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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania State Equal Rights' League. Held in the City of Harrisburg, August 9th and 10th, 1865.
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144 STATE CONVENTIONS, 1865
Mr. Busthill, of Philadelphia, presented a resolution in regard to the circulation of the speeches of Hon. Wm. D. Kelley, Wendell Phillips and Frederick Douglass, and letters of Elizur Wright6 and Robert Dale Owen.7 Referred.
Mr. Nesbit, of Altoona, offered a series of four resolutions, touching the abuses of the Freedmen, the claims of colored men to citizenship, and their loyalty and the treatment of colored soldiers by officers in charge of them. Referred.
Mr. Price, of Harrisburg, introduced a resolution deprecating colored men who refuse to accommodate persons of their own color in their business places. Referred.
During the absence of the business Committee the meeting was addressed by several members, in answer to the question, "What have you done for the State League since the adjournment of the Convention, in February last?"
Mr. Solicitor Bustill, of Philadelphia, requested that each member of the meeting would furnish him with a list of all the churches, lodges, and other associations in his locality, with his own (P.O.) address.
On motion of Mr. Hughes, of Harrisburg, the time was extended to 1 o'clock.
On motion of Mr. Bustill, of Philadelphia, the rules were suspended for the purpose of appointing a committee to nominate officers for the League.
Moved by Mr. Bustill, of Philadelphia, that a committee of one from each county be appointed to nominate officers for the League. Carried.
The following appointment was made:
Daniel Williams, of Blair Co.; Geo. B. White, of Phila., Co.; Samuel Molson, of Mifflin Co.; O. L. C. Hughes, of Dauphin Co.; Aaron L. Still, of Berks Co.; Benjamin Wilson, of Luzerne Co.; Henry T. Burley, of Erie Co.; Benj. Pulpress, of Allegheny Co.; Franklin Johnson, of Centre Co.; Charles W. Nighten, of Lawrence Co.; John G. Chaplin, of Huntingdon Co.; Chas. H. Kelley, of Lycoming Co.
The Business Committee reported resolutions through their Chairman, Prof. Vashon, of Pittsburgh.
On motion of Rev. Jos. A. Nelson, of Phila., it was agreed that the report be taken up by resolutions.
Resolved 1, That in our opinion, the insane rage that blinds the Southern people, and prompts them to persecute and maltreat the freedmen, in the hope of bringing about a war of races, will work its own cure. "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."8 And our liveliest hope is that they will go on from bad to worse in their mad career, till the United States Government is compelled with its strong arm, to place the franchise in the hands of her loyal black sons, who will with the ballot save the South, as they have with the musket saved the Union.
Mr. Hughes, of Harrisburg, thought the expression "from bad to worse," objectionable, as intimating a desire to have the country precipitated into another bloody war, and perhaps a war of races.
Mr. Still, of Reading, favored the resolution, and anticipating nothing of the kind. He believed that a just God rules the destinies of nations, and He will protect us. He thought the resolution should pass as it is.
Mr. Nesbit, of Altoona, the author of the series, in defence of his resolution, stated that the idea of the resolution is that we must use the strongest language and all the means at our command to accomplish the end in view. "God works in a mysterious way," and he will "cause the wrath of men to praise him." Therefore, if they go on from bad to worse, they will be benefiting us and praising God.
After some further debate, the resolution was passed without amendment.
Resolved, 2, That loyalty should be the test of citizenship, because those who endure enough in the nation's peril, without the hope of reward or promotion, to interpose themselves between their country and its enemies, and brave destruction and death, will also know enough when invested with the right of citizenship to discharge its duties as good and true men, and preserve the inviolability and purity of Liberty and Republican Institutions.
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