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Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored Men, held at Lexington, Kentucky, in the A.M.E. Church, November 26th, 27th, and 28th, 1867


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Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored Men, held at Lexington, Kentucky, in the A.M.E. Church, November 26th, 27th, and 28th, 1867


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Lexington, KY



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Tuesday, November 26, 1867.

Convention met in the A.M.E. Church; H. King, of Fayette, called the house to order. A committee of five on Credentials was appointed by the Chairman, viz: Rev. R.T.W. James, of Franklin, W.F. Butler, of Jefferson, H. Scroggins, of Fayette, W. Lawrence, of Nelson, and Rev. F.A. Boyd, of Nicholas. During the absence of the committee, the Convention was agreeably entertained with brief speeches by Rev. J.G. Fee, of Berea,

PROCEEDINGS OF THE STATE CONVENTION OF COLORED MEN, HELD AT LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, IN THE A.M.E. CHURCH, NOVEMBER 26TH, 27TH, AND 28TH, 1867 PROCEEDINGS Tuesday, November 26, 1867. Convention met in the A.M.E. Church; H. King, of Fayette, called the house to order. A committee of five on Credentials was appointed by the Chairman, viz: Rev. R. T. W. James, of Franklin, W. F. Butler, of Jefferson, H. Scroggins, of Fayette, W. Lawrence, of Nelson, and Rev. F. A. Boyd, of Nicholas. During the absence of the committee, the Convention was agreeably entertained with brief speeches by Rev. J. G. Fee, of Berea,1 G. Burdett, of Jessamine, and others. The committee reported all the credentials exhibited by the following delegates to the Convention valid: Barren— C. Ritter, 0. Crenshaw. Bath— H. Trumball, E. Ramsey, J. Carr. Bourbon— S. Riley, M. Lewis, S. Weathers, W. Holmes, E. Hathaway. Boyd— G. Brown. Bracken— Rev. C. M. White. Clarke— W. Roe, R. Taylor, G. Carey, P. Hood. Estill— T. Moore. Fayette— Rev. G. H. Graham, J. Turner, H. Scroggins, G. Henderson, H. King, G. Perry, C. Perry, Rev. W. Davis, J. H. Dixon. Fleming— J. S. Robertson. , ^ Franklin— Rev. R. T. W. James, A. Reading. Fulton— W. Mattson. Ga rra rd — ^M. S imp son. Green— J. Sweeney, W. Haskins. Greenup— A. Stratton. Harrison— S. G. B. Irving, E. Wren. Hart— J. 0. Haynes. Henderson— R. W. Sandefer, W. Standard, E. B. Cheatham, J. A. Bunch. Henry— Rev. A. Taylor, E. Love, G. Grigsby. Hopkins— E. Couch. Jefferson— Rev. W, F. Butler, B. J. King. T. Fendricks. Jessamine— Rev. G. Burdett, H. Weaver, N. Walker, G. Lewis. Kenton— Rev. C. M. White, B. Grinton. Knox— G. W. May. Larue— H. Grandelson, J. Brown, J. Grinton. Lincoln— H. Hansford, Rev. W. Owsley, I. Lee. Logan— L. Hogan. Madison— 0. Dudley, N. Jones, N. Campbell, S. Long, J. Ellison, G. Hatton. Marion— J. L. McElroy.

310 STATE CONVENTIONS, 1867 Mason— Rev. E. W. Green, J. 0. Johnson, N. Bulger. Meade— F. Starks, H. Alexander. Metcalfe— S. E. Lewis. Montgomery— J. Taylor, J. Banks. Muhlenburg— Rev. S. Elliott. Nelson— J. Swan, W. R. Rudd, N. Stone, F. Sloane, W. Lawrence. Nicholas— F. A. Boyd, W. Sears. Ohio— W. E. Porter. Oldham— T. Roberts. Pendleton— S. Warner. Powell— J. Russell. Pulaski— D. Gibson, W. Gover. Russell— S. Green Scott— Rev. R. Lee, T. Monroe. Shelby— Rev. B. Taylor, W. Robertson. Simpson— H. Finn, P. Martin. Spencer— G. Burkley, W. Lawrence. Taylor— R. Hubbard. Todd— J. Bristow. Warren— Rev. E. Loving, S. Garrison, D. V. Higdon, A. D. Jones. Washington— W. Davidson, G. Grume. Webster— Couch. Woodford— A. Surey, S. Waters, W. Williams. On motion, a committee of five on Permanent Organization was appointed by the house, viz: Messrs. D. V. Higdon, W. Lawrence, B. J. King, H. Weaver, and C. Perry, who, after a brief retirement, presented the following named gentlemen to the Convention for their acceptance: For President— Rev. W. F. Butler, of Jefferson. Vice-President— Rev. G. Burdett, of Jessamine. Recording Secretary— Rev. R. T. W. James, of Franklin. Assistant Secretary— A. D. Jones, of Warren. Corresponding Secretary— H. Scroggins, of Fayette. Treasurer— Rev. B. Taylor, of Shelby. Sergeant-at—Arms— B. J. King, of Jefferson. The report of the Committee was adopted by the House. On motion, a Business Committee of seven was appointed by the President viz: Rev. G. H. Graham, of Fayette, C. Perry, of , , H. King, of Rev. C. M. White, of Kenton, S. Elliott, of Muhlenburg, W. Lawrence,“of ’ Nelson, D. V. Higdon, of Warren. < On motion, a committee of five on Finance was appointed by the President viz; G. Berry, of Fayette, T. Monroe, of Scott, A. Stratton, of Greenup, W. R. Rudd, of Nelson and B. J. King, of Jefferson. On motion, Gen. Brisbln, Col. W. Davis, Dr. Davison, Dr. Miller, Messrs. Burbank and W. Spencer, were accepted as Honorary members. On motion. Rev. E. W. Green, C. Clark, H. King, and E. Wren were appoin- ted adjunct Vice Presidents. On motion, H. King, and F. A. Boyd, were appointed adjunct Sergeants-at- Arms. ® Reports of the condition of the colored people in the several counties in the State that were represented in the Convention were then offered. Barren— 0. Crenshaw reports, one School House; no Churches; many suffering through oppression. Bath J. Carr: no Schools; no Churches; great opposition. Bourbon E. Hathaway: two Schools; great oppression. Boyd G. Brown: one Church; one School supported by Bureau. JSracken— Rev. C. M. White: one Church; one School; treatment good; Tax, 55.00 per head. Clarke G. Carey: one Church; one School; some ill treatment. Estlll— T. Moore: one School; no benefit of Tax. Fayette Rev. J. Turner: prosperous Churches, six in number; flourishing Schools, considerably assisted by the Government and A.M. Association; much progress. Fleming— G. S. Robertson: good Schools.

KENTUCKY, 1867 311 Franklin— Rev. R. T. W. James: four Churches; five Schools, three of which are aided by the Bureau, no benefit of the capitation tax; fair pros- pects . Fulton— V. Mattson: no Churches; no schools. Garrard— M. Simpson: one Church; one School; no benefit of Tax. Green— J. Sweeney: no schools; no benefit of tax; ill treatment. Greenup— A. Stratton: doing well in town; Bureau has done well: the country destitute of Schools; no Tax benefit. Harrison— S. G. B. Irving: one Church; two schools aided by Bureau. Hart— J. 0. Haynes: two Churches; two Schools; draw no tax. Henderson— R, W. Sandefer: two Churches; two Schools aided by Bureau; bad treatment. Henry— Rev. A. Taylor: two Churches; one School, aided by Bureau; bad treatment. Hopkins— E. Couch: one Church; five Schools aided by Bureau. Jefferson— B. J. King: Athens of Ky.; ten Schools; $6,000 appropriated by the Government for School buildings; doing well. Jessamine— G. Lewis: two Schools; fair prospects. Kenton— Rev. C. M. White: two churches; one good School; $50 aid from Bureau monthly; no tax drawn. Knox— G. W. May: one School; no tax drawn; ill treatment. Lincoln— Rev. W. Owsley: three Schools; no tax drawn. Logan— L. Hogan; one Church; no School; considerable suffering. Madison— ^M. Campbell: three or four Schools aided by Bureau; no tax drawn. Marlon— J. F. McElroy: three Churches; three Schools aided by Bureau. Mason— Rev. E. W. Green: four Churches and four Schools in the county, with aid from Bureau of $40 per month; considerable suffering; no tax drawn. Mercer— M. Taylor: two Churches; three Schools, with $30 aid per month from Bureau; no tax drawn; bad treatment. Montgomery— J. Banks: two Churches; two Schools at Mt. Sterling, with $30 per month aid from Bureau; can have no school in the county; no protec- tion from the Bureau; Agents act wrongly. Muhlenburg— Rev. S. Elliott: one Church; one School: no tax drawn. Nelson— W. LaWrence: one Church; one School; no protection. Nicholas— W. Sears: no Churches; draw no tax; ill treatment. Ohio— W. C. Porter: one Church; no Schools; draw no tax. Oldham— T. Roberts: one Church; two Schools, $20 per month from Bureau. Pendleton— S. Warner: one Church; one School. Powell— J. Russell: one School; doing well; acquiring property. Pulaski— D. Gibson: no Churches; three Schools; good treatment. Russell— S. Green: no Churches; no Schools. Scott— T. Monroe: Churches thriving; Schools prosperous; partial support from Bureau. Simpson— P. Martin: one Church; one School; rmuch discouraged; treatment bad. Shelby— W. Robinson: two churches; two Schools, with $25 per month from Bureau; draw no tax. Spencer— G. Berkley: no Schools; no Churches. Taylor— R. Hubbard: poor treatment; one School; no Churches. Todd— J. Bristow: two Schools; draw no tax. Warren— Rev. E. Loving: three Schools, with support from A. M. Associa- tion. Washington— G. Crume: one Church; one School; poor prospects; cruel treatment. Webster— S. Couch: no Churches; no Schools; no tax drawn; no Bureau aid; times gloomy, Woodford— S. Waters: two Schools in Versailles, one School in Midway; support from Bureau; no School in the country. On motion, adjourned to meet at the "Ladies Hall" for public speaking at 7 P.M. Long before the time arrived, the house was filled to overflowing. The President presented A. D. Jones, of Warren county, as the first speaker, and Rev. R. T, W, James, of Franklin county, his successor. These were fol- lowed by a spicy, brief address from the President, and an urgent appeal by


Rev. J. G. Fee, In behalf of the Berea Institute. The entire audience ap- peared highly delighted, and retired home with feelings of deep satisfaction.

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 1867— Morning Session, 9 A.M.

Convention met with prayer by Rev. B. Taylor, of Shelby. Roll called, minutes of the previous session read and approved.

Mr. H. King tendered his resignation as Sergeant-at-Arms, which was ac- cepted. On motion, R. Jackson, of Kenton, was chosen as his substitute.

On motion, the following resolutions were adopted to govern the proceed- ings of the Convention:

Resolved, That this convention be governed by parliamentary usages and all votes to be decided by ayes and nays.

Resolved, That this convention meet at 9 A.M., take recess at 12 M., and reassemble at 2 P.M.

Resolved, That all members who are absent at roll call, shall be fined twenty-five cents.

Resolved, That no member shall be allowed to speak more than twice on the same subject, and no longer than ten minutes at a time, unless by permission of the house.

On motion, Hon. C. A. Yancey, M. C. Johnson, C. Wilson and C. Alexander, were accepted as Honorary members. Father Alexander presented a few interes- ting remarks before the convention.

On motion, it was Resolved, That Honorary membership he withheld from all persons who have not labored in the cause of freedom in this, or other states.

Resolutions were presented by Rev. R. T. W. James, of Franklin, and re- ferred to the Business Committee.

Resolved, That three minutes be allowed one delegate from each county to report condition and wants of the colored people therein.

By the Financial Committee: Resolved, That each delegate be taxed fifteen cents per diem, to meet the current expenses of the Convention. Adopted.

Resolved, That each member of the Convention be taxed one dollar, to de- fray all the expenses of the Convention, including the publication of the Conventional proceedings. Adopted.

The committee on Business presented the following Declaration of Sentiment :

Whereas, It is right and proper for- citisens to peaceably assemble together and represent their grievances to those in authority: and whereas, we are denied the right to testify against white persons in the courts of this Commonwealth; and whereas, on account of our color we are not permitted to go to the polls and vote as other men,^ and whereas, we are taxed without repre- sentation; and whereas, much misunderstanding and dissatisfaction prevails among our people because we are unequally taxed; and whereas, although we pay we are not allowed the privileges of passengers on the public con- veyances; and whereas, the Freedmen's Bureau has done much to protect and se- cure justice to our people; and whereas, with a view of exciting prejudices against us, wicked persons circulate false and unjust charges that we have armed leagues and meditate a forcible enforcement of our rights; and whereas, the want of testimony in the courts leaves our females exposed to the wiles of the dissolute and unprincipled, who may approach them with insulting and degrading propositions with impunity, and for this crime there is no redress in this enlightened Christian Commonwealth— therefore, be it

Resolved, That we, the delegates of the colored people of the State of Kentucky, in Convention assembled, will prepare and cause to be presented to the General Assembly, a petition praying them to grant us the right, by law, to testify in all the courts of this Commonwealth.

Resolved, That we will cause to be prepared and presented to the Congress of the United States, a petition, praying the honorable members thereof to secure us the right of suffrage.

Resolved, That we pray the General Assembly of Kentucky to so alter or amend the statutes of the State as to establish one general code of penal, school and pauper laws for all the people of the Commonwealth, Irrespective of race, color or condition.

KENTUCKY, 1867 313 Resolved, That we call the attention of officers of steamboats, rail- roads and stage companies to the fact that, although we pay full fare, our- selves, our sons, our wives and daughters, we are not allowed the privileges of travellers but are put in second-class and disagreeable places, wehre we are frequently abused and Insulted by drunken and ill-behaved white persons, and we pray them to relieve us from all unjust and unnecessary restraints, and to cause their employees to treat us as they treat other persons. Resolved, That we will cause to be prepared and presented to the Com- mittee in Congress on Freedman's Affairs, a petition showing the necessity for, and praying the continuance of, the Bureau in Kentucky until such time as we shall obtain the right to give evidence in the courts and to vote at all elections. Resolved, That we will provide for our poor, feed our hungry, clothe our naked, promote education, morality, religion and virtue among our people, obey the laws, and live at peace with all men. After some happy remarks by Messrs. R. T. W. James, of Franklin, T. Fendrlcks, of Jefferson, and S. Grigsby, of Henry, it was adopted. On motion, adjourned till 2 P.M. Benediction, by Rev. C. Clark, of Mercer. Wednesday— Afternoon Session, 2 P.M. Convention met. Roll was called, and minutes of the morning session, read and approved. Roll was called for the fifteen cents tax for two day's amounting to $30.30. On motion, Mr. Von Phelp and S. Straus were received as Honorary mem- bers. The Business Committee presented the following memorial addressed to the Legislature of Kentucky: To the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky: Come Greeting. The colored people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, through their delegates in convention assembled, most respectfully petition your Honorable Body to so alter and amend the clause of the statutes to per- mit no persons to be disqualified from giving testimony in any of the Courts of the Commonwealth; in actions, both civil and criminal, by reason of birth, color or previous condition. We also most respectfully state that any and all obligations to this much needed re;,form are based upon the theory that our juries are honest enough to render their verdict to and in accordance with the law and evidence, and that they have intelligence enough to dis- criminate between conflicting statements, to detect falsehood, to arrive at the truth of every case, and render impartial justice between man and man. Unless this theory is true— and no one asserts to the contrary— the judiciary system of the State is a failure. If true when applied to the white people, it must, by every sound system of reasoning, be equally true when applied to us. To say that a jury of white men, upon their oaths, are honest enough to do justice between white men, and Intelligent enough to decide upon the • truthfulness of statements made to it by such evidence; and, at the same time, too dishonest to do justice between a white man and a black one, and has not intelligence enough to decide upon their truthfulness; is an asser- tion too absurd for utterance, and is an Insult to every right-minded man. Yet, this is the logical argument to be deduced from our present system. If your juries are competent to make their verdicts under the law from the evidence of white persons, they are equally competent to do so from the evi- dence of black persons. Some may say that we are incompetent to serve as witnesses in a case where a white person ih an interested party, by reason of our want of Intelligence, or our diregard of truth. We deny this most emphatically. The same objections may with equal propriety, be extended to thousands of white persons in this State. Juries almost daily render ver- dicts directly opposite to the statement of some witnesses in whose testi- mony they have no confidence, and many a white man is a witness whose in- telligence is no greater than that of the average of our own people. These are matters that should not be urged in general objection to any class of witnesses, whether white or black. It surely occurs that false testimony escapes alike the attention of the court, the jury, the clients and the attorneys engaged in a trial; and a rigid enforcement of the law punishing

314 STATE CONVENTIONS, 1867 perjury will effectully protect society from all danger of this character. Under our law we are now competent clients and witnesses for or against each her. In actions, both civil and criminal, whether our own people or color country!'" P^^oP^rty or life, we are citizens of the same common Much of the property now constituting the aggregate wealth of Kentucky i" P^rt, by our labor. None know w L " citizens of this State how we have protected and cared for o h the property and the lives of our former owners. Suddenly freed by act of war, we were mostly thrown upon our own resources, without property or means of protecting what little we now have, the product of our own toil and care. It is larceny to steal it from us; it is murder to feloniously deprive t Z f Honorable Body who would offer Inducement to crime, outrage and lawlessness, by saying tLt the white man s property and the white man's life are protected under our law, but the property and the life of a black man are unworthy of protection, nd beyond the pale of our law? We hope not; but this is what the law now says, for we can be despoiled of our property, our females may be outraged our school teachers shot down at their desks, and our ministers murdered in their pulpits, by any person lawless enough to do so, and the sad history of the past few years must convince you that many men, thus lawless, live in Kentucky and we have no remedy in the courts, if the only witnesses happen have African blood in their veins, no matter how truthful or intelligent they may be. On many of the lonely farms of our State, in the absence of the owner, the wife and daughter are the only white persons remaining. His property may be stolen, his wife and daughter may be outraged and murdered during his absence in the presence of every colored servant on the place, by a white man, and the villain go free of punishment, if no white man witness e awful crime. We believe that much good will accrue, both to the white and the black people, when this right of testimony is given to our people in all cases; and thus society will be more effectually protected from crime of every character than it is at present. We do not expect by our rights of wrongfully the action of any court or jury, but simply sire the right of any of our people to go before any court or jury and testify to matters within their knowledge, the testimony to go for what it is worth under the circumstances attending every case. And that equal and exact justice may be administered to both white and black, we ask that all dis- qualifications on account of race or color, in so far as they apply to testl- “ d that the plaintiffs and defendants in every action ®hall be made competent witnesses, with the right for whitf^men. ®“hject only to such exceptions as are made t-n simple act of justice as a poor and oppressed race, we appeal to you by every consideration of civilization and love of right. And fL your favorable action will ever pray. 7 P.M°" tt was accepted and made the special order of the evening at On motion, the business of the Convention was suspended to hear an ad- Sr"* r "■ "hich was a grand production, and while delivered !alo'’ *=he entire audience with his irresistible and spon- aneous flow of eloquence, as he portrayed those cardinal duties we owed to ml!!!!!""’ """ "memory^r On motion, a vote of grateful thanks was tendered the Speaker. The Business Committee presented the following memorial petitioning Congress for the elective franchise, which was adopted. ^ To the Honorable House of Representatives and Senate of the United States, In Congress assembled: fi-cs. The colored people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, through their dele- Bodles! assembled, most respectfully petition your Honorable odies to grant us the right of suffrage. Your petitioners beg leave to call your attention to the fact that they are not permitted to testify in the Courts of the Commonwealth against white persons, and in consequLce many

KENTUCKY, 1867 315 persons who commit murder, rape, arson, and all manner of outrages upon the colored are permitted to go unpunished. Your petitioners would further represent that they are now, and ever have been, loyal to the Government of the United States, more than thirty thousand of their brothers and sons having enlisted in the army of the Union during the late war; that they are peaceable, law-abiding citizens, who pay taxes as other people, but who, on account of caste and the color of their skins, are denied political rights in the Government they are taxed to support. Your petitioners would further represent that, inasmuch as the Constitution of the United States has abolished slavery everywhere within the jurisdiction thereof,^ so that all constitutions, laws or regulations growing out of the same are null and void; and inasmuch as the same Constitution, in another provision, declares that no State shall make or enforce any laws which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States;^ and inasmuch as Congress is empowered, by appropriate legislation, to enforce these several provi- sions, which we believe cannot be done without securing the elective fran- chise to the citizens of color; and, inasmuch as the color of our skins did not, in time of war, prevent the government from claiming our allegiance, and causing us to bear arms in its defense, and it is a well-established principle of just government, that allegiance and protection go together, the one being the consideration of the other, and, inasmuch as the Declaration of Independence promises the equality of the people, and it is the expressly declared duty of Congress under the Constitution to guarantee to every State in the Union a republican form of government; and, inasmuch as many white persons of no greater degree of intelligence than ourselves are allowed to go to the polls and vote in this Commonwealth, and thousands of men who fought against the Government in the late war also vote, thereby electing disloyal persons to office; and, inasmuch as we greatly desire to.assist the Unionists of the State in electing loyal men to office; now, therefore, we earnestly pray your Honorable Bodies, in such way and manner as it may properly and legally be done, to enact such laws or amend the Constitution of the United States, so as to secure to every citizen in this Commonwealth who may have been a slave, or is the descendant of a slave, or by reason of race or color is deprived of equal rights, to vote at all elections for mem- bers of Congress, for Presidential electors, for Representatives and Senators in the State Legislature, for all State, city, town and other officers of every kind, and upon the same terms ^nd considerations as white citizens of the State are now or may hereafter be allowed to vote. And we will ever pray, &c.

On motion, two more Sergeant-at-Arms were elected, viz; J. Turner of Fayette, and H. Magwood, of Mercer.

On motion, the Convention adjourned till 7 P.M. Benediction by Rev. G. Burdett, of Jessamine county.

Wednesday— Night Session, 7 P.M. Convention met, and minutes of the afternoon session were read and approved.

On motion, the business of the Convention was suspended pro tern to hear remarks from Hon. W. Davis. The speaker delighted every one in his noble and patriotic sentiments expressed in behalf of universal rights, irrespec- tive of race, color or condition. Long may he live to realize the reward of his self-sacrificing labors in beholding our race in the enjoyment of all the rights that belong to freemen.

On motion, a vote of thanks was tendered the speaker. Business was resumed, and after a second reading of the Memorial ad- dressed to the Legislature of Kentucky, it was adopted.

The Business Committee presented the names of Hon. M. C. Johnson, W. Davis and W. Brown, to represent our claims before the Legislature of Ken- tucky; and the names of Hon. C. Goodloe, Gen. J. Brisbin, and W. F. Butler, to bear our petition to Congress. After a sharp and spirited debate between Messrs. James, of Franklin, Perry, of Fayette, and Boyd of Nicholas, they were unanimously adopted.

On motion, adjourned 'till Thursday 9 A.M.

316 STATE CONVENTIONS, 1867 „ . Thursday, Nov. 28, 1867— Morning Session, 9 A M were ^ FranfortTMEr«®vtf ^TM'^®"tlon should be held In the city of tee?^ ’ Kentucky, when called by the State Central Lmmlt- adopted? Conmlttee presented the following resolutions which were ^ in in th^erpotfo the erection of an institution j°y for '=*>® the education educational of the movement colored youth centered at New Albany, Indiana; and that we will give it our earnest support. Resolved, That we fully appreciate the great labors of Rev. J G Fee a^anc the Institute at Berea, Kentucky, famous for the educational ’ couragrthe s L e - - t-o to serve until IJ'at their there successors shall be are a elected. State Central Committee of nine elected wnr the President appointed a nominating committee of five to wit: Messrs. B Taylor, of Shelby, D. V. Higdon, of Warren, F. A. Boyd of Nicholas, S. pilott, of Muhlenburg, and J. Turner of Fayette. The committee retired, and, after a short absence, reported the follow- adopted: Central Committee, which report was President— Rev. W. F. Butler, of Louisville Vice President— B. V. Higdon, of Bowllnggreen. Corresponding Secretary— Rev. R. T. W. James, of Frankfort Recording Secretary— 1. A. Boyd, of Carlisle. Assistant Recording Secretary— W. H. Gibson, of Louisville Treasurer— Rev. J. Turner, of Lexington. Loulsville!°®®“ ^’ S. Straus, of Frankfort; B. J. King, of tlon,’^vLf°^^°"“ ® resolutions were presented to and adopted by the Conven- printfd!°^'""'‘^' proceedings of this Convention be _ Resolved, That we present our especial thanks to the Cincinnati Gazette Lexington Statesman, and other leading Republican'Journals, for their noble ’ advocacy in behalf of political equality, irrespective of color; alL our compliments their advocacy to of the Negro Louisville testimony. Courier and Lexington Observer * Reporter Renor^rLr tor aa ^®®°dved. That the names of Hon. W. Davis and Dr. A. M. Davidson be ^ ded to the Congressional Committee to present our claims at Washington, whetherdew't’^*'^/^^ Central Committee be empowered to decide their Lats ff o^rlor^tiC^" Resolved, That the members of this Convention, in their several locall- llraLl perance, that is so derogatory to our best Interests suppression! as a free people o f intem- thea ^ express our thanks to the citizens of 1 0 ^ 1 0 ^ on for their generous hospitality exhibited toward the members of the CovLntlon- tZt’ fZ IZTrZZ Lexington; p r o m ^ f r ’ proceedings . ’f Resolved 7 ! of i-r That the Convention. each delegate shall receive Republic three we copies copies, shall ever gratL gratis, pray. of of the the On motion of C. A. Yancey, it was bene That this Convention do most heartily appreciate the noble L th.. s h l f " i f f furnishing ^ f instruction f to Congressional our newly enfranchised Executive Committee brethren in Lt the unreconstructed States, by sending able and efficient white a f f f ^ r f d u f m f f f discharge of the high and responsible On f f On motion, Messrs. Munford, "hich of Ohio, they A. are Robinson, now called of upon SashvllL, to perform L iow.

KENTUCKY, 1867 317 of Madison, G. Blakey, of Warren, G. Breckinridge, M. Wheeler, of Bourbon, and L. Morgan, of _______ , were accepted as honorary members. The Finance Committee reported $93 in the Treasury, after defraying in- cidental expenses. On motion, it was transferred to the Secretary to defray the expenses of publishing the proceedings. On motion, a vote of thanks was tendered Rev. G. Burdett, of Jessamine, for presenting $10, to have the address of Rev. J. G. Fee, of Berea, Ky., Inserted in the minutes. On motion, a vote of thanks was tendered the entire officers of the convention for the able and efficient manner in which they discharged the duties devolved upon them. The Convention being about to close. Rev. G. H. Graham, of Fayette, rose, and by consent, presents a few touching remarks. He brilliantly por- trays the future of the colored race, admonishing us not to consider our task as over, and not to cease struggling until we shall arrive at the highest state of civilization and enlightenment, A vote of thanks was tendered him. The President, from the chair, in a few appropriate remarks commended the Convention highly for their good conduct and wise deliberations. By his request, the entire Convention arose, and that "good old song"— "The Year of Jubilee"— was sung with that spirit which made the "Sanctuary" ring with resounding praise. The minutes being adopted, the President announed the business of the Convention ended, and it was unanimously agreed to adjourn, sine die. The Benediction was pronounced by Rev. E. W. Green, of Mason County. Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored Men, held at Lexington,, in the A.M.E, Church, November 26th, 27th, and 28th, 1867 (Frankfort, Ky., 1867). Copy in the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University Library, f/ashingrton, D.C,


1. The reference is to John Gregg Fee (1816-1901), abolitionist and founder of Berea College in Madison County, Kentucky. Though both his parents were slaveholders, he early evinced a hatred for the institution, entering Lane Theological Seminary in 1842, and after two years consecrating himself to the cause of abolition. Returning to convert his parents to his views, he failed and was disinherited. Fee worked indefatigably, preaching, speaking at conventions, and pre- paring anti-slavery pamphlets. In 1853, the friends of freedom in Madison* County invited him to give a series of sermons; shortly afterwards, he es- tablished Berea Union Church and in the following year became its pastor. In 1855 he founded the abolitionist school Berea College. Though harassed by mobs he continued his labors until the outbreak of John Brown’s raid. He had gone east at the time of this incident to raise funds for the school. However, false reports of a speech of his delivered in Henry Ward Beecher's Brooklyn church fanned the flames, and Fee and two other Bereans were driven from the state. It was not until after the close of the Civil War that he was permitted to return to build up both church and school, serving as pastor of the former and trustee of the latter. He remained at Berea, preaching and serving the college, until his death.

2. With the independence of the American states following the Revolu- tion, Kentucky, like Delaware and Maryland, seeking to carry out the equali- tarian principles implicit in the Revolution, drew up a new constitution en- franchising blacks. However, as the free black population increased in that state, restrictions were placed upon the suffrage, and in time, blacks found themselves barred altogether from the polls.

3. The reference is to the Thirteenth Amendment, identified above. 4. The reference is to the Fourteenth Amendment, identified above.

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State Convention of Colored Men (1867 : Lexington, KY), “Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored Men, held at Lexington, Kentucky, in the A.M.E. Church, November 26th, 27th, and 28th, 1867,” Colored Conventions Project Digital Records, accessed July 14, 2020,