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Proceedings of a Convention of the Colored Men of Ohio, Held in the City of Cincinnati, on the 23d, 24th, 25th and 26th days of November, 1858.
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Proceedings of a Convention of the Colored Men of Ohio, Held in the City of Cincinnati, on the 23d, 24th, 25th and 26th days of November, 1858.
Pamphlet (26 p. ; 24 cm.)
Public Domain. No permission requested.
Foner, Philip S. and George E. Walker, eds. (1979) The Proceedings of the Black State Conventions, 1840-1865. Volume 1.
PROCEEDINGS OF A CONVENTION OF THE COLORED MEN OF OHIO. HELD IN THE CITY OF CINCINNATI, ON THE 23d, 24th, 25th and 26th DAYS OF NOVEMBER, 1858
PROCEEDINGS OF A CONVENTION OF THE COLORED MEN OF OHIO
November 23d, 1858.
PURSUANT to a call from the State Central Committee, a Convention of colored men of Ohio, assembled in the Union Baptist Church, in the city Cincinnati, Tuesday morning November 23, 1858. John I. Gaines, chairman of the State Central Committee, called the Convention to order; whereupon John Booker was called to the chair, and Wm. E. Ambush chosen secretary.
Charles H. Langston moved that the Convention be opened with prayer. Rev. Wallace Shelton then addressed the throne of grace. Messrs Wm. H. Fuller, John Malvin, J. D. Harris, Jesse Devine, A. Redman, John Galley and A. N. Freeman, were appointed a committee to nominate permanent officers for Convention. During the absence of the committee. [sic] Messrs. D. Jenkins, P. H. Clark, C. H. Langston and John I. Gaines, were appointed a Commit Finance, Peter H. Clark, John I. Gaines, John M. Langston, J. D. Harris, John Booker, E. P. Walker, and Jesse Devine, were appointed a committee to report business for the consideration of the Convention.
The Convention agreed to meet at 9 o'clock A.M. and 2 P.M., taking a recess at 12 and at 5 o'clock.
The evening sessions to begin at 7 and close at 10 o;clock.
The Committee on permanent officers, reported the following names, viz;
For President, Charles H. Langston.
" Vice Presidents, A. M. Sumner, John Malvin, A. Redman.
For Secretaries, Wm. D. Goff, L. M. Troy, J. D. Harris.
For Chaplain, Rev. Wallace Shelton.
The Convention confirmed that nominations unanimously. W. D. Goff having declined, Wm. E. Ambush was elected in his place. On motion of J. D. Harris, Horace Morris was added to the corps of secretaries. Peter H. Clark moved that a committee of three be appointed to prepare a plan for a permanent organization of the colored people of Ohio. The chairman named John M. Langston, John Booker and John Malvin, the committee; when the Convention took a recess.
President in the chair. Minutes read and approved. Committee on Finance reported that "Each delegate be requested to pay fifty cents on enrolling his name." Adopted. On motion it was agreed, that only the morning sessions be opened with prayer.
Mr. J M. Langston moved, that Mr. Isaiah Mitchell be invited to participate in the deliberations of the Convention. The Business Committee through their chairman, Peter H. Clark, then reported the following resolutions,
which were received and laid on the table for the consideration of the Convention.
Whereas, The right to assemble and petition for a redress of grievances, is one of the few rights let to the colored people of the United States, therefore, we, the colored people of Ohio, deem it fit to represent to our fellow citizens the disabilities under which we labor, and for which we seek redress.
We have to complain that, in a country professing to realize in its government, the grand principles of the Declaration of 1776, millions of our brethren are publicly sold, like beasts in their shambles, that they are robbed of their earnings, denied the control of their children, forbidden to protect the chastity of their wives and daughters, debarred an education and the free exercise of their religion; and if they escape by flight from so horrible a condition, they may be hunted like beasts from city to city, and dragged back to the hell from which they had fled--the Government which should protect them, prostituting its powers to aid the villains who hunt them.
Notwithstanding the rights and immunities of the citizens of the several States, are guaranteed to citizens of all the States, we can not visit large portions of our country in pursuit of health, business or pleasure, without danger of being sold into perpetual slavery, the shores of neighboring States being more inhospitable, than the bleakest or most savage shore that excites the mariner's dread.
To crown all, the highest tribunal in the land, solemnly denies that the great principles of Liberty and Equality which are the boast of our nation, were intended to apply to us and our unfortunate brethren, the slaves.1 It decides the colored American sailor, or traveler, can receive no protection from his Government; that the National Courts are closed to us; that we have fewer rights in our own native country than aliens, for the aliens may claim and receive justice, from the tribunal before which we may not appear as suitors.
Furthermore, in our own State of Ohio, while we are permitted a partial freedom, we are subjected to iniquitous and burdensome legislation. We are refused the right to vote; we are refused a fair trial by jury; we are refused participation in the emoluments and honors of office; we are denied equal education; those of us who are reduced to pauperism, or afflicted with lunacy, are thrust into the cells of the felon's jail, all of which is unjust, tending to destroy those sentiments of self-respect, enterprise and patriotism, which it would be wisdom to foster in the people of the State. Therefore be it
Resolved (1), That if it is the province of governments to protect their subjects against unjust seizures and imprisonment, violence, robbery, murder, rape and incest; if they should encourage and sustain industry, marriage, the parental relation, education and religion; if it is their duty to honor God by respecting and protecting the rights of humanity, then should the American government immediately and unconditionally abolish that essence of infernalisms--American Slavery.
Resolved (2), That if the Dred Scott dictum be a true exposition of the law of the land, then are the founders of the American Republic convicted by their descendants of base hypocrisy, and colored men are absolved from all allegiance to a government which withdraws all protection.
Resolved (3), That we rejoice at the declension of the Democratic Party in the North, and hope that its defeat presages the downfall of Slavery, of which accursed system it has been a firm supporter.
Resolved (4), That we say to those who would induce us to emigrate to Africa or elsewhere, that the amount of labor and self-sacrifice required to establish a home in a foreign land, would if exercised here, redeem our native land from the grasp of slavery; therefore we are resolved to remain where we are, confident that "truth is mighty and will prevail."
Resolved (5), That we recommend to our people, in addition to the education they are so generally seeking to give their children, to train them in habits of useful industry.
Resolved (6), That a combination of labor and capital will in every field of enterprise, be our true policy. Combination stores of every kind, combination work-shops, and combination farms, will, if every where established, greatly increase our wealth; and with it our power.
BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS
Resolved (7), That a State which taxes a portion without allowing them a representation, excludes them from offices of honor and trust, refuses them an impartial trial by Jury, refuses an equal education to their youth, disparages their patriotism by refusing to enroll them in her militia, allows them to be hunted through her cities, confined in her jails, and dragged thence to hopeless slavery, consigns their lunatics and paupers to the common jail, forfeit her claim to be called Christian or Republican.
Resolved (8), That in the vigorous and unceasing exercise of the rights of petition, we recognize a potent instrument of elevation, and we recommend the people of every city and school district to petition the Legislature to repeal all such laws, and to take the proper steps to expunge from the Constitution all traces of distinction on account of color.
Resolved (9), That a committee of three be appointed to prepare a petition for general circulation.
On motion the first resolution was taken up. Mr. Gaines desired gentlemen who thought that the American government has power to abolish Slavery, show in what part of the Constitution that power is granted.
Peter H. Clark explained, that the term government in the resolution, meant to apply to the people of the United States, who having the supreme power, can if they wish, alter or abolish all laws or constitutions, that stand between the slave and his freedom. Other gentlemen thought, that if there was power given in the Constitution to enforce its objects as set forth in the preamble, then was there sufficient power granted to abolish Slavery. Mr. A. Redman moved to table the resolution. Lost. The resolution was then adopted.
The second and third resolutions were specially ordered for the evening session.
Miss F. E. Watkins2 was requested to take part in the Convention.
Wm. D. Goff and David Jenkins, were appointed to invite reporters for the press, to attend the sessions of the Convention.
Recess till 7 P.M.
President in the chair. Minutes read, corrected and approved.
Mr. D. Jenkins, saw in the decline of the Democratic party, and rise of the Republican, omens of hope for the colored people.
Mr. John M. Langston said, "The Democratic party had always been the abettors of Slavery; it was now declining, for the people were opposed to Slavery, an willing to trample the fugitive act under foot, as they had recently done and willing at Wellington.3
So fond are the Democrats of Slavery, that they had legislated off the statute book of the State, all laws against kidnapping. He hated the Democratic party because it was pro-slavery. He exhorted his friends to oppose by every means in their power, that party. The people were killing it every where, through the North, and he was glad to know it. His motto was, "the' Democratic party must be destroyed."
Peter H. Clark did not consider his rights any safer with Republicans than with Democrats. He believed Slavery would be more secure with the Republicans than with Democrats. The Republicans were aiming to become national, and were therefore conservative.
William J. Watkins, believed that the Democratic party was the great foe to the colored man; the Republicans of New York had done something for tne colored man, and he verily believed, would do more. The great aim in the late contest, was to kill the Democratic party, and they had done that.
The second and third resolutions were adopted when the Convention adjourned.
Wednesday, Nov. 24th.
Convention met. President in the chair. Prayer by Rev. Wallace Shelton. Minutes read and approved.
Fourth resolution read, and on motion of E. P. Walker, made the special order of the evening session. Fifth resolution read, and on motion of David Jenkins, adopted. Sixth resolution read, and on motion of R. G. Ball, adopted. Seventh resolution read. Considerable discussion was had upon this resolution. A portion of the members did not feel justified in denying the
Christian character of the State. Others feared the resolution conveyed a covert attack upon religion. Rev. Wallace Shelton thought that if to love impartial justice and mercy was an attribute of a Christian State, then a state against which such charges as were made in the resolution could lie, was surely not a Christian State.
Several gentlemen arose to ask whether they had met to discuss theological or political subjects. The previous question was finally ordered, when resolution was adopted. On motion of J. H. Gurley, the eighth resolution was adopted. Ninth resolution read. John Brown moved to strike out the word two after the word prepare. Agreed to.
T. J. Goode moved to amend thus "that there be a committee of three" instead of the State Central Committee. Agreed to; and Thos. J. Goode, John I. Gaines and E. P. Walker were appointed that committee.
E. P. Walker offered the following:
Resolved, That Hayti sets the colored people of this country an example of proper independence; and that, that government is doing more for the upbuilding of the black race, than all other instrumentalities proposed or controlled by colored men.
Pending the discussion on this resolution, the Convention took a recess.
Convention met--President in the Chair. Minutes read and approved.
Discussion on Mr. Walker's resolution was resumed. Messrs. J. D. Harris, T. J. Goode, and E. P. Walker participating. On motion, the resolution was indefinitely postponed. Messrs. Wm. H. Day and Wm. J. Watkins were, on motion of Mr. Wm. E. Ambush, invited to participate in the deliberations of the Convention. Pending the adoption of the preamble to resolutions, Mr. Wm. H. Day addressed the Convention, when he concluded, the preamble was adopted.
The Committee on permanent organization, reported a Constitution for a State Anti-Slavery Society, and accompanying resolutions. On motion of Chas. H. Langston, it was discussed by sections. On motion, so much of the preamble as declares "We do hereby agree to form ourselves into a State Anti-Slavery society," was adopted.
Articles 1, 2, 3, were then adopted. Article 4 was read, and pending its passage, the Convention took a recess.
Convention--President in the Chair. Minutes read and approved. The 4th resolution of the Business Committee's report being the special order, several ineffectual attempts to postpone, lay on the table, etc., were made. Mr. J. H. Gurley exhorted the people to either emigrate or concentrate their strength at some point or points in the United States. Mr. John Booker was opposed to emigration singly or en masse. What we want is numbers. He believed the language of the resolution to be truthful. To establish a respectable footing elsewhere, would require energy, fortitude, self-sacrifice, and these qualities, if exercised here in a corresponding degree, would accomplish all we desired. Mr. J. D. Harris proposed to show that we had numbers on the continent, sufficient, if concentrated, to force freedom and respect from our oppressors. Mr. Fuller thought emigration, as a panacea for the ills that afflict us, was an unmitigated humbug. Mr. E. P. Walker, at some length and with considerable ability, proceeded to argue, that the Cotton, Sugar, and Coffee growing regions of the world, belonged to the colored race, and that the nation or nations which produced those articles, must necessarily control the commerce of the world. Here then, was the path opened by Providence for our elevation. Let us concentrate upon the West Indies, upon Central America, where by our superior intelligence and energy, we would wield a wide influence, and many years would not pass away before we would have the world at our feet.
Mr. Day had years before, standing on the same spot, opposed the scheme of emigration, and after having become an emigrant himself, he returned to still resist it. He knew that labor and self-sacrifice were required to make a home in a foreign land; and when our minds were made up to endure that amount of labor--make such sacrifices as were essential to founding a home elsewhere--then we would be prepared to achieve our rights at home, and the necessity for emigration would be removed. Resolution adopted. Adjourned.
BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS
Thursday, Nov. 25th. 1858.
President Langston called Convention to order at 9 o'clock. Prayer Rev. H. J. Andrews. Minutes read and approved.
Article 4th of the Constitution of the Anti-Slavery Society taken up. The amendment offered by P. H. Clark being decided out of order, the motion for adoption was put and passed. Article 5 read, and on motion of P. H. Clark, laid on the table. D. Jenkins moved that the resolution to establish a State Anti-Slavery Society be reconsidered, which was agreed to. Peter H. Clark, desired the Convention to pause before they added another to the long list of failed Anti-Slavery Societies, State Organizations, etc. If any lesson at all was to be learned from the past, it was that the people would not support such movements. The thing to be done was to get the colored peopIe themselves, interested in their own welfare, and then would be time for the organization of societies, to operate upon Slavery in the South, or caste in our own State. Other gentlemen thought such a society the best instrument that could be devised to arouse the colored people from their torpor. The plan would succeed, especially if the churches became interested.
Mr. Josephus Fowler obtained the floor, when the Chair announced hour for the noon recess.
Convention met, President in the Chair. Minutes read and approved. Josephus Fowler spoke in favor of the establishment of the society. "We must do or die." Mr. Peter Harbison followed on the same side. Mr. J. D. Harris demanded the previous question--not succeeding, a general expression of feeling favorable to the formation of a society was had. Messrs. J. H. Gurley, T. J. Goode, T. Gross, John Johnson, John F. James, and L. C. Flewellyn, .Participating. The resolution was then adopted. Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, with the preamble and resolutions appended, were then adopted. . John M. Langston offered the following resolutions, moving that they the special order for the evening session:
1st. Resolved, That in the name of our humanity, in the name of our nativity, in the name of our love of our country, in the name of the old Revolutionary doctrine, that taxation and Representation ought not to be separated, in the name of justice and good policy, and in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, we demand of the people and government of the State of Ohio the repeal of all laws that make complexional discriminations, and full equality before the law. That we will continue to agitate this subject before the people, to circulate petitions on it among the people, and memorialize the Legislature in regard to it, till our State government becomes a true democracy, conservative of equal and impartial liberty.
2d. Resolved, That we tender to the noble men f Lorain county who rescued John Price from the bloody hands of a heartless slaveholder, and ruffian Duputy U.S. Marshal and his mercenary posse, our most hearty sympathy and grateful thanks, for their manly, brave and Christian conduct in that rescue and that we pledge them our sacred honor that whenever the opportunity comes we will imitate their worthy example.
3d. Resolved, That while we love law and order, while we venerate Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States, and while we are ready to support and defend that system of government which finds its foundation in these great documents of freedom; that we trample the Fugitive Slave Law and the dicta of the Dred Scott decision beneath our feet, as huge outrages, not only upon the Declaration of Independence and Constitution· of the United States, but upon humanity itself.
John F. James moved that this Convention recommend Chillicothe as the next place of meeting. E. P. Walker moved to strike out Chillicothe and insert Toledo. David Jenkins moved to insert Cleveland instead of Toledo. D. Jenkins asked leave to withdraw his amendment. E. P. Walker's amendment was lost. Josephus Fowler moved to insert Dayton. Lost. Original motion adopted. John F. James was selected as Chairman of the State Central Committee, the other members of which were John Williams, John R. Bowles and Joseph Ogelsby, of Chillicothe, John I. Gaines of Cincinnati, John Burke, of Colum-
bus, O. S. B. Wall of Oberlin.
On motion of P. H. Clark, those having statistics in charge were directed to hand them over to the Publication Committee.
On motion of P. H. Clark the Finance Committee were instructed to pay the balance remaining in their hands after defraying the expenses of the Convention, to the Publication Committee.
On motion of D. Jenkins, the Committee were instructed to print five hundred copies, and distribute them equally among the members of the Convention.
On motion of John M. Langston, the morning hour of the Friday session was devoted to perfecting the organization of the Anti-Slavery Society.
President appointed Peter H. Clark, I. M. Troy and John I. Gaines members of the Publishing Committee.
Committee on form of petition reported a form, which was adopted. Recess.
Convention met. President in the chair. Minutes read and approved. special order taken up. T. J. Goode moved that the resolutions be adopted singly. Agreed to. Messrs. W. J. Watkins, John M. Langston, and Wm. H. Day reviewed with severity the action of the American people in regard to the colored race, and advocated the right and duty of resistance by force of arms, when it was feasible.
John I. Gaines deprecated such advice to a weak, enslaved and ignorant people, with whom resistance, with any hope of success, was impossible. Adjourned.
Friday, Nov. 26th, 1858.
Convention met. President in the chair. Prayer by Mr. James Johnson. Minutes read and approved.
John M. Langston moved that the members of the Convention be constituted members of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society.
On motion of Wm. Darnes, Peter H. Clark, John H. Gurley, David Jenkins, John F. James and J. D. Harris were appointed a Committee to nominate officers for the society.
Committee on Nominations reported for President, John M. Langston; Vice President, John Malvin; Recording Secretary, Chas. H. Langston; Corresponding Secretary, Horace Morris; Treasurer, J. C. Oliver; Executive Committee, J. Williams, D. Crosby, D. Jenkins, John I. Gaines, T. J. Goode, E. P. Walker, C. M. Richardson. Report received. The Convention ordered the name of Joseph Williams of Cleveland to be stricken out and that of J. J. Williamson of Delaware was substituted. After some debate, the report was referred to the committee.
On motion of John M. Langston,--C. H. Langston, D. Jenkins, John M. Langston, Miss Frances Ellen Watkins and Peter H. Clark were appointed a committee to raise the five hundred dollars contemplated in the resolutions appended to the Constitution.
Committee to nominate the officers for the Anti-Slavery Society reported the names of E. P. Walker, J. D. Harris, John I. Gaines, D. Jenkins, and Jesse Devine, for the Executive Committee. Approved.
Convention met. President in the chair. Minutes read and approved. On motion of D. Jenkins the members from each county nominated a committee to solicit donations for, and collect pledges to the Ohio Anti-slavery Society. (See committees on page 25.)
Resolutions offered by Mr. John M. Langston were then taken up, and on motion of Mr. Darnes, the word ask was substituted. for demand, in the 1st resolution. The 1st, 2nd, and 3d resolutions were then adopted.
On motion of John I. Gaines, the resolution selecting Chillicothe as the next place of meeting, was reconsidered. Toledo was then substituted for Chillicothe. The State Central Committee was then re-organized, and E. P. Walker, J. C. Greener, George W. Tucker, Wm. Merritt, of Toledo, and John I. Gaines, G. J. Reynolds, and Wm. Munson, were constituted that committee.
BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS
Mr. A. Redman moved a vote of thanks to the citizens of Cincinnati for the hospitable spirit they had evinced. Adopted. A vote of thanks was them passed to the officers of the Convention, for their zeal and fidelity, as shown in the performance of their duties, When the Convention adjourned.
LIST OF DELEGATES
John M. Langston, Chas. H. Langston, J. H. Curley, I.. Mitchell, of Lorain Co.
E. P. Walker, of Lucas Co.
J. C. Oliver, John Malvin, Wm. E. Ambush, J. D. Harris, Wm. Munson, of Cuyahoga Co.
John Booker, David Jenkins, A. Redman, John Brown, of Franklin Co.
Jesse Devine, Horace Morris, John C. Gally, Louis Overton, of Greene Co.
Wallace Shelton, James Johnson, H. Parram, R. G. Ball, I.M. Troy, L.C. Flewellen, Jesse Fossett, Peter Harbison, C. F. Buckner, Phillip Tolliver, Thos. J. Goode, John I. Gaines, Wm. D. Goff, A. M. Sumner, W. H. Mann, Wm. H. Fuller, P. B. Furguson, Wm. Darnes, George Peterson, J. A. Bowan, R. Conarad, Capt. J. Hawkins, R. Debaptiste, Josephus Fowler, Jr., A. V. Thompson, of Hamilton Co.
T. Gross, A. N. Freeman, of Brown Co.
H. J. Andrews, V. Moore, of Clermont Co.
John F. James, of Ross Co.
Alfred J. Anderson, Alexander Proctor, of Butler county.
Asa Pratt, of Warren Co.
J.J. Williamson, of Delaware Co.
CONSTITUTION OF THE OHIO STATE ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY
Believing that, by united and concentrated action, on our part, we can do much toward securing the immediate and unconditional abolition of American Slavery and the removal of the legal and social disabilities under which we suffer in the State of Ohio, and in the United States: And also, believing that such united and concentrated action can be secured in our State, through the instrumentality of as State Anti-Slavery Organization: Therefore, we do hereby agree to form ourselves into a State Anti-Slavery Society, to be governed by the following
Art. 1. This Association shall be called the Ohio State Anti-Slavery Society.
Art. 2. The object of this Society shall be, to secure by political and moral means, so far as may be, the Immediate and unconditional abolition of American Slavery, and the repeal of all the laws and parts of laws, State and National, that make distinctions on account of color.
Art. 3. To accomplish this object, the Society shall establish its Head Quarters permanently in the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio. There it shall have its office and business rooms. It shall also employ such numbers of Agents and Lecturers as may be needed to carry out the object of its creation.
Art. 4. Any man or woman may become a member of this Society, by subscribing to its principles as above expressed, and by making such contributions to its funds as he or she may be able.
Art. 5. The officers of this Society shall be: a President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer, who shall hold their offices one year, or until their successors are chosen; and who, with five persons chosen from the remaining members of the Society, shall constitute an Executive Board.
Art. 6. It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the Society and the Executive Board. In his absence these duties shall be discharged by the Vice President. It shall be the duty of the Recording
Secretary to keep a full and complete record of the doings of the Society and the Executive Board, which record shall be open to the inspection of the members of the Society at all times. And it shall be the further duty of the Recording Secretary to keep all the books and papers belonging to the Society Executive Board at the office of the Society in Cleveland. And it shall also be the further duty of the Recording Secretary to take charge of, and in good order, the office and business rooms of the Society. For the performance of these duties the Recording Secretary shall receive such compensation as the Executive Board may determine.
The duties of the Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer shall be such as usually attach to such titles; the Treasurer giving bonds for the proper disbursement of all funds that may come into his hand, in the sum of one thousand ($1,000) dollars, and making report to the Executive Board of all moneys received by him, and expended under its order, at its quarterly meetings. And it shall be the duty of the Executive Board to take charge of the particular and general interests of the Society, and to make such needful rules and regulations for the accomplishment of the object of the Society as sound discretion and necessity may dictate. And it shall be the further duty of the Executive Board to make an annual report of all its doings to the Society at its annual meetings.
Art. 7. The annual meetings of the Society for the election of officers, hearing the Annual Report of the Executive Board, and transacting other business for the Society, shall be held in such places as the Executive Board may determine, on the first Monday of January in each year, after 1859.
Art. 8. The Executive Board shall hold its first meeting at Cleveland, on the first Monday in February next, and quarterly meetings thereafter at said city; at each of which it shall receive reports from its Agents and Lecturers in regard to all they have done, and all moneys collected; which reports shall be preserved by the Recording Secretary. It shall also be the duty of the Executive Board at each quarterly meeting to settle in full with its Agents and Lecturers.
Art. 9. All Agents and Lecturers in the service of the Society shall be employed and directed in their labors by the Executive Board, and to the Board alone shall be accountable.
Art. 10. The Executive Board shall receive for their services at each quarterly meeting (each quarterly meeting to be no longer than three days in its sittings), one dollar per day, and necessary traveling expenses.
Art. 11. All moneys in the hands of the Treasurer shall be drawn on the order of the Executive Board, attested by the Recording Secretary.
Art. 12. A majority of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum for doing all business pertaining to the interests of the Society.
Art. 13. This Constitution may be altered or amended by a vote of two- thirds of the members of the Society, at any annual meeting.
In order that the funds necessary to put this organization in operation be raised by the first Monday of February next, at which time the Executive Board will hold their first meeting, your Committee would recommend the adoption of the following resolutions:
1st. Resolved, That the Convention appoint five persons, who shall proceed immediately to raise five hundred dollars, by the holding in this State, and receiving donations for the benefit of the Society, and that said persons report their doings to the Executive Board of this Society, at its first meeting, and pay over to the Treasurer of the Society all funds by them collected.
2d. Resolved, That we recommend to the Executive Board, that they pay said persons just and reasonable compensation for their said services.
JOHN M. LANGSTON, Pres't.
John Malvin, Vice Pres't.
Chas. h. Langston, Rec. Sec'y.
Horace Morris, Cor. Seely.
J. D. Harris, E.P. Walker, John I. Gaines, D. Jenkins, Jesse Devine,
BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS
SIGNERS TO THE CONSTITUTION
The persons whose names follow, have paid the sum opposite their names, to be used for the purposes of the Society:
James C. Oliver, 50 cents; John Malvin, $1; Wm. E. Ambush, $1; John Booker, $1; David Jenkins, $1; John Brown, $1; A. Redman, $1; Horace Morris, $1; Louis Overton, $1; John C. Galley, $3; Jas. Johnson, $1; Jesse Collins, $1; Thos. Doram, $1; Edward Goodwin, $5; George Williamson, $1; J. J. Williamson, $1; Chas. H. Langston, $1; John Johnson, $1; Abram Fiddler, 50 cents; Cash, 50 cents; Brown 75 cents; Cash, 25 cents; Cash, 25 cents; Miss Virginia C. Tilley, $1.
The persons whose names follow have pledged the sum opposite their names, to be paid before the first of February, for the purposes of the Society:
John Malvin, $2; William E. Ambush, $4; J. D. Harris, $1; Wm. Munson, $1; Jesse Devine, $1; E. P. Walker, $1; Jas. Johnson, $1; I. M. Troy, $1; Peter Harbison, $1; Thomas J. Goode, $1; John I. Gaines, $1; A. M. Sumner, $1; Wm. H. Fuller, $1: P. B. Ferguson, $1; Wm. Darnes, $1: John Jackson, $2; Robt. Troy, $1: Lewis TIlford, $2; Josephus Fowler, Jr., $1; Peter H. Clark, $5; Ant. Freeman, $1; W. E. Alston, $2, Jernegan, $1; James Scott, $5; J. J. Williamson, $1; I. Mitchell, $2; Chas. H. Langston, $4; John H. Gurley, $3; John M. Langston, $10; W. H. Day, $10; Wm. J. Watkins, $10; Frances E. Watkins, $10; A. Fiddler, $1; J. D. Young, $1; P. F. Fossett, $1; Mrs. Fossett, $1; G. T. Butler, $1; Miss Josephine Darnes, $1; Mrs. Mary Anne, $1; Mrs. Eveline Cooper, $1; Miss Amelia Williams, $1; Miss Josephine Turner, $1; Mrs. Mary Gibson, $1. Mrs. A. E. Lewis and Jane Jackson, of get up a Fair or Levee for the benefit of the Society.
FORM OF PETITION
To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:
Your petitioners, citizens of __ County, State of Ohio, respectfully ask your honorable body to take the steps necessary to strike, from the Constitution, the word "white," wherever it occurs; and to repeal all laws, or parts of laws, making distinction on account of color or race.
And your petitioners will ever pray, etc.
To advance the objects proposed in the pan of organization, and in obedience to the first resolution, the following persons were named a committee to raise five hundred dollars:
C. H. Langston, D. Jenkins,
Frances E. Watkins, J. M. Langston,
Peter H. Clark.
To these were added the following committees, whose duties are to hold meetings in their respective counties, and to make private solicitation for donations, and to collect pledges made to the treasury of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society:
Cuyahoga County. --C. W. Richardson, Wm. Slade, David Crosby, Mrs. Parker, Mrs. T. H. Morris, Mrs. J. Moor, Mrs. Wm. Munson, Mrs. A. J. Davis.
Clermont County.--Rev. H.J. Andrews, V. R. Moor, O. T. B. Nickens, Mrs. E. Webster, Miss Alphea Austin, Miss V. Harding, Miss C. Coleman.
Delaware County.--J. J. Williamson, F. D. Merritt, Jas. Kizer, Miss D. Kanley, Miss D. A. Williamson, Miss H. Crawford, Miss V. Scurry, Mrs. C. Harris.
Franklin County.--D. Jenkins, J. T. Ward, Mrs. C. Hackley, Mrs. A. Redman, Mrs. N. Buckner, Miss M. J. Hopkins, Miss S. Davis.
Hamilton County.--P. H. Clark, T. J. Goode, Josephus Fowler, Mrs. A. E. Lewis, Mrs. E. Cooper, Mrs. M. A. Aray, Mrs. Jane Jackson.
Lorain County.--John Watson, O. S. B. Wall, J. M. Langston, Miss S. Wall, Mrs. Watson, Mrs. Campton.
Lucas County.---E. P. Walker, Wm. H. Merritt, Charles Ellis, Mrs. Wm. H. Merritt, Mrs. M. J. Ellis, Mrs. E. P. Walker, Mrs. O. Jacobs, Mrs. Wm. Cornish.
Greene County.--Wesley Roberts, Washington Bryant, Chas. W. Sweet, Mrs. E. Bryant, Mrs. Nancy Ruddles, Mrs. Wm. Hunster.
Ross County.--John F. James, C. D. Williams, J. A. Chancellor, Catherine Harris, H. B. Roberts, A. E. Nickens, Elizabeth Isaacs.
Montgomery County.--Allen Henson, Thos. Davis, John Johnson, Miss Ellen Sneed, Miss H. Broady, Miss V. Ball.
State Central Committee
Elias P. Walker, J. C. Greener, G. W. Tucker, W. H. Merritt, Toledo; C. J. Reynolds, Sandusky; John I. Gaines, Cincinnati; Wm. Munson, Cleveland.
Copy in the Harvard University Library.
1. The reference is to the Dred Scott decision of 1857, identified above.
2. Frances Ellen Watkins (1825-1911), Negro authoress and lecturer, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Miss Watkins was the niece of the Reverend William Watkins, by whom she was raised and educated. Her first collection of poetry and prose, entitled Forest Leaves was published in 1845. Then, in 1854, appeared another volume of verse, Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects. Active in the antislavery movement, she delivered her first lecture, "Education and the Elevation of the Colored Race," in 1854 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. After this, she lectured extensively throughout the North. She was married to Fenton Harper in Cincinnati in 1860, and lived with him on a farm near Columbus, Ohio, until his death in 1864, when she resumed her lecturing. The closing years of her life were spent in Philadelphia.
3. The reference is to the famous Oberlin-Wellington Rescue case of September 13, 1858. On that day, John Price, a black man, living in Oberlin, Ohio, was arrested by a deputy United States marshal and his assistant and two Kentuckians who claimed him as a runaway slave from Kentucky. Removed to Wellington, Ohio, which was a station on the Cleveland and Columbus railroad, he was temporarily detained in a tavern preparatory to his journey back to Kentucky. news spread quickly of his arrest, however, and soon a crowd of people from both Oberlin and Wellington gathered and demanded that Price be freed. Fearful that a violent incident might ensue, his captors freed him and he was quickly led to safety.
The thirty-seven people implicated in the rescue were indicted by a United States grand jury on December 6. Most of those charged were from Oberlin, a few from Wellington. By pre-arrangement, however, pending prosecutions against most of those indicted were dropped. Among those who were convicted was Charles H. Langston, a prominent Ohio Negro leader. He was let off with a small line and a few days imprisonment, however, after he had swayed the court in a brilliant and moving speech in his defense.
Convention Minutes Item Type Metadata
Convention of the Colored Men of Ohio (1858 : Cincinnati, OH), “Proceedings of a Convention of the Colored Men of Ohio, Held in the City of Cincinnati, on the 23d, 24th, 25th and 26th days of November, 1858.,” ColoredConventions.org, accessed June 25, 2018, http://coloredconventions.org/items/show/254.