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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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All new Delegates were requested to hand in their credentials or their names to the third Secretary, whose business it was to attend to the roll.
The business committee then reported the following preamble and resolutions:
Whereas, a call for a State Convention of the Colored Freemen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to be held in the City of Pittsburgh, on Monday, the 23d, day of August, 1841, signed by numerous freemen of said Commonwealth, was issued by the Corresponding Committee of Allegheny county, on the 17th of July, 1841, to consider measures for the elevation of said freeman in said Commonwealth: And, whereas, said call has been responded to by the assembling of a large humber of Delegates, elected in pursuance thereof, and at the time and, place expressed therein: And, whereas, the Convention thus assembled owe it to themselves, their immediate constituents, and the public generally, to make an expression of their wishes and sentiments:
1. Resolved, By the COLORED FREEMEN of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in STATE CONVENTION assembled, That we love the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and feel an inseparable attachment to her institutions and just laws; and deem it alike our duty and our privilege, at all times, to sustain and uphold them.
2. Resolved, That as we ever have performed, and ever intend to perform, all duties imposed upon us, as good citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we deem it but just that we should, in common with others, enjoy all the privileges and immunities of citizens; and therefore view with deepest regret that restriction in the third article of her Constitution, which derives us, as colored men, of the right of suffrage.
3. Resolved, That all restrictions in our State Constitution founded upon complexion are impolitic, oppressive, and wrong; and that we will use, and continue to use, all lawful and honorable means to have them abolished.
4. Resolved, That we will petition our State Legislature, so to amend the Constitution of this Commonwealth, as to remove all restrictions on account of color; and that we will continue to petition until our prayer is granted.
The preamble and resolutions were each taken up and considered separately, and were discussed at length, by gentlemen, Peck, Vashon, A. D. Lewis, Woodson, and Brown. When the discussion was arrested, by a motion to adjourn until half past two o'clock in the afternoon.
Tuesday Afternoon, half past two o'clock.
The Convention assembled pursuant to adjournment. The President called Convention to order, and opened with prayer by Rev. Samuel Johnson.
The minutes of the forenoon session were read and approved.
The discussion on the resolutions of the business committee was resumed, and further remarks were made by gentlemen, Delany, and Collins, of Franklin. After which the whole were unanimously adopted.
The business committee further reported the following resolutions:
5. Resolved, That we recommend to our people EDUCATION as a powerful means of their elevation; and that we especially advise them to educate their children, and have them instructed in some useful trade, without which they never can attain to any respectable rank in society.
6. Resolved, That as newspapers contain, beside the ordinary news of the day, much useful knowledge, which tends to enlighten the understanding and improve the character, we therefore recommend that every family, who can possibly afford it, take one or more well conducted newspapers.
7. Resolved, That as Intemperance is a great, source of degradation, misery, and crime, rendering its victims a curse to themselves, their families, and society; we therefore recommend our people, as they love themselves and posterity, and the esteem of all wise and virtuous men, and as they love their rights and hope to obtain them, to abstain TOTALLY from the use of all intoxicating liquors; and that wherever there is a sufficient number in one place, they form societies on the plan of TOTAL ABSTINENCE.
8. Resolved, That in the opinion of this Convention, no calling is more honorabIe, independent, and virtuous, than farming; and that, as there now is, and must continue to be, much competition among common laborers in all our large towns and cities; and that according to common usage, it may be expected
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