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New-York State Convention of Colored Citizens, Troy, August 25-27, 1841


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Current Saved Transcription [history]

New-York, whilst the colored population is to the white as 1 to 18 and a fraction, there is 1 colored to 17 white children attending public schools; in other words, there are upwards of five per cent, more of colored than of white children enjoying the benefits of education afforded by the State fund. (See 36th Annual Report of the Public School Society of the City of New-York.) We ask you, then, fellow citizens, if people who are thus careful to educate their children, manifest a want to intelligence which should exclude them from the polls?

Finally, it may occur to you, that as the colored population are allowed to vote on possessing a freehold of $250, and are freed from personal tax, that they should be satisfied--because they are represented when taxed. But are they not taxed for their tea, clothing, and household utensils, imported from abroad? And if they hold $249 worth of real estate, are thy not taxed for that, without representation? But you may say, the colored people are exempt from fire and military duty, and therefore they should not be permitted to vote. If the colored population had asked and persisted in maintaining an exemption from these duties, then this might be an argument; but as they have never asked such exemption, but on the contrary, have ever been found in the fore front of the battle in defence of their natal soil, it is beneath the dignity of the people of this State to prevent men from performing duties which they have executed, and would gladly execute, and make that prevention on the part of the people a reason why the said persons should be denied a precious, unbought, priceless right, the right to vote.

Fellow citizens, in conclusion, we beg that you will earnestly ponder this matter, in its simple relation to the welfare and prosperity of our commonwealth. It is your duty to do whatever you can to advance the republic, to fire her engines, exalt her children, and place them on an equality with the inhabitants of the first republic in the Union, in the world. Fellow citizens, we beseech you to do right in this matter, for righteousness exalteth a nation.

National Anti-Slavery Standard, September 23, 1841.

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