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Minutes of the State Convention of the Colored Citizens of Ohio, Convened at Columbus, Jan. 15th, 16th, 17th and 18, 1851.

1851OH.13.pdf

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269

OHIO, 1851

Slavery, we do therefore adopt the following resolutions, as our firm and unflinching sentiment.

1. Resolved, That past experience has proven that conventions, have done much towards our improvement and elevation.

2. Resolved, That we are opposed to the American Colonization Society, because its object is the expatriation of 600,000 defenceless free colored persons, which is cruel and unjust, and our opposition is deepened, when we consider that the greater part of the Churches and professed Christians in this country, are with that society, and are like that unprincipled and wicked minister of Ahashueras,5 for neither their wealth, their literature, their successful experiment of self government, their world wide fame, nor even the atonement that was made on Calvary, avails them anything, so long as the Black Man has a place on the soil of America, to lay his head.

3. Resolved, That we look upon the recent fugitive slave enactment, as a hideous deformity in the garb of law; unconstitutional, opposed to the institutions of the free states, an outrage upon humanity, at war with the teachings of Christianity, and its place is first on the catalogue of disgraceful and abominable legislation, such as characterized the tyranny of Charles the 1st of England; and we would therefore urge upon the people, the necessity of its immediate and unconditional repeal.

Mr. C. A. Yancy offered the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:

Resolved, That the Convention return its thanks to the President for his faithful and impartial conduct while presiding over its deliberations.

Resolved, That the Convention return its thanks to the Trustees of this Chapel for the use of it during the sitting of the Convention.

Address

To the Constitutional Convention of the State of Ohio, now assembled

Gentlemen:

In behalf of the Colored Men of Ohio, the General Convention assembled, the undersigned have been appointed to present to you, a few things relating to the interest of the Colored Men of this State, and particularly in regard to amending the present Constitution, by striking out the word "white" in the fourth article, first section, thereby permitting colored men to exercise the Elective Franchise, with the same restrictions only, which are imposed upon you.

"HEAR US FOR OUR CAUSE."

Under an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, you are assembled to frame for the State of Ohio, her organic law. The United States Constitution, so says its preamble, was framed to support justice--therefore opposed to injustice, to promote domestic tranquility--therefore opposed to domestic turmoil; to promote the general welfare; and we need not tell you that the general welfare is not secured by "the greatest good to the greatest number, merely, but, in the language of the Hon. John Quincy Adams, by the greatest good to the whole." This is the professed end of all legislation; this is the real end of all righteous legislation; so much so, that is begins to be generally believed, that every law is, or ought to be, to use Mr. Webster's words, "a re-enactment of the law of God," or else, according to Mr. Seward,6 to say nothing of Fortesque,7 Coke,8 Blackstone, Noyes,9 Jenks and others, it is "null and void." "The reasonableness of law is the soul of law." "Statutes against fundamental morality are void." And a certain well known citizen of the United States, says-- "law finds its home and its definition nowhere but in the bonds of an universal brotherhood, the claims of equality or equity. the demands of inherent and inalienable rights, identical with the principles of democracy and the genius of the Christian religion."

We ask, gentlemen, is not this the principle of all just government? As far as we admire the framework of any government, is not our admiration pro-

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