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Proceedings of a Convention of the Colored Men of Ohio, Held in the City of Cincinnati, on the 23d, 24th, 25th and 26th days of November, 1858.

1858OH.3.pdf

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334

BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS

Resolved (7), That a State which taxes a portion without allowing them a representation, excludes them from offices of honor and trust, refuses them an impartial trial by Jury, refuses an equal education to their youth, disparages their patriotism by refusing to enroll them in her militia, allows them to be hunted through her cities, confined in her jails, and dragged thence to hopeless slavery, consigns their lunatics and paupers to the common jail, forfeit her claim to be called Christian or Republican.

Resolved (8), That in the vigorous and unceasing exercise of the rights of petition, we recognize a potent instrument of elevation, and we recommend the people of every city and school district to petition the Legislature to repeal all such laws, and to take the proper steps to expunge from the Constitution all traces of distinction on account of color.

Resolved (9), That a committee of three be appointed to prepare a petition for general circulation.

On motion the first resolution was taken up. Mr. Gaines desired gentlemen who thought that the American government has power to abolish Slavery, show in what part of the Constitution that power is granted.

Peter H. Clark explained, that the term government in the resolution, meant to apply to the people of the United States, who having the supreme power, can if they wish, alter or abolish all laws or constitutions, that stand between the slave and his freedom. Other gentlemen thought, that if there was power given in the Constitution to enforce its objects as set forth in the preamble, then was there sufficient power granted to abolish Slavery. Mr. A. Redman moved to table the resolution. Lost. The resolution was then adopted.

The second and third resolutions were specially ordered for the evening session.

Miss F. E. Watkins2 was requested to take part in the Convention.

Wm. D. Goff and David Jenkins, were appointed to invite reporters for the press, to attend the sessions of the Convention.

Recess till 7 P.M.

Evening Session.

President in the chair. Minutes read, corrected and approved.

Mr. D. Jenkins, saw in the decline of the Democratic party, and rise of the Republican, omens of hope for the colored people.

Mr. John M. Langston said, "The Democratic party had always been the abettors of Slavery; it was now declining, for the people were opposed to Slavery, an willing to trample the fugitive act under foot, as they had recently done and willing at Wellington.3

So fond are the Democrats of Slavery, that they had legislated off the statute book of the State, all laws against kidnapping. He hated the Democratic party because it was pro-slavery. He exhorted his friends to oppose by every means in their power, that party. The people were killing it every where, through the North, and he was glad to know it. His motto was, "the' Democratic party must be destroyed."

Peter H. Clark did not consider his rights any safer with Republicans than with Democrats. He believed Slavery would be more secure with the Republicans than with Democrats. The Republicans were aiming to become national, and were therefore conservative.

William J. Watkins, believed that the Democratic party was the great foe to the colored man; the Republicans of New York had done something for tne colored man, and he verily believed, would do more. The great aim in the late contest, was to kill the Democratic party, and they had done that.

The second and third resolutions were adopted when the Convention adjourned.

Wednesday, Nov. 24th.

Convention met. President in the chair. Prayer by Rev. Wallace Shelton. Minutes read and approved.

Fourth resolution read, and on motion of E. P. Walker, made the special order of the evening session. Fifth resolution read, and on motion of David Jenkins, adopted. Sixth resolution read, and on motion of R. G. Ball, adopted. Seventh resolution read. Considerable discussion was had upon this resolution. A portion of the members did not feel justified in denying the

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