Fellow Citizens:—At a State Labor Convention of the Colored Men of Maryland, held July 20th, 1869, it was unanimously resolved that a National Labor Convention be called to meet in the Union League Hall, City of Washington, D.C., on the 1st Monday in December, 1869, at 12 M., to consider:
1st. The Present Status of Colored Labor in the United States and its Relationship to American Industry.
2d. To adopt such rules and devise such means as will systematically and effectually organize all the departments of said labor, and make it the more productive in its new Political relationship to Capital, and consolidate the Colored Workingmen of the several States to act in co–operation with our White Fellow–Workingmen in every State and Territory in the Union, who are opposed to Distinction in the Apprenticeship Laws on account of Color, and to so act co–operatively until the necessity for separate organization shall be deemed unnecessary.
3d. To consider the question of the importation of Contract Coolie Labor, and to petition Congress for the adoption of such Laws as will Prevent its being a system of Slavery.
4th. And to adopt such other means as will best advance the interest of the Colored Mechanics and Workingmen of the whole country.
Fellow–Citizens: You cannot place too great an estimate upon the important objects this Convention is called to consider, viz: your Industrial Interests. In the greater portion of the United States, Colored Men are excluded from the workshops on account of their color.
The laboring man in a large portion of the Southern States, by a systematic understanding prevailing there, is unjustly deprived of the price of his labor, and in localities far removed from the Courts of Justice is forced to endure wrongs and oppression worse than Slavery.
By falsely representing the laborers of the South, certain interested writers and journals are striving to bring Contract Chinese or Coolie Labor into popular favor there, thus forcing American laborers to work at Coolie wages or starve.
The Address of the National Executive Committee, created by the National Convention of Colored Americans, convened in Washington on the 13th of January, 1869, makes a forcible appeal upon this subject. They have and are making noble efforts to overcome these great wrongs, which we feel can only be effectually remedied by the meeting in National Council of the Mechanics and Laborers of this country. We do, as they have, appeal to the white tradesmen and artizans of this country to conquer their prejudices so far as to enable Colored Men to have a fair field for the display of competitive industry; and with this end in view to do away with all pledges and obligations that forbid the taking of Colored Boys as Apprentices to trades, or the employment of Colored Journeymen therein.
Delegates will be admitted without regard to race or color. State or City Conventions will be entitled to send one Delegate for each department of Trade or Labor represented in said Convention. Each Mechanical or Labor Organization in every State and Territory is entitled to be represented by one Delegate. It is hoped that all who feel an interest in the welfare and elevation of our race will take an active part in making this Convention a grand success.
By order of the Executive Committee.—William W. Hare, John W. Locks, Wm. L. James, John H. Tabbs, H. C. Hawkins, Geo. Myers, Robert H. Butler, G. W. Perkins, Wm. Wilks, Geo. Grason, Wesley Howard, Daniel Davis, Jos. Thomas.
J. C. FORTIE, Secretary.
ISAAC MYERS, President.1
Co–operative Executive Committee:—James Ruby, Texas; P. H. Clark, Ohio; John M. Langston, Ohio; William Spradley, Ky.; Rev. James Lynch, Miss.; William H. Hall, Cal.; Mark A. Bell, Oregon; Dr. W. H. C. Steveson, Nevada; Hon. H. D. Norton, Va.; William Brown, Mass.; Col. A. H. Galloway, N.C.; R. H. Cain, S.C.; Rev. H. H. Garnet, Pa.; Isaiah Wears, Pa.; William Rich, N.Y.; Lt. Gov. Oscar Dunn, La.; Jonathan Gibbs, Esq., Fla.; Rev. Jas. Simms, Ga.; Rev. B. T. Tanner, Pa.; Frederick Douglass, Esq., N.Y.; F. G. Barbadoes, Mass.; W. U. Saunders, Md.; Bishop D. A. Payne, Ohio; Bishop A. W. Wayman, Md.; Geo. T. Downing, Esq., R.I.; J. M. Williams, N.J.; Richard De Baptist, Ill.; Moses Dixon, Mobile; W. H. Gibson, Ky.; Alexander Clark, Iowa; Chas. H. Peters, Washington, D.C.; Cornelius Clark, Washington, D.C.
Conventions and Associations will report the names of Delegates to ISAAC MYERS, Box 522 Post–office, Baltimore, Md.
The Christian Recorder, September 18, 1869.