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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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Mr. John Jones then moved that the President now appoint the “State Central Committee,” which motion prevailed. The President announced the Committee as follows:
A. W. Jackson, Morgan County; A. H. Richardson, Jo Daviess County; R. J. Robinson, Madison County; Augustus Hill, Will County; R. H. Rollins, Cook County; John Jones, Cook County; B. L. Ford, Cook County; J. F. Platt, Cook County; Thos. Mason, Peoria County.
H. D. King, moved that the Convention request the Treasurer, Secretary, and Traveling Agent of the School Fund Association to report to the Convention as early as Saturday morning. Carried.
The President announced that the hour of adjournment had arrived, and that the Convention would stand adjourned until 7 o’clock P.M.
Convention met at 7 o’clock. Quite a full attendance of the citizens of Alton. President Johnson in the Chair. Minutes of the afternoon Session read and approved.
The special order of the evening was announced to be the Preamble laid over at the morning Session.
John Jones moved that the rules restricting members to ten minutes be suspended for the evening, that each be allowed twenty-five minutes, and that each member also be allowed the largest latitude in the discussion of this subject. We, the Committee on Revision, think that members did greatly improve upon the suggestion of friend Jones, for the disputants seemed to acknowledge no geographical bounds. Our friend Overton’s fruitful imagination was not long in wandering back to creation’s dawn, in order to prove the beneficency of compromises. Our good friend Robinson, also took a short journey to Egypt, in order to review the administration of one Pharaoh, the oppressor of the Israelites, in order to show that if Moses had spurned all compromises, as we propose to do, the Israelites would have been in bondage yet. Friends Jones, Johnson, King, Douglass, and Jackson, understanding how fragile their little barks were, did not dare venture far out upon the open sea of discussion, but prudently [9-10] kept near the shore. The debate continued to rage with great fury until a late hour, when it was agreed to take the vote on striking out “Neither asking nor giving quarter, spurning all compromises.” John Jones demanded the yeas and nays. The vote stood as follows:
Yeas.--Messrs. Mason, Kelly, Overton, J. H. Johnson, Magee, Robinson, Jackson. 7.
Nays.–Messrs. Jones, William Johnson, Douglass, Isbell, Barnes, White, King. 7.
Absent, or not voting.--Messrs. Wilkerson, Richardson and Samuels.
So the motion to strike out failing to have a majority was defeated.
The Preamble was then adopted.
Mr. H. Ford Douglass then read the following interesting and eloquent letter from Mr. H.O. Wagoner, of Chicago, which was received, and ordered to be printed with the proceedings of the Convention.
To the Convention of Colored Citizens of Illinois, to be holden at Alton on the 13th, 14th, and 15th November, 1856.
Brethren.--Being one of you, and feeling a deep and abiding interest in the cause for which you have assembled, I therefore trust you will pardon me for thus addressing you.
You meet together for mutual and friendly consultation, and for devising ways and means, which may, through the blessing of God, tend to our mutual improvement and elevation, by adopting a united and well directed organized effort for the Repeal of the “Black Laws” of the State.
Though absent in the material body, yet, I trust I shall be, though silently, with you in mind and spirit. And in the spirit of meekness, I admonish you, first to guard well against all jealousies, sectional feelings and prejudices, strife and disorder,–and remember that “Heaven’s first law is order”--harmony. If order, harmony and brotherly feeling prevail throughout your deliberations, I shall, as one of your constituents, have a well-grounded hope of your success. I deem these cautions expedient at any time,
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