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Newspaper Reports on the Convention of the Colored Inhabitants of the State of New York, August 18-20, 1840


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Resolved, That we look upon it as anti-republican, and repugnant to the assertion of man's equality, upon which our government is founded; first, because 45,000 of the inhabitants of this State are excluded from the basis of representation; and secondly because the proscription, merely on account of color, denies the declaration, that "all men are created free and equal," results in the limitation of our liberties, and consequently in the curtailment of our means of "pursing happiness."

Resolved, That the exclusion of colored men from a free exercise of the elective franchise, gave a falsity to the high ground which the State had taken on the subject of slavery, tore down the principles of its own profession, and was an evidence to slaveholders of their triumph, degrading to a State calling itself free, and holding liberal principles.

Resolved, That we hold the elective franchise as a mighty lever for elevating in the scale of society any people, and feel sensible, that without it, we are but nominally free, the vital means of our improvement being paralyzed; we do therefore, believe it obligatory upon us, and do hereby pledge ourselves to each other, to use all just means in our power, by devoting a portion of our time, talent, and substance, to agitate this question, until we obtain a restoration of this inestimable boon.

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to draw up an address to our people, setting forth our duties in relation to the foregoing resolution, and to the cause of human rights in general.

Resolved, That the committee consist of Henry H. Garnet, Charles B. Ray, and Theodore S. Wright.

Resolved, That the government of our country having made provision for these aggrieved, to the petition for a redress of grievances; and we, the people of color in this State, being sorely aggrieved by that clause of the Constitution, heretofore cited, which deprives us of the right of suffrage upon a property qualification; we do, therefore, call upon our people throughout the State, extensively to petition the Legislature on this subject.

Resolved, That a Committee of three be appointed to report on the above resolution.

Alexander Crummell, J.W. Duffin, and Rev. J.N. Marrs, were the committee. On motion,

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to collect from the delegates statistics of our people.

Resolved, That Abner H. Francis, Michael Dougee, and Uriah Boston, be said committee.

Resolved That a committee of three be appointed on incidental expenditures. Rev. Thomas James, Rev. John Chester, and Henry R. Crummell, were appointed.

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed on printing. It was made up of P.H. Reason, C.B. Ray, and A. Crummell.

Resolved That H.H. Garnet, E.P. Rogers, and Rev. Eli N. Hall, be a Committee to draft resolutions and appoint public speakers for a meeting this evening. Adjourned.

Wednesday Morning, Aug. 19. On motion,

Resolved, That the Convention go into a committee of the whole, this afternoon, immediately upon organizing, to hear statistical statements from the delegates.

Resolved, That a committee of six be appointed to draw up an address to the people of the State of New York, upon the political condition of our people. Adopted.

A. Crummell, Rev. J. Sharp, T.S. Wright, P.H. Reason, C.B. Ray, and C.L. Reason, were appointed that committee.

On motion,

Resolved, That a committee of two be appointed to draft a form of petition, praying to the next legislature for the right of suffrage; the said petition to be signed by the President, Vice Presidents and Secretaries, as well as the entire delegation assembled here in behalf of the colored people in this State.

Resolved, That P.H. Reason, and A. Crummell be the committee.

The following resolution was then submitted.

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