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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.8.pdf

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lie to the third clause of the first article of said Constitution which expressly declares that no man or set of men are entitled to exclusive or separate privileges.

Resolved, That as the long lost rights and of an oppressed people are only gained in proportion as they act in their own cause, therefore it is our duty, here in convention assembled, to breathe out our sentiments without reserve against all political injustice.

Resolved, That this Convention declare it to be a violation of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and not in accordance with a republican form of government--contrary to the first article of our State Constitution--injustice of the most aggravated character, either to deprive us of a just and legitimate participation in the rights and privileges of the State, or to make us bear the burdens, and submit to its enactments, when all its arrangements, plans, and purposes are framed and put into operation, utterly regardless of us, and which in their practical operation act upon us with a destructive tendency.

Resolved, That we the representatives of the oppressed of this State will continue to write, publish, cry aloud and spare not, in opposition to all political injustice, and all legislation, violating the spirit of equality until the first and second articles of our State Constitution shall cease to conflict with each other and the blessings of Equal Political Liberty, shall have been extended to all men of whatever clime, language or nation within this State, and also the United States, which professes to be the land of the free, and an asylum for the oppressed of all nations.

Resolved, That the Declaration of Independence, is the text-book of this nation, and without its doctrines be maintained, our government is insecure.

[This last resolution above, called the President from his chair, who in his able support of it, showed the many great causes that led the fathers of 1776 to make its avowal, and bleed and die in its defence. Among whom were many of our fathers, who were laid low in obtaining the liberty demanded by that noble declaration, and which we, as American citizens, ought now to enjoy. Therefore it was our duty, if need be, to lay down our lives, in the maintenance of those noble principles avowed in the Declaration of Independence, for on them depends our political salvation.]

On motion of W. R. Wilson,

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed by the President, to draw up an address to the State of Michigan, upon the political condition of our people. Adopted.

Wm. Lambert, Richard Gordon, and M. J. Lightfoot, were appointed said committee.

On motion of H. Jackson,

Resolved, That a finance committee be appointed by the President, to collect funds to defray the incidental expenses of the Convention. Adopted. H. Bibb, Wm. Dolerson and R. Allen, were appointed said committee.

On motion of A. Derrick,

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed on printing. Adopted.

Wm. Lambert, Henry Jackson, and O.P. Hoyt, were appointed said committee.

On motion, adjourned to meet on the following morning, at 10 o'clock.


Friday Morning, Oct. 27.

The Convention met according to adjournment, and after singing several Liberty Songs, was opened with prayer, by Mr. Ockry. Minutes read and approved. The chairman of business committee, then reported the following resolutions from R. Allen, which, after being ably supported by R. Gordon, H. Bibb, and others, were unanimously adopted.

Resolved, That as a State Convention, we will exert our influence to the utmost, for the immediate abolition of American slavery, and the improvement of the conditions of our colored people throughout the Union.

Resolved, That we believe State Conventions, composed of colored people who are deprived of their political rights, may do much towards ameliorating our own condition, and extending blessings of liberty to our Southern brethren, who are the victims of American slavery.

Resolved, That we hold this to be a sound and essential principle of republican governments, to wit: That all men are entitled to enjoy equal civil

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