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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.
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BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS
people of this State, most of which has been gathered by delegates to this Convention, a portion being attested by the County Auditors.
In returns from nineteen counties represented, we find the value of real estate and personal property belonging to colored persons in those counties, amounting to more than three millions of dollars. In thirteen of these counties we find a colored population of 13,213. In ten of these counties, we find twenty four schools reported as separate colored schools. In two counties of the nineteen, colored children attend schools with the whites.
Few statistics have been obtained, but we think the amount above specified, certainly demands at your hands some attention, so that while colored men bear cheerfully their part of the burdens of the State, they may have their part of the blessings.
What we have already presented, may perhaps, be deemed sufficient, but we beg leave to introduce here, an extract from a letter of the Secretary of State, Hon. Saml. Galloway, whose opportunity to know of what he affirmed, no one will question.14 He is speaking of the progress of the colored people of Ohio, during ten years past, he says, "Now, (1849,) they have many and well conducted schools--they have teachers of respectable intellectual and moral qualifications--there are many who command general respect and confidence for integrity and intelligence;--they call and conduct conventions and associations of various kinds, with order and intelligence;--questions of general and proper interest have become with them topics of discussion and conversation--in a few words, the intellectual and moral tone of their being is ameliorated." We ask what more could be said?
The only objection which we deem it necessary now to notice, and one often urged against us, is--"the colored man would not profitably use the elective franchise, if it were granted him." We reply by offering a letter upon this point, from an observing and distinguished man:
"Washington, May 16, 1850.
"Dear Sir:--Your letter of the 6th inst. has been received. I reply to it cheerfully and with pleasure.
"It is my deliberate opinion, founded upon careful observation, that the Right of Suffrage is exercised by no citizen of the State of New York, more conscienciously, or more sincerely, or with more beneficial results to society, then it is by the Electors of African descent. I sincerely hope that the franchise will before long be extended as it justly ought, to this race who of all others need it most.
"I am very respectfully, your obedient servant, William H. Seward."
We ask, Gentlemen, in conclusion, that you will place yourselves in our stead,--that you will candidly consider our claim, and as justice shall direct you, so to decide. In your hands, our destiny is placed. To you, therefore, we appeal. We look to you to
"TO GIVE US OUR RIGHTS--FOR WE ASK NOTHING MORE."
In Behalf of the State Convention,
We are Gentlemen,
Yours Very Respectfully,
William H. Day, Charles H. Langston, Charles A. Yancy.
Copy in the Harvard University Library.
1. Up till the eve of the war, Joseph Warren (1741-1775), American Revolutionary patriot and physician, played a prominent role in shaping public opinion in Massachusetts in support of the cause. While rallying the local
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