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The National Convention of Colored Men

"The National Convention of Coloured Men," in Provincial Freeman, 10 November 1855. From Gale. 19th Century U.S. Newspapers. ©2008 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, Inc.  

A very small article, but it offers interesting incite on how the convention was viewed by the surrounding community. Offering a negative view of the Convention, the Provincial Freeman claims it was a disorderly convention, with not much accomplished.



National Convention of Colored Americans

W. C. N. "National Convention of Colored Americans." Liberator, 7 Dec. 1855. From Gale. 19th Century U.S. Newspapers. ©2008 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, Inc.  

Another detailed report of the convention, it lists the men who opposed Mary Ann Shadd's admittance, and they talked about the pro-colonization letter. The article mentions how although there were many voting for burning the letter, they eventually settled on "throwing it under the table." The article also provides further details on the Passmore Williamson incident, identifying the slaves rescued as Jane Johnson and her children and naming the slaveholder John H. Wheeler. No names are given to "the colored men" who assisted, however, it states that Passmore was in Moyamensing Prison, presumably for assisting an escaped slave. More details were are on the report of Black occupations and wealth. 

The Boston Daily Atlas provides a small account of the National Convention and mentions the sentiments expressed there toward Passmore Williamson. 

The Daily Cleveland Herald offers a short account of the Convention. Specifically, it focuses on a disagreement between Julius Morell and Frederick Douglass. 


Curators: Jessica Conrad and Samantha deVera, Graduate Students, Department of English, University of Delaware.

Edited by Sarah L. Patterson and P. Gabrielle Foreman

Undergraduate Researchers: Nathan Nikolic, Gwen Meredith, and Caleb Trotter.

Graduate Student Researchers: Special thanks to the ENGL/HIST 641,“Black Activism and Print Culture in the 19th Century and the Digital Age” Spring 2017 seminar, taught by P. Gabrielle Foreman for their research and fact checking. 

The Colored Conventions Project proudly partners with national and local teaching partners and student contributors to bring the buried history of nineteenth-century Black political organizing to digital life. 

Special thanks to Accessible Archives and Gale®, part of Cengage Learning, for granting permission to host digital images of newpapers in their databases, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers

"National Convention of Coloured Americans," in Frederick Douglass' Paper, 5 October 1855.

This article gives instructions for the delegates upon their arrival to Philadelphia, instructing them to the Philadelphia Institute on Lombard Street to receive more information about housing. 

"National Colored Convention," in the Trenton State Gazette, 19 October 1855.

A report posted in the Trenton State Gazette, detailing the reports of shared wealth from the populations of the represented states. In Ohio, Illinois and Michigan they had over one point five million, in Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut they had two million, New York and Pennsylvania listed having three million, while California posted two hundred thousand. 

From the Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics, 27 October 1855.

A shorter piece discussing the Passmore Wilson Incident, discussing their actions, and Frederick Douglass' opposition in the matter. They mentioned the behavior of the delegates in this article, comparing it to "white folks" 

"The National Convention of Coloured Americans," in The Christian Recorder, 20 October 1855.

This articles offers detailed coverage of the first day of the convention. It offers the history, and how the Council made in Rochester decided to schedule this National Convention, and the elections of the delegates. It stated that at the beginning there were only forty, but then numbers swelled. It gave details of the Chairman's opening speech, and his pride in their movement.

"From our Boston Correspondant: An Adjourned Mass Meeting," in Frederick Douglass' Paper, 12 October 1855.

A letter from Boston voicing it's concerns with the housing arrangement for the delegates at the National Convention, although that is not the main cause of the letter. Its heart is the complaint of the designation "Colored" which the author wishes to do away with forever on legal forms.