Slike strani

save the colored population from persecution and servitude,-is it not evident that nothing is wanting to render unnecessary this disgraceful expulsion, but that the supporters of the scheme should abandon their prejudices, clothe themselves with humility, and be christians and republicans indeed ? It is undeniable that the popularity of the Society is immense ; but if it be a benevolent institution, and exercise a wide and powerful moral influence, and is thus popular, how does it happen that no change, but for the worse, has taken place in the legal condition of the people of color, or in public sentiment ? Has one prejudice been eradicated by its operations ? Has it commended itself to the gratitude and confidence of the objects of its benevolence, as the Howard Benevolent Society has done to the recipients of its bounty? Are not all who are hostile to our free colored population, in favor of their banishment ? Is not the design of the Society universally agreeable to the proud, the vulgar, the insolent, the scornful ? Who, but its supporters, descant upon the prejudices which exist against the blacks ? who, but themselves, acknowledge that they are swayed by those prejudicespowerfully and unalterably ? BY THE NATIONAL COLORED CONVENTION HELD IN PHILADELPHIA, IN 1831.

• The Convention has not been unmindful of the operations of the American Colonization Society ; and it would respectfully suggest to that august body of learning, talent and worth, that, in our humble opinion, strengthened, too, by the opinions of eminent men in this country, as well as in Europe, that they are pursuing the direct road to perpetuate slavery, with all its unchristianlike concomitants, in this boasted land of freedom ; and, as citizens and men whose best blood is sapped to gain popularity for that institution, we would, in the most feeling manner, beg of them to desist : or, if we must be sacrificed to their philanthropy, we would rather die at home. Many of our fathers, and some of us, have fought and bled for the liberty, independence and peace which you now enjoy ; and, surely, it would be ungenerous and unfeeling in you to deny us a humble and quiet grave in that country which gave us birth.'

BY THE SAME CONVENTION, IN 1832. Resolved, That we still solemnly and sincerely protest against any interference, on the part of the American Colonization Society, with the free colored popalation in these United States, so long as they shall countenance or endeavor to use coercive measures, (either directly or indirectly,) to colonize us in any place which is not the object of our choice. And we ask them respectfully, as men and as Christians, to cease their unhallowed persecutions, of a people already sufficiently oppressed, or if, as they profess, they have our welfare and prosperity at heart, to assist us in the object of our choice.

We might here repeat our protest against that institution, but it is unnecessary. Our views and sentiments have long since gone to the world—the wings of the wind have borne our disapprobation to that institution. Time itself cannot erase it. We have dated our opposition from its beginning, and our views are strengthened by time and circumstances, and they hold the upppermost seat in our aflections.

The American Colonization Society, even allowing it to be a benevolent body, HAS UNDERTAKEN TO ACCOMPLISH A PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY-namely, the removal of the entire colored population of this country to Africa. It has been sixteen years in operation ; and with all its immense resources and its exceeding popularity, it has carried off, during that long period, only the increase of a single fortnight! More blacks are born every day, than it has removed annually since its organization! The slave population has increased more than HALF A MILLION, and been reduced less than fivE HUNDRED by the Society, since the year 1816! When the Alleghany mountains can be cast into the sea by separate particles; or the sun extinguished by drops of water ; or the ocean dried up by a sun-beam ; or the ravages of the gaunt King of Terrors permanently arrested by the cure of a sick patient ;-then, and not till then, can the American Colonization Society succeed in carrying to Africa the colored population of the United States. It has been weighed in the balance, and found wanting ; and its fall is destined to be like that of Babylon the great.

In view of the events of the past year, the Managers congratulate the real friends of the colored race, both bond and free. One year since, the New-England Anti-Slavery Society commenced its operations, under very discouraging circumstances. Its members were few-its means, trifling. It has rapidly risen to a commanding rank, and is attracting general attention in this country. The fame of its principles neither the winds nor the waves of the Atlantic could drown-it has gone over to England, and given a strong impulse to the cause of abolition in that country. It has brought back the response from that distinguished philanthropist, James Cropper of Liverpool— I did indeed feel it as a cordial to my heart to see a Society established within the United States, advocating the immediate and entire abolition of slavery.'

The pecuniary ability of the Society has been small.* A large amount of funds is not easily accumulated for any moral

Among the donations which have been made to the Society, the Managers would gratefully acknowledge the follwing :--Two hundred and Fifty dollars (one hundred dollars of this sum to be appropriated to the Manual Labor

enterprise in its infancy. Yet, with feeble means, the Society has produced great results. It has constantly employed its presiding officer as an Agent, for the past six months, to go forth to the people, and urge its claims upon their charities and confidence. His labors, it is believed, have been extensively useful. The Managers bear honorable testimony to his zeal, faithfulness and ability. Other Agents have been successfully employed for a shorter period. Five thousand copies of the Constitution and Address of the Society have been printed for gratuitous distribution. A liberal purchase has been made of Mr. Garrison's Thoughts on African Colonization,' for a similar purpose. The Society has effected the emancipation of a young slave boy in this city, by a suit at law.* It is now making strenuous exertions for the establishment of a Manual Labor School, for the education of Colored Youth, and will probably attain its object. It has effected the conversion of a multitude of minds to the doctrine of immediate abolition, and given a wide and salutary check to the progress of the Colonization Society. It has done more to make slavery a subject of national investigation, to excite discussion, and to maintain the freedom of speech on a hitherto prohibited theme, than all other societies now in operation. It has been eminently serviceable in encouraging the free colored population, in various places, to go forward in paths of improvement, and organize themselves into moral and benevolent associations. It has commenced a monthly periodical, with the expressive title of The ABOLITIONIST,' for the purpose of vindicating its principles, and promoting the various objects which it has in view. It is now laying the axe at the root of the tree of slavery in this country ; and though some may stand afar off and mock, and close their ears to the sound of its blows, and demand evidence of its efficiency, seeing the tree has not yet fallen ; yet in due time this Bohon Upas shall be prostrated, as it were in the twinkling of an eye, and consumed to ashes.

School Fund) from John KENRICK, Esq. of Newton, Mass. ; Fifty Dollars (including fifteen dollars to constitute him a life member) from Mr. EBENEZER Dole, of Hallowell, Me. ; Fifty Dollars from Mrs. SARAH II. WINSLOW, and Fifteen Dollars from Mrs. C. WINslow, both of Portland, Me.

* Appendix B.

An Auxiliary Society has been formed in the Theological Seminary at Andover. A society, based upon the same principles, has also been formed in Hudson College, Ohio, under the auspices of the President and Professors; and also a kindred association in Lynn, Massachusetts. Other societies, it is expected, will be speedily organized in Portland, Providence, Bath, Hallowell, New-Haven, and other places. The light which has burst forth so auspiciously in the West, is the harbinger of a mighty victory.

In closing their Report, the Managers would earnestly and feelingly conjure abolitionists in this country to maintain their ground, firmly and confidently. The controversy is not, in fact, between them and the oppressors of their fellow men, but between these oppressors and Jehovah. Their cause is based upon the immutable principles of justice and righteousness. It must prevail. Let full reliance be placed upon the promises of Him who has said that he will maintain the cause of the afflicted and the right of the poor ; let every thing be done that may and should be done ; let the heart be inspired but by one principle

- love to God and love to man; let abolition societies be established in every town and village in the free states ; and the speedy emancipation of the slaves is sure.

The blood of the millions who have perished unredressed in this guilty land ; the sufferings and lamentations of the millions who yet remain in cruel servitude ; the groans and supplications of bleeding Africa; the cries of the suffering victims in the holds of the slave-ships now wafted upon the ocean ; the threatenings and judgments of the God of all flesh; all demand the utter and immediate annihilation of slavery.

And let all the people, from the Lakes to the Atlantic, and from Maine to the shores of the Pacific, in one mighty burst, thunder- AMEN, AND AMEN!'



[ocr errors]

The Legislature of Louisiana has enacted that whosoever shall make use of language, in any public discourse, from the bar, the bench, the pulpit, the stage, or in any other place whatsoever shall make use of language, in any private discourses, or shall make use of signs or actions having a tendency to produce discontent among the colored population, shall suffer imprisonment at hard labor, not less than three years, nor more than twenty-one years, or DEATH, at the discretion of the court !! It has also prohibited the instruction of the blacks in Sabbath Schools—$500 penalty for the first offence-DEATH for the second ! ! The Legislature of Virginia has passed a bill which subjects all free negroes who shall be convicted of remaining in the commonwealth contrary to law, to the liability of being sold by the sheriff. All meetings of free negroes, at any school-house or meeting-house, for teaching them reading or writing, are declared an unlawful assembly ; and it is made the duty of any justice of the peace to issue his warrant to enter the house where such unlawful assemblage is held, for the purpose of apprehending or dispersing such free negroes. A fine is to be imposed on every white person who instructs at such meetings. All emancipated slaves, who shall remain more than twelve months, contrary to law, shall revert to the executors as assets. Laws have been passed in Georgia and North Carolina, imposing a heavy tax or imprisonment on every free person of color who shall come into their ports in the capacity of stewards, cooks, or seamen of any vessels belonging to the non-slaveholding States. The Legislature of Tennessee has passed an act forbidding free blacks from coming into the State to remain more than twenty days. The penalty is a fine of from ten to fisty dollars, and confinement in the penitentiary from one to two years. Double the highest penalty is to be inflicted after the first offence. The act also prohibits manumission, without an immediate removal from the State. The last Legislature of Maryland passed a bill, by which no free negro or mulatto is allowed to emigrate to, or setile in the State, under the penalty of fifty dollars for every week's residence therein ; and if he refuse or neglect to pay such fine, he shall be committed to jail and sold by the sheriff at public sale ; and no person shall employ or harbor him, under

« PrejšnjaNaprej »