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The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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examples so appropriate as we have in this
particular instance; there are, perhaps, more
crops raised, more cattle kept and fed, more
human beings supplied with the common ne-
cessaries of life, more manure accumulated,
more employment given, and in fact more
money made on this spot of land than on any
other farm of the same extent (conducted on
a proper scientific rotation of grain and green



crop) in any part of the empire, or the itoWd. j Tliey are nothing. Tliey eat and drink all tliey
Did the average land of Ireland produce only earn. We must make law8 to protect our-
one half of the value, according to quantity, selves." We then, agreeably to tlie advice of
that is on this model farm, we would hear no our abolition friends, resolved to save our

more of corn laws, tariffs, or want of employ-
ment amongst the people.

From the Philanthropist.

The following admirable letter we com-
mend to the attention of every citizen of Ohio,
and especially to the coloured people every
where. Let but the manly, independent spi-
rit which it breathes, become characteristic
of our coloured friends, and they will accom-
plish more than all the societies in the land
can accomplish for them. We need hardly
say how much praise should be awarded to
Augustus Wattles, for his decided efforts in
behalf of the settlement in Mercer county.
Carthagenia, Mercer Co., O., April 29tl), 1843.

At a meeting of the coloured people of this
settlement, held in the school-house on the
15th instant, the undersigned were appointed
a committee to take into consideration the
call for a convention, to be held in Columbus,
on the 10th of August next, and to prepare
such a communication as would expose the
views and feelings of the settlers on the sub-
ject of the convention. The committee pre-
pared the following, which was read in the
meeting to-day, and united in by the settle-
ment generally, and ordered to be sent to the
Philanthropist for publication :

To D. Jenkins, and others, gentlemen of the
Committee : —
It is with feelings of pleasure that we
acknowledge the receipt of your letter, re-
questing our co-operalion in the great work ofi
obtaining our rights as citizens. It is a sub-
ject on which we have thought and prayed
and laboured much. We are glad to see an
increasing interest growing up among our co-
loured friends on this great question. If we
are discreet in this matter, and are guided
aright, we believe, that it will end in great

money, and move into the country, and try, by
labour, and economy, and honesty, and teni- 1
perance, to earn for our people a better name !
than they had heretofore enjoyed. We have !
found by experiment, that the same money
which paid our rent and marketing in the
city, will purchase new land, and improve it,
in the country. 'Tis true, our undertaking
was, for us, a new and an arduous one. But
the result is, several hundred of us left our
former occupations in the cities, and are now
living on our own land. It was new timbered
land when we bought it, and the nearest place
we could purchase provisions, was thirty miles
distant. But we struggled along through the
hardest of it. We own many thousand of
acres of land. We have built comfortable
houses to live in. Our land is cleared. We
raise our own provisions, and manufacture
most of our own clothing. We have horses,
and hogs, and cattle, and sheep. We have
meeting-houses and a school-house. We have
had a good school most of the time for six
years. Our children have learned to read
and write and cipher. We have Sunday
schools, where they are taught the principles
of morality and religion. We have a saw-
mill and a grist-mill. We are striving to live
a quiet and orderly life. We wish to have
our character plead for lis. We wish to have
our property stand out and ask for the protec-
tion of law. We wish to have those who
oppose us, witness our quietness and industry;
that they may be satisfied of our character,
not by what we say, but by what we do. Our
voice has been heard but once at Columbus,
by the legislature, asking for a repeal of the
" black laws." And we may not now send a
delegate to your convention ; not because we
disapprove of the object, but because we be-
lieve there is a more excellent way.

All great changes in public sentiment are

made slowly ; and we are neither disheartened

nor quietly resting, because we have not yet

jached the object of our hopes. We still hold

good. As we may not send a delegate to I on industriously, hoping that the time w

your convention, we take this method of
making known to you our faith and practice
on this subject. Most of us who reside here
are from the slave states.

We came to Ohio to enjoy more liberty
than we enjoyed where we were born. Since
coming here we have followed different occu-
pations. Some of us have been barbers, and
boot-blacks, and ostlers, and waiters, and

come when we shall be judged according to
our works. For the Scripture says, " By thy
works thou shalt be justified, and by thy
works thou shalt be condemned." In view
of this, we call upon all our coloured friends,
to leave the menial occupations in towns and
cities, and go out into the country and pur-
chase land, and become a part of the support
and prop of the state. Let us show by our

cooks, in cities, and on steam-boats. Some 'works that we are worthy citizens of this
have been working on leased land, and some young and noble state of Ohio. And when
have followed trades. Some of the females that time comes, that all the coloured people
have been washers and ironers. That is, we of Ohio are industrious, and honest, and tem-
have filled the places in the community which perate, the spirit of oppression will be too
popular opinion has assigned to coloured peo- 1 weak any longer to bind its galling yoke upon
pie. After living in this condition for some our necks. We do not mention this to justify

time, and feeling our degradation, we resolved
to do something for our own education. We
conversed with the white people around us,
and told them our desire for the protection of
law. Their answer was, " You have nothing
to protect. The black people are a nuisance.

the oppressor, but to point out a straight and
narrow way, that most surely leads to the ac-
complishment of that great object, for which
your convention is called. We do not con-
sider it necessary to inform the legislature of
Ohio, that their laws oppress us. They know

that already. They made them on purpose to
oppress us. Their object was to drive us
somewhere else. They fear us. We are
called idlers, tiiieves, and drunkards. They
believe us to be nuisances. They have list-
ened to the whispers of prejudice and the sug-
gestions of slavery, till their black code rivals
in cruelty the laws of Nero. But, thanks to
an overruling Providence, the people are bet-
ter than their laws ; and we are permitted to
live in some degree of quiet and safety. At
least, in our present residence in this county,
we have never, in any manner, been injured by
our white neighbours; but, on the contrary,
we have been treated in a kind and friendly

They attend our meetings; come to our
mill ; emploj' our mechanics and day labonr-
ers ; buy our provisions, and we do the same
by them. That is, we all seek our our
convenience and interest, without regard to

Seven years ago, when our settlement first
began, there was the common prejudice
against us, that we should not be able to take
care of ourselves; and of course, what we
lacked in the supplying of our own wants, they
thought must come off from them.

But that we are not idlers, is now apparent
from the fact of our having cleared 1000 acres
of wild land ; made and laid up 350,000 rails,
and built at least 200 different kinds of build-
ings, (to say nothing of some $10,000 which
individuals of us have paid for our freedom,)
besides having in our setllement a hatter, a
wagon-maker, a blacksmith, a tanner, a shoe-
maker, carpenters, masons and weavers, most
of whom find constant employment. We have
also built several brick-lt

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 117 of 154)