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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored Citizens of the State of Illinois, held in the city of Alton, Nov. 13th, 14th and 15th, 1856.
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BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS
SECOND DAY'S PROCEEDINGS
Friday Morning, November 14th.
President Johnson in the Chair. Prayer by Rev. A. W. Jackson. Minutes of the previous Session read and approved.
The Committee on Declaration of Sentiment not being quite ready to report, Mr. L. Overton was called out, and made a capital speech. He was followed by A. W. Jackson, who gave the Convention a very able and interesting ADDRESS. Among other things said, "That it was now time for the colored peopIe themselves to make a united and earnest effort to repeal those laws that now linger among us, like the barbarous relics of other times, only to remind us that man is progressive in his nature." The Committee on the Declaration of Sentiment being ready, reported, through the Chairman, as follows:
DECLARATION OF SENTIMENT AND PLAN OF ACTION
Whereas, We the colored citizens of Illinois, in Convention assembled, feel ourselves deeply aggrieved by reasons of the cruel prejudice we are compelled to suffer in this our "native land," as dear to us as it is to white men--as the blood bought inheritance of our ancestors; but still more, by reason of those odious enactments that now disgrace the statute books of this State, resting upon the moral, political and intellectual growth of the colored people like an incubus, paralyzing our energies, and destroying whatever of manhood there remains within us; do here in a most solemn manner, pledging each one to the other, put forth this as our plan of action and declaration of sentiments, embodying the principles and purposes upon which we intend to act in the future; neither asking nor giving quarter, spurning all compromises, appealing directly to the wisdom, justice and magnanimity of the good and true of Illinois for the justness of our cause.
1st. Resolved, That all men are born free and equal, possessing certain inalienable rights, that can neither be conferred nor taken away; they were man's from the beginning, before he could comprehend them, eternal, indestructible, and locked up forever in the bosom of the great God from man's rapacious grasp.
2d. Resolved, That Governments should be subordinate to the wants and necessities of men in their civilized state; that they are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that when they transcend these bounds, so as to become destructive of these ends, it is the right and duty of the people to alter and abolish that government, instituting a new one upon such principles as will best secure to man the enjoyment of their just rights.
3d. Resolved, That the Constitution of the "United States," declares in its preamble that it was intended to establish justice, therefore oppose to injustice; to promote domestic tranquility, therefore opposed to domestic turmoil; to promote the general welfare, therefore opposed to the general misery, to secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and posterity, and not eternal Slavery.
4th. Resolved, That we claim to be citizens of Illinois to all intents and purposes, and are of right entitled to all the immunities of other citizens of the commonwealth; that we believe with the fathers of "Seventy Six," that taxation and representation should go together; that to tax us while we are not allowed to be represented, is but to enact, upon a grander scale, outrages that forced our Revolutionary Fathers to treat King George to a continental tea party in Boston Harbor.
5th. Resolved, That we intend to avail ourselves of that only constitutional guarantee now inviolate from the ruffianism of American Slavery, "right of petition;" besieging from year to year the Legislature of Illinois with the recital of our grievances, until we shall enjoy our full share in all those civil and political immunities resulting from the nature and character of all just civil government, or be ourselves removed from our warfare here to another, and, we trust, a happier existence.
6th. Resolved, That the thorough organization and united effort of the colored people is absolutely essential to the successful termination of the
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