D[avid] Jenkins to Frederick Douglass, October 17, 1854
For Frederick Douglass' Paper.
DEAR DOUGLASS:—It has been some time since I took the liberty to ask a place in your journal; I think that you will give this a corner in your paper. The people of color have seen, before this, that the convention at Cleveland has been held, and the friends of emigration have laid the plan by which they may act. Must we, at this juncture, let this great body that met at Cleveland, go by, or must the people hold a great national gathering and say, once for all, that they intend to make this the battle-ground of their liberties? Something must be done in this matter; THE PEOPLE, THE WHOLE PEOPLE, ought to have one great gathering on this important subject. Let us have a convention of free discussion. Let all be admitted on one common ground. Let the friends, and those that oppose, meet in mass or otherwise, and give a general expression in relation to this motto. We have but one organ to let our will be known; and that is the Frederick Douglass' Paper. Then let us make one grand rally. The people of Ohio are ready to act in this matter. Let us act in union, and we can get out a national gathering. Experience has shown us that our success depends entirely on our own action. Let the slaveholder and his colored allies plan our removal. Let us meet their plans with a stern resistance at the threshold of their commencement, and put our eternal seal on what they have said. Look, if you please, at the late acts of the conference, when alluding to the Convention at Cleveland. They say that we have given up all hopes in this country, and now is the time for them to offer us homes on the coast of Africa. A new plan is on foot to effect that end. Under these considerations, I am in favor of calling a National Convention of our people, for free discussion. Let ample time be given for this meeting, and we shall, I think, have a great gathering of the people. Now, I hope, in conclusion, that this last proposition may meet the approval of our people; and that they, with your aid, may get up a meeting that will tell, for ages, the fixed purpose of our people.
Yours, to remain in the United States and Territories,
October 18, 1854.