Harper's Weekly 07/18/1863
ACTION OF THE COLORED PEOPLE.
A number of the colored men of this city met at the
Bethel Church, Sixth Street, above Lombard, yesterday,
with regard to their enlisting for the State defense. Mr.
J. C. White presided, and Mr. John Wolf acted as Secre-
tary. Among those present were Fred Douglass and most
of the colored clergymen of the city. The following were
Resolved, That inasmuch as we solemnly believe that
God has no attributes that can take part with the slave-
holder in this rebellion, we hold it to be our highest relig-
ious duty to sustain our Government in the prosecution of
this war so far as it is conducted for the purpose of equal
rights, liberty, equality, and fraternity.
Resolved, That we earnestly request all ministers of
the Gospel, preaching to colored congregations, to teach
their several charges that the days of our bondage in this
land are at an end, and that God is saying to us, in the most
emphatic manner, Be free, and take our place on the broad
platform of equal rights.
Resolved, That we deeply feel for, and sincerely sym-
pathize with, those of our race who are flying from the
chains and slavery of a rebellions horde, and, forced be-
fore the march of a conscript army of marauders, have
sought a refuge in our midst; and that we hereby pledge
to them the protection of our homes and firesides, a part
of our personal property, and a share of our daily bread,
even to a portion of our last crumb.
It was proposed that the colored men present tender to
the Government their services for three months or the
emergency. There being no definite understanding as to
the terms on which colored men would be received into the
State service, the postponement of the consideration of the
subject to another meeting was suggested.
Mr. Douglass urged immediate action. He said those
present could enroll their names: if their services were
not accepted, the responsibility would rest with the au-
thorities. A number of persons then signed the roll. An-
other meeting is to be held this afternoon.
On page 458 we publish a Map showing the
theatre of the conflict in Southern Pennsylvania
and Northern Maryland, and on page 453 a View
of the Burning of the Bridge at Columbia,
Pennsylvania. This operation is described in
the accompanying letter from the author of the