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Proceedings of the Colored Men's Convention of the State of Michigan, Held in the City of Detroit ,Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 12th and 13th, '65, with Accompanying Documents. Also, the Constitution of the Equal Rights League of the State of Michigan.

1865MI.5.pdf

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202

BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS


After considerable discussion, Mr. Washington moved the previous question, which, however, was withdrawn, and Messrs. Washington and Paul, of Detroit, proceeded to argue at length, the former in favor of the section being struck out, and the latter against its rejection. The question to strike out, being put, was carried, and the report, as amended, adopted. The Convention then adjourned to meet at half-past seven o'clock in the evening.


Evening Session

The convention re-assembled; quorum present.

Religious services were conducted by Mr. Burton, of Hillsdale.

Mr. Anderson, from the Committee on Credentials, presented the names of Wilberforce Johnson, as a representative from Jackson, and Thos. Nichols, to be members of the Convention.

Mr. Cullen, of Detroit, proceeded to address the convention.

Mr. Cullen said: "I want you to understand that I am working for the people, and not for any aggrandizement of mine own. I want a unit of the people of Michigan. We have the question of equal rights to fight, which we have fought for years. The colored men of Michigan ought to be united." His motto was, "Procure our own Rights at home," then we could help our friends in Kentucky or elsewhere. He therefore moved the following resolution:

Resolved, That the members of the so-called Bureau of the Michigan State Equal Rights League be invited to participate in the proceedings of this Convention.

Mr. Roberts, of Adrain, supported the resolution.

Resolution lost.

Mr. Roberts, of Adrian, moved the following resolution:

Resolved, That any person or persons favorable to the object of this Convention, and for the good of people of color of the State of Michigan, be invited to participate by laying down all party spirit, and conform to the rules by which, and the object for which we are here assembled.

Mr. Rice, of Detroit, rose to support the resolution. He had voted for Mr. Cullen's resolution. We could not ask equal rights from the whites, when we were unwilling to accord equal rights among ourselves. While he would stand upon his manhood, he was in favor of the resolution.

Mr. Washington, of Detroit, in reply, said he thought this Convention had assembled in accordance with the circular, to denounce the proceedings of the so-called Bureau. He was in favor of the gentlemen of the so-called Bureau coming here as individual members, but not as a State Bureau.

Mr. Cullen, of Detroit, said: "I understood from your proceedings to-day that you had done away with the State Bureau."

Mr. Roberts, of Adrian, said: "This resolution in my judgement I offer for the good of the people of the United States, as well as Michigan. We have said that we would not emigrate, but would remain here as long as our brethren were in bondage. Now they have been set free, and we are here for the purpose of uniting for the good of the cause. Our acts are for the good of the whole. All persons who have an interest in our welfare we invite to come here for the purpose of aiding the good cause. Our motives are pure."

Mr. Carter, of Detroit, said he was not here to parley with rebels. They had altered the constitution to suit themselves, regardless of the people, and so long as they held office in the so-called Bureau he could not act with them.

Mr. Parker, of Detroit, said they must bring forth fruit meet for repentance first, before we can receive them.

Mr. Cullen said, the most cowardly way to treat any one was to stab him in the dark. Now we are arguing against a set of men who are not here to defend themselves.

Mr. Parker--The gentlemen is a member of the City League. Have they ever given me a hearing?

Mr. Cullen--That is just the point. He was a peoples' man. Do you want to take this matter to the National League?

A Voice--(No, no.)

Mr. Parker--Who proposes to take it there?

Mr. Cullen--The delegates appointed by the Bureau will be in Cleveland, and their seats will no doubt be contested by you. What he wanted was that the Bureau should be admitted here the same as he.

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