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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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XIII. Resolved, That this Convention recommend to the colored people of the State of Illinois to form Lyceums in every locality of colored persons, for the discussion of important subjects; and that the Lyceums be kept in active operation from the 21st September to the 21st March of each year.

XIV. Resolved, That in order to promote union, and render our action more efficient, we organize the State by appointing committees of three, called auxiliary committees, for each county here represented, whose duty it shall be to collect all important facts and statistics concerning the colored people; and to transact any other business which they may deem proper and advisable.

XV. Resolved, That the State Council, when organized, shall forthwith appoint a State Commissioner, whose duty it shall be to carry out the provisions as recommended in the report on Agriculture.

Whereas, Taxation without representation is contrary to the genius and spirit of our republican institutions; and

Whereas, The colored people of the State of Illinois are taxed for the support of the Public Schools, and denied by the laws of the State the right of sending their children to said schools; therefore,

XVI. Resolved, That we regard it as a gross and flagrant violation of justice toward the colored citizens of Illinois, which calls loudly for reform, and this Convention do hereby recommend to the colored people and their white friends throughout the State to send in petitions to our Legislature, asking the repeal of said law.

XVII. Resolved, That in the opinion of this Convention, the gospel, when preached in its purity, is designed to correct all social evils, and to destroy sin in all its forms; and we regard it as the Christian duty of all ministers of the gospel to inculcate such principles in their teachings, that, with the blessing of God, they may awaken the moral sense of the people in relation to the great sin of SLAVERY, and of producing the speedy abolition of this great wrong; and we earnestly and affectionately urge upon our ministers throughout the State to treat this as all other sins of great magnitude, and to use the influence and power which their high position has given them to destroy the same.

XVIII. Resolved, That we regard all ministers who have it in their power to preach against slavery, and fail to do so, as our enemies; as likewise all ministers of the gospel who, in their preaching, fail to condemn and denounce, in positive terms, the great wrongs done the colored race in the United States.

XIX. Resolved, That we regard the right to testify in the courts of justice as one of the most sacred and inestimable rights of man, and to be deprived of this safeguard at once disables us from pursuing any honorable and profitable calling in competition with white men.

XX. Resolved, That to deprive us of this invaluable right, under any pretext whatever, is treating us with the most flagrant and cruel inustice.

XXI. Resolved, That the constitutional disablity under which the colored man labors in this State calls loudly for redress, and the code of Black Laws existing on our statutes is unjust to the colored citizen, insulting to humanity, and disgraceful to the State of Illinois.

XXII. Resolved, That these laws greatly retard the moral and mental improvement of the colored man, and are calculated to destroy in him that noble spirit of liberty which so justly belongs to all freemen.

XXIII. Resolved, That this age of reform is the auspicious moment for the lawmakers of Illinois, in the wisdom of their deliberations, to erase from their statutes all laws making distinctions among men on account of their color.

XXIV. Resolved, That this Convention do most earnestly recommend to the colored people of this State the propriety of getting an interest in the soil, whenever it is in their power to do so, and to cultivate and improve the same, believing that this step will be one of the most powerful means of our elevation in this country.

XXV. Resolved, That we recommend to the serious consideration of all parents and guardians in this State the thorough education of their children and wards, and also to put them to some useful trade, and thus fit them for useful members of society.

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