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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.

1865PA 29.pdf

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167

education at Lancaster University in Ithaca, New York, taught school for several years, and then studied law in the offices of white lawyers. In 1865 the American Missionary Society sent Wright to Beaufort, South Carolina, to organize schools for freedmen. He later played an important role during the black Reconstruction period which followed, having been elected as the first Negro to serve a full six-year term on the South Carolina State Supreme Court.

3. John Brown (1800-1859) attacked the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, October 16, 1859, with the aim of fomenting a slave revolt and eventually establishing a Negro republic in the mountains of Virginia. Brown and his men captured the arsenal, but the next day a company of United States Marines under Colonel Robert E. Lee assaulted the group, killed ten, and took Brown prisoner. After a hurried trial, the wounded Brown was sentenced to be hanged. Brown's bravery and dignity during the trial on the scaffold moved millions of people to regard him as a hero. Among the Negro people, he was considered a saint.

4. Charles Sumner (1811-1874), United States senator from Massachusetts (1851-1874), was the outstanding foe of slavery and champion of black rights before and after the Civil War.

5. The reference is to the Thirteenth Amendment, which was ratified in December 1865.

6. John S. Rock (1825-1866) was born in New Jersey of free parents and subsequently became one of the outstanding leaders in the movement for equal rights for black Americans in the North. His was a most unusual and brilliant career. He became a teacher in the publlc schools during 1844-1848, and in 1849 he finished studying dentistry under Dr. Harbert Hubbard. In 1850 he began practicing dentistry in Philadelphia, and in 1851 he received a silver medal for the creation of artificial teeth and another silver medal for a prize essay on temperance. In 1852, he graduated from the American Medical College in Philadelphia, and the following year began the practice of medicine and dentistry in Boston. He was admitted to practice law in Massachusetts in 1861 and on September 21 of that year received a commission from the governor as justice of the peace for seven years for the city of Boston and County of Suffolk. In February 1865, presented by Charles Sumner as a candidate to argue cases before the Supreme Court, Rock was sworn in by Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase as the first Negro to be accredited as a Supreme Court lawyer.

7. George B. Vashon, a graduate of Oberlin College, lawyer and poet, held the professorship of belles lettres at Central College, in McGrawville, New York.

8. Slavery was abolished in the District of Columbia on April 16, 1862.

9. On December 15,1862, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives to secure the abolition of slavery in Missouri, providing for the compensation of loyal persons who owned slaves. It was referred to the Select Committee on Emancipation, and on January 6, 1863 it was reported back to the House without amendment. It was speedily passed by the House, but in the Senate the bill ran into considerable opposition, and finally a substitute bill was adopted. This was taken up by the House on March 3, but it could not be acted on until considered in the Committee of the Whole, which required a two-thirds vote. The requisite vote could not be secured, and the bill was lost in the House. Three years later, on January 11, 1865, an ordinance was passed by a state convention in Missouri, abolishing slavery in the state, immediately and unconditionally.

10. The reference is to the Thirteenth Amendment, which provided: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, save as a punishment for crime ... shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." The amendment passed Congress in January 1865, and secured ratification of the requisite three-fourths of the states in December 1865.

11. The reference is to George Gordon Noel Byron (1788-1824), English poet and fighter in the cause for Greek independence.

12. The purchase of Louisiana from France in 1803 for $15,000,000 made available a vast territory for the expansion of slavery.

13. Florida was purchased by the United States from Spain in 1819.

14. American-Mexican relations deteriorated after the annexation of Texas in December 1845. American troops had moved into the territory claimed by Mexico in July 1845, and when the Mexicans entered this territory, President

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