare, progress and general improvement.

The aspects of our cause, whether viewed as being hostile or friendly, are alike full of argument in favor of such a Convention. Both reason and feeling have assigned to us a place in the conflict now going on in our land between liberty and equality on the one hand, and slavery and caste on the other-a place which we cannot fail to occupy without branding ourselves as unworthy of our natural post, and recreant to the cause we profess to love.—Under the whole heavens, there is not to be found a people which can show better cause for assembling in such a Convention than we.

Our fellow-countrymen now in chains, to whom we are united in a common destiny demand it; and a wise solicitude for our own honor, and that of our children, impels us to this course of action. We have gross and flagrant wrongs against which, if we are men of spirit we are bound to protest. We have high and holy rights, which every instinct of human nature and every sentiment of manly virtue bid us to preserve and protect to the full extent of our ability. We have opportunities to improve—difficulties peculiar to our


condition to meet-mistakes and errors of our own to correct-and therefore we need the accumulated knowledge, the united character, and the combined wisdom of our people to make us (under God) sufficient for these things.—The Fugitive Slave Act, the most cruel, unconstitutional and scandalous outrage of modern times—the proscriptive legislation of several States with a view to drive our people from their borders—the exclusion of our children from schools supported by our money—the prohibition of the exercise of the franchise--the exclusion of colored citizens from the jury box--the social barriers erected against our learning trades--the wily and vigorous efforts of the American Colonization Society to employ the arm of government to expel us from our native land--and withal the propitious awakening to the fact of our condition at home and abroad, which has followed the publication of "Uncle Toms Cabin”—call trumpet-tongued for our union, cooperation and action in the premises.

Convinced that the number amongst us must be small, who so far miscalculate and undervalue the importance of united and intelligent moral action, as to regard it as useless, the undersigned do not feel called upon here for an argument in its favor. Our warfare is not one where force can be employed; we battle against false and hurtful customs, and against the great errors opinion which support such customs. Nations are more and more guided by the enlightened and energetically expressed judgment of mankind. On the subject of our own condition and welfare, we may safely and properly appeal to that judgment, Let us meet, then near the anniversary of this nation's independence, and enforce anew the great principles and self-evident truths which were proclaimed at the beginning of the Republic.

Among the matters which will engage the attention of the Convention will be a proposition to establish a NATIONAL COUNCIL of our people with a view to permanent existence. This subject is one of vast importance, and should only be disposed of in the light of a wise deliberation. There will come before the Convention matters touching the disposition of such funds as our friends abroad, through Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe may appropriate to the cause of our progress and improvement. In a word, the whole field of our interests will be opened to enquiry, investigation and determination.

That this may be done successfully, it is desirable that each delegate to the Convention should bring with him an accurate statement as to the number of colored in habitants in his town or neighborhood—the amount of property owned by them—their business or occupation—the state of education—the extent of their school privileges and the number of children in attendance, and any other information which may serve the great purposes of the Convention.

In order that no community shall be represented beyond its due proportion, it is intended that the Convention shall only be composed of regularly chosen delegates, appointed by public meetings, and bearing credentials signed by the President of said meetings.

It is recommended that all colored churches, literary and other societies, banded together for laudable purposes, proceed at once to the appointment


of at least one, and not more than three, delegates to attend the National Convention. Such persons as come from towns, villages or counties, where no regular delegate may have been chosen, shall be received and enrolled as honorary members of the Convention.







JUNIUS C. MORELL, Brooklyn, N. Y.








GEO. B. VASHON, Syracuse, N.Y.


WM. JOESON, Providence R. I.







J. J. G. BIAS, Pennsylvania.




L. KELLY, Mass.



H. O. WAGONER, Illinois.

E. P. ROGERS, Newark, N. J.

GEO. DE, BAPTIST, Detroit Mich.






JEHIEL C. BEMAN, Connecticut.









Pursuant to the Call, the Convention assembled in Corinthian Hall on Wednesday, July 6th, 1853, and was called to order by Rev. Amos G. Beman of Connecticut.

On motion of Rev. Charles B. Ray, of New York, the Rev. John Peck, of Pittsburgh, Pa, was appointed President pro tem.; and Wm. Whipper, of Pennsylvania, and Wm. C. Nell, of Massachusetts, were appointed Secretaries pro tem. James McCune Smith, M.D., then read the Call for the Convention.

On motion of David Jenkings, of Ohio, the delegates were called upon by States, to present their credentials.

Moved by James McCune Smith, that the signers of the Call be considered members de facto of this body, whether elected or not. After some discussion, on motion of Wm. H. Day, it was amended so as to read that the signers to the Call of this Convention be, and are hereby constituted members of this Convention. The amendment was carried, and the motions as amended was then adopted.

It was moved that a Committee of eight be appointed by the Chair to nominate officers for the convention. The Chair appointed the following, named persons said Committee: James McCune Smith, Rev. L. A. Grimes, Rev. Stephen Smith, Wm. H. Day, T. G. Campbell, Rev. Byrd Parker, Rev. A. G. Beman, Rev. Wm. C. Munroe.

On motion, the Convention adjourned to meet at 2½ P. M.


Convention met at 2½ P.M. Rev. John Peck, President, pro tem., in the Chair. Prayer by Rev. Jehial C. Beman. The Committee on nominations reported by their Chairman, James McCune Smith, the following named persons as officers of this Convention:

President-James W. C. Pennington, D. D., of New York; Vice President-Wm. H. Day, of Ohio; Amos G. Beman, Connecticut; Wm. C. Nell, Massachusetts; Frederick Douglass, New York; James C. McCrumbell, and John B. Vashon, Pennsylvania; John Jones, Illinois.

Secretaries--Peter H. Clarke, Ohio; Chas. B. Ray and Wm. J. Wilson, New York; Charles L. Reason, Pennsylvania.

The President, on taking the Chair, made a short address. The officers were invited to their respective seats.


Moved that a business Committee of 9 be appointed. J. C. McCrummell, moved an amendment that the Committee consist of 12. Carried. The motion as amended was then adoptod. The Chair appointed the following named persons said Committee, viz.: James McCune Smith, Wm. Whipper, C. H. Langston, H. O. Wagoner, J. C. Beman, Wm. H. Topp, Wm. C. Nell, Wm. C. Munroe, John J. Gaines, Stephen Smith, Horace B. Smith, Geo.T. Downing.

Moved that a Committee of 3 be appointed on Finance. Carried. Edward V. Clarke, David Jenkins and T. G. Campbell, were appointed said Committee

Moved that a Committee of 5 be appointed on a Declaration of Sentiments Frederick Douglass, H. O. Wagoner, Rev. A. N. Freeman, J. M. Whitfield, G. B. Vashon.

The Business Committee reported in part, a resolution recommending days of fasting and prayer, which were accepted.

Moved that they be taken up in sections. Carried.

The Preamble and resolution were read.

Moved that the 1st Resolution be adopted.

The question was discussed; pending which, it was by motion laid on the table, to receive a Report from the Finance Committee. The Report provided that each member be assessed in the sum of 75 cents, and that a collection be taken up each evening.

Moved by Stephen Smith that the sum of one dollar be substituted for 75 cents, and that the provision for collections be stricken out. Carried.

Frederick Douglass, Chairman of Committee on Declaration of Sentiments made the following Report:





FELLOW-CITIZENS: Met in convention as delegates, representing the Free Colored people of the United States; charged with the responsibility of inquiring into the general condition of our people, and of devising measures which may, with the blessing of God, tend to our mutual improvement and elevation; conscious of entertaining no motives, ideas, or aspirations, but such as are in accordance with truth and justice, and are compatible with the highest good of our country and the world, with a cause as vital and worthy as that for which (nearly eighty years ago) your fathers and our fathers bravely contended, and in which they gloriously triumphed—we deem it proper, on this occasion, as one method of promoting the honorable ends for which we have met, and of discharging our duty to those in whose name we


speak, to present the claims of our common cause to your candid, earnest, and favorable consideration.

As an apology for addressing you, fellow-citizens ! we cannot announce the discovery of any new principle adapted to ameliorate the condition of mankind. The great truths of moral and political science, upon which we rely, and which we press upon your consideration, have been evolved and ennunciated by you. We point to your principles, your wisdom, and to yourgreat example as the full justification of our course this day. That "ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL : that "LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS” ARE THE RIGHT OF ALL; that "TAXATION AND REPRESENTATION" SHOULD GO TOGETHER; that GOVERNMENTS ARE TO PROTECT, NOT TO DESTROY, THE RIGHTS OF MANKIND; that THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES WAS FORMED TO ESTABLISH JUSTICE, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, AND SECURE THE BLESSING OF LIBERTY TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY; THAT RESISTANCE TO TYRANTS IS OBEDIENCE TO GOD—are American principles and maxims, and together they form and constitute the constructive elements of the American government. From this elevated platform, provided by the Republic for us, and for all the children of men, we address you. In doing so, we would have our spirit properly discerned. On this point we would gladly free ourselves and our cause from all misconception. We shall affect no especial timidity, nor can we pretend to any great boldness. We know our poverty and weakness, and your wealth and greatness. Yet we will not attempt to repress the spirit of liberty within us, or to conceal, in any wise, our sense of the justice and the dignity of our cause.

We are Americans, and as Americans, we would speak to Americans. We address you not as aliens nor as exiles, humbly asking to be permitted to dwell among you in peace; but we address you as American citizens asserting their rights on their own native soil. Neither do we address you as enemies, (although the recipients of innumerable wrongs;) but in the spirit of patriotic good will. In assembling together as we have done, our object is not to excite pity for ourselves, but to command respect for our cause, and to obtain justice for our people. We are not malefactors imploring mercy; but we trust we are honest men, honestly appealing for righteous judgment, and ready to stand or fall by that judgment. We do not solicit unusual favor, but will be content with roughhanded "fair play.” We are neither lame or blind, that we should seek to throw off the responsibility of our own existence, or to cast ourselves upon public charity for support. We would not lay our burdens upon other men's shoulders; but we do ask, in the name of all that is just and magnanimous among men, to be freed from all the unnatural burdens and impediments with which American customs and American legislation have hindered our progress and improvement. We ask to be disencumbered of the load of popular reproach heaped upon us—for no better cause than that we wear the complexion given us by our God and our Creator.

We ask that in our native land, we shall not be treated as strangers, and worse than strangers.

We ask that, being friends of America, we should not be treated as enemies of America.


We ask that, speaking the same language and being of the same religion, worshipping the same God, owing our redemption to the same Savior, and learning our duties from the same Bible, we shall not be treated as barbarians.

We ask that, having the same physical, moral, mental, and spiritual wants, common to other members of the human family, we shall also have the same means which are granted and secured to others, to supply those wants.

We ask that the doors of the school-house, the work-shop, the church, the college, shall be thrown open as freely to our children as to the children of other members of the community.

We ask that the American government shall be so administered as that beneath the broad shield of the Constitution, the colored American seaman, shall be secure in his life, liberty and property, in every State in the Union.

We ask that as justice knows no rich, no poor, no black, no white, but, like the government of God, renders alike to every man reward or punishment, according as his works shall be—the white and black man may stand upon an equal footing before the laws of the land.

We ask that (since the right of trial by jury is a safeguard to liberty, against the encroachments of power, only as it is a trial by impartial men, drawn indiscriminately from the country) colored men shall not, in every instance, be tried by white persons; and that colored men shall not be either by custom or enactment excluded from the jury-box.

We ask that (inasmuch as we are, in common with other American citizens, supporters of the State, subject to its laws, interested in its welfare liable to be called upon to defend it in time of war, contributors to its wealth in time of peace) the complete and unrestricted right of suffrage, which is essential to the dignity even of the white man, be extended to the Free Colored man also.

Whereas the colored people of the United States have too long been retarded and impeded in the development and improvement of their natural faculties and powers, ever to become dangerous rivals to white men, in the honorable pursuits of life, liberty and happiness; and whereas, the proud Anglo-Saxon can need no arbitrary protection from open and equal competition with any variety of the human family; and whereas, laws have been enacted limiting the aspirations of colored men, as against white men—we respectfully submit that such laws are flagrantly unjust to the man of color, and plainly discreditable to white men; and for these and other reasons, such laws ought to be repealed,

We especially urge that all laws and usages which preclude the enrollment of colored men in the militia, and prohibit their bearing arms in the navy, disallow their rising, agreeable to their merits and attainments—are unconstitutional—the constitution knowing no color—are anti-Democratic, since Democracy respects men as equals—are unmagnanimous, since such laws are made by the many, against the few, and by the strong against the weak.

We ask that all those cruel and oppressive laws, whether enacted at the South or the North, which aim at the expatriation of the free people of color, shall be stamped with national reprobation, denounced as contrary to the


manity of the American people, and as an outrage upon the Christianity and civilization of the nineteenth century.

We ask that the right of pre-emption, enjoyed by all white settlers upon the public lands, shall also be enjoyed by colored settlers; and that the word "white" be struck from the pre-emption act. We ask that no appropriations whatever, state or national, shall be granted to the colonization scheme; and we would have our right to leave or to remain in the United States placed above legislative interference.

We ask that the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, that legislative monster of modern times, by whose atrocious provisions the writ of "habeas corpus," the "right of trial by jury," have been virtually abolished, shall be repealed.

We ask, that the law of 1793 be so construed as to apply only to apprentices, and others really owing service or labor; and not to slaves, who can owe nothing. Finally, we ask that slavery in the United States shall be immediately, unconditionally, and forever abolished,

To accomplish these just and reasonable ends, we solemnly pledge ourselves to God, to each other, to our country, and to the world, to use all and every means consistent with the just rights of our fellow men, and with the precepts of Christianity.

We shall speak, write and publish, organize and combine to accomplish them.

We shall invoke the aid of the pulpit and the press to gain them.

We shall appeal to the church and to the government to gain them.

We shall vote, and expend our money to gain them.

We shall send eloquent men of our own condition to plead our cause before the people.

We shall invited the co-operation of good men in this country and throughout the world--and above all, we shall look to God, the Father and Creator of all men, for wisdom to direct us and strength to support us in the holy cause to which we this day solemnly pledge ourselves.

Such, fellow-citizens are our aims, aspirations and determinations. We place them before you, with the earnest hope, that upon further investigation, they will meet your cordial and active approval.

And yet, again, we would free ourselves from the charge of unreasonableness and self-sufficiency.

In numbers we are few and feeble; but in the goodness of our cause, in the rectitude of our motives, and in the abundance of argument on our side, we are many and strong.

We count our friends in the heavens above, in the earth beneath, among good men and holy angels. The subtle and mysterious cords of human sympathy have connected us with philanthropic hearts throughout the civilized world. The number in our own land who already recognize the justice of our cause, and are laboring to promote it, is great and increasing.

It is also a source of encouragement, that the genuine American, brave and independent himself, will respect bravery and independence in others. He spurns servility and meanness, whether they be manifested by nations or by individuals. We submit, therefore, that there is neither necessity for, not dis-


position on our part to assume a tone of excessive humility. While we would be respectful, we must address you as men, as citizens, as brothers, as dwellers in a common country, equally interested with you for its welfare, its honor and for its prosperity.

To be still more explicit: we would, first of all, be understood to range ourselves no lower among our fellow-countrymen than is implied in the high appellation of "citizen."

Notwithstanding the impositions and deprivations which have fettered us--notwithstanding the disabilities and liabilities, pending and impending--notwithstanding the cunning, cruel, and scandalous efforts to blot out that right, we declare that we are, and of right we ought to be American citizens. We claim this right, and we claim all the rights and privileges, and duties which, properly, attach to it.

It may, and it will, probably, be disputed that we are citizens. we are citizens. We may, and, probably, shall be denounced for this declaration, as making an inconsiderate, impertinent and absurd claim to citizenship; but a very little reflection will vindicate the position we have assumed, from so unfavorable a judgment. Justice is never inconsiderate; truth is never impertinent; right is never absurd. If the claim we set up be just, true and right, it will not be deemed improper or ridiculous in us so to declare it. Nor is it disrespectful to our fellow-citizens, who repudiate the aristocratic notions of the old world that we range ourselves with them in respect to all the rights and prerogatives belonging to American citizens. Indeed, we believe, when you have duly considered this subject, you will commend us for the mildness and modesty with which we have taken our ground.

By birth, we are American citizens; by the principles of the Declaration of Independence, we are American citizens; within the meaning of the United States Constitution, we are American citizens; by the facts of history, and the admissions of American statesmen, we are American citizens; by the hardships and trials endured; by the courage and fidelity displayed by our ancestors in defending the liberties and in achieving the independence of our land, we are American citizens. In proof of justice of this primary claim, we might cite numerous authorities, facts and testimonies,--a few only must suffice.

In the Convention of New York, held for amending the Constitution of that State, in the year 1821, an interesting discussion took place, upon a proposition to prefix the word "white" to male citizens. Nathan Sandford, then late Chancellor of the State, said:

"Here there is but one estate--the people--and to me the only qualification seems to be their virtue and morality. If they may be safely trusted to vote for one class of rulers, why not for all? The principle of the scheme is, that those who bear the burdens of the State, shall choose those that rule it."

Dr. Robert Clark, in the same debate, said:

"I am unwilling to retain the word 'white,' because it is repugnant to all the principles and notions of liberty, to which we have heretofore professed to adhere, and to our 'Declaration of Independence,' which is a concise and just expose of those principles." He said "it had been appropriately observed by the Hon. gentleman from Westchester, (Mr. Jay,) that by retaining this word, you violate the Constitution of the United States."


Chancellor Kent supported the motion of Mr. Jay to strike out the word "white.

He did not come to this Convention," said he, "to disfranchise any portion of the community."

Peter A. Jay, on the same occasion, said, "It is insisted that this Convention, clothed with all the powers of the sovereign people of the State, have a right to construct the government in a manner they think most conducive to the general good. If Sir, right and power be equivalent terms, then I am far from disputing the rights of this assembly/ We have power, Sir, I acknowledge, not only to disfranchise every black family, but as many white families also, as we may think expedient. We may place the whole government in the hands of a few and thus construct an aristocracy. * * * * * * But, Sir, right and power are not convertible terms. No man, no body of men, however powerful, have a right to do wrong."

In the same Convention, Martin Van Buren said:

"There were two words which has come into common use with our revolutionary struggle--words which contained an abridgment of our political rights--words which, at that day, had a talismanic effect--which led our fathers from the bosom of their families to the tented field--which for seven long years of toil and suffering, had kept them to their arms, and which, finally conducted them to a glorious triumph. They were 'Taxation and Representation.' Nor did they lose their influence with the close of the struggle. They were never heard in our halls of legislation without bringing to our recollection the consecrated feelings of those who won our liberties, or, reminding us of everything that was sacred in principle."

Ogden Edwards without, said "he considered it no better than robbery to demand the contributions of colored people towards defraying the public expenses, and at the same time to disfranchise them."

But we must close our quotations from these debates. Much more could be cited, to show that colored men are not only citizens, but that they have a right to the exercise of the elective franchise in the State of New York. If the right of citizenship is established in the State of New York, it is in consequence of the same facts which exist at least in every free State of the Union. We turn from the debates in the State of New york to the nation; and here we find testimony abundant and incontestible, that Free Colored people are esteemed as citizens, by the highest authorities in the United States.

The Constitution of the United States declares "that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the "United States."

There is in the clause of the Constitution, nothing whatever, of that watchful malignity which has manifested itself lately in the insertion of the word "white" before the term "citizen." The word "white" was unknown to the framers of the Constitution of the United States in such connections - unknown to the signers of the Declaration of Independence - unknown to the brave men at Bunker Hill, Ticonderoga and at Red Bank. It is a modern word, brought into use by modern legislators, despised in revolutionary times. The question of our citizenship came up as a national question, and was settled during the pendency of the Missouri question, in 1820.

It will be remembered that the State presented herself for admission into


the Union, with a clause in her Constitution prohibiting the settlement of colored citizens within her borders. Resistance was made to her admission into the Union, upon that very ground; and it was not until that State receded from her unconstitutional position, that President Monroe declared the admission of Missouri into the Union to be complete.

According to Niles Register, August 18th, vol. 20, page 338-339, the refusal to admit Missouri into the Union was not withdrawn until the General Assembly of that State, in conformity to a fundamental condition imposed by Congress, had, by an act passed for that purpose, solemnly enacted and declared:

“That this State Missouri has assented, and does assent, that the fourth clause of the 26th section of the third article of their Constitution should never be construed to authorize the passage of any law, and that no law shall be passed in conformity thereto, by which any citizen of either of the United States shall be excluded from the enjoyment of any of the privileges and immunities to which such citizens are entitled, under the Constitution of the United States.”

Upon this action by the State of Missouri, President Monroe proclaimed the admission of Missouri into the Union.

Here, fellow-citizens, we have a recognition of our citizenship by the highest authority of the United States; and here we might rest our claim to citizenship. But there have been services performed, hardships endured, courage displayed by our fathers, which modern American historians forget to record a knowledge of which is essential to an intelligent judgment of the merits of our people. Thirty years ago, slavery was less powerful than it is now; American statesmen were more independent then, than now; and as a consequence, the black mans patriotism and bravery were more readily recognized. The age of slave-hunting had not then come on. In the memorable debate on the Missouri question, the meritorious deeds of our fathers obtained respectful mention. The Hon. Wm. Eustis, who had himself been a soldier of the revolution, and Governor of the State of Massachusetts, made a speech in the Congress of the United States, 12th December, and said:

“The question to be determined is, whether the article in the Constitution of Missouri, requiring the legislature to provide by law, that free negroes and mulattoes shall not be admitted into that State, is, or is not repugnant to that clause of the Constitution of the United States which declares that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States ” This is the question. Those who contend that the article is not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, take the position that free blacks and mulattoes are not citizens. Now I would invite the gentlemen who maintain this to go with me and examine this question to its root. At the early part of the revolutionary war, there were found in the middle and northern States, many blacks and other of color, capable of bearing arms, a part of them free, and a greater part of them slaves. The freemen entered our ranks with the whites. The time of those who were slaves were purchased by the State, and they were induced to enter the service in consequence of a law, by which, on condition of their serving in the ranks during the war, they were made freemen. In Rhode Island, where their numbers were more considerable, they were formed under the same considerations into a regiment, commanded by white officers; and it is required in justice to to them, to add that they discharged their duty with zeal and fidelity, The gallant defence of Red Bank, in which the black regiment bore a part, is among the proofs of their valor."

14 "Not only the rights but the character of those men do not seem to be understood; nor is it to me at all extraordinary that gentlemen from other States, in which the condition, character, the moral facilities, and the rights of men of color differ so widely, should entertain opinions so varient from ours. In Massachusets, Sir, there are among them who possess all the virtues which are deemed estimable in civil and social life. They have their public teachers of religion and morality-their schools and other snstitutions. On anniversaries which they consider interesting to them, they have their public processions, in all of which conduct themselves with order and decorum. Now, we ask only, that in a disposition to accommodate others, their avowed rights and privileges be not taken from them. If their number be small, and they are feebly represented, we, to whom they are known, are proportionately bound to protect them. But their defence is not founded on their numbers ; it rests on the immutable principles of justice. If there be only one family, or a solitary individual who has rights guaranteed to him by the Constitution, whatever may be his color or complexion, it is not in the power, nor can it be the inclination of Congress to deprive him of them. And I trust, Sir, that the decision on this occassion will show that we will extend good faith even to the blacks." National Intelligencer, Jan. 2, 1821.

The following is an extract from a speech of the Hon. Mr. Morrill, of New Hampshire, delivered in the United States Senate in the same month, and reported in the National Intelligencer, Jan 11th, 1821:

"Sir, you excluded, not only the citizens from their constitutional privileges and immunities, but also your soldiers of color, to whom you have given patents of land. You had a company of this description. They have fought your battles. They have defended your country. They have preserved your privileges; but have lost their own. What did you say to them on their enlistment? 'We will give you a monthly compensation, and, at the end of the war, 160 acres of good land, on which you may settle, and by cultivating the soil, spend your declining years in peace and in the enjoyment of those immunities for which you have fought and bled.' Now, Sir, you restrict them, and will not allow them to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Where is the public faith in this case? Did they suppose, with a patent in their hand, declaring their title to land in Missouri, with the seal of the nation, and the President's signature affixed thereto, it would be said unto them by any authority, shall not possess the premises? This could never have been anticipated; and yet this must follow, if colored men are not citizens.”

Mr. Strong, of New York, said, in the same great debate, "The federal constitution knows but two descriptions of freemen: these are citizens and aliens. Now Congress can naturalize only aliens-i.e., persons who owe allegiance to a foreign government. But a slave has no country, and owes no allegiance except to his master. How, then, is he an alien? If restored to his liberty, and made a freeman, what is his national character? It must be determined by the federal constitution, and without reference to policy; for it respects liberty. Is it that of a citizen, or alien? But it has been shown that he is not an alien. May we not, therefore, conclude-nay, are we not bound to conclude that he is a citizen of the United States? ”

Charles Pinckney, of South Carolina, speaking of the colored people, in Congress, and with reference to the same question, bore this testimony:

“They then were (during the Revolution) as they still are, as valuable a part of our population to the Union, as any other equal number of inhabitants. They were, in numerous instances, the pioneers; and in all the labors of your armies, to their hands were owing the erection of the greatest part of the fortifications raised for the protection of our country. Fort Moultrie gave, at an early period the experience and untired valor of our citizens immortality to American arms; and in the Northern States, numerous bodies of them


were enrolled, and fought, side by side, with the whites, the battles of the Revolution.”

General Jackson, in his celebrated proclamations to the free colored inhabitants of Louisiana, uses these expressions: “Your white fellow-citizens;” and again : “Our brave citizens are united, and all contention has ceased among them.”



{HEAD QUARTERS, 7th Military Dis't, Mobile, Sept. 21st, 1814.}

To the Free Colored Inhabitants of Louisiana:

Through a mistaken policy you have heretofore been deprived of a participation in the glorious struggle for national rights, in which your country if engaged.

This no longer shall exist.

As sons of freedom, you are now called on to defend our most inestimable blessings. As Americans, your country looks with confidence to her adopted children for a valorous support. As fathers, husbands, and brothers, you are summoned to rally round the standard of the Eagle, to defend all which is dear to existence.

Your country, although calling for your exertions, does not wish you to engage in her cause without remunerating you for the services rendered.

In the sincerity of a soldier, and in the language of truth, I address you--To every noble-hearted free man of color, volunteering to serve during the present contest with Great Britain, and no longer, there will be paid the same bounty in money and land now received by the white soldiers of the United States, viz: $124 in money, and 160 acres of land. The non-commissioned officers and privates will also be entitled to the same monthly pay and daily rations, and clothes, furnished to any American soldier.

The Major General commanding will select officers for your government from YOUR WHITE FELLOW-CITIZENS. Your non-commissioned officers will be selected from yourselves. Due regard will be to the feelings of freemen and soldiers. As a distinct, independent battalion or regiment, pursuing the path of glory, you will, undivided, receive the applause and gratitude of your countrymen. ANDREW JACKSON,

Major Gen. Commanding.

—Niles' Register, Dec. 3, 1814, Vol. 7, p.205.


To the Free People of Color:

Soldiers! when on the banks of the Mobile I called you to take up arms, inviting you to partake the perils and glory of your white fellow-citizens, I expected much from you; for I was not ignorant that you possessed qualities most formidable to an invading enemy. I knew with what fortitude you could endure hunger and thirst, and all the fatigues of a campaign.

I knew well how you lovedy our native country, and that you, as well as ourselves, had to defend what man holds most dear—his parents, wife, children, and property. You have done more than I expected. In addition to the previous qualities I before knew you to possess, I found among you a noble enthusiasm which leads to the performance of great things.

Soldiers! the President of the United States shall hear how praiseworthy was your conduct in the hour of danger, and the representatives of the American people will give you the praise your exploits entitle you to. Your General anticipates them in applauding your noble ardor.


The enemy approaches—his vessels cover our lakes—our brave citizens are united, and all contention has ceased among them. Their only dispute is, who shall win the prize of valor, or who the most glory, its noblest reward.— By order, THOMAS BUTLER, Aid-de-Camp.

Such, fellow-citizens, is but a sample of a mass of testimony, upon which we found our claim to be American citizens. There is, we think, no flaw in the evidence. The case is made out. We and you stand upon the same broad national basis. Whether at home or abroad, we and you owe equal allegiance to the same government—have a right to look for protection on the same ground. We have been born and reared on the same soil; we have been animated by, and have displayed the same patriotic impulses; we have acknowledged and performed the same duty; we have fought and bled in the same battles; we have gained and gloried in the same victories; and we are equally entitled to the blessings resulting therefrom.

In view of this array of evidence of services bravely rendered, how base and monstrous would be the ingratitude, should the republic disown us and drive us into exile!—how faithless and selfish, should the nation persist in degrading us! But we will not remind you of obligations—we will not appeal to your generous feelings—a naked statement of the case is our best appeal. Having, now, upon the testimony of your own great and venerated names completely vindicated our right to be regarded and treated as American citizens, we hope you will now permit us to address you in the plainness of speech becoming the dignity of American citizens.

Fellow-citizens, we have had, and still have, great wrongs of which to complain. A heavy and cruel hand has been laid upon us.

As a people, we feel ourselves to be not only deeply injured, but grossly. misunderstood. Our white fellow-countrymen do not know us. They are strangers to our character, ignorant of our capacity, oblivious of our history and progress, and are misinformed as to the principles and ideas that control and guide us as a people. The great mass of American citizens estimate us as being a characterless and purposeless people; and hence we hold up our heads, if at all, against the withering influence of a nations scorn and contempt

It will not be suprising that we are so misunderstood and misused when the motives for misrepresenting us and for degrading us are duly considered. Indeed, it will seem strange, upon such consideration, and in view of the ten thousand channels through which malign feelings find utterance and influence, that we have not even fallen lower in public estimation than we, have done. For, with the single exception of the Jews, under the whole heavens, there is not to be found a people pursued with a more relentless prejudice and persecution, than are the Free Colored people of the United States.

Without pretending to have exerted ourselves as we ought, in view of an intelligent understanding of our interest, to avert from us the unfavorable opinions and unfriendly action of the American people, we feel that the imputations cast upon us, for our want of intelligence, morality and exalted character, may be mainly accounted for by the injustice we have received at your hands. What stone has been left unturned to degrade us? What hand


has refused to fan the flame of popular prejudice against us? What American artist has not caricatured us? What wit has not laughed at us in our wretchedness? What songster has not made merry over our depressed spirits? What press has not ridiculed and contemned us? What pulpit has withheld from our devoted heads its angry lightning, or its sanctimonious hate? Few, few, very few; and that we have borne up with it all—that we have tried to be wise, though denounced by all to be fools—that we have tried to be upright, when all around us have esteemed us as knaves—that we have striven to be gentlemen, although all around us have been teaching us its impossibility—that we have remained here, when all our neighbors have advised us to leave, proves that we possess qualities of head and heart, such as cannot but be commended by impartial men. It is believed that no other nation on the globe could have made more progress in the midst of such an universal and stringent disparagement. It would humble the proudest, crush the energies of the strongest, and retard the progress of the swiftest. In view of our circumstances, we can, without boasting, thank God, and take courage, having placed ourselves where we may fairly challenge comparison with more highly favored men.

Among the colored people, we can point, with pride and hope, to men of education and refinement, who have become such, despite of the most unfavorable influences; we can point to mechanics, farmers, merchants, teachers, ministers, doctors, lawyers, editors, and authors, against whose progress the concentrated energies of American prejudice have proved quite unavailing.— Now, what is the motive for ignoring and discouraging our improvement in this country? The answer is ready. The intelligent and upright free man of color is an unanswerable argument in favor of liberty, and a killing condemnation of American slavery. It is easily seen that, in proportion to the progress of the free man of color, in knowledge, temperance, industry, and righteousness, in just that proportion will he endanger the stability of slavery; hence, all the powers of slavery are exerted to prevent the elevation of the free people of color.

The force of fifteen hundred million dollars is arrayed against us; hence, the press, the pulpit, and the platform, against all the natural promptings of uncontaminated manhood, point their deadly missiles of ridicule, scorn and contempt at us; and bid us, on pain of being pierced through and through, to remain in our degradation.

Let the same amount of money be employed against the interest of any other class of persons, however favored by mature they may be, the result could scarcely be different from that seen in our own case. Such a people would be regarded with aversion; the money-ruled multitude would heap contumely upon them, and money-ruled institutions would proscribe them. Besides this money consideration, fellow-citizens, an explanation of the erroneous opinions prevalent concerning us is furnished in the fact, less creditable to human nature, that men are apt to hate most those whom they have injured most—Having despised us, it is not strange that Americans should seek to render us despicable; having enslaved us, it is natural that they should strive to prove


us unfit for freedom; having denounced us as indolent, it is not strange that they should cripple our enterprise; having assumed our inferiority, it would be extraordinary if they sought to surround us with circumstances which would serve to make us direct contradictions to their assumption.

In conclusion, fellow-citizens, while conscious of the immense disadvantages which beset our pathway, and fully appreciating our own weakness, we are encouraged to persevere in efforts adapted to our improvement, by a firm reliance upon God, and a settled conviction, as immovable as the everlasting hills, that all the truths in the whole universe of God are allied to our cause.


The Business Committee reported through its Chairman, Dr. James McCune Smith, a plan for a National Council.

For the purpose of improving the character, developing the intelligence, maintaining the rights, and organizing a Union of the Colored People of the Free States, the National Convention does hereby ordain and institute the


ART. 1. This Council shall consist of two members from each State, represented in this Convention, to be elected by this Convention, and two other members from each State to be elected as follows: On the 15th day of November next, and biennially thereafter, there shall be held in each State, a Poll, at which each colored inhabitant may vote who pay ten cents as a polltax; and each State shall elect, at such election, delegates to State Councils, twenty in number from each State, at large. The election to be held in such places and under such conditions as the public meetings in such localities may determine. The members of the National Council in each State, shall receive, canvass and declare the result of such vote. The State Council thus elected, shall meet on the first Monday in January, 1854, and elect additional members to the National Council, in proportion of one to five thousand of colored population of such State; and the members of Council, thus elected, to take office on the 6th day of July next, and all to hold office during two years from that date; at the end of which time another general election by State Council shall take place of members to constitute their successors in office, in the same numbers as above. The State Council of each State shall have full power over the internal concern of said State.

ART. 2. The members of the first Council shall be elected by this Convention, which shall designate out of the number, a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary, and Committee of five on Manual Labor School—a Committee of five on Protective Unions—of five on Business Relations—of five on Publications.

ART. 3. The Committee on Manual Labor School, shall procure funds and organize said School in accordance with the plans adopted by this National Convention, with such modifications as experience or necessity may dictate to them. The Committee shall immediately incorporate itself as an Academy under the general Committee of the State of -----, and shall constitute the Board of Trustees of the Manual Labor School, with full power to select a location in the State designated by the National Council, to erect buildings, appoint or dismiss instructors in the literary or mechanical branches. There shall be a farm attached to the School.

ART. 4. The Committee on Protective Union, shall institute a Protective Union for the purchase and sale of articles of domestic consumption, and shall unite and aid in the formation of branches auxiliary to their own.


ART. 5. The Committee on Business Relations, shall establish an office, in which they shall keep a registry of colored mechanics, artizans and business men throughout the Union. They shall keep a registry of all persons willing to employ colored men in business, to teach colored boys mechanical trades, liberal and scientific professions, and farming; and, also, a registry of colored men and youth seeking employment or instruction. They shall also report upon any avenues of business or trade which they deem inviting to colored capital, skill, or labor. Their reports and advertisements to be in papers of the widest circulation. They shall receive for sale or exhibition, products of the skill and labor of colored people.

ART 6. The Committee on Publication shall collect all facts, statistics and statements, all laws and historical records and biographies of the Colored People, and all books by colored authors. They shall have for the safe keeping of these documents, a Library, with a Reading Room and Museum. The Committee shall also publish replies to any assaults, worthy of note, made upon the character or condition of the Colored People.

ART. 7. Each Committee shall have absolute control over its special department; shall make its own by-laws, and in case of any vacancy occurring, shall fill up the same forthwith, subject to the confirmation of the Council. Each Committee shall meet at least once a month or as often as possible; shall keep a minute of all its proceedings, executive and financial, and shall submit a full statement of the same, with the accounts audited, at every regular meeting of the National Council.

ART. 8. The National Council shall meet at least once in six months, to receive the reports of the Committees, and to consider any new plan for the general good, for which it shall have power, at its option, to appoint a new Committee, and shall be empowered to receive and appropriate donations for the carrying out of the objects of the same. At all such meetings, eleven members shall constitute a quorum. In case any Committee neglect or refuse to send in its report, according to article 8th, then the Council shall have power to enter the bureau, examine the books and papers of such Committee; and in case the Committee shall presist in its refusal or neglect, then the Council shall declare their offices vacant, and appoint others in their stead.

ART. 9. In all cases of the meetings of the National Council, or the Committees, the travelling expenses (if any) of the members shall be paid out of their respective funds.

Apr. 10. The Council shall immediately establish a bureau in the place of its meeting; and the same rooms shall, as far possible, be used by the several Committees for their various purposes. The Council shall have a clerk, at a moderate salary, who shall keep a record of their transactions, and prepare a condensed report of the Committees for publication; and also a registry of the friends of the cause.

ART. 11. The expenses of the Council shall be defrayed by the fees of membership of sub-societies or Councils, to be organized throughout the States. The membership fee shall be one cent per week.

ART. 12. A member of the Council shall be a member of only one of the Committees thereof.

ART. 13. All officers holding funds, shall give security in double the amount likely to be in their hands. This security to be given to the three first officers of the Council.

ART. 14. The Council shall have power to make such By-Laws as are necessary for their proper government.

Moved that 250 copies be printed for the use of members. Carried. Moved that a Committee of 3 be appointed to select speakers for a public meeting. Lost.

President appointed the follwing named Committees; -Committee on Agriculture, Wm. H. Day; Committee on Manual Labor School, Charles L. Reason, C. H. Langston, George B. Vashon; Committee on Social Relations, Wm.J. Wilson, Wm. Whipper, and Charles B. Ray.


President in the Chair. Prayer by Rev. Benjamin Templeton. Minutes read and approved.

Mr. Sumner moved that the roll be called, and that the members come forward and contribute one dollar towards paying the expenses of the Convention. Lost.

Letters from sundry gentleman of New Jersey read by Mr. Wm. H. Day, and on his motion, referred to the Business Committee. Report 3 from Business Committee, read and accepted. Report from Committee on Social Relations, read by the Chairman, Mr. Wm. Wilson, as follows.


Your Committee would respectfully submit the following:

That the guarantee of our growth, strength and permanence, as a people in this country, finds its basis in the healthy, vigorous and progressive state of our Social Relations; and these relations will find their greatest nurture, growth and strength in a wise and well directed polity.

Whether judiciously sustained to the whites, or healthy among ourselves, these relations exist.

In these relations, then, we recognize—first our homes surrounded by their varied appendages and influences, all operating for good or evil, and demanding the most serious deliberation and direction of this body.

We find here, the husband, wife—the parent, child—into whose performance, at least so far as pertains to the best well-being of society, the test of our severest scrutiny should pass.

Questions here arise, and should be met, in these deliberations, how far each go, or know how to go, to fulfil the measures of these obligations. What the state and condition of our homes? What the prospect of the parent 7 What the culture, training, and future prospect of the child? What the hopes, the what aspirations of each In a word, what the whole aspect of affairs? In the generation of today looking forward to tomorrow, or beyond it, for a permanent footing, a stable home, and a happy condition in this country :

A vigorous and searching inquiry should also be instituted between our homes and the homes of our white neighbors, and point out whatever differences that may exist for our benefit. We think it may safely be admitted, that while there have existed centuries of servitude on the one side, and the same amount of freedom on the other, the original disparity between the two classes has greatly lessened; still we are of opinion that the proximity should have been still nearer, especially when we take into account that the one has been something more than a mere spectator to the scenes of improvement and progress of the other, most of this length of time.

And further: we are of opinion that the burthen of our disabilities, moral, social and political. finds its issue in these differences, whether they be found among ourselves, or are forced upon us by the community from without,

False ideas of natural inferiority, wicked prejudices, foul hatred, and all kindred bars to our progress, find their sources here.


The white American's home is free, cheerful, and surrounded by all to make it prosperous; ours is encumbered by bars, props and restraints, and shorn of most that produces prosperity.

The white American's hearth-stone finds around it a cluster of vigorous youth, preparing successfully for the more vigorous battle of life; the colored American's, a few ill-trained and often worse-governed youth grouping in the gloom and mist of uncertainty. The former, a fixed reality; the latter, since no settled purpose governs it, rather an existence in name a mere thing of today. From the domicil to the active world, the white occupant has, as it were his pathway made for his entrance; the colored occupant has yet to make his own.

How best to do it, is the question for our grave consideration.

The next point to which we would direct your attention, as having immediate connection with this, is the possession, in “fee simple,” of our fire-sides. It is lamentable to state, that not more than one in fifty of us possess our own hearth-stones; and this is not so much from the want of means, as from ill management.

A larger number still live crowded, pent up, showed back, and even piled up and this, too, at rates of expense, startling to contemplate; especially is this true in larger cities.

When we add to this the feebleness and instability, the utter helplessness of a floating people, not possessing the very roofs that shelter them, having no anchorage, hold, or even footing in the soil from whence they derive their subsistence we would earnestly call attention to this matter, hoping that in some tangible form it may be brought to bear upon our people.

All history, and our own sad experience, point with such significance to the weakness of such a class, that we ought to profit by it.

The peculiarities of our condition in this community, of which we form an integral part, render it doubly incumbent upon us to possess, hold and transmit to prosterity as much of the soil as [is] possible.

The time for this in large cities, perhaps, is gone by ; yet the country, fertile in clime and large in extent, offers abundant opportunity.

This point belonging more properly to the head of agriculture, at least in the exposition of its principles and their bearings upon our condition, we leave it to the disposition of your committee on that subject, and call attention to another point.

In thus reviewing our social state, it would be some relief if our own condition threw only its own obstacles in our way since, then, we could easily remove them, but the difficulty does not stop here; it goes further, and produces obstacles from without which, too, clog our way and impede our progress.

Every bar placed before us at the door of the hotel, the steam boat, the rail car, the stage coach, the workshop, or the countingroom, the law court, or the Christian church, is of material of double strength, having for its composition our condition and strong prejudicial feelings generated from that condition, and is so placed as much by our own acquiescence, as by the dictate of public sentiment. With the superscription written upon each "thus far

22 shalt thou go" these bars of separation affect us severely, producing lethargy, depression, discouragement and seeming content--prohibiting, therefore, our ready entrance, or desire to enter into the operations of business or of fields of enterprize with that commanding spirit due to ourselves, and the age in which we live. We add very little to the great aggregate of production. As a whole, we constitute, to a very large extent, a body of consumers and nonproducers.

Even the intelligent foreigner, who, when cast upon our shore, is, at first, astonished at not finding us agriculturists, artisans, mediums of traffic-engaged only in few callings of an elevating character, soon settles down in the false conviction of our incapacity for these pursuits.

It is a too common opinion among us, that all the avenues to higher social state are closed against us, because those carved out by the whites are immeasurably closed.

We forget that we must open our own avenues, and that we must educate our own minds and the minds of our children to that end.

We forget, too, that wherever industry, tact and purpose have exhibited themselves on our part they have always been met by the same degree of favor and success from the community as any similar exhibition, as abundant evidences might be adduced to show.

We have said, that the children who cluster around the hearth stone of the colored American are illtrained; we add more : they are as yet ignorant of the uses of their own faculties, to say nothing of a knowledge of their application to specific and important measures. How intimately, therefore, is their proper education connected with our dearest relations to society.

Two distinct, yet inseparable branches of education must be undergone by our youth ere they are fitted for the work of social elevation that of the School-Room and that of the Fire-Side.

It is not our province to discuss either, briefly remarking upon each, so far only as they immedately bear upon our subject. In looking into the schoolroom, we can but approach this branch of education with some apprehensions, since the methods for the most successful culture of our children, in the opinions of many leading minds amongst us, is materially different. The two more prominent may be briefly pointed out. The one holds that no special organization for the culture of colored youth at this time are necessary; that precisely the same species of learning imparted to white youth will best serve for colored youth, that both schools and education, as at present constituted, especially for, and wholly directed by the whites, being so far superior; better training can be obtained therein than can be had in any that can be adapted to the especial wants of colored youth. On the other hand, it is held that colored youth is to be educated, so as to catch up in the great race we are running; and hence, schools must be adapted to so train him; not that he himself is so widely different from the white youth, but that the state of things which he finds around him, and which he must be qualified to change, is so widely different. The training, therefore, necessary to propel him, so that he can gain up with the whites, (as gain he must, or be utterly lost,) is to be obtained only in schools adapted to his wants; that neither


schools nor educators for the whites, at present, are in full sympathy with him; and that he must either abandon his own state of things which he finds around him, and which he is pledged to change and better, or cease to receive culture from such sources, since their whole tendency is to change him, not his condition—to educate him out of his sympathies, not to quicken and warm his sympathies, for all that is of worth to him is his elevation, and the elevation of his people.

We are fully inclined to the latter opinion. We are more than persuaded. in looking over the whole subject, that the force of circumstances compels the regulation of schools by us to supply a deficiency produced by our condition; that it should be our special aim, to so direct instructors, regulate books and libraries; in fine, the whole process of instruction to meet entirely our particular exigencies, continuing so long, only, as such exigencies exist.

Your Committee on Education will however place this subject fully before you.

But we go farther; we go beyond the school-room. We would approach the fire-side, and would remind you that something more definite must be done there, than has yet been accomplished. With all the precepts and examples of the whites before us, it is but too apparent that we have made too little progress in the fireside culture of our youth; and it is equally apparent that this neglect enters too largely into all the ramifications of our social state, affecting its present and prospective advancement. With a badly fireside trained youth, added to indifferent or objectionable school culture, such as has educated them out of their humanity, what progress, we ask, can a people expect to make, in a community like ours? From the fireside we must receive and teach the greatlessons of self-confidence, self-dependence, perseyerance, energy, and continuity. Implements such as these are more precious than rubies. They will seek for us, and make us seek for, and engage in proper callings, such as tend to elevate. They will discourage in us all such as tend to humiliate, depress, and degrade. Employments have much more to do with the moulding and stamping the character of a people than we have yet calculated for. implements such as we have just mentioned will enable us to carve out, unaided, our own road, and walk securely in it.

The possession of means itself is but second in importance to proper employments for our youth, such as mechanism, art, commerce, agriculture, &c., since these not only produce wealth, but develop also the man. Without agriculture, without mechanism, without art, without commerce, without education, without knowledge or appreciation, of the press, what can a people do? What power or influence can they wield? What progress can they make? The great gulf into which a large portion of our youth fall, and not unfrequently sink, too, beyond recovery, or even human reach, is between the school-room and their majority, so to speak,and this for the want mainly of such employments as we have just stated. Unsettled in purpose, and unstable in habits, not yet inured to proper labor, a large majority of our youth become enfeebled both in mind and body, and equally shackled in character. They have emerged from homes surrounded by so few attractions, that they


know little of the bliss of home, and shrink from the responsibility, or even the thought of providing them for themselves. They look not forward to those happy and holy alliances, out of which issue the vitality of society, and the growth, strength, and perpetuity of the community. So far from this, we find them wasting their time, the prime of their life, and whatever of substance they may have acquired, for that which produces only disgrace, premature decay, and death. Far be it from us to overdraw this picture ; we would fain color it less gloomily, if it were not deception to do so. It is in the matter of statistics that we here so severely suffer.

Our opponents, with much boldness, we will not say with how much truth, already assert that we are fast retrograding in point of numbers, and in the vigor of our institutions. Of one thing we are certain; comfortable homes and hearths, and correct culture and habits, tend to the increase of a people; the reverse to their diminution. It is a matter of vital importance, then, to know whether we are in this matter really advancing; or, it may be, receding. We cannot dismiss this branch of our subject without briefly remarking that the laws which govern health and longevity, claim also a share of our attention, being intimately connected with it as well as affecting all our relations in society. In this connection, also, we can but express the hope that scientific and medical men from among us, of acknowledged ability, be fostered and encouraged; that this point in our social system, hitherto too much neglected, receive due attention.

Finally, for the purpose of securing ourselves against encroachments, and making provisions for future emergencies, should they arise, our relations require the speedy linking together of the whole chain of enlightened mind among us, not only of the States, but of the whole continent into one grand league, the consideration of which should be forthwith laid before you, in the form of a well digested plan.

Since the whole object of our deliberations is to change and better our condition, rather than to laud whatever of value may be found within the pale of our social relations, we have preferred to bring forth in this report only a few, but as we deem vital points, affecting adversely these relations.— Nor have we sought to bring before you the more palpable evils, their existence among us being too apparent, and their remedy of more easy application.

In conclusion, we remark the line of our polity is clear and explicit. It must be so constructed as to produce.

First. An increased number of better regulated homes among us.

Second. Better fireside and school culture.

Third. Such callings as will develop equally and fully ourselves and the resources around us.

Fourth. A new impetus to business operations, and an enlargement of its boundaries, by means of leagues, associations, &c., &c.

Fifth. A strict observance of, and reverence for the marriage institution, and obedience to those laws which secure health and longevity.

Sixth. More enlightened views of the high and holy principles of morals and religion.

25 Seventh. An intelligent and efficient clergy, fully imbued with their true mission, and ever willing and instant on performing it.

Eighth. An able, devoted, and well-sustained press, wielding a power and influence second to none in this, or any other country.

Ninth, and lastly. To produce among us throughout, complete Combination, Concentration, and Consolidation.

As sure and as speedily as light succeeds darkness, will such a line of polity, if commenced with vigor, and followed out with strictness, raise us from our present state to one of permanence and power in this country.

In the presence and progress of such polity, all forms of prejudice and hatred, would disappear; wicked and oppressive laws become dead letters upon the pages of our statutebooks; societies for our removal become extinct. In fine, all political, social, and religious disabilities would cease to exist, and be remembered only among the things that once were.

As Americans, then, [colored Americans,] for as such, only can we expect to succeed, we are called upon to throw aside all our supineness and indifference, and to act as becometh men sensible of their rights and privileges, and determined to possess, hold, and enjoy them.


On the motion to adopt the foregoing report, considerable debate arose. J. McCune Smith opposed its adoption, because of the statement in it that the colored people of this country are not producers, for its advocacy, &c. He was followed by Rev. Lewis Woodson and Payton Harris, on the same side. Mr. Wilson replied in a short speech, denying that the Report advocated separate schools. Messrs. J. N. Still and Uriah Boston followed in support of the Report. Mr. D. B. Bowser combatted the idea that we are not producers. Mr. J. Mercer Langston moved that the Report be amended to conform to the fact, which is, that we are, to a great extent, producers.

The Chair announced the Committee on Statistics, consisting of the following gentlemen: Lewis Woodson, M. M. Clark, A. M. Sumner. On motion, adjourned.


President in the chair. Prayer by Rev. M. M. Clark. Mr. Stephen Smith. moved that the roll be called. Amended, that each member pay one dollar as his name is called. Not agreed to. Motion lost.

Mr. Lewis Woodson moved that the roll be corrected by striking out the names of such persons as had been elected by meetings, but were not present. Amended, that a committee on credentials be appointed. As amended, agreed to

The President announced the names of the committee: T. G. Campbell A. H. Adams, A. G. Beman, W. J. Watkins, J. N. Still, J. D. Bonner, C. H. Langston, H. O. Wagoner, David H. Jackson, Horace B. Smith. Mr. A. N


Freeman moved that the President be added to the committee on Colonization. Amended, that there be an addition of two from each State, and that the Convention nominate. Agreed to. The President announced the committee on Literature: Messrs. A. M. Sumner, G. B. Vashon, J. I. Gaines. A letter from Mr. F. T. Newsome, of Cass Co., Michigan, read and referred to business committee. Report of committee on Finance taken up and discussed. Rev. W. C. Munroe thought members of the Convention should be taxed one, two or three dollars to meet expenses; was entirely opposed to begging. Other gentlemen thought that there were friends, both able and willing to assist, who should be allowed the opportunity. Report laid over to permit Rev. A. R. Green to discuss the report on Social Relations. The gentleman argued that we are mainly consumers, and not producers. Rules suspended to allow Mr. Green to continue his remarks. Mr. J. M. Langston followed, adducing proofs that we are producers. Mr. Gloster defended the views set forth in the report. Mr. Harris rejoined. Mr. J. G. Bowers followed on the same side, Mr. Downing moved that the report be referred to the Committee, with the addition of Mr. J. M. Langston, with instructions to strike out obnoxious passages. Lost. Mr. Gordon moved its indefinite postponement. Lost. The previous question was now called for. The report, as amended by Mr. Langston, being put to the Convention, was declared doubtful. Mr. G. T. Downing called for the Ayes and Noes; upon which the report was rejected—ayes 31, noes 63. On motion, adjourned.


President in the chair. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Driver. Mr. Jenkins moved that tomorrow (Friday) evening be devoted to a public meeting. Amended, that this evening be devoted to that purpose; not agreed to. Motion lost— Report of committee on Finance taken up. Mr. Green moved that the committee be instructed to forthwith report an estimate of the probable expenses of the Convention. Agreed to. The committee reported that the probable expense would be as follows:

For rent of Hall.------------------------------60.00

Printing Report.----------------------------- 5000


Mr. Downing moved that the roll be now called, and that delegates pay one dollar as they answer to their names. Agreed to. The roll being called, one hundred and fourteen members answered to their names. The sum collected ($114) was handed over to the committee on Finance.

The report on Colonization was made the special order of the evening.

Mr. Sumner moved that the remainder of the afternoon, or so much of it as may be necessary, be devoted to reading reports, c. Agreed to.

Mr. George W. Clark favored the Convention with a song. The Committee on Commerce reported through their Chairman, Mr. George T. Downing, the following paper:



The subject which has been referred to your committee is a practical one—one of importance ; and we do not deem it essential to submit an extended report. Much of the time of this Convention has, and will be occupied with the consideration of other equally important matters. Our subject, being a practical business question, we hold that it will be in keeping with that practicability to be brief in our report.

The importance of our people's seeking and being found in every reputable avenue leading to wealth and respectability is so palpably manifest, that it would seem superfluous to stop and argue the point. Commerce has had a leading influence in developing intellect. Those countries which have availed themselves of its advantages, have exhibited increased regard for the arts and sciences, as well as social comforts. Commerce is the pioneer of civilization and intelligence. Commerce is expansion; it gives a field space for essential, refined morality. But for it, half of the states and kingdoms of the world would now be unknown—would have remained the subjects of barbarism and ignorance. Commerce sought, found and benefitted them. Behold the "world-seeking” Genoese embarking on board of his sturdy barge, buffeting with unknown waves into depths and space not before traversed—not known by mortal. The mind is lost in the majestic conception which fills his comprehensive brain—a new world before him—space unmeasured! Imagine the ravings of his mind—the probabilities which shot comet-like across his imagination, creating a glare and wonderment. What untold soarings swell the wide range of his hopes, among which is the extension of commerce. From the landing of Columbus, it may be said that the course of America has been progress. She is now considered great. The impetus which she has given to commerce is one of the leading sources of her greatness; and the intercourse, consequent upon the business relation of the world, is to be one of the leading influences which will blot out the unfortunate stigma which now dims her progress and fair name. Let us swell the agency. Commerce leads to respectability. It is because we have not been found in this and similar avenues leading and directing, that we have been dependent and so little respected ; and is in fact the reason why we are now the proscribed class of the community. And may not your committee add, that much of the increased respect entertained for us has been brought about by the fact, that we are awakening, especially throughout the less densely settled portions of the country, to active business relations; that we are beginning to become producers as well as consumers. The branch of commerce is almost entirely neglected, while it should receive a proportionate consideration. This avenue is open to us if we will master the perseverance and devotion necessary.— Through commerce, acquaintances and alliances are formed, and power secured. We must emerge from menial positions to the pursuit of commercial and other elevating branches of trade.


Running back a few years, we soon fall upon the time when the colored man enjoyed all that he did merely as a privilege. The entire aim of those who forced him into the country was to tax the muscle and sinew to their utmost capacity—to subject him to a state assimilating closely to that of the brute—so as best to fit him for their uses—to brutalize him into subjection and cattle ignorance.

This passed on for years, with no thought otherwise. This has been most depressing to his intellect and aspirations. But brighter times are upon us. We have sympathizers and friends. Our rights are being acknowledged. We have no longer to contend that we are men and citizens, and enjoy alike, with other citizens, the rights and immunities as such. We need now to engage in matters practicable and leading. We are becoming more and more enlightened. Our progress, in this respect, has been truly astonishing—in fact, has increased so rapidly as to have produced a kind of deformity. We have not kept pace, caught hold, or sought to lead and direct in the business pursuits commensurate with our intelligence—pursuits which tend to wealth, respectability and importance. We need combinations. We need confidence. We need to be known and referred to as business men. All of these are the immediate heirs of commerce.

The places filled in this community by our people have not involved responsibility and respect. We have been machines impelled; consequently there has not been a development of intellect in business pursuits. We have not been calculators. We have not seemed to have had any fixed end tending to our upbuilding and elevation. We have had money. We cannot be called other than industrious ; but this industry, to be profitable, to serve the ends for which it is designed, must be made subservient to mind. We must husband aright our resources. What are our resources? The question is answered. The resources common to other men are energy and perseverance Have we capital? It is at our command. We have individuals possessed of the means, with combination and certainty. Where are our ships, our counting-houses, our business connection with the world ? They are wanting ; and only because we have never fixedly resolved to have them.

It might be expected that your Committee, in reporting upon the subject of commerce, would have given some statistics bearing thereupon ; but they have not deemed it necessary. The statistics of the world might be given to establish that commerce and business enterprises tend to the greatness and consideration of nations. But in the present case, the question is, how far the engagement, on the part of our people, in business pursuits, as leaders and contractors in commercial enterprises, will tend to their upbuilding and elevation—being the proscribed portion of a nation. This point your committee have endeavored to make plain in the brief manner given above, which they most respectfully submit.





Report accepted. Mr. William H. Day read a report from the Committee on Agriculture. [Mr. Day has neglected to send in his report for publication.— Committee.] Mr. James M'Cune Smith moved that all reports brought before this Convention be published; withdrawn. Report was received from the Business Committee, consisting of a communication from M. F. Newsome, Esq.; Cass, Michigan ; J. Keep of Oberlin, Ohio ; J. Wilson, M.D., of Philadelphia ; Samuel Aaron, and A. Dewey, from the same place,—of resolutions by H. O. Wagener, Illinois ; L. Tillman, and A. R. Green. Mr. Josephus Fowler read a report on Temperance, &c. [This report is not among the papers handed to the Publishing Committee.]

On motion, adjourned.


Vice President, Amos G. Beman, in the chair. Prayer by W. C. Munroe Minutes read, corrected and approved.

Mr. C. B. Ray moved that each member of the Convention be furnished gratuitously with as many copies of the reports of the Convention as the number printed will allow ; agreed to. Dr. Pennington now read the report on Colonization, together with appropriate resolutions ; report received. [It is to be regretted that this report by Dr. Pennington has not been handed in for publication.] Mr. C. B. Ray moved its adoption, pending which motion, Messrs. Charles L. Remond, J. I. Gaines, J. M. Langston and Frederick Douglass took the stand, reviewing the position of the Colonization Society.

Report and resolutions accepted. Mr. Bowser, of Philadelphia, offered two resolutions, which were accepted.

On motion, adjourned.


Vice President, William H. Day, in the Chair. Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Wilson of New York. Minutes read and approved. On motion, the reading of the roll was dispensed with. Report from Business Committee received. Resolutions by H. O. Wagoner of Illinois, referred to Business Committee. Committee on Statistics reported that the reports came in so slowly from the various delegations, and that the subject matter was of such great importance, that they felt they would not have time to prepare such a report as its importance demanded. Report received and Committee discharged. On motion, it was agreed to appoint a Committee, consisting of one from each State, of which James M'Cune Smith shall be chairman, to digest and publish, at an early date as possible, a statistical report of the condition of the colored people of the United States. On bringing up the report on national organization, Dr. Smith made a few eloquent remarks. The report, with additions from Com.? on Commerce, was read. All was agreed that it be taken up in sections. Mr. Douglass spoke, showing the necessity for such an organization. Mr. Walker, of Ohio, and Mr. L. Woodson, of Pennsylvania, both claiming the floor, the


President decided in favor of Mr. Woodson, whereupon Mr. Walker appealed. The Convention sustained the chair. Mr. Woodson then proceeded to advocate the adoption of the plan of organization. Mr. T. G. Campbell moved that the word colored be erased from the preamble. Upon which the previous question was called. Motion agreed to. Mr. Downing moved to strike out certain portions of the preamble. By leave of the Convention, Mr. Langston offered a motion to suspend debate upon the subject in hand, in order to allow Prof. C. L. Reason an opportunity to present a report from the Committee on Maual Labor Schools.


The aim and the end of a right culture, is primarily to develop power, and to turn that power into a proper channel. Educational Institutions ought therefore to be so modeled and so conducted as to draw out thought, incite useful inquiry, and give such aid and strength to the individual as will enable him to be something in the world, in addition to the mere scholar. Every person is here not merely to enjoy, but to work ; and schools are only valuable in their teachings, as they assist in making both thinker and worker. They may saturate men with the learning of every age—yet, except they strive to make them something more than literary flowers, they sin greatly against the individual and humanity also. The hungry world asks for grain, and those growths that give nutriment. Not by floral beauty is the physical being builded up. Not by mere word study do the races grow intellectually strong Not by eloquent abstract preaching, do the nations prove Christianity. The elements of truth, the principels of industrial advancement, of national greatness, that lie in questionable shapes amid the knowledge of the schools, must be separated from the useless materials that surround them ; and made as chyle to the human body, the givers of nutriment, the restorers of expended energy. And as in the human body, the richness of the digested food goes to make up bone, and muscle, and flesh, and the various tissues of vessels of the system—in like manner schools ought so to be fashioned, as to deposite here and there on the surface of society, artizan and merchant, mechanic and farmer, linguist and mathematician—mental power in every phase, and practical science in as many as may be. The truth of this view is virtually acknowledged in part already. Where men know beforehand what kind of knowledge their duties in life will require, they avail themselves of Institutions whose course of study is specific and well degested. Hence exist our Law-Schools, and Military Academies, and Medical Colleges. And these are necessarry, even amid a class of people whose position enables them to make the most of a general course of study, by the application of some of the specialities of such course, to any avocation, that, in after life, they may choose to pursue. When we are called upon to consider the subject of Education with reference to ourselves, and to ask what kind of an Institution would best befit us, the answer comes in the light of the announced doctrine, namely, one that would develop power ; and that kind of power most essential to our elevation. If after submitting to a general system of instruction, according to the provisions of the colleges of the land, we can add the store of knowledge gained to any pursuit in life we please, as so much starting capital, then we might not need to ask the establishing of Institutions different from those already erected. But this is not the case. We have, indeed, a few literary colleges accessible to those of us who can pay; two Manual Labor Colleges with the system partially


carried out ; besides an academy of the same kind established in Southern Ohio.

Between these two varities of schools, there need be no hesitation in deciding as to which is best adapted to our special wants. Under any circumstance, Manual Labor Establishments commend themselves to the patronage of all classes. The long entertained beliefs that mental effort may be made and continued without any reference to physical exercise, are rapidly passing away. And with them, also, those more injurious and unfriendly views of true gentility and scholarship, that hitherto have held labor in contempt. Literature has too long kept itself aloof from the furrowed field, and from the dust and bustle of the work-shop. The pale, sickly brow and emaciated form have been falsely shown to the world as the ripeness of mental discipline ; and sun-burnt and brawny muscular arms, have been among the majority of students synonymous with dulness of parts, and ignorant vulgarity. Thanks, however, to true views of the dignity of human nature, and an appreciation of the correct laws of physical development ; labor has received the anointing of the highest refinement, and healthy frames are proven to be the best accompaniment to high intellectual power.

Moreover, with regard to ourselves, a consideration of our position in this country, teaches us that our inheritance is one that can only be ameliorated by the combination of practical art, with literary preparation. Hitherto our educated youth have found no corresponding channel to their accademic equipment, and so they have failed to make their mark on society and the age. The work-shops, as a general thing, are closed to them, while at the same time they are reproached for lack of inventive or industrial talent. We know that we cannot form an equally useful part of any people without the ability to contribute our full share to the wealth, activity, social comforts, and progress of such people. If, then, the necessary education to fit us to share in these responsibilities, cannot be generally had, by reason of the prejudices of the country, where best they can be taught, namely in the work-shops and counting-houses, and the other varied establishments of the land, that have to do with the machinery of activities carried on around us ; we must needs consider the importance of making our Literary Institutions contribute by a change of form to filling up this want in our midst.

The agricultural life, standing pre-eminent, and looming in importance above all others, would, demand a prominent place among the internal arrangements of such a school. Farming, as a scientific system, ought to be a part of the course of every scholar, and especially of that class of students whose highest interests would be benefitted by leaving the cities, for the freer and no less noble life in the country. No professorship in any college can claim more on the score of usefulness than that of agriculture. In none of the Institutions thus far open to us, has labor in this department been at all regulated on scientific principles. Literary preparation has absorbed most of the attention of students, because of the order and beauty infused into that phase of college life. The department of labor has ever remained crude and unseemly--subordinate in position and outline to the other, and, therefore unable to provide that extensive field for industry, as to warrant the title assumed by them of Manual Labor Institutions. We make no complaint against the incompleteness of any of the existing schools, in order to detract from their usefulness in other ways. We only believe it desirable, that a more thorough plan be established that will combine the literary course of the schools, scientific agricultural knowledge, theoretic mechanics and engineering, and, what is a feature we hope to see engrafted on the plan, a series of work-shops under systematic and skilful instruction. Not simply as a means of furnishing poor students with the facilities of continuing under instruction, but to remedy also as far as may be the disadvantages under which we labor in acquiring a knowledge of the mechanical arts.

To this end we advise the maturing of a plan by some other suitable Committee for erecting in some locality, central, as to population, a school of a high intellectual grade, having incorporated an Agricultural Professorship, or an equivalent thereto, a professorship to superintend the practical application of mathematics and natural philosophy to surveying, mechanics and engineering, the following branches of industry : general smithing, turning,


wheel-wrighting and cabinet-making ; and a general work-shop in which may be combined such application of skill in wood, iron, and other material as to produce a variety of saleable articles,* with suitable buildings and machinery for producing the same. These superintended by competent workmen, under pay precisely as other teachers would give students a foundation for after self-support in life, and break down the distinctions that never ought to exist between the study and the work-shop. The above industrial pursuits are named, not because others more desirable perhaps, or more difficult to secure, might not have had a place given them in this imperfect report; but, because it seemed wise to choose some which are primary to most others in general usefulness, and at the same time, such as whose products have an extensive marketable demand. In establishing work-shops, it must be remembered that the introducing of any large part of the very useful or lucrative branches is an utter impossibility. All that can be aimed at in the beginning, is to elevate labor to its own true standard—vindicate the laws of physical health, and at the same time, as a repaying benefit, make the work done as intrinsic and profitable, a part of education as a proficiency in Latin, mathematics or medicine.

As to the means by which such an Institution may be erected and carried on; we advise the issuing of joint stock under proper Directors, to the amount of $50,000 in shares of 10 each, or a less number of a larger amount, if considered advisable. The Committee are of opinion that $50,000 used in the purchase of land and the erecting and fitting up of buildings, will be fully enough, to warrant the beginning of a thorough Manual Labor School, on the plan suggested.

The sale of scholarships, at judicious rates, and the contributions of the liberal and the philanthropic, ought to give an additional $100,000 as an endowment, which sum properly invested, would be a guarantee, that the liabilities and expense of the Institution would be faithfully met.

The Department of Industry for Females, the Committee cannot, in the short time given them, intelligently settle upon, except in outline. We are of opinion, that looms could be erected for the weaving of carriage and other trimmings; for bindings of various kinds ; that the straw hat business in some of its branches, paper box making, and similar occupations, might from time to time be connected.

The shareholders, if such a plan be approved, would compose the college association, and would have a right to appoint the Trustees of the School, said Trustees being citizens of the State wherein such Institution shall be located.

Such is the rough outline of a plan which we think would be in judicious hands, and so modified as to conform to the proper school laws, feasible and fraught with unbounding good.

In the past, the misfortune has been that our knowledge has been much distributed. We have had educated heads in one large division among us, and educated hands in another. We do not concede in this remark, that the mind worker is not a benefactor and a creator. The inventing, the directing intellect, produces the demand for mechanical labor; but we believe, that, the instances of the marriage, so to speak, of thoroughly educated mind with manual labor, are lamentably rare among us. All over the land, our earnest youth have gone asking to be cared for by the work-shops of the country, but no acknowledgement has been made of their human relationship; their mental, and bodily fitness, have had the same contumely heaped upon them, as is received by those unfortunate beings who in social life bear upon their persons the brand of illegitimacy. As a consequence, we have grown up to too large an extent—mere scholars on one side and muscular giants on the other. We would equalize those discrepancies. We would produce a harmonious development of character. In the sweat of their brows, we would have our scholars grow powerful, and their sympathies run out for humanity everywhere. On the altar of labor, we would have every mother dedicate her child to the cause of freedom ; and then, in the breeze wafted over the newly plowed field, there will come encouragement and hope ; and the ringing blows of the anvil and the axe, and the keen cutting edge of the chisel and the plane,

  • A workshop of this kind is, we believe, now in operation in Ohio, connected with the State Penitentiary. It produces stirrups, buckles, harness-frames saw-handles, &c., &c.


will symbolize on the one hand human excellence is rough hewn by self-exertion, and on the other, fashioned into models of beauty by reflection and discipline.

Let us educate our youth in such wise, as shall give them means of success, adapted to their struggling condition, and ere long following the enterprise of the age, we may hope to see them filling everywhere positions of responsibility and trust, and, gliding on the triple tide of wealth, intelligence and virtue, reach eventually, to a sure resting place of distinction and happiness.

Respectfully submitted,


Pending the motion to adopt, Mr. Douglass read a letter addressed by himself to Mrs. Stowe. This letter was read to inform the Convention what representation the writer had made to Mrs. Stowe, respecting the condition and wants of the free colored people.

ROCHESTER, March 8th, 1853.


You kindly informed me, when at your house, a fortnight ago, that you designed to do something which should permanently contribute to the improvement and elevation of the free colored people in the United States. You especially expressed an interest in such of this class as had become free by their own exertions, and desired most of all to be of service to them. In what manner, and by what means, you can assist this class most successfully, is the subject upon which you have done me the honor to ask my opinion.

Begging you to excuse the unavoidable delay, I will now most gladly comply with your request, but before doing so, I desire to express, dear Madam, my deep sense of the value of the services which you have already rendered my afflicted and persecuted people, by the publication of your inimitable book on the subject of slavery. That contribution to our bleeding cause, alone, involves us in a debt of gratitude which cannot be measured ; and your resolution to make other exertions on our behalf excites in me emotions and sentiments, which I scarcely need try to give forth in words. Suffice it to say, that I believe you to have the blessings of your enslaved countrymen and countrywomen; and the still higher reward which comes to the soul in the smiles of our merciful Heavenly father, whose ear is ever open to the cries of the oppressed.

With such sentiments, dear Madam, I will at once proceed to lay before you, in as few words as the nature of the case will allow, my humble views in the premises. First of all, let me briefly state the nature of the disease, before I undertake to prescribe the remedy. Three things are notoriously true of us, as a people. These are POVERTY, IGNORANCE and DEGRADATION. Of course there are exceptions to this general statement ; but these are so few as only to prove its essential truthfulness. I shall not stop here to inquire minutely into the causes which have produced our present condition; nor to denounce those whom I believe to be responsible for those causes. It is enough that we shall agree upon the character of the evil, whose existence we deplore, and upon some plan for its removal.



I assert then, that poverty, ignorance and degradation are the combined evils; or, in other words, these constitute the social disease of the Free Colored people in the United States.

To deliver them from this triple malady, is to improve and elevate them, by which I mean simply to put them on an equal footing with their white fellowcountrymen in the sacred right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I am for no fancied or artificial elevation, but only ask fair play. How shall this be obtained ? I answer, first, not by establishing for our use high schools and colleges. Such institutions are, in my judgment, beyond our immediate occasions, and are not adapted to our present most pressing wants. High schools and colleges are excellent institutions, and will, in due season, be greatly subservient to our progress; but they are the result, as well as they are the demand of a point of progress, which we, as a people, have not yet attained. Accustomed, as we have been, to the rougher and harder modes of living, and of gaining a livelihood, we cannot, and we ought not to hope that, in a single leap from our low condition, we can reach that of Ministers, Lawyers, Doctors, Editors, Merchants, &c. These will, doubtless, be attained by us; but this will only be, when we have patiently and laboriously, and I may add successfully, mastered and passed through the intermediate gradations o agriculture and the mechanic arts. Besides, there are (and perhaps this is a better reason for my view of the case) numerous institutions of learning in this country, already thrown open to colored youth. To my thinking, there are quite as many facilities now afforded to the colored people, as they can spare the time, from the sterner duties of life, to avail themselves of. In their present condition of poverty, they cannot spare their sons and daughters two or three years at boarding schools or colleges, to say nothing of finding the means to sustain them while at such institutions. I take it, therefore, that we are well provided for in this respect; and that it may be fairly inferred from the past that the facilities for our education, so far as schools and colleges in the Free States are concerned, will increase quite in proportion with our future wants. Colleges have been open to colored youth in this country during the last dozen years. Yet few, comparatively, have acquired a classical education; and even this few have found themselves educated far above a living condition, there being no methods by which they could turn their learning to account. Several of this latter class have entered the ministry; but you need not be told that an educated people is needed to sustain an educated ministry. There must be a certain amount of cultivation among the people to sustain such a ministry. At present, we have not that cultivation amongst us; and therefore, we value, in the preacher, strong lungs, rather than high learning. I do not say that educated ministers are not needed amongst us.—Far from it! I wish there were more of them ; but to increase their number is not the largest benefit you can bestow upon us.

You, dear Madam, can help the masses. You can do something for the thousands; and by lifting these from the depths of poverty and ignorance, you can make an educated ministry and an educated class possible. In the


ent circumstances, prejudice is a bar to the educated black minister among the whites; and ignorance is a bar to him among the blacks.

We have now two or three colored lawyers in this country ; and I rejoice in the fact; for it affords very gratifying evidence of our progress. Yet it must be confessed that, in point of success, our lawyers are as great failures as are our ministers. White people will not employ them to the obvious embarrassment of their causes, and the blacks, taking their cue from the whites, have not sufficient confidence in their abilities to employ them. Hence, educated colored men, among the colored people, are at a very great discount. It would seem that education and emigration go together with us; for as soon as a man rises amongst us, capable, by his genius and learning, to do us great service, just so soon he finds that he can serve himself better by going elsewhere. In proof of this, I might instance the Russwurms—the Garnetts—the Wards—the Crummells and others—all men of superior ability and attainments, and capable of removing mountains of prejudice against their race, by their simple presence in the country ; but these gentlemen, finding themselves embarrassed here by the peculiar disadvantages to which I have referred—disadvantages in part growing out of their education—being repelled by ignorance on the one hand, and prejudice on the other, and having no taste to continue a contest against such odds, they have sought more congenial climes where they can live more peacable and quiet lives. I regret their election—but I cannot blame them; for, with an equal amount of education, and the hard lot which was theirs, I might follow their example.

But, again, it has been said that the colored people must become farmers—that they must go on the land, in order to their elevation. Hence, many benevolent people are contributing the necessary funds to purchase land in Canada, and elsewhere, for them. That prince of good men, Gerrit Smith, has given away thousands of acres to colored men in this State, thinking, doubtless, that in so doing he was conferring a blessing upon them. Now, while I do not undervalue the efforts which have been made, and are still being made in this direction, yet I must say that I have far less confidence in such efforts, than I have in the benevolence which prompts them. Agricultural pursuits are not, as I think, suited to our condition. The reason of this is not to be found so much in the occupation, (for it is a noble and ennobling one,) as in the people themselves. That is only a remedy, which can be applied to the case; and the difficulty in agricultural pursuits, as a remedy for the evils of poverty and ignorance amongst us, is that it cannot, for various reasons, be applied.

We cannot apply it, because it is almost impossible to get colored men to go on the land. From some cause or other, (perhaps the adage that misery loves company will explain,) colored people will congregate in the large towns and cities; and they will endure any amount of hardship and privation, rather than separate, and go into the country. Again, very few have the means to set up for themselves, or to get where they could do so.

Another consideration against expending energy in this direction is our


want of self-reliance. Slavery, more than all things else, robs its victims of self-reliance. To go into the western wilderness, and there to lay the foundation of future society, requires more of that important quality than a life of slavery has left us. This may sound strange to you, coming, as it does, from a colored man; but I am dealing with facts; and these never accommodate themselves to the feelings or wishes of any. They don't ask, but take leave to be. It is a fact then, and not less so because I wish it were otherwise, that the colored people are wanting in self-reliance—too fond of society—too eager for immediate results—and too little skilled in mechanics or husbandry to attempt to overcome the wilderness; at least, until they have overcome obstacles less formidable. Therefore, I look to other means than agricultural pursuits for the elevation and improvement of colored people. Of course, I allege this of the many. There are exceptions. Individuals among us, with commendable zeal, industry, perseverance and self-reliance, have found, and are finding, in agricultural pursuits, the means of supporting, improving and educating their families.

The plan which I contemplate will, (if carried into effect,) greatly increase the number of this class—since it will prepare others to meet the rugged duties which a pioneer agricultural condition must impose upon all who take it upon them. What I propose is intended simply to prepare men for the work of getting an honest living—not out of dishonest men—but out of an honest earth.

Again, there is little reason to hope that any considerable number of the free colored people will ever be induced to leave this country, even if such a thing were desirable. The black man, (un-like the Indian,) loves civilization. He does not make very great progress in civilization himself, but he likes to be in the midst of it, and prefers to share its most galling evils, to encountering barbarism. Then the love of country—the dread of isolation—the lack of adventurous spirit—and the thought of seeming to desert their "brethren in bonds," are a powerful and perpetual check upon all schemes of colonization, which look to the removal of the colored people, without the slaves. The truth is, dear Madam, we are here, and here we are likely to remain. Individuals emigrate -- nations never. We have grown up with this Republic; and I see nothing in our character, or even in the character of the American people, as yet, which compels the belief that we must leave the United States. If, then, we are to remain here, the question for the wise and good is precisely that you have submitted to me—and that which I fear I have been, perhaps, too slow in answering—namely, What can be done to improve the condition of the free colored people in the United States? The plan which I humbly submit in answer to this inquiry, (and in the hope that it may find favor with you, dear Madam, and with the many friends of humanity who honor, love, and co-operate with you,) is the establishment in Rochester, N Y.—or in some other part of the United States, equally favorable to such an enterprise—of an INDUSTRIAL COLLEGE, in which shall be taught several important branches of the mechanic arts. This college to be open to colored youth. I will pass over, for the present, the details of such an institution as


that I propose. It is not worth while that I should dwell upon these at all Once convinced that something of the sort is needed, and the organizing power will be forthcoming. It is the peculiarity of your favored race that they can always do what they think necessary to be done. I can safely trust all details to yourself, and to the wise and good people whom you represent in the interest you take in my oppressed fellow-countrymen.

Never having myself had a day's schooling in all my life, I may not be expected to be able to map out the details of a plan so comprehensive as that involved in the idea of a college. I repeat then, I leave the organization and administration to the superior wisdom of yourself and the friends that second your noble efforts. The argument in favor of an Industrial College, (a College to be conducted by the best men, and the best workmen, which the mechanic arts can afford--a College where colored youth can be instructed to use their hands, as well as their heads--where they can be put in possession of the means of getting a living--whether their lot in after life may be cast among civilized or uncivilized men--whether they choose to stay here, or prefer to return to the land of their fathers,) is briefly this--prejudice against the free colored people in the United States has shown itself nowhere so invincible as among mechanics. The farmer and the professional man cherish no feeling so bitter as that cherished by these. The latter would starve us out of the country entirely. At this moment, I can more easily get my son into a lawyers office, to study law, than I can into a blacksmith's shop, to blow the bellows, and to wield the sledge-hammer. Denied the means of learning useful trades, we are pressed into the narrowest limits to obtain a livelihood. In times past we have been the hewers of wood and the drawers of water for American society, and we once enjoyed a monopoly in menial employments, but this is so no longer--even these employments are rapidly passing away out of our hands. The fact is, (every day begins with the lesson, and ends with the lesson,) that colored men must learn trades--must find new employments, new modes of usefulness to society--or that they must decay under the pressing wants to which their condition is rapidly bringing them. We must become mechanics--we must build, as well as live in houses—we must make, as well as use furniture--we must construct bridges, as well as pass over them--before we can properly live, or be respected by our fellow men. We need mechanics, as well as ministers. We need workers in iron' wood, clay, and in leather. We have orators, authors, and other professional men ; but these reach only a certain class, and get respect for our race in certain select circles. To live here as we ought, we must fasten ourselves to our countrymen through their every day and cardinal wants. We must not only be able to black boots, but to make them. At present, we are unknown in the Northern States, as mechanics. We give no proof of genius or skill at the County, the State, or the National Fairs. We are unknown at any of the great exhibitions of the industry of our fellow-citizens-- and being unknown, we are unconsidered.

The fact that we make no show of our ability, is held conclusive of our inabilty to make any. Hence, all the indifference and contempt, with which


incapacity is regarded, fall upon us, and that too, when we have had no means of disproving the injurious opinion of our natural inferiority. I have, during the last dozen years, denied, before the Americans, that we are an inferior race. But this has been done by arguments, based upon admitted principles, rather than by the presentation of facts. Now, firmly believing, as I do, that there are skill, invention, power, industry, and real mechanical genius among the colored people, which will bear favorable testimony for them, and which only need the means to develop them, I am decidedly in favor of the establishment of such a college as I have mentioned. The benefits of such an institution would not be confined to the Northern States, nor to the free colored people: they would extend over the whole Union. The slave, not less than the freeman, would be benefitted by such an institution. It must be confessed that the most powerful argument, now used by the Southern slaveholder and the one most soothing to his conscience is, that derived from the low condition of the free colored people at the North. I have long felt that too little attention has been given, by our truest friends, in this country, to removing this stumbling block out of the way of the slaves liberation.

The most telling, the most killing refutation of slavery, is the presentation of an industrious, enterprising, upright, thrifty and intelligent free black population. Such a population, I believe, would rise in the Northern States, under the fostering care of such a College as that supposed.

To show that we are capable of becoming mechanics, I might adduce any amount of testimony; but dear Madam, I need not ring the changes on such a proposition. There is no question in the mind of any unprejudiced person, that the negro is capable of making a good mechanic. Indeed, even those who cherish the bitterest feelings towards us have admitted that the apprehension that negroes might be employed in their stead, dictated the policy of excluding them from trades altogether; but I will not dwell upon this point, as I fear I have already trespassed too long upon your precious time, and written more than I ought to expect you to read. Allow me to say, in conclusion, hat? I believe every intelligent colored man in America will approve and rejoice at the establishment of some such institution as that now suggested. There are many respectable colored men, fathers of large families, having boys nearly grown up, whose minds are tossed by day and by night, with the anxious enquiry, what shall I do with my boys? Such an institution would meet the wants of such persons. Then, to, the establishment of such an institution would be in character with the eminently practical philanthropy of your transatlantic friends. America could scarcely object to it, as an attempt to agitate the public mind on the subject of slavery, or to "dissolve the Union.” It could not be tortured into a cause for hard words by the American people; but the noble and good of all classes would see in the effort an excellent motive, a benevolent object, temperately, wisely, and practically manifested.

Wishing you, dear Madam, renewed health, a pleasant passage and safe return to your native land,

I am, most truly, your grateful friend,


Mrs. H.B.Stowe.



Whereas, The social condition of the colored inhabitants of this country, in its developments, shows, beyond a question, the necessity of social reform, and a better regulation of our domestic habits; therefore,

Resolved, That this Convention urge upon the clergy, who are not only our spiritual, but our social and moral instructors, to begin the reform, by urging upon the people who attend their preaching the neccessity of a social reform : to use more untiring exertion than heretofore; to induce parents to pay more attention to the domestic education of their children; to prepare them for a better condition in society; to instill in them a desire for their elevation in society; to instill in them a desire for better occupations than the mass are brought up to; to give them higher notions of what the genius and spirit of the country requires of us, than they now have; to teach them more regular habits; and this Convention would urge upon parents the fact, that while the mass of the people are generally employed in menial service, from necessity, while this may not, of itself, bring reproach upon a people, yet it must be admitted that, should we bring up our children to the same employment, it will, of necessity, engraft upon them unstable habits—a disregard for the mechanical branches, as well as unfit them for regular employments; and instead of elevating their character for the future, we shall place them beneath our own position, and give them rather the downward, than the upward tendency.

Resolved, That to secure a more permanent attention to business habits than heretofore, and the acquisition of mechanical branches, it is necessary that some decisive measure be taken to open and secure the avenues of mechanical trades to our youth; and that, as a primary measure, it is necessary that it be known to parents and youth who are willing to take colored apprentices in their workshops; and further, that it is now expedient that intelligence offices be established, which shall register the names and places of business of such mechanics as are willing to employ colored youth ; and also names, age, residence, &c., of such youth as are desirous of learning trades.

Resolved, That it is the duty of colored men, in any way connected with mechanical or business houses, enjoying the confidence of their employers, to use all fair and honorable means to secure for themselves business advantages, and especially, to secure the admisson of their children, or the children of others into mechanical establishments; and in every way practicable to use their influence to secure and extend business advantages and business connection to those now excluded from it.

Resolved, That it is now expedient and necessary for those who have accumulated some means, to employ such means in some one or more of the general avenues of business and profit, and to make for themselves a better business character than we now possess, and thus open and secure the way for the development of new business, and right business talent.

Resolved, That the attempt to create a successful colony on the coast of Liberia is an attempt to accomplish an end in violation of the admitted laws of human civilization, and in violation of the physical laws of the human constitution.

Resolved, That, as for the American Colonization Society, we have no sympathy with it, having long since determined to plant our trees on American soil, and repose beneath their shade.

Resolved, That the several towns and cities represented in this Convention be, and are hereby advised to procure copies of Garrison's Thoughts on Colonization: and that they be advised to reiterate the resolves and addresses contained in the first part of that work, on the head of the Free People of Color.


Resolved, That in recognizing the power of the press, and the vast influence it exerts in making apparent the spirit and character of a people, we are happy in congratulating ourselves upon the fact that in Frederick Douglass Paper we possess a correct exponent of the condition of our people, as well as an able, firm, and faithful advocate of their interests, and that, consequently, we cheerfully recommend it as worthy of our hearty and untiring support.

Resolved, That we welcome the newspaper recently established in Cleveland, Ohio, edited by William H. Day, as a powerful auxiliary to our cause and as an efficient lever for promoting our elevation; and that we pledge it that hearty support which its importance.

Whereas, It is not generally known to the colored citizens and others that there is, in the city of Alleghany, Pa, an institution of learning—a regularly incorporated college for the education of colored youth and others; therefore,

Resolved, That this Convention will give publicity to that institution by publishing, among the proceedings of this body, a notice of its existence.

Resolved, That a committee of one from each State represented be appointed to report an especial address to the Free People of Color of the United States; and also, that we recommend the next "National Convention" to be holden within two years, at some suitable place, which may hereafter be agreed upon.

Resolved, That the Colored People of the United States gratefully appreciate the services of the pioneer of the doctrine of universal, unconditional, and immediate emancipation, William Lloyd Garrison, and his noble co-adjutors, eliciting, as they do, our undying affection; and when we forget them, may our tongues cleave to the roof of our mouths, and our right hands forget their cunning.

Resolved, That we recommend the parents and guardians of colored children to avail themselves of every opportunity for their ingress to those schools and academies wherein there is no proscription of race or color.

Resolved. That we recognize in "Uncle Toms Cabin" a work plainly marked by the finger of God, lifting the veil of separation which has too long divided the sympathies of one class of the American people from another; and that we feel and know that such sympathies once awake, and flowing in the proper human direction, must be the first step in that happy human brotherhood which is to be the ultimate destiny and crowning glory of our race.

Resolved, That we, as American citizens, are entitled to the right of elective franchise, in common with the white men of this country; and whenever any of our people have the use of that privilege, it is their duty to vote and vote only for such men, irrespective of party, as are known to be opposed to slavery and the Fugitive Slave Law.

Resolved, That the secrataries, in conjunction with Frederick Douglass, be appointed a Committee on Publication.

[The following resolutions have direct bearing upon the plan of organization, and in the report should be placed immediately after it;]

Resolved, That the Council shall be delegated to select its various committees,

Resolved, That the Council have power to offer a premium for prize essays on different subjects agreed on by the Council.

Resolved, That the said Council shall hear and grant petitions, and be governed by the rules of legislative bodies, and their decisions shall be final. Resolved, That any State applying for admission into this Union, shall be admitted on such terms as be agreed upon.

Resolved, That in establishing a National Council for our own special improvement, and a Manual Labor School for the education of our children in science, literature, and mechanical arts, this Convention do this, not to build ourselves up as a distinct and separate class in this country, but as a means to a great end, viz: the equality in political rights, and in civil and social privileges with the rest of the American people.


[The following communications were received by the Convention and deemed worthy of publication :]



To the Rochester Convention of Colored Americans:

DEAR BRETHREN:--I feel the deepest interest in the wisdom, integrity and results of your Convention. I urged my friends here to have themselves, by all means, worthily represented; and can say, with truth, that their delegate Mr. Augusta, is the man whom I should have preferred, had the choice been left to me. But for his solicitation, I should scarcely have penned these lines, for fear of seeming otherwise.

My strong conviction is, that my colored fellow-citizens in America should calmly and bravely breast the tide of prejudice, which I am persuaded flows more from caste than color. Let them first of all embrace the religion of the blessed Jesus; then cultivate their mental and moral powers to the utmost; seek each for himself, and diffuse among others, a knowledge of mechanical, commercial, agricultural, scientific and literary pursuits. See that mental capacity, and energy, and early tastes are trained for their proper career--just as judicious white men consult for the talents and predilections of their children.

Some of the brightest men in our country now are of African type. Real greatness everywhere is mostly proportioned to, and measured by the difficulties overcome; and if so, the colored of our nation have a chance to win the true sublime--for they are abused for their degradation, and forbidden the means to rise. But, with God's help, they can rise; and I look to your Convention now with a prayerful hope that you may speak to them with the power of the Prophet's voice, when he called to the bones in the valley of vision.

I not only trust that my colored brethren may yet elevate themselves, but that God may use them to save this nation from that abyss of ruin towards which its brutal pride and folly are driving it headlong. Let it see an outraged people rise to virtue and wisdom in its midst, and in spite of its malignity; and surely prejudice itself must melt, and the blindest eye must see the glory of truth and the safety of virtue.

Our people have trampled you into ignorance, insulted your weaknesses' and nailed you on the cross of slavery; but may God grant you, dear brethren, a resurrection to intelligence, and to that Christ like magnanimity that shall forgive a tyrant foe, and preach the glad tidings of man's capacity, with the Divine favor, to advance in wisdom, virtue and happiness.

Very sincerely your

Friend and brother,




To the President and Members of the National Convention of Disfranchised American Citizens :

SIRS:—I exceedingly regret that it is out of my power to meet you, in consequence of a press of professional duties; but my whole heart is with you in the advancement of the cause of our condition. I cannot but sincerely wish you God-speed; and, that every delegate will have one ostensible object in view - a sure basis and a firm foundation, whereon you can predicate yourselves. These are peculiar times; and I believe we are upon the eve of some great revolution, and that if ever unanimity and action is regarded of a people, it is now the whole country is concerned about us. Our moral and mental advancement is a subject of wonderment. Our enemies are alarmed, and they continually cry, What shall we do with them? (us.) Let the doings of this Convention settle the question, and be the beginning of a new era in our history; and may He who rules and superrules over destinies, guide you in all your deliberations. Respectfully yours,


[The following letter was not read at the Convention for want of time:]



To the Convention of People of Color, assembled at Rochester, State of New York:

Being an old Liberty Party man, I take the liberty, and I hope you will grant the privilege, of having this epistle read at your Convention. I have long struggled to make our people feel for your rights, and spent time and money in the struggle. I voted for Hale and Julian ; and if the Lord spares my life, my vote shall always be on the side of freedom. We expect, if our party get into power, (and we do not say when that will be,) to appoint to office in the general government only such persons as are beyond dispute thoroughly imbued with our principles; and that the judges of the United States courts will be of different material. We expect to do away with the Fugitive Bill. We expect to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, and in the territories, and wherever Congress has constitutional power. Then we expect to have no more slave states. We do not, as a party, propose to interfere with slavery in the slave states; but we think then our influence, and the opinion of the world, will be such that said states will abolish slavery. We expect some of our candidates, when elected, will turn traitors under southern promises, and some from their bad inclinations. These things we dread most ; but the power we must have. When ? God only knows. Under such circumstances you may well inquire, what are our brethren, suffering under


bondage, as well as this Convention assembled for the good of the whole race, to do shall they sleep till the good time coming? No! While one being, made in the image of God, is held a slave, Can human beings be doomed to perpetual bondage? Can human patience endure everything We have just read of a plot of 2,500 slaves for insurrection being discovered. Think you they feel not the heavy load 2 Think you their souls are ravished with joy to see their children or their wives torn from their embrace to see their homes deserted, their daughters and wives insulted, and compelled to propagate a mixed race? This is beyond human endurance ; and the slaves will rise, or in a more shrewd and cautious course will quietly submit till they form some cool policy of poisoning the whole family of masters in a day, and take possession of the State government select their Senators and Congressmen and there having peaceable and quiet possession of the country, Wil demand their representatives to be heard.

From such consequences may we be spared. Perhaps I am too timid ; but I cannot but dread three millions of foes, goaded to desperation by a sense of their wrongs. But in this matter you, as the free citizens of this despotic Republic, can act a great and glorious part. Let wisdom and discretion in all your councils prevail if you will suffer me to make these remarks. Let brotherly feeling and Christian charity characterize all your acts; and as knowledge is power, I should regard it part of the business of your Convention (if you will allow me to say it) to try to elevate the free people of color throughout the world—to inspire them with a strong feeling of self-respect and self-dependence. As a means to this end, I would recommend a general system of education, sound and practical; and if there could be a book written upon the science of government, adapted to the use of common schools, got up similar to books of Chemistry, Philosophy, Geography or Rhetoric with questions on the margin of each leaf it would be of inestimable service Our forefathers formed this government on the principle that the people know best what they want. But, in practice, we find that party strings and factions, and slave-dealers, dictate what kind of men shall be candidates, and the people feel very proud that they are at liberty to go and vote for them.—The great trouble is, the white people, the voters, as well as the colored, in a great majority of cases, have no correct knowledge of the science of government, and never will have, in my opinion, till this science is studied in common schools. Hence we see that in our great political campaigns there is more fuss made at a raccoon skin,” a barrel of hard cider,” a filthy or a blackguard speech, or vulgar expression, than at the matters of consequence to the nation.

I hope you will excuse the length of this letter, as I intended to say but a few words—but the subject seems inexhaustible. It is my desire to see the colored people, and all races of people, enjoy their rights; for "God created of one blood all nations to dwell upon all the face of the earth;" and what is more contemptible than for people to boast of their race, or quarrel with another people because of a different race. We have questions enough of a personal nature, of a private nature, of self-interest, of public good, to support


and educate our families, without resorting to this question—great only in meanness. I hope moderation, wisdom and discretion will guide you in your councils, and may your Convention result in harmonizing your efforts, and the general welfare of the civilized world, Yours respectfully,


Report from Finance Committee read and accepted.

On motion, adjourned.


Vice President, Amos G. Beman, in the chair. Prayer by Rev. C. B. Ray. Minutes read and accepted. Mr. McCrummel moved that the vote rejecting the report on Social Relation be reconsidered.

A resolution from the Finance Committee that each member of this Convention be taxed the additional sum of one dollar, to meet the deficiency in funds for defraying the expenses of the Convention; and that friends present be invited to enroll their names as such ; lost. Moved, that an opportunity be given to all those who feel willing to contribute toward the defraying the expenses of the Convention, to do so agreed to. Moved, that the Convention adjourn tonight at eleven oclock, sine die; agreed to. By Mr. McCrummel, that all reports and resolutions not already adopted by the Convention be referred to a committee of six on publication, with instructions to print them, omitting such statements or ideas as have appeared objectionable to the Convention; lost. Mr. G. M. Willis, of Jefferson, Co., N.Y., and R. D. Willis, of Oneida Co, paid one dollar and entered their names on the roll.

James M'Cune Smith moved that the Committee on Literature be allowed further time to report; withdrawn. Mr. Sumner renewed the motion, stating that the Committee had been appointed so late in the session that they could not prepare a proper report; agreed to. Leave refused to Messrs. Gaines and Sumner to withdraw from the Committee, The preamble of the plan of organization taken up. The amendments of Mr. Downing were agreed to. Mr. J. M. Langston moved to strike out all that portion of the preamble offered by Mr. Whipper, as, in his opinion, the preamble reported from the Business Committee was sufficiently explicit upon the objects of the organization, and not liable to the objections to the others; agreed to. First article of the plan for organization was taken up. Mr. C. B. Ray moved to strike out the word Legislature, and insert the word Council; agreed to. Article as amended; agreed to. Article second taken up. Mr. J. N. Still moved to amend by adding to the list of officers a Vice President and Corresponding Secretary; agreed to. Mr. Jenkins moved that all committees consist of five members; agreed to. Mr. Kenney, of New York, moved that three be added a Committee on Commerce; lost. The article as amended; agreed to. Article third taken


up. Mr. A. R. Green moved that the power of selecting a location for the Manual Labor School be retained, as in the original draft, which was, that we allow the Convention to select. Mr. George T. Downing moved that we pass to the next article; agreed to. The fourth and fifth articles read and agreed to Article sixth read. Mr. Joseph C. Holley moved to amend by inserting the words "and all books by colored authors;" agreed; and the article as amended agreed to. Article seventh read; amended by the addition of the following, after the words "shall meet at least once a month,” the words "or as often as possible;" amendment and resolution agreed to. Article eighth read amended by the words "shall be empowered to receive, and appropriate donations for the carrying out of the objects of the same.” Mr. Parker moved to amend that the Council meet at least once in six months; agreed to. Article as amended agreed to. Mr. Downing moved that the delegations from the several States be requested to meet between this and the evening session, and agree upon such persons as they desire to represent them in the National Council; agreed to. Article ninth read and agreed to. Article tenth read. Mr. Bowser proposed the following amendment: that the lyceum be located in Pittsburgh, which was amended to Cincinnati, to Chicago, to Portland, Me. After which the article was adopted. Article eleventh read and agreed to. Article twelfth read and agreed to. Article thirteenth read and agreed to. Article third again taken up. Mr. Reasons substitute laid on the table. James M'Cune Smith moved that the location of the Manual Labor School be left to the National Council not agreed to.

Donations of $2 from Mr. W. Whipper, of Columbia, Penn.; Mr. Bradford King, of Rochester, 2; Mr. T. Thomas, of Mass., paid his tax, as a member of the Convention.



President in the chair. Prayer by the Rev. Boyd Parker. Mr. Parker moved that the Financial Committee be requested to wait upon the audience, and receive such donations as they may be willing to make; agreed to. Third article of the plan of organization again taken up, together with the amendment, which was, "that the board of Trustees of the Manual Labor School, shall locate the school in the State designated by the Council;" amendment agreed to. On the final passage of the article, the ayes and noes being called for, the article was adopted, ayes 80; noes, 23. Motion to re-consider laid on the table. One dollar each was paid by Messrs. W. H. Channing and Francis Thompson, to be constituted honorary members. J. H. Hurley paid his tax as member of the Convention. Mr. Downing moved that the names presented by the various delegations be adopted by this Convention, as members of the National Council; agreed to.

The following names were reported:

Vermont—J. W. Lewis, St. Albans; H. C. Smith, Burlington. Massachusetts—W. C. Nell, Boston; J. B. Sanderson, Fairhaven.


Rhode Island—Geo. T. Downing, Providence; Abraham C. Rice, Newport.

Connecticut—Jehiel C. Beeman, Amos G. Beeman.

New York—J. McCune Smith, New York City ; Frederick Douglass, Rochester.

Pennsylvania—John Peck, Pittsburgh ; Stephen Smith, Philadelphia.

Ohio—Wm. H. Day, Cleveland ; John I. Gaines, Cincinnati.

Michigan—W. C. Munroe, John Freeman, Detroit

Illinois—James D. Bonner, John Jones, Chicago.

Indiana—Horace B. Smith, Indianopolis, John T. Brittain, Charlestown.

Prof. C. L. Reason offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That nothing in the provisions of the constitution of the Council just adopted shall be construed to mean that either in the Board of Instructors or in the admission of students to the contemplated manual labor schools, the principle of complexional exclusiveness is contemplated.


Resolutions approving the purpose and character of W. H. Day's paper, the Aliened American, to be published at Cleveland, Ohio; also one approving of the spirit and course of Frederick Douglass' Paper adopted. Mr. A. R. Green called up his resolutions recommending days of fasting and prayer. Upon them considerable discussion and confusion prevailed. Mr. Douglass moved to adjourn. Lost. Rev. W. C. Monroe spoke at length upon the resolutions. Resolutions laid on the table. J. McCune Smith moved that all reports presented to this Convention be published with minutes. The Committee on Finance reported that the receipts of the Convention had amounted to $172,50 ; expenses $60,75 ; remaining, $111,75; which was paid to committee on Publication.

Resolved, That the Convention return thanks to the officers of this Convention for the able manner in which they have discharged their duty. Agreed to.

Also to the Chairman of the Business Committee. Agreed to.

Sundry resolutions were passed, which, in the hurry, could not be noted, but will be found under the head of Resolutions,

Moved that we adjourn sine die.

While the motion was being put and carried, Frederick Douglass advanced to the front of the stand and struck up the hymn,

"From all that dwell beneath the skies,

Let the Creators praise arise.”

in which the whole Convention heartily joined.


[The following report did not come to hand in time to be printed in the order in which it was reported to the Convention.]


In entering upon the duties assigned them, your committee deemed it desirable to go into the history of African Colonization,with a view to show that every system of Colonization has proved a curse to that unhappy country.

 I. The first we shall notice, is that of the Dutch, which commenced in 1659. Your committee find that about that time a settlement was commenced, composed of emigrants from Holland, under the auspices of the Dutch East India Company. These settlers at first entered Africa with the most friendly intentions ; and contented themselves with simply as much land as was needed for their trading establishments ; subsequently, however, and at no distant period, the Dutch not only began to seize upon the best of lands in southern Africa; but furthermore reduced the natives to a most cruel state of slavery. The few traders soon enriched themselves, at the fearful expense of the natives. Holland began to pour a flood of emigrants into the country. A colony was formed ; and efforts were made to subjugate the entire native population. From this time, to use the words of the Americans themselves, the white man, with gun and sword in hand, began to stride rapidly in every direction, through the whole country, taking forcible possession of the best portions of land. It soon also became a common thing for the Dutch colonist to fit out expeditions expressly to plunder the distant natives of their cattle. In 1702, about forty years after the Dutch entered the country, the governor in a despatch to the home government, confesses that he was unable to punish these intruders upon the natives, giving as a reason, that half the colony would be ruined, so great is number of the inhabitants implicated. At another time the Dutch govenor made an extensive tour into the interior, found many of his subjects, who had settled themselves far beyond the bounds of the colony ; and instead of recalling them, threw out, and extended the bounds of the colony so as to take them in, and then ordered all of the natives outside of this new boundary.
 "A chapter of facts from Barrow--1798--" speaking of the natives says: --"Some of their villages might have been expected to remain in this remote and not very populous part of the country. Not one, however, was to be found. There is not, in fact, in the whole extensive district of Graaff Reinet, a single horde of independent Hottentots; and perhaps not a score of individuals who are not actually in the service of the Dutch. These weak people the most helpless, and in their present condition perhaps the most wretched of the human race, duped out of their possessions, their country, and their liberty, have entailed upon their miserable offspring a state of existence to which that of slavery might bear the comparison of happiness. It is a condition, however, not likely to continue to a very remote posterity.
 Their numbers of late years have become rapidly on the decline. It has generally been observed that where Europeans have colonized, the less civilized nations have always dwindled away, and at length totally disappeared. "There is scarcely an instance of cruelty said to have been committed against the slaves in the West India Island, that could not find a parallel from the Dutch Farmers of the remote districts of the colony towards the Hottentots in their service. Beating and cutting with thongs of the hide of the sea cow, (hippopotamus) or rhinoceros, are only gentle punishments; though these sort of whips, which they call sjamboes, are most horrid instruments, being tough, pliant, and heavy almost as lead. Firing small shot into the legs and thighs of a Hottentot, is a punishment not unknown to some of the monsters who inhabit the neighborhood of Camtoos river.

 By a resolution of the old government, as unjust as it was inhuman, a peasant (Boor) was allowed to claim as his property, till the age of five and twenty, all the children of the Hottentots in his service, to whom he had given in their infancy a morsel of meat. At the expiration of this period the odds are ten to one that the slave is not emancipated. But should he be fortunate


enough to ESCAPE at the end of this period, the best part of his life has been spent in a profitless servitude, and he is turned adrift without anything he can call his own, except a sheepskin on his back.” "At that time (1798– 1802) the Hottentots were a miserable, abject race of people ; generally living in the service of Boors, who had so many of them that they were thought of little value as servants, and were treated more like brute beasts than human beings. Indeed, the colonists in those days scarcely considered them human; they were mostly naked; seldom was one of them to be seen with any other clothing than the sheepskin caross, together with a piece of jackall's skin for the men, and a wretched sort of leathern apron for the women, attached to a girdle of rawhide, which encircled, their loins. Their food was commonly the flesh of old ewes, or any animal the Boor expected to die from age. If he was short of that, he shot a few quagges or other game for them. Their wages were generally a few strings of glass beads in the year, or, when the Boor returned from a journey to Cape Town, a tinder-box and knife were considered a reward of faithful services. Perhaps a very obedient man, and more than commonly industrious, got a heifer, or a couple of ewes, in a year. And if by accident any of these poor wretches happened to possess a few cattle, there was often some means fallen upon by the Boor to get rid of him, and thus his cattle became his master's. When a Hottentot offended any Boor or Booress, he was immediately tied up to the wagon wheel, and flogged in the most barbarous manner; or if the master took a serious dislike to any of these unhappy creatures, it was no uncommon practice to send out the Hottentot on some pretended message, and then to follow and shoot him on the road; and when thus put out of the way, his relations durst not make any inquiry about him, else they were also severely punished. Such was the condition in which we found the natives of that period.”

Such were the blessings that the Dutch conferred upon Africa by their colonization, after a lapse of nearly half a century.

II. The eighteenth century opened upon Africa, with TWO NEW SCHEMES OF COLONIZATION.

First--The British government commenced colonizing whites.

Secondly--It was about that time, the Americans began to turn their attention to Africa, for the purpose of colonizing free colored persons.

As early as 1798, an American Naval Officer, (Lieut. Stout,) being at the Cape, wrote a long letter to John Adams, then President of the United States, urging the importance of colonizing the free colored people in that part of Africa, as a counter movement of the British government, which was about to seek an opening there for portions of her population. Thus it is seen that jealousy of Great Britain had something to do with the origin of this scheme. The letter in question was published, and your committee regret they have not been able to find a copy. This they regret the more, because they have little doubt, that although no official notice was ever taken of the letter, yet, access to it in the State Department, WHERE IT IS NOW, has done much to form the opinions of Presidents, Secretaries, Senators and Representatives on this subject. It should also be kept in mind, that just about this time, an alarm began to prevail that the British Islands would soon be over-populated. The crown had just lost the thirteen colonies, and was not disposed to encourage emigration hither, no, not even to the Canadas, knowing that many would re-emigrate to the United States. The point of contest was obvious. The United States had a sufficiency of labor in the persons of free colored people, but she wanted also to rival Great Britain in population. The United States well knew that the class of population they would get from Britain would be laborers. Political economy cautioned them against over-stocking their infant Republic with labor. To get over the difficulty, this plan was adopted :-- dismiss the negroes, who have hewn our wood and drawn our water, while we were preparing ourselves to become independent, and who helped us to fight our battles of independence, send them to Africa. and then we shall be in a position to receive Britain's redundant population. Your committee are serious and candid in the opinion, that these views entered fully into the original policy of colonization. How far they accord with


that generous, and statesman-like spirit, which was due from the States, to their sable sons, they will leave you to judge. It must be added, however, that the attempt to counter-move the British crown in South Africa was an utter failure; Britain took South Africa from the Dutch, and soon began to colonize there, whites from England, Scotland and Ireland. The Americans then turned their eyes to Western Africa.

Your committee now ask your attention to this singular coincidence, that those two schemes of colonization began about the same time, the British colonizing whites; and the Americans colonizing colored men on the same continent, but from entirely opposite motives; Britain, to relieve herself from what she believed to be over-grown population; America, to relieve herself from what she calls obnoxious population. The influence of British colonization upon South Africa, and the interior and western coast, has been a curse to Africa; the whites there have nearly exterminated several tribes, to make room for themselves. They seized on the best lands, without paying the owners. The Caffres have for forty years held them in check, without arms, ammunition, or military tactics. They have fought like men, guarding their ancestor's tombs. But the whites have paid no regard to the African's love of home or veneration for his father's grave. The white in the land of Ham has been cruel and rapacious. He has outlawed the African in his own land, he has taken from him thirty thousand square miles of maiden land, at the dash of a pen. He has robbed him of twenty-five thousand head of prime cattle, as a day's job! This is not fiction. On the 30th day of April, 1820, five thousand whites landed on the shores of Africa, with a patronage of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars from their government! To give a view of the motives which prompted this emigration, on the part of the persons themselves, we will make an extract from the writings of one of the the best men among them. He says, "I had two objects in view, in emigrating to Africa. One was, to collect again into one social circle, and to establish in rural independence, my father's family, which untoward circumstances had broken up, and began to scatter over the world," &c. &c. Such is a specimen of the feeling with which these five thousand whites went to Africa. At that period there were seventy-five thousand others, of the same sort, demanding admission into the land of Ham. With all the liberality of the British people towards the African, (and we distinguish between the government and the people of the country,) your committee regret that they are not able to report any material change for the better, in the treatment of the natives by the whites, since the colony came under the control of the British crown, except relieving the remnant of the Hottentots from abject slavery. But this one good act of the government seems to have been overbalanced, and more, by the unparalleled cruelty tolerated towards the Caffres. The Caffres, as a race, have generally been equal, and sometimes more than a match for the whites. Indeed, in reading the history of the Caffre war, for forty years, (the longest on record, except the second Punic—forty-seven years,) it seems that the mortal offence of that noble race is, that they consider themselves quite equal to, if not superior to white men; and that they have done much to prove the truth of their opinion. Forty years ago, a Dutch Boor took a farm near a ford, on the banks of the great Fish River, over which the Caffres frequently drove their cattle. His fences were bad, and the Caffres' herds sometimes got into his fields. The plan he adopted, to retaliate, was to take of such trespassing cattle, one out of three, and two out of five, &c. After suffering considerable loss in this way, the Caffres became cautious; but with their utmost care, the Boor still got his toll, in the shape of two or three fine cattle, every time a Caffre crossed with a flock. At length several Caffres combined, and set a watch over the Boor's plan of operation; and obtaining positive knowledge that he regularly decoyed their cattle into his fields, they went and complained to their chief. That he might act upon indubitable evidence, he send two reliable men to lie in watch, and ordered his own cattle to be driven over the river. The Boor, the rapacious old Boor, seized three of the Royal Kine. The men reported to the chief, who went with his forces, and took his cattle vi et armis. The Boor flew to the governor, and represented that the chief had robbed him. The matter was examined or explained, but the



governor still reprimanded the chief; and ordered him to return the cattle, and then, for the sake of form, lay his complaint before him, &c. The chief refused to do so; and the governor undertook to force him. Such is an authentic statement of the origin of a forty years' war, between the Southern Africans and the whites.

Your committee ask careful attention to the following chapter of facts collected from British writers:

“In 1811, the government undertook the forcible removal of the entire Caffre population, over the great Fish River, to make room for the whites. Hence ensued a war, of which the following will give an idea:

Sunday, January 12th, 1812—At noon commandant Stollz went out with two companies to look for Slambie, (Islambi,) but saw nothing of him; they met only with a few Caffres, men and women, the most of whom they shot. About sunset, five Caffres were seen at a distance, one of whom came to the camp with a message from Slambies son, requesting permission to remain until the harvest was over, and that then he (if his father would not,would go over the great Fish River quietly. This messenger would not give any information, respecting Slambie, but said he did not know where he was. However after having been put in irons, and fastened to a wheel, with a reim (leathern thong) about his neck, he said that if the commando went with him before daylight, he would bring them upon two hundred Caffres all asleep. , Now what is to be thought of this attempt to force an envoy, by the terror of death to betray his chief into the hands of his mortal enemies? What would be the outcry, throughout all Europe, if any flag of truce were so treated between civilized nations? A few days afterwards, a small body of Caffres were seen at the edge of a thicket near Colonel Wilshire's camp, who made signs that they desired a parley. The Colonel, attended by another officer and myself, having moved towards them unarmed, two Caffres approached, and proved to be the one of them Islambi's, and the other Makannas chief councellors (pagati.) They were, I think, as noble looking men, and as dignified in their demeanor, as any I have ever beheld. After a few questions and answers, relative to the disposal of Makanna, who by this time had been sent into the colony,and as to the prospects of an accommodation, the friend of the captive chief delivered himself in the following terms—in so manly a manner, with so graceful an attitude, and with so much feeling and animation, that the bad translation which I am able to furnish from my hasty and imperfect notes, can afford but a very faint and inadequate idea of his eloquence:—

"The war, said he, British Chiefs, is an unjust one, for you are striving to extirpate a people whom you forced to take up arms. When our fathers and the fathers of the Boors (AMABRILU) first settled in the zureveld, they dwelt together in peace. Their flocks grazed together on the same hills, their herdsmen smoked together out of the same pipes; they were brothers—until the herds of the Amakosa increased so as to make the hearts of the Boors sore. What these covetous men could not get from our fathers for old buttons, they took by force. Our fathers were MEN; they loved their cattle: their wives and children lived upon milk: they fonght for their property. They began to hate the colonists, who coveted their all, and aimed at their destruction. Now, their Kraals and our fathers Kraals were separate. The Boors made commandoes on our fathers. Our fathers drove them out of the zureveld; and we dwelt there; because we had conquered it: there we were circumcised: there we were married; and there our children were born The White men hated us but could not drive us away; when there was war we plundered you. When there was peace some of our bad people stole, but our chiefs forbade it. Your treacherous friends Gaika, always had peace with you, yet, when his people stole, he shared in the plunder. Have your patrols ever found cattle taken in time of peace, runaway slaves, or deserters, in the Kraals of our chiefs 2 Have they ever gone into Gaikas country without finding such cattle, such slaves, such deserters in Gaikas Kraals? But he was your friend, and you wished to posses the zureveld. You came at last like locusts. We stood, we could do no more, you said, "Go over the Fish River, that is all that ew want.” We yielded and came here.


"We lived in peace: some bade people stole, perhaps, but the nation was quiet--chiefs were quiet: Gaika stole--his chiefs stole--his people stole. You sent him copper, you sent him beads, you sent him horses on which he rode to steal more. To us you sent only commandoes! We quarrelled with Gaika about grass--no business of yours; you sent a commando, you took our last cow, you left only a few calves, which died from want, along with our children; you gave half the spoil to Gaika; half you kept yourselves: without milk, our corn destroyed, we saw our wives and children perish, we saw that we must ourselves perish. We followed, therefore, the tracks of our cattle into the colony: we plundered : we fought for our lives; we found you weak : we destroyed your soldiers: we saw that we were strong: we attacked your head quarters; and if we had succeeded, our right was good, for you began the war; we failed, and you are here; we wish for peace, we wish to rest in our huts, we wish to get milk for our children, our wives wish to till the land. But your troops cover the plains, and swarm in the thickets, where they cannot distinguish the man for the woman, and shoot all. You want us to submit to Gaika. That mans face is fair to you, but his heart is false : leave him to himself ; make peace with us; let him fight for himself, and we shall not call on you for help. Set Makanna at liberty, and Islambi, Dushani, Kongo and the rest will come to make peace with you at any time you fix. But if you will still make war, you may indeed kill the last man of us--but Gaika shall not rule over the followers of those who think him a woman.”

This manly remonstrance, which affected some of those who heard it, even to tears, had no effect in altering the destination of Makanna, or in obtaining a reprieve for his countrymen, who were still sternly called upon to deliver up those who had been outlawed by the Cape government. All efforts to get possession of the persons of the other chiefs were unavailing. After plundering the country, therefore, of all the cattle that could be found, and leaving devastation and misery behind them, our "Christian commando" retired into the colony without gaining the object for which the war was professedly commenced, but with an additional spoil of about thirty thousand head of cattle, captured from the famishing and despairing natives. The following will show by what tenure the British crown hold the lands in Africa:--

From the "Banner,"21st January, 1852.


"At a public meeting held in Birmingham, on Tuesday week, to protest against the agressive war of South Africa, the following letter from Mr. COBDEN, M.P., was read :--

'MIDHURST, January 8, 1852.


I am sorry that I cannot be present at the meeting in Birmingham, respecting the Caffre war, but I rejoice that you are moving, and I trust that your resolutions, will go to the root of evil ; it is not as some people would make it appear, a question of colonial office mismanagement, or of the comparative merits of one mode of warfare over another ; the real question is, what title have Englishmen to the possessions of the land of the Caffres? Did we buy it and pay for it? How, when, and where was the bargain effected? There is no evidence that we ever paid one farthing of compensation to the former possessors of this land. We are paying for it now, in blood and treasure, with a vengeance, and the lesson to be inculcated on your meeting is--that God does not allow injustice to be perpetrated with impunity. As a people we have failed to respect the rights of property in weaker communities. No conqueror ever returned to our shores, after enlarging our territorial sovereignty, without a triumphant welcome, and no questions are ever asked as to our right to the conquered territories. Even an individual may engage in wars, and dispossess rulers of their sovereignty, and dub himself "Rajah" in their stead, and he will be loaded with honors, whilst we stigmatize as pirates, American adventurers, who, without a flag, and under similar circumstances, make a descent upon Cuba. Let these home truths be told us as a people. Do not let us shelter ourselves under attacks against the Colonial Office. You,

the advocates of the rights of the Aborigines, constitute, I fear, but a small minority of the public; but the severe burdens which Caffre wars and other similar retributions are bringing upon the tax-payers of this country, will, sooner or later (if higher motives should fail,) bring a majority of the people to the opinion, that even in our dealings with Caffres, Dyaks, or New Zealanders, honesty and justice are the best policy.

I remain, very truly yours,


Joseph Sturge, Esq.”

“The following will show how the government is carrying on the war:—


"Three hundred and fifty double barrelled rifle carbines have been shipped in the Birkenhead steam troop ship for conveyance to the Cape of Good Hope. The rifle carbines, are for the use of the twelfth lancers, from the depot at Maidstone. A non-commissioned officer and privates practiced at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, a short time ago, to acquire a knowledge of their use, so as to be able to instruct their brother non-commissioned officers and privates on arrival at the head quarters of their regiment at the Cape of Good Hope. The non-commissioned officer and privates who were at Woolwich for the purpose stated, have embarked in the Birkenhead as part of the detachment of the twelfth lancers ordered to proceed, under the command of Cornet John Rolt, to the Cape, to join the regiment. The balls used in the double barrelled rifle carbines are of the conical description, found so effectual at long ranges by Mr. Lancaster, doing great execution at six hundred, or eight hundred, and in many instances one thousand yards range. The result of recent trials of small arms, gives reason to expect that a complete change in the arms of the British soldier will shortly take place; and it is contemplated to have rifled cannon made ready for experiments during the present year. Some beautiful self-acting machinery having been invented for grooving the cannon in the most perfect manner, it is expected that with rifle cannon and conical shape shot, the field artillery will attain a great range, far exceeding what can be obtained from small arm rifles.”

The following will show, Americans are willing to make joint work of it:—


"The general screw steamshipping companys steam-packet Propontis, Captain Glover, sailed on Thursday afternoon for St. Vincent, Sierra Leone and the Cape of Good Hope. She takes as passengers for Sierra Leone the newly appointed commandant, Major OConner, Lieutenants Robinson, and Rainsforth, Ensign Minty. The Propontis takes ordinance stores and despatches for the troops, officers, c., but most interesting part of her freight consists of a venture of four hundred and fifty patent revolving pistols, brought down by Mr. Dennett, agent for Colonel CoIT, and sent to the Cape in charge of Mr. Pears, who understands thoroughly the manufacture, construction, management, and use of these formidable weapons. They are exposed, under the full cognizance of the government, for sale at a limited price, to British officers These pistols, for cavalry, weigh from three to three and a half pounds, killing at three hundred yards, and belt or navy pistols weighing less than two and a half pounds, carry a ball through a two inch plank at forty yards; they hold six balls, and are said to require less powder than the ordinary pistol.”


"Dates from Cape Town, S., to April 2nd, have been received at New London, by the arrival of the whale ship Julius Caesar. The only matter of general interest in this intelligence relates to the conclusion of the Caffre war, or rather the view that is taken of the mode in which this war has been brought to a close. The proclamation of the Governor General, announcing the termination of hostilities, c., c., are spoken of as written in a style of needless glorificationit is said that the Caffres are not beaten after all, that the Hottentots are not crushed; and that the Gaikans have not been exterminated; but that the present peace is the result of the anxiety of both parties to cease


from the sufferings of war. Many of the colonists seem to be complaining of General Cathcart, that he has not made better terms with the Caffres. But the Cape Town Mail seems to think that he has done the best he could, that about all that remained for him to do, was to agree with the Caffres to have hostilities on either side cease, and that about the best and only thing the colonists and other can now do, is to avoid all incitements to war, and to make the best possible arrangements for the defence of the colony, while peace continues."

Your committee have with grief and surprise, found the following in the British Banner, of recent date, in regard to the Caffres:—"They have doubtless felt that, notwithstanding the advantages which casual circumstances may give them, a permanent maintenance or a successful termination of a contest with the British power is altogether out of the question."

But it is generally known that these men have fairly flogged the government forces two or three times within eighteen months, yet John Bull is remarkable for not knowing somethings. Contest with the British power is out of the question because no other nation interferes to decide points of honor between the combatants; so old Daddy John has it all his own way. He never gets whipped, he gets fatigued once in a while, and after a feast of roast beef, and the reception of a new supply of men and guns of the most improved kind, he rests, and at it again.

Your committee have been at great pains to collect these facts, and they believe that similar facts will be found connected with the history of all the colonies, and trading stations of the whites in Africa.

III. On the general question, your committee cannot report any change in the policy and spirit of the American Colonization Party. That party is still our traducers, there are honorable exceptions, but what will we have said is true of that party. The following from the National Intelligencer will show that the leaders of the scheme are still lurking about the seats of governments, both general and State, seeking influence, &c.


The Secretary of the Colonization Society has published in the official journal of that society, two arguments in favor of State appropriations, one of which is addressed to the Legislature of Virginia, and one to the Legislature of Ohio. As they represent in a certain sense the two great sections of the country, and seem to have been well received by the citizens of those States, they are deemed by the Society of sufficient importance to be fully introduced to the public at large in an article from the pen of the Secretary, Rev. W. McLain. From this introduction we gather the following particulars: The work of Colonization is now declared to be comparatively easy, the business having been reduced to a regular system. The settlements of Liberia are capable of receiving new emigrants to any extent, and more persons are now anxious to emigrate than the society can accommodate. Much is said in regard to the future enlarged operations of the society, and it is with a view of accomplishing more good that the general government and the Legislatures of the States are called upon to lend a helping hand. Upon the work already done, the society has expended nearly one million dollars, and for this it has a capital stock to show of the great value. It has a territory of more than twelve thousand square miles under its control. It has a well-organized government, with all the means and appliances of civilization, whose value is not to be measured by dollars and cents. The society, according to the secretary, has a valuable and available interest in the hearts of the American people. It possesses their confidence, and the scheme of colonization is considered both desirable and practicable. It is maintained that the General and State Governments have the constitutional power to appropriate money, in the furtherance of the the objects contemplated by the society, and it is thought to be their duty to take the work in hand, and carry it forward with vigor. As a nation, says Mr. McLain, we are bound to restore Africa all her children who are willing to return. We are bound to pay her the debt which centuries of patient suffering have given her the right to demand of us. Every State is bound


to make provision for the welfare and happiness of the free people resident therein. If for this purpose wisdom and prudence point to their removal to Liberia, the State is bound to make the necessary appropriations for the accomplishment of the work. By way of illustrating the popularity of the society, it is stated that the Legislatures of more than half the States of the Union have passed resolutions approving of its object and operations, and that the most distinguished men in every part of the country, and in every political party and all religious denominations have expressed their approval of the society and the scheme of colonization."

(1.) None of that party are abolitionists; and although some of them profess to be Anti-Slavery, yet they never utter one word of rebuke to slaveholders.

(2.) We do not believe, however, that the party has increased numerically. It has appeared to increase, but that is a part of its policy. There have been changes. Some who were against us, and then were for us, are again against us.

(3.) But this is accounted for in a natural way. Two causes have been at work on such minds. The seeming increase of that singular vice of Americans, negro hate, has disturbed the nerves of some good persons, and they now see no hope for the race, but in colonization in Africa. A cowardly friend will often do you more mischief than an open enemy. But only think of it. I must leave my country, because a man hates me.

Its reports still teem with their cruel slanders. Hear what they say of the free colored people of Ohio:–

Taking things therefore, as they really are, and in all probability will continue to be, in the great state of Ohio, the scheme of Colonization is not only a measure of humanity, and sound policy, but of great and overpowering necessity. It is a question, not of dollars and cents, but of high and exalted obligation, enforced by all the duties of self preservation to both races. Daily accumulating circumstances, make it more and more apparent, that the condition of the colored people is not improving, and cannot be expected to improve! What then is to be done? Can they remain long what they are and as they are? We think not; the voice of the States calls them to depart."

Hear how coolly they endorse the barbarous act of the State of Indiana: "In the State of Indiana the sentiment is spreading rapidly, that it is the duty of both the State and National Governments, to adopt some general system of colonization. The Governor, in his late message to the Legislature, earnestly recommends the measure. His remarks on the subject, are so eminently just and patriotic, that we quote them entire:—

The subject of the colonization of the free blacks is now beginning to receive that attention which its importance demands. The circumstances which surround us, are pressing our people to look into this subject in the right, and proper light. Our Southern brethren are making rapid movements towards abridging the privileges of this class, even to banishment.-- WE in the north are adopting extraordinary means for removing them; by prohibiting them from holding property, excluding them from the protection of laws, and denying them any rights whatever. While all this is going on, OUR BETTER NATURE, the common sympathies all me, are beginning to ask these important questions,—WHAT IS TO BE THE END OF ALL THIS? IS THERE NO REMEDY? IS THERE NO CURE FOR THIS EVIL? In the midst of all this excitement and confusion, the light breaks in upon us, which points conclusively to COLONIZATION as THE ONLY REMEDY?

The speeches of colonizationists continue to teem with the vulgar appeals to the lowest passions. Hear one of the them: "Races which live in the same land, and cannot amalgamate, cannot be united in marriage, can only exist in the relation of master and slave, oppressor and oppressed. The Spaniard and the Moor, the Anglo Saxon and the North American Indian and the Norman and the Saxon, until they began to intermarry, are illustrations of the truth of the proposition, that two races which cannot amalgamate by intermarriage, can only subsist in the same land in the relation of master and slave, or oppressor and oppressed. By oppressor and oppressed, I mean the relation which now subsists between the white man and the free black


man in this country. Oppressed! What evidence is there of it? Is there a free colored man who can drive a hack or a dray in the city of New York? Has there never been a riot in the free States of Ohio? Many. Have there never been riots in Massachusetts? Yes. In Philadelphia? Yes. And who have been the victims of these riots? The free black man. And why does not this occur oftener than it does? It is because we have a mighty West, and West creates a demand for labor, which leaves no room on sea board on all the avenues of employment for the white man and the black man to travel together, in pursuit of bread, without jostling each other. But the time will come, the time is coming—and it has been referred to in one of the addresses which have been made this evening, when there will be but ONE LOAF OF BREAD, AND TWO MEN TO EAT IT: who would get it?"

But the great point with the party, and the one upon which they claim a victory, is the fact, that the independence of the Government of Liberia, has been recognized by Great Britain, France, Prussia. This is easily met.

(1) Why does not the American government recognize the Independence of the government of Hayti, whose trade is only surpassed in value by two other nations, with whom we are connected in commerce.

(2) Why does not Britain recognize the rights of the African chiefs' government, to rule their own subjects?

(3) Why does not France recognize the independence of Algiers?

(4) We demur to the claim of bonafide independence on the part of the Republic of Liberia, because the colonization PARTY in this country, several of the slave States, and proslavery individuals still exert a controlling influence over its territory. The colonization party in this country is obnoxious to the colored race, because it seems to be profoundly ignorant of some important facts in the present state of Africa, or else it wilfully conceals or ignores them so as to gain its object. Is it not known to the members of the American colonization party, that some of the native African tribes, are as white as they are themselves? HEREN, Vol.1, page 295,speaking of one of the large nations of Fezzan, says the western branch of the race is white.” Capt. Lyon, of the British Navy, speaking of the same race, says, they are generally white.” Africa is by more than forty separate and distinct families of nations, speaking more than one hundred and twenty different languages. In the families are to be found all the varieties of races, that are in any other portion of the Globe. With what kind of honesty then, can the colonization party of America, teach that Africa is exclusively our country, when it is false, in the face of this fact drawn from the natural history of man in that land. But making all due allowances for the differences of opinion, in reference to the native population of Africa, why does the party conceal from the colored men in this country, the fact that the whites have been colonizing themselves in Africa, for nearly a century, and that they are at this moment, as they have been for nearly a half century in mortal combat with the natives, to drive them from the south, and west, across the interior, to the extreme east, Is that party aware that the Dutch Boors, the mortal haters of the Africans, have just established a Republic in Africa, with the avowed intention of incorporating into it, a large tract of the best inland. Unless all and every one of the present schemes of colonization in Africa, be utterly discarded, and a pure system of Gospel Evangelization, be adopted in the stead thereof, Africa is destined to be the theatre of bloody conflict, between her native sons, and intruding foreigners, black and white, for a century yet to come.

The British in the South and the North, the French in the south-east and the Americans on the west, speculating in lands, cheating and warring, afford little promise of a political milennium for the land of Ham.

The LIBERIANS themselves, with their government backing them, are pursuing precisely, the same policy, that other colonizers have for the last hundred years in Africa: 1. They boast that they have made their arms so often felt, that no combination of the natives can be induced to fight them.” The following extract appeared, in one of the most widely circulated Papers in Europe some time since, when President Roberts was negotiating funds to purchase Gallinas.” “Vast pains have been taken in the American press,


and in a portion of that of this country, to eulogize the republican system of government at Liberia, but those who have aproached its shores and taken a near and impartial view of the system give a very different account of it.-- They tell of reckless wars upon the natives attended with both rapine and bloodshed, of legislation framed in a spirit of jealousy and exclusiveness, not much less infamous than that of certain white slaveholding democracies, of commercial regulations most oppressive and restrictive, and that the condition of the natives is worse, rather than better, since the domination of these self-styled pioneers of African civilization. The laws published by their friends, for instance, in the appendix to the report of the Lord's committee on slave trade of last session, support these statements too well to leave doubt as to the truth of what is said of their practical application."

The Liberians justify and connive at all the encroachments of the white foreigners, even to the damage of their own dignity. The whites from other lands have taken possession of every commercial river on the west coast, preparatory to an enforcement of their policy on Africa, for untold generations yet to rise. Have we heard one word of remonstrance from these native whippers? No. A short time since, a white foreign force was marched upon the town of Lagos, within a few degrees of President Roberts' boundary, where, after two days fighting, the town was destroyed, an immense number of natives killed, and the king deposed, &c., &c. Has any remonstrance gone forth, from the government of Liberia? Not a word. Have the papers of the Republic condemned it? No. Has there been a public meeting held in the Republic, to protest against such outrages? None. The reason is obvious, men who live in glass houses cannot afford to throw stones. The truth is, the Liberians are in league with the worst enemies of Africa's dearest interest.

And that the government of Liberia has followed a similar course, with the native towns and chiefs' is shown by the facts in connexion with the recent boasted capture, trial, fine and imprisonment of King Boombo, an affair, which upon strict diplomatic review will prove the following points.

(1.) That President Roberts acted deceitful and cowardly in sending for King Boombo to meet him on the beach, as if to hold a palaver, thus inducing him to come unarmed, when he himself was armed to the very teeth.

(2.) That he has insulted the pride of the native kings of Africa, by trying one of their number, at his petty court of quarter sessions. The idea that the ancient Kings of Africa owe allegiance to his petty government of yesterday, is perfectly ridiculous, and none but a tutelary tyrant would assume it. The fact is, Roberts is prompted by the secret worshippers of African-hating republicans in America.

(3.) That the fine and punishment inflicted upon that King, are of such an extravagant character as to show up the whole case in its own light. To whom is this fifty thousand dollars to go, that will more than pay Roberts' government debt? Cowards always inflict unreasonable punishment. Who is to hold King Boombo's reign of government, during the two years he is imprisoned, and how is he to pay his fine?

One other review and we have finished. We are compelled to regard the Liberians with distrust.

(1.) We have no evidence of their independence, they are evidently yet under the control of the colonization party in this country, and are not trustworthy in their judgment of matters, regarding the race of this country.-- Some time since, the Liberians assembled in public meeting at the courthouse in Monrovia to address the free colored people in the United States, and here are some of the things they say:-- As much speculation and uncertainty continue to prevail among the people of color in the United States respecting our situation, &c. "Tell us," say the Liberians in their address to the free colored people, "which is the white man, who, with a prudent regard for his own character, CAN associate with one of you on terms of equality? Ask us which is the white man, who would decline such association with one of our number, whose intellectual and moral qualities are not an objection? We unhesitatingly answer both these questions by saying, the white man is not to be found." But hear the Liberians in another place: "We solicit none of you


to emigrate to this country, for we know not who among you, prefers rationa independence and the honest respect of his fellow men, to that mental sloth and careless poverty, which you already possess and your children will inherit after you." Once more. The address says: "Judge then, of the feelings with which we hear the motives of the colonization society traduced, and that too, by men too ignorant to know what that society has already accomplished, too weak to look through its plans and intentions, or too dishonest to acknowledge either. But without pretending to any prophetic sagacity, we can predict to that society the ultimate triumph of their HOPES and LABORS and the disappointment and defeat of those who oppose them." It is unnecessary to say that this language has never been softened or modified, and it has much the appearance of having been manufactured in America, and sent out to order.

We believe that our fathers were sagacious in their first impression of the colonization scheme. It was well known, that at the time this scheme first came to light, the whole country went for it. There was not even a second-rate white man that stood with us. Our fathers made the first attack alone, and with fearful odds against them. We conclude with the following resolutions :

I. It is not true that the free colored people have been induced by abolitionists to oppose the colonization scheme. Our fathers set us the example, and we are more and more convinced of the wisdom of that example.

II. That the several colored communities represented in this Convention be advised to procure copies of Garrison's Thoughts on Colonization, and to re-resolve, and to confirm the several resolutions and addresses of that work, under the head of


In behalf of the Committee on Colonization,



To the Committee on Publication of the Minutes of the National Convention of

the Colored People :

GENTLEMEN:-- I regret that it will be impossible to submit the Report on Statistics in time to be incorporated with the minutes. The facts placed in my hands in the Convention are entirely too few, in regard to the People of Color, their wealth, occupations, school privileges, churches, societies, &c., &c., to form the basis of an accurate or even proximate report. And the members of the Committee on Statistics, with two exceptions, have failed to furnish any further facts up to this date.

This is the less to be regretted, as the census of 1850 will be published in a few weeks, containing much additioual matter of deep interest in this connexion.

The report, when complete, will be submitted to, and published under the direction of, the National Council or its Committee on Publications.

Very respectfully yours,


Chairman of Com. on Statistics

NEW YORK, August 18th, 1853.

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Colored national convention (1853 : Rochester, NY), “Proceedings of the Colored national convention, held in Rochester, July 6th, 7th, and 8th, 1853.,” Colored Conventions Project Digital Records, accessed July 13, 2024,