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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.


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OHIO, 1858

Christian character of the State. Others feared the resolution conveyed a covert attack upon religion. Rev. Wallace Shelton thought that if to love impartial justice and mercy was an attribute of a Christian State, then a state against which such charges as were made in the resolution could lie, was surely not a Christian State.

Several gentlemen arose to ask whether they had met to discuss theological or political subjects. The previous question was finally ordered, when resolution was adopted. On motion of J. H. Gurley, the eighth resolution was adopted. Ninth resolution read. John Brown moved to strike out the word two after the word prepare. Agreed to.

T. J. Goode moved to amend thus "that there be a committee of three" instead of the State Central Committee. Agreed to; and Thos. J. Goode, John I. Gaines and E. P. Walker were appointed that committee.

E. P. Walker offered the following:

Resolved, That Hayti sets the colored people of this country an example of proper independence; and that, that government is doing more for the upbuilding of the black race, than all other instrumentalities proposed or controlled by colored men.

Pending the discussion on this resolution, the Convention took a recess.

Afternoon Session.

Convention met--President in the Chair. Minutes read and approved.

Discussion on Mr. Walker's resolution was resumed. Messrs. J. D. Harris, T. J. Goode, and E. P. Walker participating. On motion, the resolution was indefinitely postponed. Messrs. Wm. H. Day and Wm. J. Watkins were, on motion of Mr. Wm. E. Ambush, invited to participate in the deliberations of the Convention. Pending the adoption of the preamble to resolutions, Mr. Wm. H. Day addressed the Convention, when he concluded, the preamble was adopted.

The Committee on permanent organization, reported a Constitution for a State Anti-Slavery Society, and accompanying resolutions. On motion of Chas. H. Langston, it was discussed by sections. On motion, so much of the preamble as declares "We do hereby agree to form ourselves into a State Anti-Slavery society," was adopted.

Articles 1, 2, 3, were then adopted. Article 4 was read, and pending its passage, the Convention took a recess.

Evening Session.

Convention--President in the Chair. Minutes read and approved. The 4th resolution of the Business Committee's report being the special order, several ineffectual attempts to postpone, lay on the table, etc., were made. Mr. J. H. Gurley exhorted the people to either emigrate or concentrate their strength at some point or points in the United States. Mr. John Booker was opposed to emigration singly or en masse. What we want is numbers. He believed the language of the resolution to be truthful. To establish a respectable footing elsewhere, would require energy, fortitude, self-sacrifice, and these qualities, if exercised here in a corresponding degree, would accomplish all we desired. Mr. J. D. Harris proposed to show that we had numbers on the continent, sufficient, if concentrated, to force freedom and respect from our oppressors. Mr. Fuller thought emigration, as a panacea for the ills that afflict us, was an unmitigated humbug. Mr. E. P. Walker, at some length and with considerable ability, proceeded to argue, that the Cotton, Sugar, and Coffee growing regions of the world, belonged to the colored race, and that the nation or nations which produced those articles, must necessarily control the commerce of the world. Here then, was the path opened by Providence for our elevation. Let us concentrate upon the West Indies, upon Central America, where by our superior intelligence and energy, we would wield a wide influence, and many years would not pass away before we would have the world at our feet.

Mr. Day had years before, standing on the same spot, opposed the scheme of emigration, and after having become an emigrant himself, he returned to still resist it. He knew that labor and self-sacrifice were required to make a home in a foreign land; and when our minds were made up to endure that amount of labor--make such sacrifices as were essential to founding a home elsewhere--then we would be prepared to achieve our rights at home, and the necessity for emigration would be removed. Resolution adopted. Adjourned.

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