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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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wait upon Mr. Yates, inform him of his election, and conduct him to the Chair.
Upon assuming the Chair, Mr. Yates thanked the delegates for the honor conferred on him, and said he would endeavor to discharge the duties of his office, faithfully and impartially. He trusted the proceedings throughout would be such as to reflect honor upon themselves and the country which gave them birth. "If," said he, "there are feelings of liberty within the breasts of those present, who but the Caucasian taught them to us? The soil on which first we drew the breath of life--our country--we love her, and though wronged by her, we delight to call her mother."
On motion of H. M. Collins, a Committee of five was appointed, to prepare rules for the government of this Convention.
The following gentlemen were appointed by the Chair:
J. H. Townsend,1 Dennis Carter, Albert Vaniel, Fielding Smithea, and Emory Waters.
On motion of J. H. Townsend, it was ordered that a Business Committee, to consist of one from each county, be appointed to report upon the order of business of the Convention, to be appointed by the Chair.
Committee.--William H. Newby, Chairman; John G. Wilson, Edward Phelps, Isaac Triplett, George Duvall, Alfred White, Fielding Smithea, Albert Vaniel, W. D. Moses, Jeremiah King.
On motion of H. M. Collins, a Committee of three was appointed on Finance, consisting of J. J. Moore, D. W. Ruggles, and Emory Waters.
By authority of vote, the Chair appointed John Butler and William Queen, to act as door-keepers to the Convention.
Mr. Townsend gave notice that he should offer a resolution for the appointment of a Committee to ascertain, as far as practicable, the actual number, amount of capital, taxes, occupation, and character of the colored people of the State of California.
At half past two o'clock, P.M., the Convention adjourned until four o'clock, P.M.
Afternoon Session--First Day.
Convention met at four o'clock, Albert Vaniel, Vice President, in the chair.
At the suggestion of the Rev. B. P. Stokes, the following article, from the Grass Valley Telegraph, was read by the Secretary, amid considerable applause:
"The following article from the Grass Valley Telegraph, presents a sensible, well written view of the subjects upon which it treats. We have had frequent occasion to notice the spirit of candor which pervades the columns of the Telegraph, and the general tone of liberality with which it is conducted.--Ed. San Francisco Evening Journal.
"'We perceive that the colored people of this State are to hold a Convention at Sacramento, on Tuesday, the 20th of the present month. The object of the Convention is to bring together a full delegation of people of color, from all parts of the State, in order that they may compare notes, communicate information as to the general condition of things among themselves, and if possible fix upon some common plan for the intellectual, moral and social improvement of their condition as a class in this State.
"'With the exception of a very small portion of the people of this State, composed in part of what are commonly known as 'dough-faces,' i.e., Northern men who seek to curry favor with Southerners, by advocating sentiments which are distasteful to intelligent Southern people themselves, and a very few ultra Southern men, whose opinions and influence among their own brethren are of quite as little importance as the ultra abolitionists of the North are among the Northern men; we say, with the exception of a very few people of such a description, the citizens of this State, both from the South and the North, are not only willing but desirous to see the condition of the colored people in our midst improved, by means of proper educational and social privileges, to the end that they may become intelligent, law-abiding and useful members of the community. Those timid gentlemen, and those timid editors, who are fearful that any word or movement on the part of either white or black to bring about such a result, will spread discord and
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