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Convention of Colored Newspaper Men Cincinnati, August 4th, 1875, Wednesday A. M.
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Convention of Colored Newspaper Men Cincinnati, August 4th, 1875, Wednesday A. M.
Pamphlet (8 p. ; 21 cm.)
Courtesy of the Duke University Libraries.
Colored Newspaper Men
Cincinnati, August 4th, 1875,
Wednesday A. M.
The "Convention of Colored Newspaper Men" was called to order at 10 o'clock, in Union Chapel, on Seventh street, between Central avenue and Plum street, Governor Pinchback in the chair.
Mayor Johnson, being present, was invited to the stand, and delivered a short address of welcome to the delegates present. He hoped his presence would not be regarded as an intrusion, for he heartily approved the object of the meeting. Cincinnati had been favored as the place of assemblage for all kinds of conventions—Christian and anti-Christian, temperance and anti-temperance: and it had been his mission to be present with all of them. He then heartily tendered the Convention the hospitalities of the city, and hoped their deliberations would be pleasant and profitable.
Governor Pinchback, on behalf of the Convention, returned thanks to the Mayor for his words of welcome, and in addressing the delegates, said:
A year and a half ago a paragraph went around proposing a National organization of colored editors. A call was issued and we have met here to-day in pursuance of that object. Our first object is to make colored people's newspapers self-sustaining—not that we expect to make money out of them. Our people, as a class, are not largely a reading class, but it is on them that we must rely for patronage. Of the four millions who were recently in slavery we can not expect any large portion of them to be readers; but we must look to their children as they grow up. We can not expect, for some time, to derive much income from advertising, not until our.
people become active in enterprising in business matters.
In making the call for this organization we included the ministers, for they do more then any other class to induce the colored people to become readers of newspapers. The fact was. said the speaker, warming up and becoming truly eloquent, the colored people must learn to rely more upon themselves then heretofore. Even in Congress the white people, the dominant race, are beginning to throw into our teeth that enough has been done for us, and we must now take care of ourselves. For one, I do not object to this. We are numerous enough, and all we need is to be intelligent enough tot take care of ourselves. We are four millions, out of thirty millions who inhabit this country: and we have rights as well as privileges to maintain, and we must assert our manhood and their vindication.
The black people of this country can furnish in time of need, for his defense, over 800,000 soldiers to margin of the glorious banner of universal liberty. With this force as a political element, and as laborers, producers and consumers, we are an element of strength and wealth too powerful to be ignored by the American people. All we need is a just appreciation of our own power and our own manhood. This rolling in the dust—this truckling to power, whether wrapped up in an individual or a party. I have long sense abandoned. I strike out boldly, as if born in a desert, and looking for civilization. I am groping about through this American forest of prejudice and proscription, determined to find some form of civilization where all men
will be accepted for what they are worth. I demand nothing for our race because they are black. Even the wrongs of two hundred years I will overlook, although they entitle us to some consideration. Still I hope the future will present no necessity for frequent reference to this matter.
The speaker said he would not advise any separate political organization; but as the Irish and the German citizens of this country had their organizations for the promotion of their mutual interests, they must consolidate their efforts and work together harmoniously to a common purpose.
Mr. Pinchback then called Mr. J. Henri Burch to preside as temporary Chairman.
On motion L.D. Easton was made temporary Secretary.
Gover Pinchback moved that the appointment of a committee of three on permanent organization.
A Committee on Credentials was also voted. The chairman announced as the Committee on Credentials, Messrs. J.H. Jackson, J. Sella Martin, M. W. Gibbs.
Committee on Organization—Messrs. P.B.S. Pinchback, H.M. Turner and B.W. Arnett.
After fifteen minutes recess the Committees made the following
REPORT ON CREDENTIALS
The committee on Credentials reported the following delegates:
American Citizen, Lexington, Kentucky—Henry Scroggins, J.H. Jackson, J.M. Jackson. James Turner, Henry King.
Planet, Memphis, Tennessee—E.D. Shaw.
Elevator, San Francisco, California—L.H. Douglasss.
Louisianian, New Orleans—P.B.S. Pinchback, G.T. Rubey.
True Republican, Carroll Parish, Louisiana—J. Sella Martin.
Grand Era, Baton Rouge, Louisiana—J.H. Burch.
Pacific Appeal—M.W. Gibbs.
Spectator, Galveston, Texas — Peter H. Clark.
Concordia Eagle, Louisiana—David Young.
Christian Recorder, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—B.W. Arnett, H.M. Turner.
Colored Citizen, Cincinnati, Ohio.—Charles W. Bell.
Progressive American, New York—General T.M. Chester.
Terre Bonne Republican, Louisiana—W.G. Brown.
The report was adopted.
REPORT ON ORGANIZATION
The Committee on Organization reported:
For President—Peter H. Clark.
Vice President—L.H. Douglass.
Secretary—Geo. T. Rubey.
Assistant Secretaries—J.C. Jackson, L. D. Easton.
The Chairman then asked if the Convention
was ready to adopt the reports, but receiving no response, he called Mr. Rubey to the chair, and then taking the floor, intimated that he had several serious objections. He wanted to know whether the convention was to be an editorial convention, or a convention of straw. He had the greatest respect for the gentleman nominated as presiding officer, Peter H. Clark, but he did not know about the Galveston Spectator; he doubted whether it had an existence at all; it certainly had not appeared on his table, as an exchange, for a long time. How could Mr. Clark represent that paper, if it was a paper? He instanced several other such representatives of newspapers, and deprecated the attempt to organize the convention by officering it with men not legitimately connected with papers. He himself was the publisher of a live paper. His time and his money were engaged in it; he did not want to be bound by the action of men who are not so engaged. He then referred to a caucus, on the night before, at which his position had been mistated, in relation to the chairmanship of the Convention. He was sorry to say that some remarks had been made that were false and malicious.
Mr. J. Sella Martin replied, to the effect that though the call for the convention emanated from editors of papers, it was subsequently extended to clergymen and others interested in the intellectual development of the colored race; and that some men not directly connected with newspapers, were better qualified to promote this object then some that were.
Mr. Burch followed in a rejoinder, during the delivery of which, was called to order by several members at different times, but continued until he had relieved himself of the indignity he considered thrown upon him.
Mr. Bell, of Cincinnati, who had been reported as a representative of the Citizen, admitted that the paper have been dead two years, but intimated that there were some times more life in a corpse than in some living bodies. He didn't care what he represented, he was interested in the objects of the Convention, and hoped further personal differences would be dispensed with, and that the meeting would proceed to business.
Mr. Scroggins, of the American Citizen, also made a few remarks calculated to heal the trouble.
Mr. Peter Clark then arose and stated that he was not the representative of a dead paper; that he received the Galveston Spectator up to the present time, and could show a letter in which the editor requested him to represent his paper in the Convention.
The temporary chairman, Mr. Birch, having resumed the chair, then put the question on the adoption of the report of the Committee on Organization. He asked the privilege of voting and gave the only negative vote.
A committee was then appointed to conduct the president elect to the chair, and Peter H. Clark was duly presented to the Convention as its President
MR. CLARK'S ADDRESS.
Gentlemen of the Convention:—Probably no words are ever more sincere than those which a man utters when he returns thanks to his fellow men for honors conferred—Diogenes himself, if raised to the presidency of a conference of cynics, would have felt his natural moroseness softened, and couched his thanks in courteous phrase.
I will not, therefore waste time in assuring you that I profoundly thank you for the good will shown by placing me in this chair, but will endeavor to prove, by my devotion to the duties of my office, that I am grateful to you.
I can not look over this assemblage of gentlemen, representing the Colored Press of America, without realizing its feeble beginning, when Doctor Chas. B. Ray published in New York City, his "Colored American," then down through our long list of failures. the Ram's Horn, North Star, Mystery, Palladium of Liberty, Aliened American, Colored Citizen, Anglo African, New Era, and so forth and so on for quantity, to this day when twelve newspapers send their delegates to speak for them in this conference. Add to these the papers controlled by colored men, which are not here represented; then those upon which they have recognized positions as editorial writers, and the exhibit is an excellent one for a race, whose bodies, and worse, whose souls still bear the scars inflicted by the driver's whip.
I am now convinced that these earlier efforts were not failures. The pioneer who blazes a path into the wilderness, who erects there his cabin of logs, and contends for a few years with the malaria of the forest, its savage men and beasts, and then dies, is no failure. He demonstrates the possibility of what he has undertaken, and those who come after him make his possibility an actuality.
Those pioneer editors and publishers whom we are now considering, demonstrated that there is a possibility of maintaining a colored man's newspaper, when there shall be found conjoined the business skill and the editorial ability to meet the public want and command the public confidence.
There is more need for colored men's newspapers to-day than ever, for reasons which I shall briefly present:
1. No white man, however friendly, can feel our wrongs as acutely, or express our wants as fully as a colored man can.
2. Our young men need an opportunity to gain an experience and feel the stimulus afforded by newspaper writing, which experience and stimulus are grudgingly given by the conductors of white men's newspapers.
3. Our leading men need a personal organ for the promulgation of their views and the encouragement of their followers. This they need more than white men of the same class, because the expression of sentiment which is freely accorded to white men as a right, is given to colored men as a favor.
4. We need a paper for the dissemination of news, concerning the social, religious and
political movements of our people, which are for the most part unheeded by the press of the country. That, which reflects credit upon us, seldom finds its way into print, only our criminals are sure of having their deeds reported.
5. We need papers for the discussion of a public policy, and for obtaining that unity of action that comes from a unity of views.
We meet, gentlemen, in an auspicious moment in the history of our race on this continent, a moment when we need not look to our friends to do all for us; because we are free to labor for ourselves.
On the staircase, leading to the gallery of the House of Representatives is a picture, representing a party of emigrants surmounting the last mountain barrier between them and the golden shores of the Pacific. Behind them is the thousand miles of travel over the trackless prairie, every step beset with danger: behind is the suffering encountered in passing the arid wastes of the Nevada deserts. The setting sun, borrowing its hues from the golden sands upon which it shines, irradiates the faces of the foremost men and causes the involuntary shout of joy, which lightens to a degree the toilworn faces of those who are yet far down in the shadows of the mountain slope, and who have not yet seen the glories of the promised land.
In like manner we are surmounting the last barrier, which stands between us and the universal recognition of our equal citizenship in the land of our birth.
But we are not yet entered upon the enjoyment of our birthright. Our poverty, our ignorance, our lack of union on the one hand, and the race prejudice and pride of the whites on the other, conspire to render our progress slow and painful, so slow, that at times we almost fancy that we have come to a full halt.
But we do move. We are gathering to ourselves the elements of national growth, and our posterity will stand in the future the unchallenged equals to the best in the land.
The old Grecian apothegna "know thyself" should be well pondered by our people before they enter upon this struggle. We should know ourselves, and we should know the obstacles which beset our path.
It is vain to hope that we can overcome this fight in a single day or generation of days even. We, who are at the front to-day, must expect to be laid in our graves before the victory is won. Let us so act, that when our sons take our places in the fight, that the surroundings shall be more favorable, and the difficulties to be overcome less formidable than to-day. If we can point to obstacles overcome by us, we will increase the hope and energy with which they will struggle.
The plebians of Rome, though of the same race with their patrician oppressors, found a century and a half consumed in the strife for equality. The commons of England waited from Henry II to James II, five hundred years, before they could call themselves freemen indeed.
We can not hope to do better; we may count ourselves happy if we do as well.
We need intelligence, wealth and union, but above all things we need confidence. We need the confidence of the white man; we must inspire him with confidence in our integrity. But first we need confidence in ourselves; confidence in our own intelligence; confidence in our own integrity; confidence in our own capacity.
This confidence is a plant of slow growth. but when grown, is of inestimable value.
You, gentlemen, can do much to promote its growth, by the prompt publication of your papers and the punctual performance of all contracts with subscribers or advertisers. We, as a conference, can do much by only recommending that which is wise to be done, and energetically doing that which we pledge ourselves to do.
Mr. Burch offered the following resolution, and asked that it lay on the table for future action.
"RESOLVED, That upon all questions which may be submitted to this Convention, all votes shall be taken by newspapers represented, allowing each paper only one vote."
The Convention then took a recess till 4 P.M.
On reassembling, the session was occupied in reading papers on various topic by delegates, and at the conclusion the Convention adjourned, to meet at 8 o'clock at Allen Temple, corner of Sixth street and Broadway.
The Convention assembled at Allen Temple, at 8 o'clock in the evening, and was honored by the presence of a large audience, who manifested a lively interest in the proceedings.
Mr. Brown, from the Committee on General Business, reported, and read a mass of correspondence form prominent colored statesmen and journalists, expressive of sympathy with the object of the Convention.
Letters were received from the following gentlemen:
Fred'k Douglass, Geo T. Downing, F.G. Barbadoes, J.S. Hinton, J. S. Tyler, A. J. Anderson, D. A. Payne G. H. Graham, E. R. Williams, W. U. Sanders, Peter Anderson, D.A. Straker, Jno. Averett, Wyatt Dillard, Thomas Adams, Mrs. S. H. Thomson, and others.
The Centennial Tribute to the Negro
Mr. B. W. Arnett, from the Committee on Centennial Celebration, made the following report. which was laid over for further consideration:
"WHEREAS, History, in its general meaning, signifies an account of some remarkable facts which have happened within the knowledge of man, arranged in chronological order, together with the causes which preceded them and the various effects which they produced, and as history is said to be the light of truth, we desire to let the coming generation know our true history; therefore, be it
"RESOLVED, that we will publish volumes to be known as the 'Centennial Tribute to the Negro,' with the following departments:
"1. 'Origin of the Negro.'
"2. 'The Ancient Glory, or the Foot-prints of the Negro in All Ages.'
"3. Introduction of the Negro to the New World, 1620.
"4. One Hundred Years with the Negro in Battle.
"5. One Hundred Years with the Negro at Sea.
"6. One Hundred Years with the Negro in the Schoolhouse, or as an Educator.
"7. One Hundred Years with the Negro in the pulpit.
"8. One Hundred Years with the Negro on the Platform,
"9. One Hundred Years with the Negro Lawyers and Doctors.
"10. One Hundred Years with the Negroes' Muse.
"11. One Hundred Years with the Negroes' Pencil and Brush, Chisel and Mallet.
"12. One Hundred Years with the Negroes' Pen, and Scissors, and Press.
"13. One Hundred Years with the Negro in Business.
"14. One Hundred Years with the Negro as a Farmer and Mechanic.
"15. One Hundred Years with the Negroes' Literature.
"16. One Hundred Years with the Negro Professors.
"17. One Hundred Years with the Negro Statesmen, or Politician.
"18. Negro Martyrs.
"RESOLVED, That a committee of two be appointed to edit and superintend the publication of said volume, and the same to be ready by the 4th of July, 1876.
"RESOLVED, That editors appoint a committee on each department, and the duty of said Committee on Edition, shall be to collect, compile and arrange all material belonging to his special department, and forward the same to the editors by the 1st of January, 1876
"RESOLVED, That a committee of three be appointed, to be known as the Centennial Committee, whose duty it shall be, to correspond with the Centennial Commissioner, and urge upon him the necessity of having the productions of the colored race represented in the Centennial Exposition; and the said committee is recommended to take such steps as they in their judgment may deem expedient to have the religious, literary, educational and mechanical interests of the Negro fully represented.
"RESOLVED, That the said committee is recommended to produre a statue, or work of art, from Miss Edmonia Lewis, and have the same placed on exhibition at the Centennial Celebration, in the name of the colored women of America; and that the committee be instituted at the close of the Exposition, to place said work of art in some public building, or park in the city of Washington, there to remain.
"RESOLVED, That the committee, if necessary, organize a Centennial Association, or committee, among our ladies, to raise money to carry out the above recommendation."
PROPOSED PRESS ASSOCIATION
The Committee on Press Association, presented the following report, which was laid over for further consideration:
CINCINNATI, August 4, 1875.
"The committee to whom was referred the examination of the suggestions to the Convention:
"SUGGESTION 1.—That a Press Association, consisting of owners, editors and professional writers for newspapers conducted by colored men, be established by the Convention now assembled here. That such Association, when formed, shall elect its own officers, make its own regulations, and prescribe its own rules of admission, and its laws of government. That the election of officers, and all other business necessary to a complete organization, take place in this city, between Wednesday and Friday next.
"SUGGESTION 2—That the Convention designate some newspaper owned and edited by colored men. now in existence, or to be established, as the organ of the colored people, and that the Convention appeal, by address and otherwise, to the various Colored Societies, such as Masons, Odd Fellows, Good Samaritans, and others, to set apart a yearly sum of money, for which they shall receive a compensation in a specified number of copies of the journal, as a certain means of support for it, and the place of its publication be determined by the Convention.
"SUGGESTION 3—That a company be formed at this Convention, representing at least ten weekly journals, with a view of dealing with some manufacturing house, for the securement, under contract, or otherwise, the material used in newspaper publication, at a cheaper rate than can be bought of different houses , and that such company elect it own officers, and adopt the regulations necessary for its own government, provided this be done be ore the adjournment of the Convention.
"SUGGESTION 4—That all known colored editors, who founded or conducted newspapers in this country, be made honorary members of the Convention; and that the letters written in apology for the absence, form part of the records of the Convention, provided, it be understood that no person shall become a member of the Press Association, or the Business Company formed at the Convention, except those actually connected with existing newspapers.
"J.SELLA MARTIN "L.H. DOUGLASS, "HENRY SCROGGINS, } Committee."
Quite a spirited little debate occurred on the report of the committee, Senator Burch objecting to any but the owners of newspapers being eligible to membership in such Association, and speaking in rather a sarcastic vein, of the large number of proxies and former newspaper men in the Convention. Rev. Mr. Turner, and several other "proxies" resisted the objection, and indulged in several sharp exchanges with the Senator form Louisiana. It being the general feeling that the action of the Convention on the subject, should be more in the form of a recommendation to the newspaper men, the report was recommitted to the committee for amendment.
The Committee on National Convention made the following report:
'TO THE COLORED PEOPLE OF AMERICA—A CALL FOR A NATIONAL CONVENTION.
WHEREAS, the unhealthy condition of the public
Mind relative to the colored people in the South, as evidenced in the disparaging tone of the Northern press, and recent extraordinary utterance of some of our heretofore staunch friends, and the unfinished mission undertaken by the Nation to exalt our race to the standard of American Citizenship; the denial of our rights in certain portions of our country, through the means of a vitiated public sentiment; the indifference manifested by the American people to the shocking outages perpetrated upon us in the south, such as the recent massacre at Vicksburg, during the peaceful celebration of the Ninety ninth Anniversary of American independence, and the consequent demoralization resulting therefrom, taken in connection with the necessity of higher development of our moral, material and political interests, render it in our judgment, essential that we meet in National convention, early in next year to devise mcans? for ‘a more perfect union, ‘such as will consolidate our people, and secure that harmonious action throughout the country on all matters of national interest so needful to a just appreciation of our numbers and influence in the Republic: therefore, be it
“Resolved, That we invite the colored people of the several States and Territories, and of the district of venation hereby called to meet at Nashville, Tennessee, on the first Wednesday of April, 1876, at 12 o’clock, M. upon the following basis of representation: three delegates from each state, and one additional for every twenty- five thousand colored population and fractional District of Columbia, which shall be entitled to four representatives, to wit
Alabama……….23 New York……..6
Arkansas……….8 North Carolina………19
Florida……...7 Rhode Island……..4
Georgia…….25 South Carolina………20
Kentucky…...12 West Virginia………4
Maine………4 District of Columbia…….5
Missouri………8 New Mexico………1
New Hampshire….4 Wyoming……..1
“In order to secure the success of this call, and to have each State and Territory represented in the Convention, your committee recommends the creation of an Executive Committee in each State, which shall have full power in the premises, and to that end submit the following resolution:
“ ‘RESOLVED, That an Executive Committee of three in each State, be appointed by the President of the Convention, who shall constitute sub-committees for their respective States, to carry out the details in the election of delegates to the National Convention, and in appointing the time and designating the manner of elections.’ ”
Mr. Young, of Louisiana, objected to the clause in the preamble of the report referring to the denial of the civil rights of the colored people of the south. He thought enough had been said on that subject, and could see no use of keeping up the same old whine.
Mr. Turner, of Georgia, spoke warmly in favor of retaining the clause. Congress had patched up apology for a Civil Rights Bill,
but it amounted to very little. The colored people had not their rights. and would not get them through Congress for years to come without agitation. He had been down to Long Branch a couple of weeks ago, and had a magnificent ride, with a white man for a driver, but when it came to getting hotel accommodations he was shoved out of the first-class hotels, and compelled to seek shelter in an obscure part of the town. This was what he protested against. and what he would always protest against until he could have the same privileges as the white man. [Messrs.? ] Jackson and King supported Mr. Young’s views, and wanted to know why Mr. Turner had not sought his legal rights through the Courts. They were tired of shaking the same old bloody bones in the face of the American people continually. There were plenty of laws in the interest of civil rights, and all the colored people needed to get their rights was wisdom and determination.
Mr. Shaw, of Memphis, insisted that the clause was necessary. It was possible that Congress would not be able or willing to do anything further for the colored people, but the colored people must appeal to the good heart of American people for the securing and vindication of their rights.
Mr. Martin spoke in favor of the clause, and asserted that the only way for the colored people to get their rights was to keep on asking for them from the great body of white people. He was ready to beg all the time. [Applause and laughter.] The spirit of dependence. where one was weak, was as manly as the spirit of independence where one was strong.
Mr. T. Morris Chester, of Louisiana, spoke in favor of the clause. It was all very well for Mr. Jackson, of Kentucky, to talk about the colored people having all the rights they would ever get, and possessing through the Courts redress for wrongs imposed on them, but he did not think any appeal to the Courts in Kentucky would amount to anything where a colored man was concerned. He did not believe there could be a jury impanelled in that State that would bring in a verdict in favor of a negro whose rights had been denied him. He did not know whether it really was so, but he would venture the assertion that nearly all the delegates in the Convention had come here on the smoking car.
Mr. Jackson—I didn’t, for one.
Mr. Chester—Then I guess there wasn’t any smoking car on the road you came over.
Mr. Chester continued, and said he was proud of the colored race and the progress they were making in education and industry.
Governor Pinchback expressed his sympathy with the manly and independent sentiments that had been uttered, but said he knew the difficulties colored people labored under in the South. Shortly after he was elected the railroad company refused to allow his wife to ride in the sleeping car, after he had bought tickets for her, and he had brought suit against the company, the case was delayed, and the company wanted him to withdraw the suit. That he had refused to do,
but agreed to let it drag and not prosecute it if they would treat him and his family right. Since that he had not only ridden in the sleeping cars, but bad even had a special car placed at his disposal. He was in favor of seeking redress of the wrongs of the colored people by appeals to the people, which he believed would eventually bring about the required remedy.
After some further discussion the report was adopted as presented, and the Convention adjourned to 10 o’clock this morning.
Thursday, A.M. Aug. 5, 1875.
The Convention resumed its sessions with the President, Mr. Peter H. Clark, in the chair.
One motion, the report on Press Association was taken up seriatim and discussed.
The first was adopted.
The second suggestion. as to establishing an organ and providing means of support, was read, and Mr. Clark, who had called Mr. L. H. Douglass to the chair, move to lay the suggestion on the table, which agreed to.
The Secretary moved to amend the motion by striking out the second suggestion, which was agreed to.
The third suggestion, that a company be formed of newspaper publishers, for the purpose of dealing with certain houses, was, on motion of Mr. J. H. Jackson, stricken out.
On motion of Governor Pinchback, Section 4 was stricken out. The report, as amended, was then adopted.
Mr. Burch moved that every newspaper represented here, be officially notified of this action of the Convention, which was seconded by Mr. Clark, and agreed to.
Mr. Clark offered the following:
“RESOLVED, That it is befitting a convention of colored men, assembled on the Centennial Anniversary of the birth of the liberator of Ireland, and friend of humanity, Daniel O’Connell, to recall with gratitude, his eloquent and effective pleas for the freedom of our race, and we earnestly commend his example to his countrymen, who, as citizens of the United States are too often found in the ranks of the enemies of liberty.”
Mr. Clark made some very happy remarks in regard to the subject matter of his resolution.
H. M. Turner followed in the same strain, and concluded with the hope that the adoption and publication of the resolution would soften the prejudices and hostilities of the Irishmen to the negro race.
Governor Pinchback favored the resolution. Some of his most ardent supporters in his city, were Irishmen. It was true, that when you can make a friend of an Irishmen, he is your warmest friend He spoke of the fact that in the Catholic Church, where most of the congregation was Irish, the colored members of that church, in the south, enjoyed the same privileges as the whites. There was no such invidious discrimination in that Church, as there is in the Protestant Churches
A standing vote was not taken, and the resolution adopted unanimously.
Mr. Douglass, in the chair, suggested that the resolution be telegraphed to Wendell Philips, who is at this hour delivering an oration, in Boston, on the occasion of the O’Connel anniversary The suggestion was adopted.*
The report of the committee providing for the publication, by Conference, of a Centennial volume, in regard to work of the Negro, in the various occupations in the United States during the past hundred years, was then taken up.
Mr. Clark moved an amendment to the effect that the Committee on the Centennial be requested to publish such a volume, which was adopted.
Mr. Clark moved to strike out the 1st and 2nd sections of the first resolution. And so much of the 4th as refers to correspondence between the Committee and Centennial Commissioner, which was adopted.
The resolution to procure a work of art, to be placed in the centennial exposition, in the name of the colored women of America was taken up.
Mr. Arnett remarked, that he was in favor of this proposition, to have the race represented by this work of art. His remarks were strikingly patriotic and eloquent. He was especially in favor of colored women being represented in that Exposition; and he was glad this proposition had come up to recognize the colored race through them.
The resolution was then agreed to.
The report, as amended, was then adopted.
Governor Pinchback, taking the floor, stated that they believed most of the business for which the Convention had assembled, was accomplished.
The Committee on Education, on account of the illness of its chairman, had not reported and he suggested that it be left for publication in the proceedings.
On motion of Mr. Martin, the report as read and considered in caucus, as follows, be adopted, which was agreed to:
Report of the Business Committee.
Mr. Wm, G, Brown, Chairman of the business Committee, submitted the following report, which was adopted:
“WHEREAS, we regard the American Nation as a great crucible, in which are being fused the various characteristics of the races on the earth, from which will spring the future American citizen; and the welfare of the present as well as that of the future generations, depends upon raising the character of each citizen to the highest point of excellence ; and knowing that ignorance, poverty, and moral degradation, in part, must disastrously affect the interests of the whole; therefore
“Resolved, that we sincerely deprecate the prejudice which has compelled us to report to separate race or
organization for the advancement of our interests, and the securement of our rights as a civilized people, and that to whatever we recommend as worthy of the attention and effort of the colored people, we earnestly invoke the favorable attention of our white fellow-citizens, pledging them in return, our hearty co-operation in all enterprises, which have their purposes, the improvement of the condition of any class of American citizens, or for maintaining the peace of the Nation at home, and sustaining its prestige abroad.
"That we deeply deplore the spirit of malevolence that has enforced, and still follows us unto the separation which we have vainly sought to escape; and not less do we deplore the fact , that a considerable portion of the the Press misrepresent our motives, malign our characters, underrate our powers, and ridicule our aspirations on the one side, while they applaud every obstacle thrown in the way of our elevation on the other, on all sides we meet agents and element no less discouraging, tending to deprive us of our citizenship; to depress, and, if possible, to extinguish the feelings of self-respect and the habit of self-reliance on our part, and to weaken, if not destroy, all confidence in our ability and virtue on the part of our friends.
"That while our past oppression has prevented us from acquiring the characteristics which belong to the higher civilization, we repel with indignation, as utterly false and malicious, the accusations made by Bishop Wilmer, the New York Independent, Father Ryan, and those who join with them in asserting that colored people of the South are hopelessly degraded, and that they 'have no religion, no morals, and no conscience.'
"That, considering the depths of poverty and ignorance from which the colored people of the South have recently so recently been lifted, and keeping in view the limited opportunities for improvement at their command, and remembering the unscrupulous and relentless opposition offered against our advancement, we can but contemplate with pride, the progress made by our people in every walk of life. Prevented from purchasing lands, we still cling to the industries connected with the cultivation of the soil; denied the opportunities of education, we snatch the chances for instruction and fearful disadvantage; deprived of our civil rights, we are, nevertheless, actnated? by patriotic sentiments; refused justice in the courts, we are still law-abiding citizens; excluded from the house of God, we still seek the protection of that God whom the white man worships.
"That, knowing the elevating influence exerted upon any race of wealth, which ever seeks to anchor itself to the soil, we cordially approve every movement, whether connected with schemes of emigration, or co-operative societies looking to ownership of lands in the South, or elsewhere, by colored people for the systematic cultivation of soil.
"That, recognizing the value of the inestimable boon of education to our children, we contemplate, with profound satisfaction and pride, the extent to which educational facilities have been embraced throughout the South, by parents, for their children; the advancement made by our youth; he fidelity with which our teachers have performed their duties; an the fortitude in which they have endured indignity and outrage;and we pledge ourselves to exert the utmost of our ability, our energies and influence, to extend and perpetuate the benefits of common school instruction."
Governor Pinchback then remarked upon the happy progress and termination of the Convention. He had attended many meetings of colored men, but never seen as
A letter from Wendell Phillips, Esq. to the President of the Conference says:
"I am glad you sent me that dispatch. The reception was most cordial. The applause from an audience, some of whose members would fifteen years ago have hissed it, was gratifying evidence of the marvellous change in public feeling."
A letter from Geo. L. Rutfin, Esq. says:
"Your telegram to Wendell Phillips was a happy thought, and I must say a success. I was in Music Hall at the time it was skillfully interjected by the distinguished orator at the very nick of time, and went like a whirlwind. I said to a gentleman who sat beside me, the Convention may now adjourn, and its members go home. It was worth their coming together to send such a message to be received.
many men of talent and cultivation present before. And to this fact, perhaps, as well as to the general progress of liberal and just sentiments, was due the fact that the Convention had been treated with such marked courtesy and respect by the newspapers. There had been no low flings in their reports, with but one exception; and members bad been designated as 'Gentlemen,' Reverend,' Senator,' &c. without the use of any low epithets so common heretofore. It was another remarkable fact, that, though they came here in the midst of a warm political contest, not a word of political partisanship or strife had been heard. He concluded, by moving that the President be authorized to have the minutes of this Convention published in pamphlet form, for distribution, pro rata, among the members of the Convention, which was agreed to.
Mr. Burch offered the following:
"RESOLVED, That the thanks of this Conference be returned to the Mayor, citizens, journals, reporters of the city paper and officers of this Convention, for the many courtesies extended to the delegates."
The resolution was adopted by a hearty and unanimous vote, and the Convention adjourned. sine die.
THURSDAY, Ag. 5th, 1875, 5 P.M.
A meeting of the Delegates to Press Conference, met in the Union Chapel.
The meeting was called to order by Mr. P.H. Clark.
On motion. Mr. Henry Scroggins. editor of the American Citizen, was elected Chairman, and Mr. G. T. Ruby, Secretary.
On motion of Mr. P. H. Clark, it was unanmously
"RESOLVED, That we proceed to form a Press Organization, in accordance with the resolution adopted by the conference."
Mr. Henry Scroggins was then elected President, to serve until the next meeting of the Association.
After appointing a committee to draft a Constitution and By-Laws, the Association adjourned, to meet in NASHVILLE, TENN. on the last WEDNESDAY OF APRIL, 1876.
Convention Minutes Item Type Metadata
Convention of Colored Newspaper Men (1875 : Cincinnati, OH), “Convention of Colored Newspaper Men Cincinnati, August 4th, 1875, Wednesday A. M.,” ColoredConventions.org, accessed August 18, 2019, http://coloredconventions.org/items/show/455.