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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 the petition which has been used in various places in the State, and copies of which we have at hand, be recommended to our people for the purpose of petitioning.

Respectfully submitted,

Alex Crummell, Ch'n.

{James W. Duffin, Rev. J.N. Mars,} Committee

The business committee reported the following resolution:

On motion,

Resolved, That the report of the Committee be accepted and adopted.

On motion,

Resolved, That we recommend to our people to become possessors of the soil within the limits of this State, if possible, as a means to their becoming more permanent residents, happier in their circumstances, and elevated in their condition.

Resolved, That in recommending our people to possess themselves of the soil, we no less protest against that clause in the Constitution of the State which requires a property qualification of us, in order to exercise the elective franchise--considering it wrong in principle, sapping the foundation of self government, and contrary to all notions of natural justice.

Resolved, That each delegate be assessed the sum of 25 cents to defray in part the expense of publishing the proceedings of this convention, and that a committee of three be appointed to attend to this business forthwith.

Henry R. Crummell, U. Boston, and J.W. Loguen, were appointed the committee, who occupied the rest of the session in performing the duty assigned, bring in a report before the adjournment, of $27.47 cts. collected.

The convention adjourned at a quarter past 5 o'clock.

Thursday Morning, Aug. 20.--The business committee reported the following resolutions:

Resolved, That the idea contained in the Declaration of Independence, that men should inherit rights aside from accidental circumstances or factitious arrangements, it is a sentiment set forth, not merely in that document, but one that is also consonant universally with reason and revelation.

Resolved, That the framers of the State Constitution, in practically embodying the principles contained in the above resolution, formed the government of the State fundamentally republican.

Resolved That one of the distinctive and peculiar features of republicanism, is, that rights are to be guaranteed and extended, without arbitrary or unnatural distinctions.

Resolved, That whenever, in the administration of such government, a portion of its citizens are deprived (from any such invidious,) of an equal participation of the privileges and prerogatives of citizenship, the principles of republicanism are manifestly violated.

That, That to the non-possession of the elective franchise may be traced most of the degradation to which we, as a people, have been for years subjected, and is the fruitful source of unnumbered and unmitigated civil, literary, and religious wrongs.

Resolved, That in proportion as we are treated with disrespect, contumel and neglect, in our political, literary, and ecclesiastical relations, from the want of the elective franchise--so would we command respect and influence in there different relations by the possession of it.

Resolved, That there is great hope for the politically oppressed in their own exertions, relying upon the favor of heaven, and appealing to the just sentiments of those in political power.

Resolved, That the way to obtain rights that have been wrested from a depressed people, is, by the continual presentation of the first principles of political freedom, truth, and justice, accompanied by corresponding efforts on the part of the proscribed.

The following report was handed in by Patrick H. Reason, chairman of the committee:

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