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


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Current Saved Transcription [history]

Senator, and the friends of freedom in the city of Rochester, and the Senatorial district give him their warm support, and his election is sure. No action.


1. This association shall be known as the New York State Suffrage Association.

2. The object of this Association shall be to obtain the equal right of suffrage for the colored citizens of the State of New York.

3. The officers of this Society shall consist of a President, four Vice Presidents, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, and a Board of Managers composed of seven members.

4. It shall be the duty of the President, and in his absence, the Vice President, to preside at all the meetings of this Association. The Secretaries shall keep a record of all the proceedings--and perform all the necessary correspondence in behalf of the Association; and the Treasurer shall faithfully keep all funds belonging to the Association. The Board of Managers shall attend to all the business incident to the prosecution of the one great object set forth in the second article of this Constitution--such as appointing agents--collecting funds--paying out monies--and directing the measures of the Association--and shall make annual reports of all the doings of the Board.

5. The officers of this Society shall be elected at its regular annual meeting which shall be held in the month of September in each year, at such time and place as shall be determined upon by the Board of Managers.

6. All meetings of this Association shall be summoned by a from the Board, signed by the President and Secretary, and the call published at least six weeks previous to said meetings in shuch public journals as may be willing to publish.

7. Any person may become a member of this Association by signing Constitution and contributing to its funds.

8. This Constitution shall go into effect this, the fifth day of September, A.D. 1855.

Report read and accepted; and the Constitution unanimously adopted.

On motion, a committee of five were appointed to nominate the officers provided for in the above Constitution, viz.: J. W. Duffin, E. H. Mathews, P. W. Ray, S. Myers, R. D. Kerndey.

Speech of Frederick Douglass

Gentlemen and Ladies; It is with no little embarrassment that I rise on this occasion, and under the circumstances in which I am placed, to address you. This has been a long laborious, fatiguing day with me, and I have had no repose, no retirement, no opportunity to fling together such thoughts as the intelligence of the audience which I now see before me leads me to believe necessary, and proper to enforce on this occasion. I never, perhaps, felt a profounder desire to say something worthy of the great cause to which we are engaged, than I do now, and at the same time, I never felt more incapable doing so. But since I have been called upon to speak, I will try, if you will be patient and forbearing towards me, to say a few words.

It is very evident that the great question now before the American people--the question upon which the nation will soon be called to decide--is Slavery. Or in other words, the question now before this nation is whether Southern oppression, and Southern slaveholding institutions, shall be allowed to prevail in every part of this great Republic--or whether the institutions of equity, honor and human brotherhood [shall prevail] upon the American people, and each party is marshaling its adherents for the grand conflict. In the Southern States there is no institution, no party, save the slaveholding institution and party. By this institution, 3,700,000 of the human family are stripped of every right, robbed of all justice, whipped, outraged, and compelled to be marketable chattels. Fifteen hundred millions of dollars are said to be invested in this species of property at the South,--fifteen hundred millions of dollars is said to be the money representation of this enslaved portion of the human race. This vast accumulation of wealth--this immense

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