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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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Mr. McDougall's motion was adopted.
Rev. T. M. D. Ward offered the following preamble and resolution.
Whereas, We regard the sin of intemperance a crying evil, a public calamity, a check to the religious, social, mental and financial advancement of the colored people of this State; therefore
Resolved, That we recommend to our people the concentration of every moral and intellectual effort for the complete removal of this crying evil from among us.
The resolution was sustained by the offerer in a forcible speech. He said, in offering it, he did not expect the support of gentlemen who were in the habit of washing down the cotton in their throats every morning with a cocktail, but they see daily too much evidence of the evils of intemperance not to act upon the matter in some way. We have met to propose plans for the improvement of our people, it is proper that we should give expression to our opinions upon the subject so important to us. Some of the ablest and most talented of our young men, possessing qualities and attainments that would render them capable of doing an incalculable amount of good for themselves and others--are the subjects of intemperance--their influence for good is lost. While this is the case we should speak out; we should unite all our efforts against this great evil.
The Chair, though a warm supporter of the proposition of Mr. Ward, considered it out of order, as the Convention had decided to keep out all extraneous matter, and upon that ground they had decided to act upon the school question. The temperance question is extraneous matter, and must be ruled out; but the Convention could appeal from his decision if they desired to, and he should not deem it discourteous to him if he was overruled.
Mr. Collins moved a suspension of the rules to consider the resolution. The motion was lost, and the Convention refused to suspend the rules by the following vote: Ayes, 20; nays, 17. Two-thirds being required to suspend, the Resolution was ruled out of order.
Mr. Gibbs offered the following, which was adopted:
No. 20. Resolved, That the Secretary of this Convention receive pledges from each member of this Convention, that they will use their best endeavors to raise from their constituents a specific portion of the $20,000 which, by vote of the Convention, is to constitute the Contingent Fund to be used for the carrying out the objects of this Convention, as follows:
We, the undersigned, do pledge ourselves to raise so much of the Contingent Fund as is set against our names.
Mr. Gibbs said in support of this Resolution: "The creation of this fund, will give assurance that we are in earnest; something may be left to the humanity and philanthropy of men, in presenting our cause to the public; but we must have money; it is one of the most essential aids in carrying out the objects in view, 'the sinews of war;' and we shall have occasion to use in various ways, all we can raise. When we return to our constituencies, let us not sit down upon the stool of do-nothing, but exert every effort to inform and influence those with whom we may come in contact, in public and in private; I am under the necessity of taking leave of the Convention.
"I congratulate you, gentlemen, upon your success in conducting the proceedings of the Convention; good order has been observed, good feelings have been exercised one towards the other. Bodies of men rarely meet and deliberate, without some confusion. Even in the halls of legislation at Washington, scenes of confusion and disorder are sometimes witnessed, among men who have reputations for refinement and learning. It was feared we could not meet and deliberate two or three days, in an orderly manner. In future, should we meet to counsel for our common good, may similar success attend our efforts."
Mr. Cornish indorsed the resolution, and expressed the pleasure he experienced at the good feeling and harmony that had characterized the proceedings of the Convention. The chair here requested Rev. Mr. Stokes to seat himself on an opposite side of the room, as while two preachers were seated together he never could keep order. The request was complied with, amidst much laughter.
Pledges were made by the following gentlemen, in behalf of the counties they represent.
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