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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 31.pdf

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PENNSYLVANIA, 1865

succeeded by Wendell Phillips, who kept the organization working until the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, giving the Negro the right to vote.

25. On March 31, 1862, President Lincoln signed a bill forbidding the army or the navy to return fugitive slaves. Any officer violating the law would "be discharged from service, and be forever ineligible to any appointment in the military or naval service of the United States." (See Henry Wilson, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America [New York, 1877, III, 291 ff.)

26. Since blacks did not officially become citizens of the United States until the passage in 1868 of the Fourteenth Amendment, this statement is probably in reference to the admission of John S. Rock (mentioned above), the noted Boston Negro, to practice before the Supreme Court in February 1865. His recognition as a lawyer in the highest tribunal of the land was ipso facto a tacit recognition of his citizenship in the United States.

27. Black were officially mustered into the Union forces in July 1862, when Congress authorized the president to employ Negro troops. Four months later, the "First South Carolina Volunteers," commanded by Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson of Massachusetts, issued on January 1, 1863, announced that freed slaves would be received into the armed forces of the United States "to garrison forts, positions, stations, and to man vessels of all sorts in said services." Then finally, in early 1863, a bill passed the House of Representatives which authorized the president "to enroll, arm, equip and receive into the land and naval service of the United States such number of volunteers as he may deem useful to suppress the present rebellion." The Senate returned the bill to the House, refusing to pass it on the ground that it was unecessary because the president had such power under previous acts of Congress.

28. In an opinion rendered on November 29, 1862, Attorney-General Edward Bates (1793-1869) affirmed the citizenship of blacks in the United States.

29. The Fugitive Slave Law was repealed on June 28, 1864. See Stanley W. Campbell, The Slave Catchers: Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, 1850-1860 (New York, 1970), p. 194.

30. The reference is to Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806), the free Negro astronomer and mathematician of Maryland. In 1791, Banneker began to publish a series of almanacs that won wide recognition.

31. Ornsby MacKnight Mitchel (1809-1862), American astronomer and Union soldier, taught at West Point (1829-31) and later became professor of mathematics, natural history, and astronomy at Cincinnati College, which later became part of the University of Cincinnati and conducted important investigations. When the Civil War broke out, Mitchel is was made a brigadier general of volunteers.

32. Charles Anthon (1797-1867), American classical scholar, entered Columbia College in 1811 and later graduated with high honors. In 1820, he was chosen adjunct professor of Greek and Latin and finally Jay professor of Greek language and literature, a position he occupied until his death. His numerous textbooks, replete with critical notes and scholarly commentary, went through several editions, and by the middle of the nineteenth century he stood preeminent as the leading classical authority in the United States.

33. In 1780, Pennsylvania became the first state to enact a program looking toward the gradual emancipation of her slaves, feeing men at the age of twenty-eight and women at the age of twenty-five.

34. The reference is to the Draft Riots in New York City, which began shortly after the drawing of conscription lots on July 13, 1863. The riots continued for four days during which a thousand casualties and $1,500,000 property losses were sustained. The mob, egged on by the Copperheads, attacked the Negro population. A number of Negroes were beaten to death, hanged to trees and lamp-posts, and burned as they hung. The Colored Orphan Asylum was sacked and burned. The rioting soon spread to other cities, of which Detroit was one.

35. Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) was author of the Federalist Papers and secretary of the treasury under Washington.

36. As a delegate to the Continental Congress (1784-87), Rufus King

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