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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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hope that love and unity may govern us in our actions. Why have we convened together? Because the law, relating to our testimony in the Courts of California, is but a shadow. It affords no protection to our families or property. I amy see the assassin plunge his dagger to the vitals of my neighbor, yet, in the eyes of the law, I see it not. I may overhear the robber or incendiary plotting the injury or the utter ruin of my fellow citizen, and yet, in the judgment of the law, I hear it not. The robbery may follow, the conflagration may do its work, and the author of the evil may go unpunished, because only a colored man saw the act or heard the plot.
"Under these circumstances who are really injured and losers by the law? It deprives colored men from testifying in cases where white persons are parties. Is it not evident that the white citizen is an equal sufferer with us? When will the people of this State learn that justice to the colored man is justice to themselves? Why, in the despotic lands of Europe the humblest servant may approach his sovereign, present the statement of his grievance, and rarely does he fail to obtain redress; but here, in this boasted land of liberty and equality, where the people are the sovereigns, the laws but express the popular sense of right; the judges interpret, and the courts enforce them. What redress have we from the legal tribunal? What protection from injustice have we? Even the ministers of the law are often compelled to stifle their convictions of right or wrong, and do violence to their sense of justice under this enactment. Mr. President, I do not believe this state of things can last; the people of this State cannot be interested in upholding and continuing an act which never has been and never can be made compatible with the safety and security of the lives and property of those whom, by a gross sophism, it assumes to benefit and protect. It is an act alike disgraceful to the intelligence of this State, and a foul blot upon the pages of her Statute Book. Friends, let us feel assured that a brighter day is opening, the public mind is awakening, let us continue to hope and work for this change, and may heaven crown our efforts with success."
Seven o'clock, the hour of adjournment having arrived, the President declared the convention adjourned to Wednesday, 10 o'clock, A.M.
J. B. Sanderson, F. J. Wosburgh, S. Howard,} Sec's
SECOND DAYS PROCEEDINGS
Morning Session.--Dec. 10th, 1856.
Convention met at 10 1/2 o'clock. President Hall called the Delegates to order. Proceedings were opened with the reading of the 15th chapter of Proverbs, and prayer by the Chaplain. Minutes of the previous meeting read and approved. Messrs. Lewis Mortimore, of El Dorado, and Charles Gibson, of Napa counties, presented their credentials, and were invited to take their seats as members.
B. B. Young said he desired to avail himself of the present opportunity to thank the Convention for the honor they had conferred in making him one of the Vice Presidents. He hoped that the action of the Convention would redound to the honor of its members, and the success of our cause.
Mr. Newby remarked, "I hope that Delegates will endeavor to be puntual in their attendance on the Sessions of the Convention, so that we may commence business according to the rules which have been adopted. If it is obligatory upon the President to adjourn at the hour named in those rules; it is equally obligatory upon him to open the Sessions at the hour specified therein."
Mr. Gordon moved that Mr. David Seals, of San Francisco, be invited to take a seat as a Delegate. Motion adopted.
Mr. George W. Booth moved that Mr. Lawrence, of Placerville, be invited to take a seat as a Delegate.
Mr. Newby objected; he said, "I hope this motion will not pass. The colored people of Placerville, whence Mr. Lawrence comes, have been guilty of great dereliction of duty. Placerville refused to send Delegates to this Convention, at least none have come from the people. They are said to have
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