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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the First State Convention of the Colored Citizens of the State of California. Held at Sacramento Nov. 20th 21st, and 22d, in the Colored Methodist Chuch [sic].
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the feelings of members would thus be secured in the choice of officers, and hard-feeling and complaint be preventing hereafter.
J. G. Wilson said, that according to parliamentary rules, on every question of this kind, the motion must be submitted in writing. Jefferson's Manual is my authority in this. The good sense of gentlemen will enable them to see that we must have rules and abide by them, or we can accomplish nothing.
Mr. Townsend said he thought there were some persons of common sense in the assembly; that the business before us can be got through with, without quibbling about parliamentary rules, or any other rules, except such as should govern gentlemen in their intercourse with each other. In saying this, he wished to give no offense to any one. He hoped the business before us would not be delayed by stickling for little points of order.
The vote was then taken on the original motion to appoint a Committee of five. It was not sustained.
The question on amendment that Committee consist of one from each county was put, and carried.
The chair appointed the following gentlemen:
H. M. Collins,
Alfred J. White,
W. D. Moses,
E. P. Duplex,
James R. Starkey,
The committee retired to deliberate and prepare their report. During their absence the meeting was addressed by Mr. Newby, of San Francisco.
He earnestly prayed that members of the Convention would demean themselves one toward the other with due charity and a spirit of conciliation. 'Tis no evidence of ability or talent for one who happens to be informed upon some points of etiquette in debate, to jump up and display that knowledge at the expense of the feelings of his fellow-members, who may not be so well informed as himself. A better evidence of good sense and good breeding will be found in manifesting charity, and listening patiently to the remarks of each other.
Rev. Mr. Moore, of San Francisco--I approve of the remarks of Mr. Newby, and hope they may have the weight they desire, and tend to keep down that spirit of contention and the disposition, to personal remarks so frequent in all bodies of this nature. If any one thinks himself aggrieved by the remarks of another, let him make allowances for the excitement of the time and occasion, and pass it by. The questions before us are of too much importance to be laid aside for any personal considerations of mine or yours, or any one of us. The subject upon which we are about to deliberate is one which interests all classes--interests both races; and I do sincerely trust that, keeping in view its great importance, we may put aside all less considerations--all party, all personal piques and preferences--giving ourselves up earnestly as men to its accomplishment. Do not let us disgrace ourselves--do not let those who deny us the possession of intellect and soul, have so great a triumph as to see us meeting thus for a noble purpose, and failing, because we cannot govern our passions. Let us rather prove to them that we have all the nerve and energy to complete, as well as the brain to plan a work of moral regeneration. We are Americans--colored Yankees--and we are as proud of the soil of America as they who boast loudest of their love.
Mr. Yates--I regretted that personal feelings were exhibited this morning, in the discussion of a certain question. Brethren, we must be firm, resolute, and above all, have no disunion or jealousy amongst us if we would carry on this work. I will say to this Convention in the language of a celebrated divine, who, in a prayer before the early Congress of the States, in the stormy days of the revolution, prayed for unity among the people, and that "while they were many as the waves, they might be one as the sea." We are to know but one purpose--act together for the attainment of one object.
While I acknowledge that in form, appearance and education the African cannot compete with the Caucasian race,* yet his sympathies are as warm, and his feelings as human. He can be grateful for kindness shown, and is as ready to forgive the injuries done him--he loves his country as dearly as they. I was raised and educated by the white man, and I thank the hand that
- The above sentence was corrected in a subsequent speech of Mr. Yates. [note In the original]
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