Foote, Julia A.J.
|Indignities on Account of Color--General Conference|
I Reached Rochester on the 16th of March, where I remained three weeks, laboring constantly for my Master, who rewarded me in the salvation of souls. Here God visited me after the same manner he did Elijah, when Elijah prayed to die. He strengthened me and bid me go forward with the promises recorded in the first chapter of Joshua.
April 21st I bade good-bye to Brother John H. Bishop's people, who had entertained me while in Rochester, and went to Binghamton to visit my parents again. I found them all well, and labored constantly for the Lord while I was there. I remained at home until the 8th of May, when I once more started out on my travels for the Lord. There was but one passenger in the stage besides myself. He gave his name as White, seemed very uneasy, and, at each stopping place, he would say: "I am afraid the public will take me for an abolitionist
I staid one night in Oxford, at Mr. Jackson's. At six o'clock the next morning I took passage on the canal packet "Governor Seward," with Captain George Keeler. That night, at a late hour, I made my way into the ladie's cabin, and, finding an empty berth, retired. In a short time a man came into the cabin, saying that the berths in the gentlemen's cabin were all occupied, and he was going to sleep in the ladies' cabin. Then he pointed to me and said: "That nigger has no business here. My family are coming on board the boat at Utica, and they shall not come where a nigger is." They called the captain, and he ordered me to get up; but I did not stir, thinking it best not to leave the bed except by force. Finally they left me, and the man found lodging among the seamen, swearing vengeance on the "niggers."
The next night the boat stopped at a village, and the captain procured lodging for me at an inn. Thus I escaped further abuse from that, ungodly man.
The second night we reached Utica, where I staid over Sunday. Then I went to Schenectady, where I remained a few days, working for my Master. Then I went to Albany, my old
On May 21st I went to New York. During the year that followed I visited too large a number of places to mention in this little work.
I went from Philadelphia in company with thirty ministers and Bishop Brown, to attend the General Conference, which way held in Pittsburgh, Pa. The ministers chartered the conveyance, and we had a very pleasant and interesting journey. The discussions during the day and meetings at night, on the canal boat, were instructive and entertaining. A very dear sister, Ann M. Johnson, accompanied me. The grand, romantic scenery, which I beheld while crossing the Alleghany mountains, filled me with adoration and praise to the great Creator of all things. We reached Pittsburgh on the 4th of June, and the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church convened on the 6th of June. The Conference
The business common to such meetings was transacted with spirit and harmony, with few exceptions. One was, a motion to prevent Free Masons from ministering in the churches. Another, to allow all the women preachers to become members of the conferences. This caused quite a sensation, bringing many members to their feet at once. They all talked and screamed to the bishop, who could scarcely keep order. The Conference was so incensed at the brother who offered the petition that they threatened to take action against him.
I remained several weeks, laboring among the people, much to the comfort of my own soul, and, I humbly trust, to the upbuilding at my dear Master's kingdom. I found the people very kind and benevolent.