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Scripto | Transcribe Page
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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The Convention then adjourned sine die.
JOHN JONES, President.
H. O. Wagoner, H. L. Barnes, A. H. Richardson, J. H. Barguet,} Secretaries.
The following were the resolutions adopted by the Convention:
I. Resolved, That we regard all schemes for colonizing the free colored people of the United States in Africa, or in any other foreign land, originating in whatever motive, as directly calculated to increase pro-slavery prejudice, to depress our moral energies, to unsettle all our plans for improvement, and finally to perpetuate the wicked and horrible system of slavery.
II. Resolved, That in opposing all attemps of African colonizationists or others to expatriate us from the land of our birth, we will adopt the language of the late National Convention of colored freemen, viz: "we will plant our trees in American soil, and repose in the shade thereof."
III. Resolved, That we are opposed to the call of a National Emigration Convention, as put forth by M. R. Delany and others, and discover in it a spirit of disunion which, if encouraged, will prove fatal to our hopes and aspirations as a people.
IV. Resolved, That the cruel and unnatural prejudice which exists against the colored people of the United States is not against color, but condition, and that we must change that condition, by using economy, amassing riches, educating our children, and being temperate.
V. Resolved, That the enactment known as the Illinois Slave Law, passed by the last session of the Legislature of the State, is in direct conflict with the Constitution of Illinois and of the United States, and at war with every principle of justice and equity, and repugnant to the principles of humanity.
VI. Resolved, That it is the duty of every Christian and philanthropist--of all lovers of freedom and free institutions, as well as of all who claim to be civilized, who may be in anywise involved in this sin, to free themselves from it without delay, by instructing their Legislators to vote for its repeal.
VII. Resolved, That we heartily approve of the most prominent acts of the late National Convention of colored men, held in Rochester, N.Y.,7 and especially the formation of the National and State Councils in the free States; and we hereby agree, so far as we are able, to carry out the provisions of said Councils.
VIII. Resolved, That in order to carry out successfully the provisions of the above resolution, we will hold an election throughout the State on the 15th of November next, for the election of twenty members to our State Council.
IX. Resolved, That the State Council, when organized, be authorized to act as a State Central Committee, and they are hereby empowered to issue calls for State Conventions annually, if they deem it proper or wise to do so.
X. Resolved, That we most especially recommend to our people throughout the State to become owners of land, to build houses, and cultivate the soil, as the surest means of making themselves and families independent and respectable.
XI. Resolved, That all State or Legislative enactments, which tend to obscure and fetter the intellectual progress of any portion of its citizens, are unwise and unjust, and fosters and encourages every species of vice and immorality which are prevalent among the uninformed.
Whereas, Wealth is desirable to any people, and certainly to none more than to the colored people of the United States; therefore,
XII. Resolved, That this Convention recommend to the colored people of the State of Illinois, as a practical means to gain wealth, that they form joint stock companies whenever it can be done advantageously.
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