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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the State Convention of the Colored Freemen of Pennsylvania, Held in Pittsburgh, on the 23d, 24th and 25th of August, 1841, for the Purpose of Considering their Condition, and the Means of Its Improvement. (Copy 2)
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of it--a right paramount in vitality and importance to all political rights; and to obtain which when deprived of it, no labor should be counted too severe, no sacrifice too great--and , Whereas, the Colored Citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are, by her present Constitution, deprived of the exercise of this sacred right, for no other cause than that it has pleased the Almighty Creator to clothe them with a dark hue, a circumstance over which they had no control, and for which no just tribunal can or will hold them accountable, and to punish them for which, with the highest political privation, is not only doing violence to nature herself, but is offering insult and mockery to the Almighty Creator of all things and Judge of all men--and, Whereas, the history of the past, the observation of the present, and the word and providence of God, show, that those who exert themselves most are the most successful in the attainment of the object of their lawful pursuit; and that those who will exert themselves none, even lose that which they have; and that no honest condition is so hopeless, but that it may be improved and elevated, by the use of just and honorable means--and, Whereas, in opposition to this just and wholesome maxim, the Colored People of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have hitherto maintained an apathy and indifference, not only to the exercise of the elective franchise, but to other collateral rights of high importance to them as freemen; an apathy and indifference highly criminal, and for which it is feared they are not prepared to give satisfactory account, neither to God, their own consciences, nor posterity; and to maintain which apathy and indifference longer, would degrade them still lower in the eyes of all enlightened and good men. Therefore,
Gentlemen:--We are assembled, for the first time, in Pennsylvania, in State Convention; and it is a matter of high gratification to witness the presence of so many Delegates on the first day of our meeting. It is strong evidence of the deep interest which we feel in the great object which has brought us together. The object of our Convention is, to consider the condition of our people in this Commonwealth, and to devise means for its improvement. The various grievances which we suffer will be brought to your notice in the progress of the business of the Convention; and it is not, therefore, necessary that I should now stop to mention them. Our Convention will be organized, and our business transacted, in the usual manner; and I hope that all may be done in a manner creditable to ourselves, our immediate constituents, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Delegates then presented their credentials; and those who had come without any, gave in their names to the Secretary.
On motion of Thomas A. Brown, seconded by A. D. Lewis,
Resolved, That a Committee of nine be appointed by the chair, to nominate officers for this Convention.
On this Committee the chair appointed Thomas A. Brown, John N. Templeton, J. Curtis, Thomas Norris, Halson Vashon, Joseph H. Mahorney, P. L. Jackson, Samuel Williams, Thomas S. Robinson.
On motion of Thomas Norris, seconded by John B. Vashon,
Resolved, That a Committee of five be appointed to draft rules for the government of this Convention.
On this Committee the Convention appointed Thomas Norris, A. D. Lewis, John B. Vashon, Edward R. Parker, John Peck.
On motion of John B. Vashon, seconded by Thomas A. Brown,
Resolved, That the officers of this Convention shall be one President, three Vice Presidents, and three Secretaries.
And then the Convention adjourned until half past two in the afternoon.
Monday Afternoon, half past two o'clock.
The Convention assembled pursuant to adjournment, and was opened with prayer by Rev. Leonard Collins.
The committee to nominate officers for the Convention made the following report, which was accepted; and the persons named therein declared duly elected officers of this Convention.
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