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Minutes of the State Convention, of the Colored Citizens of the State of Michigan, Held in the City of Detroit on the 26th and 27th of October, 1843 for the Purpose of Considering Their Moral & Political Condition, as Citizens of the State.

1843MI.1.pdf

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Introduction

The Michigan State Colored Convention held in Detroit, October 26-27, 1843, assembled for the purpose of taking into consideration the political status of blacks within the state. Like Negroes in most of the free states, Michigan blacks were denied the franchise. The convention denounced this deprivation. As one clause of the resolutions put it: "whereas we find ourselves existing in this State, (many native born), with no marks of criminal -characters--no charges of disloyalty dishonoring our birth-right; and whereas we yet find ourselves the subjects and not the objects of legislation, because we are prevented from giving an assenting or opposing voice in the periodic appointments of those who rule us." The convention also registered concern over the limited opportunities for black youth to enter occupations from which they could obtain a livelihood, especially the manual trades. It saw no solution for blacks through any schemes of emigration or colonization outside the limits of the United States, but stressed the need to cultivate good morals, to establish moral reform societies, and to inculcate habits of industry, thrift, education, and temperance among the Negro population.

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