Colored Conventions Project Digital Records

Minutes of the Fourth Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Colour, in the United States; held by adjournments in the Asbury Church, New York, from the 2nd to the 12th of June, inclusive, 1834.


Click image to view file:

1834 New York National Convention.pdf
1834NY 1.pdf
1834NY 2.pdf
1834NY 3.pdf
1834NY 4.pdf
1834NY 5.pdf
1834NY 6.pdf
1834NY 7.pdf
1834NY 8.pdf
1834NY 9.pdf
1834NY 10.pdf
1834NY 11.pdf
1834NY 12.pdf
1834NY 13.pdf
1834NY 14.pdf
1834NY 15.pdf
1834NY 16.pdf
1834NY 17.pdf
1834NY 18.pdf
1834NY 19.pdf
1834NY 20.pdf
1834NY 21.pdf
1834NY 22.pdf
1834NY 23.pdf
1834NY 24.pdf
1834NY 25.pdf
1834NY 26.pdf
1834NY 27.pdf
1834NY 28.pdf
1834NY 29.pdf
1834NY 30.pdf
1834NY 31.pdf
1834NY 32.pdf
1834NY 33.pdf
1834NY 34.pdf
1834NY 35.pdf

Dublin Core


Minutes of the Fourth Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Colour, in the United States; held by adjournments in the Asbury Church, New York, from the 2nd to the 12th of June, inclusive, 1834.


Pamphlet (36 p. ; 22 cm.)

















From the 2d to the 12th of June inclusive, 1834.





THE Delegates to the Fourth Annual Convention for the improvement of the Free People of Colour, in the United States, agreeably to public notice, met at Chatham-street Chapel, at half past 10 o'clock, on Monday, June 2, 1834. Mr. William Hamilton, President of the Conventional Board, took his seat as Chairman of the meeting, and Mr. James Fields, assisted by Mr. Theodore C. Breshaw, officiated as Secretary.

Prayer was offered by the Rev. Mr. Raymond, and a discourse delivered by Rev. Mr. Cornish, after which the President of the Conventional Board addressed the delegates.


It is with the most pleasing sensations, that I, in behalf of my coloured fellow citizens of New-York, tender you of the Delegation to this Convention, a hearty welcome to our city. And in behalf of the Conventional Board, I repeat the welcome. And, gentlemen, with regard to myself, my full heart vibrates the felicitation.

You have convened to take into consideration what may be the best means for the promotion of the best interest of the people of colour of these United States, particularly of the free people thereof. And that such Convention is highly necessary, I think a few considerations will amply show.

First, the present form of society divides the interest of the community into several parts. Of these, there is that of the white man, that of the slave, and that of the free coloured man. How lamentable, how very lamentable, it is that there should be, any where on earth, a community of castes, with separate interests! That society must be the most happy, where the good of one is the common good of the whole. Civilization is not perfect, nor has reason full sway, until the community shall see that a wrong done to one is a wrong done to the whole; that the interest of one is or ought


to be the common interest of the whole. Surely that must be a happy state of society where the sympathies of all are to all alike.

How pleasing, what a compliment to the nation, is the expression of Mons. Vallier, a celebrated traveller in Africa, where, speaking of the Hottentots, he says "There none need to offer themselves as objects of compassion, for all are compassionate." Whatever our early-tutored prejudice may say to the contrary, such a people must be happy. Give me a residence in such a society, and I shall fancy myself in a community the most refined.

But alas for the people of colour in this community ! their interest is not identified with that of other men. From them, white men stand aloof. For them the eye of pity hath scarcely a tear.

To them the hand of kindness is palsied, to them the dregs of mercy scarcely are given. To them the finger of scorn is pointed ; contumely and reproach is continually theirs. They are a taunt, a hissing, and a by-word. They must cringe, and crouch, and crawl, and succumb to their peers. Long, long, long has the demon of prejudice and persecution beset their path. And must they make no effort to throw off the evils by which they are beset? Ought they not to meet to spread out their wrongs before one another ? Ought they not to meet to consult on the best means of relief? Ought they not to make one weak effort ; nay, one strong, one mighty moral effort, to roll off the burden that crushes them?

Under present circumstances it is highly necessary the free people of colour should combine, and closely attend to their own particular interest. All kinds of jealousy should be swept away from among them, and their whole eye fixed, intently fixed, on their own peculiar welfare. And can they do better than to meet thus; to take into consideration what are the best means to promote their elevation, and after having decided, to pursue those means with unabating zeal until their end is obtained?

Another reason why this Convention is necessary, is, that there is formed a strong combination against the people of colour, by some who are the master spirits of the day, by men


whose influence is of the strongest character, to whom this nation bow in humble submission, and submit to their superior judgement, who turn public sentiment whichever way they please.

You cannot but perceive that I allude to the Colonization Society. However pure the motives of some of the members of that society may be, yet the master spirits thereof are evil minded towards us. They have put on the garb of angels of light. Fold back their covering, and you have in full array those of darkness.

I need not spread before you the proofs of their evil purposes. Of that you have had a quantity sufficient; and were there no other good reason for this Convention, the bare circumstance of the existence of such an institution would be a sufficient one. I do hope, confidently hope, that the time will arrive, and is near at hand, when we shall be in full possession of all the rights of men.

But as long at least as the Colonization Society exists, will a Convention of coloured people be highly necessary. This society is the great Dagon of the land, before whom the people bow and cry, Great Jehovah, and to whom they would sacrifice the free people of colour. That society has spread itself over this whole land; it is artful, it suits itself to all places. It is one thing at the south, and another at the north; it blows hot and cold; it sends forth bitter and sweet; it sometimes represents us as the most corrupt, vicious, and abandoned of any class of men in the community. Then again we are kind, meek, and gentle. Here we are ignorant, idle, a nuisance, and a drawback on the resources of the country. But as abandoned as we are, in Africa we shall civilize and christianize all that heathen country. And by thus preaching continually, they have distilled into the minds of the community a desire to see us removed.

They have resorted to every artifice to effect their purposes, by exciting in the minds of the white community, the fears of insurrection and amalgamation; by petitioning State legislatures to grant us no favours; by petitioning Congress to aid in sending us away; by using their influence to prevent the establishment of seminaries for our instruction in the higher branches of education.


And such are the men of that society that the community are blind to their absurdities, contradictions and paradoxes. They are well acquainted with the ground and the wiles by which to beguile the people.

It is therefore highly necessary we should meet, in order that we may confer on the best means to frustrate the purpose of so awful a foe.

I would beg leave to recommend an attentive consideration to this matter. Already you have done much toward the enervation of this giant: he begins to grow feeble; indeed he seems to be making his last struggle, if we may judge from his recent movements. Hang around him; assail him quickly. He is vulnerable. Well pointed darts will fetch him down, and soon he breathes no more.

Cheer up my friends! Already has your protest against the Colonization Society shown to the world that the people of colour are not willing to be expatriated. Cheer up. Already a right feeling begins to prevail. The friends of justice, of humanity, and the rights of man are drawing rapidly together, and are forming a moral phalanx in your defence.

That hitherto strong-footed, but sore-eyed vixen, prejudice, is limping off, seeking the shade. The Anti-Slavery Society and the friends of immediate abolition, are taking a noble, bold and manly stand, in the cause of universal liberty. It is true they are assailed on every quarter, but the more they are assailed the faster they recruit. From present appearances the prospect is cheering, in a high degree. Anti-Slavery Societies are forming in every direction. Next August proclaims the British dominions free from slaves.

These United States are her children, they will soon follow so good an example. slavery, that Satanic monster, that beast whose mark has been so long stamped n the forehead of the nations, shall be chained and cast down into the blackness and darkness for ever.

Soon, my brethren, shall the judgment be set. Then shall rise in glory and triumph, reason, virtue, kindness and liberty, and take a high exalted stand among the sons of men. Then shall tyranny, cruelty, prejudice and slavery be cast down to the lowest depths of oblivion; yea, be banished from the


presence of God, and the glory of his power for ever. Oh blessed consummation, and devoutly to be desired!

It is for you, my brethren, to help on in this work of moral improvement. Man is capable of high advances in his reasoning and moral faculties. Man is in the pursuit of happiness. And reason, or experience, which is the parent of reason, tells us that the highest state of morality is the highest state of happiness. Aside from a future day of judgment and retribution, there is always a day of retribution at hand. That society is most miserable that is most immoral—that most happy that is most virtuous. Let me therefore recommend earnestly that you press upon our people the necessity and advantage of a moral reformation. It may not produce an excess of riches, but it will produce a higher state of happiness, and render our circumstances easier.

You, gentlemen, can begin here. By managing this conference in a spirit of good will and true politeness; by constantly keeping in view and cultivating a spirit of peace, order and harmony, rather than satire, wit, and eloquence; by putting the best possible construction on each other's language, rather than charging each other with improper motives. These dispositions will bespeak our character more or less virtuous and refined, and render our sitting more or less pleasant. I will only now add, that the report of the Conventional Board will be submitted at your call; and my earnest hope is that you may have a peaceful, pleasant sitting.

Leave having been granted, Rev. Mr. Dennison offered the following resolution, and addressed the meeting in its support, viz:

Resolved, that the Conventional Board take measures for holding a public meeting in the chapel during the recesses of the Convention, at which meeting addresses shall be delivered and the citizens invited to attend.

On motion of Mr. Berrian, resolved that this meeting adjourn to meet at 3 P.M. at the Asbury Church, Elizabeth-street. The Benediction was then pronounced by Rev. Mr. Rush.

Monday Afternoon, June 2.

The delegates assembled at the hour to which they were


adjourned, in Asbury Church. The President of the Conventional Board called the house to order, and prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Hogarth.

On motion of Mr. Vogelsang resolved, that inasmuch as no rule was laid down by the last Convention held in Philadelphia, respecting the obligation of the Secretary of the Board to perform the duties of Secretary of the Convention, that James Fields be appointed Secretary, and Theodore C. Breshaw, Assistant Secretary.

On motion of Mr. Hughes, resolved, that the credentials of Delegates be called up in geographical order, beginning with the most eastern State. The credentials of Delegates present, were accordingly presented and severally accepted as follows, viz.


Charles L. Remond, Salem. James G. Barbadoes, Boston. John C. Scarlett.

New Bedford.

Jacob Perry, Nathan Johnson.


New Haven.

Henry M. Merriman, Alexander C. Luca,

Hoshea Easton, Hartford.


Providence, George Spywood.


Robert Jackson, Catskill.


Jared Gray, Nathan Blount.


John G. Stewart, Charles S. Morton.


George Hogarth, Henry C. Thompson, Henry Brown, Thomas S. Thompson, Abraham Brown.


John K. Jackson, James W.C. Pennington.

City of New-York.

Benjamin F. Hughes, William Hamilton, Sen. Henry Sipkins, Samuel Hardenburg, Peter Vogelsang.


Abner H. Francis, Trenton.


John D. Closson, Henry Drayton.

Amos Freeman, Rahway.

Henry Ogden, Orange.




John Peck, Frederick A. Hinton, Samuel C. Hutchins. Columbia. Stephen Smith, Joshua P.B. Eddy. William Brewer, Wilkesbarre. West Chester. Abraham D. Shadd, Eli Johnson, Benjamin Wilson, Joseph Pierce. Samuel Van Brackle, Chester. Henry C. Sippins, Easton. City of Philadelphia. William Whipper, Thomas Butler, James Bird, Peter Gardner.


Baltimore, Theodore J.B. London.


Cincinnati, Owen T.B. Nicken.

On motion of Mr. Sipkins, Resolved, that a committee of seven be appointed by the President to nominate officers of the Convention, whereupon the following persons were appointed that committee, viz: Mr. Smith, of Pennsylvania; Mr. Jackson, of New-York; Mr. Hogarth, of New-York; Mr. Francis, of Trenton; Mr. Hughes, of New-York; Mr. Van Brackle, of Pennsylvania; Mr. Peck, of Pennsylvania.

The Convention then adjourned to meet at 9 o'clock on Tuesday A.M.

Tuesday Morning, June 3.

The Convention met as per adjournment. Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Perry. The Secretary pro. tem. being unavoidably absent, Mr. Ogden, of New-Jersey, was requested to fill his place.

The nominating committee being called upon to report, on motion of Mr. Brewer, Resolved, that three persons be appointed inspectors of the election. The President accordingly appointed Messrs. Henry C. Thompson, James Cornish and Thomas Butler, inspectors.

The committee of inspection reported the following gentlemen, as being duly elected officers of the convention, viz:





ABNER H. FRANCIS, Assistant do.



The officers were accordingly announced by the Chairman and invited to their seats.

On motion, Resolved, that the rules and regulations of the last, be adopted for the government of this Convention.

Resolved, that any member absent at the call of the roll shall report himself to the President, on his afterwards entering the house.

Resolved, that the hour of adjournment be suspended to a quarter before 2 o'clock, for the purpose of hearing Mr. Peck's resolution.

Mr. Peck then presented the following resolution, viz: That a Committee of seven be appointed, in compliance with a desire mutually expressed on the part of the contending delegations from Philadelphia, to investigate and settle the difference between them; and that each of the parties shall be permitted to choose three of the committee; and the President shall appoint the seventh, the parties agreeing to be governed by the decision of the committee so appointed. After much discussion the question was put and decided in the affirmative. The parties then announced their selection as follows, viz: On the one part, Abner H. Francis, Samuel C. Hutchins, Robert Jackson; and on the other part, Peter Vogelsang, Samuel Van Brackle, Joshua P. B. Eddy. Mr. Hamilton was appointed by the President on the part of the Convention.

Adjourned till 3 o'clock, P. M.

Afternoon Session.

Prayer by the Rev. Hoshea Easton.

President in the chair. The roll having been called and the minutes of the morning session read, Resolved, that fifteen be a quorum to proceed to business.

Resolved, that the Secretary be paid twelve shillings per day, for his services during the session of this Convention.

On motion of Mr. Barbadoes, Resolved, that 2000 copies of Mr. Hamilton's address be printed for gratuitous distribution, and that a committee of three be appointed to prepare Mr. Hamilton's address for publication.

Messrs. Hamilton, Jackson, and Barbadoes, were appointed said committee.


On motion of Mr. Brewer, Resolved, that a committee be appointed to inquire into the expediency of establishing a Manual Labour School for the education of Coloured Youth, and for their instruction in the agricultural and mechanic arts, at some central point in the middle States, and that said committee make a report to this Convention. Laid on the table for further consideration.

On motion of Mr. Pennington, Resolved, that a committee of five be appointed by the chair, to lay before this Convention such business as may be necessary for them to act upon, and that they report as soon as possible. Messrs. Pennington, Thompson, Van Brackle, Easton and Remond, were appointed said committee.

On motion of Mr. Peck, Resolved, that this Convention adjourn on Friday next.

On motion of Mr. Hamilton, Resolved, that Mr. Peck's motion be laid on the table until Friday next.

On motion of Mr. Brewer, Resolved, that the Conventional Board report to-morrow morning.

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

Wednesday Morning, June 4.

The President in the chair. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Drayton.

The roll was called and the minutes of the preceding session were read.

On motion of Mr. Barbadoes, Resolved, that a committee be appointed to make the necessary arrangements for publishing the minutes of the Convention, as speedily as possible.

On motion of Mr. Peck, Resolved, that the President appoint a committee of three to be associated with the Secretary as a publishing committee. The following persons were accordingly appointed, viz: Messrs. Hamilton, Barbadoes and Jackson.

On motion of Mr. Hamilton, Resolved that a committee consisting of one Delegate from each State be appointed by the President, to take measures for holding a public meeting on Monday or Tuesday evening, as my be most convenient, for the purpose of hearing statements from the several Delegations, as to the general state of our cause throughout the


county. Messrs. Barbadoes, Spywood, Merriman, Jackson, London, Peck and Nickens were appointed.

The committee appointed to lay before this Convention suitable business to be acted upon, report the following:

1. That a committee be appointed to suggest some plan, by which to remove some of the principal effects of that prejudice which prevails against coloured citizens. Such as exclusion from equal church privileges, and the disadvantages to which we are subjected in travelling by steam boats and stages.

2. Whereas strong combinations are formed for the express purpose of perpetually excluding coloured people from acquiring knowledge in the mechanic arts, that a committee be appointed to point out the most efficient means of making general a knowledge of the above named arts.

3. That a committee be appointed to ascertain what access is granted to people of colour in Manual Labour Schools, already established in different parts of the country ; and whether there is any prospect of other Manual Labour Schools being established, to which we may have access.

4. That a committee be appointed to consider the claims to the Liberator, and to point out the best way in which our influence may be directed for the sustenance of that and other papers pledged to our cause.

5. That a committee be appointed to examine the merits and demerits of the Colonization Society, so far as its advocates claim to have missionary objects in view.

6. That a committee be appointed to inquire whether laws have been passed by any of the State legislatures during the present year, bearing on the rights and liberties of coloured citizens; and in case such laws have been passed, to propose the proper mode of opposing them, and effecting their repeal.

7. That a committee be appointed to draft a constitution for the government of the Convention of free persons of colour.

8. That a committee be appointed to prepare an address to the free people of colour, expressive of the views of this Convention, relative to the policy they should observe in all public relations in which we are liable to be classed as a people distinct from other portions of the community.


The above report was accepted and taken up by sections for adoption. The merits of each section having been discussed and approved, the entire report was adopted; and by order of the house, the President appointed a committee to report upon each section as follows, viz. Messrs. Easton, Johnson and Spywood on the first; Messrs. Ogden, Easton and Hogarth on the second; Messrs. Barbadoes, Hinton and London on the third; Messrs. Eddy, Shadd and Blount on the fourth; Messrs. Whipper, Van Brackle, Easton, Johnson and Luca on the fifth. Adjourned to 3 o'clock, P. M.

Afternoon Session.

The President in the chair. Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Perry. Messrs. Israel Lewis of Wilberforce, U. C.; Evan Williams of Port au Prince, Hayti; and Richard Voluntine of Cranbury, N. Y. were admitted honorary members of this Convention.

The heads of the several Delegations reported; and on motion of Mr. Robt. Jackson, the following persons, viz. Messrs. Nickens, Eddy and Drayton were appointed a committee to condense the reports.

Elizur Wright, Jun. Esq., was introduced and leave granted him to address the Convention. Arthur Tappan, Esq. was introduced to the Convention.

Mr. Hinton submitted a resolution to suspend the rule relative to the appointment of Delegates, in order to admit the Philadelphia Delegations to seats as members of the Convention. After some discussion on the propriety of the measure, the resolution was withdrawn. Adjourned to meet to-morrow, at 9 o'clock, A. M.

Thursday Morning, June 5.

The President in the chair. Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Eddy. The roll was called and the Minutes of the preceding session were read. A communication from Utica, N. Y. was received, bearing the signature of Messrs. Brown, Wycoff and


Fountain, and referred to the committee for condensing the Minutes.

Mr. Hughes submitted the following preamble and resolution, seconded by Mr. Hinton, viz. Whereas, it is the duty of this Convention, to guard the general interests of the coloured community of this country; and whereas, it is conceived that all vain expenditures of time and pomp in dress, are deleterious in their effects, inasmuch as they tend to impoverish us, and to increase the prejudice and contempt of the whites. Therefore, Resolved, That we disapprove, will discountenance and suppress, so far as we have power or influence, the exhibition and procession usually held on the fifth day of July annually, in the city of New-York ; and all other processions of coloured people, not necessary for the interment of the dead.

On motion of Mr. Shadd, Resolved, That this resolution be made the order of the day for 3 o'clock to-morrow, P. M.

On motion of Mr. Peck, seconded by Mr. Drayton, Resolved, That this Convention organize itself into a National Society, for the general improvement of the free people of colour in the United States, and that a committee of seven be appointed to draft a constitution for the government of said society. After some remarks in favour and against the resolution, it was laid on the table for future consideration.

The committee on the first section of report on business proper to be acted on, reported. The report was accepted, and taken up by sections for adoption. Adjourned till 3 o'clock, P. M.

Afternoon Session.

The President in the chair. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Drayton. The roll was called and the Minutes of the morning session were read. The unfinished business of the morning was taken up for consideration, when, on motion, a suspension was ordered, to receive the report on contested Delegations. The committee reported Messrs. Bird, Butler, Gardner, Whipper and Purvis to be the legally appointed Delegates from Philadelphia; the report was adopted, and such parts of the Delegation as were present, were admitted to their seats.


On motion of Mr. Hinton, seconded by Mr. Hutchins, Resolved, That a committee of seven persons be appointed to consider and report upon the whole subject of Abolition, as set forth by our uncompromising friends of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

The report of the committee on the first section of the above named report, was again called up and discussed; when, on motion, it was Resolved, That the recommendations therein contained, with the exception of the last clause of the third section as follows, be rejected, viz. To obviate all difficulty in travelling, Resolved, that our people be recommended to patronize those conveyances and establishments only, in which are granted us equal privileges for our money. Adjourned till to-morrow 9 o'clock, A. M.

Friday Morning, June 6.

President in the chair. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Nickens. The roll was called, and the Minutes of the preceding session were read. A communication was received from Mr. Vashon of Pittsburg, Penn., read and ordered on file. A communication was also received from Mrs. Fell of Philadelphia. Read and ordered on file.

Resolved, that the first hour of each morning session be devoted to the reading of communications.

Mr. Peck's resolution on forming a National Society, was taken up and discussed. Adopted by a large majority. Adjourned to meet at 3 o'clock, P. M .

Afternoon Session.

President in the chair. Prayer by the Rev. Theo. S. Wright. The roll was called and the Minutes of the morning session were read.

Resolved, that a committee of seven be appointed to draft a constitution for the government of the contemplated National Society; and that Messrs. Bird, Drayton, Hogarth, Easton, Van Brackle, Vogelsang and Hamilton be that committee.

Mr. Hughes' resolution on processions being the order of the day for this afternoon, was taken up. After a very protracted debate on its merits, the question was called for. Mr. Brown of Brooklyn, N. Y. magnanimously stated that he had hitherto been favourable to processions, and had taken con


siderable share in their arrangement; but that he was now convinced of their injurious tendency to his brethren, and consequently would have nothing more to do with them. The yeas and nays on the question were then demanded by calling the roll, and it was decided in the affirmative by an overwhelming majority, viz. Yeas, Remond, Barbadoes, Scarlett, Perry, Johnson, Merriman, Luca, Easton, Jackson, Hogarth, Brown, Thompson, Thompson, Brown, Hughes, Hamilton, Vogelsang, Jackson, Pennington, Gray, Blount, Peck, Depee, Hinton, Hutchins, Smith, Butler, Gardner, Francis, Closson, Drayton, Freeman, Ogden, Nicken, Lewis, Shadd, Johnson, Wilson, Spywood, Stewart, 40 Nays, Hardenburg, Brewer, 2.

A communication was received from the New-York Philomathean Society, praying the Convention to recommend the establishment of Literary Societies; the prayer of the petitioners was granted.

Saturday Morning, June 7.

President in the chair. Prayer by Rev. Hoshea Easton. The roll was called and the Minutes of the Iast session were read. The committee appointed to consider the merits, &c. of the Colonization Society, made the following report:

The committee appointed to investigate and report upon the merits of the Colonization Society, so far as its advocates claim to have missionary objects in view, beg leave to report that they have duly investigated the subject confided to them; and can find nothing worthy of commendation in the missionary operations of the society. They therefore recommend to the Convention the adoption of the following resolutions, viz.

First—Resolved, That in our opposition to the Colonization Society, we have not opposed ourselves to the persons, piety, or good intentions of men, nor to the civilization of Africa; but to the principles which aim at the root of our liberty; and so long as these odious principles are adhered to by any of our fellow citizens, we shall deem it our duty to feel and act with uncompromising hostility to the same. The character of the founders, of all who advocate, of those who support, and the popularity of the scheme notwithstanding.

Secondly, That we solemnly submit it to the Colonization


Society, whether under any consideration, and especially in view of our institutions, they have a right to continue our adherence to the project of our colonization.

Thirdly, That the free people of colour in all places, where it may he practicable, are advised to prepare memorials, to be signed by every citizen of their respective regions, who entertain sentiments of opposition; and to be sent to the Colonization Society at their next annual meeting, most respectfully requesting them to erase the words, free people of colour, with their consent, from the constitution.

Resolved, that 3000 copies of/the Minutes of this Convention be printed, and that each Delegation be furnished with 50 copies thereof.

On motion of Mr. Jackson, seconded by Mr. Ogden Resolved, that committees be appointed to correspond with persons residing at Liberia; to use every means for ascertaining the true situation of our brethren there colonized, how many are desirous to return to this country, but are prevented for want of means; and that this committee be authorized to publish from time to time the results of their correspondence.

Resolved, that a committee of Five be appointed, to appoint committees to carry into effect the above resolution. Messrs. Hamilton, Gardner, Remond, Easton and London were accordingly appointed.

Resolved, that a standing committee of Five be appointed for the city of New-York, to conduct the correspondence with Liberia, viz. Messrs. Vogelsang, Cornish, Williams, Hughes and Downing.

Resolved, that the Committees of correspondence are directed to report to the next Annual Convention, the measures proper to be adopted for the relief of the sufferers at Liberia: and whether supplies of provisions should be furnished them, or whether means should be raised to aid them in returning to their own country.

On motion of Mr. Francis, seconded by Mr. Barbadoes, Resolved, that an extract from the Minutes on the subject of processions, be published three times in three of the leading Daily and other papers in the city of New-York; and that



the treasurer of the Conventional Board is hereby instructed to pay the expenses of such publication.

Resolved, that the publishing committee, viz. Messrs. Hamilton, Barbadoes, Jackson and Hughes are instructed to carry the above resolution into full effect.

Mr. Easton proposed the following preamble and resolution, seconded by Mr. Luca, which was unanimously adopted: Whereas, there are certain grievances connected with the elective franchise, as now enjoyed by a portion of the free people of colour in our country, which demand prompt and efficient action; therefore, Resolved, that a committee of one Delegate from each State be appointed to consider and report upon the subject to this Convention. Messrs. Butler, Easton, Closson, Pennington, Hutchins, London, Stewart, Barbadoes, and Brewer were appointed that committee.

On motion of Mr. Hinton, seconded by Mr. Hughes, Resolved, that this Convention do most cordially approve of the disinterested and truly philanthropic course of Miss Prudence Crandall of Canterbury, Con., in her devotion to the education of female coloured youth; and we do most cheerfully commend her to the patronage and affection of the people of colour at large.

On motion of Mr. Luca, seconded by Mr. Easton, Resolved, that this Convention recommend to the free people of colour of the United States, the importance of meeting together in their respective locations on the fourth day of July. annually, for the purpose of prayer; that addresses be delivered on those subjects connected with our peculiar situation and· our moral and political improvement; and that collections be taken up on such occasions to aid the objects of the Convention.

Mr. Olney of Canterbury, Con., was introduced to the Convention, and invited to the seat of an honorary member. Adjourned to Monday, 9 o'clock, A. M., when Mr. Van Brackle has the floor, to continue his remarks on the appointment of a committee to report on the subject of abolition.

Monday Morning, June 9.

The Convention met as per adjournment. The President in the chair. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Easton. The roll having


been called and the Minutes of the last session read, the annual report of the Conventional Board was read and accepted.


The Board beg leave to Report, that they formed on the 28th of June last past, and perceiving that they were then wholly without funds, and that the funds expected to be received would not be sufficient to pay the current expenses of the year, they thought it necessary to devise some plan by which they might be increased. Having received a letter from the Rev. Charles Gardner, tendering his services to preach a discourse on the fourth of July, they accepted his services, and procured Zion Church at which place the address of the Convention to the people colour, with the Minutes of a former year were distributed. A collection was taken up amounting to $25. The Board likewise obtained Bethel Church, in September and again distributed addresses and Minutes, and collected about $7. After the necessary expenses of these meetings were paid, a balance of about $16 in favour of the Board was left.

The Board would report, that for the Minutes of the last Convention, there have been no returns of moneys whatever, except from the city of New-York; from which city they received for five hundred copies $9 33; they likewise report that agreeably to the book of the last treasurer, Mr. Hinton there was a balance in his hands of $133 38 of which sum he remitted $88 34; stating at the same time that he retained moneys in his hands for the payment of room-hire, for the use of the Conventional Board.

The Board take pleasure in stating, that Mr. Downing and Mr. Frazer, cheerfully accommodated their sessions, and furnished refreshments to them without charge.

The Board would now lay before you their treasurer's account, hoping' you will find it satisfactory; likewise the Minutes of the Conventional Board; any explanation which may be wanted, will be given by their chairman.

Signed on behalf of the Board,

WM. HAMILTON, President.

JAMES FIELDS, Secretary.



Conventional Board, in account with Jno. Robertson, Treasurer.



June 14.

To Sundries paid for Books, Stationary, copying Minutes, &c... $136 18 3/4

Balance in the Treasurer's hands to date... 148 36 3/4

$248 55 1/2



June 14.

By Sundries received to date $284... 55 1/2

$284 55 1/2

Mr. Van Brackle, resumed at great length his speech on the appointment of a committee on abolition. On the question being submitted to the house, it was decided in the affirmative ; and Messrs. Barbadoes, Merriman, Hogarth, Bird, Drayton, London and Spywood, appointed as a committee to report resolutions proper to be adopted on the subject.

Dr. Atlec, the elder, of Philadelphia, was introduced by the President, and addressed the Convention ; expressing the high gratification afforded him by the interview, and the orderly manner of conducting the deliberations.

The report of the Corresponding Secretary, was read and accepted.

The committee appointed to consider the claims of the Liberator, &c., made the following report, which was adopted.

The committee appointed to consider the claims of the Liberator, and to point out the best method of sustaining its influence; and also, to notice all such papers as are pledged to our cause, beg leave to report to this Convention, that the Liberator demands our special regard.

We acknowledge that that periodical has been too much neglected, and therefore would recommend the following resolutions viz. That this Convention request all auxiliary societies connected with this Convention, to pay strict attention to the patronage and circulation of the Liberator, the Emancipator, and all other papers pledged to our interest. And, that


each Delegation shall be a committee to take proper measures for their ample support and permanent continuance

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

Afternoon Session.

President in the chair. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Drayton. The roll was called and the Minutes of the morning session were read.

On motion of Mr. Van Brackle, seconded by Mr. Merriman, Resolved, that the thanks of this Convention are hereby tendered to the Conventional Board, for their zealous, discreet and faithful services during the past year.

Resolved, that the publishing committee are hereby directed to publish, in connexion with the Minutes, the proclamation of Gen. Jackson and his Aid-de-camp, addressed to the free people of colour, in September, 1814.


Head Quarters, Seventh Military District, Mobile, September 21, 1814. To the Free Coloured Inhabitants of Louisania.

Through a mistaken policy you have heretofore been deprived of a participation in the glorious struggle for national rights, in which our country is engaged. This no longer shall exist.

As sons of Freedom, you are now called upon to defend our most inestimable blessing. As Americans, your country looks with confidence to her adopted children, for a valourous support, as a faithful return for the advantages enjoyed under her mild and equitable government. As fathers, husbands, and brothers, you are summoned to rally round the standard of the Eagle, to defend all which is dear in existence.

Your country, although calling for your exertions, does not wish you to engage in her cause, without remunerating you tor the services rendered. Your intelligent minds are not to be


led away by false representations - your love of honour would cause you to despise the man who should attempt to deceive you. In the sincerity of a soldier, and the language of truth, I address you.

To every noble hearted freeman of colour, volunteering to serve during the present contest with Great Britain, and no longer, there will be paid the same bounty in money and lnnds, now received by the white soldiers of the United States, viz., one hundred and twenty-four dollars in money, and one hundred and sixty acres of land. The non-commissioned officers and privates will also be entitled to the same monthly pay and daily rations and clothes, furnished to any American soldier.

On enrolling yourselves in companies, the Major General commanding, will select officers for your government, from your white fellow citizens. Your non-commissioned officers will be appointed from among yourselves.

Due regard will be paid to the feelings of freemen and soldiers. You will not, by being associated with white men in the same corps, be exposed improper comparisons or unjust sarcasm. As a distinct, independent battalion or regiment, pursuing the path of glory, you will, undivided, receive the applause and gratitude of your countrymen.

To assure you of the sincerity of my intentions and my anxiety to engage your invaluable services to our country, I have communicated my wishes to the Governor of Loujsiana, who is fully informed as to the manner of enrolments, and will give you every necessary information on the subject of this address.

ANDREW JACKSON, Major General Commanding


"Proclamation to the Free People of Colour."

"Soldiers !—When on the banks of the Mobile, I called you to take up arms, inviting you to partake the perils and glory of your white fellow citizens, I expected much from you; for I


was not ignorant that you possessed qualities most formidable to an invading enemy. I knew with what fortitude you could endure hunger and thirst, and all the fatigues of a campaign. I know well how you loved your native country, and that you had as well as ourselves, to defend what man hold most dear—his parents, relations, wife, children and property. You have done more than I expected. In addition to the previous qualities I before knew you to possess, I found moreover, among you, a noble enthusiasm which leads to the performance of great things.

Soldiers !—The President of the United States shall hear how praiseworthy was your conduct in the hour of danger, and the representatives of the American people will, I doubt not, give you the praise your exploits entitle you to. Your General anticipates them in applauding your noble ardour.

The enemy approaches, his vessels cover our lakes, our brave citizens are united, and all contention has ceased among them. Their only dispute is, who shall win the prize of valor, or who the most glory, its noblest reward.

By Order,

THOMAS BUTLER, Aid de Camp."

Adjourned till to-morrow, at 9 o'clock, A. M.

Tuesday Morning, June I0.

President in the chair. Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Jackson. The roll was called and the Minutes of the last session were read.

Resolved, that the Convention adjourn at half past 2 P. M. on Thursday. On motion of Mr. Whipper, seconded by Mr. Hutchins, Resolved, that this Convention make a positive and formal declaration to the world, of their sentiments on those subjects which now engage the attention of the people of the United States, with respect to the future condition of the coloured population ; including a definite expression of the course they feel morally bound to pursue, that they may successfully aid in the prosecution of the objects contemplated.

Resolved, that the President appoint a committee of three to report on the above resolution. Messrs. Whipper, Hamilton and Stewart were appointed, with instructions to report on Wednesday morning.


The committee appointed to consider and report on the subject of abolition, submitted the following report, which was adopted, and ordered to be published in connexion with preamble and constitution of the New England Anti-Slavery Society.


"Whereas we believe that Slavery is contrary to the precepts of Christianity, dangerous to the liberties of the country, and ought immediately to be abolished ; and whereas, we believe that the citizen of New-England not only have the right to protest against it, but are under the highest obligation to seek its removal by a moral influence; and whereas, we believe that the free people of colour are unrIghteously oppressed, and stand in need of our sympathy and benevolent co-operation; therefore, recognizing the inspired declaration that God 'hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth,' and in obedience to our Saviour's golden rule, 'all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them;' we agree to form ourselves into a society, and to be governed by the following principles.

"The objects of the society shall be, to endeavour, by all means sanctioned by law, humanity and religion, to effect the abolition of slavery in the United States; to improve the character and condition of the free people of colour, to inform ond correct public opinion in relation to their situation and rights, and obtain for them equal civil and political rights and privileges with the whites."

Whereas the principles of the Anti-Slavery Societies embrace all the objects of benevolence, and advocate the rights of the bond as well as the free.

Resolved, that they merit the expression of our warmest gratitude, and cheerful support, individually or collectively.

Resolved, that it is expedient that this Convention, or its members individually co-operate with the Anti-Slavery advocates to the utmost of our ability, in the onward march of prosperity, or in the adverse frowns of the opponents of the glorious cause which they have espoused.

On motion of Mr. Merriman, seconded by Mr. Spywood, Resolved, that this Convention deem it the duty of all persons of colour, to discountenance all Boarding houses where gaming is tolerated and practised Adjourned to meet to-morrow, at 9 o'clock, A. M.


Wednesday Morning, June 11.

President in the Chair. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Dennison. The roll having been called and the minutes of the last session read, the Committee appointed to condense the reports of the several delegations submitted the following


THE Committee appointed to condense the reports of delegations have had under consideration twenty-five reports. From these, they have derived very satisfactory information on the state of the free coloured population generally. They are gratified to learn that not only have the institutions for moral, religious and literary improvement throughout the non-slave holding states increased in numbers, but that they have during the past year assumed a character of decided superiority. In moral reform, the people appear to have made rapid advancement. Temperance societies are being made the order of the day; gaming and extravagance are being superseded by a judicious husbandry of finances; and idleness and levity are yielding precedence to industry and reflection. Day and Sabbath Schools of an acknowledged reputable character have been multiplied; teachers of colour, have been introduced to public patronage: literary societies and libraries have been established; lectures have been instituted and contributions levied for their support. And, notwithstanding the malevolence of the Colonization Society, the friends of the coloured man are evidently increasing. Seminaries of learning are being made accessible to our youth upon equal terms; Manual Labour Schools for the promiscuous admission of white and coloured lads upon liberal conditions are being organized; and facilities for travelling with comfort are, through our untiring friends of the Anti-Slavery Societies, every day increasing.—On the whole, your Committee think that we have great cause of gratulation to ourselves; of high esteem for our benefactors; and of deep heartfelt reliance on the Almighty Disposer of human events.

The Committee to whom was referred the inquiry, Whether any laws affecting the interests, &c. of people of colour have been enacted during the past year by State Legislatures, reported that so far as their inquiries have extended, no law of oppressive tendency has been enacted during the past year.



But that a memorial is now pending before the Legislature of Connecticut praying the passage of a law prohibiting the influx of coloured persons into that State. And that a remonstrance to the same has been made by the coloured Citizens of New-Haven; the result was not promulged when the Delegates from that quarter set out for this City.

The Committee appointed to frame a Constitution for the government of the contemplated society, presented their report, which was made the order of the day, for three o'clock this afternoon.

On motion of Mr. Luca, seconded by Mr. Hogarth, Resolved,That whereas the government of the Hartford Literary and Religious Institute contemplate the support of a High School in the City of Hartford, for the benefit of coloured youth ; and whereas public aid must be necessarily elicited for the support of said School ; that this Convention recommend the object as a praiseworthy one, fully entitled to liberal public patronage.

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

Afternoon Session.

President in the Chair. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Todd. The roll having been called and the minutes of the morning session read, the report of Committee on constitution was called for, taken up by sections and discussed, when, on motion, Resolved, that this Report be referred back to the same Committee; and that the Committee be enlarged by the addition of two to the original number. Messrs Gardner and Closson were appointed.

The President introduced Dr. Abm. L. Cox to the Convention.

The Committee to whom was referred the subject of the exclusion of coloured citizens from acquiring knowledge in the Mechanic Arts, reported that they deplore the existence of a formidable prejudice existing among the Mechanics of the country generally, against the instruction of coloured youth ; and also that a determined opposition to the employment of coloured workmen, on the part of Masters, and extreme


reluctance on the part of journeymen mechanics, to work in the same shop with coloured men, prevails to great extent. In view of these facts, however, they feel incompetent to devise such means as might be efficient to counteract the evil.

Resolved, That it be recommended by this Convention to the coloured people in the United States, that they avoid any uncalled for interference or participation in the public discussions or public meetings of Colonization or Anti-Slavery Societies.

Resolved, That the Clergymen of the coloured Churches be requested to aid the delegates in their respective regions of country, in promoting the objects of this Convention.

Adjourned till to-morrow, 9 o'clock.

Thursday Morning, June 12.

Convention met pursuant to adjournment. President in the Chair. Prayer by Rev. Hoshea Easton. The roll was called and the minutes of the last session were read.

The Committee appointed to prepare a Declaration of Sentiment, reported and their Report was accepted as follows.

Declaration of Sentiment.

That this Convention earnestly deplore the depressed condition of the coloured population of the United States ; and they have in vain searched the history of nations to find a parallel.

They claim to be the offspring of a parentage, that once, for their excellence of attainment in the arts, literature and science, stood before the world unrivalled. We have mournfully observed the fall of those institutions that shed lustre on our mother country, and extended to Greece and Rome those refinements that made them objects of admiration to the cultivators of science.

We have observed, that in no country under Heaven have the descendants of an ancestry once enrolled in the history of fame; whose glittering monuments stood forth as beacons, disseminating light and knowledge to the uttermost parts of the earth,


reduced to such degrading servitude as that under which we labour from the effect of American slavery and American prejudice.

The separation of our fathers from the land of their birth, earthly ties and early affections, was not only sinful in its nature and tendency, but it led to a system of robbery, bribery and persecution, offensive to the laws of nature and of justice.

Therefore, under whatever pretext or authority laws have been promulgated or executed, whether under parliamentary, colonial, or American legislation, we declare them in the sight of Heaven wholly null and void, and should be immediately abrogated.

That we find ourselves, after the lapse of three centuries, on the American continent, the remnants of a nation amounting to three millions of people, whose country has been pillaged, parents stolen, nine generations of which have been wasted by the oppressive cruelty of this nation, standing in the presence of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and the civilized world, appealing to the God of nations for deliverance.

Surely there is no people on earth whose patriotic appeals for liberty and justice, possess more hallowed claims on the just interposition of Divine Providence, to aid them in removing the unqualified system of tyranny and oppression, under which human beings ever groaned.

We rejoice that it is our lot to be the inhabitants of a country blest by nature, with a genial climate and fruitful soil, and where the liberty of speech and the press are protected by law.

We rejoice that we are thrown into a revolution where the contest is not for landed territory, but for freedom ; the weapons not carnal, but spiritual; where struggle is not for blood, but for right; and where the bow is the power of God, and the arrow the instrument of divine justice; while the victims are the devices of reason, and the prejudice of the human heart, It is in this glorious struggle for civil and religious liberty, for the establishment of peace on earth and good will to men, that we are morally bound by all the relative ties we owe to


the author of our being to enter the arena, and boldly contend for victory.

Our reliance and only hope is in God. If success attend the effort, the downfal of Africa from her ancient pride and splendour, will have been more than glorious to the establishment of religion; every drop of blood spilt by her descendants under the dominion of prejudice and persecution, will have produced peaceful rivers that shall wash from the soil of the human heart, the mountains of vice and corruption, under which this nation has long withered.

And if our presence in this country will aid in producing such a desirable reform, although we have been reared under a most debasing system of tyranny and oppression, we shall have been born under the most favourable auspices to promote the redemption of the world ; for our very sighs and groans, like the blood of martyrs, will prove to have been the seed of the church ; for they will freight the air with their voluminous ejaculations, will be borne upwards by the power of virtue to the great Ruler of Israel, for deliverance from this yoke of merciless bondage. Let us not lament, that under the present constituted powers of this government, we are disfranchised ; better far than to be partakers of its guilt. Let us refuse to be allured by the glittering endowments of official stations, or enchanted with the robe of American citizenship. But let us choose like true patriots, rather to be the victims of oppression, than the administrators of injustice.

Let no man remove from his native country, for our principles are drawn from the book of divine revelation, and are incorporated in the Declaration of Independence, " that all men are born equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Therefore, our only trust is in the agency of divine truth, and the spirit of American liberty; our cause is glorious and must finally triumph. Though the blighting hand of time, should sweep us from the stage of action ; though other generations should pass away, our principles will live for ever ; we will teach our children, and our children's children, to hand them down to unborn generations, and to the latest posterity ; not merely for the release


of the bondman from his chains, nor for the elevation of the free coloured man to the privileges of citizenship ; nor for the restoration of the world from infidelity and superstition; but from the more fatal doctrine of expediency, without which the true principles of religion can never be established, liberty never secure, or the sacred rights of man remain inviolate.

It is our fortune to live in an era, where the moral power of this nation is waking up to the evils of slavery, and the cause of our oppressed brethren throughout this country. We see two rival institutions* invoking the benevolence of nations to aid in changing our condition. The former proposes an indirect action on the sin of slavery, by removing the free, to the land of their fathers. The latter, a direct action on the subject of slavery by denouncing its guilt, while it pleads for the elevation of the free coloured man in the land of his nativity.

The former we reject. First, Because it is unnecessary, there being sufficient amount of territory on this continent to contain ten times the number of its present inhabitants. Secondly, Because it is anti-republican in its nature and tendency; for if our country were now overflowing with a redundant population, we should deny the right of any one class of men to designate those that should be first removed. Thirdly, Because if the few be removed, we have no security that slavery would be abolished; besides, if that were achieved, the victims of prejudice could scarcely be removed in a century, while the prejudice itself would still exist. Therefore we, as ardent lovers of our country's welfare, would be guilty of leaving it to writhe under the dominion of a prejudice inimical to the principles of morality, religion and virtue, while on the contrary we might have aided its removal. Therefore we believe and affirm that the duty we owe to the land of our birth, the interest of our suffering brethren, the cause of justice, virtue and religion, appeal to us in the most emphatic strains to remain on our soil, and see the salvation of God and the true principles of freedom.

Therefore we do not desire to see our numbers decreased, but we pray God that we may lawfully multiply in numbers,

• The Am. Co. So. and A A. S. S.


in moral and intellectual endowments, and that our visages may be as so many Bibles, that shall warn this guilty nation of her injustice and cruelty to the descendants of Africa, until righteousness, justice and truth, shall rise in their might and majesty, and proclaim from the halls of legislation that the chains of the bondsman have fallen, that the soil is sacred to liberty, and that without distinction of nation or complexion she disseminates alike her blessings of freedom to all mankind.

Then let us rally around her standard and aid in cementing and perpetuating that bond of union, but not till then.

As it regards the latter institution, we believe that it is preparing the way for that desirable event. With them we will make one common cause, satisfied to await the same issue.

With them we are willing to labour for its achievement, and terminate our lives as martyrs, in support of its principles. We will raise our moral flag, bearing for its inscription, " do unto others, as you would have them do unto you;" under this banner we will rally our countrymen without distinction of caste or complexion.

We therefore declare to the world, that our object is to extend the principles of universal peace and good will to all mankind, by promoting sound morality, by the influence of education, temperance, economy, and all those virtues that alone can render man acceptable in the eyes of God or the civilized world.

We therefore consider it due to our friends, and our enemies, nay, to the world, that previous to our taking this decided stand, we should make this just exposition of our sentiments.—We have drawn our principles of human rights from an authority above human legislation.—Therefore we cheerfully enter on this moral warfare in defence of liberty, justice, and humanity, conscious that whether we live to witness its completion, or die in anticipation of its glorious results, that it has already been committed to the friends of liberty and christianity throughout the world, and to them we look for its final consummation.—We therefore mutually pledge ourselves to these principles, the cause and the world, to do all that in our power lies, to hasten the period when justice and universal liberty shall sway the sceptre of nations.


The Committee on Constitution submitted their Report in form of a Constitution to govern each successive Convention.

Adjourned to 3 o'clock, P. M.

Afternoon Session.

President in the Chair. Prayer by Rev .Mr. Easton. The roll was called and the minutes of the morning session were read.

The Constitution for the government of the successive Conventions was taken up by sections for adoption. The merits of each section having been discussed, the Constitution was adopted with the exclusion of the second section of Art. second.


Whereas, the people of colour in these United States have signified their approbation of an Annual Convention for the improvement of the free people of colour in these United States," by their choosing and sending Delegates to represent them in said Conventions for the last four years. And whereas, it is considered necessary for the stability and duration of the policy of such annual meetings, that written articles of a compact between the said people and their representatives should be established; and whereas, the former mode of government by precedents, being vacillating and unstable, it is considered politic to establish a constitution. Therefore, we, the Delegates assembled in this fourth annual convention, held in the City of New-York in the month of June, year 1834, do conclude that the following articles shall be a constitution to govern the said conventions.


SECTION. I. This Association shall be known as "The National Convention of the people of colour," and shall consist of such number of Delegates as may be selected and sent by the people of colour, in the manner hereinafter prescribed.

SECT. II. The Convention shall hold its sittings annually, alternately in the cities of Philadelphia and New-York, on the first Monday in the month of June.

SECT. III. The Delegates shall be coloured men, over the age of twenty-one years, and who shall have resided in the state from which he shall be returned at least six months previous to his election.

SECT. IV. Each and every village, town, city, or county, in the different states of the union in which a society is or


may be formed, auxiliary to the Convention, shall be entitled to send Delegates, with or without the participation of persons not members; but under no pretence whatever shall any other body or society be allowed to send Delegates from such village, town, city, or county, where a Society shall or may exist, without the sanction of the senior society, in their participating in the selecting and electing such Delegates. But provided, that in any village, town, city, or county, where no such society shall exist, the people of such village, town, city, or county, may by public meeting, send Delegates; and, to prevent difficulties, there shall be a regular return of each Delegate, signed by the President or Chairman and Secretary of every society or public meeting of any village. town, city, or county, at least two weeks previous to the sitting fo the Convention, forwarded to the President of the Conventional Board, who shall keep a record of and present the same at the opening of the Convention.

SECT V. Each convention shall be the judge of the qualification of its own members; appoint its own officers, and make rules for its own government, during its sitting.


SECT. I. The convention shall declare the number of Delegates to be sent by each county, according to the number of its coloured inhabitants, and the amount of money to be contributed by each Delegation to the Treasury of the convention, on presenting their credentials; provided, however, that if any county shall possess a less number of inhabitants than the ratio of representation that may be determined on such county, shall be deemed to have possessed the right of sending one representative; and provided that any county having an auxiliary society should, within the year preceding the sitting of the convention, have contributed to the Treasury of the convention a sum equal to the amount to be paid by the number of its delegation, such delegations shall be exempted from the tax imposed on each Delegation. And, in order to ascertain the number of Delegates to be returned from each county, it shall be necessary that the credentials of each Delegate shall contain a statement of the number of coloured inhabitants such county contained, at the last census of the inhabitants of said county, taken before the return of such delegation.


SECT. I. There shall be an executive committee, to be called "The Conventional Board," whose duty it shall be to transact the business of the Convention in its recess. This Board shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, and a Sub-Committee of seven members ; all of whom shall be elected annually by the convention, which election shall be by ballot.

SECT. II. The President shall preside at each meeting of the Conventional Board, and also preside at the opening of the


annual convention, until the same is organized by the appointment of its own officers. It shall also be his duty to prepare and send a message to the convention at the opening of each session, depicting the condition of our people and suggesting for the consideration of the convention such matters as he shall deem worthy of their consideration.

The Vice-President shall, in case of the death, absence or resignation of the President, do and perform all the duties of the office of President.

The Corresponding Secretary shall notify the persons appointed to office by the convention, and correspond with the committees and agents appointed to advance the interest of our people; such correspondence being subject to the inspection of the president.

The Recording Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of the proceedings of the Conventional Board, which shall be laid before the convention at its opening, and shall act as Secretary until the convention is organized.

The Treasurer shall receive all moneys collected for the Treasury of the convention, and pay all drafts made on him by the President and Secretary of the Conventional Board, at any of its meetings. But, before he enters upon the duties of his office, he shall give to the Committee of seven of the Board, who is hereby authorized to act as trustees to this association, such a bond or obligation, and in such penalties as they may require, which bond or obligation shall be cancelled on the surrender of all moneys and securities in his possession belonging to the Convention.

SECT. III. The Conventional Board shall have power to fill all vacancies in their Board, at any meeting at which a majority of the members shall be present, they shall pay all moneys appropriated by the Convention, and the expenses incurred at each sitting. They shall present to the convention, after the organization of each sitting, a regular account with its Treasurer; and, when a new Conventional Board is appointed, pay over all moneys, and deliver over all documents and papers belonging to the Convention, to the new board.


SECT. I. When the Treasury of the Convention shall contain a larger sum than five hundred dollars, it shall be invested in United States securities; the script for which to be held by the Conventional Board as Trustees of the convention.


Until the present Constitution shall go into effect, the precedent of all former Conventions shall continue in force, but no alteration shall be made to this Constitution at the session the alteration is proposed; but the proposition may


be discussed and published in the Minutes, and the question decided at the next sitting of the Convention.






Resolved, that the hour of adjournment be suspended to the close of the day.

On motion of Mr. Whipper, seconded by Mr. Jackson, Resolved, That this Convention recommend the establishment of Societies on the principle of Moral Reform, as set forth in the declaration of sentiment.

Resolved, that the President appoint a Committee five to.nominate the Conventional Board, Messrs. Hutchins, Bird, Butler, Gardner and Van Brackle were appointed.

The Committee to nominate the Conventional Board, reported as follows and their report was accepted—viz.

JNO. P BURR President,

DANIEL B. BROWNHILL, Vice President,

SAMUEL VAN BRACKLE, Recording Secretary,

WILLIAM WHIPPER, Corresponding Secretary,

JOHN BOWERS, Sen. Treasurer.




Mr, MANUEL, Vice President, Portland.

REUBEN REUBEN, Corresponding Secretary, Portland.


RICHARD JOHNSON, Vice President, New-Bedford.

JAMES G. BARBADOES, Corresponding Secretary, Boston,


GEORGE C. WILLIS, Vice-President.

ALFRED NIGER, Corresponding Secretary.


J. W. CREED, Vice-President.

LUKE LATHROP, Corresponding Secretary.


THOMAS L. JINNINGS, Vice President.

HENRY SIPKINS, Corresponding Secretary.


JOHN D. CLOSSON, Vice President.

ABNER H. FRANCIS, Corresponding Secretary


JAMES BIRD, Vice-President.

JAMES NEEDHAM, Corresponding Secretary.



JAMES HINER, Vice-President

ROBERT COOLEY, Corresponding Secretary.


ISRAEL JEFFRIES, Vice-President.

PETER HUBBARD, Corresponding Secretary.


ARTHUR WARING, Vice-President.

JNO. COOK, Corresponding Secretary.


JNO. LIVERPOOL, Vice-President.

OWEN T. B NICKEN, Corresponding Secretary.

On motion of Mr. Whipper, seconded by Mr. Jackson,

Resolved, That this convention again earnestly recommend the subject of Temperance to our people generally on the principle of total abstinence.

On motion of Mr. Jackson, seconded by Mr. Easton,

Resolved, That this Convention earnestly recommend to all its constituents their abstinence, as much as possible, from goods contaminated with the blood and tears of the slave.

On motion of Mr. Barbadoes, seconded by Mr. Scarlett,

Resolved, That this Convention duly appreciate the magnanimity of the British Public, and the Anti-Slavery Societies of Great Britain in the missions of Messrs. Stewart and Thompson, advocates of our cause. And that the unanimous thanks of this Convention be presented through Mr. Charles Stewart, whom we welcome to these shores as a messenger of truth, benevolence and philanthropy ; and whom we recognize as our friend and brother.

Resolved, that the thanks of this Convention be tendered to the President for the patient and impartial manner in which he has presided at this Convention.

Resolved, that the thanks of this Convention be tendered to the Vice-Presidents for their assistance given to the President in maintaining order.

Resolved, that the thanks of this Convention be tendered to the Secretaries, for the able manner in which they have performed the duties of their office.

Resolved, that this Convention adjourn, and that another Convention be summoned to meet in the City of Philadelphia on the first Monday in June 1835. The Rev. Mr. Todd then addressed the Convention and concluded with Prayer.


B. F. HUGHES, Secretary.

ABNER H. FRANCIS, Asst. Secretary.

Convention Minutes Item Type Metadata

Convention Type



New York





Start Date


End Date



Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Color, Fourth Annual (1834 : New York, NY), “Minutes of the Fourth Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Colour, in the United States; held by adjournments in the Asbury Church, New York, from the 2nd to the 12th of June, inclusive, 1834.,” Colored Conventions Project Digital Records, accessed May 20, 2024,