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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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The yeas and nays was taken on the request, and the rule suspended, and the Marshal permitted to proceed, after which, the resolution, which read as follows, was offered by Wm. Lambert, chairman of business committee:
Resolved, That the claims of the two sets of city delegates, be left to the county delegation to decide, which set of delegates are entitled to seats. Adopted.
The Country delegation, after collecting the public papers containing the call for the convention, and the public meetings of the citizens at which the delegates were elected, retired below, in the business room, and returned and submitted through their chairman, Mr. J. W. Brooks, the following report, which settled the question at issue:
The country delegation, to which was referred the claims of the two sets of city delegates, would now respectfully report which of the two are entitled to seats. After giving the subject a thorough investigation, we are convinced that the city has but one legitimate set of Delegates, and they are those who have already been enrolled upon the list and have taken their seats as delegates. The ground upon which we give this decision, is as follows:
On the 19th of September, we had our attention drawn by the Signal of Liberty, to a public meeting, held by the colored citizens of Detroit, of which Mr. Henry Jackson, was chairman, and O. P. Hoyt, secretary, and at which, a committee was appointed to issue a call for a State Convention, and as we were acquainted with the majority of that committee, we took a deep interest in reading the call, and resolved to throw down our farming utensils for a few days, and in obedience to the call, to assemble with our brethren, and consider and deliberate upon our moral, mental and political condition. We were again informed by the Signal of Liberty, the Detroit Daily Advertiser, and Free Press, of a public mass meeting, called by this same call committee, on October 16th, who were appointed at the first meeting to issue the call, and after they had done so, to call the citizens to elect their delegates and appoint committees to make preparation for the Convention. At that meeting, the regular city delegates were elected by ballot--committees were appointed to make all necessary arrangements, also to receive and provide quarters for the country delegates; money was also collected to defray the expense of printing the Liberty Songs, which we now behold scattered all over the house. Thus were we informed by the public papers of Detroit, of all the public meetings, and business transacted by our brethren here in the city, long before we left our homes; we were well informed who were the regular city delegates, and how elected, and who were the committee to receive us, and to make all necessary arrangements for the Convention. But of these other eight individuals, we had seen nothing, heard nothing, nor knew nothing of their existence, until we saw them here, declaring that they would break up the Convention, unless they were admitted to have a seat in it. A few minutes ago a paper was handed to us by one of the leaders of those eight, bearing the date of October 25th, which was yesterday, and in it, there was a meeting called by the leaders of these eight individuals, which was held on the 17th of October, the night after the regular mass meeting, at which the regular delegates were elected. Therefore, this is sufficient to show that these eight individuals have no right to seats in this convention, because they were not elected by the public, but a private meeting, called by themselves, after the regular delegates, which have been here reported, and are now in possession of their seats, had been legally elected by the mass of the people.
Therefore, we hope that no more time will be spent in this dispute, for we have thrown down our farming utensils, to attend this Convention, hoping to accomplish much good, and we now trust that the Convention will be permitted to resume its business.
On motion of Henry Jackson, the Convention adjourned to meet at 7 o'clock in the evening.
The Convention assembled as per adjournment, and was opened with prayer, by Mr. A. Aray. The minutes were read and approved.
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