The Convention Event

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The first national Colored Convention was held in Philadelphia from September 20th through the 24th, 1830, at Richard Allen's Mother Bethel AME church. Before the official meeting, delegates met in secret during the 15th through the 20th to discuss whether to hold open sessions, which they eventually voted to do, despite the fact that mobs had been organized to break up them up. Richard Allen was elected president. The delegates resolved to hold local, state, and regional conventions in their respective communities, and to meet at a national level four times a year.

40 delegates from a total of seven northeastern states journeyed to Philadelphia to attend this inaugural convention. 18 delegates, 45 percent of all attendees, came from Pennsylvania. The rest were from Maryland (6), New York (4), Virginia (3), Delaware (3), Rhode Island (2), New Jersey (2), Connecticut (1), and Ohio (1).   

Figure 1. The map below highlights the represented states and points out the location of the First National Colored Convention. 


[1]  Thomas Hamilton. The Anglo-African magazine. (New York: Arno Press and the New York Times, 1859), 305.


Map rendered by Samantha de Vera