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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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Current Saved Transcription [history]

On motion of R. Gordon; Resolved, that this Convention appoint a State Corresponding Committee whose duty it shall be to appoint Public Meetings, call future Conventions, and transact all public business for the colored Citizens of this State, until the next Convention. Adopted.

The following gentlemen were appointed said committee, viz: Wm. Lambert, Henry Jackson, Richard Gordon, Madison J. Lightfoot, of Detroit;--Asher Aray of Pittsfield, Washtenaw co.;--Calvin Hacket of Jackson, Jackson co.;--A. C. West of Marshall, Calhoun co.;--J. W. Brooks of Pittsfield, Washtenaw co.;--John Smith of Pontiac, Oakland co.;--Samuel Dickerson of ______Lenawee co: --Henry Powers of Grand Rapids, Kent co.;--Jefferson Fitzgerald of York, Washtenaw co.;--Thomas Freeman, Kalamazoo co.;

On motion of R. Gordon, Resolved, that each member now come forward and plank down his dollar to the committee on printing, to pay for the printing of the minutes of this convention.

Mr. Gordon then very ardently supported this resolution to some length and to substantiate the sincerity of his remarks, he "planked down" his dollar, he then turned and very sarcastically appealed to the rest of the members to come up and do likewise. The members not wishing to be out-done, consequently came up and planked down their money; which, after being counted by the committee, was found to be $9 cash, with the names of nine individuals with their promises to pay.

The Finance Committee then reported, that the money collected during the sessions of the Convention, had been more than sufficient to cover the expense, by the sum of $2.35.

It was moved that the balance be placed in the hands of the committee on printing, to aid in publishing the proceedings. Carried.

The President then announced that there was no more business before us. The following resolutions were then offered, and on motion unanimously adopted.

Resolved, that we tender a vote of thanks to the trustees of this church for the free use of it.

Resolved, that we tender a vote of thanks to the President, for the impartial manner with which he has presided over our deliberations; to the Secretaries, for the willing manner in which they have performed their duties, and also to the Chairman of the business committee, for his faithfulness in furnishing business for the Convention; and to all the other officers, who have amply discharged their duties.

The President then rose from his seat, and very feelingly addressed the members to some length, upon the leading subjects that had occupied their deliberations, and at the close of his remarks, he expressed a sincere desire that the sentiments which had been so earnestly expressed in the Convention, and which were now about to be published to the world, might grow brighter and brighter in their memories, and by their practical operations prove the sincerity of their avowals.

After the President had thus concluded his remarks and taken his seat, it was, on motion of Henry Jackson, Resolved, that we now sing a Liberty Song, address the throne of Grace, and adjourn, sine die.

The members then led off, and the audience joined in the song, after which the closing prayer was made by Wm. Smith,


Copy in the Schomburg Collection, New York Public Library; Copy in the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.


1. Henry Bibb (1815-1854) was born in Shelby County, Kentucky, the son of a slave mother and a white father. As a slave, he was sold at least six times as a result of his stubborn resistance to discipline. An early escape attempt with his wife and child was aborted, but he finally succeeded alone in 1837, passing in the process through Missouri, Ohio, and Michigan to Detroit. While an active participant in the statewide convention of Michigan

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