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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.12.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

209

MICHIGAN, 1865

This state of facts conceded as to our past course, and in view the present apparent lifting of the dark clouds that have so long delayed the rising beams of the "Sun of Liberty" on ourselves and our Southern brethern, shall we, can we, as an organized League, labor exclusively to obtain our elective franchise at the North, while contenting ourselves with the display of our past sympathy for the bondman of the South, leave him at such a crisis to seek his political rights alone, and without means to educate themselves and little ones? In a word, shall we leave our struggling brethren, just emerging from the prison house of bondage, to find their way to the temple of liberty as best they may?

The last clause of the fifth resolution referred to, we consider clear and explicit language, which if it means anything, means our entire surrender of self, and a voluntary pledge to help the freedmen of the South in every possible way to obtain, if no more, at least equal privileges with ourselves, and thus go on unitedly to obtain equal privileges before the law.

The foregoing views and further discussion by the members generally of the County League being concluded, it was

Resolved, Unanimously that apart from all proper and necessary expenditure for the maintenance and support of our organization and proper representation at our State and National Leagues, we will devote all other moneys received into our treasure in future in the redemption of our national pledge to the freedom, as contained in the fifth resolution above quoted, and that our delegates to either State of National Leagues be instructed to confer with the several delegates at such conventions, as to the most feasible plan to direct all surplus funds of the Leagues in aid of the freedmen's educational and political advancement, as the first requisite to redeem our pledge as expressed in the last clause of the fifth resolution of the National League.

Adrian, September 11, 1865.

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE EQUAL RIGHTS LEAGUE FOR MICHIGAN

Preamble

Whereas, The purposes entertained by the callers of this Convention and those who have responded to that call, can be best promoted by a close union of all interested in the principles of justice and right sought to be established. Therefore,

Resolved, 1st, That we proceed to organization an association to be called the State Equal Rights League of the State of Michigan, with auxiliary and subordinate associations in the different counties of the State.

2d. That in the establishment of the Colored Men's State League, we do not seek to disorganize or in any way interfere with any existing society or institution of a benevolent or other character, but believing that the interest of colored men generally will be best subserved and advanced by a union of all our energies, and the use of all our means in a given direction, we therefore invoke the co-operation of such societies in the advancement of the object of the League.

Constitution

Sec. 1st. The objects of this League are to encourage sound morality, education, temperance, frugality and industry, and promote everything that pertains to a well ordered and dignified life; to obtain by appeals to the minds and consciences of the people of the State, or by legal process when possible, a recognition of the rights of the people of the State to citizenship.

Sec. 2d. The members of this Convention shall be constituted members of the State Equal Rights League for the first year. Hereafter such persons shall be duly accredited representatives of the auxiliary associations hereinafter provided for, shall constitute its members. Provide that no auxiliary society shall be entitled to more than one representative for each ten dollars contributed by such society, with an additional member for any amount of five dollars thus contributed. Provided, also, that any locality

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