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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Second Annual Convention of the Colored Citizens of the State of California, Held in the City of Sacramento, Dec. 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th, 1856.
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For CHAPLAIN--Rev. J.J. Moore ...San Fran
For Door Keepers ..Mitchell S. Haynes, . . . . . . Sacramento --
" C. B. Bass, . . . . . . . . . . San Fran.
The Report was accepted.
On motion of Mr. Francis, a committee was appointed to wait upon the President, and conduct him to the chair; Messrs. Jacob, Francis, and Newport F. Henry, were by the chair appointed. The President, on being conducted to the chair, was received with applause-he addressed the convention as follows:
Gentlemen:--In electing me to preside over your deliberations, in this, the Second Convention of the Colored People of the State of California, you have conferred an honor, to which I did not dare aspire. I see around me gentlemen, who, by reason of their superior wisdom, and more extended experience of public assemblies, I deem far better qualified to discharge the duties of the position you have assigned me; for your partiality in singling me out for this honor, I beg you to accept my thanks. I shall endeavor, to the amount of my ability, to fulfill your expectations; to preside with impartiality and efficiency, assured that I may depend upon your good judgment to sustain me; young and inexperienced, I may make mistakes-have patience with me, for they will be faults of the head, not of the heart.
It is only with such feelings and such hopes I dare accept this honor. Gentlemen, the occasion which has brought us together is one of great importance. The object we seek, equal testimony in the courts of this State, is deserving of our most earnest effort; the eyes of the public are upon us, expectation is rife, our friends here and in the older States are looking with anxiety for the results of our action; as Nelson said when, about to engage at Trafalgar, "England expects every man to do his duty." expect our constituents of us. We are not without many enemies who would rejoice to see confusion and division in our midst, but let us enter upon our deliberations in a spirit of kindness and conciliation. If there ever was a people among whom union was necessary; union of purpose, of spirit, and action for the sake of success, then is it necessary to us. So peculiar are the circumstances and conditions amid which we live in our native country; of those conditions I need not speak in detail; experience has made us familiar with them. Gentlemen, for my own part, my hopes of my people in the future are strong; stronger to-day for what I see around me; I have not words to express my emotion; this scene, this occasion, I shall remember all my life with pleasure and gratitude. Since the convention of 1855, events have transpired indicating a slow, but sure and probable change in public sentiment in regard to our character as a people; the increase of intelligence, of wealth, of moral excellence, and as a consequence the development of those qualities which give dignity to men, and command for them the respect of their fellows, must inevitably secure the same results to us.
Gentlemen, our work is before us; we are fortunate in having a chart to guide us in the convention of last year; allow me to repeat, that I shall trust to your kindness and intelligence to aid me in the discharge of my duties in preserving order and in prosecuting wise and efficient action; may God speed the day when, as a people, we shall be truly free and equal.
After the applause which followed the President's speech had subsided, the chaplain, Rev. J. J. Moore was introduced, and addressed the convention as follows:
Gentlemen--I thank you for the honor conferred upon me by appointing me your chaplain. It is very gratifying to me to know, that in the beginning we acknowledged our obligations to, and our dependence upon our Creator and Heavenly Father; this is well. We are engaged in a good work, no less than that of our moral, political, and intellectual improvement. He that holds the lives of men in his keeping; that bringeth fear and trembling upon their hearts because of their evil doing. He can give us the victory over all opposition; in our labors prosecuting a righteous cause, nothing on earth can prevent our ultimate triumph. His attributes are pledged for our success, and if God is for us, who can be against us to prevent? Our claims upon our white fellow citizens have been neglected; our true character and general interests have been grossly misrepresented; but the darkness is passing and
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