FELLOW-CITIZENS:--In the exercise of a liberty which, we hope, you will not deem unwarrantable, and which is given us, in virtue of our connection and identity with you, the undersigned do hereby, most earnestly and affectionately, invite you, by your appropriate and chosen representatives, to assemble at ROCHESTER, N. Y., on the 6th of July, 1853, under the form and title of a National Convention of the free people of color of the United States.

After due thought and reflection upon the subject, in which has entered a profound desire to serve a common cause, we have arrived at the conclusion, that the time has now fully come when the free colored people from all parts of the United States, should meet together, to confer and deliberate upon their present condition, and upon principles and measures important to their welfare, progress and general improvement.

. . . . The Fugitive Slave Act, the most cruel, unconstitutional and scandalous outrage of modern times--the proscriptive legislation of several States with a view to drive our people from their borders--the exclusion of our children from schools supported by our money--the prohibition of the exercise of the franchise--the exclusion of colored citizens from the jury box--the social barriers erected against our learning trades--the wily and vigorous efforts of the American Colonization Society to employ the arm of government to expel us from our native land--and withal the propitious awakening to the fact of our condition at home and abroad, which has followed the publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin"--call trumpet-tongued for our union, co-operation and action in the premises. . . .

[Thirty-three signers, including Douglass and Delany, are listed at the end of the "Call."]

(Frederick Douglass' Paper, 20 May 1853, p. 3)

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