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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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Mr. W. Howard Day moved that the subject be referred to a committee of three, to report at the evening session. Dr. C. Henry Langston, W. Howard Day, and J. Mercer Langston composed said committee.
28th resolution was read and adopted. In accordance therewith the following gentlemen were appointed Delegates to the next National Convention: Messrs. C. Henry Langston, W. Howard Day, John L. Watson, David Jenkins, Noah Nooks, Wallace Shelton, James S. Thompson, Thomas Brown, John M. Brown, J. Mercer Langston, James Poindexter, Charles M. Wilson, T. Jefferson Merritt, W. Hurst Burnham, Eli Moore, R. Hodge, John I. Gaines, John B. Lott, Mr. Bowles and George R. Williams.
14th, 15th and 16th resolutions were adopted. And W. H. Day, John L. Watson and David Jenkins were appointed a committee to raise funds, to fee lawyers for testing the validity of the School law.
On motion of Mr. Day, the minority report on the 6th resolution, was taken up and adopted.
Mr. J. Mercer Langston hoped the report of the minority would not be adopted. The gentleman in his private opinion is with us, but he is afraid to express himself. "But sir, if I have a private opinion I will speak it out. If you ask a white man whether you may associate with his daughter, or whether you may marry her, he will tell you, no! I want to separate myself from such a government. Gentlemen, if you go to Oberlin, there you will find a colored school, brought into existence on account of prejudice even there. Will any gentleman deny this?"
Mr. Day arose and said, "I deny it." Mr. L. asked for the proof. Mr. Day called on Mr. Thomas Brown, Vice President of the Convention, and one of the trustees of the school in question, and who had in his possession the original papers for founding the school. Mr. Brown arose, and was about to speak in denial of Mr. Langston's assertion, when Pres. Langston decided the whole matter out of order.
Mr. Watson of Cuyahoga said that the gentleman, (Mr. J. M. Langston,) had misrepresented him. He was not with him. He was opposed to colonization. He was unwilling that a single sentiment should emanate from him in favor the scheme.
Elder Shelton said that there never was a nation situated like ourselves. "We are free-born Americans, but are robbed of our rights by our American-born brethren. A portion of us have the elective franchise, and exercising that right in common with others, love the soil upon which we were born. I would say to gentlemen, stay where you are, and never think of leaving this land as long as one chain is to be heard clanking, or the cry of millions to be heard floating on every breeze." He felt that he but reiterated the sentiments that burned in every bosom present. "And when Hallelujah! Hallelujah! shall resound from every hill-top and vale, when the shouts of the ransomed shall be heard reverberating louder than the roar and din of conflicting elements, then gentlemen, I feel assured that you will never that you have remained in this country.
Mr. J. L. Watson of Cuyahoga, made some remarks, condemning in strong terms, the course of Messrs. Douglass and Delany in publishing what they call a report of the National Convention, but which in reality was only a synopsis furnished for the papers by the Secretaries. He condemned Mr. Malvin, the treasurer, for paying the money without the order of the Secretaries. He said it behooved us to correct men in high places as readily as them that are least among us, from the king on his throne down to the meanest peasant. It seemed Mr. Douglass had made Cleveland the only post office in Ohio, so far as distributing the (so called) report was concerned. [Roars of laughter.]
[At this point, Mr. Jenkins came in with much haste, and said he had just come from the Auditor's office. He was told that the colored people were taxed for the support of schools, whether there were any colored children in them or not. He said that he had just paid for the support of white children.
Mr. Poindexter said that we were before exempt from paying taxes for school purposes, but now we were not permitted to reap the benefit of the school fund. He said that Mr. Jenkins and himself had sought an interview with Mr. Blake, and he told them that the law that had taken the school off of them had been re-enacted, and the law as it now stands, takes money out of our pockets to school the other class--it would be better if the law had stood as it had been, for then, sir, we did stand some chance.]
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