Colored Conventions Project Digital Records

Minutes and Proceedings of the Second Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Color in these United States, held by adjournments in the city of Philadelphia, from the 4th to the 13th of June, inclusive, 1832.


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Minutes and Proceedings of the Second Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Color in these United States, held by adjournments in the city of Philadelphia, from the 4th to the 13th of June, inclusive, 1832.


Pamphlet (36 p. ; 24 cm.)







Philadelphia, PA





PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF THE CONVENTION. Benj. Paschal, Thos. Butler, and Jas. C. Matthews, Publishing Com. Martin & Boden, Printers.



Philadelphia, June 4th, 1832.

AGREEABLY to public notice, the Delegates to the Second Annual General Convention, for the improvement of the condition of the free people of color in these United States, met at the Benezett Hall, in Seventh Street, and commenced business at 9 o'clock A. M. — Mr. John Bowers, President of the Conventional Board appointed at the last meeting of the Convention to transact its business during its recess, took the Chair, and Junius C. Morel, acted as Secretary. After a most eloquent and appropriate prayer by the Rev. Charles W. Gardner, the following Delegates presented their credentials, which were read and approved, and they admitted to seats in the Convention, viz:—


Pittsburg.— John B. Vashon.


John Bowers, Benjamin Paschal, William Whipper, F. A. Hinton. J. C. Morel,

Carlisle.— John Peck.

Lewistown, Mifflin county.— Samuel Johnson.


New York City.

William Hamilton, Henry Sipkins, Thomas L. Jennings, Philip A. Bell.

Brooklyn.— James Pennington.



Joseph Burton, William Johnson, Jacob Morgan, Peter Gardiner, Abm. D. Shad,




Samuel Elliott, Robert Cowley, Samuel Hiner.



Thomas D. Coxsin, Thomas Banks,

Trenton.—Aaron Roberts.


Boston.—Hosea Easton.

New Bedford.—Nathan Johnson.


Hartford.—Paul Drayton.

New Haven.—Scipio C. Augustus.


Providence.—Ichabod Northrop.

On motion, the Convention proceeded to the election of officers for its present sessions, when the following persons were duly elected:


JOHN B. VASHON, 1st Vice President.

FREDERICK A. HINTON, 2d Vice President.

PHILIP A. BELL, Secretary,

JUNIUS C. MOREL, Assistant Secretary.


After the election of the President and 1st Vice President, Mr. Frederick A. Hinton, Vice President of the Conventional Board, announced to the house the election of Mr. Henry Sipkins of New York, President of the Convention, and Mr. John B. Vashon of Pittsburg, first Vice President. On the election of the second Vice President, Mr. John Bowers announced to the house the election of Mr. F. A. Hinton of Philadelphia, second Vice President. The election of the Secretaries and Chaplain were announced by the President of the Convention.

On motion, resolved that the list of names of the Delegates be read. It was accordingly read, and each member answered to his name. Moved and seconded that we adjourn to meet in this Hall at half past three o'clock this afternoon. Agreed.


Afternoon Session.

The Convention met agreeably to adjournment, Mr. Sipkins in the Chair, Philip A. Bell, Secretary. After prayer by the Rev. C. W. Gardner, it was, on motion, agreed that the Secretary proceed to call the roll, and read the minutes of the forenoon session; which being done, it was moved and seconded that the name of the mover and seconder of each motion shall be attached to the same. Agreed.

On motion of William Hamilton, seconded by John Dowers, the following persons were appointed a Committee to draft rules to govern this Convention, viz:—Benjamin Paschal, John Peck, James Pennington, Thos. L. Jennings, and Thomas D. Coxsin, and to report the same as soon as possible.

The second Vice President announced and introduced to the Convention the Rev. R. R. Gurley of Washington City, and Mr. Brackenridge of Kentucky, and several other distinguished gentlemen.

The President of the Conventional Board appointed at the last•meeting of the Convention, presented a report of the proceedings of the Board during its recess.

Moved by William Whipper, seconded by Benjamin Paschal, that the report of the President of the Conventional Board be referred to a Committee of three persons, with full power to enquire for all documents concerning the same, or connected with the business thereof, and report the same to-morrow morning. Agreed.

William Whipper, Benjamin Paschal, and William Hamilton were appointed.

On motion of John Peck, seconded by Benjamin Paschal, agreed that the Rev. Charles W. Gardner be requested to officiate as Chaplain to this Convention.

On motion of John Bowers, seconded by John Peck, that the Rev. Hosea Easton be assistant Chaplain. Agreed.

Moved by William Hamilton, seconded by John Peck, that a committee of three persons be appointed to write an Address to the free people of color in these United States, expressive of the views of this Convention; that they shall be nominated by the President and appointed by the Convention; and that they shall present the same for approval on Friday morning next. Messrs. Abraham


D. Shad, William Hamilton, and William Whipper were appointed.

Moved by Thomas L. Jennings, and seconded by Jas. Pennington, that a committee of five be appointed who shall report to this Convention such subjects as they may deem essntial for it to act upon. The following persons were appointed—Thomas L. Jennings, James Pennington, Junius C. Morel, Thomas D. Coxsin, and John B. Vashon.

Moved by John Bowers, seconded by John Peck, that all monies paid to this Convention shall be received by Frederick A. Hinton, until a treasurer be appointed. Agreed.

On motion, adjourned to 9 o'clock, Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, June 5th.—Morning Session.

Agreeably to adjournment, the Convention met in the Benezett Hall. The President took his seat, and the house was opened with prayer by the Rev. Charles W. Gardner.

Mr. John Bowers informed the Convention that the Trustees of the First African Presbyterian Church, in Seventh street, had consented to let us have the same for one dollar and fifty cents per day.

On motion the terms were agreed to.

The Rev. C. W. Gardner informed the Convention that the Rev. Mr. Gurley, of Washington City, Secretary and General agent of the Colonization Society, desired permission to address the meeting in the afternoon.

On motion of Mr. Hamilton, seconded by Mr. Bell, the request of Mr. Gurley was granted.

Benjamin Paschal offered an amendment, seconded by William Whipper—Resolved that the Rev. R. R. Gurley deliver his sentiments in writing to this Convention, and that we answer him in the same. The President decided the same as not an amendment.

On motion, resolved that the committee appointed to draft rules for the government of this Convention, report. The same was presented, read and adopted. The report and rules were as follows:—

We, your committee, appointed to draft rules and regulations for the government of this Convention, beg leave to report—


1. The President shall take the chair at the time to which the House may be adjourned, and upon the appearance of a quorum shall direct the roll to be called and the previous minutes read.

2. The President shall have full power to keep order and decorum; shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the Convention, and appoint or nominate committees when ordered by the Convention.

3. In case of the absence of the President, the first Vice President shall perform his duty, and in his absence it shall devolve upon the second Vice President.

4. If two or more members rise to speak at one time, the President shall decide who shall be entitled to the floor.

5. Every member who shall be in the House at the time the question is put, shall give his vote, unless the House, for special reasons, shall excuse him.

6. No member shall be permitted to leave the House without the permission of the President.

7. No member shall be interrupted while speaking, except by a call to order by the President; when such member may appeal to the House.

8. When a motion is stated by the President, it shall be deemed to be in possession of the House, but may be withdrawn at any time before a decision.

9. While the President is stating any question, or addressing the House, no member shall walk out, or cross the floor, nor when any member is speaking entertain private discourse.

10. No member shall speak more than twice on the same subject without leave of the house.

11. No motion or proposition on a subject different from that under consideration shall be admitted under color of amendment.

12. No motion for reconsideration shall be in order unless made by a member who voted in the majority.

13. A motion for adjournment shall always be Ill order after 1 o'clock, P. M. or 6 o'clock, P. M. All of which your committee respectfully submit.






Adopted, June 5th, 1832.


The committee appointed to report such business as might be essential to be acted upon by the Convention, signified their readiness to submit the same, which was read.

On motion of Mr. Paschal, seconded by Mr. Hamilton, the report was returned to the committee for reconsideration.

It was, on motion, agreed that the committee be enlarged to seven persons. Robert Cowley and Benjamin Paschal were appointed.

Report of the Committee.

Resolved—That in the opinion of this committee, the plan suggested by the first General Convention, of purchasing land or lands in Upper Canada, for the avowed object of forming a settlement in that province, for such colored persons as may choose to emigrate there, still merits and deserves our united support and exertions, and further, that the appearances of the times, in this our native land, demands an immediate action on that subject. Adopted.

Resolved—That in the opinion of this committee, we still solemnly and sincerely protest against any interference, on the part of the American Colonization Society, with the free colored population in these United States, so long as they shall countenance or endeavor to use coercive measures, (either directly or indirectly,) to colonize us in any place which is not the object of our choice. And we ask of them respectfully, as men and as Christians, to cease their unhallowed persecutions of a people already sufficiently oppressed, or if, as they profess to have our welfare and prosperity at heart, to assist us in the object of our choice,—Resolved, that this committee would recommend to the members of this Convention, to discountenance, by all just means in their power, any emigration to Liberia or Hayti, believing them only calculated to distract and divide the whole colored family.

Moved by Wm. Hamilton, seconded by Thomas D. Coxsin, that the following motion of Mr. T. D. Coxsin, seconded by Robert Cowley, viz:—

Resolved, That the members of this Convention take into consideration the propriety of affecting the purchase of Lands in the Province of Upper Canada, as a permanent home for the people of color, when they may be


compelled to remove from these United States, be laid on the table, to be taken up on Wednesday morning.—Agreed.

Moved by Wm. Whipper, seconded by Abraham D. Shad, that a committee of three be appointed to invite such of our white brethren in the city of Philadelphia as may feel disposed to attend our deliberations, and that they be at liberty to make such communications, as in their opinion, will advance the objects of the Convention. Agreed. The following persons constitute that committee—John Bowers, Wm. Whipper and Peter Gardiner.

On motion, adjourned to meet in the First African Presbyterian Church in Seventh Street.

Afternoon Session.

Met agreeably to adjournment in the First African Presbyterian Church. The President took the chair. The house was opened with prayer by the Rev. Hosea Easton. The roll being called and the minutes read, the committee to whom was returned the report of such business as might be essential to be acted on by this Convention, for reconsideration, asked of the house a longer time, which was granted.

Moved by William Hamilton, seconded by Thomas L. Jennings, that the President appoint a committee of three to examine and correct the minutes after each adjournment.—Agreed. The following persons were appointed.—Wm. Hamilton, Frederick A. Hinton and Abraham D. Shad.

The Rev. Mr. Gurley, Secretary of the American CoIonization Society appeared, and by permission of the President, conformably to a resolution of the Convention, addressed the meeting at considerable length, in his usual tone of eloquence, with a view, as he said, of removing some erroneous impressions in the minds of the people of color, in relation to the Colonization Society. He was followed by Mr. Wm. Lloyd Garrison in reply, who in a most eloquent and convincing speech, proved that the operations of that Society militate against the interest of the people of color in these United States.

Mr. Vashon, a delegate from Pittsburg, in a speech of considerable length, represented the views and feelings of the people generally, in relation to that Society.

Mr. Thomas Shipley, who is a strenuous friend to the


abolition of Slavery, then addressed the Convention in an excellent speech.

The hour of adjournment having arrived, at half past six, adjourned to meet next morning at nine o'clock. Prayer by the Rev. Charles W. Gardner.

Wednesday Morning, 6th June.

Met agreeably to adjournment. The President took his chair. Prayer by the Rev. Hosea Easton.

The Secretary having called the roll and read the minutes of the previous Session, it was moved by Junius C. Morel, seconded by Thos. L. Jennings, that any member making a motion, shall, at the request of the President or any member, commit the same to writing.—Agreed.

On motion, the resolution of Mr. Coxsin, respecting the purchase of lands in the province of Upper Canada, as a permanent home for those of our brethren who may be compelled to leave these United States, was called up for consideration, when a most animated discussion took place, and brought into requisition the almost entire talent of the Convention; the greater part insisting that any recommendation of the Convention to emigrate from the United States, was calculated to impress the public mind, that we relinquished our claim to this being the land of our nativity. The principal speakers on that side of the motion, were Messrs. Hamilton, Shad, Jennings, Bell, Vashon, Johnson, of Lewistown, Pennington, and Peck. The supporters of the motion, were Messrs. Cowley, Morel, Paschal, Coxsin, Elliot, Roberts, Banks, and Hiner. When Mr. A. D. Shad, seconded by Mr. Bell, offered, as an amendment, the following resolution, viz:—

That the members of the Convention take into consideration the propriety of affecting the purchase of lands in Upper Canada, as an Assylum for those of our brethren who may be compelled to remove from these United States.

Moved by Benjamin Paschal, and seconded by Thomas D. Coxsin, that a committee of five be appointed to consider the amendment offered by Mr. A. D. Shad, and that they report tomorrow morning, Messrs. Robert Cowley, Wm. Hamilton, Junius C. Morel, John Peck and Wm. Whipper, were appointed.

On motion, adjourned to 3 o'clock, P. M.


Wednesday, Afternoon Session.

The President took the chair at three o'clock. Prayer by the Rev. William Johnson.

The roll having been called, and the minutes of the morning session read, the Committee appointed to report to the Convention such business as might be essential to be acted upon, and to whom was returned the report for reconsideration, signified that they were ready to submit the same.

Moved by Mr. Easton, seconded by Mr. Paschal, that the report be read.—Agreed.

On motion, it was agreed that the same be taken up by sections and considered for adoption; but the same was postponed to give the Rev. Mr. Patterson, an advocate of the Colonization Society, an opportunity of expressing his sentiments before the Convention. The Reverend gentleman evinced a liberality of feeling toward those who differ with him as to the most efficient means of improving the condition of the people of color, and declared his readiness to assist in any plan that promised their elevation. Mr. Patterson was followed by Mr. Garrison who exhibited, by a large number of facts, taken from the proceedings of the Colonization Society, that the sentiments cherished by it in relation to us, as citizens of the United States, are hostile to our interests. Mr. Junius C. Morel followed on the same side, in a very eloquent speech. Mr. Evan Lewis, of the city of Philadelphia, a strenuous advocate of the general emancipation of the people of color, addressed the meeting in a most excellent discourse. Some remarks were also made by Captain ---------, of a vessel that took out emigrants to Liberia.

Adjourned at 7 o'clock. Prayer by the Rev. C. W. Gardner.

Thursday Morning, 7th June.

Convened according to adjournment. The President took his seat. Prayer by the Rev. Samuel Elliott.

The Secretary called the roll, and read the minutes of the previous session; when a lady most friendly to the attainment of the rights of the people of color, delivered a most feeling address on the miseries attendant on our present situation; when it was agreed that a vote of thanks be tendered the lady, for her friendly expression


of feelings toward us. The President in the name of the Convention, presented the same.

On motion, Resolved, that any communications to the Convention, from places represented shall be presented by a delegate from that place.

Moved by Thos. L. Jennings, seconded by John Peck, that the Vice Presidents and Committees, appointed by the last Convention, report their proceedings during the year, in the order of their appointment, and present the same as soon as convenient—Agreed.

On motion, adjourned to meet at 3 o'clock.

Thursday June 7th, Afternoon Session.

The President took his seat at the time appointed. Prayer by the Rev. C. W. Gardner. The roll was called, and the minutes of the Convention of the forenoon session read.

Mr. John B. Vashon presented a letter containing a proclamation of Major General Andrew Jackson, to the free colored inhabitants of Louisiana, in the year 1814, and also one by his order, by his Aid-de-Camp, Thos. Butler.

After reading the same, Mr. Vashon moved, and was seconded by T. D. Coxsin, that 3000 copies be printed for gratuituous distribution.

After a very protracted discussion on the propriety of entering the proclamation upon the minutes, a suspension of a vote on it was granted with a view to enable some of the members who were absent on committee business, to give their votes. The members having returned, Mr. Peck moved, and was seconded by Thomas L. Jennings, that the sentiments contained in the proclamation of Gen. Jackson, are in accordance with those of every philanthropist in these United States, and are entitled to a prominent place in the minutes of the Convention. This motion provoked considerable debate and was eventually negatived.

Mr. Vashon's motion for printing 3000 copies, was again called up, and the letter again read; the debate was renewed as to the propriety of printing. The hour of adjournment having arrived, the motion was withdrawn.

On motion, adjourned to meet in this place to-morrow morning at nine o'clock. Prayer by the Rev. Charles W. Gardner.


Friday Morning, June 8th, 1832.

The Convention met agreeably to adjournment. The President took his seat and called the house to order. Prayer by the Rev. Samuel Johnson.

Mr. James Pennington presented a list of resolutions for the consideration of the Convention, which produced very tedious debates, and it was finally deemed inexpedient that the same should, at present, engage the deliberation of this meeting.

The committee on the subject of the Canada purchase, was called on for its report on the same, which was submitted and read.

The report was signed by William Whipper, William Hamilton and John Peck. A counter report was presented by a minority of the committee, signed Robert Cowley and Junius C. Morel. The reports produced a very long discussion. Adjourned to meet at three o'clock.

June 8th, Afternoon Session.

Met as by adjournment; the house being called to order, was opened with prayer by the Rev. Samuel Johnson.

On motion of Benjamin Paschal, seconded by Thomas D. Coxsin—Resolved that the rule of adjournment be postponed for one hour this evening.

On motion of Thomas D. Coxsin, seconded by Benjamin Paschal, the report of the minority of the committee, was called for a second reading, which being done, a motion that the same be adopted, produced a long debate and was finally negatived.

Mr. Jolin B. Vashon, having had the proclamation of Gen. Jackson and his Aid-de-Camp, printed, presented the Convention with two hundred copies, for which he received its thanks.

Adjourned at 6 o'clock, to meet at 9 tomorrow morning. Prayer by the Rev. C. W. Gardner.

Saturday Morning, June 9th, 1832.

Met in the First African Presbyterian Church in 7th street; the house being called to order, prayer by the Rev. C. W Gardner.


Moved by Thomas L. Jennings, and seconded by Benjamin Paschal, that two persons be added to the committee on the Canada question, and that the reports of the majority and minority be referred to the same, and that they report with all convenient despatch.—Agreed. T. Coxsin and Benj. Paschal were added to the committee.

Moved by John Peck, and seconded by J. C. Morel, that the report of Thomas L. Jennings, Vice President of the Convention for the State of New York be read.—Agreed.

The report set forth that a Society, auxiliary to the Convention, had been established in the city of New York on the 13th day of July last, and at the present time, contains between one hundred and twenty and thirty members; that in Brooklyn, Long Island, a Society for the same purpose, had been formed, consisting of from sixty to seventy members; that in Catskill, a Society was formed; in Albany preparations were making to form a like Society; and that although the Corresponding Secretary, had written to the colored inhabitants of Newburg and Hudson, no answer had been received from the two latter places.

The Secretary had taken an early opportunity, after the adjournment of the previous Convention, to open a correspondence with the colored inhabitants of New York and New Jersey, but that no written communication from that place had transpired.

Mr. John Bowers apprised the meeting, that in consequence of the Trustees wishing to have the Church cleaned for the service on the Sabbath, that the Convention would not be able to meet in that house in the afternoon; whereupon he moved, and was seconded by Mr. Peck, that this session continue one hour beyond the ordinary time of adjournment, which was agreed to unanimously.

Moved by Thos. L. Jennings, and seconded by James Pennington, that we proceed to the appointment of a Vice President and a Corresponding Secretary in each of the States, where the same may be safely done, to hold their offices for one year or until others are appointed. They shall have power to fill any vacancy that may happen, and make such appointments in the different parts of the state, as they may deem conducive to our interests. The following were appointed.


New York—Thomas L. Jennings, V. P.—Henrv Slpkins, Cor. Sec.

Massachusetts—Jas. G. Barbadoes, V. P.—H. H. Mauday, Cor. Sec.

Rhode Island—Geo. C. Willis, V. P.—Alfred Niger, Cor. Sec.

Connecticut—Scipio C. Augustus, V. P.—Peter Osborn, Cor. Sec.

Ohio–John Liverpool, Cor. Sec.

New Jersey—Aaron Roberts, V. P.

Maryland—Rev. Abner Crocker, V. P.—Robert Cowley, Cor. Sec.

Delaware—Rev. Peter Spencer, V. P.—A. D. Shad, Cor. Sec.

Moved and seconded, that the Vice Presidents and Secretaries be requested to employ their best endeavors in recommending the formation of associations to aid the objects of the Convention, and, at stated periods, transmit to the Treasurer of the general fund, such sums as circumstances may admit.

The committee on the joint reports, returned and presented the same, which was read, and the same was unanimously adopted, as follows:—


The Committee, to whom was submitted the following resolution for their consideration—viz:—

Resolved—That the members of this Convention take into consideration the propriety of effecting the purchase of Lands in the province of Upper Canada as an Asylum for those of our brethren who may be compelled to remove from these United States, beg leave, most respectfully to report—

That, after due consideration, they believe the resolution embraces three distinct enquiries for the consideration of this Convention, which should be duly weighed before they can adopt the sentiments contained in the above named resolution—Therefore your Committee conceive the resolution premature, and now proceed to state the enquiries separately—

First—Is it proper for the Free People of Color in this Country, under existing circumstances, to remove to any distant territory beyond these United States?

Secondly—Does Upper Canada possess superior ad. vantages and conveniences to those held out in these United States or elsewhere?

Thirdly—ls there any certainty that the people of color will be compelled by oppressive legislative enactments to abandon the land of their birth for a home in a distant region?


Your committee before examining those inquiries, would most respectfully take a retrospective view of the object for which the Convention was first associated, and the causes which have actuated their deliberations.

The expulsory laws of Ohio, in 1829, which drove our people to seek a new home in Upper Canada, and their impoverished situation afterwards, excited a general burst of sympathy for their situation, by the wise and good, over the whole country. This awakened public feeling on their behalf, and numerous meetings were called to raise funds to alleviate their present miseries. The bright prospects that then appeared to dawn on the new settlement, awakened our people to the precariousness of their situations, and, in order more fully to be prepared for future exigencies, and to extend the system of benevolence still further to those who should remove to Upper Canada, a Circular was issued by five individuals, viz:—the Rev. Richard Allen, Cyrus Black, Junius C. Morel, Benjamin Pascal, and James E. Cornish, in behalf of the citizens of Philadelphia, calling a Convention of the colored delegates from the several States, to meet on the 20th day of September, 1830, to devise plans and means for the establishment of a colony in Upper Canada, under the patronage of the general Convention, then called.

That Convention met, pursuant to public notice, and recommended the formation of a parent Society, to be established, with auxiliaries, in the different towns where they had been represented in general Convention, for the purpose of raising monies to defray the object of purchasing a Colony in the province of Upper Canada, for those who should hereafter wish to emigrate thither, and that immediately after its organization, a Corresponding Agent should be appointed to reside at or near the intended purchase.

Our then limited knowledge of the manners, customs, and privileges, and rights of aliens in Upper Canada, together with the climate, soil and productions thereof, rendered it necessary to send out Agents to examine the same, who returned with a favorable report, except that citizens of these United States could not purchase lands in Upper Canada, and legally transfer the same to other individuals.


The Convention resolved to reassemble on the first Monday in June, 1831, during which time the order of the Convention had been carried into operation, relative to establishing Societies for the promotion of said object; and the sum and total of their proceedings were, that the Convention recommended to the colored people generally, when persecuted as were our brethren in Ohio, to seek an Asylum in Upper Canada. During which time, information having been received that a part of the white inhabitants of said province had, through prejudice and the fear of being overburthened with an ejected population, petitioned the provincial parliament to prohibit the general influx of colored population from entering their limits, which threw some consternation on the prospect. The Convention did not wholly abandon the subject, but turned its attention more to the elevation of our people in this, our native home.

The recent occurrences at the South, have swelled the tide of prejudice until it has almost revolutionized public sentiment, which has given birth to severe legislative enactments in some of the States, and almost ruined our interests and prospects in others, in which, in the opinion of your Committee, our situation is more precarious than it has been at any other period since the Declaration of lndependance.

The events of the past year have been more fruitful in persecution, and have presented more inducements than at any other period of the history of our country, for the men of color to fly from the graves of their fathers, and seek new homes, in a land where the roaring billows of prejudice are less injurious to their rights and privileges.

Your Committee would now approach the present Convention and examine the resolution under consideration, beginning with the first interrogatory, viz: ls it proper for the Free people of color, in this country, under existing circumstances, to remove to any distant territory beyond the United States?

If we admit the first interrogatory to be true, as it is the exact spirit of the margin of this resolution, now under consideration, it is altogether unnecessary for us to make further preparation for either our moral, intellectual or political advancement in this our own, our native land.


Your committee also believe that if this Convention shall adopt a resolution that will, as soon as means can be obtained, remove our colored population to the province of Upper Canada, the best and brightest prospect of the philanthropists who are laboring for our elevation in this country will be thwarted, and that they will be brought to the conclusion that the great object which actuated their labors would now be removed, and that they might now rest from their labors, and have the painful feeling of transmitting to future generations, that an oppressed people, in the land of their birth, supported by the genuine philanthropists of the age, amidst friends, companions, and their natural attachments, a genial clime, a fruitful soil—amidst the rays of as proud institutions as ever graced the most favored spot that has ever received the glorious rays of a meridian sun—have abandoned their homes on account of their persecutions, for a home almost similarly precarious, for an abiding place among strangers!

Your committee further believe that any express plan to colonize our people beyond the limits of these United States, tends to weaken the situation of those who are left behind, without any peculiar advantage to those who emigrate. But it must be admitted, that the rigid oppression abroad in the land is such, that a part of our suffering brethren cannot live under it, and that the compulsory laws and the inducements held out by the American Colonization Society are such as will cause them to alienate all their natural attachments to their homes, and accept of the only mode left open, which is to remove to a distant country to receive those rights and privileges of which they have been deprived. And as this Convention is associated for the purpose of recommending to our people the best mode of alleviating their present miseries,

Therefore, your committee would, most respectfully, recommend to the general Convention, now assembled, to exercise the most vigorous means to collect monies through their auxiliaries, or otherwise, to be applied in such manner, as will advance the interests, and contribute to the wants of the free colored population of this country generally.

Your committee would now most respectfully approach


the second inquiry, viz:.—Does Upper Canada possess superior advantages and conveniences to those held out in the United States or elsewhere?

Your committee, without summing up the advantages and disadvantages of other situations, would, most respectfully answer in the affirmative. At least they are willing to assert that the advantage is much in favor of those who are obliged to leave their present homes. For your more particular information on that subject we would, most respectfully, refer you to the interesting account given by our real and indefatigable friend, Benjamin Lundy, in a late number of the "Genius of Universal Emancipation." Vide Genius of Universal Emancipation, No. 10, Vol. 12.

From the history there laid down, your committee would, most respectfully, request the Convention to aid, so far as in their power lies, those who are obliged to seek an asylum in the province of Upper Canada; and, in order that they may more effectually carry their views into operation, they would respectfully request them to appoint an Agent in Upper Canada, to receive such funds as may be there transmitted for their use.

Your committee have now arrived at the third and last inquiry, viz:—Is there any certainty that we, as a people, will be compelled to leave this our native land, for a home in a distant region? To this inquiry your committee are unable to answer; it belongs to the fruitful events of time to determine. The mistaken policy of some of the friends of our improvement, that the same could be effected on the shore of Africa, has raised the tide of our calamity until it has overflowed the vallies of peace and tranquillity—the dark clouds of prejudice have rained persecution—the oppressor and the oppressed have suffered together—and we have yet been protected by that Almighty arm, who holds in his hands the destinies of nations, and whose presence is a royal safeguard, should we place the utmost reliance on his wisdom and power.

Your committee, while they rejoice at the noble object for which the Convention was first associated, have been unable to come to any conclusive evidence that lands can be purchased by this Convention and legall transferred to individuals, residents of said colony, so long as the


present laws exist. But, while they deem it inexpedient for the Convention to purchase lands in Upper Canada for the purpose of erecting a colony thereon, do again, most respectfully, hope that they will exercise the same laudable exertions to collect funds for the comfort and happiness of our people there situated, and those who may hereafter emigrate, and pursue the same judicious measures in the appropriation of said funds, as they would in procuring a tract of land, as expressed by the resolution.

Your committee, after examining the various circumstances connected with our situation as a people, have come, unanimously, to the conclusion to recommend to this Convention to adopt the following resolution, as the best mode of alleviating the miseries of our oppressed brethren.

Resolved—That this Convention recommend the establishment of a Society, or Agent, in Upper Canada, for the purpose of purchasing lands and contributing to the wants of our people generally, who may be, by oppressive legislative enactments, obliged to flee from these United States and take up residence within her borders. And that this Convention will employ its Auxiliary Societies, and such other means as may lie in its power, for the purpose of raising monies, and remit the same for the purpose of aiding the proposed object.









Moved by William Hamilton, seconded by Robt. Cowley, that William Whipper, and Thomas L. Jennings, be appointed to transcribe the report, and hand the .same to the Clerk, to be entered on the minutes.

At half past two o'clock, Mr. P. A. Bell moved, and was seconded by Mr. Peck, that we adjourn to meet in the same place on Monday morning at 9 o'clock ; the same prevailed.


Monday Morning, June 11th 1832.

The Convention, as per adjournment, met at 9 o'clock in the First Presbyterian Church. The house was called to order by the President, and prayer performed by the Rev. C. W. Gardner.

Moved and seconded that the committee appointed to revise the minutes, proceed immediately to the fulfilment of their appointment, and report the same as soon as possible.—Carried.

On motion, Resolved, that the committee of three be appointed for attending to the publication of the minutes of this Convention, as soon as they are returned by the correcting committee. Messrs. J. B. Vashon, Benj. Paschal and John Peck, were appointed.

Moved by Wm. Hamilton, and seconded by Thomas L. Jennings, that the next annual Convention of the free people of color, be held in the city of New York. The same after some debate was lost. When, on motion of Mr. Morel, seconded by Mr. Cowley, it was agreed that the same should be held in the city of Philadelphia, on the first Monday in June next.

Moved by J. C. Morel, seconded by B. Paschal, that a committee of conference, consisting of seven, be added to the conventional board, to assist in the transaction of its business during the year.

The following persons were appointed a committee to nominate suitable candidates for the offices, viz:—John Bowers, Frederick A. Hinton, Benjamin Paschal, J. C. Morel and Robert Cowley, who returned the under written persons, who were duly elected.

Robert Brown, President.

Benjamin Paschal, Vice President.

Charles H. Leveck, Recording Secretary.

J. C. Morel, Corresponding Secretary.

Frederick A. Hinton, Treasurer.

Committee.—Thomas Butler, J, C. Mathews, John Bowers, Jr. George Johnson, James Bird, Wm. C. West, Stephen H. Gloucester.

Mr. Pennington presented a summary of resolutions for the consideration of the Convention, which the advanced stage of its session prevented its acting upon, but


which was thought a proper subject for the ensuing Convention. Adjourned to meet at three o'clock.

Monday Afternoon, June 11th, 1832.

According to adjournment met. By request of the President, the Rev. Simeon S. Jocelyn, of New Haven, delivered a very impressive prayer. Mr. T. L. Jennings, by desire, called the roll and read the minutes of the morning session.

The Rev. Mr. Harrison, of the Island of Antigua, was at his desire, permitted to address the Convention. His discourse was an elegant description of the great improvement in the religious, literary and civil condition of the people of color in several of the West India Islands, within a few years, and of the prospects of their general extension and increase.

Moved by Wm. Whipper, seconded by F. A. Hinton, that the sincere thanks of this Convention be returned to the Rev. Mr. Harrison, for his amiable and eloquent address, disclosing the situation of our colored brethren in the West Indies; and that we, the representatives of the free colored people of this country, do, in their behalf, request him to bear unto them our sympathy and prayers for their success, assuring them that we, as children of the same persecuted family, do possess those kindred feelings which should vibrate in the heart of the christian and philanthropist, and that we cheerfully rejoice at their prosperity, and mourn over their adversities.

The Rev. S. S. Jocelyn, of New Haven, then gave an elaborate history of the number of colored schools, the number of scholars, and a general description of the state of improvement among them. He read compositions of two young men in New York, remarkable for their chasteness of conception and expression. He spoke fervently and affectionately on the advantages to be derived by us, from learning, temperance, industry and frugality, and seriously admonished us, to recommend to our brethren, by precept and example, to the extent in our power, their advancement in the above virtues, and to particularly inculcate the early education of our children. He also adverted to the various proceedings in relation to the contemplated college, but recommended perseverance.

Mr. Jocelyn received the thanks of the house, on


motion of Mr. Coxsin, seconded by Mr. Paschal, for his praiseworthy and unremitted exertions to promote the character of the colored people.

The committee appointed to examine whether any, or what alterations are, or may be necessary, in the arrangements of the last year, for the erection of a college, made the following statement.

We, the committee, to whom was referred so much of the tenth section of the report of the Convention of last year, as relates to the establishment of a college, most respectfully report—That we have duly reflected on the importance of establishing such an institution for the education of colored youth, and on the necessity of persevering in our endeavors to effect its erection, and do recommend the plan, prescribed by the Convention of last year, to continue the Rev. Samuel E. Cornish, general agent to solicit subscriptions, as the most efficient means of producing the object desired. It is further suggested, that in the event of his refusing to serve, or a vacancy happening, power shall be vested in the executive committee at New York, by and with advice and consent of the conventional board; but that all advice or instructions to the Agent, shall emanate from the committee, whose duty it shall be to provide for the payment of the Agent.

Your committee would also inform the Convention, that in consequence of some hostility manifested by some of the inhabitants of New Haven, against the location of the establishment in that place, it became prudent to alter the address, so as to read "New Haven or elsewhere." We would present to this Convention, the propriety of investing the executive committee with power to appoint additional committees when they judge them useful. Your committee in conclusion, would state that no report having been received from the General Agent by the executive committee, nor by the conventional board, it is not in their power to enter into further detail.



Mr. Philip A. Bell, a member of the executive committee at New York, presented the following, viz:


The committee appointed at the last meeting of the Convention, to attend to the raising of funds for the establishment of a Manual Labor College for the instruction of coloured youth, beg leave to report,—That soon after their appointment, they met, and instructed the Rev. Samuel E. Cornish; the agent appointed by the Convention, to proceed to the soliciting og subscriptions, to commence with the city and vicinity of Philadelphia.

That at his setting out, Mr. Cornish met with great encouragement from the liberal subscriptions of those on whom he called, but that speedily such an opposition was raised by the white citizens of New Haven, the place contemplated by the Convention to locate the College, that they were convinced that it would be more suitable to suspend the operations of the Agent, until a pamphlet, written on the subject, by the Rev. S. S. Jocelyn should be extensively circulated; after which a renewed attempt was made to obtain subscriptions, but with so little success that they determined not to prosecute the work any further until the present meeting of the Convention.

They now submit the subject to your consideration, believing it to be of too great importance to be abandoned without further efforts being made to effect it, and such an Agent or Agents as are not only well qualified for the soliciting of subscriptions, but as would devote their whole attention to it during the ensuing year. We strongly entertain the opinion that the plan may be accomplished. All of which is respectfully submitted.



New York, June 1st, 1832. On motion, Resolved, That Arthur Tappan, Esq. at New York, be appointed to receive, as Treasurer, all monies that may be collected for the purpose of establishing the proposed institution at New Haven or elsewhere, he satisfying the Executive Committee at New York.

On motion of Wm. Whipper, and seconded by T. L. Jennings,—Resolved, That the contemplated College, proposed by the last Convention to be established at New Haven, be established elsewhere; and that the rules and


regulations then adopted, is hereby acknowledged and confirmed by this Convention.

And on motion, it was resolved, That there be provisional committees appointed, whose duty it shall be to aid and assist the Agent or Agents, that may be appointed in the discharge of their duties. And that the provisional committee at New York shall be the executive committee until the Trustees are appointed.

Here follow the several provisional committees, viz:

STATE OF NEW YORK.—New York—Rev. Peter Williams, Boston Crommel, Philip A. Bell, Thomas Downing, Peter Voglesang. Albany—Benjamin Latimore, Charles Morton, Captain Francis March. Brooklyn—Jacob Deyes, Henry Thompson, Willis Jones. Newtown—Thomas Johnson, John Potter.

PENNSYLVANIA.—Philadelphia—Joseph Cassey, Robert Douglass, sen. James Forten, Frederick A. Hinton, Robert Purvis. Pittsburg—John B. Vashon, Geo. Gardner, Abraham Lewis, Lewis Woodson. Lancaster—Charles Butler, Benj. Simmons. Carlisle—John Peck, Roland G. Robinson. Chambersburg—Dennis Berry.

MASSACHUSETTS—Boston—Rev. Hosea Easton, Robert Roberts, James G. Barbadoes, Rev. Samuel Snowden. New Bedford—Charles K. Kook, Morris Anderson, Richard C. Johnson.

CONNECTICUT.—Hartford—H. Foster, Mason Freeman, Wm. C. Munroe. New Haven—Biars Stanley, John Creed, Alexander C. Lucas. Middletown—J. C. Bemen, Geo. Penny, Joseph Gilbert,

NEW JERSEY—Trenton—Aaron Roberts, Robert Henson. New Brunswick—James C. Cowes, ---- Reesner, John Barclay. Newark—Peter Petit, Charles Anderson, Adam Ray. Gloucester co.—Thomas Banks, Thomas D. Coxsin, John Kelly.

MARYLAND.—Baltimore—Thomas Green, James P. Walker, Samuel G. Mathews, Isaac Whipper, Samuel Hiner.

DELAWARE.—Wilmington—Rev. Peter Spencer, Jacob Morgan, Wm. S. Thomas.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,—Washington City.—Wm. Jackson, Arthur Waring, Isaac Carey.


Agreeably to previous notice a collection was taken up for defraying the expenses of the Convention, which from its long continuance were considerable. An invitation wasreceived from Mr. Kennedy, Principal of the Adelphia School, to attend an exhibition of his pupils to-morrow morning at 8 o'clock, which was accepted, and resulted in extreme gratification to those who visited it.

Adjourned to meet at 9 o'clock to-morrow.

Tuesday morning, June 12th, 9 o'clock.

Met in the first African Presbyterian Church. The house was called to order and prayer performed by the Rev. Samuel Johnson.

On motion of Mr. Hinton, Resolved—That a committee of three be appointed by the President, to wait on the Rev. Samuel E. Cornish, and request him to furnish the Convention with such information, in regard to the progress of the business of the College, as he may possess. Messrs. Samuel Johnson, P. Drayton, and T. D, Coxsin were appointed. Mr. Wm. Lloyd Garrison having, on Tuesday last, presented a congratulatory letter to the Convention, from the New England Anti-Slavery Society, on the probability, from present prospects, of our condition being improved by the joint efforts of our friends and ourselves; and recommending our continued exertions to improve our children at the tenderest age in habits of morality and industry,

On motion, Resolved—That this Convention highly appreciate the sentiments and measures of the Society, and that we request Mr. William L. Garrison to tender to the members thereof, assurances of our distinguished regard.

Moved and seconded that the following persons, viz: Henry Sipkins, James Pennington, and F. A. Hinton, constitute a committee to draw up an Address to the citizens of the United States, exhibiting the oppressed condition of the colored people, and requesting their propitiousness towards us, and the same to be published in the most extensively circulated daily papers. Agreed.

Resolved—That Mr. Austin Stewart, of Wilberforce Settlement, Upper Canada, be requested to act as Corresponding Agent for the different Societies that now are, or may be established, for the assistance of those


emigrating to that place, and to furnish the Conventional Board, through their Corresponding Secretary, such information as may be deemed necessary.

Moved by Mr. Pennington, seconded by Mr. Easton, that this Convention recommend to the Auxiliary Societies to obtain all the information possible, relative to the state and number of schools in their respective sections; the branches of education taught in each, with the number of scholars, and make returns of the same through their delegates, to the next Convention.

Adjourned to meet at 3 o'clock.

Afternoon Session.

The Convention, pursuant to adjournment, met.—Prayer by the Rev. Hosea Easton. The report of the persons who were to call on the General Agent was asked for, when the following was presented.

The committee appointed to call on the Rev. Samuel E. Cornish, most respectfully report, that they have, in conformity to their instruction, made known to him the desire of the Convention, and that he will be in attendance this afternoon.

Moved by William Whipper, seconded by Mr. Pennington, that the following resolution on the minutes of the Iast Convention be adopted by this, viz:—

That the Convention recommend to the people of color throughout the United States, the discontinuance of public processions on any day. We considering them as highly prejudicial to our interests as a people. Agreed.

It was moved that the documents or interrogatories of Mr. Grice, a representative of the Legal Right Society of Baltimore be reconsidered. After considerable debate on the subject, it was resolved that we tender to Mr. Hezekiah Grice, our sincere thanks for the valuable information contained therein, but that we respectfully decline any interference, as a body; but we sincerely hope that the Society will persevere in its laudable undertaking, and that as individuals we will give it our best support.

On motion, Resolved—That the consideration of the Bill for the establishment of a High School on the Munual Labor System, to be located in the State of Pennsylvania, be referred to the Provisional Committee at Phila


Philadelphia, and that they are hereby requested to collect all necessary information relative thereto and report the same to the next annual Convention.

The Convention and auditors were feelingly impressed by a farewell address delivered by their indefatigable friend William Lloyd Garrison, of which a copy was requested for publication.

The Rev. Samuel E. Cornish, General Agent for obtaining subscriptions for the contemplated College at New Haven, appeared, and stated that through unavoidable causes, he was not prepared to produce a written report. He therefore made a verbal statement of the affairs connected with his agency, and presented his subscription book, which upon examination was found to contain subscriptions to the amount of between two and three thousand dollars. The book was returned.

Moved and Seconded, that the conventional board be required to submit an Annual Message or Report containing an account of their proceedings, the information received from the different parts of the States in regard to the movements of the Colonization Society, the increase of Anti-Slavery Societies, and such general intelligence as may be thought serviceable, at the opening of each succeeding Convention. Agreed. Prayer by the Rev. Chs. W. Gardner.

Adjourned to meet at 9 o'clock to morrow morning.

Wednesday Morning, June 13th 1832.

Met according to adjournment, Mr. Vashon (V. P.) in the chair. The meeting being called to order, the Rev. Samuel Johnson performed prayer. The President informed the house that business might proceed; whereupon Mr. Jennings moved, and was seconded by Mr. Whipper, that we recommend, as far as practicable, the use of free productions in preference to other productions. Agreed.

Moved by Wm. Whipper, seconded by Thomas L. Jennings, that this Convention recommend to our people generally, the formation of Societies for the promotion of Temperance, on the plan of total abstinence from the use of ardent spirits. Agreed.

On motion of John Peck, seconded by Benjamin Paschal, Resolved that this Convention highly recommend to the free people of color of these United States, where it


may be practicable, to call meetings and have appropriate discourses delivered on the Sabbath most convenient, near the Fourth of July, and take up collections to assist the objects contemplated by this Convention. Prayer by the Rev. Charles W. Gardner.

Adjourned to meet at 3 o'clock.

Wednesday Afternoon Session.

Met conformably to adjournment in the First African Presbyterian Church in Seventh street. The President called the house to order. Prayer by the Rev. Hosea Easton.

On motion, the committee appointed to draw up a Conventional address to the free people of color, presented the same, which was read and adopted. (The same will appear at the end of these minutes.)

A communication in behalf of the free people of color of Lewistown, Mifflin county, Pa. signed Thomas WilIiams, and J. G. Smith, was read and referred to the Conventional Board.

Moved by Thornas D. Coxsin, seconded by Paul Drayton, that this Convention take into consideration the propriety of adopting such measures as in their opinion may be most expedient for bettering the condition of mechanics of color, by our general encouragement to them. Referred.

Moved by Thomas L. Jennings, seconded by Paul Drayton, that the Corresponding Secretary of the Conventional Board, as soon as possible, shall give notice to all the absent officers and committees in the different States, of their respective appointments, in a printed circular, to be provided by the Board for that purpose.—Agreed.

Several other motions were made and debated, and finally laid over until the next Convention.

At 7 o'clock moved and seconded that this Convention rise, and that the next Annual Convention meet in the City of Philadelphia, on the first Monday in June, 1833.

Mr. John Bowers having been appointed to receive and retain some of the monies belonging to the Convention, on motion the President drew a draft on him to pay over to the treasurer, all monies in his hands, over and above the expenses at present due by the Convention, which expenses he was authorized to pay.


Mr. J. C. Morel introduced Major Barbour of Liberia to the Convention.

Mr. Dennison, an advocate of the rights of the people of color, came in the moment after the adjournment, and was very attentively listened to by a considerable number who had remained, in some most excellent remarks.




The Conventional Board of Officers.

1 The funds shall be under the immediate control of the officers of the Convention during their continuance in office, subject to the following restrictions, viz:—

2 They shall pay all monies appropriated by the Convention, and for that purpose they are hereby invested with authority to draw on the Treasurer for the same.

3 They shall pay all the ordinary expenses of the Convention that may be necessary and proper, and shall with proper vouchers account to the Annual Convention for the same at each session.

4 The President shall preside at each meeting of the board of officers which shall form a council for the transaction of the business of the Convention during its recess.

5 During the absence or inability of the President to preside, the Vice President shall be competent to discharge all of his duty in the Council.

6, The Recording Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of the meetings of the officers at any time or times, which minutes, with all other useful matter that shall come under his observation, shall be laid before the Annual Conventions from time to time.

7 The Treasurer shall receive all monies that may be sent by the different Societies, (which now are or hereafter may be subject to the order of the Convention,) for which the President shall take his receipt. He shall pay all monies as the Council may draw on him for the order, being signed by the President and Secretary.

8 The Corresponding Secretary shall notify the Vice Presidents and Secretaries of their appointments, together with the general views of the Convention in relation to the Canadian Settlement.

9 He shall, also, hold the most extensive and faithful correspondence with the Committees and Agents appointed to advance the interests of the proposed College, holding his correspondence subject to the inspection of the President and Vice President only.


10. No monies shall be drawn from the funds but by consent of a majority of the Council.

11. The Convention recommends the Parent Society at Philadelphia, and all others engaged in the Canadian Purchase, to alter their Constitutions and by-laws, so as to become auxiliary to the Convention, to the Treasurer of which they shall remit their funds at stated times.

12. It was resolved, That the Editors of the "Liberator, and "Genius of Universal Emancipation, are our tried friends, and fearless advocates of our rights and promoters of our best interests, and are entitled to a prominent place in our affections.

13. That the principles emanating from said presses, ought to be proclaimed throughout the world, and read by every friend of the rights of man—and that we pledge ourselves to use all our influence in promoting the support and circulation of such periodicals.

On motion of Wm. Whipper, seconded by F. A. Hinton, Resolved—That this Convention recognize in the representative of the Anti-Slavery Society, Wm. Lloyd Garrison, the bold and uncompromising advocate of the rights of man, as an editor and advocate of the free colored population, an able and fearless declaimer against oppression, as a man, a true and faithful friend, possessing honesty, virtue, and piety. For his exertions rendered to us as a people—therefore we do ourselves, and in behalf of those we represent; present him our sincere thanks, wishing that success and prosperity may attend him through life.

14. On motion, it was Resolved, that each Society in the Unied States, (organized by the recommendation of this Convention) be authorized to send delegates, not exceeding five in number, to represent them in the General Convention to be held as aforesaid; and that in places where it is not practicable at present to form Societies, the people shall have the same privilege, provided they contribute to the furtherance of the objects of the Convention.

On motion, it was unanimously resolved, That this Convention feels grateful for the kind services rendered by the American Society for the Abolition of' Slavery in the United States; also to the New England Anti-Slavery Society, to the Anti-Slavery Societies of Great Britain, and to the friends of the Rights of Man. 'Wherever dispersed. Adjourned, sine die.


{Philip A. Bell, Junius C. Morel,} Secretaries.

Philadelphia, June 13th 1832.


To the Free Colored inhabitants of these United States.


We have again been permitted to associate in our representative character, from the different sections of this Union, to pour into one common stream, the afflictions, the prayers, and sympathies of our oppressed people; the axis of time has brought around this glorious, annual event. And we are again brought to rejoice that the wisdom of Divine Providence has protected us during a year, whose autumnal harvest, has been a reign of terror and persecution, and whose winter has almost frozen the streams of humanity, by its frigid legislation. It is under the influence of times and feelings like these, that we now address you. Of a people situated as we are, little can be said, except that it becomes our duty, strictly to watch those causes that operate against our interests and privileges; and to guard against whatever measures that will either lower us in the scale of being, or perpetuate our degredation in the eyes of the civilized world.

The effects of Slavery on the bond, and Colonization on the free. Of the first we shall say but little, but will here repeat the language of a high minded Virginian in the Legislature of that state, on the recent discussion of the slave question before that honorable body, who declared, that man could not hold property in man and that the master held no right to the slave, either by a law of nature or a patentee from God, but by the will of society; which we declare to be an unjust usurpation of the rights and privileges of men.

But how beautiful must the prospect be to the philanthropist, to view us, the children of persecution, grown to manhood, associating in our delegated character, to devise plans and means for our moral elevation, and attracting the attention of the wise and good, over the whole country, who are anxiously watching our deliberations.

We have here to inform you, that we have patiently listened to the able and eloquent arguments produced by


the Rev. R. R. Gurley, Secretary of the American Colonization Society, in behalf of the doings of said Society, and Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Esq. in opposition to its action.

A more favorable opportunity to arrive at truth seldom has been witnessed, but while we admire the distinguished piety and christian feelings, with which he so solemnly pourtrayed the doctrines of that institution; we do now assert, that the result of the same, has tended more deeply to rivet our solid conviction, that the doctrines of said Society, are at enmity with the principles and precepts of religion, humanity and justice, and should be regarded by every man of color in these United States, as an evil for magnitude, unexcelled, and whose doctrines aim at the entire extinction of the free colored population and the riviting of Slavery.

We might here repeat our protest against that institution, but it is unnecessary, your views and sentiments have long since gone to the world, the wings of the wind have borne your disapprobation to that institution. Time itself cannot erase It. You have dated your opposition from its beginning, and your views are strengthened by time and circumstances, and they hold the uppermost seat in your affections. We have not been unmindful of the compulsory laws which caused our brethren in Ohio, to seek new homes in a distant land, there to share and suffer all the inconveniencies of exiles in an uncultivated region, which has led us to admire the benevolent feelings of a rival government in its liberal protection to strangers, which has induced us to recommend to you, to exercise your best endeavors, to collect monies to secure the purchase of lands in the Canadas, for those who may by oppressive legislative enactments, be obliged to move thither.

In contributing to our brethren that aid which will secure them a refuge in a storm, we would not wish to be understood, as to possessing any inclination to remove, nor in the least to impoverish that noble sentiment which we rejoice in exclaiming—

This is our own, Our native land.

All that we have done, humanity dictated it, neither inclination nor alienated feelings to our country prescrib-


prescribed it, but that power which is above all other considerations, viz: The law of necessity.

We yet anticipate in the moral strength of this nation, a final redemption from those evils that have been illegitimately entailed on us as a people. We yet expect by due exertions on our part; together with the aid of the. benevolent philanthropists of our country, to acquire a moral and intellectual strength, that will unshaft the calumnious darts of our adversaries, and present to the world a general character, that they will feel bound to respect and admire.

It will be seen by a reference to our proceedings, that we have again recommended the further prosecution of the contemplated college, proposed by the last Convention, to be established at New Haven, under the rules and regulations then established. A place for its location will be selected in a climate and neighborhood, where its inhabitants are less prejudiced to our rights and privileges. The proceedings of the citizens of New Haven, with regard to the erection of the college, were a disgrace to themselves, and cast a stigma on the reputed fame of New England and the country. We are unwilling that the character of the whole country shall sink by the proceedings of a few. We are determined to present to another portion of the country not far distant, and at no very remote period, the opportunity of gaining for them the character of a truly philanthropic spirit, and of retrievinq the character of the country, by the disreputable proceedings of New Haven. We must have Colleges and high Schools on the Manual Labor system, where our youth may be instructed in all the arts of civilized ife. If we ever expect to see the influence of prejudice decrease, and ourselves respected, it must be by the blessings of an enlightened education. It must be by being in possession of that classical knowledge which promotes genius, and causes man to soar up to those high intellectual enjoyments and acquirements, which places him in a siituation, to shed upon a country and a people, that scientific grandeur which is imperishable by time, and drowns in oblivions cup their moral degredation. Those who.think that our primary schools are capable of effecting this, are a century behind the age, when to have proved a question in the rule of three, was considered a


higher attainment, than solving the most difficult problem in Euclid is now. They might have at that time performed, what some people expect of them now, in the then barren state of science, but they are now no longer capable of reflecting brilliancy on our national character, which will elevate us from our present situation. If we wish to be respected, we must build our moral character, on a base as broad and high as the nation itself—our country and our character require it—we have performed all the duties from the menial to the soldier—our fathers shed their blood in the great struggle for independence. In the late war between Great Britain and the United States, a proclamation was issued to the free colored inhabitants of Louisiana, Sept. 21st, 1814, inviting them to take up arms in defence of their country, by Gen. Andrew Jackson. And in order that you may have an idea of the manner in which they acquitted themselves on that perilous occasion, we will refer you to the proclamation of Thomas Butler, Aid-de-Camp.

You there see that your country expects much from you, and that you have much to call you into action, morally, religiously and scientifically. Prepare yourselves to occupy the several stations to which the wisdom of your country may promote you. We have been told in this Convention, bv the Secretary of the American Colonization Society, that there are causes which forbid our advancement in this country, which no humanity, no legislation and no religion can control. Believe it not. Is not humanity susceptible of all the tender feelings of benevolence? Is not legislation supreme—and is not religion virtuous? Our oppressed situation arises from their opposite causes. There is an awakening spirit in our people to promote their elevation, which speaks volumes in their behalf. We anticipated at the close of the last Convention, a larger representation and an increased number of delegates, we were not deceived, the number has been ten fold. And we have a right to expect that future Conventions will be increased by a geometrical ratio, until we shall present a body, not inferior in numbers to our state legislatures, and the phenomena of an oppressed people, deprived of the rights of citizenship, in the midst of an enlightened nation, devising plans and mea-


measures, for their personal and mental elevation, by moral suasion alone.

In recommending you a path to pursue for our present good and future elevation, we have taken into consideration, the circumstances of the free colored population, so far as it was possible to ascertain their views and sentiments, hoping that at a future Convention, you will all come ably represented, and that your wishes and views, may receive that deliberation and attention, for which this body is particularly associated.

Finally.—Before taking our leave, we would admonish you, by alt that you hold dear, beware of that bewitching evil, that bane of society, that curse of the world, that fell destroyer of the best prospects, and the last hope or civilized man,—INTEMPERANCE.

Be righteous, be honest, be just, be economical, be prudent, offend not the laws of your country—in a word, live in that purity of life, by both precept and example—live in the constant pursuit of that moral and intellectual strength, which will invigorate your understandings, and render you illustrious in the eyes of civilized nations, when they will assert, that all that illustrious worth, which was once possessed by the Egyptians, and slept for ages, has now arisen in their descendants, the inhabitants of the new world.

Convention Minutes Item Type Metadata

Convention Type




Meeting Place Name

Benezett Hall


Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Color, Second Annual (1832 : Philadelphia, PA), “Minutes and Proceedings of the Second Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Color in these United States, held by adjournments in the city of Philadelphia, from the 4th to the 13th of June, inclusive, 1832.,” Colored Conventions Project Digital Records, accessed July 6, 2020,