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Minutes and address of the State Convention of the Colored Citizens of Ohio, convened at Columbus, January 10th, 11th, 12th, & 13th, 1849.


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Current Saved Transcription [history]

William H. Day, chairman, J. Mercer Langston, George R. Williams, David Jenkins, W. H. Burnham, Wallace Shelton, J., M. Brown, T. J. Merritt, and L. D. Taylor.

On motion, Rev. John M. Brown was appointed chaplain to the Convention.

A committee of three was appointed to prepare rules for the government of the convention. The committee consisted of Messrs. Ward, Booker, and McGowan.

A committee on finance were then appointed consisting of Messrs. J. M. Cardozo, Wm. Copeland, and John L. Watson.

It was moved by D. Jenkins that a committee of seven be appointed to draft an address to the citizens of Ohio, which motion was laid on the table.

The Convention then adjourned until 2 o' clock, P.M.

Second Session, Wednesday Afternoon.

Convention met according to adjournment. President in the chair. Convention opened with prayer by the Chaplain.

The committee on rules for the government of the Convention not being ready to report, by suggestion of W. H. Day, the meeting was laid open for an interchange of views relative to the objects of the convention. Elder Wallace Shelton was then called for. He came forward and expressed himself in a very pertinent and chaste speech.

The committee appointed for that purpose having arrived, reported rules for the government of the Convention.

Report was accepted, and adopted after striking out the hour of six and inserting five o'clock P.M. for adjournment. A motion was then made to insert 9 1/2 o'clock, A.M., for meeting. Motion lost.

The business committee not being ready to report, Mr. Poindexter was called upon to address the Convention. He, excusing himself, moved that Mr. L. Watson address the Convention. After some reluctance, Mr. Watson came forward, and eloquently dwelt on the capacities of the colored freemen to elevate themselves. What a triumph they might achieve if their energies were but directed aright. Adverted to the so called Black Laws of this State. He spoke of the advantages that Some sections of the State possessed over every other--the feeling of the whites towards their colored fellow citizens. Referred to the act of the Legislature last winter, making provisions for establishing schools wherever twenty colored children could be found. Condemned in, strong terms the vote of Mr. Backus, the Senator from his district, because he voted in favor of the "Bill." He wanted to know why there were so few of the Central Committee present. He thought that there was something wrong in the matter.

After taking his seat a song was called for, whereupon Messrs. Day, Watson of Cuyahoga, Watson of Lorain, and Minor came forward and sang "Freedom's Gathering," after which the chairman of the business committee reported a platform and resolutions.

On motion of L. Dow Taylor, it was determined to lay the platform on the table, and take up the resolutions one by one. The 1st resolution was taken up, discussed and adopted.

On motion a committee of three were appointed to secure the Hall of the House of Representatives, or some other suitable place for holding a public meeting. Committee consisted of Eli Nichols, Thomas Brown, and David Jenkins.

A motion was made by Elder Shelton that the committee be instructed to apply for the Hall on Thursday evening. Carried.

The 2d resolution was then taken up and adopted.

On motion of Mr. Jenkins, a committee of five were appointed to draft a petition to the Legislature for the repeal of the Black Laws. Committee cosisted of Messrs. Poindexter, L. D. Taylor, T. J. Merritt, David Jenkins, and J.M. Brown.

The 3d resolution was then taken up, and after some discussion, it was moved that it be referred to a committee of three, consisting of Messrs. Watson of Cuyahoga, J. Mercer Langston, and Elder Shelton. Carried.

The 4th resolution was then taken up, and on motion of Mr. Copeland, was laid on the table.

Mr. Taylor, from the committee on drafting a petition for the repeal of the black laws, reported the petition framed.

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