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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.7.pdf

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204

BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS

Report

Whereas, For reasons stated in the curcular convening this mass Convention, and in the judgment of those who have responded to the call, they believe that the interest of the whole people whould be better subserved by organizing an Equal Rights League, to be known as the "Equal Rights League the State of Michigan." Therefore

Resolved, That we proceed to organize an association to be called the State Equal Rights League for Michigan, having for its object the securing of the rights of the colored people of this State and United States, acting in harmony with the intentions of the National League.

Resolved, That we adopt for the government of the State Equal Rights League for the State of Michigan, so much of the constitution of the National Equal Rights League for the United States, held in the city of Syracuse, October 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th, 1864, as far as found adapted to the wants of the State League.

Resolved, That the officers of said League shall consist of a President, one Vice President from each county represented, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, and Executive Committee of 5 others.

The consideration of the resolutions of Mr. Parker, was resumed.

Mr. Johnson, of Jackson, offered an amendment, which was accepted, amending the resolution as follows:

Resolved, That we point with exultation and pride to that epoch in history which records the noble, patriotic, philanthropic and humane deeds our much beloved and ever to be praised late Chief Magistrate, Abraham Lincoln, who, ever ready to favor human rights, was sure in his march to prison house, there to unlock the door and let the poor slave free. May his name be ever cherished in the memory of all impartial lovers of liberty until the last day of recorded time.

The report of the Business Committee was then considered.

Mr. Washington moved that the report be adopted.

Mr. Roberts moved as an amendment that the report be considered adopted by sections. Carried.

The report after some discussion was adopted.

Mr. Anderson, Battle Creek, offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That in the judgment of this Convention the policy of reconstruction, as developed by the present administration in restoring the seceded States to their former practical relations to the general government, is unwise, unfaithful to the colored American who has been faithful and self-sacrificing during the four years of desperate war, in which the existence of the unity of the nation trembled in the balance.4 And that this Convention pledges itself to use all intelligent and legitimate means to reconstruct upon no basis other than the basis of Universal Suffrage.

Mr. Rice moved to accept the resolution. Carried.

Mr. Anderson moved its adoption.

Mr. Lewis, of Hudson, said he favored moderation. Although we had not been treated as we ought to have been, yet he thought it unwise to censure the administration. Its policy had been at all times not to admit that the Southern States had been out of the Union at any time.

Mr. Anderson, of Battle Creek, said that it had been shown by the President that he was in favor of our people only so far as it subserved own interests. Mr. Anderson proceeded to speak at length, making a most eloquent and able speech.

Mr. Parker, of Detroit--I do not think Mr. Johnson is right upon question. He has said that he is too old to change, and has referred to his former acts as an indication of what his policy will be hereafter.

Mr. Lewis, of Adrian, read in support of Mr. Parker's position a speech of Mr. Johnson's, made on the 11th of September.

Mr. Parker, resuming--He wanted it to be known throughout the Union that the black man is alive to that which is for his interest, and will submit no, longer to his own degradation. He had become convinced that the elevation of the black man depended upon the black man.

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