It tickles human vanity to tell us that we are wiser than our fathers; and it is one of those propositions which is likely to pass without contradiction, from the circumstance that all those most interested in denying it are dead and gone. But if the grave could speak, and the churchyards vote upon the question, we living boasters would be in a most pitiful minority.
——James K. Paulding.
Pittsburgh, (Pa.,) Sept. 1, 1831.
At a large and respectable meeting of the colored citizens of Pittsburgh, convened at the African Methodist Episcopal church, for the purpose of expressing their views in relation to the American Colonization Society, Mr J. B. Vashon was called to the chair, and Mr. R. Bryan appointed secretary. The object of the meeting was then stated at considerable length, and in an appropriate manner, by the chairman. The following resolutions were then unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That we, the colored 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 bred—here are our earliest and most pleasant associations—here all that binds man to earth, and makes life valuable. And we do consider every colored 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.
——Quoted in Thoughts on African Colonization by William Lloyd Garrison, 1832.