Colored Conventions Project Digital Records

Proceedings of the California State Convention of the Colored Citizens, Held in Sacramento on the 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th of October, 1865.


Click image to view file:

1865 Sacramento CA State Convention.pdf
1865 Sacramento, CA Convention.pdf

Dublin Core


Proceedings of the California State Convention of the Colored Citizens, Held in Sacramento on the 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th of October, 1865.


Pamphlet (28 p. ; 26 cm.)











Pursuant to a call issued by the Executive Committee of San Francisco, the Convention met in the city of Sacramento on Wednesday, October 25th, at 10 o'clock, A.M., in Bethel A.M.E. Church, Seventh street.

The delegates were called to order by Mr. R. A. Hall, Corresponding Secretary of the San Francisco Executive Committee, and read the following

Call for the Convention

To the Colored citizens of California

Men and Brothers:--You are hereby summoned to meet in Convention in the City of Sacramento, on Wednesday, the 25th day of October next ensuing, to consider and deliberate on subjects connected with our interests as citizens of this State.

We have received hearty and cheering responses from Sacramento, Napa, San Jose, Marysville, Port Wine, Benicia, and other places.

By order of the Executive Committee,

R. A. Hall,

Corresponding Secretary.

San Francisco, Aug. 3, 1865.

He then moved for the temporary organization by nominating Mr. Wm. H. Hall as Chairman pro tem. The motion was adopted.

Mr. Hall, on assuming the chair, stated the objects for which the Convention was called, and hoped the harmony and union of sentiment and action would prevail during our session. Hen then requested Rev. John J. Moore to invoke a blessing from heaven on our labors. Mr. Moore addressed the Throne of Grace in a feeling and impressive manner.

Mr. Hall concluded the temporary organization by nominating Philip A. Bell as Secretary pro tem. Carried.

It was also moved that a committee of three be appointed on Credentials. Carried.

The Chairman appointed T. M. D. Ward, A. L. Jackson, and J. Madden, as said Committee, who retired to examine the credentials of delegates. During the interim the Chairman requested Mr. W. H. Yates to address the Convention.

Mr. Yates urged the necessity of union among our people, and hoped that there would be no exhibition of jealousy or ill feeling among us, but we would all act for the general good of our entire race. He then introduced Rev. O. M. Briggs, Agent for the Freedmen's Bureau1 for the Pacific coast. Mr. Briggs stated that we must not be discouraged if we did not succeed immediately in obtaining our political rights. We must expect opposition, even from Union men; the country was fast coming up to that point when equal political rights would be awarded to colored men, not only as a reward for their valor, patriotism and loyalty, but as justly due them as men and citizens. He likewise said that prejudice was fast abating on this coast. He thanked the Convention for the honor of addressing them, but he came to listen and learn, not to speak or instruct.

Mr. Peter Anderson requested permission to offer a few remarks, which he had prepared for the consideration of the Convention. Granted.

The Committee on Credentials returned and reported that nine counties were represented by twenty-five delegates. The report was accepted, and the Committee retained.

On motion, the Chairman appointed the following Committee on permanent organization:

Rev. John J. Moore, San Francisco. Mr. E. A. Clark, Sacramento. Mr. B. Campbell, Yolo. Mr. W. H. Cristopher, Napa. Mr. R. F. Shorter, Santa Clara.

The Committee retired, and Rev. Amos Johnson was introduced to the Convention, and made a very telling and patriotic speech.

The Committee on Permanent Organization reported the following as the permanent officers of the Convention:


Fred'k G. Barbadoes, of San Francisco.

1st Vice President

W. H. Harper, of Sacramento.

2d Vice President

Basil Campbell, of Yolo.


Philip A. Bell, of Santa Cruz.

Assistant Secretary

W. H. Christopher, of Napa.


Jacob Madden, of Santa Clara.


Rev. P. Kellingworth, of Sonoma.

The report was received with acclamation, and the Chairman appointed Messrs. Yates and Ruggles to conduct the President to the Chair. On taking his seat Mr. Barbadoes delivered the following address:

Gentlemen of the Convention:--

For the fourth time the colored citizens of this State are assembled in Convention for the purpose of obtaining JUSTICE, and the consideration of subjects tending to our general elevation. The principal object which created the preceding conventions, was the admission of our testimony in the courts of justice in this State. This has been happily accomplished by our untiring efforts, and the generous and noble co-operation of the friends of justice in the Legislature. After a struggle of eight years, and in January, in the year of 1863, the statutes of California were cleansed from that foul blot which had entirely obliterated from their face Equity and Justice. The principal objects of this Convention is to devise ways and means for the obtaining of that right, which, under the Constitution of the United States, is guaranteed to all her citizens, namely, the right of the elective franchise. This question is the important one of the day--not only to those of our race here and elsewhere--not only to this State, but it concerns, and directly affects the safety and prosperity of the American Government. I am confident that this and other subjects coming before your consideration, will be treated with firmness, intelligence, and moderation. I enter upon the discharge of the duties of this important and elevated office with serious misgivings, feeling that it is more to your kind partiality than my ability that I am indebted for the distinguished honor. I confidently rely upon you to assist me in proper discharge of my duty, by the exhibition of that patience, forbearance and self-respect which has ever characterized our race. Permit me to assure you that it is my firm resolve to discharge these duties impartially and with justice to all, and that I sincerely thank you for the distinction with which you have honored me.

Mr. Ward moved that Standing Committees be appointed on the following subjects: Business, Education, Industrial Pursuits, Public Morals, Statistics, Finance, and Elective Franchise. The motion was carried, and the Chairman stated that he would announce the Committees in the afternoon. R. A. Wm. H. Yates and A. L. Jackson were appointed a Committee on Rules.

After benediction by the Chaplain, the Convention adjourned until two o'clock P.M.

Afternoon Session.

At half-past two o'clock the Convention was again called to order by the President, and the exercises were opened with prayer by the Chaplain.

Roll called. Minutes of last meeting read and approved.

The Committee on Rules presented their report, which was read. Mr. R. H. Small moved to amend the report by adding the 5th Rule, was accepted.

Mr. President:--The Committee selected to prepare Rules to govern this Convention, beg leave to submit the following:

1st--The regular sessions of the Convention shall be held twice each day. Morning Session, from 9 to 12 o'clock. Evening Session, from 2 to 5 o'clock.

2d--A majority of the Delegates shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business.

3d--The Rules of Order laid down in the Convention of 1855, shall be the standing rules of this Convention, in all points not herein provided for.

4th--No member shall be allowed to speak more than twice upon the same subject, without the special leave of the Convention, and not longer than ten minutes the first time, and five minutes the second.

5th--A fine of fifty cents will be imposed upon every member absent at roll call, unless he shall give a reasonable excuse, to be accepted by the Chair. Said fine to be applied to the Contingent Fund.

In accordance with the resolution presented this morning by Mr. Ward the President appointed the following Standing Committees:

On Business

J. J. Moore, W.H. Hall, E. P. Duplex, E. A Clark, R.H. Small.

On Education

W. H. Hall, T. M. D. Ward,

P. A. Bell.

On Elective Franchise

R. A. Hall, W. H. Yates,

D. W. Ruggles, E. P. Duplex,

J. R. Starkey.

Industrial Pursuits

T. M. D. Ward, E. E. Parker,

J. Madden, B. Campbell,

Wm. H. Harper, E. P. Hilton,

J. P. Dyer.

On Statistics

J. R. Starkey, Dr. Bryant,

M. L. Rogers.

On Finance

W. H. Harper, W. H. Christopher,

E. W. Parker, R. F. Shorter,

R. A. Hall.

On Public Morals

Revs. J. H. Hubbard, J. J. Moore,

P. Kellingworth.

A preamble and series of resolutions were presented by the Sacramento delegation, which were read, and on motion, referred to the Business Commitee.

Moved that all resolutions from members or delegations be read and referred to appropriate Commitees. Carried.

The Santa Clara delegation presented a preamble and resolutions adopted at a public meeting in San Jose. Read and referred to Business Committee.

Mr. Shorter presented statistics from Santa Clara county. Read and referred to appropriate Committee.

Moved, by Mr. Ward, that the Executive Committee of Sacramento be admitted to seats in this Convention. Carried.

Moved, that we hold an evening session at 7 o'clock to-morrow evening, to receive statistical information from the several delegations. Carried.

Benediction by the Chaplain. Adjourned.


Morning Session, Thursday, October 26th.

President in the Chair. Prayer by the Chaplain. Roll called. Minutes of the last meeting read and approved.

Reports of Standing Committees called for. Committee on Education reported an address, which was accepted.

Committees on Statistics, Finance, Industrial Pursuits, and Public Morals, reported progress.

Business Committee reported a Preamble and Resolutions, which were received, and while under discussion Mr. Anderson rose and said that it is probable that the minutes of this Convention will be published in pamphlet form, and the cost will probably be $100; he would therefore suggest that the Finance Committee make arrangements for that purpose.

Mr. R. H. Small introduced Messrs. J. H. Johnson and R. McGaines, from El Dorado, who were, on motion, elected members of the Convention.

The Committee on Credentials reported the corrected and complete, as follows:

San Francisco

Rev. J. J. Moore, J. R. Starkey, Rev. T. M. D. Ward, P. Anderson, D. W. Ruggles, E. W. Parker, R. A. Hall, E. P. Hilton, J. Madison Bell, Wm. H. Hall, W. H. Yates, J. Smallwood, J. J. Moore, proxy, H. M. Collins, F. G. Barbadoes, proxy.


Wm. H. Harper, Edward A. Clark, A. L. Jackson, P. L. Hickman, A. D. Berghardt.

Santa Clara

Jacob Madden, Richard F. Shorter.

Napa Wm. H. Christopher.

Yolo Basil Campbell.


Peter Killingworth.


Ed. P. Duplex, Dr. W. J. O. Bryant.

El Dorado

James M. Oliver, Robert H. Small, James Cefous.

Contra Costa

John Peterson


N. E. Speights, by F. G. Barbadoes, proxy.


I. P. Gibbs, by J. P. Dyer, proxy.

Santa Cruz

Geo. W. Smith, by P. A. Bell, proxy.


Afternoon session.

The President in the Chair, and a quorum of members present. Prayer by the Chaplain. Roll called. Minutes of last meeting read, corrected and approved.

Mr. R. H. Small introduced Mr. F. W. B. Grinnage, of Nevada, and moved that he be elected an honorary member of the Convention. Carried.

The unfinished business was then taken up. Mr. Moore continued the report of the Business Committee.

By privilege, Mr. Anderson introduced Rev. M. C. Briggs, and moved that he be invited to take a seat in the Convention. Carried, by acclamation.

Mr. Briggs thanked the Convention for the honor conferred on him, for such he considered it, to be associated with men who were striving for the attainment of such a noble object as the enfranchisement of their race.

Mr. James B. Jenkins, of Placerville, was introduced, and elected an honorary member. Mr. Jenkins stated that he was on his return to Baltimore, his former home, and was glad that he would be able to make a good report of the progress we are making in this State.

The Secretary announced that Mr. E. P. Duplex had kindly consented to assist him, and would make a summary report of the remarks and speeches.

The report of the Business Committee was continued, and the resolutions were amended and referred to appropriate Committees.

The Chairman of the Committee on Education made his report, which was read.

A motion by R. A. Hall that the report be adopted by sections was agreed to.

The Chairman of the Committee, in presenting the first resolution, sustained it in some very well-timed and appropriate remarks, urging the adoption of the resolution. It was obvious, he said, to every intelligent mind that we required greater educational advantages, the law at present only allowing schools where there are ten children, with discretionary power on the part of the Commissioners to establish schools for a lesser number. The law should be amended so as to give to every child the privileges of education. If they were not to have a separate school, let them be admitted to those already established. As a law-abiding and tax-paying class we are entitled to greater advantages in this respect than we now enjoy, and which it is unfair to deprive us of.

The first resolution was adopted.

The Chairman of the Committee, after reading the second resolution, stated that the Institute at San Jose, under the superintendence of Mr. P. W. Cassey, was in successful operation. The site, with the improvements thereon, could have been purchased two years ago for twenty-five hundred dollars, but that it was now worth four thousand. With the increased advantages possessed by San Jose the property will certainly still further advance in value in the course of a couple of years more. At present the Institute was but poorly sustained. The Principal was a gentleman of distinguished ability. According to the most reliable information, the entire colored population of California is 4,086. A tax of one dollar levied upon each person would purchase the Institute, and leave a surplus of eighty-six dollars in the treasury; and with the probable success of an application for endowment by the Legislature of 5,000, would place the Institute on a firm basis, and establish a school of a high order.

Mr. R. F. Shorter said he was one of the founders of the Institute. The land on which it is situated, embracing some four or five acres, could have been obtained at one time for fifteen hundred dollars. He also stated that he was well acquainted with the owner of the site, who resided in San Francisco. The location was well adapted for a high school. The Institute was first established by subscription, the teacher receiving fifty dollars per month for his services. After employing two teachers, the Institute had secured the eminent services of the present able and experienced incumbent, P. W. Cassey. W. A. Smith petitioned the Public School Commissioners for State assistance towards sustaining the Institute, and they responded by granting a subsidy of fifty dollars per month in furtherance of that laudable object, the resident children to derive the benefit thereof gratuitously.

Mr. R. A. Hall, who attended the Convention for specific purposes, thought the present was the culminating time. Education was the theme that demanded our chiefest attention and labors. Now was the time when it became a paramount duty with us to carry out our resolves; to long for knowledge and learning, without putting our shoulders to the wheel in earnest, would never help to raise us out of the slough of ignorance. It was with pride that he saw the master spirits of the nation devoting their attention and assistance to the education of the Freedmen, which, when obtained, would enable them to stand erect as men, compete with, contend for, and demand their rights as men, irrespective of race or complexion.

Mr. Ruggles next addressed the Convention. He endorsed the resolution for many reasons. When a slave in Louisiana, after having been sold five times, he was presented to a slaveholder. Upon one occasion, when an English gentleman, a friend of his master, was learning him the A, B, C, was strongly reproved, and informed that by so doing he laid himself liable to be imprisoned in the State prison. The gentleman was astonished. He learned to read and write by the light of the fire. Mr. Ruggles, in eloquent terms, urged mothers to commence the education of their children at home. Was angered when white men slandered his race, and felt grieved to think that some of the able colored men did not refute the charges. What was one dollar to give? He was willing to give five dollars per month, and if any number of gentlemen would give twenty dollars towards the purchase, he would give fifty dollars. He wished it to revert, in all ages to come, that the Pacific coast could boast such splendid school advantages.

Motion, by A. L. Jackson, to postpone further debate until 12 o'clock tomorrow, stating he thought they would be able to secure the Methodist Church, on Sixth st.

Mr. M. C. Briggs kindly informed them that they could have it as early on the morrow and as long as they wished--which was received with loud applause.

The motion of Mr. Jackson was then put and carried. Upon motion of Mr. Starkey, a vote of thanks was tendered Mr. Briggs for the use of his church.

Report of the Committee on Education

Your Committee appointed to consider upon the subject of Education, present the following as their Report:

The greatest distinction between the human and the animal branches of creation, is the facility to acquire education of the higher grades. Some specimens of the animal creation may acquire education to a certain degree, but there it stops--it can go no further; their instincts, by which alone they are governed, cannot carry them beyond that point. When the reasoning faculties come into requisition, the progression of the animal stops, and we see the power of the human mind.

Analyzation, comparison, analogy, description, and their kindred attributes, are all the results of reflection; and the reasoning faculties, which are distinct from the instinctive qualities of the brute, and are emanations of the God-like power from which source man has his being, and to develop which is his chief end and aim.

That can only be accomplished by his having all possible facilities of education, and every means open to him for improving his mind and enlarging his understanding; and to none are these facilities more requisite than to a race whose ancestors have for generations been deprived of all opportunities for mental improvement-against whom the portals of the Temple of Knowledge have been closed, and who are, even now, but emerging from the barbarism of slavery, and from whose minds the clouds of ignorance and superstition are just breaking away. Therefore, be it

Resolved, That we present a petition to the Legislature to so amend the School Law that colored children, by its provisions, shall receive the benefit of its advantages in common with others; and,

Whereas, The School at San Jose, being already established, and in successful operation, requires the prompt and earnest aid of our people, as well as their whole influence; therefore, be it

Resolved, That a contribution of one dollar be solicited from every colored person throughout the State of California to purchase the property of the San Jose School; and also, that the Legislature be petitioned for an endowment for the establishment of a High School. Be it furthermore

Resolved, That this Convention most earnestly solicit the shareholders composing the Livingstone Institute to contribute whatever funds they may have accumulated towards the objects above contemplated. Be it further

Resolved, That this Convention heartily approves of the objects of the Lincoln Monument Association, and that it will do all in its power to perpetuate the memory of the man who wrote the Proclamation that rent asunder the chains of four millions of bondmen!

{W. H. Hall, P. A. Bell, T. M. D. Ward,} Committee.

A communication was presented from a Committee of Ladies of the Siloam Baptist Church, informing the members that a Fruit Festival would be given on Friday evening, in aid of the building fund of the church. Read and laid on the table.

The Chairman of the Business Committee presented the continuation of their report, when the several resolutions and recommendations were ably discussed.

Moved, that the report be adopted by sections. Carried.

The following is the

Report and Resolutions

The Business Committee having duly considered the importance of the duty assigned them, respectfully present the following preamble, resolutions, and recommendations, as their report:

Whereas, This Government has just recovered from the terrible stroke of a just retribution of Almighty God, for the fearful crime of slavery, which brought the nation reeling and tottering upon the brink of ruin, with her highest hopes trembling in the great balance of immutable events; and, whereas, in the fearful reckoning of Divine Justice our nation was not entirely found wanting, and Gods gracious hand stayed the destroying angel of devastating war, upon his crimson wings, and the voice of the turtle of peace is heard in our land, therefore,

Resolved--That we rejoice in the suppression of the war and the overthrow of the rebellion in our land--the most formidable ever waged against justice and humanity.

Resolved--That we rejoice that this war has resulted in the overthrow of slavery, and its total extinction by Federal legislation, in an amendment to the Constitution.

Resolved-That we have a new love for the American Union, and shall ever willingly lay down our lives in defence of the great principles of our Republic,-- for the glory of our country, the freedom of our race, the rights of our citizenship, and the preservation of the Union--maintained upon Republican principles.

Resolved-That if the American Government will become sufficiently just to accord to us the full rights of citizenship, we will flock to the American standard by hundreds of thousands at the call of the nation, to support those principles against enemies of the country--domestic or foreign.

Resolved--That as five millions of our race are equally interested with the rest of the American people, in those great principles that are now involved in the issues of the nation, therefore it is our highest and most sacred duty to bring into requisition every available means to assist us in the great contest for our claims, to manhood and Equality before the Law."

Resolved--That we believe the most potent elements any class of men can wield in the defence of their natural and political rights, are virtue, wealth, political franchise, and social unity.

Resolved--That we recommend our brethren in this State, and throughout the country, to aim to develop the highest state of Christian morals, by maintaining true Christian and moral institutions, under the direction of faithful and pious leaders.

8.--That we especially recommend our brethren to maintain temperance among them.

9.--That we recommend our brethren to aim at the same high order of education developed among the white race, and to make such persistent claims on the public educational provisions, and to establish such institutions, where necessary and practicable, as will insure to us and our children that desirable condition.

10.--That wealth is an element of social power necessary to raise any people to an independent and influential position, and that we, as a people, should particularly direct our aims, our efforts, and pursuits, to its honorable acquisition.

11.--That no people can acquire wealth except they engage in those business pursuits by which it is originally produced.

12.--That the real source of the production of wealth, is agriculture, manufacturing, mechanism, commerce, and scientific professions.

13.--That we recommend our people to engage more generally in these independent pursuits of industry.

14.--That no people can secure the highest respect of others while they put themselves at their feet to be their menials.

15.--That a State Executive Committee of one member from each Judicial District be appointed by this Convention, to whom shall be referred the unfinished business and the duty of carrying out the work organized and contemplated by this Convention.

16.--That while we acknowledge our unswerving fealty to the Government, we are greatly dissatisfied with the policy pursued by the Government, since our immortal and glorious Lincoln fell; respecting those issues of the country that most immediately effects the colored Americans.

17.--That no Christian nation with any real sense of justice or humanity, could ask a class of people to assist in saving the Government from destruction, and after they had sacrificed hundreds and thousands of their lives to that effect, to then deny them of the common rights that nature has endowed them with; rights involving principles upon which the Government founded its political institutions, pronounced by them to be the natural rights of all men.

18.--That it is the imperative duty of parents, or guardians of children, to have them as far as possible, educated in some branch of business pursuits, by which they may be producers.

19.--That as memorialization is the common medium of appeal, by the American citizen, to the law making power, against all political grievances, therefore it is our right, and duty, to petition the Legislature of this State to have the State Constitution so amended as to secure its colored citizens the right of suffrage.

20.--That we appeal to them for our right of suffrage upon the principle of human justice, taught in the great Divine Rule, do unto others, as you would they should do unto you,-upon the principles of mans natural equal rights; on the principle of maintaining the principles of the Republic, as a claim upon every true American, true Union loving man, Patriot and Christian in the country, for their signature to our petition.

21.--That an ably and faithfully conducted press is indispensable for the public vindication of our equal rights before the law, and to fully and impartially advocate our general interests.

22.--That there be a committee appointed by this Convention to prepare an address to the people of this State, on the subjects of general education, industrial pursuits and moral institutions, the said address to be published with our minutes, in pamphlet form, by a publishing committee. (Referred to published committee).

23.--That this Convention recommend to our people in this State and throughout the country, to set apart through their religious leaders, a day of fasting and prayer, that Almighty God may control the nations council at its next meeting, to ensure its legislation in favor of justice, humanity and equal rights to all men.

24--That members of the State Executive Committee be instructed, and the members of this Convention, be requested to form County Executive Committees throughout the State, auxiliary to the State Committee, to further the purposes and effecting the objects of this Convention.

{J. J. Moore, E. P. Duplex, W. H. Hall, E. A. Clark, R. H. Small,} Committee.

Adjourned until the extra session, at 7 o'clock, P.M.


Evening Session.

The President in the chair, and a quorum of members present.

Prayer by the Chaplain.

So much of the minutes as related to the special object of the meeting, viz: to receive statistical reports from the different delegations, was read and adopted.

Mr. R. H. Small rose to ask privilege to make a motion; it was pertinent to the subject matter before the house. Leave granted. He moved that Mr. P. Anderson be added to the Committee on Statistics. Seconded by Mr. Ward.

Mr. R. A. Hall opposed the motion. Mr. Anderson had shown his insincerity and his unwillingness to act in unison with other members. He delivered a speech here yesterday morning, by permission, and instead of leaving it with the Secretary, it was published in full. He would like to know whether it had been published by the Secretary, or whether some underhanded means had been used to accomplish it. He hoped Mr. Small would withdraw his motion.

Mr. Small said he had expected opposition; was satisfied the San Francisco delegation would oppose anything in which Mr. Anderson's name was mentioned; that gentleman, from his experience, was well qualified for the position, and he hoped he would be appointed. He did not wish to accuse the President of partiality in appointing Committees, but he thought a spirit of partisanship had been shown. He would not withdraw his motion.

Mr. Ruggles opposed the motion. The mover was not probably aware of many facts, but he would not relate them here. The Committee on Statistics he considered capable of performing their duty, and he did not believe they required any addition to their number.

The President, Mr. Barbadoes, left the chair, and Mr. Harper, 1st Vice President, acted in his stead.

Mr. Barbadoes wished to defend himself from the implied charge of partiality. He had no personal feeling against Mr. Anderson, but he doubted his sincerity. He (Mr. A.) opposed this Convention with all his force, accusing all who favored it of sinister motives and dishonesty. At last, finding it was a popular movement, he had, by unfair means, got himself elected a member of this Convention; and had not yet even expressed any change of opinion, hence he considered that gentleman unfit to hold any position in this body. Independent of that consideration, he had been governed in his selections for making Committees, by the ability possessed rather than assumed; and he believed the House would sustain him in both points, and in excluding Mr. Anderson from the Committees.

Mr. Anderson threw back the charge of forcing himself upon the Convention. He was elected by a larger majority than any other delegate from San Francisco he had not asked the gentlemen to bring the subject before this body; he would appeal to his constituents; he had been solicited by the Chairman of the Committee on Statistics for information, which he refused to give; he expected to be made the butt and victim of his foes, but his constituents would do him justice.

Several other gentlemen participated in the debate, when the question was called and lost.

The Convention then proceeded to the special order of business. The different delegations through their Chairman, presented statistical reports.

The reports were very interesting, and furnished a great deal of valuable information. They were referred to the Committee on Statistics.

Basil Campbell, delegate from Yolo, presented statistics from the adjoining counties of Colusa and Tehama, which were not represented. The delegation from Yuba county presented an able report.

Mr. Hubbard stated that since the colored citizens of California last assembled in Convention several of our friends and representative men who formerly joined with us in our deliberations, had been removed by death; and by permission of this Convention he would, on Friday evening, deliver an eulogy on the lives, characters and services of the late Wm. H. Newby, John Freeman, Jr., John G. Wilson and Wm. N. Bedford. He then moved that a Committee on Condolence be appointed. Carried.

The Chair appointed Messrs. J. H. Hubbard, P. Kellingworth, and R. H. Small.

Moved that we adjourn, to meet tomorrow morning in Mr. Briggs church, on Sixth street. Carried.

Prayer by the Chaplain.



Morning Session, Friday, October 27th.

Convention met this day in M. E. Church, Sixth street, at 9 oclock. The President called the House to order.

Prayer by the Chaplain.

Roll called. Minutes of last meeting read.

While the Secretary was reading the minutes, Mr. Yates moved that only so much of the minutes as related to the business of the present meeting be read. Carried.

Mr. Yates moved that the 16th resolution be recommitted to the Committee, with instructions to amend. He said we were not in a position to dictate to Government; we were not able to judge what was to come. President Johnson has the ghost of John Tyler to warn him against treachery; the living shade of Millard Fillmore to bind him to the principles he professed, and the Constitution to define his every act, it is impossible for us to throw cold water on what has been accomplished. The time was not very distant when the black man was looked upon as a political leper, and for our friends to defend us was political death. More has been accomplished within the last four years than I ever expected to see in my day and time. We are willing to pay the price of liberty, as has been fully demonstrated.

Mr. Moore urged that the time had arrived for men to speak out boldly, and let the world know what we think as men. He is opposed to anything like cringing. We have a perfect right to read and criticize the acts of our Government. President Johnson will hear the appeal of the most humble black man, when properly presented.

Messrs. Small and Clark advocated the passage of the resolution, in some well timed remarks.

R. A. Hall hoped that all sensitiveness would be laid aside, and that all business before the House would be deliberated upon and be dispatched as speedily as possible.

Mr. Yates withdrew his motion to recommit.

Reading of the report continued.

Mr. Ward moved that so much as refers to industrial pursuits, viz.: resolutions 12, 13 and 14, be referred to the Committee on that subject. Carried.

The balance of the report was thereupon received and adopted.

Mr. Yates offered the following resolution:

Resolved--That we sympathize with the Fenian movement 2 to liberate Ireland from the yoke of British bondage, and when we have obtained our full citizenship in this country, we should be willing to assist our Irish brethren in their struggle for National Independence; and 40,000 colored troops could be raised to butt the horns off the hypocritical English bull.

Mr. Yates was opposed to English Autocrats, for as soon as the war broke out that "cotton superceded wool," favored Fenianism, believed in universal liberty, that the Irish position was one of oppression, alike with the slave. The assertion was made that the slave would fight, but the freemen would not. We nobly refuted that in the glorious 54th Massachusetts, which was composed of different material from any regiment that preceded it; many of them were formerly slaves, and to be taken a prisoner, Andersonville3 would be excelled. Their record we all know.--Would like to see forty regiments of blacks, go across the Atlantic to help give liberty to the oppressed of Ireland. I would gladly number one of them. He hoped it would be referred to the Business Committee.

Wm. H. Hall hoped the Committee would endorse something of the kind. The resolution was not introduced for any buncombe; he was serious in advocating the matter. Politicians had prejudiced the Irishman against the black man; he believed in universal liberty, irrespective of color.

Mr. Hubbard opposed the resolution. He considered the Irishman the most deceitful of all nations; were controlled largely by the Roman Church. We will forget self to extend a helping hand across the ocean to the Irishman.

Mr. Small favored the resolution, and thought one of the proudest things a black man could do would be to assist with forty thousand men, or more, in writing Emmett's epitaph.

Mr. Hoyt said it was better in passing resolutions to word them as we mean. Favored broad, universal freedom; God will break down the barriers over right; the Chinese and Indians in our very midst stand in need of our sympathy and encouragement.

R. A. Hall (by permission), thought both sides should be heard; did not believe the Pope ever instructed Irishmen to hate and abuse the black man; such sentiments as those of Daniel O'Connell4 he loved, who would willingly sacrifice life for the freedom of his people.

Mr. Hubbard alluded to the published statement of Bishop Hughes, who went to Rome a Union man, and returned a Copperhead at heart.5

By Mr. Bell.--Mr. Hughes never was considered a sound Union man.

The motion was laid on the table.

Report of the Committee on Industrial Pursuits read and received.

It being 12 o'clock, the special order, the report of the Committee on Education, was called up.

The Address and Resolutions were ably advocated, and the report adopted.

The Finance Committee reported progress. They recommended that each member be taxed $3, to pay the expenses of the Convention.

Mr. Anderson moved, as an amendment to the report, that the tax be $2. Amendment lost, and the report and recommendation adoption.

The roll was called, and the members paid $3 each.

Mr. Anderson paid under protest. He said he should appeal to his constituents.

Moved that the honorary members be exempt from taxation. Carried.

Benediction by the Chaplain.



Afternoon session.

The President, F. G. Barbadoes, in the Chair.

Prayer by Rev. J. H. Hubbard.

Roll called. Minutes of last meeting read and approved.

J. R. Starkey, Chairman of Committee on Statistics, presented the following report, which was adopted:

Statistical Reports

The Committee on Statistical information, in presenting their report, beg leave to say that they regret the limited means which have been afforded them on which to base a report such as they would like to present to the Convention, as evidence of the progress in wealth, morals, education and industrial pursuits of the colored people of California. That we have made and are making continual progress in all the above, is undeniable, and we offer our brief and imperfect report of such progress to establish our claim to the rights and privileges of citizenship:



Adults 1,600

Children 250

Total 1,850


Religious and Moral Institutions

Churches 2

Value $50,000

Members 250

Attendants 800

Beneficial Societies 4

Funds $4,000

Members 140

Masonic Lodgers 4


Sabbath Schools 3

Pupils 120


Common Institutions

Public Day Schools 2

Pupils 120

Public Night Schools 2

Pupils 60 Adults.

Colored Children in Catholic Schools 10


Livingstone Institute

Funds $3,000

Caulkers' Association

Members 9


Business Pursuits

Mechanics, Manufacturers, etc.

Painters 4

House Carpenters 3

Ship Carpenters 2

Caulkers 9

Boot Makers 4

Tailors 3

Brick Layers 2

Plasterers 2

Blacksmiths 4

Hose Makers 1

Segar Makers 2

Tinners 1

Upholsterers 2

Dress Makers 10

Seamstresses 5

Milliners 3

Ladies Hair Dressers 9

Tobacco Manufacturers 4

Soap and Tallow Manufactory 1

Fancy Soap Manufactory 1

Hair Restorative 1

Fancy Hair Workers 2

Laundries 10

Junk Stores 2

Teamsters 20

Real Estate Agents 2

Barbers __

Liberal Professions

Clergymen 10

Editors 2

Total Wealth of City and County, $750,000


Number of Adults in City and County 470

Number that can read and write 375

Number that cannot read or write 95

Number [of] Children in City and County 150

Number attending school 49

Number not receiving instruction 101

Sabbath Schools 2, membership of 44

Eight Teachers. .two Superintendents 10

A library belonging to each school, consisting of 350 volumes.

Number of Churches 2

A. E. Church, Rev. J. H. Hubbard, Pastor in charge, 32 members.

Baptist connection, Rev. Amos Johnson, 22 members.

Number of Mechanics 18

Farmers 10

Doctor 1

No. persons in the county supported by the public, or benevolent societies.

Amount of Church and public property belonging to colored residents $4,600

But one colored person in the County Hospital.

Amount of real estate and other property $137,245

Total amount of property represented by the people of color of this city and county, as far as can be ascertained $141,845


Made by Basil Campbell

Adults 16

Children 5

Total population 21

Number who can read and write 15

Property owned in the county $17,000

Farmers and Stock-raisers 5

Stock-raisers without farms 4

No school in the county.

As there are no delegates from the adjoining counties, of Colusa and Tehama, I beg leave to report the condition of those counties, as far as I am acquainted. In the county of Colusa there are

Adults 8 Children 13

Total population 21

Number who can read and write 5

Property owned in the county $22,300

Farmers and Stock-raisers 5

Stock-raisers without farms 2

No school in the county.

In the county of Tehama there are,

Adults 14 Children 17

Total population 31

Number who can read and write 15

Property owned in the county $29,300

Farmers and Stock-raisers 7

Stock-raisers without farms 2

No school in the county.

Recapitulation of the three counties

Adults 38 Children 35

Total population 73

Number that can read and write 35

Property owned $69,500

Farmers and Stock-raisers 17

Stock-raisers without farms 8


Male Adults 190

Female Adults 75

Children 40

Total 305

Number that can read and write 223


Mechanics 4

Miners 50

Farmers 14

Hair Dressers 25

Laborers 40

Aggregate am'nt taxable property $75,000

One Church, owning two lots.

No school in the county.


Total population 175

Real estate and personal property $75,000

One Church, of the Methodist persuasion.

One colored school, sustained by the Common School Fund, P. W. Cassey, teacher. He received for his services $50 per month. In addition to this, P. W. Cassey keeps a boarding-school, which, at the present time, is well patronized. There is an educational institution in this county, called the Phoenixonian Institute," which was organized in the year 1862, and is now in a prosperous condition.

Most of the colored people are engaged in agriculture--very few are employed as menials. They are sober, industrious, religious, and plain-dealing people.


Adults 55 Children 20


Farmers 10

Carpenters 2

Blacksmiths 2

Barbers 7

General laborers 12

One church, and one schoolhouse.

Estimated valuation of property $25,000


Delegate from Sonoma.


Amt. of property, real and personal, $51,000

One school, established by the Board of Education. Owing to the limited amount of money in the School Fund the parents are assessed $1.50 per month for each scholar. In several districts where there are not ten colored children, those that are living in such districts are growing up in ignorance.

There are no colored churches.

WM. H. CHRISTOPHER, Delegate from Napa.



Number of Families 10

Children 20

Quartz Miners 10

Placer Miners 20

Ranchers 5

Blacksmiths 2

Barbers 2

Painter 1

Boot-maker 1

Tailor 1

Estimated value of property $20,000

M. L. ROGERS, Delegate from Mariposa.


There being no delegate from this, the adjoining county, Mr. Rogers made the following report:

Male Adults...11

Female Adults...8



[Comprising part of Yuba County.]

Number of Adults...156

Children under five years of age...24

Children over five years of age...26


Estimated wealth...163, 690



Vegetable, fruit and poultry dealers...6


Soap manufactory...1

Fancy hair-workers...2


Junk dealer...1

Bathhouse keepers...3

Engaged in Laundry business...10




General jobbers...12




Public Porters...11


Number of Churches, 2 both unfinished, though occupied.

The Baptist Church is entirely out of debt; the Methodist owes about 400. One Public School; average attendance about 20. Two Sabbath Schools, fair attendance. Mining Companies, 3; in two of which well defined ledges have been struck. The Rare Ripe Company has been incorporated, and about $2,000 has been expended upon it. The highest yield per ton, $25. No work has been done for several months, owing to some of the stock having to pass through administration. Will resume again in a few days. The morals of the people are good.

No drinking saloon, billiard saloon, nor gambling dens, in the county. No professional gamblers.

In conclusion, your Committee regret that they have not been able to present a more general report, in consequence of the small number of counties represented in the Convention, and the very short time they had to prepare the report, and the impossibility of procuring, at the present time, sufficient information to enable your Committee to prepare a report based upon the entire colored population of the State. All of which is respectfully submitted.

J. R. Starkey,

Dr. Bryant, Committee.

M. L. Rogers,

The Secretary said that he wished to give a Homographic Chart of this Convention, and he therefore moved that each delegate be requested to furnish the following information: Time and place of birth, when arrived in this country, present place of residence, and occupation, and social or family condition. Carried.

Mr. R. A. Hall, Chairman of the Committee on Elective Franchise, presented the following

Report of Committee on Elective Franchise


Gentlemen:--The undersigned, citizens of the United States and of the State of California, respectfully present to your honorable bodies, the Senate and House Assembly, this, their petition, and showing for your honorable notice that we are an industrious, moral and law abiding class of citizens, professing an average of education and general intelligence; born upon American soil, and paying taxes yearly upon several MILLION of dollars, and upholding all the institutions of our common country, as recently demonstrated by the employment of two hundred thousand of the negro population in the late great rebellion,--whose courage and loyalty have been testified to by many distinguished commanders, and whose whole record has never been disgraced by a single black traitor. We would most respectfully ask of your honorable bodies, in view of the above multiplied merits, an amendment to the Constitution, so that the same may read as hereinafter set forth, to the end that American citizens of African descent, as may have provided to become citizens, may be admitted to the rights of Suffrage and Citizenship of the State of California.

Respectfully submitted,

R. A. Hall, W. H. Yates, E. P. Duplex, J. R. Starkey, D. W. Ruggles.


Article II

Section 1:--Every male citizen of the United States, of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of the State six months next preceding the election, and the county or district in which he claims his vote, thirty days, shall be entitled to vote at all elections which are now, or hereafter may be authorized by law: provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the Legislature, by a two-thirds concurrent vote, from admitting to the right of suffrage Indians, or the descendants of Indians, in such special cases as such a proportion of the Legislative body may deem just and proper.

The report was read, and on motion to adopt, Mr. Wm. H. Hall delivered the following impressive and eloquent speech:

MR. PRESIDENT: --I have refrained from intruding upon the time of the Convention until now, but the importance of the question presented here for consideration, brings us before the American people of California, to-day to ask their decision upon the great subject of Negro suffrage. It is the most momentous issue ever addressed to public opinion, and embraces the political prospects of all parties, as well as the duration and destiny of our Republican institutions,

Fifteen years ageo, when the despotism of slavery was at the height and plenitude of its power, and every interest, social and political, subserved its ends, California, in drafting a Constitution as one of the sovereign States of the Union, decreed that no bondsman ever should be held by legal enactment or constitutional law within her limits. In laying down this broad principle of liberty and self-government, her citizens were not actuated by the spirit of '76 ; they did not desire to recognize the Negro as a man, nor to elevate him as a brother, but they seemed to be guided by an axiom of the learned Blackstone, in his theory upon the origin of governments, where he asserts that "The only true and natural foundations of society are the wants and fears of its individuals." The men of New England birth and education who exercised a predominating influence, comprehending the magnitude of this dictum, and stimulated by the immense mineral and agricultural resources opened to industry, could not tolerate a system that enabled one man with his hundred poor, black, ignorant slaves, to compete with the brains, the energy and toil of the same number of white freemen. They knew they owed fealty to compromises and expedient fugitive slave laws, but the greater law of self preservation outweighed all supposed obligations and consecrated the virgin soil of this young State to freedom. Sir, we have lived and prospered under the experiment, through the devastations of floods and fires, and Heaven still continues to bless the land. The motives that prompted the adoption of a free constitution in 1850, were those of policy, and are equally paramount now upon the expediency of Negro suffrage. California did not actively participate in the conflict of the great rebellion; she has no sins to atone for to her disloyal element for the entombing of thousands of Southern chivalry; but when dread embarrassment nearly neutralized the efficiency of the Government, when gold and silver were like drops of precious blood oozing from a decaying body, her hardy sons drained her hills and valleys to retard the inflation of a paper currency; to restore confidence to the farmer, the mechanic and the merchant, and once more to unbar the closed doors of the manufacturer to employment. What she failed to give physically was imparted materially, and every thousand hard dollars sent at such a critical time, from these golden shores, was equal to a brilliant victory won by the fearless Hooker6 towering in the clouds, or the gallant Porter7 ploughing the majestic waters of Mississippi. The vital question to be seriously pondered over by the Union men, who have been baptized in the grace of the Emancipation Proclamation is: If it was impolitic, at the adoption of the State Constitution, to confide its influence and power upon those inimical to free labor, what can be gained now by permitting the same lurking, ambitious spirits to exercise privileges over the loyal Negro, under the beneficent government they have aimed to strike from the family of nations? Do sane men believe that the temper which impelled the atrocities at Andersonville, capable to purify the Tory blood that sanctified the Hartford convention,8 and reared that emphemeral dynasty at Richmond, which laid its cornerstone amid the agony of human suffering? A mere amnesty oath, not sacred enough to quiver the lips of those who rejoiced at the massacre of Union soldiers upon the bloody plains of Fort Pillow, cannot attest the fixed determination of unfeeling hearts. A thousand pardonings from a lenient President, a million voices sounding the redeeming grace of God's eternal word, will never remove the damning prejudice against the Negro, and unappeasable hatred nourished against Yankee success. The opponents of a reconstructed Government and of a reunited people are not yet appeased to the humiliation of defeat; they are of a proud and revengeful spirit, educated in the opinion that they were born to rule, and dispense whatever immunities may accrue; they have not yet relinquished the purposes they sought to accomplish upon the field of battle; they are determined again to be in power, to curb the despised Yankees in all their isms, and grind deeper down in despair the unprotected Negro. To perfect this unholy purpose, they may be seen merging with Short and Long Hairs, rallying under every deceptive banner, spreading their canvass to catch the popular breeze of the great People's Party, and in order to mislead, divide and scatter these great elements of Unionism, founded upon the patriotism of the immortal Lincoln, they are endeavoring to arouse the vulgar passions of the ignorant upon false issues against the Negro's undoubted claims to equality before the law. I am here, sir, though of humble social position, and without notoriety, to warn those who are conservators of the public peace, in whose places another generation, perhaps not so well experienced, are soon to stand, that the loyal heart and well directed vote of the Negro should now be summoned to counteract the deep laid schemes of involving this nation in another revolution--not a revolution swayed by vast armies, complete navies, and military heroes, eclipsing the world in wonderful daring--but an insidious revolution of public sentiment, undermining the virtue and morality of the people, and drifting every noble impulse of the human heart down the vortex of corruption.

This assemblage, in behalf of the colored people throughout the State, and whose labors are indissolubly bound with all her interests, ask to become equals before the law, not from sympathy with their condition, but as they are made amenable to all her laws, simple justice demands that they should have a voice in selecting the administrators of its powers. They seek it upon the assumption that they are no longer an enslaved race, but full citizens according to the decision of Attorney-General Bates, and the recognition and acceptance of a black man in all his rights in the highest tribunals of the land. If the people of free and progressive California can jeopardize their reputations for these great qualities of discerning expediency, by withhoding so great a boon, when considering their attitude with the progress of liberal principles, they will stand disgraced and condemned before the world for preventing to be governed by that sublime emanation that declares "all men free and equal."

It is urged by Copperhead malice and stupidity, that the Negro is too ignorant to vote. May I not remind the authors of this evasive and flimsy pretext, that the Negro in America, like the Israelites among the ancient Egyptians, have watched superior character, assimiliated with the same ideas, and imitated the same virtues, until out of a servitude of two hundred and fifty years, they have not only made a name which is a power of strength among civilized mankind, but they have reared a nationality which is coextensive with the fame and future of the American people. The poor Negro has indeed been severely scourged. Meeting the contact so long denied his ancestry, but which was essential to their full development, it has made them a new born race looking through a long vista of departed years, and mourning over the past barbarism of the race. Thank God, sir, they are in America, and especially in our beloved California, no longer discordant in feeling. Every heart moves by the touch of that chord which reverberates the sacred anthem of freedom; they are no longer content with the inklings that escape the white oppressors' tongues, because they have too often heard those tongues one moment breathing devout prayers to the Majesty of Heaven, and then again, almost in the same breath, uttering curses upon the weak and despised. The false duties of superstition have ceased to encumber their understandings, and truer oracles in the persons of refined colored men are reflecting the living light of truth; black men are making and recording their own history; writing their own literature; coining their own poems; preparing their own school teachers, and disseminating useful information where it was never tasted or known before.

The press, that mighty pendulum of human liberty, is now partly wielded by Anglo-African genius. Refined by the great variety of learning that is open to all, it is effecting a mighty work and changing the tide of events; its columns are perused in the mansions of rulers, the halls of legislation, the sacred precincts of the judiciary, and the humble cabin of the miner; it is emancipating the minds of those in wisdom and power from error, while it teaches its less favored votaries the grand principles upon which governments are founded, and its salutary prerogatives over all its subjects. Our people, being accustomed to act as directed, are quietly but surely receiving the new light that is breaking in upon them, and in anticipation of a higher sphere of action, are mastering the difficulties of language, the intricacies of social and political law, and the breadth and scope of Constitutions. What class of citizens are they who would smother the infant efforts of a struggling race, just emerging from the darkness of a long night into the bright beams of a dawning day? Can it be the noble born American who will refuse us the right to drop a ballot as well as to aim a bullet? They should recollect that their hours of youth, their days of manhood, and their decline of years, have been tenderly watched by the Negro's kindness since the Republic was rocked in infancy. Can it be the warm and generous-hearted Irishman, who first received here, in his adopted country, those gems of liberty that reverted his imagination back to the heroic death and epitaph of Emmet, the gifted eloquence of Walton and the patriotic lessons of the incomparable O'Connell,--whose thrilling tones ever went to the hearts of men for liberty and equality to all races of men? Sir, do not tell me it is the honest and toiling German, whose fatherland has so long kept the undimmed fires of freedom and independence so brightly burning. Why is it the charmed land that cradled renowned Luther and moulded the transcendant genius of Schiller.10 When did these people prove recreant? For their love and struggles for liberty have illumed all Europe and the world, from the dread conflicts of past ages to the memorable revolution of 1848. Do I hear that it is the chivalric son of gigantic France, whose own great Lafayette dedicated life and fortune to the maintenance of the rights of man? Have they degenerated from the electric of the Marseillaise battle hymn of liberty, or will they attempt to wipe from memory the aspirations of their sincere but dreamy Lamartine? To all these people of different races, speaking different languages, and having diverse notions of the true policy of the American government. I know that plausible argument will be produced by our antagonists against the Negro's right to equality before the law. But every righteous cause has always been assailed by subtle argument and almost convincing logic. It is little over the lifetime of temperate men when England's most astute statesmen endeavored to make America believe that George III had a divine right to impose upon the infant colonies "taxation without representation;" but Patrick Henry, in the House of Burgesses of Virginia, and black Crispus Attucks, in the streets of Boston, demurred, and the once humble dependencies are now a might and expanding nation. I need not cite the massacre of St. Bartholomew, 11 where the poor but faithful Huguenot bit the dust of persecution, the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, and the inhuman cruelties of the monster Philip the Second 12--all of which have been justified by as potent argument as that now produced in opposition to the Negro's elevation. The Negro's right to vote is indisputable, because wherever his mind has been educated he has given the same evidences of proficiency, because he has measured steps with the highest perfection of man's courage, by three times signally rescuing the country from the most impending dangers; because the wise men who lived about the time the National Government was framed, gave black men the right to vote in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and many other slave States, without detriment to the general weal; and it is a historical fact, that there is no word, no line, nor article, interpretative or constructive, embodied in the great instrument, that invalidates the rights of freemen, white or black from its adoption, eighty odd years ago, down to the infamous dogma uttered by Roger B. Taney (oh, that execrable name, equal in infamy with the notorious Jeffreys,13 the Dred Scott decision, enunciating that black men had no rights, because God so willed the color of their skins, --has left an indelible stain upon American jurisprudence, which in a free country should be the most important and useful to all classes of men. Why, sir, the spotless fame of Storey 14 and Marshall 15 will nearly become tarnished in veneration of future generations through the very process of contact that seated such a man upon the same bench or under the same roof where they dispensed the Godlike attributes of justice. The word white, Mr. President, in the Constitution of California, is anti-republican--at variance with the good sense and magnanimity of her people, repugnant to many of her sister States, inconsistent with the present age, and unwise when considered in connection with the intercourse soon to be established with the copper-colored nations of China and Japan. We, as black men, concede the fact that a few years since, when our interest was mingled with slavery and degradation, and when the interest of this flourishing State was under the dominion of such satellites as W. M. Gwin, 16 and P. T. Herbert and J. B. Weller,17 that the black race had nothing to look for but cold indifference and contemptible hatred; but now that the country is reeling upon the brink of ruin, with a yawning abyss of destruction awaiting to receive its crumbling wreck, we ask, calmly but firmly, shall we not be allowed once more to prop its mighty superstructure, so that it may stand the ravages of time? Remember, men in power, the vast responsibilities resting upon your judgement. Other nations have passed through somewhat similar ordeals like yours before they became strong and consolidated; but none like yours have ever been seen trying to devise escapes from the strongest and most reliable element of their support. If you are inspired by that patriotism that sinks all consideration of prejudice, to the greatness and glory of America's future, then all will be well. But if expediency and narrow contracted views govern your councils, and the unmistakable purpose of Divine authority be disregarded, then, like the perverse nations of old, grand and now beautiful America will be mingling with their mouldering decay.

After Mr. Hall concluded, Rev. Mr. Moore said:

MR. PRESIDENT:--On rising to address this Convention upon the momentous subject (political franchise), the first great right of an American citizen, which we are deprived of in this State by a Constitutional prohibition, I am aware, sir, that for me to attempt to supercede the able speech of the gentleman who has just taken his seat---whose masterly oratory, stirring pathos, and thundering eloquence, has captured every thought in the house--such an attempt by me would be the vainest act of my life. Yet, sir, I cannot let this great question of our right to the political franchise pass, without adding a word in behalf of our claim to that right.

I wish, sir, to make a few remarks upon the ground of our appeal to the State Legislature for the concession of our right of suffrage, by an amendment to the State Constitution, so as to secure to us this God given right. The Chairman of the Committee on Franchise, in his very profound remarks on presenting the able report, made a brilliant allusion to the unequalled bravery of the American Negro as a soldier--as tested in the bloody strife of the rebellion just past, where the nations existence was staked upon the battle-field, in a chance at war. From this point he presented a masterly appeal as a basis of our claim. Now, sir to this category of argument in favor of our sacred cause, we wish to contribute. Sir, in the outset we appeal to the Legislature of a Christian people for our right of suffrage, upon the broad principle of human justice, as taught by the great rule, "Do unto others as you would they should do unto you." Ask them, if, in our stead, they would be willing to consent to such injustice as we suffer by them. Would they like such treatment at our hands? If honest in their answer, they will tell us no. Ask them if it was wrong for England to impose upon their forefathers "taxation without representation?" They must answer yes, or condemn their revolutionary fathers. Ask them if taxation without representation was any greater injustice imposed upon their forefathers, by England, than as imposed upon us by the law of this State? If candid, they will answer no. Why, then, will a Christian people commit such a flagrant wrong, which they so loudly condemn in others? Why will they perpetrate a knowing wrong upon a people because they know that they have not power to vindicate by force their just rights?

We appeal to them upon the principle of man's natural equal rights, as vindicated and set forth in the "Declaration of American Independence"--upon which rests the foundation of the Republic. That declaration sets forth that "All men are created equal" in human rights, or have the same natural rights, which man cannot justly invade or take away; and that to secure these rights equally to all men, "Governments are established among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." This is the doctrine of the Declaration of Independence; if this sentiment is wrong, why do not the American people blot it from their political creed? If it is right, then we appeal for our natural right to "Equality before the Law," as it sets forth. We appeal to them as friends of their own Republican principles, which they violate when they refuse us the right of suffrage.

We ask for our rights, upon the principle of our loyalty; we have never sworn falsely to the Government; we have never taken up arms against it,--we have never attempted to betray it into the hands of foreign powers. This is what no other race of men can truthfully assert in America. We have prayed for it--fought for it--bled for it, and perished by thousands in its defence.

We make our appeal upon the principle of our patriotism. We have consecrated every battlefield of the country with our blood, to maintain its existence, from our love to the country, while it thrusts us with a cold heart and villainous hand from all its political rights and immunities. We rallied around its only standard of hope and fought in, deadly battle, the country's worst foes, foreign and domestic. He who doubts this, let him read the history of the death warrants of the battle grounds from Bunker Hill to Richmond, where black American warriors now sleep in their bloody winding sheets, in thousands. No race on American soil, has given such proof of patriotism as the black race; without boasting, we challenge a refutation of this position. We ask history, has any other nation on earth, under the light of Christianity, (but America), disfranchised its most loyal and patriotic citizens; preferring to grant [the] franchise to those that have desired and aimed to destroy the Government? We ask our Government to be as Republican as England, though pronounced a tyrannical monarchy. She gives her black and her white citizens alike privileges in political franchise; while in Republican America, white citizens only have the universal privilege of suffrage. We ask for our right to Equality before the Law" upon the principle, that, it does not degrade the white man to fight along side of the Negro on the battlefield to save the country, or save the lives of white American citizens, it will not degrade white men, to vote side by side with Negroes, to preserve a Republican form of Government, and preserve the country from another war, which it does not require inspiration to predict, if the claims of justice are not meted out in Government affairs. We claim our rights of suffrage upon the ground that the opponents of our right to "Equality before the Law," have never adduced a single sound argument to prove what they raise as an objection to our right of suffrage; that is, that it will degrade the white man, deteriorate the Saxon race, amalgamate the two races, and take the country out of white men's hands. We can prove by calling the history of the country to our support that the spirit that opposes the black mans right to "Equality before the Law," has been baptized by the very institution of the country, slavery, that has been fostering for two and a half centuries, the very evils of which our enemies pretend to fear.

The thirteen original States, at one period of their history, all but South Carolina, allowed their colored citizens to vote; and history does not place a single fact upon record, showing that granting the Negroes the right of suffrage in any of those States engendered amalgamation of the black and white races, or that it caused a deterioration of the Saxon race, nor was the Government ever threatened with black sovereignty. No! this was not the fear of political power in the black mans hand ; it was slavery looking out for its own interest, feared the free Negro in political power because he was of the enslaved race, and in stronger sympathy with the slave; it took its standpoint in South Carolina, and swept from the Negros hand the ballot box in every State it could influence politically; and it is the spirit of slavery that now opposes Negro suffrage throughout the land.

We hurl back with scorn and contempt the frequent intimation of scurrilous newspapers that granting us "Equality before the Law," would induce us to thrust ourselves into the society of the whites. Notwithstanding they, through their beloved institution of slavery, have thrust their race upon us, -we want it to be particularly understood, we never have had and are not likely to have, any particular fondness for the Saxon race above our own. Whatever isolated cases of amalgamation of the two races have occurred in any part of the country, on marriage principles, on the part of the whites it has been mostly the Irish, who pretend to be the most violent enemies of Negro rights; and what is a remarkable truth, that where such conjugal unity takes place, while the party of the Celtic race retains his caste or social standing, the party of the African race looses his caste or social standing generally among his sable brethren, of the higher order of society. We appeal to every true American whose voice shall resound in the proud capital over which the glorious stars and stripes shall float, to give us our rights in the name and spirit of the murdered and immortal Lincoln, who sealed our rights with his hallowed blood, who said this people, the colored, ought to have "Equality before the law." Upon these logical principles we make our simple, unsophisticated and earnest appeal to every friend of justice and humanity-every Republican, true Union man and Christian, in the Legislature, in the State and in the country. In vindication of our holy cause, we appeal to every true Union journal in the State and on the Pacific coast, while we shall also supplicate with Christian fervor, the Great Sovereign of all men, and of all nations of men, and the absolute defender of human rights, and all great principles in his moral government; to Him also will we appeal for an interposing hand in the defence of our glorious cause, while there is a sable American son to plead for justice in his race. This is our land where we have had our birth, for it we have fought and bled, here we will remain, as a race, until eternities thunders shake us from this soil.

The debate was further continued by Mr. R. H. Small, who said he would be false to his constituents and to his principle if he did not express his own and their sentiments of the adoption of the report and the memorial or petition. In urging our claim to equal rights we should occupy the highest position; we should be importunate and persistent; we should request of the Legislature the privilege of telling our own story; we should have our orators, men of eloquence, to address the Legislature on the important subject; we should also have our agents and orators canvass the State, and appeal to the people. There is nothing more powerful than eloquence to sway the minds of the people. We should, by our orators, present stirring, eloquent appeals to the dominant race for our rights. There is nothing of greater influence than the living, breathing agent. The press is also an important element in this matter, and we should support our newspapers, as a fearless, outspoken periodical is greatly needed. We have many white friends whose papers speak nobly in our favor; but we can best tell our own story, and advocate our own cause. He was in favor of adopting the report.

On the conclusion of Mr. Smalls remarks the report of the Committee on Elective Franchise was adopted.

Rev. T. M. D. Ward, Chairman of the Committee on Industrial Pursuits, presented the report of the Committee, which he prefaced with appropriate remarks.

Report of the Committee on Industrial Pursuits

We, the Committee, to whom was assigned the duty of reporting on Industrial Pursuits, beg leave to submit the following:

Whereas, the aphorism long since expressed that the indolent shall eat the bread of sorrow, has been abundantly corroborated by the experience of the past, therefore it is an ordination of God, that man shall earn his bread by the sweat of his brow; toil and suffering, care and sorrow, are in this life our allotted inheritance. Would we command the respect of the ruling class, we must possess a knowledge of mechanism, become owners and tillers of the soil, abandon the cities, drop menial employments and become producers as well as consumers. We, in our conventional capacity, conceive ti to be the imperative duty of parents and guardians to give their sons trades and teach them the dignity of labor. He who will not work shall not eat, is the stern declaration of Sacred Writ. The young men who spend their time in idleness, or what is still worse, in following vocations which not only infringe upon the civil law but comes in conflict with the higher law of Heaven, should be reminded that the entrance into industrial pursuits alone will secure to them health, wealth, contentment and respect.

Therefore be it Resolved,

1.--That we recommend the colored people of the Pacific States and Territories, to secure farms, purchase homesteads, enter largely into quartz and other branches of mining, engage in mechanical and manufacturing occupations and eagerly embrace every method and opportunity which will insure profit, honor and independence.

2.--That our colored traders, mechanics and manufacturers, receive from us every encouragement possible.

3.--That we recommend the formation of agricultural associations, established on the principle of joint stock companies, putting the price of shares at such a rate as will make them accessible to all classes of men.

4.--That where our men have not the money wherewith to buy farms, that they be advised to unite in companies and rent lands for agricultural purposes.

5. --That we urge upon the people of this coast to seek unsettled lands and preempt them, as is the right of every American citizen.

6.--That a Committee of three be appointed to present to the proper authorities the expediency of the employing of from twenty to forty thousand freedmen on the great Pacific Railroad, and to petition the honorable the Legislature of California through our Representatives in Congress to procure such aid from the Federal Government as to them may seem fit, for the following reasons:

I--To speedily complete this great National enterprise.

II--The value and the cheapness of the labor sought.

III--That it will effectually settle the too frequent incursions of hostile Indians.

IV--It will greatly add to the wealth of the country, in the cultivation of adjacent lands and the development of the mineral resources of a hitherto unexplored portion of the great Pacific slope.

V--That it will afford labor to a class of people whose sympathies, hopes and aspirations are thoroughly identified with the growth, prosperity and glory of the American Republic.

7..--That we hail with joy inexpressible, as one of the practical movements of the freedmen, their settled and persistent determination to become owners of the soil of their own fruitful South.

{T. M. D. Ward, J. J. Moore, J. P. Dyer, J. Madden, Basil Campbell, Aaron L. Jackson, E. P. Hilton, Moses L. Rogers, Edward W. Parker,} Committee

The following Preamble and Resolution was offered by J. R. Starkey:

Whereas, It is often asserted that there is a division among the colored inhabitants of this State, in matters appertaining to their political interests; and whereas, the harmony prevailing in this Convention, the friendly feeling existing and the unanimity of action, fully contradicts that assertion; be it therefore

Resolved.--That on the return of the members of this Convention to their constituents, they exert their utmost influence to create a unity of feeling and of action among the colored people of this State.

Adopted, nem con.

A communication was received from Mr. Henry Williamson of Sacramento, informing the Convention that he owned a mining ditch in Amador county, which he wished to sell. Read and laid on the table.

Benediction by the Chaplain.



Evening Session.

Convention met at 7 o'clock, in the A. M. E. Church, Seventh street. In the absence of the President and Vice Presidents, Mr. R. H. Small was appointed President pro tem.

Prayer by the Chaplain. Roll called. Minutes of last meeting read and approved.

Moved, that the special order of business be deferred half an hour. Carried.

The report of the Business Committee was further discussed, and the separate resolutions adopted.

Moved, that a Publishing Committee of five members be appointed, to publish the proceedings of this Convention in pamphlet form. Carried.

The Chairman appointed the following as the Publishing Committee,

P. A. Bell, E. P. Duplex,

J. J. Moore, W. H. Christopher,

E. A. Clarke.

To which, at the suggestion of the Chairman of the Committee, was added the name of J. Madison Bell,

The time having expired, the special order was called up.

Rev. J. H. Hubbard, Chairman of the Committee on Public Morals, presented the following report, which was unanimously adopted:

Whereas, there are no features in the character of any people more ennobling and elevating, than a strict observance of the principles of Morality and Religion, and as our enemies eagerly grasp every opportunity to misrepresent our condition and malign our character; therefore, be it

Resolved--That we recommend to our brethren a more consistent course than investing their means in gambling-houses and barrooms.

Resolved--That we adjure our brethren throughout the State, to adhere faithfully to the teachings of Morality and Religion, which will shed lustre around the pathway of their lives and give credit to the race.

Resolved--That we abhor and discountenance licentiousness,--that this violation of Gods law, disgrace, penury, and the bane of domestic happiness, may disappear from our midst.

Resolved--That we admonish our brethren to shun the intoxicating bowl as they would the embrace of a deadly serpent.

Resolved--That the practice of gambling, the desolator of thousands of otherwise happy homes, the goal of fervent hopes and high aspirations, the precursor of early dissolution, receives our uncompromising denunciation.

J. H. Hubbard, J. J. Moore, Committee. P. Kellingworth, Committtee.

Rev. J. H. Hubbard, Chairman of the Committee on Condolence, presented the following:

Resolutions of Condolence

WHEREAS, man's frailty is a fixed conclusion, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us unawares; and as since the assembling of our last Convention, our brethren and co-laborers, John G. Wilson and Wm. N. Bedford, have been summoned to the Bar of the Triune God; therefore,

Resolved--We lament their loss but submit to the ruling of that providential hand which doeth all things well.

Resolved--The down-trodden and proscribed, have lost in them, earnest sympathizers and zealous laborers.

Resolved--The State has lost in them, men whose hearts throbbed alike for the undying principles of liberty and the perpetuity of the Government.

Resolved--They being dead, do speak, and history of the reverend chronicler of the grave, will proclaim in trumpet tones, to generations unborn, they, as true men, wore with impatience, the yoke of proscription.

Resolved--When in after years, the roll of California's truest sons shall be called, while the names of W. H. Newby and John Freeman, shine with resplendant brightness, those of John G. Wilson and William N. Bedford, will occupy a conspicuous place upon the list.

Resolved--We, the representatives of the colored citizens of California, tender to the friends and relatives of the deceased, our heart-felt sympathy.

{J. H. Hubbard, P. Kellingworth, R. H. Small.} Committee.

The Resolutions were adopted, after which, Mr. Hubbard delivered an eloquent eulogy.

The President having arrived, Mr. Small vacated the Chair. After the eulogy was delivered, the resolution from the Business Committee to appoint a State Executive Committee of one from each Judicial District, was taken up, when it was moved that a Committee of five members be appointed to nomimate a State Executive Committee. Carried.

The President appointed

P. A. Bell, J. R. Starkey,

E. A. Clarke, Jas. Cefos,

W. H. Christopher.

The following Preamble and resolutions were presented by the Sacramento Delegation. They were read, and, on motion, ordered to be published in the minutes:

Whereas, We, the delegates chosen by the people of the city and county of Sacramento, to meet in Convention on the 25th day of Cot. 1865, and act in conjunction with the delegates accredited from the several counties of the State of California, believe that the time has come when every man of color should aim at the elevation of his race; and to do this, we must unite in advancing measures which shall have a tendency to strengthen our influence with our more favored citizens, therefore be it

Resolved--That it is with pride we cite the fact, that in those States wherein we have the right of franchise, there is not on record an instance of our having abused the privilege; that as we have stood by the side of the Union, Liberty and Justice, with the bayonets, so would we do with the ballot.

Resolved--That education being the conservator of liberty, we desire to have extended to our children greater educational facilities, in justice to us as a law abiding and tax paying people.

Resolved--That we emphatically condemn any course other than one calculated to promote harmony, union of thought and action amongst us, as suicidal to our interest as a people.

Resolved--That we would be untrue to our race, unless we pledged ourselves to try by all fair and peaceable means, to impress on the dominant race, that the country is only half saved, slavery only half abolished and the war but half ended, until all the disabling laws which were the natural fruits of slavery are repealed, and universal suffrage exist in every State in the Union.

Benediction by the Chaplain.



Morning Session, Saturday, October 28th.

Prayer by the Chaplain. Roll called. Minutes of last meeting read and approved.

Finance Committee presented their report as follows:

Amount of funds collected from thirty Delegates

in accordance with Resolution--$3 each . . . . . . . $ 90

Rent of A.M.E. Church Seventh at $15.00

Expenses, Sexton of M. E. Church.

Sixth street . . . . . . .$ 5.00

Hire of tables and chairs. . . . $2.00

Stationery . . . . . . . . . . . $2.00

Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2.00


Balance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $64

The Committee recommend that the balance in hand be subject to the order of the Publishing Committee.

The report was adopted.

The Nominating Committee requested leave of absence for consultation. Granted.

The report of the Business Committee was taken up. The unfinished business was referred to the Executive Committee.

The report of the Industrial Committee was taken up. Moved, that so much of the report as refers to the Freedmen, and the action necessary to employing them on railroads, be referred to the Executive Committee. Carried.

Mr. Moore stated that Mr. J. Madden, of Santa Clara, was an experienced farmer, and he would suggest, in the absence of other business, that he be requested to address the Convention on that subject. No objection being made, Mr. Madden proceeded to address the house.

Mr. Madden said he was born in South Carolina, lived in town until a young man when he went to farming. Had never experienced any of the hardships of plantation life, but had seen the effects on others. When he obtained his freedom he went to farming, and had probably made as much progress as many who had been born free. He is satisfied that farming is the most healthy, lucrative and independent business that can be pursued; the profits are accruing while we are sleeping. Had moved from towns and cities, and went to Arkansas; could not then purchase forty acres of land; when he left he owned nearly a thousand acres. Farming gives character to any people. The colored people of Santa Clara are industrious, and mostly engaged in agricultural and mechanical pursuits.

After Mr. Madden had concluded, it was moved by R. F. Shorter, that a vote of thanks be tended to the Executive Committee of San Francisco for their noble and successful labors in originating and bringing about this Convention. Carried, unanimously.

Mr. Shorter said that Santa Clara county was with this Convention and its actions, in financial and other matters, heart and hand. He was willing to offer his life as a sacrifice, if necessary, to obtain equal rights for his people. He had offered his household gods on the altar of freedom--he had sons and nephews in the army. He was willing to forgive our enemies--but we want our rights.

Mr. Hoyt (by permission) addressed the Convention on matters appertaining to the general interest of the country.

Mr. Killingworth, of Santa Rosa, said his constituents were willing to sustain the action of this Convention, by their means, and by greater sacrifices, if necessary. He was born a slave, as was also his wife. He is seventy-five years old. At sixty-two he paid 3,000 for himself and wife, in Atlanta, Georgia. Lost his wife in this country, and her bones lie in the free soil of El Dorado. He is willing to make any sacrifice for his people. Never received any schooling; what little he knew he picked up. He wished the young people would profit by study. The black man, although wronged by the whites, are their best friends. He is now enjoying his best days in freedom and among his children. He is very old now, and must soon depart; he would not die, but go to sleep and wake in glory with the angels.

Rev. M. C. Briggs said this Convention had given him more gratification than any similar assemblage he had ever attended. It is the opening of the status of the colored race. Was satisfied that the deliberations and actions of this Convention would convince all of the ability of colored men to legislate and claim their rights. He was pleased with the religious reverence showed, and hoped God would remove all obstacles. On the subject of education, he was opposed to asking for an endowment; would consider that a precedent for sectional schools. Claim all your rights, ---from the primary to the high school. He regreted the Convention had not met in his Church last might. It was a misunderstanding on the part of the Sexton. He expected they would have met there, and they might have used as much gas as was wanted. He also said that suffrage belongs to all men, whether foreign or to the manor born. As regards the Fenian resolution presented yesterday, it may be a matter of expediency, but he did not always feel justified in using policy. He always tood up for justice and principle, and if justice falls, he is willing to fall with it. After some more pertinent remarks, Mr. Briggs took his seat.

Mr. Moore moved that the Fenian resolution offered yesterday be referred to the Business Committee. Carried.

Whereupon he presented the following substitute, which was adopted:

WHEREAS, The colored citizens of California sympathize with the oppressed of all nations, and every race and clime, and express our willingness to extend our aid to every effort of the oppressed to free themselves from bondage, whether it is personal servitude or political disfranchisement, we therefore resolve

1st, That the results of the late unfortunate and unsuccessful revolutions of Poland and Hungary to free these countries from the tyranny of Russia and Austria, cause regret and commiseration to every friend of human liberty.

2d, That, notwithstanding the opposition we receive from Irish immigrants in America, whose prejudices are excited against us by the misnamed Democratic Party, every effort to rid Ireland of English bondage, and establish Irish independence meets our cordial approbation.

3d, That the conduct of many of the leading men of Great Britain during our late war was hypocritical---against the true opinions of the English people, and showing that the aristocracy are governed by interest more than by principle.

         Moved, by W. H. Hall, that so much of the report of the Committee on Education as refers to asking the Legislature for an endowment to the San Jose School be stricken out. Carried.
        Mry Hoyt advised the forming of joint stock companies for farming and other purposes. He had had experience in some of the Western States. In new countries joint stock companies for agricultural purposes were very successful--the individuals generally made more money than those who worked separately.

The Committee appointed to nominate a State Executive Committee, presented the following Report:

There are fifteen Judicial Districts in this State, all of which are not represented in this Convention, and we believe some have a very small population of colored persons. Your Committee have therefore made the selection according to their best judgment;

1st District---Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara---no nomination.

2d District---Tehama, Butte, Plumas, and Lassen-John C. Jenkins.

3d District---Alameda, Monterey, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz-R. F. Shorter.

4th District---Northern part of San Francisco--John J. Moore.

5th District---San Joaquin, Tuolumne, Mono, and Alpine. W. Lee.

6th District---Sacramento and Yolo-Basil Campbell.

7th District---Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solana, Sonoma, and Lake-Ed. Hatton.

8th District---Klamath, Del Norte, and Humboldt-no nomination.

9th District---Shasta, Siskiyou, and Trinity-. J. Pindell.

10th District---Sutter, Yuba, Colusa, and Sierra-Edward P. Duplex.

11th District---El Dorado, Amador, and Calaveras-James Cefos.

12th District---Southern part of San Francisco, and San Mateo. A. Hall.

13th District---Fresno, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, and Tulare-Moses I. Rogers.

14th District---Nevada and Placer-D. D. Carter.

15th District---San Francisco and Contra Costa-. H. Yates.

The Committee recommended the following resolutions:

I---That two additional members be appointed to represent the State at large.

II---The Committee to complete their organization by selecting their officers and making all necessary appointments.

III---The Committee have power to fill all vacancies.


P. A. Bell,

Jas. Cefos,

J. R. Starkey,

W. H. Christopher,

E. A. Clark,

The report was adopted, with the recommendations.

On motion of E. A. Clarke, P. A. Bell, of San Francisco, and W. H. Harper, of Sacramento, were appointed to represent the State at large.

Rev. J. J. Moore read an instructive essay on our moral, religious and political duties, which was referred to the Publishing Committee.

The President left his seat, and it was occupied by Wm. H. Hall, when it was moved that a vote of thanks be tendered to the Executive Committee of Sacramento for the arrangements they made for holding the Convention. Carried.

Moved, that we tender a vote of thanks to the ladies of Sacramento for their general attendance at the meetings of the Convention. Carried.

Moved, that a vote of thanks be tendered to Rev. M. C. Briggs for the gratuitous use of his Church yesterday. Carried.

Moved, that a unanimous vote of thanks be tendered to the President of this Convention, for the judicious manner in which he has presided over the deliberations of the Convention, the impartiality of his decisions, and the ability with which he has performed the arduous duties of his office.

Carried by acclamation.

Mr. Hall, on retiring from the Chair, which had been temporarily vacated by the President, said:

In tendering you, sir, the complimentary resolutions offered by the gentleman from El Dorado, Mr. Small, it affords me the highest gratification to perceive by their import, and the unanimity of their adoption by this Convention, a sense of appreciation and gratitude for the faithful services you have ever devoted to the elevation of your race. I am not inclined to extravagant commendation, but when I see the representatives of a people, heretofore charged with envy and distrust, indicating that the sacrifices of long tried public men are duly remembered, it fills me with the liveliest emotions of hope for the black men who are to occupy the places now filled by us. Trusting that you may be animated to press forward in the noble work of redeeming our race from unjust aspersion, I leave the example of this moment to the contemplation of those who are determined to engage in the same cause.

On taking his seat, the President made the following remarks :

Gentlemen of the Convention:

I am overpowered by this new evidence of your kindness and appreciation of my humble efforts to faithfully perform the responsible duty of the office I am about to vacate. I am reassured, by this flattering testimonial, that I have succeeded where I had feared to fail, and I retire from the distinguished position of President of the Fourth Convention held by the colored citizens of this State, with feelings of intense pride and gratification. Gratified in having my past acts of duty, to myself and my fellow men, so kindly remembered, so richly rewarded; proud of the harmony, amenity and unity of purpose that has characterized this Convention; and very proud of the wisdom, enthusiasm and eloquence that has been manifested upon every subject of importance presented to this Convention, and I heartily congratulate our people of California (through you, gentlemen, their representatives) upon the honest and very able manner their important interests have been considered and acted upon. Permit me, however, to remind you, gentlemen, that the close of this body is but the beginning of the great and ennobling end we seek to achieve, to effect which requires us to work steadily, perseveringly. Let us, then, return to our constituents, thoroughly impress upon them the importance of immediate and continuous action; stimulate them to wisdom in council, unity in purpose; prepare them to receive and promptly act upon the views they will receive from the State Executive Committee which this Convention has created. Knowing ourselves, do not let them forget that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Let each one of us faithfully perform our duty without pausing, until our labors are rewarded by the bestowal of that right which, under the glorious principles of the Constitution of the United States, is the only patent of manhood issued, viz.: the right of Elective Franchise.

After the address by the President, it was moved that the thanks of this Convention be tendered to the Vice Presidents and Secretaries, for the able discharge of their duties.

Moved that the thanks of this Convention be tendered to Rev. J. J. Moore, Chairman of the Business Committee, and the members thereof, for their prompt and efficient labors in producing and arranging business.

The above motions were carried by acclamation.

The President then inquired if there was any further business before the Convention, and no response being made, he called upon the Chaplain, Father Kellingworth, to pronounce a benediction.

The Chaplain requested the audience to join in singing the "Battle Hymn of the Republic"

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming

of the Lord.


    After which he pronounced the benediction, and the President solemnly declared the Convention adjourned sine die.



W. H. Harper, 1st Vice President.

Basil Campbell, 2d Vice President.

P. A. Bell, Secretary.

Asst Sec. {W. H. Christopher, E. P. Duplex,}

     San Francisco                                                       

J. J. Moore, T. M. D. Ward,

D. W. Ruggles, R. A. Hall,

J. R. Starkey, E. W. Parker,

Wm. H. Hall, P. Anderson, .

H. Yates, E. P. Hilton,

H. M. Collins, represented by proxy,

J. Smallwood, represented by proxy,

J. Madison Bell, not present.


E. P. Duplex, Dr. W. J. O. Bryant


M. L. Rogers.


P. Killingworth.


L. P. Hickman, A. L. Jackson,

W. H. Harper, E. A. Clark,

A. D. Berghardt


B. Campbell.

Alameda and Contra Costa

J. Peterson.

Santa Clara

R. F. Shorter, J. Madden.


W. H. Christopher.


F. G. Barbadoes, proxy for

N. E. Speights.

El Dorado

J. Cefos, R. H. Small,

J. M. Oliver.


J. P. Dyer, proxy for I. P. Gibbs.

Santa Cruz

P. A. Bell, proxy for G. W. Smith.



The Convention of colored citizens, assembled in Sacramento on the 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th of October, present their claim for equal rights before the law, and proceed to show on what principles they predicate their claim, and why those rights should be awarded them in common with all other citizens. First--As freemen by creation, by the laws of California, and by the laws of the Republic. The Declaration of Independence, the great charter or bill of rights of our government, on which is based our National Constitution and all the laws of our country says "all men are created equal," and, as a sequence, all are entitled to equal privileges or "inalienable rights" with which they "are endowed by their Creator," and "among those rights" (others being connected therewith) "are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The other rights which are indissolubly connected with the foregoing, and without which those expressed would become a nullity, are the protection of the laws, and an equal voice in framing those laws and choosing the adminis

perpretrators thereof. The Constitution and laws of California make all men free, slavery or involuntary servitude is forbidden within her borders, hence all whose citizenship can be established are fully entitled to equal rights before the law. Slavery existed for three quarters of a century and was sanctioned by the Government; it was sustained by compromises, not by the Constitution, until the Government declared that slavery and Republican principles were incompatible with each other and could not co-exist, and must be separated. Then, to effect that object, and to establish a Republic based on Freedom, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, and the Constitutional Amendments, abolishing slavery for ever from the land, were introduced. These positions and facts are known, and need no argument from us to establish them.

Second--We claim the privileges of citizenship by right of birth, as natives of the soil, against whom no attainder can exist. The former slavery of a portion of our race works no corruption of blood in them; they are now freemen, and consequently citizens, and as such are subject to all the liabilities and entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities of citizens. Our citizenship being established, we maintain that there are other and still stronger reasons why the rights which are in equity guaranteed to all citizens should not be withheld from us. We are loyal to the Government, and yield willing obedience to the powers that be. No taint of treason lurks within the bosoms of our race; no charge of disloyalty has ever been brought against one having Negro blood in his veins. Our love of country is proverbial; our devotion to the land of our birth, its customs, habits and institutions, and our reverence for the laws which govern us, are unquestioned. We have given evidence of our fealty to the Union by the ardor with which we flew to arms at our country's call, and by the sacrifice of thousands of lives to preserve intact the indissolubility of the Union, and to vindicate Republican principles before the world, as exemplified in this Government. Notwithstanding the ignominy with which we have been treated by the American people, we have ever maintained a Christian spirit of forgiveness, and a willingness to sustain our reputation as peace-loving, law-abiding citizens, and a desire to perpetuate the name and glory of our common country.

Third--We assert our right to the immunities of citizenship by our intelligence and moral worth, our reputation for truthfulness, the religious and devotional characteristics of our race, and our ability to understand and appreciate the principles of the Government under which we live. We assert, and defy contradiction, and the criminal, sanitary and eleemosynary statistics of the country will sustain our assertion, that of the colored population throughout the United States, there are fewer criminals and paupers than among any other class of the community. We are a self-sustaining community, and are no burden on the body politic, while we contribute to the general expenses of Federal and State Governments.

Fourth--We claim the Elective Franchise on the universally conceded ground that representation and taxation should accompany each other. By representation is not meant the mere fact of being included in the apportionment, but by having a voice and vote in choosing representatives. We are taxed in common with all other citizens. We pay cheerfully not only the State and Municipal tax on property and for business purposes, but we also pay War tax, Poll tax, and all others which are assessed. We do not demur at that. We live under a wise, liberal and beneficent Government, which extends its parental protection, like the sunlight of heaven, on all who come within its sphere. We are willing to aid in sustaining the Government by means, as our brethren have by arms, we only claim those rights which should be awarded to all citizens of the Republic. We also claim additional educational facilities for our children. By the present and unjust and partial laws many of our children are growing up in ignorance, deprived of all advantages of education. We require, for the above reasons, full and equal school privileges. We are not content primary schools alone, we want the higher advantages of education to produce in the rising generation the highest development of mind. These advantages are open to others, and, in a free country, the blessings of education should be diffused on all, irrespective of rank or station.

FELLOW-CITIZENS--We present to you our views on this important subject, and we refer you to the proceedings of our Convention for a fuller explanation of our action on these important subjects.


Men and Brethren:

For the fourth time the colored citizens of this State assembled in Convention, by their representatives, and the session just closed a degree of harmony and good feeling prevailed, unexampled in deliberative bodies. We met to devise ways and means to obtain the highest privilege of citizenship, the Elective Franchise; to increase the educational facilities of our children; to promote temperance, morality and frugality; to encourage progress in Agriculture, Mechanics, and all the Industrial pursuits, and to advance the cause of TRUTH, VIRTUE and Christian piety.

How well we have succeeded in the work for, which we were appointed, we leave to you to judge. We here lay before you the result of our labors, and are willing to abide the test of your judgment.

We call your attention to the various subjects which were under the deliberation of the Convention.

First--And most important, is the position we took as regards Truth, Virtue and Christian piety. Although the discussion of these subjects was not the primary cause for which the Convention was called, yet they overbalance all other subjects, for without them no good can be accomplished. We took high grounds on these subjects, and we earnestly invite your attention to the report of the Committee on Public Morals, and the resolutions appertaining thereto introduced by the Business Committee, and we feel confident that your mature judgment will endorse the action of your representatives.

Second--The Elective Franchise demanded a large portion of our deliberations. This is an important subject, as relating to our interests in this country and our rights as men and citizens. With prayerful consideration we entered upon our duty, and our minds were sorely exercised in view of the great responsibility which rested on us. We commend to your notice the action of the Convention, the able report of the Committee on that subject, the convincing argument produced, and the powerful speeches made on the occasion.

Third--The education of our offspring was not neglected. You are doubtless well aware of the disabilities we labor under as regards the educational progress of the rising generation. In consequence of the unjust provisions of the law, in many localities our children are growing up in ignorance. We call upon you to use your influence, in your respective localities, to the end that our children may receive the advantages of the Public Schools. We are taxed for the general School Fund, but in many places our children are deprived of its benefits. In reference to the San Jose School, we believe, by united efforts on our part and a small individual contribution, that it can be made an Institute where the higher branches can be taught and principles of virtue and religion instilled into the youthful mind. The principal, Professor Peter W. Cassey, is well known in this State, and by scholarly acquirements and Christian character he is eminently fitted for his position. That, however, should not cause us to lessen our efforts to obtain a repeal.

Fourth-We next call your attention to the report of the Committee on Industrial pursuits. The subjects introduced, and the action taken thereon, merit and should receive careful consideration. To gain an eminence in the new field of political equality, toward which our journey tends, we must prove ourselves equal in art, industry and labor, as well as in knowledge and piety, to all others. We must not be satisfied with mediocrity, we must endeavor to excel.

Fifth--On the subject of Statistics we are not as full as we would wish. In consequence of the limited attendance at the Convention, the Committee on that subject had not sufficient materials on which to work. Their report, however, is alike instructive and interesting, and althought limited, it is reliable.

Sixth--We have organized a State Executive Committee, consisting of men who are well known throughout the State for their ability, untiring industry, and devotion to our cause and the welfare of mankind.

Seventh-We have pledged your fealty to the Government as order loving, law-abiding citizens. We are responsible for your loyalty, and fell proud of our responsibility.

In Conclusion--Brethren, we urge you to continue the good work we have so auspiciously commenced. Form committees in your respective Counties, sustain and encourage them by your irreproachable conduct, by your industry and observance of the Christian virtues. Encourage also our State Executive Committee. Give them to know that you place confidence in them and they will repose the same in you. And now, Brethren, farewell. May God keep and preserve you in the paths of usefulness.

Organization of the State Executive Committee

The members elect of the S.E.C. who were in Sacramento, held a preliminary meeting on Saturday, the 24th October. Present, Basil Campbell, Jas. Cefos, Richard A. Hall, Moses L. Rogers, John J. Moore, Wm. H. Harper, Philip A. Bell, Edward E. Duplex, and Richard P. Shorter.

J. J. Moore was appointed temporary Chairman, and E. P. Duplex, Secretary.

After some consultation it was agreed that the permanent officers of the Executive Committee be a President, Recording and Corresponding Secretaries, and a Treasurer.

Moved, by P. A. Bell, that Wm. H. Yates be elected President. Carried.

Moved, by R. A. Hall, that J. J. Moore be elected Recording Secretary. Carried.

Moved, by E. P. Duplex, that R. A. Hall be elected Corresponding Secretary. Carried.

Moved, by J. J. Moore, that R. F. Shorter be elected Treasurer. Carried.

Moved, that the first regular meeting of the Committee be held in this city on Monday morning next, at 9 o'clock. Carried.


E. P. Duplex, Temporary Secretary.

Meeting of the State Executive Committee

Sacramento, October 30th.

Present, Wm. H. Yates, President in the chair, Messrs. J. J. Moore, R. A. Hall, Basil Campbell, M. L. Rogers, Wm. H. Harpers, E. P. Duplex, J. Cefos, P. A. Bell.

Moved, that the officers of this Committee form an acting board for the transaction of general business. Carried.

Moved, that the election for County Executive Committee take place before the first of January, 1866. Carried.

It was stated that there were two vacancies in the Committee, and it was moved that I. P. Gibbs, of Sierra, and Wm. Bird, of Amador, be elected members of this Committee. Carried.

Moved, that the sum of twenty-five dollars be appropriated to P. A. Bell, Secretary of the Convention, for compiling the minutes. Carried.

J. J. Moore, Secretary.

Copy in the Harvard University Library and the Library of Congress.

Convention Minutes Item Type Metadata

Convention Type








Start Date


End Date



California State Convention of the Colored Citizens (1865 : Sacramento, CA), “Proceedings of the California State Convention of the Colored Citizens, Held in Sacramento on the 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th of October, 1865.,” Colored Conventions Project Digital Records, accessed July 13, 2024,