Colored Conventions Project Digital Records

Proceedings of the National Convention of the Colored Men of America: held in Washington, D.C., on January 13, 14, 15, and 16, 1869.


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Proceedings of the National Convention of the Colored Men of America: held in Washington, D.C., on January 13, 14, 15, and 16, 1869.


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Proceedings of the National Convention of the Colored Men of America, held in Washington, D.C., On January, 13, 14, 15, and 16, 1869

Washington, D.C.: 1869.


of the

National Convention

of the

Colored Men of America,

held in

Washington, D.C.,

On January, 13, 14, 15, 16, 1869.

Washington, D.C.,: 1869.



The undersigned, a majority of the Committee on publishing the proceedings of the late Convention, deem it due to themselves to state the reasons why the work has been so long delayed.

Mr. A. M . Green, of Pennsylvania, one of the Secretaries of the Convention, and Chairman of this Committee, did not present himself before this Committee with the minutes, until the 21st of January. They were then twice examined, and it was found very difficult to understand them, as they were composed of newspaper clippings, with such written record as he had in his capacity as Secretary made. These were thickly interspersed with marginal notes and figures of reference to resolutions, and obliterations and additions. He was then instructed to revise them immediately and submit them for further inspection. On the 26th of January, he presented three proposals from Washington offices, and one from Philadelphia in which he was interested, to print the proceedings. The lowest bid in Washington, was $200 for 1,500 copies; Mr. Green, proposed to do the work for $175 per 1,500 and give proper security, adding that he could make twenty dollars for himself, which he was entitled to for his services. Upon the refusal to permit the minutes to leave the city, he then declined to give up the papers, and retained them until the 4th of February. We agreed then to pay him as soon as the funds would permit; this proposition he declined, desiring the money then. On the 4th of February, we, desirous of avoiding further difficulty and delay in the matter, gave Mr. Green our joint note. for $20, to obtain peaceable possession of the papers. Thus, nineteen days were wasted On the 5th of February, Mr. Barbadoes placed them in the hands of the printer, and Mr. Green has not since then, given any assistance to the Committee or to the printer.

The following note from the printer in reply as to what time they would be finished closes our report and our labors, the results of which we submit.

Very respectfully and truly, your obedient servants,




Committee on Publication.

Washington, D.C., March, 1869.


Washington, February 25, 1869.

To the Publishing Committee:


In reply to your note of the 25th, I beg leave to say that the difficulties encountered in the publication of the report of the proceedings of the Convention, were greater than usually falls to the lot of the printer. The "copy," was badly prepared,

consisting principally of newspaper scraps, pasted on irregular pieces of paper covered with erasures and interlineations, rendering it almost impossible for the "compositor" to maintain the connection. There was no uniformity in spelling the names, and often Delegates were placed in the wrong States.

By the co-operation, patience and perseverance of Mr. Barbadoes, and by repeated corrections and revisions, I trust the work is now passably correct, and I hope will prove, under the circumstances, satisfactory to the Committee. It will be ready on or about the first of March.

The extra labor imposed upon us must be regarded as an ample apology for the delay in publication.

WM. L. Avery,

for Great Republic.



Jan. 13th, 1869.

The Convention assembled at 12 o'clock Noon, in Union League Hall, and was called to order by William Nesbit, Esq., of Pennsylvania, who read the following


To the Colored men of the United States.

BRETHREN: On the 4th and 5th of August, 1868, a Convention of Delegates from the "Border States" was held at Baltimore, Md. To that Convention, Delegates from other States were invited and attended. The States thus represented were Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania.

After mature deliberation and wide correspondence, the members of the "Border State Convention" voted unanimously to issue a call for a Convention of the Colored men of the Nation, to be held in the City of Washington, D. C., at 12 o'clock, M., on the second Wednesday, 13th day of January, 1869.

The partial or total exclusion of colored citizens from the exercise of the elective franchise and other citizen rights, in so many States of the Union, especially demands, and ought to receive, the continued consideration of every colored man, and of the Congress of the nation. Surely, the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, recently adopted, does not justify such exclusion. Surely, citizenship, as declared by that amendment, carries with it the rights of citizens; and the evident duty of a liberty-loving and a loyal Congress is to see that a Republican form of government is guaranteed to every State. That is not guaranteed while any State is permitted to withhold from citizens, on account of color merely, the rights of citizens.

Whatever other subjects you may deem of sufficent importance to bring before the National Convention, this exclusion, brethren, is the all-absorbing question of the present, and must call forth our earnest action, by petition, by personal


appeal, by protest, and by what votes we have, until justice be done. The right secured of voting, irrespective of color, will necessarily restore to us other rights of which we are now deprived. We, therefore, cordially and respectfully invite you, from the East, the West, the North and the South, to meet in Washington, by Delegates, on the day specified, to consult upon the issues at present affecting us. Justice to ourselves can be no injustice to any.

By order of the "Border State Convention."

WM. NESBIT, President,

Altoona, Pa.


GEO. G. COLLINS, Princeton, N. J. } Secretaries.

Baltimore, Md., October 1868.


After reading the Call, Mr. Nesbit moved that Hon. H. M. Turner, of Georgia, be elected temporary Chairman.

Mr. A. Ward Handy, of Maryland, nominated Rev. H. H. Garnett, of Pennsylvania, for Chairman.

J. M. Langston, of Ohio, moved that, out of respect for our Southern brethren, who are so ardently laboring in this cause, the election of Mr. Turner, be made unanimous.

Mr. Garnett, of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Day, of Delaware, favored the motion of Mr. Langston.

After some slight opposition, the motion of Mr. Nesbit, as amended by Mr. Langston, was unanimously adopted.

Mr. Turner, upon taking the Chair, called on Bishop J. P. Campbell, of Pennsylvania, who offered a most earnest and feeling prayer for the success and advancement of those great principles, the promotion and furtherance of which, has caused our assembling together from nearly every State in this great and growing Republic. He asked the blessing of God to attend our deliberations, so that they might eventually result in lasting and significant benefit to our race.

Mr. Turner said, he felt it to be a high compliment that had been paid through him to the earnest and patriotic efforts of his constituents in the great work of reconstruction and universal suffrage. It is the duty of this body to improve their present opportunity to act promptly, and with decision and firmness in striving to strike down the spirit of caste in this country. Congress and the whole country were looking on us, and he hoped the convention would so act, as to make themselves respected before the country and the world. He did not intend to make a speech. It was now the time for action, and as a first step in that direction, he asked the further pleasure of the Convention.


On motion of Rev. W. H. Hunter, Prof. A. M. Green, of Pennsylvania, was elected temporary Secretary.

On motion, it was resolved that a committee of one from each State and Territory represented, be appointed on credentials.

After some discussion as to how the committee should be appointed, it was determined that each delegation, as their State was called, appoint one of its members to act on said committee.

A motion to take a recess of ten minutes to allow the Delegates time for consultation was lost; but on motion of Dr. H. J. Brown of Maryland was reconsidered.

The ten minutes having expired, the chair called the Convention to order, and appointed Capt. Oliver and Mr. Long Hatton, Sergeants at Arms.

The Roll of States was called and the Committee appointed on credentials as follows:



















The Committee then retired, and Rev. H. H. Garnett of Pennsylvania addressed the Convention. He referred to those trying hours of the late War, not less trying and significant than those through which we have more recently passed, when every heart beat with anxious hope for the triumph of Grant, Colfax, and Victory.

He referred to the great objects of the present Convention and spoke of the advantage gained long since by meeting in such assemblies; and now he claimed


was the most auspicious time for such an assembling of the disfranchised and newly emancipated citizens of the United States.

He referred to the advanced state of public opinion on the question of equality before the law, and with thrilling eloquence recounted the patience and perseverance that marked our whole history in this country.

He hoped the action of this body would be equal to the emergency under which we have assembled. Mr. Garnett spoke at great length and was frequently applauded.

Mr. Frederick Douglass, of New York, was loudly called for and proceeded to address the meeting in a most eloquent manner.

In response to a grand sentiment uttered by him, regarding the union of our people and the brotherhood of the human family; Mr. Downing suggested that the entire Convention rise to their feet, which they did, and gave several hearty rounds of applause. Mr. Douglass continued at some length to electrify the assembly with that convincing and logical eloquence in the production of facts and arguments, for which he is so justly celebrated, and closed amid a tumult of applause, which could not have been excelled by that thrill of enthusiasm that followed Patrick Henry's heroic exclamation "give me liberty, or give me death."

Mr. John M. Langston of Ohio followed Mr. Douglass, after Mr. Weir of Pennsylvania, who was called for, had declined, at that time, to speak. Mr. Langston ably vindicated the cause of justice and humanity, which we at this time represent. He referred t the odious featurers of the Northern States, which disfranchised the colored man, and argued that our duty was to correct public opinion, rather than to demand, or appeal to Congress; for both Congress and the President elect, he believed would be found willing and anxious to obey the will of the people.

He spoke of his early accquaintance with Mr. Douglass, and of the heated contest kept up from that time, until the fetters were broken from four millions of our oppressed brethern.

Mr. Langston spoke at length upon the several views already advanced with regard to the object of the present Convention.

He argued the question of suffrage, from a legal stand-point, and severely criticised the unjust features of the constitutional amendment, which virtually endorsed the wickedness of those States which disfranchised a large part of their citizens.

Mr. I. C. Weir of Pennsylvania followed Mr. Langston. He argued that the most fearful question we had now, or could ever have to contend with, was this only half subdued, and unreasonable doctrine of State Rights or State Sovereignties. He reviewed the rise, and progress of this doctrine, till it dared to grapple in a hand to hand struggle with the Government for supremacy.

He referred, with great ability and logical reasoning, to the impossibility of


two Sovereigns within the same realm, and claimed that the word State, was borrowed from Europe, and by their rule of interpretation could never be applied to the several States of America, but could be made to apply only to the United States.

Rev. J. Sella Martin, of New York, was called for but declined speaking on account of ill health. Profesor W. H. Day, of Delaware, was called for, and in his usually able and eloquent style, addressed the Convention.

Mr. Aaron M. Powell, of the Anti-Slavery Standard, was introduced, and also addressed the Convention with great earnestness and effect, as follows:

He was glad to be present, and shared in the deep feelings of gratitude which had been expressed for the progress of the cause of freedom. It was a shame to the white people of this country that there was still occasion for holding at the capitol of the Nation such a Convention of colored men, as an invidiously disfranchised class. He would have the Convention memorialize Congress for the prompt passage of an impartial suffrage law and of an additional Constitutional Amendment. He also spoke of the need of land and education to make the future of the colored people of the South secure and prosperous. But the question of suffrage was paramount at the present hour. The opportunity to to secure a fundamental guarantee of the rights of the colored people by Constitutional Amendment, would pass away for the present with the close of the present session of Congress.

On motion of Mr. Frederick Douglass, a vote of thanks was tendered their report, prefaced by the following resolutions:--

Resolved, That each State have as many votes in this convention as it has Senators and Representatives in Congress.

Resolved, That the District of Columbia have three votes, and that each Territory represented have one vote.

The committee were interrupted at this point by Mr. W. H. Hunter, of Pennsylvania, who objected to the report as having no reference to the object of the appointment of the committee. He protested against allowing it to be read. An explanation was made, and after a good deal of debate, the committee were permitted to proceed by Mr. Hunter withdrawing his objections. The committee then read another resolution, to wit:

Resolved, That the names of the Delegates reported be adopted.

GEORGE B. VASHON, Chairman Com.

J. J. SPELLMAN, G. S. WOODSON Secretaries

On motion, the report was received.

Rev. W. H. Hunter, moved that the report be adopted, excluding the Recommendations with regard to cutting down the representation.

Mr. George T. Downing, said he would vote for the resolution, more from compulsion than from a sense of justice: he did not think the representation either equal or just.

Mr. J. F. Cook, favored the motion from a strict sense of justice.


It was reasonable and just that large communities should be represented by large delegations, and he thought that in view of the great disparity which existed in the number of the colored population of the States, the representation was both just and equal.

Mr. Hacket, of Maryland, favored the motion.

Mr. Stringer, of Mississippi, favored a representation based on numbers.

Mr. Brown, of Pennsylvania, favored the motion.

The list of Delegates was then demanded, and was read as follows:






































J. DUNN, *

















O. S. B. WALL.





H. D. KING. *




The vote was then taken, and the aforesaid Delegates were declared members of the Convention.

A motion by J. F. Cook, was adopted, that all duly accredited Delegates be [[permitted?] to membership in this Convention. Mr. Hunter, of Pennsylvania, moved that the present officers be declared ith? suitable additions) the permanent officers of the Convention.

The motion after some discussion was laid on the table.

A motion that the Chair appoint a Committee of one from each State on permanent? organization, was amended so as to allow each Delegation to appoint own? member on said Committee, and thus amended was adopted.


G. BARBADOES, Massachusetts.

D. WAUGH, Rhode Island.


M. E. MIDDLETON, New Jersey.

ANDERSON, Pennsylvania.

W. LEIGHTON, Delaware.

J. BROWN, Maryland.

B. STEVENS, Virginia.

P. ROURK, North Caroiina.

M. SIMMS, Georgia.

C. TATE, Tennessee.

O. S. B. WALL, Ohio.

T. W. STRINGER, Mississippi.

C. H. LANGSTON, Kansas.

J. F. COOK, District of Columbia.

A. HOWARD, West Virginia.

R. DeBAPTIST, Illinois.

W. H. GIBSON, Kentucky.



G. W. LONG, Florida.

On motion, the Convention adjourned to half-past seven P. M., at the Israel thel Church.

Names of Delegates marked with a star were enrolled after the first report of the omittee on Credentials.



Convention met pursuant to adjournment. Bishop S. T. Jones, addressed the throne of Grace.

The minutes were read and approved. Mr. Downing, of Rhode Island, stated that Mr. T. W. Gaskin, had been duly elected a Delegate on behalf of Rhode Island, but by some means, had not been able to procure his credentials; in view of the fact that it was well known that Mr. Gaskin had been elected a Delegate, he moved that the House admit him and record his name on the roll.

Some debate ensued, Mr. Weir and Mr. Green of Pennsylvania, advocating the motion, and Mr. Brown, of Pennsylvania, and others, opposing it.

The motion finally prevailed and Mr. Gaskin was enrolled a member.

A telegram was received from Alabama, addressed to the Convention, as follows:

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, January 13, 1869.

To the President, Colored National Convention:

Following Alabama Delegates will arrive on the 15th: John Galloway, Wilber G. Strong, L. S. Berry.


Mr. Downing, of Rhode Island, moved that any gentleman from a State not represented, desiring so to do, be permitted to enroll his name and to represent his State in this Convention.

Mr. Mabson, of North Carolina, opposed the motion. Mr. Douglass of New York, favored the motion; Mr. Cook, of Virginia, also favored the motion.

After considerable opposition, the motion under the operation of the previous question, was adopted.

The Committee on Credentials reported as Delegates just arrived: John C. Bowers, Pennsylvania, Samuel F Kelsoe, and John Everett, of Virginia, and W. T. Jones, of Delaware, who were ordered enrolled as members of the Convention.

Mr. J. J. Spellman, of New York, announced that Governor Eggleston, of Mississippi, was in the house.. The President invited the Governor forward, but the Governor made an apology for his inability to make a speech on this occasion.

Mr. Garnett, of Pennsylvania, moved that Col. R. T. Hinton, and Mr. A. M. Powell, of the Anti-Slavery Standard, be invited to seats within the bar of the Convention. Mr. Brown, of Pennsylvania, moved to amend by inserting also the names of Carter A. Stewart, Esq., and H. M. Johnson, of the District of Columbia; and D. B. Bowser, of Pennsylvania, and Governor Eggleston of Mississippi, be elected honorary members of the Convention. Adopted.

Hon. John R. French, of North Carolina, was also elected an honorary member.


A collection was then taken to defray the expense of the present meeting.

A messenger was then sent to enquire of the Committee on Permanent Organization whether they would be able to report at this session or not. The messenger reported that they would be ready to report at about fifteen minutes.

Mr. W. E. Matthews, of Baltimore, was called on for a speech, but declined in favor of Mr. Myers, of Maryland, who gave a brief statement of the progress of the Colored Men's Ship Yard in Baltimore.

Mr. Douglass added his testimony to what had been said by Mr. Myers in reference to the ship yard.

The question of determining upon the place of holding the sessions of the Convention elicited some debate, but was finally determined in favor of holding the permanent sessions of the Convention at Israel Bethel Church.


The Committee on Permanent Organization made their report as follows:




















C. H. LANGSTON, Kansas









The report was received and adopted.

Messrs. Garnett, Downing, and Nesbit, were appointed to conduct the President to the chair.

Mr. DOUGLASS was conducted to the chair amid hearty applause. He thanked them for the honor they had conferred upon him, and invoked the assistance of his hearers in maintaining order and dignity in the execution of business. He would omit to make a speech, as might be looked for, but would proceed at once with the business of the Convention.

A motion was made to form a Business Committee of one from each State.


Mr. Weir, of Pennsylvania, moved as a substitute, to appoint a Committee of thirteen.

After some debate, Mr. Weir, by permission, withdrew his motion.

The motion was then amended to admit one or more from each State, and was adopted as amended.

The meeting then adjourned to meet at 10 o'clock A. M., to-morrow, after singing the Doxology, and Benediction.


THURSDAY, Jan,. 14th, 1869.

The Convention as per adjournment, assembled at Israel Church, Capitol Hill,--Frederick Douglass, Esq., of New York, Presiding.

Rev. Henry H. Garnett, of Pennsylvania, opened the exercises with prayer.

Mr. Mabson, Vice-President, from North Carolina, resigned in favor of his colleague, Mr. T. Cutler, Sr.

Rev. Mr. Garnett stated at some future time he would place in the hands of the Business Committee a resolution setting forth that this Convention shall continue to hold Annual Meetings until manhood suffrage was recognized throughout the United States, and that when they adjourn it be to meet at some time and place to be agreed upon.

Mr. G. B. Vashon, Chairman of the Committee on Credentials, reported the following names as Delegates from Alleghany city, Pennsylvania: Rev. Abraham Cole, S. A. Neale, B. F. Pulpress, J. W. Devine, Miss H. C. Johnson, and Willam Peterson; also, T. S. Boston, and Richard Smith, Massachusetts.

Mr. F. Cook objected to admitting women, as he understood the call for this Convention to be expressly for colored men.

Dr. H. J. Brown, of Maryland, was in favor of admitting Miss Johnson, the learned and accomplished lady of Alleghany. He wanted them to know that this was a progressive age, and that women would yet have a vote.

Mr. Mabson arose, when the Chair stated that he wished to announce the names of committees.

Mr. Garnett insisted on having the question of admitting Miss Johnson settled immediately.

The Chair called the gentleman to order.

The Chair then announced the following committees:


GEO. T. DOWNING, Rhode Island. F. G. BARBADOES, Massachusetts. W. H. DAY, Delaware. H. H. GARNETT, Pennsylvania. I. C. WEIR, " O. L. C. HUGHES, " G. C. HACKETT, Maryland. W. E. MATTHEWS, " J. S. MARTIN, New York. H. C. MOULSON, " J. M. WILLIAMS, New Jersey. G. W. LONG, Florida.


W. H. GIBSON, Kentucky. R. DEBAPTIST, Illinois. ALEXANDER CLARK, Iowa. ADAM HOWARD, West Virginia. J. W. SIMMS, Georgia. CHAS. PETERS, District of Columbia. T. W. STRINGER, Mississippi. D. WADKINS, Tennessee, F. COOK, Virginia. C. H. LANGSTON, Kansas. H. ELLSWORTH, Alabama. E. D. BASSETT, Pennsylvania.


W. H. DAY, Delaware. LEWIS H. DOUGLASS, New York. G. B. VASHON, Rhode Island. W. D. FORTEN, Pennsylvania. C. H. THOMPSON, New Jersey.


W. J. WILSON, New Jersey. C. B. PURVIS, Pennsylvania. WM. WHIPPER, New Jersey.

A motion was then made to adopt the report of the Committee on Credentials.

Mr. Mabson insisted that while the men had the helm in their own hands they should retain it, and moved that the report be adopted, excepting the name of Miss Johnson.

Dr. Brown moved to lay the motion on the table.

Mr. Bowers, of Pennsylvania, agreed with Mr. Mabson.

Mr. Downing cautioned them as to how they acted in regard to admitting or rejecting the lady. He was sorry that she had presented herself, but could not vote against admitting her to a seat.

Mr. Brown, of Pennsylvania, said that as a Delegate, he owed his election to 50 ladies of Philadelphia, and hoped the lady would be admitted.

Mr. J. M. Simms called their attention to the fact that on Wednesday they had passed a resolution admitting all duly elected Delegates.

Mr. I. C. Weir stood here as an advocate of woman's suffrage, and to exclude them from seats in this Convention would be too much like the actions of the occupants of the White House, who had excluded the colored race for two hundred years.

Rev. J. Sella Martin, of New York, hoped the Convention would throw all prejudices aside and admit the lady, as a Delegate to the Convention. They were not tied down to any conventionalties—they had no right to exclude any Delegate, as it was a Convention of men, and the term "men" in the Bible meant men and women.

Mr. Alexander Clark favored the admission of Miss Johnson or any other lady.

Mr. Weir called for the previous question, and it was put and carried.

Mr. Weir moved that Mr. Robert Purvis, of Pennsylvania, be admitted Carried.

J. B. Murray, of Pennsylvania, offered the following:


Whereas, The association known as the National Equal Rights League, has ceased to be an active institution; and whereas, we believe that a society, of that kind, is much needed to forward the great cause of the disfranchised American citizens, and as the above-named institutions have been the means of moulding and bringing about a politica reform in public sentiment—

Resolved, That we, the representatives of the colored citizens of the United States of America, in convention assembled, do hereby organize ourselves into an institution, to be known under the style and title of the National Equal Rights League of the United States of America.

Mr. John F. Cook, of D. C., moved their reception and reference.

Carried, and referred to a committee, as follows:

W. D. Foster, of Pennsylvania; G. L. Mabson, of North Carolina; Henry Thomas, of Ohio; A. W. Handy, of Maryland; J, M. Williams, of New Jersey; Lewis Linzey, of Virginia; William Jones, of Delaware; L. S. Berry, of Alabama, and J. Spellman, of New York.

On motion, the names of William Rich of New York, and Edward V. Clark of Virginia, were placed upon the Roll of Credentials.

On motion of Mr. Purvis, Mr. Edward M. Davis, of Philadelphia, was elected an Honorary member.

Mr. Bowers, of Pennsylvania, submitted the following:

Resolved, That George T. Downing, John F. Cook, George B. Vashon, and Carter A. Stewart, be appointed as a committee to act as representatives of the views of the convention during the remaining portion of the session of the Fortieth Congress, urging such matters as they may deem proper, favoring this Convention.

Referred to the Business Committee.

On motion, J. H. Keffer, of Alabama, was added to the list of Delegates.

Mr. A. M. Powell, Editor of the Anti-Slavery Standard, was introduced, and entertained the audience for some time upon the best method of getting the suffrage question before Congress.

The President of the Convention presented the following letter which had been received from Bishop D. A. Payne, of Ohio, which was read by the Secretary, and ordered printed with the minutes:

To the National Convention of Colored Citizens of the United States, at Washington, Assembled.

MR. PRESIDENT, MEN, BRETHREN, AND FATHERS:—The numerous duties of my double office, with repeated and prolonged absence from home during the past autumn, prevent my presence among you now, and therefore, I beg permission to be heard by letter.

Perhaps at no period of our history, was it so needful that the voice of Colored Americans be heard addressing the State and National Legislatures, and counselling one another as at the present time. In all the reconstructed States, we are enjoying the rights and immunities of American citizens, excepting Georgia, whose mobocratic Legislature, by a vote, violative of every principle of moral, natural and political law, ruled out every one of its colored members, but such as might be mistaken for white men. In no portion of the Southern States where the whites are in a majority, is the life of a colored person safe, unless he, or she exhibits, both in word and deed, the spirit of a slave. In all the


Eastern States, excepting five; in all the Western States, excepting two; the heel of the oppressor is still upon the neck of the colored American. That is to say, he is deprived of the Elective franchise. Now, the step between this species of oppression, and serfdom, or slavery, is short and quick. The man, the State, the nation that does this, is an Oppressor; and when this oppression is based upon the color of a man, or the race from which he sprang, it assumes the form of an outrage against Humanity itself and Blasphemy against God.

These are sufficient reasons for assembling the intellect, the learning, and the piety of colored Americans, at the National Capital, annually, until the whole Nation, conscious of the truth that the rights of all—the most despised as well as the most honorable, are vigilantly guarded by the shield of justice—and that this shield is upheld by the Omnipopotent Hand—shall compel every State in the Republic to change its organic law, and to alter its statutes, so as to honor God in the person of man, because he is made in the image of God.

Then, there are evils among ourselves to be corrected. The domestic—the conjugal relations of colored Americans, having been invaded and broken up by the Lords of the lash, have left the majority of us, in the most deplorable condition—so that we find ourselves destitute of Mothers—of mothers qualified to train our sons into a noble manhood, and our daughters into a noble womanhood!

Then, there is the ignorance in which slavery has left the masses—the form of which is manifold. And there is also the abject poverty into which oppression, North and South, has plunged us. These are evils which can be removed only by self development. It is true that God in His unspeakable mercy, and marvellous Providence has raised up friends to aid us in this work: and we believe he will multiply these friends—but the complete removal of the evils enumerated, must be the result of manhood. Now, manhood comes not from without, but from within—it is like the growth of a tree, the result of self development.

Now, the means of this improvement are threefold, Education, Piety, Wealth. The masses must be educated and this must be insisted on, not only in the lecture room, but also in the social circles, around the fireside, and in our Pulpit. As to the Minister of religion who neglects to plead the cause of education systematically,—privately, publicly—I do not hesitate to say that he is unworthy of public respect, still less of public confidence.

Every man, woman and child must be urged to self-culture, must be brought under the plastic hand of science and philosophy; and they must be kept there until a radical change shall have been made in our mode of thinking, speaking and acting.

Then, there is the property acquiring power; this must be examined, considered, analyzed and cultivated. From childhood must our people be taught to save their cents until they become dollars, and to convert these dollars into lands, houses, cattle, horses, and into every species of live-stock, and these into gold and silver ; not indeed, to gratify the mean sordidness of the miser, nor the lusts of the man of pleasure, but to erect halls of science, colleges and universities; to send missionaries with the Bible into heathen lands, and thus render ourselves a civilizing power in the Republic, and an enlightening force in the world.

But to secure such grand results, we must be an upright race—a race fearing God and keeping "all his commandments always." Our trust must not be in politicians nor political parties, but in the God-Man. The Eternal has given Him to humanity to be its leader and reformer, its conquerer and its judge. Races and princes, nations and thrones, rise and fall as he smiles or frowns upon them. Through Him we have conquered once, with Him we shall always be more than conquerers.


You see, gentlemen and brethren, I have joined the secular with the religious, the physical with the spiritual, wealth and riches to truth and righteousness. God has united them, I cannot separate them. When He made man, he placed him under the two laws, the one requiring him to obey authority, the other commanded him to subdue the earth—to acquire property. To acquire property, he must have brain; to use it rightly he must have heart. Did I say brain and heart? I mean knowledge to enlighten the brain; piety, which sanctifies the heart; wealth, which renders head and heart beneficial to man and glorious to God.

Permit me now to say a word about the Republican party. Our votes, our prayers aided in securing the success of that party. It is not enough that it had success; it must have love—a love for humanity stronger than its love for race—a love for justice stronger than its love for power. Liberty, justice, Love must triumph in that party, and over that party, leading it completely captive. For this, let us fondly hope, diligently labor and devoutly pray.

If our labors be systematic, untiring and wise—if our prayers become the intercessions of faith—our hopes shall be realized, and the Republican party become not only progressive but invincible for two generations to come.

With the best wishes for the success of the Convention, I am, brethren,

Fraternally yours,


Cols. John W. Forney and Alexander K. McClure, being in the gallery, were elected Honorary Members, and were invited to come forward and take seats, which they did, and both made short addresses amid great applause.

Colonel Forney said:

My Fellow-Citizens: My thanks are due to your distinguished President, (Mr. Douglass,) and to yourselves, for this warm greeting, which, though most unexpected on my part, is I feel, wholly sincere on yours. I need not tell you I did not come here to make a speech. I came simply to behold a spectacle as interesting and as suggestive as any in the world's experience, and to wish God-speed to a movement so full of importance to all human destinies. Whatever else is nnsettled, my friends, impartial suffrage is settled. What is our daily experience? Why simply that your late most inveterate enemies are here persistently pressing for the restoration of their so-called rights, on the condition of recognizing yours—theirs having been deliberately lost in rebellion, as yours were inherited as part of your birth-right, which, given by God, cannot be taken from you by man. There is, indeed, an exception to this rule. While the late slave masters are ready to accept impartial suffrage as part of the situation, the Northern Democrats say no to every attempt to extend suffrage to all the States of the Union; and this answers the base accusation that while the Republicans have secured impartial suffrage in the South they have not dared to apply it North. Why, my friends, you know if the Republicans could have settled this thing in the North, as a Republican Congress did in the South, there would not be a disfranchised citizen in the Republic. But the whole Northern Democracy, reinforced by a small per centage of bolting Republicans, have been strong enough to defeat the good work. Let the present Congress close the gap by a comprehensive amendment, so as to make suffrage wholly impartial, and the Northern Democracy will be stopped forever. Bat I have said enough. There is a gentleman now here, Colonel A. K. McClure, of Pennsylvania, who, in the late terrific October contest in that State, when we carried the old Keystone by less than 10,000 votes out of nearly 700,000 cast, was a host in counsel and in discussion, and with his gallant friend, the popular Governor Curtin, made our borders ring with is eloquence.


Colonel McClure said he had called simply to see the body of representative men of the freedmen of the United States, but need hardly say that there was no measure of justice, no right he claimed for himself that he would not as earnestly maintain for all God's creatures. He thought justice demanded, in view of the past, that all the citizens in the land should participate in the question of suffrage. It would stand while freedom stands. The nation must advance, and the suffrage of the South must be stricken down before the triumph of despotism. It calls upon every man to proclaim here and elsewhere that this great revolution made everywhere in the interest of mankind, must advance until there shall be no citizen of this Republic disfranchised.

The speaker resumed his seat amid hearty applause.

Hon. James Moresy, J. M. Humphreys, Hon. Thomas L. Tullock, and Joseph Warren, Esq., of Troy, New York, being present, were elected Honorary Members.

On motion, of Mr. Clark, Hon. Samuel Merrill, Governor of Iowa, was declared an Honorary Member.

Mr. Downing, Chairman of the Business Committee, submitted the following report:

Resolved, That while to a large and powerful party in the United States the effective efforts now being made through the instrumentality of the Freedman's Bureau, and also through the various voluntary organizations of the country, local and national, to educate, improve, protect and elevate our recently emancipated people, seem only the expression of a morbid sensibility worthy of ridicule, contempt and denunciation,—we recognize in these beneficent efforts a feeble but honest acknowledgment of a great debt, justly due and of long standing, contracted by centuries of measureless wrongs and of enforced ignorance, for which, unhappily, no adequate atonement would have been made, were the whole South now covered with school-houses and supplied with teachers by a tax levied upon the property of the whole nation.

Resolved, That in the same spirit in which we have received our freedom we accept all these educational efforts in our behalf, not as a boon, to be received with special humility, but as a sacred right which we may earnestly claim, and which cannot be innocently withheld, and yet with sincere gratitude that the moral sense of the nation has been so largely awakened to this high duty and has prompted them to much effective exertion in this important direction during the last four years.

Resolved, That whether by Congressional enactment or by amendment of the Constitution of the United States, the form and manner may be safely left to the judgment of Congress, the one great object to be accomplished in the present national juncture is to secure some final measure of equal and universal suffrage, without any discrimination on the ground of race, color, previous condition or of religious belief.

Resolved, That the concession of rights in a legal form is comparatively valueless and often a mockery unless supported by the whole judicial and military power of the country.

Resolved, That every voter of whatever color, should step to the ballot-box with confidence of having his way cleared thereto, if need be, by the broad sword of the nation.

Resolved, That while acknowledging the justice and the wisdom of our fellow-countrymen in this respect, we would express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to our trans- Atlantic friends, and especially to those in England, who have largely contributed to the funds of various associations in this country for the education of freedmen.


The following was offered by John F. Cook, of this City,

Whereas, by means of the rebellion nearly four millions of men have become free citizens of the United States: and whereas, they have demonstrated their capability of acquiring the requisite knowledge, and proved their bravery as well as their loyalty to the United States, on every field of battle: and whereas, by the addition of six regiments of colored troops to the permanent military organization of the United States, the Government has recognized them as subject to future calls for the common defence, but in a subordinate capacity: and whereas, there is no public military institution where they may be specially educated for the important service, and qualified for the promotion to which their past and present services entitle them, therefore:

Resolved, That this Convention hereby respectfully and earnestly petition the present Congress to transfer the property of the United States, known as the Arlington estate, and now in charge of the Department of War, to suitable corporators, one from each of these United States, and one from the District of Columbia, yet to be named, for the purpose of locating thereon a self-supporting military institute, with competent educators,—admission to which shall be open to all without regard to race, color or previous condition.

Referred to the Business Committee.

Mr. Edward M. Davis, of Philadelphia, was introduced and made a few appropriate remarks.

Professor Bassett tendered his resignation as Secretary, that he might more effectually attend to his duty on the Business Committee. Mr. Lewis H. Douglass, of New York, was elected to fill the vacancy.

Mr. Mabson, of North Carolina, moved that they proceed to consider the resolutions reported by the Business Committee.

On motion of John F. Cook, of the District of Columbia, the matter was deferred to the evening session.

Mr. E. V. Clark, offered a resolution, condemning the course generally taken by he superintendents of schools to discourage colored teachers, and for not giving them appointments in city schools, as well as in the rural districts, which was referred to the Business Committee.

John M. Langston, accounted that owing to the trial going on in the Congressional Church, General O. O. Howard was unable to be present, but at his request would state that the General was in full sympathy with this Convention. He moved that in honor of the many good deeds done by the General, his name be added to the list of honorary members. Carried.

Adjourned to 7:30 P. M.


The Convention re-assembled at 7:30 P. M.

Rev. A. R. Green, of the District of Columbia, opened the proceedings with prayer.

William H. Day, presented the following—


1st, There shall be two sessions of the Convention daily.

2nd; The Morning Session shall meet at ten o'clock A. M., and adjourn at three o'clock P. M.

3rd, The Evening Session shall meet at half-past seven and adjourn at ten o'clock P. M.

4th, One third of the members of the Convention shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, at any of the sessions.

5th, No member shall be allowed to speak more than twice upon the same subject, without special leave of the Convention; and not longer than ten minutes the first time, and five the second.

6th, All resolutions of business, shall be read before the Convention, and then referred to the Business Committee, or a Special Committee, without debate, which shall consider the same, and report back to the Convention. And any resolution not reported by the Committee to whom referred, may be called up by the mover.

7th, Mathiass Manual shall be the standing rules of order for this Convention on all points not herein provided for. Adopted.

The following dispatch was then read:

Pittsburgh, PA., January 14.

To Frederick Douglass, President Suffrage Convention, Israel Church, South Capital street, corner B south, Greeting: Suffrage, loyal and impartial; National Rights regulated by National Law.



Committee D. M. Association, Birmingham.

Mr. Clark, of Iowa, presented to the Convention, Governor Merrill, of Iowa, who was received amid applause, and thanked them for the honor conferred upon him.

Mr. Downing, Chairman of the Business Committee, offered the following : Resolved, That we admit to this Convention as honorary members, all distinguished persons who have aided us in our cause of suffrage.

A motion was made to declare J. J. Roberts, ex-President of Liberia, an honorary member.

Mr. Downing moved that the motion be laid on the table.

Mr. Green, of Pennsylvania, opposed the motion to lay on the table, in a lengthy, earnest speech.

Mr. Weir, of Pennsylvania, had hoped that, when it was stated to him at the close of the afternoon session this question would be brought up, he did not believe so, thinking his friends had better sense. No man has the right, when we come here as American people, to attend to American business, to force this foreign odor under our noses. It was claimed, he said, that he had the right here as others favorable to freedom. He still holds to the Colonization Party who stoned Steven to death.

A voice. Yes, he is to speak for them this evening.

Mr. Weir, He ran away to Liberia in the time of our need, and hid himself in the swamps of Liberia, and cried Colonization. [Great laughter.]

Mr. Downing said that the idea of negro nationality lay at the base of the Liberian Government, and he was opposed to any nationality based on color.

Rev. Mr. Anderson, wished to offer a memorial and resolution, asking practical equality in the District of Columbia. Not granted.

Mr. Clark, of Iowa, withdrew the motion for the sake of harmony, and said that he had rather suffer wrong than do wrong.

The Chair stated it would require leave of the House to withdraw it.

Mr. Garnett hoped that they would have chance to vote on the question, and moved that they take the previous question.

Mr. Clark would not ask them to allow him to withdraw.

The previous question was called and lost.

Rev. D. W. Anderson again asked leave to offer his preamble and resolutions, which were received, and referred to the Committee on Business. They read as follows:

Memorial for Equal Privileges in the District of Columbia:

WHEREAS the Charter of this city guarantees to all the loyal citizens thereof equal rights before the law: and whereas it is evident that many colored persons are confined in jail for long months away from their families with great suffering and disgrace;

That these persons upon examination before the Court are often proven guilty of no crime only having a dark skin;

Therefore, we, the colored people of these United States in Convention assembled, do petition the incoming President to nominate two or more Justices of the Peace in and for said District of Columbia, of colored men.

We also petition that the colored people have the right of trial before a Jury of their own color, and not hefore men who yet believe that black men have no rights which white men are bound to respect.

Professor Sampson, of Avery College, Alleghany City was here duly chosen a Secretary of the Convention.

Mr. Downing, from the Business Committee, made the following report:

The Business Committee do respectfully recommend that a committee of seven he appointed, with Izaiah C. Weir as Chairman, to ask for an interview with and hearing before the Judiciary Committee of Congress.

Resolved. That this Convention appoint a national executive committee, to be composed of one member from each State and Territory and from the District of Columbia. The headquarters of this committee shall be at Washington D. C., to whom shall be referred the unfinished business of this Convention, and whose duty it shall be to carry out with Congress, as far as they can, the objects of this Convention, as per resolutions, and said committee fill vacancies from unrepresented States and Territories. The regular meetings of this Committee shall be held once at least in each month. Five memhers of the board shall constitute a quorum, and any member may be represented by proxy. Each Delegation present shall name its member of the Executive Committee.

Resolved, In view of the apparent errors of opinion and of figures in the Census Report of 1860, in relation to the colored people of the nation, that a memorial in the name of this national Convention he presented to the appointing power asking them to appoint for the Census Report of 1870, a census commissioner who has no prejudicia l opinions to ventilate and no prejudice against the colored people to gratify.

Resolved, That a central executive eommittee, composed of seven members with its headquarters at Washington, be appointed to urge on Congress, Capitalists, and other persons, the urgent necessity of lending their immediate influence to secure homes for the


homeless of the South, and that said committee be empowered to add to its numbers, and to act with any organization that shall desire the furtherance of the end contemplated, which Committee shall be further empowered to urge before Congress the expressed wishes of this Convention.

Resolved, That we urge upon the Senate of the United States the passage of the bill before it from the House, opening to the homestead settlers certain lands in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida, granted for railroad purposes in 1856, but which were forfeited by failure to comply with the conditions of the grant.

Resolved, That it is with special satisfaction as colored men, and with a general satisfaction as Americans, that we notice the favorable reception of the proposition to alter the constitution on the subject of franchise, not only by both branches of Cougress, by a large portion of the press of the land, but by the people thereof; and that we believe that in Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax, who we are confident represent the progressive spirit so happily ripe in the land, we have two honest personages who will exercise their utmost influence, so far as they may consistently, to place all American citizens, without regard to their complexon, on an equal political base.

Resolved, That the original abolitionists—those who were not ashamed or afraid to declare, uncompromisingly, when it endangered their lives to do so, for the immediate abolition of slavery, and that the colored men should enjoy all the political, educational and religious rights that any other citizens might claim—have a large and abiding share of our gratitude for their heroic, self-sacrificing advocacy and defense of the right, out of which has grown the present advanced public sentiment.

Resolved, That whatever short-comings may be laid to the Republican party, it is the party through which the rights legally secured to the colored American in his country were secured; that it has our gratitude and shall receive our support; that no other party need hope to alienate us therefrom, unless by outstripping it in consistency, and in an honest advocacy of genuine democratic principles.

Resolved, That the liberties of the citizens of this country can never be safe or uniform while the States are acknowledged to be the only power to regulate the suffrage.

Whereas by the laws of the District of Columbia all persons without regard to caste or color, are required to aid in bearing the burdens of the Government, all should be admitted to a full enjoyment of its privileges; and whereas under the existing laws of the said District our people are excluded from the jury boxes; therefore be it

Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed by the Chair to memorialize Congress in this matter with a view of securing the rights of our race in this respect and every other.

Resolved, That it is proper and opportune that we should now re-affirm the sentments of our fathers with reference to African colonization, as expressed by them in 1816, and give such other testimony against it as is justified by its history to the present hour.

Resolved, That while we desire, indeed would aid in the success to the extent of our opportunities, of any enterprise having for its object the improvement of mankind in any part of the world, we nevertheless here enter our stern protest against the action of any class of men who would compromise our popular status by asserting that our duty to Africa is more binding upon us than upon other citizens of our country.

WHEREAS the first day of January, 1862, has been made memorable by the issuing of the Proclamation of Emancipation by Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States


and whereas by that act of justice the shackles of slavery were broken off of millions of our race in these United States, therefore,

Resolved, that we, the colored people in National Convention assembled, do recommend that said day he observed throughout this land as a proper time to celebrate the practical carrying out of the great principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence.

Resolved, that we further recommend that on that day religious services be held to give especial thanks to Almighty God for his interposition in bringing about our emancipation and enfranchisement; and that the day be celebrated in such other way as may be deemed proper.

Resolved, That the pulpit is a mighty power in controlling minds on the questions of reform, and it is the opinion of this Convention that it is the duty of every minister of the Gospel to urge from the pulpit the reforms now going forward in favor of universal liberty and equal rights of all men.

Resolved, That we join with all of the good of the land, in entwining green wreaths around the memory of the late "great commoner;" Thaddeus Stevens; that it was our first impulse to manifest our appreciation and gratitude as colored men for the conspicuous part which this good man took in securing unto us our rights; but a more mature consideration tells us that we shall do his great heart more justice, and help to perpetuate his endearing memory more fixedly, by expressing with a full sense of gratitude as Americans, our belief that what he did was for his country in the cause of justice, because he believed it right and acceptable to Almighty God.

Resolved, That we congratulate the nation on the success of the reconstruction policy of the Congress of the United States in the restoration of so many of the States lately in rebellion to their normal relations with the Federal Union, despite the determined and desperate opposition of Southern rebels and their Northern sympathizers, and we earnestly appeal to Congress to complete the work so auspiciously inaugurated by establishing governments in those States yet unreconstructed, at the very earliest possible time, in consonance with the wishes of the loyal citizens of said States, and in the hands of men loyal to the Government of the United States, who will administer the laws on the broad principles of justice and equality to all.

Resolved, That while we most cheerfully acknowledge our gratitude to all who have labored and voted for the removal of the unjust disabilities against our people in regard to voting; that we are under special obligations to the Radical press and people of the distinguished State of Iowa, and also of Minnesota, for their able advocacy of impartial suffrage, and their late great victory at the polls.

W.J. Wilson, of the Finance Couunittce, offered the following:

Resolved, that to meet the expenses of this Convention, each member enrolled shall be taxed two dollars; and also, that at each session a collection be taken for the same purpose. He stated that Mr. Nesbit had presented the following bill for $94;


WASHINGTON, Jan. 19th, 1869.

Dr. to WM. NESBIT,
To printing call in circulars, one thousand copies, Six Dollars, - - - - $6 00

To postage and stationary, Eight Dollars, - - - - - - - 8 00

To advertising in Colored Citizen, - - - - - - - - - 20 00

To advertising in Missionary Record, - - - - - - - - 20 00

To advertising in Christan Recorder, - - - - - - - - - 20 00

To advertising in Zion’s Standard and Weekly Review, - - - - - 20 00

Total amount, - - - - - - - - - - $94 00


Professor Neal moved that the members be assessed sufficient to pay the bill and the expenses of the church.

The report of the Finance Committee was amended and adopted, making the assessment $1 each for contingent expenses.

The roll was called and the following members paid the tax assessed.—See Appendix.

Rev. Mr. Garnett moved that Senator Wilson be invited to address the Convention. Carried.

Senator Wilson then made an interesting address.

Hon. Willard Warner, of Alabama, also made a speech.

Professor Wilcox, of the District of Columbia, announced that he was authorized by the Committee to invite all the members of this Convention to attend the Woman’s Suffrage Convention next week.

The Chair announced that any of the Delegates having to return home over the Northern Central railroad, can procure tickets free of charge by applying to the Secretary of this body.

A Committee of seven was appointed to seek an interview with the Judiciary Committee, as follows: I. C. Weir, J. C. Bowers, Geo. T. Downing, N. Cubit, Wm. Whipper, Wm. H. Day.

Rev. Charles H. Thompson, offered the folIowing preamble and resolution in regard to Education and the establishment of a National Freedmen’s Aid Company:

A Resolution to provide for a National Freedmen's Mutual Aid Company.

Whereas our people in these United States, because of the want of education and the proper business training, are to a great extent, at the mercy of the white people who were their former masters, and who do not scruple now, to take advantage of their former slaves in all business transactions; and whereas the great mass of our people are not freeholders, and have not the means to purchase lands, and in most of the Southern States the white people will not sell land to our people, thereby depriving them of homes of their own, and the privilege of cultivating their own soil; and whereas we believe that God helps those who help themselves, Therefore be it

Resolved, That this Convention proceed to organize a National Freedmen’s Mutual Aid Company, for the purpose.

1st. Of securing protection to our people in all business transactions, by establishing business houses for ourselves and employing reliable agents to transact our business when our people are not competent to transact their our business.

2d. Of purchasing land and selling the same to our people in such quantities as they may need, and on such terms as will enable them to pay for the land from the products of the soil.

3d. Of aiding to establish schools, and a general diffusion of knowledge among our people.

Read and referred under the rules.

Prof. Geo. B. Vashon, submitted the following:

Resolved, That we denounce the proposition now pending is Congress to abolish elec-


tive government in the District of Columbia as a base plot designed to defraud the eight thousand freedmen therein of the elective franchise, and cheat them of their new-born freedom.

Referred to the Business Committee.

Judge Kelley, of Pennsylvania, addressed the meeting.

When he had concluded, Mr. Downing moved the adoption of the resolutions as reported from the Business Committee.

The previous question was called for, and they were adopted.

The Convention adjourned until nine o'clock next morning.


FRIDAY MORNING, January 15, 1869.

Convention met pursuant to adjournment.

Mr. F. G. Barbadoes, of Massachusetts, took the chair and called the Convention to order, in the absence of the President, Frederick Douglass, who, the Chair announced, had left the city.

Prayer was offered by Rev. C. H. Thompson, of New Jersey.

Mr. Hackett, of Maryland, enquired why H. H. Garnett, did not occupy the chair, as Mr. Douglass had desired him to do so. C. H. Thompson made a similar enquiry.

Mr. Barbadoes replied that the absence from the city of Mr. Douglass, left the Convention without a permanent presiding officer, and to enable this body to manifest its choice for such officer, it was necessary that one of the Vice Presidents, should take the chair. His name heading the list, he had assumed the position, to enable them to do so; he desired it distinctly understood, that he had no wish to occupy the chair permanently, and would willingly yield it to the choice of the Convention.

Mr. Geo. T. Downing, disregarded entirely, the assumed arrangement between Mr. Douglass and Mr. Garnett. Mr. Douglass had left the city, and had done wrong in attempting to choose his successor by such arrangement. That question was for this body to determine, and none other. Mr. Barbadoes was to all intents and purposes, the president, until changed by this body.

Mr. I. C. Weir, of Pennsylvania, maintained that Mr. Barbadocs was entitled to the position, by the law electing Presidents and Vice-Presidents. He was elected for that very purpose; to preside in the absence or inability of the President. He was there by right of precedence, and should be maintained in the position, while he exhibited the ability to conduct the proceedings.

Mr. John Bowers, also advocated the position taken by Messrs. Downing and Weir, and declared that it was eminently just and proper for Mr. Barbadoes to pursue the course he had; that it was a new feature, in organized bodies that a president, should, without consulting the body who had placed him in power, choose his successor.

Mr. Barbadoes again stated that he had no personal interest or wish in the matter, other than he had already expressed, and asked the pleasure of the Convention.

Mr. Hackett moved that Rev. H. H. Garnett, to take the chair. He intended no discourtesy to Mr. Barbadoes, but offered the motion in deference to the wish and understanding of Mr. Douglass with him and other members.

After further debate, the motion was carried.

Mr. Barbadoes came forward and courteously conducted Mr. Garnett to the chair.

Mr. Garnett, on taking the chair, explained that Mr. Douglass was absent in consequence of a prior engagement to lecture in Brooklyn, New York. He stated, also, that Mr. Douglass had requested him to preside.

Rev. Mr. Gloucester, of New York, offered a resolution endorsing the Zion Standard and the Weekly Review, and asking that they be endorsed by the colored people of the United States. Referred to the Business Committee.

Mr. H. Thomas, submitted a resolution authorizing the appointment of a committee of five to prepare two addresses--one to Congress, and one to the people of the United States -- setting forth the wants of the colored people. Referred to the same Committee.

Bishop Jones, of New York, offered a long preamble and resolutions, directing the Special Committee, to which was referred the subject of a National Equal Rights League, or some other appropriate committee, to consider the propriety and importance of the establishment by this Convention, either in connection with the aforesaid league, or otherwise, a national joint stock company, or some such organization as will tend more directly to the advancement of the pecuniary and material interests of our people, and report thereon at the earliest possible moment. Referred to the League Committee.

Twelve o'clock having arrived, the roll was called and part of the assessments collected.

Hon. Horace Maynard and Hon. S. M. Arnell of Tennessee, were introduced to the Convention.

The following dispatch was read:

PITTSBURG, PA., January 15.
President Colored Men's Convention:

Offered for adoption in public meeting.

Whereas we are in sympathy with our kindred and blood, and in view of advancing Republicanism, and the unsettled state of the Spanish Government,

Resolved, That we ask Congress to institute negotiations for the annexation of Cuba and Hayti, or of their acceptance of the American flag.

JOHN P. SAMPSON, President.
P.H. MURRAY, Secretary.

Referred to Business Committee.

An announcement was made by the President that General Carl Shurz had


received the nomination for Senator from Missouri, which was received with applause.

Mr. Whipper, of the Finance Committee, stated that they had collected about $126, and offered a resolution asking Delegates to make up the amount due by their absent colleagues, which, he said, would make up about $320.

Mr. Matthews, of Baltimore, stated that there were a number of Delegates present who refused to pay their dues.

He was requested to hand the names of such gentlemen to the Secretary.

Mr. J. M. Langston, of Ohio, insisted upon knowing what bills were stand-ing against the Convention, that they might know what they were paying for

Mr. Matthews reported that it was printing, &c.

Mr. Langston stated that the report showed that none but colored men had charged them for printing, and he moved that further action on the part of the Finance Committee looking to raising money for publishing the proceedings of this Convention, be suspended until a full report is had from the Business Coin- mittee, and we have opportunity to determine whether matter reported by them is worthy of more permanent form of publication than that given by the newspapers of the country.

He said that the colored men of this country must come up on three things, viz: education, character, and crowning these two, the almighty dollar. [Applause.]

Mr. Whipper insisted upon his resolution.

Mr. Downing, Chairman of the Business Committee, said that a sub-committee was arranging an address to go before the American people, and that a committee had been appointed, with Mr. Weir, as their chairman, to go before the Judiciary Committee upon the suffrage question, and he thought that ought to be published, and if so, it must be paid for.

Joseph Mitchell, of Alabama, was enrolled as a Delegate.

Mr. Bowers, of Pennsylvania, spoke at length in favor of the resolution offered by Mr. Whipper, and of having the proceedings published in pamphlet form.

Mr. Weir thought that even in business matters there was such a thing as being penny wise and pound foolish. He opposed Mr. Langston's motion. They wanted to show the contentrated wisdom of their people, and how would they feel to lay a newspaper on a Congressman's table and say: "Mr., here is last weeks newspaper." No, sir, he wanted it in pamphlet form, that they might present them to those who are not here to hear the proceedings.

Mr. Sorrell, of Baltimore, stated that if it would only stop the discussion he would say for the Delegates of his State, that they would be responsible for the entire debt standing against the Convention.

The previous question on Mr. Whippers resolution was not seconded.

The question was then put on Mr. Langston's motion and carried.

Rev. Rufus L. Perry, of New York, offered the following:


WHEREAS a large number of worthy white men have been made honorary members of this national convention of colored citizens; and whereas the name of Mr. Roberts, of the Republic of Liberia, West Africa, was proposed as an honorary member, but voted down; and whereas that vote may be, and is already construed to signify an over-want of confidence in, and respect for one another; and shows that we are predisposed to, and distinguished for recognizing superiority in the white man; therefore

Resolved, That the vote refusing ex-President Roberts an honorary membership of this Convention, was intended only as an expression of contempt in which the old American Colonization Society is held by this Convention, and the intelligent among the colored men throughout the United States.

Resolved further, That Major Martin R; Delaney be, and he is hereby, declared an honorary member of this body.

Referred to the Business Committee.

Mr. Green, of Pennsylvania, objected to the reference as being without a precedent in this or any other Convention.

Mr. William J. Wilson, of the District of Columbia, offered a resolution respectfully requesting Congress to pass an act providing that in the payment of bounties to colored soldiers, no distinction on account of former condition shall be made, but those borne upon the muster-rolls as slaves shall receive the sanm bounties allowed to other soldiers for the same period and term of service~ Passed.

The Chair announced the following, as the


F. G. BARBADOES, Massachusetts.

G. T. DOWNING, Mew York.

WM. RICH, Rhode Island.

WM. NESBIT, Pennsylvania.

W. H. DAY, Delaware.


J. M. WILLIAMS, New Jersey.

FIELDS COOK, Virginia.

G. P. ROURK, North Carolina.

G. W. LONG, Florida.

J. M. SIMMS, Georgia.

W. G. STRONG, Alabama.

D. WADKINS, Tennessee.

W. H. GIBSON, Kentucky.


R. DEBAPTIST, Illinois.

T. W. STRINGER, Mississippi.


C. H. LANGSTON, Kansas.

COLLIN CRUSO, District of Columbia.

The Chair announced the Military Committee as follows:

Hon. H. M. Turner, Georgia; A. Ward Handy, Maryland; A. M. Green Pennsylvania; Alexander Clark, Iowa; James W. Brown, Pennsylvania, Mr. Green resigned in favor of Mr. D. D. Turner, of Pennsylvania.

Prof. S. A. Neale, of Alleghany, Pennsylvania, offered the following:

Whereas, In the upward struggle of this race of ours toward honor and recognition, little attention has been given to the acquisition of wealth as an element of power and as in this utilitarian age, wealth takes precedence as the avenue through which all the moral, religions, mental, physical reforms in the world are effected; therefore,

Be it resolved, That the National Colored Mens Convention, earnestly recommend to all Auxilliary Leagues, or other Associations throughout the country, the establishment of fund in said Associations, and from time to time deposit such sums as they can conveniently spare. Referred to Committee on Leagues.

Prof. Keale, offered the following:


Resolved, That this Convention heartily approve of the action of the Board of Managers of the National Lincoln Monument Association, in providing for the incorporation of a the Statue of the honored President of this Convention, Frederick Douglass, in the groupe of historical figures to be placed on this national work of art, in connection with the Statue of Abraham Lincoln, the immortal benefactor of our race.

Resolved, That this Convention hereby tender their thanks to the National Lincoln Monument Association for the unmistakable recognition of our citizenship, and the patriotism of our race, in the present struggle for national unity and perpetuity. Referred to a Special Committee.

Adjourned to 7 oclock, P. M.


At 7 30 P M., the Convention was called to order, by Mr. F. G. Barbadoes, Vice President from Massachusetts, in the Chair.

Bishop Campbell, offered an appropriate prayer.

The Secretary, having the minutes of the Morning Session, not being present, Mr. Turner, of Georgia, took the floor, and proceeded to discuss the report of the committee, on the organizations of Equal Rights Leagues. He was of the opinion, that some systematic organization should be perfected, that would bind the colored people together in one common cause.

Mr. Brown, of Pennsylvania, rose to a point of order, stating that there was no question before the House. Messrs. Turner, Forten, and Green, insisted that the subject being discussed, was the unfinished business of the Morning Session, and was therefore legitimately before the House. The Chair called upon the Secretary, who had arrived, to read the minutes of the last Session. They were read.

The Chair stated that he should hold the Convention to their written Records upon the disputed question; the record did not show that question to be deferred to that session for consideration, and decided the point of order raised by Mr. Brown, well taken. An Appeal from the decision of the Chair was taken, and lost.

Mr. Hunter, of Pennsylvania, moved, to proceed to discuss the formation of a Equal Rights League.


Mr. Forten, spoke at length, of the want of a League, and endeavored to explain why they were so necessary.

Mr. Turner wanted the gentleman to explain why they should have a League separate from that of the Union League of America.

Mr. Forten, said that he was not supposed to know anything about the Union League of America, and continued to speak in favor of his Report.

Mr. Green, of Pennsylvania, thought it a great mistake to abandon their distinct organizations, which had done so much good up to the present moment In a lengthy and sharp speech, he opposed this wholesale attempt to disorganize our people upon a mere chimera of some brilliant imagination.

H.H. Garnett, in the Chair. The Credentials of the Louisiana Delegation were presented, as follows:


Hon. O. J. Dunn, Lieutenant Governor; Hon. P. B. S. Pinchback, Senator, 2nd District; James H. Ingraham, J. Willis Menard, Hon. C.C. Antoine, Senator 21st District; Captain Arnold Bertouneau, Messrs. Aristide May, B. Joubert, H. Bouseigneur, A. C. Barber, A. L. Boree, and ordered enrolled.

Mr. J. X . Me a d, of that Delegation, was introduced by J~ M. Las~gston, and said that he xv ~s sorry to find himself dis~ppointed in the material of the Con- vention. He had expected to find hero something to remind him of the gran- deur we read about of the ioma i Senate. He regretted to find them so disor- clerly, and that they were saying nothing about ~ suffrage. He reb retted that he h~d ~ot been here to vote for the admission of bliss Johnson, ci -. e~ n- sylvania. He thoight the greatest lever in thei way was i themselves. All wanted to be big men. They had but oi e voice in the South, md that was to know no distinctions of color or sex. Unless they concentrate their po ver they would never attain to any political power. He hoped that this would be the cud of disfranchisement, but agreed that the righf of the black ma~ in the South were not secure. [This synopsis of Mr. iLenards remarks Is imnerfect from the frequent inter uptions by hisses, ~nd calls to sit down.]

Mr. A. Clark, of Iowa, offe ed the following ~esol itions, which were -eferreu to the Business Committee:

Resolved, That the tendency toward an enlarged freedom which distinguishes our ge, which in England, bears the name of Reform; in Ireland, the title of Fenianism; in Enrope, the name of Progress and in this Government, the name of Radicalism,impresses ns with the firm conviction, that onr claims to universal suffrage and impartial justice, at hoi c and abroad, will soon be secured to all.

Resolved, That while we most cheerfully nejinowledge our gratitude to all who have la- bored and voted for the removal of the unjust disabilities against our people, in regard to voting, we are under special obligations to the Radical Press and people, of the distin- guished State of Iowa; and also, of Minnesota, for their able advocacy of impartial suf- frage, and their late gr~at victory at the polls.

Resolved, That the right of Suffrage is among the natural rights of man, in a P epublican government, formin~ the most valuable part of the common liberties, of all the citizens, of which they cannot justly be deprived, except for the punishment of crime, in individual cases.

Mr. D. K. Parker, of P. C., o~ered the folloxving: Resolved, That this Convention do place unwavering confidence in U. S. Grant and Schnyler Colfax, as fit men to prcside as President and Vice-President of this nation.

Resolved, That a com~sittee of five be appointed by the President of this Convention. to wait on the President and Vice-President-elect, and inform them that the Colored people of this nation hail their election with inexpressible joy.

Referred to Business Committee.

Dr. J. W. Stephenson, of New Jersey, offered a resolution, encouraging youn~ colored men to st dy Medicine, that they might do away xvith tho barbarous treatment as practiced by the white physicians of the South towards the colored people. Referred to Business Committee.

The following was offered by F. G. Barbadoes, of Massachusetts.


Whereas, Five Millions of our race are equally interested with the rest of the American people—and claim Equality of Right in the great principles, upon which this Government founded its political Institution, thereby declaring the natural rights of all men; and whereas, memoralization, is the proper medium of appeal, from political grievances, by the American citizen, to the law-making power, therefore,

Resolved, That this Convention, for the people they represent, do petition Congress to so amend the Constitution, so as to secure to its colored citizens in every State of the Union the right of suffrage.

Resolved, that we refer with just pride, to the fact, that in those States, wherein we have exercised the right of suffrage, there is not an instance, on record, of our abusing it; that we have exhibited intelligent discrimination, and judgment in the use of the ballot, as we have attested brave and loyal devotion to Liberty, Justice, and the Union in the use o f the bullet.

Referred under the rule.

F. G. Barbadoes presented the names of Hon. Charles Sumner, Wm. Loyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and Wm. C. Nell, of Mass., as honorary members, which was received with great applause and they were ordered enrolled.

The question on the report of the National League, was raised again, when Dr. Purvis opposed it in the strongest terms, believing that there should be no colored leagues, but simply leagues of American citizens, irrespective of color.

Mr. Wadkins, of Tennessee, said they had all the privileges of white men, and the name "color" is never heard there. The colored citizens of his State were willing to come North and help their colored friends to get a vote, but they could not vote for a national league formed alone by a colored convention.

Dr. Brown, of Maryland, was opposed to distinctive places in churches, cars, opera houses, steamboat tables, or anywhere else. He claimed that this was a convention of both black and white. The white people force them, he said, to keep to themselves, and he was in favor of forming leagues. He had travelled nearly over the world, and found no nation on earth so prejudiced against color as the American. He wanted to form leagues into which both black and white may be admitted.

Professor Sampson thought that the black men were not safe in the South, so long as they are identified with the disfranchised colored men of the North. This convention had the right to demand of Congress universal suffrage, and he hoped they would not stop until they got it.

He believed that when black men of this country had to suffer, the free whites would have to also. In conclusion, it was for equal privileges to all that they must battle.

Mr. Rourk, of North Carolina, opposed the Equal Rights League, as from experience he knew it to be injurious.

Dr. Brown. How many white men have you known to belong to leagues in the South?

Mr. Rourk said he could vouch for 2,500 in his State.


Mr. I. C. Weir, of Pennsylvania, opposed the organization of such a league in the bitterest terms. Their duty was to find out what was to be gained by forming such organizations, which the committee had not done.

Professor Sampson replied in a few words.

Mr. Clark, announced that Senator Harlan, was in the house, and moved that his name be enrolled on the list of honorary members.

The President invited Senator Harlan to address the Convention, and he made a brief but interesting speech, and closed with a recital of the closing acts to the grand victory, in the State of Iowa, amidst enthusiastic applause and his name was enrolled.

The previous question was called on the adoption of the report of the Equal Rights League Committee, and lost.

Mr. Green, moved that it be referred back to the committee for further instructions and of having officers appointed for its government. Carried.

The Chair announced that the Committee on Census were: Messrs. Wm. H. Day, Delaware; Wm. Whipple, Pennsylvania; R. B. Sorrell, Maryland.

On Lands, &c.: Messrs. John T. Johnson, District of Columbia; C. H. Peters, District of Columbia; John F. Cook, District of Columbia; George DeBaptist, Illinois; Dr. H. J. Brown, Maryland.

Bishop J. P. Campbell, Pennsylvania, stated on the authority of Mr. Wm. E. Matthews, of Maryland, that the item in Mr. Nesbit's bill due to the Christian Recorder, was not demanded by that paper, they having determined to print the call gratuitously.

Mr. Nesbit thereupon struck the item of twenty dollars due the Recorder from the bills

The following were reported by Mr. Downing, chairman of the Business Committee, and they were read and adopted:

WHEREAS the Constitution makes it, in positive and unequivocal terms, the duty of the United States to guarantee to each State in the Union a republican form of government and whereas it is left with Congress to decide what are the essential features which consti- tute a republican form of government; and whereas the idea that taxation and representation should go together, that and those who are justly governed, are governed by their ow n consent, are fixed, essential features of our Government; whereas the fundamental laws of the Government affirms that our Govesnment is a government of the people, and not of a part thereof, instancing article 1, section 2, of the Constitution, which says that the members of the House of Representatives are to be chosen, not by a part of, but by the people; and whereas the Government had its creation in the idea, not only that "all men are created equal," but that they were justified before God and man in rebelling when taxed without being represented; and whereas all the above affirm that in an American sense it is a cardinal idea of republicanism, as a form government, that the people shall have a voice as to who shall rule over them, and what shall be the laws to govern them, which can only be fairly expressed through the ballot; and whereas no class who are not secured in this privilege can feel secure in their freedom; and whereas, when the duty was imposed upon the United States to guarantee as above, it must have been contemplated, that when necessary. the people in each State of the Union should be guaranteed in this cardinal and essential


privilege under a republican form of government, notwithstanding all contrary facts that may have been created in an antagonistic pro-slavery interest; therefore Be it resolved, That it is our conviction that Congress may secure every citizen of the United States in the right to vote; but inasmuch as it has not assumed to do so, in conse- quence of the nil-controlling influence which slavery has had over its legislation in the past, and if it will not, that we ask for an amendment to the Constitution, so as to put the matter beyond all cavil, so that citizens may not be proscribed in the exercise of their rights, because of their race, color, or condition. WHzRzAs in the economical arrangement of the Government of our country, the sover- eignty is placed in the people through the ballot; and whereas the legally elected members of the Georgia Legislature have been expelled therefrom simply on the ground of color, thereby annulling their power and the sovereignty of their will; Resolved, That the action of the said Georgia Legislature in expelling therefrom the colored members of that body, is repugnant to the laws of the United States and of that State, inconsistent with the acts reconstructing the late rebel States, and subversive of all the rights, privileges and immunities guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the Uni- ted States, and of that State; and we most respectfully urge upon Congress the necessity of some fnrther legislation, that this outrage upon the colored citizens of Georgia may be redressed, and their just rights restored. WILEREAS under the present condition of affairs in Kentucky, the colored citizens of that State are totally deprived., in the interior of the State, of the protection intended to be given them by the civil rights bill; and, whereas, in our opinion, this condition could be remedied by placing the Federal courts within the reach of those to be benefited by that bill; therefore Resolved, That the committee already appointed to confer with the Judiciary Committee of Congress, do represent to said committee this condition, and solicit them to report a bill increasing the circuits of Federal courts in that State. Resolved, That we respectfully petition Congress to strike out from the naturalization laws the word white, in accordance with the bill already before the United States Senate. Resolved, That the Convention hereby respectfully requests of Congress the passage of an act providing that in the payment of bounties to colored soldiers, no distinction on ac- count of former condition shall be made, but those borne upon the muster-rolls as slaves, shall receive the same bounties allowed to other soldiers for the same period and term of service. Also, a resolution recommending the colored people to establish manual labor schools, and cordially endoising the Tennessee Manual Labor Union, and sim- ilar institutions. Mr. Downing made a few remarks in support of the adoption of the report, and made an explanation of tha resolution relating to bounties. On motion, the Convention then adjourned to meet at nine oclock to-morrow morning.

FOURTH DAYS PROCEEDINGS. SATURDAY, Jam. 16th, 1869. The Convention met at 9 30, A. M. Rev. H. H. Garnett, of Pennsylvania, in the Chair. Prayer was offered by Rev. W. T. Long, of Florida. The minutes of the last meeting were read, and G. A. Mabson, of North Carolina, moved their approval with the necessary corrections. Bishop Campbell was not satisfied with the portion of the minutes which stated that the report of the committee on the formation of a National League had been adopted and~the report referred back to the committee with certain instructions. He had come to the Convention to agitate the question of suffrage. They had but one object in view, and did not and could not approve of the plan of taking hold of a hundred subjects, and thought they would fail in the organization of a League if they were not careful. Mr. Everett, of Virginia, was also dissatisfied ~with the minutes, and wanted them corrected. Mr. Mabson, of North Carolina,Qthought the debate unnecessary, and called for the question on ~he approval of the minutes. Mr. Downing, of Rhode Island, was of the opinion that the report was re- ferred back to the committee. Several members rose to a point of order. Mr. Downing opposed the formation of an Equal Rights League. The im- pression had gone out of the Convention that the colored people had decided to disconnect themselves with other organizations, and form one of their own, and he would enter his solemn protest against the action of the Convention in sanctioning the organization of such a League. He thought it would be pro- ductive of evil to the colored men, and would work against them. Mr. Mabson called for the question on the approval of the minutes; and they were approved, as corrected. Hon. John Trimble, of Tennessee, was introduced to the Convention amid applause. Mr. Alexander Clark, of Iowa, offered the following: Resolved, That when this Convention adjourn it adjourn to meet on the second Tuesday in January, 1870, in the City of Baltimore. On motion, the resolution was laid on the table. Mr. Green, of Pennsylvania, i~resented a letter of fraternal greeting from the District Grand Lodge of Good Samaritans and Daughters of Sai aria. Referred to the Committee on Equal Rights League. Mr. Clark ~tated that he held in his ir ud a proclamation from the Governor, of Iowa, striking out the word white from the Constitution of that State. He mox ed it be spi cad on the minutes of the Convention. Carried.



To all whom these Presents may come Greeting;

KNOW YE. That whereas the Eleventh General Assembly of the State of Iowa, passed a resolution which was approved April 2, 1866, and which is in the words following, namely:

"BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA. That the following amendments to the Constitution of the State of Iowa, are hereby proposed:

"1st. Strike the word 'white' from Section 1, of Article 2, thereof.

"2d. Strike the word 'white' from Section 32, of Article 3, thereof.

"3d. Strike the word 'white' from Section 34, of Article 3, thereof.

"4th. Strike the work 'white' from Section 35, of Article 3, thereof.

"5th. Strike the word 'white' from Section 1, of Article 6, thereof.

AND WHEREAS, The Twelfth General Assembly of the State of Iowa, passed a resolution which was approved March 31st, 1868, and which is in the words following, namely:

"WHEREAS, The Eleventh General Assembly of the State of Iowa, did in due form, by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses, agree to proposed amendments to the Constitution, as follows:

"1st. Strike the word 'white' from Section 1, of Article 2, thereof.

"2d. Strike the word 'white' from Section 32, of Article 3, thereof.

"3d. Strike the word 'white' from Section 34, of Article 3, thereof.

"4th. Strike the word 'white' from Section 35, of Article 3, thereof.

"5th. Strike the word 'white' from Section 1, of Article 6, thereof; and entered the same of the journals thereof; and referred the same to the Legislature to be chosen at the next general election, and the same having been published as provided by law, for three months previous to the time of making the choice of this, the Twelfth General Assembly: therefore:

BE IT RESOLVED by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa. That the said amendments aforesaid, and each of them, are hereby ratified, agreed to and confirmed, and the same shall be submitted to the people of their approval, as this General Assembly shall provide."

AND WHEREAS, The said Twelfth General Assembly passed an Act, which was approved April 2, 1868, "Providing for the submission of certain proposed amendments to the Constitution of the State of Iowa, to the People thereof," and the said amendments were submitted to the people of the State of Iowa, in the manner and at the time prescribed by the terms of said act.

AND WHEREAS, An official canvass of the votes cast at the said general election, shows that there were one hundred and five thousand three hundred and eighty-four (105,384) votes cast for the adoption of the first of said amendments, and eighty-one thousand one hundred and nineteen (81,119) votes cast against the adoption of said second amendment, and that there were one hundred and five thousand five hundred and twenty-four (105,502) votes cast for the adoption of the fourth of said amendments, and eighty thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine (80,929) votes cast against the adoption of said fourth amendment, and that there were one hundred and five thousand five hundred and fifteen (105,515) votes cast for the adoption of the fifth of said amendments, and eighty-one thousand and fifty (81,050) votes cast against the adoption of said fifth amendment:

Now, therefore I, SAMUEL MERRILL, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the virtue


the authority vested in me, do hereby proclaim that each and all of the said amendments aforesaid, have become valid to all intents and purposes as a part of the Constitution of the State of Iowa.

In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Iowa. Done at Des Moines, this eighth day of a December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty. eight, of the independence of the United States the ninety-third, and of the State of Iowa the twenty-second.


By the Governor:

Ed. Wright, Secretary of State.

December 17, 1868.

Mr. Boston, of Pennsylvania, called attention to the fact that he had submitted a resolution to the Business Committee, on the subject of public schools in Pennsylvania, and of Hon. Thaddeus Stevens's connection therewith; he desired to know why there had been no report on that subject from the Committee.

The Chair stated that the Committee would doubtless report yet upon the subject.

The following was presented, but no action was taken:

Whereas the removal of the Freedmen's Bureau from the Southern States, and especially from the States of Virginia and Mississippi, and Texas, leaves the colored people in those States wholly at the mercy of their enemies, homeless, landless, uneducated, and without clothes, by reason of their not being paid for their labor since they were made free by the Government; therefore be it

Resolved, That a petition be presented to the Congress of the United States by this Convention that. they make some provision for the starving colored people in those States.


R. D. Beckly, Virginia,


THOS. W. STRINGER, Mississippi.

Mr. H. C. Moulson, of New York. submitted the following:

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they re endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The present condition of our country tells us plainly that the above words are far from being made effective. A large majority of the citizens of the United States are denied those rights which were given them by their Creator. They are taxed without being represented; they are subject to trials by juries which are not their peers; they they are murdered without having redress, and are taxed to support common schools while their children are denied the privilege of attending those in their respective wards; they are called upon for the military of their country without receiving proper protection of the country, and without any incentives whatever for being commissioned officers. These grievances belie the Declaration of Independence by which the American people profess to be governed. We have been laboring for the last two and a-half centuries to enrich the country, without having received a particle of remuneration. We have been promised our rights, but have not received them. and we do not now counsel any other means than thoughts, words, and the integrity of the Republican party.

We demand all the rights and prerogatives enjoyed by our white fellow-citizens. We have lived here two and a half centuries, and know only this country as our home.

Here we have a few cherished memories and many sad ones; yet our country is dear to us with all her faults.

We demand these as natives of this country. We demand them from our long, unrequited toil. We demand them from our part in the recent rebellion, with which millions more of dollars and thousands more of precious lives would have been expended. We demand them for the safety of the Republican party, with which we shall ally ourselves so long as It continues to battle for righteousness and justice. We demand them as men, children of a common Father.

Whereas the true basis of a democratic republican government is equal and impartial suffrage; therefore, be it


Resolved, That we demand equality of suffrage and all political franchises in the United States; and that a petition be prepared and presented to the Congress of the United States, asking a constitutional amendment securing the right to vote without distinction of race or color.

Resolved, That the Delegates of this Convention be requested to sign the said proposed petition.

On motion, the rules were suspended, and the resolutions wore unanimously adopted.

Hon. George W. Julian, of Indiana, was called upon and addressed the Convention. Calls were made for Mr. Trimble, of Tennessee, who thanked the Convention but declined speaking.

Hon. John C. Underwood addressed the Convention briefly.

Rev. A. R. Green, of the District of Columbia, offered a resolution providing for the establishment of a national press; which was referred.

Mr. A. M. Green, of Pennsylvania, offered a resolution endorsing the American University, a Medical College, located at Philadelphia, which accepted colored men as students. Referred under the rule.

On motion, of Mr. A. M. Green, of Pennsylvania, a committee of three was appointed to revise and publish the minutes.

Messrs. Green, W. J. Wilson and J. M. Langston, was by the Chair appointed, and on motion of I. C. Weir, F. G. Barbadoes and J. Sella Martin, were added to that committee.

Mr. Martin, subsequently, declined in favor of G. T. Downing. Mr. Barbadoes, of Massachusetts, offered a resolution "that the subject of memorilization to Congress on the matter of public lands be referred to the National Executive Committee already appointed by this Convention. Adopted.

Mr. Barbadoes also submitted a resolution providing for the holding of an Educational Conventional in Harrisburg,Pennsylvania, in February next.

Mr. Turner, of Georgia, moved to amend the resolution by inserting Richmond as the place for holding the convention.

Mr. Wadkins, of Tennessee, wished the Convention to meet in Nashville.

Mr. Perry, of New York, thought a Convention should be held in New York. There were many Educational Institutions in that State, and he wished the people there to understand there were colored men in the United States fully qualified to take charge of the Educational interests of such institutions.

Mr. G. P. Rourk, of North Carolina, hoped, as Raleigh, North Carolina, was a central part of the country, they would decide to hold the Convention there, He felt sure the delegates would be welcomed in that city, and lie could point with pride to her institutions.

After remarks by Messrs. Mabson, Lindsey, and others, the resolution was amended to hold the Convention in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Mr. J. M. Langston, of Ohio, said, touching the subject of Education, they should coolly ask themselves what kind of an Educational enterprise they need? They should look to it that they go to any college or institution in the country


and that no distinction should be made on account of race or color. He referred to the course of the people of the Northern States who were afraid or ashamed to go South and teach the colored people, and said such persons were unworthy of notice; and contended that praise was due to those able men and women who had left their homes in the North and gone South to educate the oppressed of that section. The speaker did not approve of establishing negro schools or negro leagues, and spoke at length on the subject of education.

After several dilatory motions, Mr. Charles H. Peters moved to lay the whole matter on the table. The motion was discussed at length and carried.

Governor Boutwell addressed the Convention, and was followed by Hon. Mr. Ashley, of Ohio, and J. W. Alford, superintendent of Freedmen's Schools.

The committee to wait on the Judiciary Committee, through the chairman, Mr. Isaiah C. Weir, of Pennsylvania, made a report, and stated that they had performed their duty, and were received in the most cordial manner. The chairman addressed the committee in an extended speech on the subject of State rights and suffrage, which was listened to with great respect and attention by the very able and distinguished gentlemen composing the Judiciary Committee.

Mr. George T. Downing called the attention of the committee to the fact that there was a discrimination as to the distribution of bounties, based solely on the fact that some of them had been unjustly enslaved because of their color.

The chairman of the Judiciary Committee, in regard to the bounty question, replied that it had best be taken before the Military Committee. In regard to the suffrage question, they assured them that ere long there would be action taken by Congress on the subject.

On motion, of George T. Downing, the address before the Judiciary was ordered printed with the minutes of the Convention.

Mr. Forten, Chairman of the Committee of the organization of an Equal Rights League, reported that, as great dissatisfaction had been expressed in regard to the matter, he had decided to leave it for the further action of the Executive Committee.

Mr. Downing then moved to lay the whole matter on the table, and called for the previous question. The motion was carried amid applause.

The Finance Committee then submitted a report and called upon the Convention for a contribution of $240 to pay further expenses.

Contributions by States were then called for by J. M. Langston, on behalf of the Finance Committee; he laid before the Convention the necessity of placing with that committee, sufficient money to pay the contingent demands, also to pay for publishing the proceedings of the Convention; in response to his appeal, the following contributions and pledges were received:


ALABAMA, by J. H. KEEFER, $35,00




WM. RICH, $5 } 10,00



ROBT. SORRELL. 5 } 10,00






DELEGATION, 10 } 20 00


HON. MR. DURAND 10 } 20 00












$234 50

Brief, pointed, and congratulatory remarks were made during the collection of State contributions. When New Mexico was called, Hon. Kirby Benedict, formerly Chief Justice of that Territory, arose and after explaining his great pleasure in listening to the proceedings, stated that he desired that the thousands of intelligent, and loyal colored men of New Mexico should be represented, even at that late hour, in the Convention; he therefore in their behalf, as an encouragement and endorsement of Republican principles from them, made, his donation. His remarks were received with applause, and his name, on motion of F. G. Barbadoes, was ordered enrolled as an honorary member.

Mr. Downing, Chairman of the Business Committee, submitted the following:


Resolved, That justice and expediency require that the colored children and youth of our land should have equal opportunities for education in those States where public schools are supported by taxation, and should attend the same schools.

Also the following address, which had been prepared and presented to the Business Committee, by Prof. G. B. Vashon, of Rhode Island:

Address to the Colored Citizens of the United States.

Fellow-Citizens: We, your representatives assembled in national convention, having attended to the business which you, in fraternal trust, confided to us, respectfully beg leave, at the conclusion of our labors, to address you briefly yet earnestly in reference to the condition which we now occupy here in the land of our nativity, and to the duties and responsibilities which are in consequence devolved upon us, in order that we may attain to that equal status in the eye of the law, with other fellow-citizens, which we of right aspire to, and which we of right ought to enjoy.

At the outset of our address we would devoutly call upon you to join with us in thanks to Him in whose hands are the destinies of all His creatures, that through the orderings of His providence, we speak to you under far different circumstances from those in which you have been addressed by your assembled representatives at other periods of our history. Once you were called upon to labor for the overthrow of a gigantic system of oppression, which held in its enslaving grasp more than three millions of our own kindred, and for the recognition of our own claims to citizenship in these United States of America. Now we can interchange congratulations with you, that throughout the broad domain of out beloved country, from the St. John's river upon the North, to the Rio Grande, and from the Atlantic border to the Pacific Coast, the grand anthem of liberty is intoned with a harmony unbroken by the discord which would be caused by the wailing of even one unhappy slave. We can do so, too, with a consciousness that we are not looked upon now, as we were then, in the light of quasi aliens; for the American people have spoken through their representatives in Congress, and enacted "that all persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States." Thus, fellow-citizens, we have reason to rejoice in the fact that the past has had its triumphs for us; but our condition in the present, together with the duties and responsibilities which it enforces upon us, demands our attention, and of that condition, and of those duties and responsibilities we would now speak.

As to our condition, we need not dwell long upon that, for you understand fully the necessity which prompted you to send us to meet together in convention. You know that our citizenship, recognized as it has been by statutory provisions, has not secured for us throughout the different States of this Union, those franchises and immunities which are the pride and boast of our white fellow-citizens. Each one of you, in his own individual locality, is painfully alive to the grievances (as various in their character as the localities themselves) which he is called upon to endure. But, let us not be disheartened. In view of those grievances, let us remember that


The camel labors 'neath the heavy load;

And the wolf died in silence. Not bestowed

In vain, let such examples be. If they,

Things of ignoble, or of savage mood,

Endure and shrink nor, we of nobler clay

Should temper it to bear. It is but for a day."

Let us gird ourselves up manfully, and contend for the removal of those grievances, in the firm and confident trust that the same God who has conferred blessings upon us in the past, will be equally propitious to us in the future; and that, as He raised up for us then, hosts of sympathizing friends, to follow the leadership of a Garrison, a Gerrit Smith, and Abraham Lincoln, so He still accords to us such friends, largely increased in number, and bearing so many


illustrious names, that to single out any two of three from that sparkling galaxy would seem invidious. Suffice it, that the mere mention of those honored names serves to thrill us now to the very core, and that they shall be cherished enduringly in our hearts, to be handed down to the grateful remembrance of our latest posterity. God grant that each one of the possessors of those names may long be spared to us, and that the day may be far distant, when we shall be called upon to lay them away, with tender hands, and with tearful eyes, by the side of their latest stricken compeer—the ever-to-be-lamented Thaddeus Stevens!

But fellow-citizens, let us not forget, in our grateful recognition of those effectual services for our benefit and behoof, that the All-loving Father allows them to us only upon the condition that we labor earnestly and untiringly in our own behalf. He may, indeed, send us His Messiah, as "the way, the truth, and the life;" but every day, He requires us "to work out our salvation with fear and trembling." Still, His promise, that cannot lie, abides; and assured beyond a doubt, is that guerdon of success which awaits us, if we only toil faithfully unto the end. Then let us not be found wanting in this crisis of our fate; but let us firmly and unflinchingly address ourselves to the duties of the hour.

In our present condition, we are an unjustly degraded people; for we are stripped, more or less, in every State in this Union, of privileges and franchises which are fully enjoyed by every class of our white fellow citizens. This ostracism of us, without any crime on our part, urgently demands redress. And for this redress, and in order to secure our immunity against any future encroachment upon our interests, the current of all political experience points but one measure; and that is, to render the right of suffrage and of eligibility to office as universal as citizenship itself. We all understand fully the importance of this right of suffrage; we know that it the dearest treasure in the gift of any government—the strongest weapon in the possession of the subject, repelling the approaches of despotism, and guaranteeing the possession of all other franchises—a weapon that, in the expressive language of Pierpoint—

"Executes a freeman's will,

As lightning doth the will of God."

Now, to deny such a right to one class of citizens while it is accorded to another, without a good reason for such a discrimination, is manifestly unjust and anti-republican. Let us, then, in the premises, appeal to Congress, reminding it that the Federal Constitution, in article four, section four, provides that "the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government." Let us urge upon that body and upon the great mass of the American people whom it represents, that in settling the definition of the epithet "republican," we are not estopped, either by ancient or modern assumptions of it, for the purpose of describing manifest tyrannies, from interpreting it in the light derived from the Declaration of Independence—that Magna Carta of our liberties—that, setting aside Grecian and Roman precedents, as well as those of mediaeval Europe, and of the fathers of our own Government, blinded as the latter were, by a spirit of compromise, or hampered by evils which they confidently believed to be ephemeral, we should determine and insist upon it that a "republican form of government" is one deriving its powers from the consent of the governed—one in which taxation is the correllative of the right to be represented therein. Let us appeal to them to consider, that most of our State Governments are mere aristocracies, the more intolerable, because by them the insignia of (so-called) republican nobility are conferred upon the many, while they are withheld from the few. And in making this appeal, let us insist, as we rightfully can do, upon our citizenship and upon the proofs of determined manhood and loyalty manifested by colored men at different periods of our national history, and especially during the late unholy rebellion. If the black soldier's prowess at Red Bank, of Revolutionary fame, and at New Orleans during the war of 1812, is forgotten, surely his gallant bearing at Fort Pillow, and be


fore Petersburg, still dwells in the memory of the country, for which he gave the highest manifestations of his loves, and which he hopes will yet prove grateful for his devotions and self-sacrifice.

We had purposed, fellow-citizens, to have invited your attention to the importance of education, and of establishing and supporting schools and colleges among us, and also to have pressed upon your consideration the necessity of cultivating habits of industry and frugality, of engaging in agricultural, manufacturing and mechanical pursuits, and economizing and saving our earnings, and of becoming proprietors of the land. But these topics have been so eloquently treated by the Rev. Bishop Daniel A. Payne, in his letter to this convention, that we cheerfully refrain from saying anything further thereon, and content ourselves by referring you to that able production, as published in the minutes of this convention.

And we shall now conclude by returning with a Cato-like persistence to the all-important subject of universal suffrage, and reiterating and entreating that each and every one of you fellow-citizens, make that matter one of personal moment, and never cease in your endeavors, by petitions and memorials to Congress, to secure its triumph, until that triumph is an accomplished fact. Then, indeed, shall we confidently trust in the prospects of a bright and glorious future for our country. Then will she, proud of the fealty and devotion alike of her black and white children, sit honored among the nations. Then will her renown, acquired by territorial extent, by prosperous industrial enterprises, by the brilliant achievements by her armies and navies, by her successful and laurelled competition in every department of literature, science and art, be eclipsed by her prouder glory, vaunting, that through all her widely extended confines the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are secured to each and all of citizens of whatever condition or hue.

The report and address were adopted and ordered printed with the minutes.

Mr. Hunter presented the following letter from Bishop Moore, which was read and ordered to be published in the minutes of the proceedings of the Convention:

Letter From Bishop J. J. Moore.

To the President and Members of the National Convention of Colored Citizens of the United States, now in session in Washington D.C.:


Permit me through this medium, as one making common cause with you in this noble effort at the achievement of our claims to manhood, to indicate my profound sympathy and interest with you in this grand progressive movement in our history.

As one of the leading functionaries of a prominent religious body in America, duty forbids me yielding to the temptation of silence, under the stirring emotions of such a grand movement for the redemption of our manhood.

Having buckled on the armor thirty years ago to do battle for my race, I am still on duty.

In securing my own consent to give an expression of sentiment before this Honorable Body, the intellectual equals of which, composed of colored men, has never been convened before on the American continent, I felt I would be untrue to Christian civilization, if I did not record my sympathy with this event in our struggles for human rights. Gentle men, when I consider you are here assembled as the grand exponent of four millions of colored American citizens; demanding for them of the National Legislature, impartial or manhood suffrage, in the most urgent and unmistakable language; demanding it in the name of humanity, of justice and Christianity; in the name of the black and white


heroes that sleep beneath the turf of a thousand battle-fields; in the name of the immortal martyr, Lincoln, and true republicanism; under these circumstances, my intrusion as a home member of your body, will no doubt find indulgence.

But while you are here, gentlemen, for the sublime object just alluded to, there are other vital questions underlying our successful movements to our true destiny, which involve self-duties;—such questions as the general development of Education, Morality and Wealth. These three great fundamentals, upon which the whites have arisen to such a high degree of social eminence, and upon which we must build our social superstructure, to be their equals. Permit me Mr. President and gentlemen, to put the query, may we not look to this intelligent body for a practical solution of the most hopeful methods, at least, of developing education and wealth among us, so essential to social eminence. May we not look to this body for the discussion and maturing of educational measures, addressed to the Government and ourselves. No source of appeal would be more respected by the Government, general or local, than a voice from this body backed up by its constituents. And no judgment would be more respected by our people than the judgment of this body on the subjects of education, or the subject of acquiring living comforts and conveniences.

Permit me, also, to enquire, may not this Convention with great propriety and effect, discuss the claims these interests have upon the clergy?

In conclusion, gentlemen, let me assure you that my feeble abilities shall never be wanting in rendering such service as I am capable, in co-operation in the application of any measure adopted by you for our common improvement, that may be compatible with my profession or standing.

Yours for Humanity,


Bishop of A. M. E. Z. Church.

Mr. D.D. Turner, of the Committee on Military Affairs. submitted a report recommending to Congress the passage of a bill for the payment of bounties to colored soldiers.

On motion, the report was received.

On motion, Mr. Clark, of Iowa, the Military Committee were authorized to submit their report to the Publishing Committee after receiving an answer from the Congressional Committee on Military Affairs.

Mr. J. M. Langston made a motion that a committee of nine be appointed to wait on General Grant and Schuyler Colfax to tender them the congratulations of the Convention and of the Colored people of this country, on their election as President and Vice-President of the United States. Adopted.

The following committee was announced:








H. M. TURNER, and


A vote of thanks was then tendered the CHRONICLE and other papers of the District for their favorable reports of the Convention, and also to the officers of


the Convention, and the citizens of Washington for their uniform kindness and hospitality.

Mr. Downing arose to a question of privilege. He stated that the newspaper report referring to the admission of Ex-President Roberts, as an honorary member, did not do him justice, in simply stating that he moved to lay the motion to admit on the table. He suggested to the member presenting Mr. Roberts' name, to withdraw his motion, as he was satisfied that it could not pass. He positively declined to do so, and to prevent further unpleasant discussion he moved to table the subject. He cherished a high regard for Mr. Roberts, personally, but to admit him, as an honorary member, with his connections, and sympathies with the Colonization Society, so prominent, would be accepted by that society, and the American people, as an endorsement by the Convention, of the American Colonization Society.

Senator Thayer and Representative Bromwell were then introduced to the Convention, and addressed them briefly; at the conclusion of which Mr. Langston made a motion that Delegates remaining in the city, and citizens generally, meet at the Church on Monday evening next, for the purpose of expressing their regard and esteem for the late Thaddeus Stevens. It was agreed to, and Rev. H. H. Garnett was invited to preside.

On motion, it was resolved, that the Publishing Committee are authorized to send five copies of the proceedings to each contributing member as soon as they are published.

Mr. Mabson, of North Carolina, moved that the Convention adjourn sine die.

The President, before putting the motion, made a feeling address, when the Convention, after singing two verses of "Old John Brown" and the "Doxology" adjourned sine die.



Presenting the total amount of money received in the Convention from Delegates, State contributions, and church collections; the amount paid out, exceeding collections, together with the amounts due by Delegates and States.

Total amount received from tax of $1 00 from each Delegate, $132 00

" " " " church collections 17 43

" " " " State contributions 219 00

368 43

Total amount paid out, as follows:—

To Wm. Nesbit as per revised bill $81 40

" Rent Union League Hall 12 00

" " Israel Church 40 00

" Janitor " " 6 00

" Advertising in Chronicle 1 50

" National Republican 9 00

" Publishing proceedings of Convention 200 00

" A. M. Green, for " " " " 20 00

" Stationary 3 25

" 5000 copies National Committee's Address 18 00

" Mailing proceedings to Delegates 35 00

Total 426 15

Total amount received 368 43

Deficit 57 72

To meet deficit, from Delegates $39 00

" " " " " State pledges 30 00

69 00

It will be seen by this exhibit that the Committee are obligated individually to pay for the purposes of the Convention, the sum of $57 72; we were compelled to this course, in order to get the work out, and we confidently rely upon the pride, patriotism and honor of the States pledged and Delegates obligated, to promptly redeem them, which they can do by addressing me. Trusting that a just and intelligent people will endorse our action, we remain very respectfully,

Your obdt. Svt.,


Chairman Finance Com.





JAS. W. STILL....................$1 00

A. L. STANFORD,...................1 00

JOHN C. FOSTER..................1 00

J.M.C. PINDER,...............1 00

JOHN A. BROWN,...............1 00

M. SORRELL,...................1 00

A. W. WAYMAN,.................1 00

E. T. CREE,.......................1 00

O. C. GALLAMISON,...............1 00

R. M. PIPER,.....................1 00

J. R. V. THOMAS,...............1 00

H. BRADDOCKS,...............1 00

J. JACKSON,.....................1 00

JOHN JOHNSON..............1 00

W. H. BLACK,...................1 00

JOSEPH THOMAS,.............1 00

J. W. FRANCE,...................1 00

J. J. HERBERT,....................1 00


CALEB WILLIAMS,............$1 00


G. W. LONG,........................$1 00


JOHN GALLOWAY............$1 00

W. G. STRONG,.....................1 00


JOHN CARRAWAY............$1 00

JOSEPH MITCHELL..........1 00

HALES ELSWORTH,...........1 00


ABRAHAM COLE,.............$1 00

B.F. PULPRESS,...............1 00

MISS H. C. JOHNSON,.........1 00

WM. PETERSON,...............1 00

W. C. WELCH,...................1 00

P. N. JUDAH,.....................1 00

A. LEE...............................1 00


J. J. SPELLMAN,...............$1 00


O. S. B. WALL,...................$1 00

J. H. COOK,.......................1 00


G. G. COLLINS,...................$1 00

J. H. A. JOHNSON,...............1 00


R. D. BECKLEY,...............$1 00

R. FORRESTER,..................1 00


OHIO, by J.M. LANGSTON, $10 00



FLORIDA, " T.W. LONG, 5 00

30 00

NOTE.—Resolved, That to meet the expenses of this Convention, each enrolled member be taxed one dollar.
Resolved, That, the Publishing Committee are authorized to send 5 copies of the proceedings to each Contributing member.

As many delegates left, before the passage of the above resolutions, or are unaware of their passage, this list has been published to enable them to comply with the resolution, and obtain their quota of the proceedings, which will be placed in charge of the National Executive Committee.



Interview with the House Judiciary Committee.

The committee of the National Colored Men's Convention, Messrs. Isaiah C. Weir, of Pennsylvania, chairman; Geo. T. Downing, Rhode Island; Captain G. A. Hackett, Maryland; James M. Simms, Georgia; John F. Cook, D.C.; J. W. Stringer, Illinois; John DeBaptist, Mississippi, and John C. Bowers, of Pennsylvania, and W. J. Wilson, by invitation of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, waited upon that committee on Saturday. The committee was cordially received, and, after introduction, Mr. Weir, the chairman, addressed the committee as follows:

Mr Chairman and gentlemen of the Judiciary Committee, we appear before you as a special delegation sent by the National Convention of Colored men holding its sessions in the City at this hour. Aware of the power that centres in this Committee and of the great learning, the profound scholarship, as well as the devotion to the principles of American liberty of its members, we approach you, indulging the hope that the interview (so far as we are concerned at least) will not be devoid of interest and profit. The all absorbing subject of suffrage to our people, confronted as it is at every point by the mischievous doctrine of State Rights, compels us to avail ourselves of your official liberality to state the fundamental ground upon which we claim, from this nation, protection in the exercise of all political rights belonging to us as American citizens.

In order to the proper understanding of the political and legal relations that each State bear, or should bear, to the General Government, it is important that we should know what was the state of affairs in the earliest hours of our national existence. Every man cognizant of the history of those times, is fully aware that there were no States in existence here—nothing but colonies, whose united independence, and whose united liberty had just been fought for, and, after eight years of was and carnage, secured by the whole people. That we were then a nation is proved by the fact that Great Britain acknowledged our independence. Not the independence of individual States, but the independence of one nation. Now the question is, when did this nation begin to be? I assert, and am safe in asserting, that the first breath of life it ever drew was the Declaration of Independence, publishing, as it did, the character of the movement to the world, in dignity and firmness, by the enunciation of the following:

"That when in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people (not States) to dissolve the political bands that have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the law of nature and nature's God entitle them, &c."

Now, the first feature of this declaration is that in it we presented ourselves to the world in general, and to Great Britain in particular, as one people—not as States, nor as colonies, but as one united people, aiming to place ourselves side by side with other and older nations of the earth, and pledging our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor, to secure the object, viz: our national independence.

In order to the easier and clearer understanding of the matter at this point, it is well that is should be understood that the term State, in its original or European acceptation, means a nation. France, Austria, and England are States. William H. Seward in (with us) Secretary of State, because he is Secretary of the Nation.

To be a State, therefore, in the world-wide acceptation of the term, would be to have the right to levy war, to conclude peace, to contract alliances, to establish commerce, and to do all other things that independent States may have a right to do. I am persuaded that no one, whose opinions are entitled to respect, would claim such powers or rights for the States in this Government.

If it is still claimed that they are States, then all that remains for them (while the United States Government exists as a nation


among other powers of the earth) is to be subject States, for the reason that there can be no middle ground between sovereign and subject in any one government. The law that governs this matter is as old as time, and is applicable to all governments. If Victoria is sovereign of England, her eldest son, though prince is only a subject; though in the event of her death, is king. The force of this logic was clearly seen by the secessionists before the rebellion. They were prompt to deny, as they all did, the existence of our nature as such, and claimed that we were only a compact of independent States, the General Government relying for its existence and perpetuity upon the will of the individual States. In order to show that this error is still cherished by them, I would call your attention to the title of a book recently written by Alexander Stephens. Holding to the old doctrine on which secession was built he gives his book the title "War between the States," thinking thereby to blink out the sight the historical truth that the war was not between the States as such, but one in which the supreme and sovereign Government subdued the rebellious subject States. And before I leave this point, permit me to say that if a man of his ability, of his antecedents, would seek at this late day to impress such a pernicious doctrine on the public mind, it exhibits in the clearest light the importance of settling this question of State power beyond the possibility of a doubt.

If the States are subjects, then there must be a superior of sovereign government over them, and the Constitution must be the systematic arrangement by which both individual persons and States are to be governed. I am aware that it is claimed by some that article 10 of the Constitution declares that the States have reserved to themselves certain powers and rights. This fundamental error is readily met by the recognition of the express declaration of the preamble of the Constitution, wherein is set forth whence the power, and the only power, (for there were no parties in this matter but one,) that framed the Government and gave it its powers and limitations. This was the people in all their majesty reserving to themselves whatever powers they, as a whole, did not delegate to the General Government, and at the same time prohibiting to the States whatever they chose then to prohibit, and reserving to themselves still the undoubted right to prohibit (down to the present hour, and through the future) as much more to the States as might, though experience, be found necessary to perfect their original purpose.

Thus speaks the creative power of the Government. "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general wellfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." It is clear, therefore, that whatever powers are delegated to the Government are delegated, not by the States, but by the people. In short, to use the words of the preamble, whatever is ordained and established has entire authority from the people in Convention assembled.

Now, in order to show that the States in this Government have only relative existences, I assert that no extent of territory can claim by virtue of its extent, to become a State. Second, that no number of inhabitants within said territory, by virtue merely of their numbers, can claim to be a State. A State in the American acceptation of the term is a political existence, an organized community within the jurisdiction and under the supervision of the Government of the United States, having legislative, judicial, and executive powers carried on by itself, but all subject to the Constitution and laws of the United States. All officers in the above branches or departments of each State, before they can become legal State officers, must solemnly swear to support the Constitution and laws of the United States, this pre-requisite being necessary to each officer and therefore essential to the whole body of officers forming the State Government. The conclusion then is irresistible

that when such oflicers in whole and individually absolve themselves, by individually and unitedly forswearing themselves from legal relation ~iid obedience to the United States Government, the State whose politi- cal existence depended on the legal relations of its officers to the General Government must per consequence, as such, cease to ex ist as~ State, reverting back to its territorial relationship. Hence the fundamental right of reconstruction. The Constitution, bejun the ornanic voice of the people, as such sets out in conspicu- ous prominence, the fundamental postulate that the States as such have no rights hut those which are secondary and contingent upon the will of the General Government. Here is the rule which they have ordained. (Constitution, art. VI.) This Constitution and the laws of the United States made in imursuance thereof; all treaties made or which shall be made under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land, asid the judges in every State shall he bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstand- ing. Just as if the framers of the Constitution knew that there might be some States restive under treaties which would in their estima- tion affect injuriously their interests; just as though they knew that some parties would rise within some of the States to submit to Congressional laws with the same readi- ness that they show in submitting to the organic law of the land; just as though the foanders of our Government feared that men of narrow and local prejudices would inter- pose either the organic or statutory laws of their States as guarding them from encroach- ment under the doctrine of the reserved rights of the States, the above clause was or- dained to settle finally and effectually all such matters. I assert, then, therefore, that neither suffrage nor secession belong to the States to regulate. Within the present decade nearly one- third of all the S tes expressed the belief, aye, indeed, asserted the reserved right of the States to secede, and fought four yea s to maintain and defend it; and they and those in the North wLo believed with them, have not ceased to entertain the doctrYc simply because they have not the present might to defend it. The doctrines hitherto applied to secession (now that it is subdued) are readily upplied to State rights and suf- frage by the same persons and for the sa. ~e reasons. And the fear is, that if the State rights doctrine in connection with spffrage becomes a success in this nation it will be at the expense of national honor and probably of national existence. Whoever knows anything of the true na- ture and character of our Government, readily acknowledges that it is contradistin- guished from the other great powers, in that it is a government that derives its powers from the consent of the governed, and that the only way known to us and acknowledged by us, is to express that consent through the ballot-box and we have declared to the world that whenever the Government fails to secure these ribhts, it should be altered or abolished. Now, in the presence of these facts, I ask what right, what justice is there in inviting to our country foreigners, asking them to dissolve the connection that exists between them and the nation of their nativ- ity; to abandon all its protection and guar- anties and to assume the responsibilities of our naturalization, and thereby place them- selves in a position to be drafted into the army, to risk their health, their limbs and life to defend any or all of the States, in case either of rebellion or invasion of any Of them, and after they have performed their duties as citizens and soldiers of the United States, to be told by the Government that enticed them from their homes, thst de- manded that they should abandon the pro- tection of their native land, that promised to give them full citizenshipto be told by that Government that it regrets that it is powerless to protect them in their rights to suffrage, a right, by which, in this country, all other eights are secured; the right, indeed, by the proper exercise of which, the people inten - ded the perpetuity of the national Govern- ment.


I ask those who differ with me on this point to admit the hypothesis for a moment, that if the people fail to vote from any cause, I care not what, wherein the absence of voting is the power to perpetuate a government of this kind, does not the government occupy a humiliating position, almost inviting contempt, to stand cowering before a petty State, which has just been subjected, through the aid of the men that she is just stripping of their rights, to perpetuate that government by their ballots? Is it not folly to talk about protecting our naturalized citizens in their rights abroad, by war, if needs be, with one of the greatest powers of the earth, while the smallest State at home can strip them of all their rights? With the doctrine of States rights a success, a man might be a naturalized citizen for twenty years or more and be deprived of suffrage rights, without their being the justification of crime or idiocy to sustain the disfranchisement.

Suffrage cannot, with justice or safety, be regulated by intelligence or systematic education. If an intelligent class just above, have a right to deprive the class just below them on account of want of attainments in this direction, there would surely be found a class further advanced in intelligence than they who would (on the same principle) have the right to deprive them; and so on it might go upward and upward until the right would be confined to the few, which would be in direct violence to the principles of our Government, but in perfect harmony with the sentiments of the great political economist and secessionist of the South, DeBow, who wrote just previous to the rebellion, says: "The right to govern resides with the few, and the duty to obey is inherent in the masses of mankind."

And, again, says DeBow: "All government begins with usurpation and is continued by force, nature putting the ruling classes uppermost and the masses below. Anything less than this is not government." This is State right's doctrine fully fledged, fearlessly propagated when it was thought the rebellion would prove a success. If, therefore, we would see more clearly the importance of caution in admitting to the halls of Congress men imbued with such abstract principles of government, if we would see the necessity, before restoring them fully, of providing for probable contingencies and as far as we can for possible ones, let Democrats and Republicans ask themselves the question, that if they occupied a position when the rebellion was in full blast and they in the Confederate service had lost a limb, or a mother or sister had lost a husband, or suppose every dollar we had owned, had been given by us or taken from us to sustain the rebellion, and we at this hour held the bonds for the faithful payment with interest—if ever we went ourselves or sent others to Congress, would we not, if our wealth was in those bonds, do our best to make them valuable, if by so doing we could regain something of the standing and comfortable sufficiency that we had previous to the rebellion? If others were receiving pensions for the loss of husbands or the loss of limbs, would we not do our best to see to the interest of ourselves and relatives? And if we could not succeed in this with the aid of our northern allies would it not be expecting too much of us who had broken faith with the Government that we would not be tempted to force the Government to repudiate its liabilities, if by so doing, we could relieve ourselves and our constituents from the responsibilities of an onerous taxation, created by the successful effort to subdue us? Though we might be willing to admit ourselves conquered, it would be the excess of credulity to expect us to pay for it willingly.

Suffrage cannot be regulated by color, for the reason that if suffrage can be taken away or withheld on that account, then the right of property, in either real or personal estate, the right of residence, of personal liberty, or of life itself, would have no tenure by which they would be secure. We are reminded to stand back, that this is a white man's country. So it is: but it is also a black man's country, and a poor man's country—a country for wise men, and for those that are otherwise, but exclusively belonging to neither. It is urged that the colored man is too ignorant to be trusted with the ballot. This comes with an ill grace to us from the


white men of this country, who have had the xclusive use and who have used it so stupidly, so out of harmony with the fundamental principles of the Government as to bring on the most stupendous rebellion known to the century, and to drive the nation to the very verge of destruction, making it necessary that 130,000 black men should give their aid to save it. And those black heroes of the Union army by their desperate fidelity and splendid soldiership, as at Wagner, Hudson, Oulustee, entitled themselves not only to liberty, but to citizenship, and the Democrat or conservative Republican who should deny them the right for which their wounds and glorified colors so eloquently plead, is unworthy to participate in the greatness of the nation whose authority these soldiers did so much to vindicate.

Suffrage cannot be extended as a gratuity. The white men of this country should not consider that they are granting anything to us, that they are bestowing us a boon. It is no more a bestowal than if they should agree that we should eat our own victuals, wear our own clothes, go to market with our own money, pay our own debts. If they have the suffrage, they have it for their own exercise of it; if they vote upon the subject for us to have it, they only vote that they no longer stand in our way. The robber who clutches my throat on the highway and afterwards releases me, does not give give me the right to continue my journey, nor does the community that releases us to our rights which they have long withheld from us, bestow them upon us ; and while we admire its wisdom, it has no right to demand our gratitude. Let us hear then no more of this senseless twaddle of "trusting us with the ballot," of "giving us the right to vote." As well might you speak of trusting us with our own personal or real estate ; as well might you propose to give us the right to the pavement or highway, to come or go, to buy or to sell. It is ours because it is yours, and for the same reason that it is yours. It is one of the pursuits of happiness. It is the most honorable means and in the estimation of intelligent Americans, the most permanent and effectual mode of securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and for those who shall come after us ; and I will here say, but with no purpose to offend, that I pity the immeasurable meanness of the white man that really feels that the possession of the ballot is necessary to his own elevation, but that the black man is so superior a being to him that he can succeed without it.

In conclusion, permit me here to say, that those who oppose the onward march of progress and reform, seem ignorant of the fact that their opposition, the more bitter and determinedly manifested, the more certain it is to accelerate the cause it is intended to destroy. The cause of anti-slavery, for thirty years, fed and feasted upon the opposition brought to bear against it, whether in the forms of legislation, court decisions, mobs, or rebellions. The suffrage reform has strengthened and fattened and extended itself through the folly and perfidy of executive opposition. We are content with the consideration that the work goes bravely on. We have every power in the country harnessed in our service ; Democrats and Conservatives, reconstructed and unreconstructed, are all working for us in spite of themselves. The grandest signs of the present hour is that the spirit of American liberty has grown stronger than all political parties. Political righteousness is no longer proclaimed by a few voices crying in the wilderness. The finest minds, the warmest hearts, the stoutest wills, chosen from all the nation, have marshalled themselves into one grand knighthood for the rights of men. This is the conquering host of the future ; its spirit is progress, its creed is justice ; it will so purify the political atmosphere in this country, that in future no party will dare claim the patronage of the public that has not as its vitalizing power the fundamental principle of political equality.

The chairman of the Judiciary Committee in replying to the address of Mr. Weir, assured them that Congress was fully alive to the question of equal rights, and would not fail to take action in the matter in a short time. He assured them also that they could rest satisfied as to the result of the cause in


which they were interested. He stated that various bills touching the subject had been laid before them, and that before this session of Congress closed, they intended to lay before that body an amendment to the Constitution, declaring universal manhood suffrage throughout the United States, which, should it pass, would be left to the States for their ratification.

At the conclusion of Mr. Weir's address, Mr. Downing respectfully urged upon the committee the necessity of the passage by Congress of an act providing that in the payment of bounties to colored soldiers, no distinction shall be made but that those borne on the muster rolls as slaves, shall receive the same bounties allowed to other soldiers for the same period and term of service.

With reference to this question, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee instructed them to seek an interview with the Committee on Military Affairs, whom they were assured would render satisfaction in the matter. The interview was decidedly a pleasant one, and lasted for about one hour, and concluded evidently to the satisfaction of all.

Interview with the Senate Committee on military affairs.

MR. ALEXANDER CLARK, Chairman, spoke as follows: Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the Committee, we appear before you as a special committee appointed by the National Convention of the Colored men of this country, who have just closed its session in this City, to make known to your honorable body, the wish of that Convention, and solicit your earliest interest and assistance upon the subject of bounty to colored soldiers who entered the volunteer service as slaves. You are well aware, gentlemen, of the unjust discrimination made by the laws regulating bonnties toward that class of soldiers, and we ask your assistance in the passage of an act that will put them on an equal footing with those who receive full bounty and pay.

Hon. Henry Wilson, Chairman of Senate Committee, on Military Affairs, replied as follows:

GENTLEMEN: I am pleased to meet you, and am happy to inform you that there is now a Joint Resolution passed the House and I feel to assure you, that it will be adopted, and become the law of the land. I here present you a copy of the Joint Resolution.

Names of Committee appointed by Convention:

A. CLARK, of Iowa.

J. W. BROWN, of Pennsylvania.

W. H. HUNTER, of Pennsylvania.


H. M. TURNER, of Georgia.



3D SESSION—S. R. 190.


DECEMBER 17, 1868.

MR. POMEROY asked, and by unanimous consent obtained, leave to bring in the following joint resolution; which was read twice, referred to the Committee on Military Affairs, and ordered to be printed.


Relating to the bounties to colored soldiers who entered the volunteer service as slaves.

1 Resolved by the Senate and House of

2 Representatives of the United States

3 in Congress assembled. That all men

4 who volunteered to serve as soldiers

5 or as cooked for three years or during

6 the rebellion, and were honorably dis-

7 charged receive the same additional

8 bounty, upon the same terms and con-

9 ditions, as other soldiers who have re-

10 ceived and are receiving under the acts

11 of July twenty-eight, eighteen hundred

12 and sixty-six and the several acts

13 amendatory thereto, notwithstanding

14 they may have been borne upon the

15 rolls as slaves.


Interview with General Grant.

On Tuesday morning at ten o'clock a committee appointed by the Colored National Convention, consisting of J. M. Langston, Ohio; Robert Purvis, Pennsylvania; Geo. T. Downing, Rhode Island; W. S. Mathews, Maryland; John F. Cook, D. C.; George L. Vashon, D. C.; John C. Bowers, Pennsylvania; John T. Gaskins, Rhode Island; Alexander Clark, Iowa; O. L. C. Hughes, Pennsylvania; A. M. Green, Pennsylvania, and O. S. B. Wall, Ohio, waited upon General Grant at Army Headquarters, and were by him cordially received.

Mr. Langston, Chairman of the Committee, addressed the General as follows:

GENERAL GRANT: In the name of fou millions of American citizens—in the name of seven hundred thousand electors of African descent— electors who braved threats, who defied intimidation, whose numbers have been reduced by assassination and murder in their efforts, in the exercise of a franchise guaranteed by American law to every one clothed in the full livery of American citizenship, to secure, in the late Presidential canvass, the election of nominees of the national Republican party to the high places to which they were named—we, accredited Delegates to the National Convention of Colored Men, sessions of which in this City have just closed, come to present to you congratulations upon your election to the Presidency of the United States.

Permit us General, to express, in this connection, our confidence in your ability and determination to so execute the laws already enacted and to be enacted by our Nationa Congress as to conserve and protect the life, the liberty, the rights, no less of the humblest subject of the Government than those of the most exalted and influential.

Called as you are to fill the chair of State, your duties will be arduous and trying, especially since, in this reconstruction period of the Government, removing the rubbish, the accretions of the now dead slaveholding oligarchy,—you will administer the Government according to the principles of morals and law announced by the fathers.

In advance, we bring to you, General, as a pledge of our devotion to our country and Government, the liveliest sympathy of the colored people of the nation; and in their name we express the hope that all things connected with the administration of the Government, upon which you are so soon to enter as our Chief-Magistrate, may be, under Providence, so ordered for the maintenance of law, and the conservation of freedom, that your name, written high on the scroll of honor and fame, may go down to posterity, glorious and immortal, associated with the names of your illustrious predecessors in the great chair of State—Washington and Lincoln.

Again, General, we express our congratulations.

General Grant replied as follows:

I thank the Convention of which you are the representatives for the confidence they have expressed, and I hope sincerely that the colored people of the nation may receive every protection which the laws give them. They shall have my efforts to secure such protection. They should prove by their acts, their advancement, prosperity, and obedience to the laws, worthy of all privileges the Government has bestowed upon them and by their future conduct, prove themselves deserving of all they now claim.

The members of the committee were then severally introduced to General Grant, subsequently withdrawing and proceeding to the Capitol, where, in the Speaker's room of the House of Representatives, they had. an interview with Spraker Colfax, who greeted all very cordially.

Interview with Speaker Colfax.

Mr. Langston addressed Mr. Colfax as follows:

Mr. Colfax: The National Convention of Colored Men, composed of delegates from all parts of our country, whose sessions in this city have just closed, has sent us to present to you the congratulations of the colored people of the nation upon your election to the Vice-Presidency, and to express to you


their confidence in your ability and purpose in the position to which you have been called by the suffrages of the people, to so discharge the duties resting upon you to sustain and perpetuate the welfare and freedom of our great Commonwealth.

Your record in connection with our national affairs, your conduct in connection with the grave matters which have claimed your attention and that of your associates in Congress for the last eight years, furnish to us an example and satisfactory guarantee that the liberty, the rights of no class of the population of our country will suffer detriment when in your power to protect and maintain them.

Under the influence of this belief, with full knowledge of the record which you have made by your efforts in favor of emancipation and enfranchisement of the people whom we represent, it is with profound satisfaction and pleasure that we bring you the congratulations, the sympathy, the prayers of our people for the success of the administration of affairs upon which you are so soon to enter as the Vice-President of the United States.

Mr. Colfax replied:

While I am gratified to receive on behalf of the millions you represent this expression of their confidence, I knew, without even this formal call, how heartily all of them rejoiced over the result of last November. The great Republican organization then so triumphantly rejoiced, proclaimed that. God helping them, this Republic should stand conspicuous among the nations of the earth, as one which recognized that the greatest glory of a government was to protect to the fullest extent, not its mightiest and most influential citizens, but rather its humblest and defenceless. In that great declaration of human rights proclaimed when our Republic was born, and for the sincerity of which our ancesters appealed to the Searcher of all hearts, it was avowed that all governments derived their just powers from the consent of the governed. Despite prejudices which seemed in former years almost ineradicable, our party has constantly gone forward, in each advancing step in its progress in the light of liberty and justice shining on its forehead, and realizing that the world itself was not created in a day,

it has, like its martyred President, whom you all remember with so much affection, progressed as fast and as far as an enlightened and advancing public sentiment would ratify and maintain. The late election has proven, as often before, that organizations based on temporary popularity and relying for their strength on the power of prejudice, are like the house built on the shifting sands, while those founded on principle, justice and right, are like the house built on a rock, against which the waves of opposition dash powerless and in vain. I rejoice with you that the day has already dawned when, from sea to sea, every one within our borders shall have their rights maintained and protected, and when we shall realize as a nation in the fullest degree, a truly republican form of government.

At the conclusion of Mr. Colfax’s remarks, the members of the committee were introduced to him, all subsequently withdrawing.




COL. HINTON, Kansas.

E. M. DAVIS, Penn.

HON. J. W. FORNEY, Penn.






" T. L. TULLOCH, N. H.






" GEO. H. BOUTWELL, Mass. "



" WM. C. NELL, Mass.






" S. M. ARNELL, Tenn.


" GEO. W. JULIAN, Ind.

" J. M. ASHLEY, Ohio.

J. W. ALVORD, Esq.




" J. J. MOORE, Cal.

HON. H. L. HOND, Md.


" H. P. H. BROMWELL, Ill.


" C. W. BUCKLEY, "

" B. W. MORRIS, "


" C. W. PIERCE, "







The undersigned, take this opportunity of giving a brief report of their action since the adjournment of the adjournment of the Convntion. The National Executive Committee met in Washington, D. C., on the 20th January, the following members were present; G. T. Downing, Rhode Island; J. M. Langston, Ohio; F. G. Barbadoes, Massachusetts; T. W. Stringer, Mississippi; W. G. Strong, Alabama, by J. H. Keffer, Proxy; C. H. Langston, Kansas, by J. M. Langston, Proxy; Wm Nesbit, Pennsylvania, by O. L. C. Hughes, Proxy; Wm. Rich, New York, by Geo. T. Downing, Proxy; R. De Baptist, Illinois, by H. D. King, Proxy. The Committee permanently organized by electing George T. Downing, President; Frederick G. Barbadoes, Secretary, and Collin Crusoe, Treasurer: the committee filled vacancies, of unrepresented States and Territories.

The Committee presented to the Senate on the 30th of January, a petition, asking that the bill of Hon. G. W. Julian, passed by the House, opening up to the Homestead provisions, certain lands granted in 1856 to the States of Missistippi,

tGeorgia, and Alabama, for Railroad purposes, (but, by those States forfeited,) be passed by the Senate. February 1st, the Cor~mittee petitioned the Senate, urging the passage of a .eonstitutional amendment securing to all citizens in the States. without regard ~to their race, color, or previous condition, the right to vote, who have not by the commission of crime forfeited their right to do so. Several members of the ~Committee have had conference~ with Senators and Representatives, on these ~and other subjects, effecting the interest~of those they~represented. They have - Iliad repeated interviews with delegations from the non-reconstructed States, and Jiave been pleased to urge their claims, to Congressmen. The Committee have corresponded with the American Missionary Association, which association will, your Committee believes, do much good in tecuring Homes, Means, Education, and Moral training to the poor Colored people of the South. Your Committee will do all they can to second their efforts. The Committee will present to Congress, a petition, asking for additional United States District Courts, in Kentucky ;it having come to their knowl- edge that the rights of Loyalists, White and Colored, suffer, because of the great inconvenience they are subjected to, in getting to the only United States District Courts existing in that State. Your Committee will petition Congress to establish a National Military Academy at Washington, to be open to all, without regard to color. They will also petition to have all proscription in regard to color removed, in the drawing of jurors, in the District of Colum- bia. We close this brief synopsis of our action. and again, remind you, that the Committee have been, and are now, without money, which is necessary, to enable them, to carry out their objccts, and we ~trust that you will promptly form, in your several States, and Territories, Auxiliary Associations, to co-operate with this Committee. We are confident, that our people, when they understand that this Committee are laboring to secure to them, these great interests, will give a prompt, and liberal pecuniary support to our efforts. The meetings of this Committee, difring the sessions of Congress, will be on the 6th and 27th of each month, at Washington, D. C. Money forwarded to this Committee, should be by Post Office Money Order~ and addressed to F. G. Barbadoes, Secretary National Executive Committee, care National Freedmens Bank, 7th Street, Washington, D. C. Respectfully submitted by Order of the Acting Board. WM. J. WILLSON, GEORGE B. VASHON, L. H. DOUGLASS, J. M. LANGSTON, J~ SELLA MARTIN, J. F. COOK. T. W. STRINGER, GEORGE T. DOWNING, President. COLLIN CIRUSO, Trea8urer. F. G. BARBADOES, $eeretary.

OF THE TO THE COLORED MEN OF THE NATION. By the action of your National Conven- tion, hekt in Washington, D C., January lath to 17th, 1869, the undersigned was cre- ated a National Executive Committee, the Acting Board of which are to be located in Washington, D. C. In conformity with the obligations which our position imposes upon us, we shall very closely notice every movement that may ef- fect the rights, already secured to us, or which may effect any right justly ours, that is withheld from us. We shall appeal to the American people, to their Legislatures, State and National; and we design to press earnestly upon this 40th Congress, the ne- cessity as well as the justice, of passing a constitutional amendment, providing for im- partial and uniform suffrage, throughout the entire Union; and we shall endeavor to in- duce State Legislatures, to ratify the same. We design, also, to the extent of our ability, to effect such changes in laws and enactments, in all parts of the country, as shall relieve the colored man from every thing that savors of proscription. We shall endeavor to obtain Congression- al action, for throwing open public lands in the southern States, in such a manner as may enable the freedmen to become p~osessors of homesteads upon the very soil which has yielded abundant harvest to their unrequited labor,to foster and encourage in them that spirit which will impel them to acquire lands, engage in agricultural, mechanical, and commercial pursuits, and in all things so comport themselves as to secure a posi- tion of worth and respectabillity, unassail- able in the eyes of the country and of the world; and to this end we shall appeal to cap- italists and Benevolent Homestead associa- tions to look with favorable consideration upon a people, poor indeed, but landibly struggling to better their condition, and under the influence of a generous philan- thropy, to make to worthy individuals amqng them pecuniary advances, upon such terms as will reasonably compensate them, while enabling the recipients to engage with a hope of success in different branches of industrial enterprise. We shall appeal to the white tradesmen and artisans of thiscountry, to conquer their prejudices so far as to enable colored men to have a fair field for the display of competi- tive industry; and with this end in view to do away with all pledges and obligations that forbid the taking of colored boys as appren- tices to trades or the employment of colored journainen therein. We shall earnestly strive to promote their educational advancement, and to ad- vocate all measures, tending to the diffusion among them of that knowledge which is essential in their capacity, as men,

~invested with the citizenship of a free government. To accomplish these proposed measures, it is necessary that some person assume their general direction and management; and it will readily occur to every reflecting mind, that no person can be expected to take upon himself, such duties and responsi- bilities, requiring his undivided time and attention, without reasonable compensation for such service; therefore, we have con- cluded to call upon you, our brethren and sympathizing friends, to sanction. under the auspices of our Committeethe estab- lishing of a Secretaryship, with the requsite clerical force to render that o~flce effective. These arduous duties and important objects cannot be performed and attained without, First, the formation of committees in each State and Territory to co-operate with this National Committee; Second, a liberal pecuniary support, from the State and Ter- ritorial organizations. These points require your immediate at- tention and action. Each member, therefore, of this corn mittee, is hereby authorized and advised to i~mmediate1y present to the people and fiiends of their State or Territory, the ob- jects of this committee, and the means to acquire their end, and to form throughout their several States and Territories, auxilli- ary associations, and collect subscriptions, and to forward the same to this Committee. The Committee assure you that a full, and correct account, of receipts and expend- itures, will be kept, and a fair exhibit there- of, made at all times to those interested. And they, also, will forward to each auxil- liary association such public documents of interest as may be attainable from time t~ time. COMMITTEE. MAiNE. S. J. MURRAY. NEW HAMPSHIRE. J. C. CUTLER. YERMOKT. MASSACHUSETTS. F. G. BARBADOES. RHODE ISLAYD. G. T. DOWNING. CONNECTICUT. R. J. COWES. WM. RICH. NEW YORK. NEW JERSEY. J. M. WILLIAMS. PENNSYLVANIA. WM. NESBIT. DELAWARE. W. H. DAY. MARYLAND. ROBT. SORRELL. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. COLLIN CRUSO, VIRGINIA FIELDS COOK. NORTH CAROLINA. G. P. ROURK. SOUTH CAROLINA. F. S. CARDOSA. FLORIDA. T. W. LONG. ALABAMA. W. G. STRONG. D. WADKINS. TEENESSEE. KENTUCKY. W. H. GIBSON. OHIO. J. M. LANGSTON. ILLINOIS. R. DzBAPTIST. MISSISSIPPI. T. W. STRINGER. MISSOURI. MOSES DICKSON. IOWA. ALEX. CLARK.






























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National Convention of the Colored Men of America (1869 : Washington, D.C.), “Proceedings of the National Convention of the Colored Men of America: held in Washington, D.C., on January 13, 14, 15, and 16, 1869.,” Colored Conventions Project Digital Records, accessed February 24, 2024,