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Minutes and proceedings of the Third annual Convention, for the Improvement of the Free People of Colour in these United States, :held by adjournments in the city of Philadelphia, from the 3d to the 13th of June inclusive, 1833.


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Minutes and proceedings of the Third annual Convention, for the Improvement of the Free People of Colour in these United States, :held by adjournments in the city of Philadelphia, from the 3d to the 13th of June inclusive, 1833.


Pamphlet (40 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.)



















From the 3d to the 13th of June inclusive, 1833.





THE Delegates to the third Annual General Convention ot the Free People of Colour, for their improvement in these United States, met agreeably to public notice in the Benezett Hall, in the City of Philadelphia, on Monday, June 3, 1833. Mr. Frederick A. Hinton, was appointed Chairman, and Mr. Charles H. Levick Secretary, until the convention be organized. Prayer by the Rev. Noah Cannon. The following delegates presented their credentials, and were regularly admitted members of the convention.


Philadelphia. Frederick A. Hinton, Abraham Williams, Stephen H. Gloucester, Robert Purvis, William Whipper.

Westchester. Abraham D. Shadd, William Lewis, Caleb Cregg, Vincent Smith, Rev. Jeremiah Miller.

Carlisle. John Peck, Thomas Butler. Peter Gardiner, James Bird, Samuel C. Hutchins.

Harrisburg. Rev. J, D. Richardson, George Galbrecht. William Brewer, Wilkesbarre.


Baltimore. Rev. Samuel Elliott, Robert Cowley, William D. Jenkins, Samuel Hiner.


Gloucester. John Kelly, Thomas Banks, Henry Frisby, Benjamin Stokely, James C. Matthews. Henry Ogden, Newark.

Burlington. Emanuel W. Congo, Robert J. Taylor.

Trenton. Leonard Scott, Abner H. Francis.


Wilmington. Peter Hubbard, Joseph Burton. Jacob Morgan. Matthew Draper.

Providence, R. I.—George Spywood.




Hosea Easton. James G. Barbadoes,

New Bedford.

George W. Thompson, Richard Johnson.


New-Haven.— Luke Lathrop.

Hartford.— Mason Freeman.


New-York City.

William Hamilton, Sen. Thomas L. Jinnings, Ransom F. Wake, Charles Mortimer, James Barnett.


George Richardson, David Ruggles

{William Brown, H.C. Thompson,} Brooklyn.

J. W. C. Pennington. Newtown.

{Charles Smith, Wm. P. Johnson.} Newburgh.

William Rich, Troy.

John G. Stewart, Albany.

Catskill & Hudson. Henry Sipkins.

In the progress of convention, the following gentlemen were admitted honorary members. Rev. Messrs. Watkins and Douglass of Maryland, Mr. Nathan Johnson of New Bedford, Mass. and Mr. Thomas Van Renselear, of Princeton, N. J.

On motion the following persons were appointed a committee to nominate suitable officers for the convention, viz. Thos. L. Jinnings, Robert Cowley and John Peck.

After various motions and discussions, Adjourned to meet at 3 o'clock.

Afternoon Session.

Met as per adjournment. Mr. Wm. Hamilton was appointed chairman. Prayer by the Rev. Peter Gardiner.

The roll having been called and the minutes of the morning session read, the convention resolved itself into a committee of the whole, to act upon some controverted points of admitting members.

On the various motions offered, very animated discussions were kept up until the hour of adjournment. Adjourned to meet at 9 o'clock to-morrow morning.

Tuesday Morning, June 4.

Met in the Benezett Hall. The chairman took his seat. Prayer by the Rev. Samuel Elliott. The minutes of the previous meeting having been read, it was, on motion, resolved

that the convention immediately adjourn to meet in the First African Presbyterian Church—to which they immediately repaired and proceeded to business.

The committee appointed to nominate officers for the convention, reported the following:


RICHARD D. JOHNSON, 1st. Vice do.


RANSOM F. WAKE, Secretary.

HENRY OGDEN, Assistant Secretary.


On motion, the report was unanimously adopted, and the persons therein named, declared duly elected, the officers being regularly installed proceeded to the duties of their several appointments.

On motion, resolved, that a committee of five persons be appointed to draft Rules and Regulations for the government of the convention, Messrs. Purvis, Jinnings, Sipkins, Butler, and Peck, were appointed.

On motion, resolved that the President appoint a committee of five for the purpose of correcting the minutes and publishing the same.

On motion of Mr. Spywood, seconded by Mr. Barbadoes, resolved that no person shall be acknowledged as delegates to this convention unless they bring proper credentials from their respective societies or meetings held for the purpose of electing them as such. A petition from the People of Colour of Hartford, to this convention, praying it to take into consideration the constitutionality of a Law lately passed in the State of Connecticut, prohibiting the establishing of Literary institutions in said State, for the instruction of persons of Colour of other States, was read and laid over for further consideration.

Mr. Frederick A. Hinton having requested leave to introduce a preamble and resolution on Wednesday afternoon, on motion of P. C. Matthews, seconded by Robt. Purvis, resolved that F. A. Hinton be permitted to offer to this convention a preamble and resolution, approbatory of the mission of Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Esq. to England.

The committee appointed to draft rules and regulations for


the government of this convention, made the following report, which was adopted.

Your committee appointed to adopt rules and regulations for the government of this Convention, respectfully report—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. No member shall speak more than twice on the same subject, and shall not occupy more than fifteen minutes at each time, without permission from the House.

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

12. No motion for reconsideration shall be in order unless made by a member who voted in the majority, and approved of by the President.

13. A motion for adjournment shall always be in order after 1 o'clock, P. M. or 6 o'clock, P. M.

14. All documents and papers, presented for the consideration of this convention, shall be submitted to a committee of five, appointed for that purpose.

15. All motions to be made shall be submitted to writing, if requested.



Adjourned to meet at 3 o'clock.


Afternoon Session.

Held in the First Presbyterian Church in Seventh-street, the President in the chair. The roll having been called and the minutes of the morning session read, on motion, the president appointed James Barnett, William Brown, Leonard Scott, James G. Barbadoes and Joseph Burton, a committee to examine all documents and papers submitted to the Convention, in conformity to the 14th Article of the Rules and Regulations.

The President also appointed Messrs. Henry Sipkins, Frederick A. Hinton, T. L. Jinnings, Robert Cowley and John Peck, a committee for the purpose of revising the minutes of this convention, and superintending the printing of the same.

On motion, resolved that a committee of five be appointed to lay before this convention such business as may be thought proper to be acted upon. The President appointed Wm. Whipper, John Peck, Robert Cowley, Henry Sipkins, and Wm. Lewis, said committee. Adjourned to meet to-morrow morning at 9 o'clock.

Wednesday Morning, June 5.

President in the chair. Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Elliott.

Moved and seconded that the committee appointed to present the order of business make their report, whereon the following was presented.

The committee appointed to lay before this convention a report of such business as they deem proper to engage its attention, respectfully submit the following:

Moved by R. F. Wake, seconded by David Ruggles, that the report be accepted, carried. Resolved that it be taken up by sections for adoption : viz.

1. That it is the duty of this Convention to inquire into the transactions of the Conventional Board appointed by the last Convention.

2. Whether the recommendation of last Convention have gone into operation, and whether they have or have not had any happy effect in producing an improvement in the condition of our people.

3. Whether there is any prospect that a Manual Labour School for the instruction of coloured youth will shortly be established, and if so where, and what progress has been made towards its completion.


4. Whether the resolution attached to the report of the committee on the Canadian subject last year, had been put in operation.

5. The committee most respectfully recommend an expression of sentiment in regard to colonization.

6. That a committee be appointed to present some more efficient plan of representation, by which each city, town or village, may be represented according to the respective ratio of numbers.

7. That a committee be appointed to draw up an address to the people of colour, on the subject of Temperance, depicting its happy influence on the morals of a community, and likewise declaring the traffic and use of ardent spirits destructive to the morals of a community.

8. They also recommend that the President of the Conventional Board, or in case of his decease, or inability to perform the duties, the Vice-President prepare an annual message depicting the situation of our people, and suggesting for the consideration of the Convention, such matter as he shall deem worthy of their consideration, and also that he shall preside at the opening of the Convention, until it is organized by the appointment of its officers.

9. That there be a committee of five, to prepare an address to the free people of colour of the United States. Adopted.



Resolved, that a nominating committee, consisting of five persons, be appointed to nominate committees to act on the different subjects embraced in the report of the committee on the order of business, to be acted on during the sitting of this convention. The president appointed Mess. J. G. Stewart, Henry Sipkins, S. H. Gloucester, J. W. C. Pennington and John Peck, that committee.

Moved by R. F. Wake and seconded by Wm. Hamilton, that a committee consisting of one delegate from the different states represented in this convention, be appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sentiments of the people of Colour by them represented, in regard to the subject of colonization.

Moved by S. H. Gloucester, seconded by Geo. Spywood, that it shall be the order of the day on Friday next, that the chairman, or one that he shall appoint, of each delegation, to give a short report respecting the condition of the people that they represent. Adopted.

Adjourned to meet at 3 o'clock, P. M.


Afternoon Session.

Held pursuant to adjournment in the First African Presbyterian Church. President in the chair. The roll having been called and minutes of the morning session read :—The following preamble and resolution, was submitted by F. A. Hinton, seconded by Robert Purvis.

Whereas, the Board of Managers of the New England Anti-Slavery society, have sent Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Esq. as their agent to England, for the purpose of procuring funds to aid in the establishment of a Manual Labour School, for the education of coloured youth; and of disseminating in that country, the truth in relation to the objects of the American Colonization Society.

And whereas we deem it proper that the sentiments of the Free Coloured Population of this country, should be expressed in relation to the said mission. Therefore be it Resolved, that this Convention do most heartily approve of the appointment of Mr. Garrison for the objects above mentioned, and having the utmost confidence in his worth and integrity, as well as a sincere interest in the purposes of his mission, we do cordially recommend him to the attention and kindness of the philanthropic inhabitants of Great Britain.

The foregoing preamble and resolution was supported by Mess. F. A. Hinton and R. Purvis, in very excellent addresses, and was carried unanimously.

Moved by T. L. Jinnings, and seconded by Wm. Hamilton, that no person shall be eligible to a seat in the Convention as a delegate, under the age of 21 years, and that he shall be an actual resident of the state from which he shall be returned, at least six months previous to the sitting of the Convention.

The committee appointed to nominate committees to act on the different subjects embraced in the report on the order of business to be acted on during the present session, respectfully report the following:

To draft a preamble and resolutions expressive of the views of the Convention in regard to colonization, James G. Barbadoes of Massachusetts, William Hamilton of New.York; Luke Lathrop, of Connecticut; George Spywood, of Rhode Island; Thomas Banks, of New-Jersey; William



Whipper, of Pennsylvania; Samuel Elliott, of Maryland; and Joseph Burton of Delaware.

To prepare an address to the Free People of Colour, Wm. Whipper, John G. Stewart, Robert Cowley, Henry Sipkins and Richard Johnson.

To prepare an address on Temperance, James W. C. Pennington, Abraham Williams and William Rich.

On the transactions of the Conventional Board: William Brown, James C. Matthews and James Bird.

To inquire whether the recommendation of last convention has been attended to, and what effect it has had among our people, F. A. Hinton, Henry C. Thompson and Peter Gardiner.

To inquire whether there is any prospect that a Manual Labour School for the instruction of coloured youth, will shortly be established or not; Charles Mortimer, Wm. D. Jenkins, Henry Ogden, George W. Thompson, Matthew Draper, Mason Freeman and Abner Frances.

On the regulation of representation, Thomas .L. Jinnings, Abraham D. Shadd, Stephen H. Gloucester, David Ruggles and John Peck.

On the duty of the President and Vice President of the Conventional Board, Henry Sipkins, Robert Cowley, George Richardson, William Brown and William Lewis. Which was adopted.

Moved by Wm. Hamilton, and seconded by Frederick A. Hinton, that Wm. Hamilton have leave to bring in a motion relative to the Phoenix Societies, to be the order of the day on Friday next., in the afternoon. Adopted. Adjourned to meet to-morrow morning at 9 o'clock A. M.

Thursday Morning, June 6.

Convention met pursuant to adjournment, in the first African Presbyterian Church. President in the chair. Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Levington of Baltimore, Md.

The roll having been called, and the Minutes of the last session read, the Rev. Mr. Levington having expressed a desire to address the convention, it was moved by T. L. Jinnings, seconded by William Hamilton that he be permitted. Carried. The Rev. gentleman then addressed the Convention at considerable length, recommending a monthly concert of prayer among our people throughout the U. S..


A motion for reconsideration of the subjects debated on Monday, and on some documents submitted to the committee of examination, engaged the session until the hour of adjournment. Adjourned to meet at 3 o'clock precisely.

Afternoon Session.

President in the chair. The roll was called, and the minutes of the morning session read.

A letter from Mr. John B. Vashon of Pittsburg was read, expressing his approbation of the objects of the Convention, and enclosing the sum of five dollars, for the furtherance of the objects thereof.

On motion of R. F. Wake, seconded by J. G. Stewart, it was resolved, that this Convention accept the donation sent by Mr. Vashon, of Pittsburg, for which, and the expression of sentiment contained in his letter, we return him our thanks.

Mr. Bacon of Boston was introduced, who very feelingly addressed the Convention, expressive of the deep interest that he personally, and the New England Anti-Slavery Society, of which he is an Agent, felt in our behalf.

Moved by F. A. Hinton, and seconded by John Peck, that a special Committee of three be appointed to return our thanks to Mr. Bacon, Agent of the New England Anti-Slavery Society, for the expression of the sentiments of the said Society in regard to this Convention. Carried. William Whipper, R. F. Wake, and J. G. Stewart, were appointed.

The Committee on the duties of President and Vice-President of the Conventional Board; presented their report, together with rules and regulations to be observed by the Conventional Board of Officers, which was accepted.

On motion, resolved that the report be taken up by sections for adoption. When the following rules were adopted—




1. The funds shall be under the immediate control of the officers of the Convention during their continuance in office, subject to the following restrictions, viz :—They shall pay all moneys appropriated by the Convention, and for that purpose they are hereby invested with authority to draw on the Treasurer for the same, and to fill any vacancy that may happen in the board by a vote of the majority at any of their meetings.

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

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

4. During the absence or inability of the President to preside, the Vice-President shall be competent to the discharge of all the duties of President in the council.

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

6. The corresponding Secretary shall notify the Vice-Presidents and Secretaries of their appointments, together with the general views of the Convention in relation to the Canadian Settlement. He shall, also, hold the most extensive and faithful correspondence with the Committees and Agents appointed to advance the interests of our people, holding his correspondence subject to the inspection of the President and Vice-President only.

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

8. No moneys shall be drawn from the funds, but by the consent of a majority of the council.

9. It shall be the duty of the President of the Conventional Board, (or in case of his death, resignation, or inability to act, the Vice-President,) to prepare and send an annual message to the Convention, at the opening of each session, depicting the situation of our people, and suggesting for the consideration of the Convention such matter as he shall deem worthy of their consideration.

10. The President of the Conventional Board shall preside at the opening of each Annual Convention, until the same is organized by the appointment of its own officers, and in his absence the Vice-President shall preside.









Friday Morning, June 7.

President in the Chair.

Prayer by Rev. Jeremiah Miller. The roll was called, and the minutes of the preceding session read.

The order of the day was called up, namely, the reports of the foreman of the several delegations, some of which were presented and accepted. Mr. Arnold Buffom, addressed the Convention, in relation to the High School for coloured females, established in Canterbury, Connecticutt, by Miss Prudence Crandall, and read an extract from a letter from Mr. Arthur Tappen of New-York, containing important facts relative to said School, and recommending to the people of colour, the encouragement and support of the same.

Moved by S. H. Gloucester, and seconded by R. Cowley, that a Committee of five persons be appointed to inquire into, and report whether any and how far encouragement ought to be given to the settlement in Upper Canada; carried. The following persons were appointed, Messrs. Cowley, Butler, Banks, Draper, and Stewart.

Moved by Henry Sipkins, seconded by James W. C. Pennington, that William Hamilton, John Peck, and Peter Gardiner, be a Committee, to whom the reports on the state of Society be submitted for condensation. Adjourned.

Friday Afternoon.

President in the Chair. The roll was called, and the minutes of the morning session being read, the Convention proceeded to business.

Moved by Henry Ogden, seconded by William Whipper, that the next Annual Convention of the free people of colour, be held in the City of New-York.

Mr. Wm. Whipper made the following amendment, provided that it sit in New-York and Philadelphia, alternately, after considerable debate, in which a majority of the delegates took part, it was carried in the affirmative. Yeas 32, Nays 12.

Mr. Hinton, introduced Mr. William Wharton, of Philadelphia, a distinguished philanthropist, and friend of the people of colour, who, after some preliminary remarks, read a highly interesting letter from Mr. Charles Marriott of Hudson, N. Y.


Moved by John G. Stewart, and seconded by Frederick A. Hinton, that the thanks of this Convention be returned to Messrs. Wharton and Marriott, for the expression of good will manifested in the address, and in the communication. Adjourned to meet at 9 o'clock to-morrow morning.

Saturday Morning, June 8.

President in the Chair.

Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Levington, of Maryland. The roll being called, and the minutes of the preceding session read, several reports of the Foreman of the different delegations were read and accepted. The Committee appointed to inquire whether there is any prospect, that a Manual Labour School, for the instruction of coloured youth will shortly be established, presented their report, which was read and accepted.


The Committee on the above subject, respectfully beg leave to report, that from the best information, they have been able to obtain, the following is the present state of progress, viz: The New England Anti Slavery Society, have proposed the establishment of a Manual Labour School, which will be commenced as soon as ten thousand dollars shall have been subscribed, nearly one thousand has been already raised, and there is reason to believe that it will shortly be carried into operation. There are also great efforts making for the establishment of a Manual Labour School in New York, which will be commenced as soon as an adequate amount is subscribed, and your Committee have been informed that the contributions for this purpose have been liberal, and in the State of Pennsylvania, ten thousand dollars has been left for the establishment of a Manual Labour School, near the City of Philadelphia, subject to the control of the Society of Friends.


Moved by William Hamilton, seconded by Thomas L. Jinnings, that this Convention earnestly recommends the formation of Phœnix Societies in every State, after the form, and on the principles of the Phœnix Societies of the City of New York, and that the constitution of said Societies be attached to the printed minutes of this Convention. Carried unanimously. The Committee appointed to inquire into,


and report whether any, and how far encouragement ought to be given to the settlement of coloured people in Upper Canada, presented their report, which was read and accepted, to which was appended the following resolution—

Resolved, that Mr. Austin Stewart be requested to continue his agency at the Wilberforce Settlement in Upper Canada, to whom funds may be remitted, by societies or individuals, for the relief of such persons as may leave the United States, and take up their residence within their borders.

On motion of Mr. Whipper, seconded by Mr. Peck, the Convention resolved itself into a Committee of the whole, Mr. Richard Johnson in the chair, for the discussion of the resolution. Very animated debates on the subject, continued until near the hour of adjournment, when the Committee rose, reported progress, and asked leave to sit again, which was granted for Monday afternoon.

Adjourned till Monday morning, at 9 o'clock, A. M.

Monday Morning, June 10.

The Convention. met, pursuant to adjournment, in the first African Presbyterian Church, at 9 o'clock, A. M.

President in the Chair.

Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Eliott. The roll having been called, and the minutes of the preceding session read, the report of the Vice-President of the State of New-York, and several reports of the different delegations were read and accepted. The committee on Temperance presented their report, which was accepted and adopted.


The committee on the subject of Temperance, beg leave to report, that in common with the friends of moral reform throughout our country, we are called upon for devout aspirations of praise to God, for that success he has granted to the cause of Temperance, during the past year.

In every section of our country, and among every class of persons, the principles of the American Temperance Society have progressed at a ratio, wholly beyond all anticipation.

Intemperance, the great evil which a few years since was seated in the vitals of our nation, threatening a speedy death to every interest, whether social, civil, or religious, and baffling every effort made for its removal, now has, as must be acceded by every intelligent observer, an adequate remedy. That remedy is the simple principle of voluntary associations, on the plan of INTlRE


ABSTINENCE, which is evidently the only safety of the temperate, and the only hope of the intemperate.

In connexion with the earnest and faithful arguments drawn from an array of facts, alike incontestable and appalling, exposing the evils of the traffic, and of the use of Distilled Liquors, the means which have urged forward the reformation in opposition to the ignorance, the prejudice, and the cold selfishness of enemies, and the inactivity and timidity of friends; the providence of God has concurred, in a remarkable manner, so as to place the cause of temperance beyond the possibility of failure. Facts in connexion with the Cholera, the awful judgment, which has "hung sackcloth around the globe," and within the past year, converted our land into one vast house of mourning, have forcibly impressed upon this, and upon other nations, the conviction, that Intoxicating Liquors have an injurious tendency upon the human system, at once establishing the opinion, in which men, the most eminent of the medical profession in both Europe and America, harmonize, "that there is an affinity, between human disease and strong drink, "that it is invariably injurious to persons in health, and therefore the use should be discontinued."

The one million, five hundred thousand individuals, in the United States, and the one hundred thousand in England, arrayed under the banners of Temperance, respond the same sentiment. The one thousand five hundred, who have conscientiously discontinued the manufacturing of, and the five thousand who have ceased to sell the waters of death, unitedly rejoice in the principle of TOTAL ABSTINENCE.

The six hundred American Vessels, now navigating the ocean, without the use of the poison, are proclaiming to the nations in trumpet tones, that the monster is soon to be driven from the face of the globe.

The committee are happy to state, that the recommendation on this subject, given by the Convention, last year, has exerted a happy influence, in awakening attention to this subject, although owing to the sparceness of the colored population, we have no means of accurate knowledge of the number, who have pledged themselves to this cause, yet as they are more or less under the influence of Temperance Societies, and from facts before us, we are safe in stating that large numbers have signed the pledge, and are members of societies connected with the different Churches and Sabbath Schools, and of other societies in almost every section of the country.

Distinct societies have been organized in most of the cities and large villages in the states represented in the Convention, though it is not in our power to lay before you all, which in this way has been effected, yet we are gratified in stating, that societies have been formed at Washington, D. C., Philadelphia and Carlisle Penn., New Haven, Hartford and Middletown, Conn., Boston, Mass., Princeton, N. J., and in the State of New-York, at Albany, Schenectady, Utica, Syracuse, Catskill, Poughkeepsie, Newburg, Newtown, Troy, Brooklyn, and in the City of New-York there are five distinct organizations. These societies for the most part are doing well.


While in view of what has been accomplished, we have cause of gratitude, and of encouragement, yet much very much remains to be done. The RUM system, like that of slavery, is upheld by ignorance, avarice, and incorrect views of duty. Alike they are exerting a withering influence--both, blessed be God, are receding before omnipotent truth; but the triumph is to be achieved over deep rooted prejudices, and long cherished and stubborn habits but the light of truth, in its energy and majesty, is adequate for its accomplishment.

While upon other portions of the community, a flood of light is pouring forth from the press and from the pulpit, there is among us criminal remissness in the diffusion of correct principles on this subject—to free our brethren from the chains of American oppression, and to clear away the mists of prejudice, which so unjustly attempts to withhold from us our rights, as American citizens, our hope and confidence is in the diffusion of correct moral principle; this alone, is adequate to induce those whom we represent, to feel the obligation of banishing, at once, and for ever, the use or strong drink, and with it the fruitful source of the evils which retard our best interests.

That the Convention may act with more efficiency, and assume an attitude to guide public opinion, your Committee have deemed it important to make a few suggestions.

They recommend during the present session of the Convention, the formation of a Conventional Temperance Society, to be styled THE COLOURED AMERICAN CONVENTIONAL TEMPERANCE SOCIETY; that the officers and managers of which be appointed from different sections of the country; and that it hold its Annual Meeting during the time and at the place of the Meeting the Convention.

The utility of such an organization is obvious; the design or which should not be to descend to the drudgery and minute attention to detail the appropriate work of other societies engaged in this good work, but to give an impulse to, and to exercise a supervision over the Temperance effort, throughout our portion of community. Every member will be a pledged and authorised Agent, happily adapted to exert an influence in the formation of Societies, and in securing the co-operation of the friends of moral reform, and of the friends of the people of colour.

Such a Society, from its relative position to our population, will form a medium of statistical information, which cannot be as well procured in any other way. It will promote unity of feeling and action, which in this work are of intrinsic importance. Whatever doubt may be entertained of man's capacity single handed, to do much good, it cannot be doubted when he allies himself to others. "Union is full of strength and encouragement."

Your Committee further suggest, the importance of an endeavour to call up the attention of our population generally to this momentous subject, more particularly, that of influential individuals; for at every successive step taken in the investigation of this subject, with its bearing upon our political and moral interests, we have been shocked, and humbled, at the criminal apathy which pervades the minds of many or our intelligent and useful men, and many of our pious men too, on this obviously important



subject. We venture to assert, that no portion of our fellow citizens has as deep an interest in the promotion of the cause of Temperance, as that to which we belong, and no body of men either in their individual or collective capacity, are pressed with weightier responsibilities, than that to whom we now address ourselves—what we are to be as a people is peculiarly suspended upon our moral and intellectual qualities.

For in addition to all those weighty considerations tending so remarkably to correct the public opinion of other portions of community, and are working such moral wonders, there are other considerations which ought deeply to interest the "Free people of Colour of the United States," and to rivet the conviction upon every mind, that they of all others ought by every possible means to urge forward this glorious reformation; not that intemperance abounds more among us, than among others, for in the face of the declaration to the contrary, made by the disparagers of an injured people, your committee are prepared to prove, that it does not exist among us even tons great an extent as among others; but notwithstanding, it, more than any thing under our control, tends to perpetuate that relentless prejudice, which arrays itself against our dearest interests; frowns us away from the avenues of useful knowledge and of wealth; and which with a cruel hand wrenches from us our political rights.

In all our deliberations, we recognize the idea, that intelligence, industry, economy, and moral worth, in connexion with the purifying power of heaven-born truth, am sufficient alone, to prostrate, this iron hearted monster.

Now the destroyer, Intemperence, directly counteracts the influence of these redeeming qualities, and what is worse, nurtures in their stead every thing loathsome.

Those children in tatters, who are cruelly permitted to waste those precious hours, which should be employed in the acquisition of knowledge, who are shivering with cold, or crying for a morsel of bread, are the children of intemperate parents. These impoverished families, these premature graves, are the production of strong drink.

What is the foundation of those vile and unreasonable slanders, which are trumpeted throughout this land of freemen? "That the situation of the slave of the south, is far preferable to that of the coloured freeman of the north." It is founded in the opinion of the apologer of slavery, formed, when beholding degraded men, clustering around those fatal corners, where "liquid fire is dispensed, or while beholding here and there, the staggering steps of miserable men and women, who with fœtid breath, deride the idea of "TOTAL ABSTINENCE." Here too, we have the source of four fifths of the pauperism known among us, and that of the most of those petty crimes which, contribute much to keep in countenance those weak men who are for ever prating about extraneous mass, and African inferiority.

We take the liberty farther to recommend as powerfully tending to advance the Temperance reformation, the formation of Societies, in religious congregations; in each ward of large cities, and in each large village in the UNITED STATES, where


circumstances will admit. We also recommend the organization of Female Societies.

Finally we recommend as worthy of notice, the following resoution passed in the "United States' Temperance Convention," recently held in this City.

Resolved, that Temperance Societies, and the friends of temperance throughout the country, be requested to hold simultaneous Meetings, on the last Tuesday in February, 1834, to review what bas been done during the past year, and to consider what remains to be done, and to take such measures as may be suitable, by the universal diffusion of information, and by kind moral influence, to extend and perpetuate the principles and the blessings of our land.

In conclusion, the Committee beg leave to state, that they have given that attention, to the duty assigned them, as time and circumstances would allow, that while they regret that their Report does not present this all engrossing subject as fully as they could wish, still they hope it may in a measure answer the desired object.

ln dismissing our subject, we would respectfully impress upon each Member of the Convention, that of all the subjects that come within the range of our deliberations, few, if any, are of greater importance than that of Temperance; it has a claim upon our vigorous support, upon our best feelings and efforts—If this advances, if this triumphs, every interest we aim to promote, every blessing we seek as men, or as citizens of this our beloved republic, must advance, must triumph. MORAL WORTH IS POWERFUL, AND WILL PREVAIL. All of which is respectfully submitted.


Moved by T. L. Jinnings, seconded by Samuel C. Hutchins, that there be a Committee of three persons to draft a constitution, in order to carry the resolution of forming a Temperance Society into effect. Whereupon, William Whipper, F. A. Hinton, and T. L. Jinnings, were appointed.

Monday Afternoon.

President in the Chair.

The roll having being called, and the minutes of the morning session read, the Convention resolved itself into a Committee of the whole, to take up the order of the day.

Charles Mortimer in the Chair.

After a very interesting discussion on the Canadian Report and Resolution, the Committee arose, the Convention then resumed its session.

President in the Chair.

The Chairman of the Committee reported progress, and asked leave to sit again, whereon it was moved, that the


Committee have leave to sit again on to-morrow, afternoon, at 3 o'clock. Adjourned.

Tuesday Morning, June 11.

President in the Chair.

Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Levington, of Maryland. Roll was called, and minutes of the last sitting read. The Committee on representation presented their report, which was read, taken up by sections, and adopted, viz :—


Resolved that in each and every county in which a Society is, or may be formed Auxiliary to the Convention, shall be entitled to send delegates, not exceeding five persons, and it is hereby understood, that under no pretence whatever, will any other body or society be admitted to send delegates as members to the Convention from such county, where a society shall or may exist, without the sanction of the senior society, in their participating in selecting or electing the above mentioned delegates. Carried.

Resolved, that in any county where no society has been formed, the people shall have the privilege of returning two delegates, provided they contribute to the furtherance of the objects of the Convention. Carried.

Resolved, that as one of the primary objects of the Convention, is to elicit information in regard to the situation of our people, it is expedient therefore, that no person shall be received as a delegate, who shall not be a resident of the State from which he shall be returned, at least six months previous to his election. Carried.

Resolved, that it is expedient to have a regular return of each delegate signed by the President and Secretary, or Chairman, and Secretary of every Society, or Public Meeting of any county, at least two weeks previous to the sitting of the Convention, forwarded to the President of the Conventional Board, who shall keep a regular record, and present the same at the opening of the Convention.

Moved by David Ruggles, seconded by James G. Barbadoes, that each delegation pay toward the promotion of the objects of the Convention, when they present their credentials, a sum not less than five dollars. Carried. Several reports of the different delegations were read, and accepted.

A very interesting and highly important communication was received from the Rev. Simon S. Jocelyn, of New Haven, which was read and approved of, encouraging us to perseverance in our efforts, for the common benefit, and affording us the consolatory information, than to some of the north, west, and eastern Colleges, he is assured, that properly


prepared coloured youth can be admitted, and also, that notwithstanding the persecution and opposition to the establishment of Miss Prudence Crandall's School, (for the instruction of coloured females, in Canterbury, Connecticut,) it was in a flourishing condition, and only required the encouragement and support of those for whom it was opened, to triumph over the opposition. The grateful thanks of the Convention were returned, for the very valuable information contained therein. Adjourned.

Afternoon Session.

The Convention met agreeably to adjournment.

President in the Chair. Roll called and minutes read.

The Convention went into committee of the whole, to take up the order of the day, on the Canadian question.

Henry Sipkins in the chair. The report and resolution was read.

On motion of Mr. Cowley, seconded by Mr. Jenkins, that the Committee of the whole on the above question be dissolved, and beg leave to decline any further consideration of the subject.

The President then resumed the chair, and the chairman of the committee reported accordingly. The resolution was then taken up in Convention and debated, when on motion of John G. Steward, seconded by William D. Jenkins, that the report and resolution be adopted, was decided in the affirmative. Ayes 32, Nays 14.

Moved by H. Ogdeu, seconded by T. L. Jinnings, that the session of this Convention, be protracted from 9 o'clock, A. M., to 3 o'clock, P. M., on Wednesday. Carried. Adjourned to meet to-morrow morning, at 9 o'clock.

Wednesday, June 12

President in the Chair.

Prayer by Mr. Charles Mortimer. The roll was called, and minutes of the preceding meeting read. A reconsideration of the vote on the Canada Report and Resolution being called for.

On motion of Henry Sipkins, seconded by Henry Ogden, it was resolved, that the Canadian Report be returned to the Committee, with whom it originated, together with the


solutions offered yesterday afternoon, as amendments, to make such use of them in connexion with the report, as they may deem proper.

Mr. T. L. Jennings, presented some resolutions, to be made the order of the day, which was referred to a Committee of three, to report in one hour. The President appointed Mr. H. Sipkins, R. Cowley, and L. Lathrop. The committee to whom the Canadian Report was returned, together with the resolutions offered by F. A. Hinton, seconded by W. Whipper, presented the report with the said resolutions attached as a substitute for the one adopted yesterday.

On motion of R. F. Wake, seconded by D. Ruggles, that the report :and resolutions be adopted, they received a unanimous vote. The following is the report and resolutions—


Resolved, that a Committee of five persons be appointed to inquire into, and report thereon, whether any, and how far encouragement ought to be given to the settlement of coloured people in Upper Canada.

The Committee appointed to take into consideration the foregoing resolution, having had the same under mature deliberation, beg leave to submit the following brief report—

It appears to your Committee, that the call for a Convention of free people of colour, was at first made for the purpose of giving aid and encouragement to a settlement of coloured people in the province of Upper Canada, in consequence of the revival of certain oppressive acts of the Legislature of the State of Ohio. It appears to your Committee, that the unjust operation of those laws, induced many persons of colour to leave, their hitherto peaceful and quiet homes, for one of a transitory and doubtful character. In this situation of affairs, the feelings and sympathies of the free people of colour, were aroused in every part of this widely extended republic, meetings held and means collected to assist those who had precipitately fled the land of their nativity, and left all the endearing associations that make life desirable. The philanthropists of our country, with that liberality of feeling, which has ever characterised the good and great of every clime, came forward with distinguished ardour, and liberally contributed means to alleviate the precarious situation of those who had emigrated. Hence arose the present Convention.

The peculiar situation of a large portion of the free people of colour .of this country, has not escaped the observation of your Committee, and the most rigid scrutiny has led to the conclusion, that there is not now, and probably never will be actual necessity for a large emigration of the present race of free coloured people, they therefore refrain from recommending any emigration whatever, but would respectfully say to such as may be desirous to go,


that the fertile soil of Upper Canada holds out inducements far more advantageous, than the desolate regions of Africa where the scorching rays of a meridian sun, blasts by its withering influence the enlivening growth of successful vegetation.

Your Committee are not unmindful of the oppressive laws recently enacted in several of the States, which dooms the free people of colour to inconveniences far more grievous than could have been anticipated, by the enlightened and sincere friends to the happiness of mankind; yet such is the uncertainty of all sublunary concerns, that laws, (which should have slept for ever in the silence of night,) have been enacted in this enlightened day, in a country possessing many beautiful Institutions, that would have been a disgrace to the most barbarous nations of antiquity. Hence, the absolute necessity for opening a door for the voluntary emigration of our people, to a region of country possessing all the advantages of a healthy and salubrious climate, fertile soil, and equitable laws. Your Committee therefore, recommend the adoption of the following resolutions—

Resolved, that this Convention most respectfully recommend to their constituents, to devote their thoughts and energies to the improvement of their condition, and to the elevation of their character, in this their native land, rejecting all plans of colonization any where.

Resolved, that should any State by Legislative enactments, drive our brethren from its jurisdiction, we will give them all the aid in our power to enable them to remove and settle in Upper Canada, or elsewhere, that they may not be compelled to sacrifice their lives in the insalubrious climate of Liberia, provided for them by the American Colonization Society.

Resolved, that for the above purpose, the Societies auxiliary to this Convention, are requested to supply our Treasury with funds.


The Committee appointed to condense the reports of the several delegations, presented their report, which was read and accepted, as follows—

The Committee appointed to condense the reports of the heads of Delegations, have had under consideration the subject submitted to them, and after a careful examination of twenty-two reports, are gratified in being enabled to state to the Convention, that an improvement in the general character of their constituents, is beginning to appear in a greater or less degree, every where among them. In some places, several Churches are established, with large congregations ; several School Houses, well attended by scholars; many Temperance and Benefit Societies, and there is scarcely any places represented, where there is any considerable number of coloured people, notwithstanding the prevalence of colonization principles in some of them, where some portion of the children are


not, where they have no school of their own, admitted among the white, or have the beuefit of Sabbath School instruction, and your Committee respectfully submit it as a matter of belief, gathered from remarks contained in the reports, that an increasing desire of improvement is extending itself among us.


The Committee appointed to take into consideration, the resolutions presented by T. L. Jinnings, presented their report, which was read and accepted.

Resolved, that the report be adopted. Carried, viz:—

Resolved, that the Vice-President and Secretaries, appointed in the different States, be requested to use their exertions to form Phoenix Societies, similar to those in the City of New-York.

Resolved, that the next Convention be held on the second Monday in August, 1834. Reconsidered and lost.

Resolved, that a Committee of five persons be appointed to nominate the officers of the Conventional Board.

Resolved, that a Vice-President and Corresponding Secretary be appointed in tho different States.


The President appointed Messrs. Barnet, Hamilton, Sipkins, Wake, and Jinnings, a Committee to nominate officers for the Conventional Board.

Resolved, that the Convention proceed to the appointment of Vice-Presidents and Corresponding Secretaries in the different States. The following gentlemen were appointed:—


Thomas I. Jinnings, Vice-Pres., city—Henry Sipkins, Cor. Sec, city.


Rich. Johnson, Vice-Pres., New Bedford—J. G. Barbadoes, Cor. Sec., Boston.


George C. Willis, Vice-President—Alfred Niger, Corresponding Secretary.


J. W. Creed, Vice-President—Luke Lathrop, Corresponding Secretary.


John Liverpool, Vice-President, with permission to appoint his own Secretary.


Leonard Scott, Vice-Pres., Trenton—Henry Ogden, Cor. Sec., Newark.


Rev. Samuel Eliott, Vice-Pres., Baltimore—R. Cowley, Cor. Sec., Baltimore.


Israel Jeffries, Vice-Pres., Wilmington—Pet. Hubbard, Cor. Sec., Wilmington.


John P. Burr, Vice-Pres., Philadelphia—Rob. Purvis, Cor. Sec., Philadelphia.



Mr. Manuel, Vice-President, Portland—Rhuben Rhuben, Cor. Sec., Portland.


Arthur Waring, Vice-President—John Cook, Corresponding Secretary.

Moved by John Peck, and seconded by Richard Johnson, that the Convention adjourn (sine die) to-morrow, Thursday, afternoon. Carried.

Moved by John Peck, and seconded by Charles Mortimer, that the Convention requests our friends and the people of colour in general, to take such means and measures as may in their wisdom seem most expedient to collect money, to be forwarded to the President of the Conventional Board, in order to form a general Conventional fund, to be applied as the Convention shall deem most beneficial. Approved.

On motion of William Hamilton, seconded by Henry Sipkins, it was resolved, that a committee of five be appointed to bring in a report of all unfinished business, and the same to be acted on to-morrow morning. T. L. Jinnings, William Rich, William Hamilton, W. D. Jenkins, and John Rich, were appointed.

Moved by T. L. Jinnings, seconded by James Barnett, that the Convention prescribe the form in which the reports of the different delegations shall be made, respecting the situation of their different sections of country, and that the same be attached to the printed minutes, arranged under the proper heads to be reported on. Carried.

The following form was adopted, agreeably to the request of the Convention of free people of colour of the United States.

We, the delegates of the town of _______ in the county of _______ and state of _______ respectfully report, that there is in the said town, city, or county,

" Inhabitants of Colour,

" Churches,

" Day Schools,

" Sabbath Schools,

" Scholars,

" Temperance Societies,

" Benevolent Societies,

" Mechanics,

" Store Keepers, &c.



The report of the Conventional Board, exhibiting the amount of receipts and expenditures during the year, was read and accepted.

Moved by T. L. Jinnings, seconded by R. F. Wake, that the thanks of the Convention he returned to the Conventional Board, for their services during the past year. Carried.

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

Thursday Morning, June 13.

President in the Chair.

Prayer by Mr. Charles Mortimer. The roll having been called, and the minutes of the preceding session read, the Committee appointed to bring in a report of all unfinished business, presented their report, which was read, and disposed of in the course of the day.

Moved, that each delegation represented in this Convention, be a Committee, to form Temperance Societies in their respective places which they represent. Ordered to lie on the table.

Moved by John Peck, and seconded by Henry Ogden, that it be recommended to our people, to hold a monthly concert of prayer on the last Monday of every month, to supplicate the Supreme Ruler of the universe, for his blessing upon the efforts which are making, or may hereafter be made for the improvement of the condition of the people of colour. Adopted. Yeas 18, Nays 12.

The Committee on Colonization presented their report, which was read and adopted, viz :—

Report on African Colonization.

The committee consisting of one delegate from each State for the purpose of reporting the views and sentiments of the people of colour in their respective States, relative to the principles and operations of the American Colonization Society, respectfully beg leave to report :— That all the people of the States they represent, feel themselves aggrieved by its very existence, and speak their sentiments of disapprobation in language not to be misunderstood. The only exception to the rule is, those who are receiving an education, or preparing themselves for some profession, at the expense of the society.

Your committee, therefore, respectfully declare, that they have given the subject that serious consideration which its connexion with the interest of our people, and a proper respect for the opinions


of a large portion of the people of the United States, imperiously demand.

After having divested ourselves of all unreasonable prejudice, and reviewed the whole ground of our opposition to the American Colonization Society, with all the candour of which we are capable, we still declare to the world, that we are unable to arrive at any other conclusion, than that the life-giving principles of the association are totally repugnant to the spirit of true benevolence; that the doctrines which the society inculcates are hostile to those of our holy religion; nay, a direct violation of the golden rule of our Lord, "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them."—That the inevitable, if not the designed tendency of these doctrines, is to strengthen the cruel prejudices of our opponents, to steel the heart of sympathy to the appeals of suffering humanity, to retard our advancement in morals, literature and science, in short, to extinguish the last glimmer of hope, and throw an impenetrable gloom over our fairest and most reasonable prospects.

These are not the illusions of a distempered imagination, the ebullitions of inflamed prejudice, or the effusions of fanaticism, as some would unjustly insinuate—No: they are deliberate, irresistible conclusions, founded on facts derived from the official documents of the Colonization Society—the approved declarations and acts of the agents of that association, which we need not here recapitulate, as we presume you are perfectly familiar with them.

The recent discussions on that subject have elicited much light, and an awakening influence is arising in favour of the true interests of our people. Many of its ablest advocates have deserted the cause, and are now busily engaged in tearing down the MONUMENT they assisted in erecting.

The investigations that have been made into that society within the past year, justifies us in believing that that great BABEL of oppression and persecution must soon cease to exist. It has been reared so high, that the light of heaven, the benevolence of true philanthropy, and the voice of humanity, forbid its further ascent; and, as in ancient times, the confusion of tongues has already begun, which speedily promises its final consummation—and although it has but recently been classed with the benevolent enterprises of this age, it must shortly be numbered with the ruins of the past.

The recent appeal of the selectmen of Canterbury, (Conn.) to that Society, but too clearly demonstrates to the eyes of unenlightened public, that they have recognized it as an instrument, by which they might more fully carry into operation their horrible design of preventing innocent and unprotected females from receiving the benefits of a liberal education, without which, the best and brightest prospects of any country or people, must be for ever blasted.

Your committee would recommend to this Convention to adopt the following resolution:—

Resolved, That this Convention discourage, by every means in their power, the colonization of our people, anywhere beyond the limits of this CONTINENT; and those who may be obliged to


exchange a cultivated region for a howling wilderness, we would recommend, to retire back into the western wilds, and fell the native forests of America, where the plough-share of prejudice has as yet been unable to penetrate the soil—and where they can dwell in peaceful retirement, under their own vine and under their own fig tree.

(Signed) JAMES G. BARBADOES, Mass.








Moved by John G. Stewart, seconded by James Bird, that three thousand copies of the Conventional Address, and the Report on African Colonization, be printed in handbills for distribution, by the members of the Convention. Carried unanimously.

The committee appointed to nominate officers for the Conventional Board, presented their report, which was read, and on motion of James Bird, seconded by John G. Stewart, adopted, viz:—


THOMAS DOWNING, Vice-President,

JAMES FIELDS, Recording Secretary,

HENRY SIPKINS, Corresponding Secretary,




Mr. Thomas Shipley, of Philadelphia, addressed the Convention on the subject of Temperance, and the general rules of conduct as connected with our improvement, in an eloquent manner, and received the thanks of the Convention.

Adjourned to meet at 3 o'clock, P. M.

Afternoon Session.

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment.

President in the Chair. The roll was called, and minutes of the morning session read.


A communication from our distinguished friend, Benjamin Lundy, being received, on motion, it was resolved that the same be read, which by request was done by Mr. Lewis.

On motion of William Hamilton, seconded by David Ruggles, resolved that Mr. Evan Lewis be requested to have the communication of Benjamln Lundy to this Convention, printed in the "Genius of Universal Emancipation."

On motion of S. H. Gloucester, seconded by Wm. Hamilton, It was resolved, that the thanks of the Convention be returned to Mr. Evan Lewis; for reading the communication, and for his able address delivered before the Convention.

Moved by R. F. Wake, seconded by James Barnett, that inasmuch as it is in contemplation, as soon as possible to establish Manual Labour Schools, in different sections of the country, viz: in Pennsylvania, New-York, and New England. We, the delegates of the free people of colour, assembled in Convention in the city of Philadelphia, do earnestly recommend them to the notice of the liberal, the philanthropic, and all who are friendly to the cause of the general improvement of our hitherto much neglected and oppressed race, to contribute in aid of the object in view, to the general agents that may be employed for that purpose. Carried.

Resolved, that the Convention require of the Conventional Board, that as soon as the Minutes of this Convention shall have been printed, that they shall distribute to each delegation 50 copies gratis, if required, and for all over they shall exact the sum of one dollar and fifty cents per hundred. Carried.

On motion of William Whipper, seconded by Robert Purvis, It was resolved that this Convention recommend to our people generally, to give all the support in their power to such papers as advocate the cause of our people, that are now in general circulation, such as "The Genius of Universal Emancipation,"—"The Liberator,"—"Emancipator," "Genius of Temperance,"—" Abolitionist," &c.

Mr. David Ruggles, according to leave, presented a preamble and resolution, relative to the High School recently established by Miss Prudence Crandall, which was read.

Resolved, that the preamble and resolution be handed to the committee of revision, for their decision. Carried.


The committee are of opinion that the preceding is included in the two communications before mentioned, but think that the utmost in our power should be done to sustain it, and therefore cheerfully recommend to our brethren, who may have girl children whom they wish to be well educated, to send them to her school.

Moved by J. G. Stewart, seconded by William Rich, that the Convention recommend to the free people of colour in the United States, the formation of free labour produce Societies, wherever it may be practicable, and that each delegate use the utmost exertions in his private capacity, in recommending to coloured capitalists, the establishment of stores on the principles above named. Carried.

Moved by Robert Purvis, seconded by John Peck, that this Convention highly approve of the indefatigable labours of Miss Lydia White, in her establishment of a free labour store, and that the patronage of all who feel an interest in promoting the cause of universal freedom, is cheerfully recommended to her store, No. 42 North Fourth-Street, in the city of Philadelphia. Carried unanimously.

The committee to prepare an address, presented the same, which was read and adopted. (See next page.)

Moved by W. Whipper, seconded by R. Purvis, that all the unfinished business of this Convention be referred to the Conventional Board, whose duty it shall be to complete the same. Carried.

Moved by F. A. Hinton, seconded by R. F. Wake, whereas the American Colonization Society, have recently elected the venerable general, La Fayette, and several of our distinguished citizens, their Vice-Presidents, for the purpose as appears to us of suppressing public sentiment, in opposition to their motives, by seeming to give the sanction and countenance of great names to their sinister plans and projects, and conceiving that such apparent approbation may not always be intended on the part of the individuals whose names are so used, or if intended, may be the result of imperfect or incorrect information in relation to the subject; Therefore,

Resolved, that our worthy and highly esteemed fellow-citizens, Mr. James Foster, of Philadelphia, and the Rev. Peter Williams, of the city of New-York, be requested to


correspond with such of the gentlemen above alluded to, as they may deem proper, for the purpose of explaining to them, the views and wishes of the people of colour, in reference to the important subject of Colonization, and if possible to counteract the mischievous aims of the American Colonization Society, so adverse to the best interests and happiness of the free people of colour in this country. Carried.

On motion of S. H. Gloucester, seconded by J. G. Steward, It was resolved, that the thanks of this Convention be, and they are hereby given to Mr. Abraham D. Shadd, President of the Convention, for his impartial and dignified deportment in the discharge of his official duties, during the sitting of this Convention, to which the President made an appropriate reply.

On motion of J. C. Mathews, seconded by R. Purvis, It was resolved, that a vote of thanks be tendered to the Vice-Presidents and Secretaries for their services.

Adjourned to meet in the city of New-York, on the 1st Monday in June, 1834, at 10 o'clock, A. M.



Philadelphia, June 13, 1833.


To the Free Coloured inhabitants of the United States.

Brethren and Fellow Citizens,

It is a matter of high congratulation that, through the providence of Almighty God, we have been enabled to convene, for the fourth time, as the representatives of the free people of colour of eight of the States of the Union, for the purpose of devising plans for our mutual and common improvement, in this, the land of our nativity.

To that important object the entire attention of the Convention has been directed; but to effect it, as might be expected, a very considerable diversity of sentiment as to the best means, existed. Various circumstances growing out of our local situations operate to produce a great difference of feeling, as well as of judgment, in the course best calculated to insure our advancement in prosperity. Our brethren at the south are subject to many very cruel and oppressive laws, to get clear of which they will consent to go into


exile, as promising to them enjoyments from which they are cut off in the land of their birth. Gratitude to the bountiful Bestower of all good, compels us to rejoice in the acknowledgement that the lot of many of us has fallen in a happ1er and fairer portion of the land, to separate ourselves from which, or to promulgate a wish to do so without better prospects of improvement before us than has yet come to our knowledge, would be suicidal to the vital interests of the coloured people of the free states, and would justly draw upon us the execration of the thinking part in the slave states.

Ours is a defensive warfare; on our domicil we meet the aggressor, and if we move, or give our consent to move, and bid them to follow before we are driven, forcibly driven, from our lodgements—which, Heaven be praised, is not probable—their denunciations would be just.

The Canadian Reports, as published in the minutes of this Convention, may be regarded as the unequivocally expressed sentiments of the coloured people of the free states, viz.: improvement, but without emigration, except it be voluntary.

By an attentive perusal of the minutes and proceedings of the Convention, it will be apparent how deeply we sympathize in the distresses of our more unfortunate brethren, and the interest we willingly take, to the extent of our power, to mitigate their sufferings. We feel confident that the course pursued, as presented in this address, will receive the approbation of our constituents, and of those of our follow citizens who are solicitous that our moral, religious, civil, and political condition should be improved in the United States. To promote our welfare, a great and increasing interest is manifesting itself in various parts of the Union; and we feel assured that we shall receive the hearty concurrence and support of our brethren, in the measures herein recommended for our general benefit. We supplicate the intercession of Jehovah, to extend this interest to the most remote parts of our country. We think that we cannot make a stronger or more effectual appeal to your judgments to secure your active co-operation in the plans suggested, than by exhibiting to you a brief outline of the efforts making by our friends to elevate the character and condition of the man of colour.

With a view that we may the more clearly understand the duties that now devolve upon us, it may be necessary to advert to times gone by, when in a state of slavery, ignorance, and misery, with scarcely sufficient intellect remaining to wish for freedom: such is the deteriorating effect of the slave system, carried to the extent that it has been and now is in America; there arose a number of philanthropists, who espoused our cause, and by their continued exertions have effected the entire liberation of the slaves in some of the states; and the salutary influence of those principles has been felt, in some degree, in every part of the U. States, and once bid fair to make every citizen of our country proud of the distinguished appellation of an American. But it is lamentable that a deep and solemn gloom has settled on that once bright anticipation, and that monster, prejudice, is stalking over the land, spreading in its course its pestilential breath, blighting and


withering the fair and natural hopes of our happiness, resulting from the enjoyment of that invaluable behest of God to man—FREEDOM.

It is not to be expected that we would enter into a disquisition, with a view to satisfy the minds of those who fancy they are interested in prolonging the miseries of their fellow men; on that subject, it is presumed the greatest stretch of human reason has been employed to elucidate its repugnance to the precepts of the Gospel; its infringement on the natural rights of man; its injury to the interests of those who cleave to it on the score of supposed interest, and its repugnance to the happiness, as well as to the interests of society in general. From these considerations, the conviction is forced upon us that they willingly and wilfully shut their eyes against the clearest evidences of reason. In that state of helplessness in which we were, schools were erected for our improvement, and from them great benefit has resulted. Schools have been erected by philanthropists, and many of us have been educated without so much as knowing when, or by whom, the edifices had been reared. But the manifest improvement that we have made, loudly demands we should employ the talents we possess in assisting the philanthropists of the present time in their endeavours for our further advancement. A host of benevolent individuals are at present actively engaged in the praiseworthy and noble undertaking of raising us from the degradation we are now in, to the exalted situation of American freemen. Their success eminently depends upon the succour and encouragement they receive from our united efforts to carry into effect those plans recommended for the government of our conduct. With a strong desire for our improvement in morality, religion, and learning, they have advised us strictly to practise the virtues of temperance and economy, and by all means early to instruct our children in the elements of education. The Convention being perfectly convinced of the impossibility of our moral elevation without a strict adherence to these precepts, has conceived it to be its duty earnestly to call upon our brethren to give their aid and influence in promoting an object so desirable. In conformity to the recommendation of the former Convention, we are happy to have it in our power to state, that several temperance societies have been formed in most, if not in all, the states represented. In the course of the proceedings, will be found an elaborate report on the subject of temperance, to the careful perusal of which we invite the especial attention of our brethren. That societies for mental improvement, particularly among the females, have been established in several places, and a manifest improvement has marked their progress. Some diligence has also been employed in extending the benefits of education to a considerable number of children, who had been before neglected, and mental feasts have been held, of mixed companies of males and females, in some of the cities, on the recommendation of our very worthy friend, the Rev. Simeon S. Jocelyn, of New Haven.

From these promising beginnings we eagerly anticipate a speedy and extensive spread of those principles so justly calculated to dignify human nature; and earnestly hope a universal imitation



of those salutary examples, without which the best endeavours of our friends must prove abortive.

The resolution passed at the last Convention, that the auxiliary societies obtain all the information possible relative to the number and state of the schools in their respective sections; the branches of education taught in each, with the number of scholars, and make returns of the same through their delegates, to this Convention, has not been fulfilled to the extent desired; but a general report will be found attached to the proceedings.

A circumstance that we would particularly introduce to the serious consideration of our brethren in general, is, the great efforts that are making by our friends, for the establishment of manual labour schools, for the improvement of our youth in the higher branches of education, for the report on which subject we refer the reader to the minutes. It is not, however, thought to be improper here to state, that in the city of New-York efforts are making to establish, in that state, a school of this description. In the state of Pennsylvania, a benevolent (deceased) individual has bequeathed ten thousand dollars for, or towards, the erection of a similar school. And the New England Anti-Slavery Society, (which has laid a broader base for philanthropic exertion in the cause of the man of colour, than any benevolent institution that has preceded it;) has, in addition to its various other methods to raise the character and condition of the free people of colour, promoted addresses and discussions, oral and written, defending us from the unjust aspersions of our enemies; has opened a subscription, with a determination to raise funds sufficient to establish manual labour schools in New England for the instruction of coloured youth. This most meritorious institution, in the vindication of the natural, civil, and political rights of the coloured people, ought, and we trust does, occupy a distinguished place in the feelings and affections of our people. The more perfectly and securely to carry into effect that part of their plan relating to schools, they deemed it necessary to send our very worthy and highly talented advocate and defender, William Lloyd Garrison, to England, to endeavour to raise funds to aid in that enterprise, but not less to unfold the manifold misrepresentations respecting the people of colour, by Mr. Elliot Cresson, an agent of the American Colonization Society, in his addresses to the British people.

On the subject of the American Colonization Society, the expression of public sentiment has been frequently and clearly given, and as an evidence of our unvaried conviction of its hostility to our interests, we refer to the address and report on that subject. We cannot, however, brethren, pass over this important cause of much of our debasement, without informing you that we have arrived at that point in the examining of the duties submitted for our consideration, that we must necessarily leave the confined borders of our own view of natural, civil, and political rights, growing out of immemorial prescriptive usage, that birth constitutes citizenship. Theories, perfectly new and multiform, are offered for adjudication. We shall decline a decision until we have examined their several merits We shall first call your attention to the most


important of these theories, that of the American Colonization Society, not only because it pursues, by its dependent agents the most irrational course to effect the object they profess to have in view, as unfolded by them to the people of the North, but that the supporters of the system at the South are among the moat talented and respectable of their citizens; how these men should advocate a cause so incommensurate to produce the avowed desired effects, seems involved in impenetrable mystery. But it is worse than idle when the address is made to the common sense of common men, to ask whether a child or person born in the United States of America can be considered a native of England. The philanthropists of this association have endeavoured to establish, as a primary belief, that the coloured child, that is, the child not white, no matter how how many generations he may be able to trace in a lineal ascent, is an African, and ought to be sent to the land of his forefathers—Africa. When they have worked up the fancy of their hearers to that pitch that they really believe us to be Africans, it becomes an easy matter to excite their sympathy so that they readily loose their purse-strings, and voluntarily contribute to the beneficent scheme of the Society to restore us to the land of our nativity. The show of seeming seriousness in combatting so ludicrous a position, if it was not upheld by a very respectable portion of the intelligence of the country, might create a doubt of the intent.

But this society has most grossly vilified our character as a people; it has taken much pains to make us abhorrent to the public, and then pleads the necessity of sending us into banishment. A greater outrage could not be committed against an unoffending people; and the hypocrisy that has marked its movements, deserves our universal censure. We have been cajoled into measures by the most false representations of the advantages to be derived from our emigration to Africa. The recommendation has been offered as presenting the greatest and best interests to ourselves. No argument has been adduced, other than that based on prejudice, and that prejudice founded on our difference of colour. If shades of difference in complexion is to operate to make men the sport of powerful caprice, who can pretend to determine how long it may be before, on this principle, the colonists may be again compelled to migrate to the land of their fathers in America.

The conduct of this institution is the most unprincipled that has been realized in almost any civilized country. Based and supported as it was, by some men of the greatest wealth and talent that the country boasts, under the sanction of names so respectable, the common sense of the community was led astray, little imagining that any thing more was designed. than appeared on the surface, viz. the improvement of the condition of the people of colour, by their removal to Africa, and the evangelizing of that continent. The hidden insidious design in our removal, political expediency, was confined to the few that organized the society; its secret purposes have been kept as close as possible. But Southern inquisitiveness demanded a developement of the secret, with which they were satisfied, and it received their support—while the North, prompted by sentiments of benevolence towards us, entered


heartily into the scheme. But the real objects being now manifest many have withdrawn their support from it, from their conviction of its insufficiency to perform what was expected, and the want of good faith on the part of the society, as to its real object in awakening their sympathy. The deception is discovered, and it is hoped that before long, the man of colour will be reinstated in his natural rights.

In the city of New· York, there has been lately formed an institution called the Phoenix Society, consisting of some of the most wealthy and talented men in that city, white and coloured, the object of which is to unite the whole coloured people into a fraternity for our improvement ; and it is hoped, that under the guidance of Almighty God, our most sanguine expectations will be realized.

ABRAHAM D. SHADD, President.

Philadelphia, June 13, 1833.

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Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Color, Third Annual (1833 : Philadelphia, PA), “Minutes and proceedings of the Third annual Convention, for the Improvement of the Free People of Colour in these United States, :held by adjournments in the city of Philadelphia, from the 3d to the 13th of June inclusive, 1833.,” Colored Conventions Project Digital Records, accessed July 23, 2021,