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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].

1855CA.16.pdf

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received their quota--to be disposed of, and the proceeds put into the general fund.

No. 23. Resolved, That the Finance Committee be authorized to pay over to the Publishing Committee the sum of $100, towards publishing the proceedings as above, were presented by Mr. Townsend, and unanimously adopted.

Mr. E. R. Phelps, Chairman of the Committee appointed to report upon the propriety of establishing a printing press, read Committee's Report.

Your Committee, who were charged with the duty of reporting on the subject of a press, beg leave to say, that after giving the subject earnest consideration, they would earnestly recommend the establishing of a press, for the use and benefit of the colored people resident in California.

The time allotted your Committee was too short to admit of their obtaining the information necessary to enable them to arrange, and report, the details of a plan for carrying out this proposal. They would respectfully recommend the appointment of another Committee from this Convention, to ascertain the probable cost of a press, with its appurtenances, and the mode by which it can be sustained, and report the same to the State Central Committee, who might be charged with the responsibility, if practicable, of carrying the plan into operation. And to this end, the Committee shall be authorized to call meetings, and lay this subject before our people, in the various counties of the State, collect means, and adopt such plans as they may deem necessary for its success. Respectfully submitted.

E. R. Phelps, D. P. Stokes, W. Newby, } Committee

The report was adopted, and the Committee discharged.

Resolution 23, presented by Mr. Townsend, was adopted without discussion, as follows:

No. 23. Resolved, That the State Central Committee, be authorized to prepare and publish an address, to the citizens at large of this State, setting forth the true character and position of the colored people of California.*

Mr. Newby offered Resolution

No. 24. Resolved, That the thanks of this Convention be tendered William H. Yates, Esq., for the efficient, dignified, and impartial manner in which he has presided over its deliberations.

It was adopted by acclamation, and in responding to it, Mr. Yates remarked that he duly appreciated the high compliment conferred upon him by the members of the Convention, in thus expressing, in so emphatic a manner, their thanks. In presiding over their deliberations, he had sought to act fairly towards all, and if he had not done so, he exceedingly regretted it. One thing he desired to call their attention to, particularly as he had been spoken to by several gentlemen present upon the subject.

In the published report of the few remarks he offered on Tuesday, he was made to say--"while I acknowledge in form, appearance and education, the African cannot compete with the Caucasian race," &c. It should have been --"he is unable under existing circumstances to compete with the Caucasian race," &c. This is what he said and meant: "I do not admit that the African could not compete with any nation, if he is allowed the same opportunities. The colored people have much to contend against in the present age, but by pursuing a proper course could overcome much of it. It has been said that, in holding this Convention--in seeking to change white fellow-citizens--we are presumptuous. We ask for no social concessions or privileges, but say 'hands off,' and do not depress us; we only desire a removal of a special grievance. The granting of our petition will bless 'him that gives, and him that takes.' We believe the American heart in Northern or Southern men, is too noble and generous to turn a deaf ear to our request, couched as it is in manly and respectful terms. We are Americans; this is our country and our home; we


  • Editors Note: There are two resolutions numbered twenty three, but since the proceedings did not list all the resolutions in the order of their passage, it is therefore difficult to determine which No. 23 is actually the correct one. The original numbering has been retained.

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