Resolved: That the public and noisy advocacy of a general stampede of the colored people from the South to the North, is necessarily, though not intentionally, an indirect abandonment of this great and paramount principle; that it is an evasion of the solemn obligation and duty which that principle imposes, that it is an attempt to climb up some other than the true way, and as all such half-way measures are apt to do, it tends to weaken in the public mind the force and feeling of absolute duty; inasmuch as it concedes, that on the soil of the South, the United States Constitution cannot be enforced; that the laws of the land cannot there command obedience; that the ballot box in that section cannot be kept pure; that peaceable elections cannot there be held; and that the National Government is either unwilling or powerless to protect the lives and liberties of loyal Citizens.

       Resolved: That the moral effect of this premature surrender of a high Constitutional vantage ground cannot but be damaging to our cause and disheartening to the hopes of our friends; and that the Exodus itself is evidently the result of a narrow and imperfect view of the moral and political forces engaged in behalf or our people, and of an equally imperfect conception of the probable and necessary evils, attendant upon it, alike to those who go -- and those who shall stay behind.

       Resolved: That neither the colored people nor their friends can well afford to spend their time, their talents and their strength, in raising means for supporting side issues, and for what can be at best, but temporary expedients; and that the all commanding duty of the hour, is that all shall unite in giving force and effect to the righteous demand for justice, liberty and equal rights, and in according to the Colored Citizen the protection which the United States Constitution plainly guarantees, and which the National Government is solemnly bound to secure.

       Resolved: That they who would solve the problem of freedom and free institutions by emigration rather than protection, by flight rather than by right, by going into a strange land rather than by staying in our own, by a change of soil rather than by a change of heart; instead of an egg, would give us a stone, instead of a fish, a serpent, instead of substance, a shadow; and would leave the whole question of equal rights upon the soil of our birth still an open question, with the moral influence of Exodus against us as a confession of the impracticability of equal rights upon the soil of the South.

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August 1999