The African Celebration.—The colored people from Albany, Schenectady, Lansingburgh, Waterford, and other places in the neighborhood, besides some from towns along down the Hudson, assembled in this city on Monday last, to celebrate the second anniversary of the abolition of slavery in this state. We said nothing on this subject in our last, because when our paper was made up, (on Monday) the day was not over, and though every thing that we saw looked well, we had not seen the whole. We can now, however, speak advisedly and confidently; and justice requires that we should not withhold the expression of the universal opinion of this community in favor of the character of the celebration on Monday. The arrangements were exceedingly proper, and in good taste, and the decorum maintained throughout the day, was eminently worthy of notice and commendation. The Oration was delivered by [Rev.] Mr. [Nathaniel] Paul, the colored preacher of Albany; and if it was as good as his discourse last year on the same occasion, it was an able one; written in a more manly style and charged with stronger thoughts, than the great majority of the performances on the 4th, from whiter speakers.
There were about 300 in the procession, which was uncommonly well marshalled; and we suppose about 600 or 700, of both sexes, attended the celebration. We did not, during the day, see a single colored person intoxicated, and we have heard many others say the same. On this point, one of their resolutions was worthy of all praise; no ardent spirits, of any kind, were permitted to come to the table; their drink was cider, beer, and water. They left the pleasures of the day, in good order and without any breach of harmony.
Troy Sentinel. July 10, 1829: 2 col 3.
Rev. Paul’s oration from two years’ prior might give a general indication of what the 1829 one was like:
Paul, Nathaniel. An Address, Delivered on the Celebration of the Abolition of Slavery. Albany, NY: John B. Van Steenbergh, 1827. https://archive.org/details/addressdelivered00paul
DEATH OF REV. NATHANIEL PAUL. The decease of this estimable and eloquent colored brother, who was pastor of the Hamilton-street Baptist church in Albany, is announced in the daily papers of that city. Mr. Paul was in almost constant companionship during our sojourn in London, a few years since, and to his active and efficient co-operation were we greatly indebted for the triumphant success which attended our anti-colonization mission to England.
The Liberator [Boston, MA]. July 26, 1839: 119 col 5.
The afflicted widow of the late Rev. Nathaniel Paul, of Albany, has returned to her native land, (England,) and wishes her American friends to direct all letters or parcels intended for her, to the care of Mr. Wells, 85, Winchomb-street, Cheltenham, England. Though white in her complexion, she had no prejudice to overcome in marrying Mr. Paul, during his sojourn abroad; but, on her arrival in this country, she soon ascertained how bitter was to be her lot, on this account, among a people boasting of their religion and republicanism. Though an accomplished, intelligent, amiable and pious woman, she was treated, with some noble exceptions, with that scorn and neglect which are meted out to all who dare, in their practice, to assert, that God has made of one blood all nations of men, and is no respecter of persons. In England, her marriage, instead of exciting surprise or opposition, was regarded in a very favorable manner; and wherever she travelled with Mr. Paul, they were most cordially received by the most respectable and worthy members of society. We were in England at that time, and know whereof we affirm. We frankly told Mrs. Paul what she would, in all probability, be called to endure, on coming to his country; but she calmly made up her mind to receive, in the spirit of her Saviour, whatever of reproach or obloquy might be cast upon her. She was a martyr all the while she remained on these shores, but she never regretted the step she had taken. Injured, yet excellent woman! may she meet with a kind reception at the hands of British abolitionists.
The Liberator [Boston, MA]. October 15, 1841: 3 cols 2-3.
Some further information about Rev. Paul’s church in Albany:
Wolcott, John. “Albany’s Oldest African Church Congregation and Building, 1812.” http://www.albanyweblog.com/2013/12-Dec/12-30-13_Ref_02.html