« ElőzőTovább »
priety of remonstrating against the contemplated measure that is to exile us from the land of our nativity, &c.
• Whereas our ancestors (not of choice) were the first successful cultivators of the wilds of America, we their descendants feel ourselves entitled to participate in the blessings of her luxuriant soil, which their blood and sweat manured; and that any measure or system of measures, having a tendency to banish us from her bosom, would not only be cruel, but in direct violation of those principles which have been the boast of this republic.
• Resolved, That we view with deep abhorrence the unmerited stigma attempted to be cast upon the reputation of the free people of colour, by the promoters of this measure; " that they are a dangerous and useless part of the community”; when, in the state of disfranchisement in which they live, in the hour of danger they ceased to remember their wrongs, and rallied around the standard of their country.
* Resolved, That we never will separate ourselves, voluntarily, from the slave population in this country, they are our brethren by the ties of consanguinity, of suffering, and of wrong; and we feel that there is more virtue in suffering privations with them, than fancied advantages for a season.
• Resolved, That without arts, without science, without a proper knowledge of government, to cast into the savage wilds of Africa, the free people of colour, seems to us, the circuitous route by which they must return to perpetual bondage.
• Resolved, That having the strongest confidence in the justice of God and the philanthropy of the free States, we cheerfully submit our destinies to the guidance of Him, who suffers not a sparrow to fall without his special providence.' p. 9.
• HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT. July 1831. At a large and respectable meeting of the coloured inhabitants of the city of Hartford and its vicinity, convened at the vestry room of the African Church :
• Resolved, That it is the opinion of this meeting, that the American Colonization Society is actuated by the same motives which influenced the mind of Pharaoh, when he ordered the male children of the Israelites to be destroyed.
• Resolved, That it is the belief of this meeting, that the Society is the greatest foe to the free coloured and slave population, with whom liberty and equality have to contend.
• Resolved, That we look upon the man of colour that would be influenced by the Society, to emigrate to Liberia, as an enemy to the cause, and a traitor to his brethren.
Resolved, That it is the opinion of this meeting, that many of those who are engaged in this unjust scheme, would be willing, if it were in their power, to place us before the point of the bayonet, and drive us out of existence-so that they may get rid of that dark cloud, as we are termed, which hangs over these United States.
• Resolved, That in our opinion we have committed no crime worthy of banishment, and that we will resist all the attempts of the Colonization Society, to banish us from this our native land.
• Resolved, That we consider ourselves the legitimate sons of these United States, from whence we will never consent to be transported.
• Resolved, That we will resist even unto death all the attempts of this Society to transport us to the pestilential shores of Liberia.
• Resolved, That we will not countenance the doctrine of any pretended minister of the gospel who is in league with those conspirators against our rights. pp. 28, 29.
*New Haven. Aug. 8. 1831. At a meeting of the Peace and Benevolent Society of Afric-Americans, &c.
• Resolved. That we consider those Christians and philanthropists who are boasting of their liberty and equality, saying that all men are born free and equal, and yet are endeavouring to remove us from our native land, to be inhuman in their proceedings, defective in their principles, and unworthy of our confidence
• Resolved, That we consider those colonizationists and ministers of the gospel who are advocating our transportation to an unknown clime, because our skin is a little darker than theirs, (notwithstanding God has made of one blood all nations of men, and has no respect of persons,) as violaters of the commandments of God, and the laws of the Bible, and as trying to blind our eyes by their blind movements--their mouths being smooth as oil, and their words sharper than any twoedged sword.
* Resolved, That while we have no doubt of the sinister motives of the great body of colonizationists, we believe some of them are our friends and well-wishers, who have not looked deeply into the subject; but when they make a careful examination, we think they will find themselves in error.
• Resolved, That it is our earnest desire that Africa may speedily become civilized, and receive religious instruction ; but not by the absurd and invidious plan of the Colonization Society-namely, to send a nation of ignorant men, to teach a nation of ignorant men. We think it most wise for them to send missionaries.
• Resolved, That we will resist all attempts made for our removal to the torrid shores of Africa, and will sooner suffer every drop of blood to be taken from our veins, than submit to such unrighteous treatment.
* Resolved, That we know of no other place that we can call our true and appropriate home, excepting these United States, into which our fathers were brought, who enriched the country by their toils, and fought, bled, and died in its defence, and left us in its possession--and here we will live and die.' pp. 30, 31.
• PITTSBURGH. Sep. 1831. At a large and respectable meeting of the coloured citizens of Pittsburgh, convened at the African-Methodist Episcopal Church.
Resolved, That we hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.-Liberty and Equality now, Liberty and Equality for ever.
* Resolved, That it is the decided opinion of this meeting, that African colonization is a scheme to drain the better informed part of the coloured people out of these United States, so that the chain of slavery may be riveted more tightly; but we are determined not to be
cheated out of our rights by the colonization men, or any other set of intriguers. We believe there is no philanthropy in the colonization plan towards the people of colour; but that it is got up to delude us away from our country and home, to the burning shores of Africa.
Resolved, That we, the coloured people of Pittsburgh, and citizens of these United States view the country in which we live, as our only true and
proper home. We are just as much natives here, as the members of the Colonization Society. Here we were born-here bredhere are our earliest and most pleasant associations—here is all that binds man to earth, and makes life valuable. And we do consider every coloured man, who allows himself to be colonized in Africa, or elsewhere, a traitor to our cause.
• Resolved, That we are freemen, that we are brethren, that we are countrymen and fellow-citizens, and as fully entitled to the free exercise of the elective franchise as any men who breathe ; and that we demand an equal share of protection from our federal government with any class of citizens in the community. We now inform the Colonization Society, that should our reason forsake us, then we may desire to remove. We will apprise them of this change in due season.
Resolved, that we, as the citizens of these United States, and for the support of these resolutions, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, do mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour, not to support a colony in Africa, nor in Upper Canada, nor yet emigrate to Hayti. Here we were born-here will we live, by the help of the Almighty—and here we will die and let our bones lie with our fathers.'
From an address to the coloured citizens of Brooklyn, New York, issued in pursuance of a meeting of the coloured inhabitants of that township, June 3, 1831, we extract the following forcible and pathetic remonstrance.
• Brethren, it is time for us to awake to our interests; for the Colonization Society is straining every nerve for the accomplishment of its objects. By their last publications we see that they have invoked all Christian assemblies and churches throughout the Union, to exert their influence, by raising subscriptions to send us (the strangers within their gates, as they call us) to the coast of Africa. They have got the consent of eleven States, who have instructed their senators to do something in the next Congress for our removal. Maryland calls imperatively on the general government to send us away, or else they will colonize their own free blacks. They have, by their influence, stopped the emancipation of slaves in a measure, except for colonization purposes.
• We owe a tribute of respect to the State of New York, for her not having entered into the confederacy. Though she is the last in proclaiming general emancipation to the slave, yet we find her slow in adopting any such unchristian measures. We
she is deliberate in her councils, and determinate in her resolutions.
· Finally, Brethren, we are not strangers ; neither do we come under the alien law. Our constitution does not call upon us to become neutralized; we are already American citizens; our fathers were among
pp. 34, 5.
the first that peopled this country; their sweat and their tears have been the means, in a measure, of raising our country to its present standing. Many of them fought, and bled, and died for the gaining of her liberties; and shall we forsake their tombs, and flee to an unknown land? No! let us remain over them and weep, until the day arrives when Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands to God. We were born and nurtured in this Christian land; and are surrounded by Christians, whose sacred creed is, to do unto all men as ye would they should do unto you-to love our neighbours as ourselves; and which expressly declares, if we have respect to persons, we commit sin. Let us, Brethren, invoke the Christian's God in our behalf, to do away the prejudices of our brethren, that they may adopt the solemn truths of the gospel, and acknowledge that God is no respecter of personisthat he has made of one blood all the nations that dwell on the face of the earth- that they may no longer bring their reasonings in contact with the omniscience of Deity; and insinuate to the public, that our intellect and faculties are measurably inferior to those of our fairer brethren. Because adversity has thrown a veil over us, and we, whom God has created to worship, admire and adore his divine attributes, shall we be held in a state of wretchedness and degradation, with monkeys, baboons, slaves, and cattle, because we possess a darker hue?
"We feel it our duty ever to remain true to the constitution of our country, and to protect it, as we have always done, from foreign aggressions. Although more than three hundred thousand of us are virtually deprived of the rights and immunities of citizens, and more than two millions held in abject slavery, yet we know that God is just and ever true to his purpose. Before him the whole world stands in awe, and at his command nations must obey. He who has lately pleaded the Indian's cause in our land, and who has brought about many signal events, to the astonishment of our generation, we believe is in the whirlwind, and will soon bring about the time when the sable sons of America will join with their fairer brethren, and re-echo liberty and equal rights in all parts of Columbia’s soil.
We pray the Lord to hasten the day, when prejudice, inferiority, degradation, and oppression shall be done away, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ.'
Are these the men whom the proud republicans of America are anxious to expatriate ? to send to the pestilential shores of a barbarous and heathen land, on the lying pretext that Africa is their native land? When the Spaniards expelled the Moors, a difference of religion supplied a powerful reason, in those days of intolerance; while something like retribution may be traced in the calamities which befel the cruel persecutors of the Jews of the peninsula; and those who refused to submit to baptism, found an asylum on the opposite coast, among their brethren in Morocco. But the coloured Americans are of the same religion as the whites, and have deserved well at their hands. Their only crime lies in the darker hue of their skin. “God has put a mark', it is
said, ' upon the black man. The God of nature intended they ‘should be a distinct, free, and independent community: (NewHaven Palladium.) If so, what shall be said of those who frustrate the Divine intention by holding them in bondage? But what is this mark of distinction ? Is it meant that a black skin is the distinctive mark of an African? that Africa is the only region where people are born black? The consummate ignorance betrayed in such a notion, is surprising. The Arab, the Hindoo, the Asiatic Portuguese, the Indian Jew, has a skin as dark as any Mandingo or Angola negro; and among the black races, the physical varieties are as numerous and as broadly distinguished as among the whites. While the white races were yet barbarous, the black races were advancing in civilization ; and from India and Africa, the parent countries of Gentile science, emanated the light which irradiated the ancient world. "The Blacks', remarks an enlightened American writer, had a long and glorious day; and after what they have been and done, it argues not so much a mistaken theory, as sheer ignorance of the most notorious historical facts, to pretend that they are naturally inferior to the 'whites.'
But the hypocrisy and wickedness of this shallow plea become still more manifest, when it is considered, how utterly this distinctive mark of complexion is disregarded by the slave-holder. Does the lawfulness of holding men in bondage depend upon their colour or their race? What shall be said, then, of retaining in slavery, numbers whose skin is not many shades darker than that of their masters; betraying a mixture of white blood which well nigh obliterates the pretended distinctive mark, and gives the lie to the blasphemy. If Africa were the native country of the American black, we might still ask, which is the native country of the mulatto ? Surely, as Mr. Garrison argues, it would be as ' unnatural to send white blood to Africa, as to keep black blood in America.
• Now, most unfortunately for colonizationists, the spirit of amalgamation has been so active for a long series of years,-especially in the slave States,—that there are comparatively few, besides those who are annually smuggled into the South from Africa, whose blood is not tainted with a foreign ingredient. Here, then is a difficulty! What shall be done ? All black blood must be sent to Africa ; but how to collect it is the question. What shall be done? Why, we must resort to phlebotomy. «« Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh;
-nor cut thou less nor more, But just a pound of Aesh."' But, in employing the terms, white blood and black blood, we are reminded of the emphatic contradiction which the word of