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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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61 New York, 1851

Resolution 14 read, and a motion being proposed, was adopted without debate.

The business committee reported a resolution recommending the investment of monies in public stocks, as being feasible, safe, and promising much toward the amelioration of the condition of the colored people. After a protracted and spirited debate upon the preamble that preceded the resolution, as well as the resolution, a motion was offered and carried to the effect, the resolution be returned to the committee for their further consideration of its merits, and report again.

On motion, a recess of five minutes was granted. During this short interval, Wm. F. Johnson sang, by invitation an anti-slavery song, at the conclusion of which, Mr. E. Edward Seth, in accordance with a previous notice he gave to the Convention during the morning session, reported elaborately in behalf of the committee on colonization. He also availed himself of the opportunity to proclaim his dissent in toto from the opinions of some of the gentlemen advanced this morning, during the debate on the colonization resolution--of treating the subject with "silence," studied silence. "Why" he asked, "should we treat it with silence any more than we would slavery!" On motion of Mr. Stephen Myers, the report was accepted. After thrilling, forcible, and eloquent speeches from Messrs. Myers and William H. Topp, of Albany, and Wm. T. Johnson, of Ithaca, commendatory of the report, the question on its adoption was called for, and carried unanimously, to printed in full, in the proceeding of Convention.

The committee on finance lifted a collection, and report the result of $1.25.

A motion was then offered by Mr. McIntyre, seconded by S. Myers, that the final adjournment of the Convention shall take place on Thursday afternoon, at 4 o'clock. Carried.

On motion, the Convention adjourned.

Evening Session.

The Convention assembled as per adjournment, president in the chair. Prayer by Rev. E. N. Hall. Minutes of the previous session read and adopted; after which Mr. Hiram Johnson arose and reported in behalf of the committee on the Suffrage question. A motion arose then prevailed that the report be received; also on a motion being proposed for its adoption, upon stating the question, Mr. Wm. F. Johnson arose and sustained the report in a most lucid and argumentative address of fifteen minutes. After which the question was taken for the adoption of the report and it was carried unanimously.

A letter at this stage was introduced, from Junius C. Morell, Esq.,9 of Brooklyn, L. I.. and read in the audience of the Convention; also one from Mr. A. Williams, of Salem, Mass., and passed to the file. After which, J. N. Still, Esq., reported in behalf of the committee on the Fugitive Slave bill. A motion prevailed that the report be received; also a motion being stated for its adoption, Mr. Still arose and supported the report in a brief and interesting address of fourteen minutes. Mr. C. E. Seth, also in a very feeling manner sustained the remarks of Mr. Still, accompanied with an interesting speech of fifteen minutes, condemnatory of the Fugitive Slave enactment. Mr. W. F. Johnson sustained the report in an eloquent address of thirty minutes; after which the question was taken on its adoption, and it was declared unanimously.

Mr. Hiram Johnson then reported, in behalf of the business committee, the following resolution:

Resolved, That there be a committee of three appointed to draw up a petition, signed by the officers of this Convention, and submitted to the Governor of the State, with a request that he transmit the same to the Legislature, to so amend the Constitution of the State of New-York as to extend equal suffrage to colored men.

It was voted that this resolution be received, and on the question being stated for its adoption, Mr. Hicks, proposed that it be so amended so as to read, send it to the Legislature, instead of the Governor. This proposition created a lengthy debate, in which the following gentlemen freely participated: Messrs. McIntyre, Myers, Seth, Jones, and W. F. Johnson, each sustaining their parts with great credit and good feeling. Mr. McIntyre and Mr. Hiram Johnson sustained the resolution as reported, and the other gentlemen as amended.

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