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Proceedings of the State Convention of the Colored Men of the State of Ohio, Held in the City of Columbus, January 21st, 22d and 23d, 1857.

1857OH.1.pdf

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PROCEEDINGS OF THE STATE CONVENTION OF COLORED MEN OF THE

STATE OF OHIO, HELD IN THE CITY OF COLUMBUS,

JANUARY 21st, 22d & 23d, 1857

PREFACE

At the call of the Executive State Committee· the Convention assembled in the City Hall, Wednesday morning, January 21st, at 9 o'clock, and continued three consecutive days and evenings, and adjourned on Friday night at 101/2 o'clock, sine die, with three cheers for liberty and the progress of liberal sentiment in Ohio. Its objects were to foster morals, discourage an ignorant ministry, encourage education, temperance, industry and economy among the colored people, and to seek the repeal of all laws which make distinction on account of color, by refusing colored persons admission into the public institutions of the State for the insane, blind, deaf and dumb, and especially to have the obnoxious feature in the Constitution erased which prevents colored men from the right of an election. So noble a purpose ought to have enlisted the sympathy and active co-operation of the colored people in the whole State, but such I regret was not the fact, and instead of forty or fifty delegates we should have had five hundred deputies, resolute and. firm, but not fanatical, but determined, though defeated every day in the year: to use all lawful means in their power to secure the immunities of an American citizen. But those who were present represented, in a fair proportion, the respectability, and I know the intelligence of the people. I was glad to see the interest taken in the meeting by the people of Columbus, especially the colored people. The weather was very cold, and the hall where the session was held was cold, but the ladies, God bless them! cheered us with their smiles, and wishes and approbation, and for which I thank them, not for myself alone, but for the millions with whom I am identified in suffering and wrong.

Among those who were conspicuous in Convention, were Peter H. Clark, of Hamilton, now assistant editor of "Frederick Douglass' Paper;" John Mercer Langston, a young. and talented member of the Lorain bar; John Jones, a graduate of Oberlin College, and a promising young man; J. I. Gaines, a boat-store keeper of Cincinnati; Dr. Charles H. Langston, a teacher of a grammar school at Columbus; Thomas Goode, an enterprising mechanic of Cincinnati; Mr. David Jenkins, Mr. John Booker, Mr. Jno. Malvin, Mr. W. H. Burnham, and Mr. John Watson, of Lorain county. A great work is before these gentlemen. Not the making of a President, a Governor, or a member of the Supreme Bench, to redeem from ridicule and contempt the religion, civilization and republicanism of America. Now, because a man is black, it is no reason why he should not kneel at the same altar, dine at the same table, be educated in the same school, and be buried, if he desires it, in the same graveyard, by the side of his anglo-American brother: and he who denies him the right, is either a heathen or a tyrant. But we are told that colored men are ignorant, and this is assigned as a reason why they should not vote. Are we any more ignorant than the thousands of foreigners who annually flood the

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