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Proceedings of the First Convention of the Colored Citizens of the State of Illinois, Convened at the City of Chicago, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 6th, 7th and 8th, 1853.


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Current Saved Transcription [history]

negative; after which Byrd Parker moved an amendment, which was adopted.

The third was adopted without discussion.

On motion of Wm. Johnson, the chairman of the Business Committee read letters from the following gentlemen: Hon. Horace Mann, of Ohio, William H. Seward, of New York, C. M. Clay, of Kentucky, Lewis Tappan, Gerrit Smith, David Paul Brown and Chas. Durkee. These letters all breathing a humane and Christian spirit, and setting forth the course we should pursue under existing circumstances.

R. J. Robinson then took the stand, and addressed the Convention in relation to the condition of the Agricultural portion of our people in the southern section of the State.

Five o'clock having arrived, the Convention adjourned.

Evening Session.

Met at 7 o'clock. President in the chair. Prayer by Rev. Byrd Parker; music by the choir. Roll called. Proceedings of the previous sessions were read, corrected and adopted; after which A. H. Richardson being called for, came forward and addressed the Convention. Music by the choir.

Byrd Parker was then called for; he came forward and addressed the Convention in a very amusing and effective manner. At the conclusion of his remarks, music by the choir.

A letter from the Hon. Horace Greeley5 was then read by the chairman of the Business Committee. It was a cheering letter. The chairman himself said after reading it that he could not leave the stand without making a few remarks, which were happily expressed and well received.

J. H. Barguet was then called for. He took the stand and made a most eloquent and convincing speech, which was well received; at the conclusion of which, music by the choir.

Byrd Parker then made a few laughable remarks in regard to taking up a collection. The plate was then passed, while the choir sang; amount raised, $26.40.

William Johnson then took the stand and made a short speech, in which he alluded to Frederick Douglass' failure to arrive as had been expected, and sympathized with the immense crowd which had assembled to hear Mr. Douglass.

Mr. Codding was then called for. He came forward, though reluctantly, as he said; but, notwithstanding, he made a few convincing remarks, founding them upon the Christian injunction of duty to God and love to man; after which music by the choir.

The Convention then adjourned.

Morning Session, Friday, Oct. 7th.

Met at 9 o'clock. President in the chair. Prayer by the Rev. R. H. Cain.

On motion of Byrd Parker, the Convention then took a recess of half an hour to receive Frederick Douglass, who had just arrived.

At this moment Mr. Douglass made his appearance in the hall, after which Byrd Parker, in behalf of the Convention, then welcomed Mr. Douglass in a brief though eloquent speech.

The "colored man eloquent" then took the stand, and made a few happy and appropriate remarks, which were enthusiastically received by the Convention.

The Secretary then read the proceedings of the previous afternoon and evening sessions, which were corrected and adopted.

On motion of William Johnson, Frederick Douglass was admitted as honorary member of the Convention.

Mr. J. Davis then came into the hall, presented his credentials, and enrolled his name as a member of the Convention from McLean county.

A number of resolutions on Colonization were then presented, the first of which was read and adopted.

The second and third were also read, and laid over for afternoon session.

William Johnson, Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, then read his report, which was received, and after a few remarks by R. J. Robinson, it was adopted.

Twelve o'clock having arrived, the Convention adjourned.

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