Colored Citizens Respond to Webster’s March 7 speech

 COLORED CITIZENS OF BOSTON AND VICINITY     “… a crowded meeting was held at Belknap street church, Boston, on Wednesday evening, March 27th, the call for which was signed, in behalf of others, as follows: Henry Weeden, John T. Hilton, Coffin Pitts, Jonas W. Clark, Robert Johnson, William C. Nell, Henry L.W. Thacker, George Washington, John Thompson, and Thomas Brown.

William C. Nell, in behalf of the Committee, submitted resolutions, which included these excerpt:
‘Whereas, however deeply other classes may be interested in the question of slavery, and injured by its existence and extension, it is still the colored race upon whom the burden of its yoke, and the galling prejudice that spring from it, bear with the most deadly weight …..

if the cruel povisions of the Bill for the recovery of fugitive slaves, now before the U.S. Senate, should pass into law, it is our households and our children which will be outraged by its atrocious violations of all legal provisions for the security of citizens, and even of the Constitution of the United States, …

that we are duly mindful of the protection which the legislation of recent years has introduced into the Revised Statutes of the Old Bay State, God bless her –to whom we trust ever to prove loyal. Yet if her power is superseded by the National Government, and we — men, women and children — are liable to become victims of the prowling man-thief, we have no protection but such as the God of nature bestows upon us, and which, his power sustaining us, we will avail ourselves of; and Heaven defend the right ! ….

that whereas the crisis has arrived when the liberties of every colored man are at stake; it is their duty, as members of the human family, to enter into a solemn pledge, that come what will, their motto will be, Liberty or Death.       (Liberator, April 5, 1850, pg 3)