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Colored Men's State Convention of New York, Troy, September 4, 1855.


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Current Saved Transcription [history]

James W. Randolph, Albany

Wm. Gardiner, "

Richard Wright, "

Stephen Myers, "

Joseph Newit, "

Benj. Bourman, Troy

Wm. Rich, "

Jonathan C. Gibbs, "

James H. Davis, "

Uriah Boston, Poughkeepsie

Frederick Douglass, Rochester

Wm. J. Watkins, "

Frederick Douglass' Paper, July 27, 1855.

We publish the resolutions which had passed the Convention up to adjournment, at noon, yesterday together. The remainder of the resolutions passed will be found in our report of the proceedings in the afternoon and evening.

The Following is the adopted platform:

Resolved, That this Convention of the colored citizens of the State of New York, September 4th, 1855, specifically to promote their own complete and equal enfranchisement, confess themselves to be unable to find a more solid platform of principles, looking to this vital and highly important end, than is furnished in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

Resolved, That we hold these truths to be self evident; all men are created with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that to protect and preserve these rights, governments are instituted among them deriving their power and authority from the just consent of the governed.

Resolved, That true liberty, as a tangible idea, precious to the universal heart, has a basis no less broad and indestructible than the inherent capacity of man to discriminate between right and wrong, good and evil, and the power of choice of in self-government.

Resolved, That in the colored citizens of the State of New York, this basis for the exercise of freedom is as conspicuous as in that of any other class of the American people.

Resolved, That as taxation and representation should go together; as the strength of every nation and government is in proportion to the love binding its individuals and classes to the common centre, it is alike the dictate of wisdom, as of justice, that the colored citizens of New York should have equal reason with other citizens to respect her laws and cling to her institutions.

Resolved, That the imposition of a property qualification upon the colored citizens of the State of New York, as a condition to the exercise by them of the elective franchise--thus casting upon them a burden imposed upon no other class of the American people--is partial, in that it discriminates where no discrimination should be made; is unjust, in that it inflicts punishment or injury where none is deserved; is unmagnanimous, because it is an imposition by the strong against the weak; is bad policy, because it serves to weaken the attachment of one class of citizens to the political institutions which should be made as precious to them as to any other class; and that, therefore, the statute containing this odious provision should be repealed without delay.

Resolved, That regarding the elective franchise as a grand safeguard against oppression, and the right to exercise it is as essential to the respectability and well-being of every citizen; and further, believing that next to the dignity of being in actual possession of rights, is the honor of making manly efforts to secure them, we solemnly pledge ourselves to give the ear of our Legislature, and our fellow citizens generally, no peace until they shall wipe from the statute book the anti-Republican discrimination against us.

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