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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored People : held at Albany, New-York, on the 22d, 23d and 24th of July, 1851.
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NEW YORK, 1851
The Convention assembled pursuant, to adjournment. President in the chair. Prayer by the Rev. James M. Williams. After which the minutes were read and approved.
The President announced, as the first business in order, the rules reported by the committee at the previous session, which were read by the Secretary, and a motion proposed, that they be adopted; pending which Mr. William P. McIntyre made some slight objection to the 11th rule, proposing that it be so amended as to allow members debating thirty minutes instead of fifteen, as the rule directs; a brief discussion revealed he merits of the rule, and the question was taken on the amendment and lost.
Mr. McIntyre also proposed that the thirteenth rule be so amended, so as to direct that the sessions shall open at half-past 9 A.M., and close at 1 P.M.: and at half-past 2 P.M., and close at 6 P.M.: and at half-past 7 P.M.,and close at the discretion of the Convention. After which the question was taken as amended, and adopted. Main question was then called for, and without discussion the rules were declared adopted.
Whereupon Mr. Wm. P. McIntyre introduced the following resolution:
Resolved, That all motions or resolutions voted upon and lost, shall not be recorded upon the minutes of the Convention, unless so agreed upon at the time. A brief discussion ensued, and the question taken, and declared lost. A recess of five minutes was granted, and by solicitation, Mr. Wm. F. Johnson, of Ithaca, (who it may not be amiss to remark, is totally blind,) favored the Convention with a song, entitled the "Fugitive Slave." After which, the business committee returned, and reported a series of resolutions, which was, by motion of Mr. Myers, seconded by H. Hicks, received.
1. Resolved, That the colored citizens and inhabitants of the State of New-York will support all law that comprehends the interest of the people, and the welfare of the State, without regard to condition or complexion.
2. Resolved, That the exercise of the rights of franchise is a duty incumbent upon, and appertaining to every freeman, and any and every violation of a uniform rule or law, is inimical to the rights of the people.
3. Resolved, That the imposed conditions which are required of every colored citizen or voter, is an imposition in consequence of its proscriptive character, and unwise distinctions, generating contempt for those who are thus imposed upon, and leaving them no escape from degradation.
4. Resolved, That for the purposes of elevating the masses, a proper system of education is of paramount importance, and that any system of common or high school education, which teaches superiority of races, or creates distinctions based upon complexional differences, is opposed to the true interest of all classes by inflating the one with the false notions of their greatness, and crushing the other by such influences, as teaches them submission and inferiority.
5. Resolved, That it is the duty of every good citizen, and especially every colored person, to discountenance, in every practical way, the erection or maintenance of separate schools for colored children.
6. Resolved, That we regard the common school law of this State with the most profound interest, conceiving it to be a great means for the Christian and civil advancement of the State, in consequence of the uniform character in the education of all classes of children.
7. Resolved, That the trustees or commissioners in usurping the right to wrest this wholesome law in its natural tendency and just course, exhibit a morbid prejudice moving in a sphere far beneath the enlightened policy that clothes them with limited power.
A motion upon the second reading of the committee's report prevailed, that these resolutions be taken up by numbers for adoption.
Resolution 1st was then called for, read, and a motion proposed for adoption; pending which, the following gentlemen engaged in a spirited discussion: Messrs. Wm. P. McIntyre, Hiram Johnson, both of Albany, and Mr. Wm. F. Johnson, of Tompkins county, also Mr. Cutler, of Albany. After which the yeas and nays were called for, and resolution 1st declared adopted.
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