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Report on the State Convention of the Colored Citizens of New York, Held at Schenectady, September 18-20, 1844.

1844NY.2.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

meeting in the hands of the Chairman of the delegation, your delegates proceeded to Schenectady, and on the morning of the 18th of September went to the Baptist Church; in which, at 10 o'clock A.M. the Convention was opened without prayer, and having elected R. Francis, of Rochester, Chairman, it proceeded to business.

The morning session was occupied by the adoption of one Resolution (relating to the Franchise) and the discussion of a second Resolution of like character.

The afternoon session was opened without prayer; two letters, by a vote of the House, were read to the Convention: the first, from Rev. T. S. Wright, of New-York, urging the Convention, if it took sides with any party, to go for the Liberty Party; the second was from Rev. C. B. Ray, of New-York, who, calling himself as delegate elect (which was not true) urged the same course upon the Convention; both the letter writers deprecated any party movement by the Convention. Appended to the last letter was a Protest,* which, after some debate on the propriety of its being read, was referred to the Business Committee.

The Chairman of the Business Committee announced as next in order following:

The Protest

Of the undersigned colored citizens of the city and county of New-York, assembled on the 16th of September, 1844, to send Delegates to the Convention of the citizens of New-York, to be held at Schenectady, September 18th, for the purpose of obtaining an extension of the elective franchise; respectfully Sheweth; that

Whereas, at the State Convention held at Rochester, August 22d, 1843, for the purpose of obtaining the same object, the following Resolutions were adopted;

"Resolved, That the Whig party, and the Democratic party, so called, the latter having positively refused, the other neglected to go to the extent of their ability to place those they had unrighteously proscribed upon a common level, politically, with other citizens, have both showed themselves unworthy the countenances and suffrages of the true friends of equal liberty, and the proscribed class themselves cannot vote with either without directly giving their own power and influence against themselves and their brethren universally.

"Resolved, That in going to the polls to vote, we will in no case whatever, vote with either of the pro-slavery parties of the land, since that would be, in our judgment, giving our suffrages against ourselves."

We do solemnly protest against the adoption of the above Resolutions by the Convention of 1843, and also against the adoption of any resolutions of kindred spirit, by the Convention about to assemble at Schenectady--

1st. Because the Convention of 1843 having assembled to take measures to obtain an extension of the elective franchise--a specific object--had no right to adopt resolutions extraneous, or detrimental to that object.

2d. Because the constituents of that Convention, being attached to no one political party, and therefore opposed to no other one political party, the Convention had no right, without previous notice to its constituents, to pass resolutions which, directly or indirectly, identify its constituents with any political party.

  • We, the undersigned, feel called upon to enter our protest against the doings in any shape, of the Convention of last year, having been informed that a resolution was passed at a very small meeting in this city, last night, the view of moving the Convention to such a step.

Respectfully yours, truly,

(Signed) Theo. Sedgwick Wright,

Charles B. Ray

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