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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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Assyria. The inscription which these proud monuments every where bore was to the following effect:
Sesostris, king of kings and lord of lords, subdued this country by the power of his arms.
Herodotus also mentions that Sesostris founded the Kingdom of Colchis near Pontus and left a colony there; and we are informed by Apollonius Rhodius17 that the posterity of the Egyptian governor subsisted at Ea, the capital of Colchis for many generations. The descendants of this military colony presenting the black complexion and woolly hair of Africa, were long distinguished from the natives of the district among whom they dwelt. And it is possible even at this day, to find among the Circassians, certain distinguished families, whose blood might be traced to the soldiers of Sesostris and whose features still verify the traditional affinity which connects them with the ancient inhabitants of Egypt and Ethiopia. The great Assyrian empire of the once powerful Babylon and Nineveh, were once founded by Ethiopian colonies and peopled by blacks. Tyre and Carthage, the most industrious, welathy and polished states of their times, were also once founded by Ethiopians and Egyptian colonies and peopled by blacks, from the banks of the Nile, whose proud monuments are still spared by the hand of time, to be the wonder and admiration of the world, and which by their gigantic dimensions and exquisite workmanship, shows no inferiority of the wealth, power or wisdom of those ancient African nations.
The sun of civilization rose from the centre of Africa and like the bright luminary of the celestial regions, it cast its light, into the most remote corners of the earth, giving arts, sciences and intellectual improvement, to all that lay beneath its elevating rays.
Therefore, fellow citizens, proscribe us no longer, by holding us in a degraded light, on account of natural inferiority, but rather extend to us our free born right, the Elective Franchise, which invigorates the soul and expands the mental powers of a free and independent people. We then would be able to disrobe ourselves of inferiority, and prove to the world, that we are worthy of the name of American citizens. Therefore, we appeal to you to secure to us our political rights; for the enjoyment of those rights in a free country, is a stimulant to enterprise, a means of influence, and a source of respect; they send life, vigor and energy through the entire heart of a people; the want of them in a community is the cause of careless [illegible] intellectual inertness, and indolence. Yet many of us have sprung above all these depressing circumstances, and exerting ourselves with unwonted alacrity, by native industry, have accumulated property, for which we are now taxed and not represented. We are firm believers in the doctrines set forth in the Declaration of Independence. We are among those who believe that taxation and representation, should go together. We acquiesce in the sentiment that Governments can only derive their just power from the consent of the governed. Therefore, we 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 1st article of our State Constitution and of 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 destructive tendency.
Therefore, Fellow Citizens,--the Colored Citizens of this State, through us, their representatives, respectfully and earnestly ask at your hands, the speedy adoption of such plans, and the formation of such measures as may secure to them their Equal Political Rights.
Wm. Lambert, Ch'n of Com.
On motion of H. Jackson, Resolved that the Convention tender their heartfelt thanks to Wm. Lambert, chairman of the committee, for so ably defending us, in his address to the State. Adopted.
On motion of H. Jackson, Resolved, that this Convention adjourn tonight at 10 o'clock. Adopted.
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