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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.
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feet of the oppressed, and Liberty and Equality shall embrace each other, and shall have scattered their blessings throughout the length and breadth of our land.
Then, come, dear brethren,
If we would be free,
We must demand our Liberty,
And strike the blow with all our might,
For Liberty is the Balm of Life.
Wm. Lambert, Chairman of Com.
N.B. The above call, when issued, was signed by a large number of individuals besides the committee.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONVENTION
Pursuant to the preceding call, issued to the Colored Citizens of this State, through the Signal of Liberty, at Ann Arbor, and the Daily Advertiser of Detroit, urging said people to assemble at Detroit in Convention on the 26th day of October, for the purpose of taking into consideration their Political Standing as a People, and to adopt measures for the improvement of the same; the Fort Street Second Baptist Church was thrown open at an early hour on Thursday morning of the above date, and soon became the scene of the most spirited and manly meetings that have ever engaged the energies of our people in this state.
At 10 o'clock, A.M., about eleven delegates were assembled from the different counties of the State, together with twelve who were chosen in city.
The Convention was called to order by the Rev. W. C. Monroe of Detroit, who moved the appointment of Wm. Lambert of Detroit, as Chairman pro tem.
On motion of Henry Jackson of the aforesaid place, W. R. Wilson of the same place, was appointed Sec'y.
Mr. Lambert, in taking the chair, remarked as follows:
Friends and Fellow-Citizens:--It is with great reluctance that I receive the honor that you have been pleased to confer upon me. Not that I wish to shrink from the duty l owe to my oppressed fellow citizens. But, because--besides my limited education, youth and inexperience--I have been deprived of that encouragement, aid and culture which we should have received to enable us to fulfill those noble designs for which the Great Author of the universe, created man. This is the reason why I so reluctantly receive the responsible station to which you have been pleased to call me. As this is the first time that we, the oppressed portion of the citizens of this State, have assembled in convention to consider our political condition, the eyes of the public are gazing upon us with great interest, to behold the course that we are about to pursue; many are waiting for an opportunity to belittle us, by taking the advantage of our inexperience, to use as a handle in argument to sustain them in their position of depriving us of those inalienable rights, which we have assembled to consider and deliberate upon; others are standing cheering us on, aiding and assisting us in the great cause of Human Liberty and Equal Rights; a subject with which Ireland is now threatening to revolutionize the combined powers of Great Britain--a subject that is now agitating the world. Yes, fellow citizens, we have convened to deliberate upon a subject which is now fast revolutionizing public opinion, and promises to extend human liberty and equal political rights to all the oppressed of these United States. Therefore it behooves us, as the representatives of the oppressed of this State, to act with that calm, cool, and brotherly affection, and unanimity of feeling, sentiment and action, which would be becoming to an oppressed people wishing to be free; for we are placed in a very responsible station, the future destiny of our people in this State for years yet to come, depends greatly upon our conduct here in convention assembled;--if our acts be good, they will give life, vigor and energy to the efforts of our friends who have enlisted in our cause, and will command honour and respect for our people and ourselves. Many of our oppressors who are now halting between the
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