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Proceedings and Address of the Coloured Citizens of N.J. Convened at Trenton, August 21st and 22d, 1849 for the Purpose of Taking the Initiatory Measures for Obtaining the Right of Suffrage in this Our Native State.

1849NJ_3.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

longer than ten minutes at a time, except persons appointed to address the meeting.

10th. This convention shall assemble at 9 o'clock, A.M., and remain in session till 12, noon. Afternoon session from 2 to 5 o'clock.

On motion, J. S. Rock, G. Lewis, R. Thomas, I. Locke, and S. Harrison, were appointed a committee to prepare business for the Convention; when the house adjourned till 2 o'clock, P.M.

Afternoon Session.

The Convention met according to adjournment. In the absence of the business committee, Mr. Van Rensselaer offered a resolution, which after discussion, was laid on the table.

On return of the business committee, they offered the following resolutions, which, after a few amendments, were discussed and adopted, viz.:

1st. Resolved, that the house, with the special assistance of the Chair, proceed immediately to the settlement of all necessary preliminaries, preparatory to the consideration of the grand object, to which the whole attention of the house will be called.

2d. Resolved, that the grand object to which the whole attention of the house is called, is that of the best mode of endeavoring to obtain the right of franchise for coloured persons in the State of New Jersey.

3d. Resolved, that the best mode of obtaining the right of franchise is by petitioning the State Legislature through the people.

4th. Resolved, that we be careful to obtain the signatures of white citizens separately and apart from those of the coloured citizens.

Here the Convention adjourned till 9 o'clock, A.M. August 22d, 1849.

Nine o'clock, A.M., August 22d, 1849, the house convened according to adjournment, and the business committee resumed.

5th. Resolved, that one hundred and fifty copies of a Petition be published, and distributed in numbers of not less than five nor more than ten copies to each County in this State.

6th. Resolved, that the delegates from Camden, Gloucester, and Salem Counties, shall receive the quota of copies for all the Counties of this State lying south of the Counties of Monmouth and Burlington; and the delegates shall be responsible for the proper distribution of the same therein.

7th. Resolved, that the delegates north of the Counties of Camden and Atlantic, in this State, shall receive the quota of copies belonging thereto; and they, the delegates, shall be responsible for the proper distribution of the same therein.

8th. Resolved, that the copies of Petition shall, with the signatures thereon, be returnable to Trenton during the first week of the session of the Legislature, so as to be passed up to that honourable body as soon as possible after the commencement of the next session thereof.

9th. Resolved, that we call upon every delegate here assembled, and also upon every well disposed citizen of this State and elsewhere, to aid the cause to the utmost of their abilities, by exerting themselves for the purpose obtaining as many signers as may be possible to the following form of Petition, to send in to our State Legislature at its next session.

FORM OF PETITION

To the Honourable, the Senate and House Assembly

of the State of New Jersey, at Trenton assembled

We, the undersigned, citizens of the State of New Jersey, hereby respectfully petition your Honourable body to take the lawful measures to so amend the Constitution as to leave out the word "white" in Article 2d, Right of Suffrage, Section 1st, of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, so as to grant the Right of Franchise to all citizens thereof, irrespective of colour.

Here the business committee concluded; and Mr. Van Rensselaer's resolution was called up, and adopted, as follows:

Resolved, that it is the purpose of the members of this Convention never to cease petitioning the Legislature of this State until our prayer for rights is granted.

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