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Proceedings of the State Equal Rights' Convention, of the Colored People of Pennsylvania, held in the city of Harrisburg February 8th, 9th, and 10th, 1865 : together with a few of the arguments presented suggesting the necessity for holding the convention, and an address of the Colored State Convention to the people of Pennsylvania.
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BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS
Mr. Bowser proceeded to show the bright promises for the future which are everywhere now evident, and urged the importance of a strong and united effort for the purpose of securing our political rights throughout this Commonwealth. He hoped that from the proceedings of this Convention, the white citizens of the whole State would be made acquainted with the noble deeds and heroism of the Colored American; that we would make prominent the facts upon which we base our claims for equal and exact justice. The speaker enforced the necessity for organized action,--such, that when we return to our homes, every man shall feel it to be his duty to work earnestly and persistently for the furtherance of the great and glorious objects for which this Convention has been convened.
Mr. Daniel Williams of Hollidaysburg, was the next to address the Convention, on motion of Mr. R. M. Adger. He expressed himself as fully satisfied of the importance which attaches to the actions and proceedings of this body, and hoped that our actions would be harmonious and tend to the advancement of the cause of our people in this State.
On motion of Mr. D. D. Turner, Mr. John Q. Allen of Philadelphia, was called upon to make a few remarks. The gentleman spoke very briefly and hoped that the blood of the Negro, shed upon the fields of this rebellion, would prove sufficient to wash away the obstacles which prevent us from the enjoyment of our political rights.
Mr. J. J. Wright2 of Wilkesbarre, was next called out, on motion of Mr. P. N. Judah. He believed that what we have come here to ask is, that there shall be restored to us, that which was unjustly wrested from us in 1838,--the right of Franchise. We have come to ask that our white fellow-citizens may act as though they believed in their own Declaration of Independence, and especially in its assertion, that all men are equal.
On motion of Mr. C. B. Gordon, Mr. Aaron Still of Reading, addressed the Convention. The speaker urged the importance of immediate action,--he thought that this was the opportune time, and that we should not allow the shedding of our brother's blood to be in vain. He maintained that there was some equivalent due the black man for his life and services, and that we should exert ourselves to receive it.
Rev. E. Weaver spoke next. The Reverend gentleman held forth earnestly upon the righteousness of the cause which called us together; he knew that the fact of our assembling had gone abroad over the State and urged that we proceed to business as wise and earnest men. He referred to the good which had resulted from the labors of John Brown,3 Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner4 and the other champions of Liberty, and to the recent constitutional amendment abolishing Slavery,5--to the admission of John S. Rock6 to practice in the Supreme Court, and declared it as his opinion that we were moving onward and our cause progressing.
The Committee appointed on Credentials made the following Report. This Roll includes all those subsequently reported from the Committee and those elected Honorary members by the Convention.
John Peck, Equal Rights' League
George B. Vashon " " "
A. J. Billows, " " "
William H. Simpson," " "
A. W. Dunlap, " " "
Joseph C. Bustill, Sixth District Equal Rights League
Octavius V. Catto, " " " " "
James R. Gordon, " " " " "
Alfred S. Cassey, " " " " "
David D. Turner, " " " " "
William Cooper, " " " " "
James W. Purnell, " " " " "
Philip N. Judah, " " " " "
John Q. Allen, " " " " "
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