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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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Brethren in Convention assembled at Alton:

It is with sorrow that I have to inform you that I cannot be with you at the Convention. But let me assure you that there is nothing that would give me more pleasure than that of meeting your Convention; which has for its purpose the raising of us as God’s creatures to the level of men politically. May God’s all-wise spirit direct you in your deliberations. My opinion is that the best means to be employed for securing the objects for which we are now laboring is to appoint a State canvasser; and one in every county and school district if necessary. I for one will do my utmost to accomplish the desired end. I would say that we in Will County are all right as regards the subject. Let us, brethren, have a union of action, and victory will crown our efforts.

Yours truly in the cause of Freedom,


JOLIET, November 13, 1856.

At the conclusion of the reading of Mr. Hill’s letter, the convention adjourned until Saturday morning at 9 o’clock. MORNING SESSION.

SATURDAY--Vice President Mason in the Chair. Prayer by the Rev. R. J. Robinson. The proceedings of the previous session read and adopted. Wm. Johnson, Secretary of the “School Fund Association,” made his report as follows:

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention:

Your Secretary begs leave to report that his location being so far North, and the Agent and Treasurer being at the extreme South part of the State, it has been impossible for them to conduct the business of the Association, as it should have been done, and as directed by the Convention of 1853. But having examined the Books and papers of the Treasurer and Agent, find them, in my opinion, correct, and would recommend their adoption.

On examining their report I find the amount received in cash to be $852.00, the amount paid out $819.50, leaving a balance on hand of $32.50.

Your Secretary would beg leave to report further. That in his judgment the present plan has proved a fallacy, and would recommend to the Convention a suspension of operations until founded on a more perminent [sic], and at the same time practicable basis. We do not believe that schools can be sustained if they are to depend upon donations and subscriptions only, without a sinking fund from which we can derive an interest.

According to the present arrangement, we have used all the money collected, and find ourselves deficient in means to carry on the enterprise. We know that schools are very much needed but we cannot have them without means to sustain them. We cannot get Agents without pay, nor can we get men who are engaged in other occupations, to devote their whole time to the enterprise. Hence a liberal salary will have to be paid to some one who will attend to it. But for such there has been no definite arrangement yet made, all of which we deem necessary to the success of the enterprise; all of which we most respectfully submit to your consideration.


The Report of the Secretary was received, and the whole referred to a committee of three, consisting of Messrs. Jones, King and Richardson. They reported that after a careful examination of the books and papers of the Treasurer and Traveling Agent of the “School Fund Association,” found them correct, and would recommend the adoption of the Secretary’s Report, which was agreed to.

Mr. H. Ford Douglass then reported the following Constitution and By-Laws for the State Repeal Association, which was received and adopted.

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