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Minutes of the State Convention of the Colored Citizens of Ohio, Convened at Columbus, January 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th, 1850.
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Declaration of Sentiments
Whereas, we the free colored people of the State Of Ohio, are cursed by the blighting influence of oppression in this professedly free State, to which many of us have fled for refuge and protection; and whereas, the history of the political world, well as the history of nations, clearly shows, that "who would be free, himself must strike the blow;" and whereas, both the old and new worlds are shaken throughout their length and breadth, by the uprising of oppressed millions who are erecting firm foundations and stupendous platforms, on which they may unitedly battle for that liberty which God has benignedly given to all his creatures, and which will be wrested from them
Resolved, That we adopt the following as our Declaration of sentiments, as to State and National policy, and in harmony with these we will ever fight, until our rights are regained. It is our purpose,
I. To sternly resist, by all the means which the God of Nations has placed in our power, every form of oppression or proscription attempted to be imposed upon us, in consequence of our condition or color.
II. To acknowledge no enactment honored with the name of law, as binding upon us, the object of which is in any way to curtail the natural rights of man.
III. To give our earnest attention to the universal education of our people.
IV. To sustain the cause of Temperance in our midst, and advocate the formation of societies for its promotion.
V. To leave what are called menial occupations, and aspire to mechanical, agricultural, and professional pursuits.
VI. To respect and love that, as the religion of Jesus Christ, and that alone, which in its practical bearings, is not excitement merely, but· that which loves God, loves humanity, and thereby preaches deliverance to the captive, the opening of the prison-doors to them that are bound, and teaches us to do unto others as we would have them to do to us.
Resolved, 1. That all persons present during the Session of this convention, be hereby requested to participate in the discussion of the questions which may come before the convention.
Resolved, 2. That it is the duty of every colored man, to do everything in his power, to secure to himself and brethren, their political rights.
Resolved, 3. That we re-affirm the great and unalterable doctrine, promulgated by the State convention of last winter, that we are men, and as such are entitled to all the privileges and immunities granted to other men, and that we will fight and fight ever until these privileges are granted to us.
Resolved, 4. That we hail the signs of the times, as clearly indicating the downfall of that monstrosity, and sum of all villainies, American Slavery [amended as follows, by Dr. C. H. Langston.]
Resolved, That the signs of the times indicate, that slaveholders and their abettors, are determined at all hazards, to perpetuate forever, that monstrosity, "the sum of all villainies," American Slavery; regardless of the cries of their outraged victims or the agitations of christians and philanthropists.
Whereas, our 3,000,000 brethren and sisters are yet in bonds; and Whereas, in the Free States the colored man is only nominally free; and Whereas, the elevation of the colored man must depend mainly upon himself; Therefore--
Resolved,5, That, for the sake of united effort in this respect, the business committee would recommend the formation of a State society for these ends alone, and the appointment, immediately, of a special committee, to draft for it a Constitution.
Whereas, the Elective Franchise is a right of inestimable value, and a liberty that the citizens of all well regulated governments should enjoy and cherish: and Whereas, it is of highest importance that everyone should be
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