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Proceedings of the Iowa State Colored Convention : held in the city of Des Moines ; Wednesday and Thursday, February 12th and 13th, 1868.

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Proceedings of the Iowa State Colored Convention : held in the city of Des Moines ; Wednesday and Thursday, February 12th and 13th, 1868.

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Pamphlet (12 p. ; 21 cm.)

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PDF

Language

English

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Transcript

Identifier

1868.IA-02.12.DESM

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Des Moines, IA

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PROCEEDINGS OF THE IOWA STATE COLORED CONVENTION, HELD IN THE CITY OF DES MOINES, FEBRUARY 12TH AND 13TH, 1868

CIRCULAR

CALL FOR A STATE COLORED CONVENTION

Fellow Citizens: In the exercise of a liberty which we hope you will not deem unwarrantable and which is given us by virtue of our connection and Identity with you, as an oppressed and disfranchised people, the undersigned do hereby, most earnestly and affectionately, invite you, EN MASSE, or by your chosen representatives, to assemble in Convention, in the City of Des Moines, on the 12th day of February, 1868, at 10 o'clock A.M., for the purpose of considering the question of our enfranchisement, which is now before the Legislature and will soon be submitted to the voters of Iowa for their votes. All in favor of equal rights, come! Strike for freedom whilst it is day! Let all our churches, literary and other societies, be represented. All who will attend please forward their names to Rev. J. W. Malone, Keokuk Iowa, or to Rev. S. T. Wells, Des Moines.

Rev. J. W. Malone, Keokuk.

J. W. Guy, "

Y. E. Anderson, "

Rev. J. C. Cary, " 1

Rev. C. L. Holmes, "

D. Lawrence, "

A. Morris, Fort Madison.

J. D. Waterford, Oskaloosa.

G. Phelps, ”

T. A. Bush, "

Rev. J. Skipworth, "

Rev. S. T. Wells, Des Moines.

A. Brown, " "

A. W. Carter, " ”

Alex. Clark, Muscatine.

Rev. J. Bass,

C. Montgomery, Tipton.

Rev. P. C. Cooper, Davenport.

G. Reece, "

J. Barber, "

Jordan Warwick, "

Rev. S. Nichols, Mt. Pleasant.

PROCEEDINGS

FIRST DAY

Des Moines, Iowa, February 12, 1868.

Pursuant to the call, the Convention assembled in Burns' Chapel on Wednesday, February 12th, 1868, at 10 o'clock, A.M., and was called to order by Rev. S. T. Wells, of Des Moines.

On motion of Alex. Clark,1 of Muscatine, Rev. S. T. Wells of Des Moines was appointed President pro tem., and P. C. Cooper, of Davenport, Secretary pro tem.

329

IOWA, 1868

Alex. Clark then read the call for the Convention.

On motion, the delegates were requested to report their names to the Secretary by credentials or otherwise.

The following names were then read as delegates:

Rev. J. W, Malone, Keokuk............................. $1.00

Alexander Clark, Muscatine................................ 1.00

Rev. Jesse Bass, " ............................................. 1.00

Calvin Montgomery, Tipton, ............................... 1.00

Rev. P. C. Cooper, Davenport,........................... 1.00

Rev. J. S. Skipworth, Oskaloosa,.........................1.00

G. Phelps, " ........................................................1.00

T. A. Bush, " ........................................................1.00

J. D. Waterford, ".................................................. .50

G. Benson, Clinton, ............................................ 1.00

J. D. Walker, Toledo,........................................... 1.00

Rev. H. Lewis, " .................................................. 1.00

M. Halowa, Newton, ........................................... 1.00

C. H. Davis, " ...................................................... 1.00

H. Vinson, " .........................................................

Thomas Benton, Washington, ............................ 1.00

W. H. Davis, Albia,.............................................. 1.00

S. D. Dunkin, Des Moines,...................................

T. L. Carter, " " ................................................... 1.00

I. S. Carter, " " .................................................... 1.00

W. White, " " ........................................................

J. Williamson, " " .................................................

A. W. Champion, Des Moines............................. 1.00

J. Forde, " " ......................................................... 1.00

E. James, ” " ....................................................... 1.00

P. W. C. Lawson, " " ........................................... 1.00

D. Miller, " " ......................................................... 1.00

Rev. S. T. Wells, " ................................................exempt.

G. W. Kinney " " .................................................. 1.00

R. Drake, " " ................................. .......................

S. J. Harris, " " .................................................... 1.00

J. E. Hugard, Dubuque, . .................................... 1.00

James Howard, Iowa City,................................... 1.00

Clinton— paid by G. Benson,.................. ............ 2.00

Tipton— paid by C. Montgomery.......................... 2.00

Washington— paid by T. Benson,........................ 2.00

Oskaloosa— paid by J. S. Skipworth,.................. 2.00

Iowa City— paid by James Howard,..................... 2.00

On motion of Rev. J. W. Malone, the following committee was appointed by the chair to nominate officers for the Convention: Rev. J. W. Malone, • I. S. Carter, C. Montgomery, Rev. J. S. Skipworth and Thos. Benton.

On motion, the Convention adjourned to meet at 2 p.m.

Afternoon Session.

The Convention met at 2 o'clock, Rev. S. T. Wells, President pro tem., in the chair. Prayer by Rev. P. C. Cooper.

The committee on nominations reported, by their chairman, J. W. Malone, the following named persons as the officers of the Convention: President, Rev. J. W. Malone; Vice-Presidents, Revs. S. T. Wells and P. C. Cooper; Secretary, Alex. Clark; Assistant Secretaries, T. L. Carter and T. A. Bush.

On motion, the chair appointed a committee of three on credentials: Revs. Jesse Bass, C. Montgomery, J. S. Skipworth.

The committee reported 31 delegates present.

Major Henry O'Connor, Attorney-General of the State, 2 was introduced to the Convention by Alex. Clark; also, Rev. Jacob Mahin, of Muscatine, Hon. S. D. Wheeler and L. D. Ingersoll.

Alex. Clark offered the following resolution, which was adopted unanimously, with becoming reverence:

330

STATE CONVENTIONS, 1868

RESOLVED, That we consider this, the 12th day of February, the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the great emancipator and the devoted friend of our race, as an eminently fitting day for the colored people of Iowa to assemble in Convention; and that while we shall never cease to mourn the sad fate which robbed the nation of its chief and our people of their truest friend, we still rejoice that the good work which God commissioned him to do has been so nearly accomplished that the oppressor is now entirely powerless, and our race on the threshold of the day which shall give us all our rights as men.

Alex. Clark presented a code of rules for the government of the Convention, which was adopted:

1. That each session of the Convention he opened with prayer.

2. Upon the appearance of a quorum the president shall take the chair and call the Convention to order. Twelve or more members shall constitute a quorum.

3. The minnutes of the previous session shall be read at the opening of each session, at which time mistakes, if there be any, shall be corrected, unless otherwise ordered by the Convention.

4. The president shall decide all questions of order, subject to an appeal to the Convention.

5. All motions and addresses shall be made to the President, the member rising from his seat.

6. All committees shall be appointed by the chair, unless otherwise ordered.

7. The previous question shall always be in order, and until decided shall preclude all amendments and debate of the main question, and shall be put in this form: "Shall the main question be now put?"

8. No member shall be interrupted whilst speaking, except when out of order, when he shall be called to order through the chair.

9. A motion to adjourn shall always he in order, and shall be decided without debate.

10. No member shall speak more than twice on the same subject without the consent of the Convention, nor more than 10 minutes at each time.

On motion, the chair appointed a committee of three--consisting of Alex. Clark, P. C. Cooper and G. Phelps--to prepare an address to be presented by the Convention to the people of Iowa.

By special request, Alex. Clark consented to address the Convention at 7 1/2 o'clock p .m.

On motion, the Convention adjourned to meet at 7 1/2 o'clock to hear the address of Alex. Clark.

Evening Session.

The Convention met--the President in the chair, who called the house to order.

Prayer by the Rev. Jesse Bass.

The President then introduced Alex. Clark, who proceeded to address the Convention and citizens upon the question of suffrage and human rights. He was followed by Major Henry O'Connor, Attorney-General of the State, in a fine and stirring speech. It was clear, strong, pointed and eloquent.

The Convention adjourned to meet at 9 o'clock A.M.

SECOND DAY

Thursday Morning, February 13, 1868.

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment--the President in the chair.

Prayer by Rev. J. S. Skipworth.

Roll called. Minutes of the previous meeting read and approved.

On motion, the chair appointed the follwoing members a committee on resolutions: Alex. Clark, G, Kinney and Rev. J. Skipworth.

The committee on address, through their chairman, Alex. Clark, presented and read the address as prepared by the committee; which was unanimously adopted.

331

IOWA, 1868

The committee on resolutions, consisting of Alexander Clark, G. W. Kinney and J. Skipworth, presented the following report, which was adopted:

Resolved, That we still have confidence in the Republican Congress of the United States and the Republican party of Iowa, and rest in the hope that they will do all that can be done to secure us our full rights and protect our friends in the South from wrong and oppression.

Resolved, That the tendency toward an enlarged freedom which distinguishes our age, which in England bears the name of Reform,3 in Ireland the title of Fenianism,4 in Europe the name of Progress,5 and in this government the name of Radicalism, impresses us with the firm conviction that our claims to universal suffrage and impartial justice at home and abroad will soon be secured to all.

Resolved, That we hail with pleasure the manly conduct of our people in the unreconstructed States, and feel proud of their fidelity to the Union and the Republican party and its principles.

Resolved, That we recommend to our people throughout the country that patient pursuit of education, industry and thrift will certainly be rewarded with increasing intelligence and wealth.

Resolved, That we shall ever feel grateful to Major Henry O'Connor, Attorney-General of the State, for his independent and manly opinion, as given to the Legislature, upon the legality of submitting the question of suffrage by the present Legislature to the people at the next general election.

Mr. P. C. Cooper presented the appended resolution, which was adopted unanimously:

Resolved, That, having watched with much diligence and deep interest the course pursued on all questions affecting the well being of the colored people of Iowa by our friend and fellow citizen, A. Clark, that he has, as he must ever have, our full confidence and grateful thanks, but more especially in this last great and noble act in defending the rights of our children to be admitted into the public schools of the State, as the Constitution warrants.

Also the following resolutions:

Resolved, That the sincere thanks of this Convention are hereby tendered to the editors of the "Daily State Register," of Des Moines, for the friendly and favorable manner in which they have noticed this Convention, and for publishing the proceedings. "

Resolved, That this Convention tender their sincere thanks to the citizens generally of Des Moines, for the interest and attention which they have manifested in this Convention.

On motion, the Convention adjourned to meet at 2 p.m.

Afternoon Session.

Convention met at 2 o'clock, pursuant to adjournment--President in the chair.

Prayer by Rev. J. Skipworth. Roll called. Minutes of the previous meeting read and approved.

On motion of Alex. Clark, the chair appointed an Executive Committee of five for the State, as follows: Alex. Clark, Muscatine,, Chairman; T. S. Carter, Des Moines; P. C. Cooper, Davenport; G. Phelps, Oskaloosa; Y. E. Anderson, Keokuk.

On motion of Alex. Clark, it was resolved that the letter from Dubuque be read, and that the Convention acknowledge Dubuque represented by letter, and that the name of J. E. Hugard be enrolled on the minutes. Adopted.

On motion, the Chair appointed a committee of three on finance, consisting of P. C. Cooper, S. J. Harris, J. Skipworth.

On motion, each delegate was taxed one dollar and each place represented two dollars.

The Finance Committee reported as follows: Cash collected $38.44; paid out for expenses, $11.73; balance, $26.71--to be appropriated to printing fund.

On motion, the Chair appointed Alex. Clark, P. C. Cooper and T. L. Carter a committee to prepare and publish the minutes.

332

STATE CONVENTIONS, 1868

Evening Session.

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment at 7 1/2 o'clock, P.M., the President in the chair.

Prayer by Rev. Davis.

Roll called. Minutes read and approved.

The Convention resolved itself into a committee of the whole on the state of the Union, and short speeches of 10 minutes were allowed, except to Rev. J. W. Malone, who was allowed 30 minutes. The following gentlemen spoke: Rev. J. W. Malone. Rev. J. Bass, C. Montgomery, T. A. Bush, S. D. Wheeler, Rev. P. C. Cooper, and others.

After which the Convention adjourned sine die, the members all passing around, after prayer, shaking hands and singing, "Blow ye the trumpet, blow!"

J. W. MALONE, President.

ALEX. CLARK, Secretary.

We, your Committee on Printing, present this as a true copy of the minutes of the Secretary.

In behalf of the colored people we take pleasure in returning thanks to the "State Register," Davenport "Gazette," Muscatine "Journal," and other papers, for publishing the address.

Alex. Clark.

P. C. Cooper.

T. L. Carter.

We, your Committee on Address, will here state that the "Daily State Register," in printing the Address, makes it read: "To every true, honest, liberty-loving citizen of Iowa do the colored men of your proud commonwealth appeal for sympathy and aid in learning those rights and privileges which belong to us as freemen." Instead of the word "learning" it should have been "securing," which was according to the manuscript. This error obscures the meaning of the sentence, hence we requested a correction to be made, which request was complied with, as follows:

Correction.--Mr. Alex. Clark, of Muscatine, writes us a note stating that a typograghical mistake occurred in the Iowa Colored Men's Appeal, which we published the other day. Instead of saying, "the colored men appeal for sympathy and aid in LEARNING those rights," &c., it should have read, "in SECURING those rights," &c.--State Register, Feb. 20th.

ADDRESS OF THE COLORED STATE CONVENTION TO THE PEOPLE OF IOWA

IN BEHALF OF THEIR ENFRANCHISEMENT

PREPARED AND DELIVERED TO THE CONVENTION BY A. CLARK, CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON ADDRESS, FEB. 13TH, 1868

To the People of Iowa: To every true, honest and liberty-loving citizen of Iowa do the colored men of your proud commonwealth appeal for sympathy and aid in securing those rights and privileges which belong to us as freemen. Having established our claim to the proud title of American soldiers and shared in the glories won by the deeds of the true men of our own color, will you not heed and hear our appeal? We appeal to the sense of justice of the Legislature and of the people of our own State, for those rights of citizenship without which our well-earned freedom is but a shadow. We ask no privilege; we simply ask you to recognize our claim to manhood by giving to us that right without which we have no power to defend ourselves from unjust legislation, and no voice in the government we have endeavored to preserve. Being men, we claim to be of that number comprehended in the Declaration of Independence, and who are entitled not only to life, but to equal rights in the pursuit and securing of happiness and in the choice of those who are to rule over us. Deprived of this, we are forced to pay taxes without representation; to submit, without appeal, to laws however offensive, without a

333

IOWA, 1868

single voice In framing them; to bear arms without the right to say whether against friend or foe--against loyalty or disloyalty. Without suffrage, we are forced into strict subjection to a government whose councils are to us foreign, and are called by our own countrymen to witness a violence upon the primary principles of a republican government as gross and outrageous as that which justly stirred patriot Americans to throw overboard the tea from English bottoms In a Boston harbor6 and to wage war for Independence. Let a consistent support be given to this principle of government, founded only "on the consent of the governed"--to this keystone in the arch of American liberty--and our full rights as freemen are secured. Our demands are not excessive; we ask not for social equality with the white man, as is often claimed by the shallow demagogue; for a law higher than human must forever govern social relations. We ask only that privilege which is now given to every white, native-born or adopted, male citizen of our State- the privilege of the ballot-box. We ask that the word "white" be stricken from the Constitution of our State; that the organic law of our State shall give to suffrage irrevocable guarantees that shall know of no distinction at the polls on account of color; and in this we simply ask that the "two streams of loyal blood which it took to conquer one, mad with treason," shall not be separated at the ballot-box; that he who can be trusted with an army musket, which makes victory and protects the nation, shall also be intrusted with that boon of American liberty, the ballot, to express a preference for his rulers and his laws. We demand this as native born citizens of the United States, and who have never known other allegiance than to its authority and the laws of our State, and as those who have been true and loyal to our government from its foundation to the present time, and who have never deserted its interest whilst even in the midst of treason and under subjection to its most violent enemies. We ask, in the honored name of 200,000 colored troops, five hundred of whom were from our own Iowa, who, with the first opportunity, enlisted under the flag of our country and the banner of our State, and bared their breasts to the remorseless storm of treason, and by hundreds went down to death in the conflict, whilst the franchised rebels and their cowardly friends, the now bitter enemies of our right to suffrage, remained in quiet at home, safe, and fattened on the fruits of our sacrifice, toil and blood. We make these demands as one of right and necessity, if not expediency, and are unwilling to believe that a powerful, ruling people, strengthened by new victories with the aid of our hands, could be less magnanimous in purpose and in action, less consistent with the true theory of a sound democracy, than to concede to us our claims. We believe that with exediency even our demands are not at war, but that with right does public policy strike hands and unite our votes, as it did our muskets, to the maintenance of authority over the disorganizing elements which attend a returning peace. We have too much faith in the permanency of this government to believe that the extension of the elective franchise to a few loyal colored men could unsettle its foundation or violate a single declaration of its rights. Therefore we will not believe but that the people of Iowa will be the first to do full justice to the men of color, as they have been a-ong the foremost in upholding the flag of our country. We rejoice in the fact, and congratulate the people of our own color in every part of the land that in the recent State election Col. Merrill has been chosen to the gubernatorial chair,7 and the entire Republican State ticket elected by the handsome majority of nearly thirty thousand votes, and that they stand as firm on the manhood suffrage issue as did their predescessors. In this can the colored men of Iowa take courage, and say to our white friends, we are Americans by birth and we assure you that we are Americans in feeling; and in spite of all the wrongs which we have long and silently endured in this our native country, we would yet exclaim, with a full heart, "O, America! with all thy faults, we love thee still."

A. Clark,

P. C. Cooper, Committee.

G. Phelps,

Proceedings of the Iowa State Colored Convention, held in the City of Des Moines, February 12th and 13th, 1868 (Muscatine, la., 1868).

Copy in the Library of Congress.

Convention Minutes Item Type Metadata

Convention Type

State

Region

Midwest

Uniform Title

1868 Des Moines IA State Convention

Citation

Iowa State Colored Convention (1868 : Des Moines, IA), “Proceedings of the Iowa State Colored Convention : held in the city of Des Moines ; Wednesday and Thursday, February 12th and 13th, 1868.,” ColoredConventions.org, accessed June 23, 2017, http://coloredconventions.org/items/show/567.