An Address from H. M. Turner

The Colored Tribune: April 15 1876

A State convention of the Republican party of this State has been called to meet in Atlanta, Wednesday, May 3rd. It is well known to you that no State Convention of our party has assembled in Georgia, since 1872 – four years ago and it will probably four years more before one assembles. A candidate for Governor is to be nominated, twenty two delegates are to be chosen to attend the National Republican Convention at Cincinnati, June 14th, the nominate candidates for President and Vice President of the United States, eleven electors of President and Vice President are to be nominated, and the State Central Committee is to be reorganized.

We are Republicans and constitute nine tenths of the party in this State, and we shall undoubtedly support that party while it continues to advocate the cause of liberty, justice, and political and civil equality.

It is therefore highly important that we should be represented in the Atlanta Convention by our ablest and best men.

We should cooperate earnestly and heartily with our white republican allies, but we should insist that none but true men who have the courage, ability and disposition to work for the party shall be placed in leading positions.

Send delegates to the Atlanta Convention who will work to make such men the leaders of the Republican party, and thrust aside all mercenary time servers, who seek our support in the conventions, and are ashamed or afraid of us afterward, and are too mean and treacherous to work for the party before the people. There are white officials in this State and so-called leaders of the Republican party, who never make a speech, or go to a Republican meeting, nor give a cent for party purposes. And now this is the class who are talking of throwing the negro over board. Let us go to that convention prepared to meet them, and if they dare to attempt it, let us meet them as they deserve to be met. A hint to the wise is sufficient; I know whereof I speak: “If the negro is a dead weight and must be dropped” then let drop succeed drop. This is not an attack upon our white Republicans as a class.

There are many who are as far above such a suicidal cause as the heavens are above the earth. But I do know that a mischievous line of policy is in contemplation, by some who are as worthless to the Republican party as their policy is devilish.

This letter is the first blast, of what may be a coming storm, which I know we can meet if we will. Send up a good delegation, and if the gauntlet is thrown down before us, let us be prepared to take it up.

I am, &c.,

H. M. Turner

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