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Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored Men, Held in the City of Columbus, Ohio, Jan. 16th, 17th, and 18th, 1856.


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OHIO, 1856


From members of Convention. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $24.75

"Ladies A.M.E. Church. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.00

Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $29.75


For Hall rent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $15.00

Expense of Central Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.75

Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $21.75

Balance $8,00, which was paid to the Committee of Publication.

The following letters were received and ordered to be published:

Peterboro' Dec. 27, 1855

D. Jenkins, L. D. Taylor, J. Watson, J. Malvin, W. A. Scott, J. Booker, W. H. Day--

State Central Committee.

Gentlemen:--I thank you for inviting me to attend your State Convention. I wish I could attend it; but such is the state of my business, that I cannot.

I suppose the object of your Convention is to promote the welfare of the whoIe colored population of this country.·

For many years I have well nigh despaired of the peaceful, bloodless abolition of American Slavery. Two things are lacking to secure such abolition. 1st. Entire honesty on the part of the abolitionists. 2d. Self respect on the part of the free colored people.

It is dishonesty in the abolitionists to admit that there can be law for the enslavement of the American blacks--for they would admit no possibility of law for the enslavement of the American whites.

It is most painful and pitiable self-degradation, on the part of the free colored people, to admit that there is, either inside or outside of the Constitution, law--real, obligatory law--for the enslavement of their race. They betray their destitution of true self-respect when they vote for men who make such an admission, or when they unite with churches that make it, or patronize free schools or school teachers that make it.

Hoping that the proceedings of your Convention may be earnest, manly and wise.

I remain,

Your friend, Gerrit Smith.

Hall of Reps. U.S. Dec. 26, 1855

Gentlemen:--I have received your kind invitation to attend the Convention of Colored men On the 16th January.

It would give me pleasure to comply with your request; but you are aware of the importance of the questions now pressed upon the consideration of Congress. Of course it would be improper for me to leave my seat in this body until the election of Speaker and disposal of some of the important questions before us.

I however feel a deep interest in the action of your Convention. There can be no doubt among intelligent men, that knowledge is power. The more our colored friends increase their intelligence, elevate their moral being, the greater influence they will exert, and the sooner will they be admitted to all the privileges which the whites possess.

I know of no absurdity in morals or in politics more palpable than that of making the complexion of a man the criterion of their moral or political worth. While our colored friends should be constant in their demand for a respectful consideration of their claims to the rights and privileges to

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