David Jenkins to Frederick Douglass, June 16, 1855
For Frederick Douglass' Paper.
GALENA, Ill., June 16, 1855.
MESSES. EDITORS:—Some time has elapsed since you have heard of me through your organ; I, therefore, beg a small place in your paper. I observe, in the last number of your
journal, a Call for a NATIONAL CONVENTION of our people to meet in the city of Philadelphia, on the 16th of October next. This Call should attract the attention not only of our entire people in this country, but throughout the world, for the reason, that freedom knows no geographical distinction. Such a Convention is much needed at this crisis. But I think the location altogether a bad one. Our people live scattered over a vast western country, consisting of States and territories; Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Cali-
fornia; seven of the free States, so called, and six territories. We ask the committee if it is
doing justice to our scattered people to call this Convention in Philadelphia, a point so re-
mote? It is true, they may reply, the greater number reside East, and therefore, we must
meet in their midst. Then, we of the West, must go thousands of miles to meet our breth-
ren of the East, the place of light. No, brethren: the journey is too long and expensive.—
You may reply that the intelligence is all in the East. But we have our proportion of farmers and mechanics out West; those who till the soil and build the houses for Western emigration, and our interest and convenience ought to be consulted in the locality of this Convention. Here, at the West, our interest is never once thought of in calling these great Conventions. We are a mere secondary consideration. Now why not select Cincinnati, Ohio or Indianapolis, Ind., for the contemplated Convention?
In conclusion, Messrs Editors, allow me to remark, this is a time which will try men's souls! We must meet the crisis manfully. Let us meet the enemy openly, armed with our own weapons of defense, battle in our own way, and by the help of God, we shall conquer. Then let our watch word be to the Convention, TO THE CONVENTION, TO THE CONVENTION.—
Who is getting ready? Echo answers, who?