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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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treated the authority of the last Convention with neglect, and practiced bad faith towards the Executive. I do not say Mr. Lawrence has done this personally, neither would I be guilty of discourtesy towards him. But this Convention should have more self-respect than to receive a Delegate from the Placervillians until the matter charged upon them is satisfactorily explained. The colored people have sent us here to act for them; it is an earnest work in which we are engaged."
Mr. Booth explained; he said, "my idea in proposing Mr. Lawrence was this: that gentleman is in possession of facts respecting the action of the people of Placerville; admit him as a member, and you afford him an opportunity of stating those facts."
Mr. Townsend hoped the question would be taken, and the matter disposed of one way or the other. He thought we were losing valuable time upon a point of slight consequence.
Mr. Ferguson said, "let us have no informality in our action. I have ever noticed, that in public assemblies, haste and informality generally result in failure, and that formality is the basis of success. The gentleman from Placerville once admitted, you will have established a bad precedent. You will have cast off that form and dignity of action, which, as a Convention, gives you influence and importance with the people."
Mr. Newby said, "it is better to be just ourselves, and at the same time to the people of Placerville. Society makes laws to punish offences, to prevent crime, or its repetition. Society assumes and exercises this right as necessary from the nature of things. The colored people have delegated us to act for them to a certain extent, for specific purposes; in working out these purposes, these results, the details must be followed and enforced. Here is a case, for which, as well too for ourselves, we are in some sort compelled to make a law. We claim the right to enforce a moral necessity, and to denounce those who, having acknowledged the Convention, and their interest in the success of its action, yet utterly disregard the obligations to the Convention which they had voluntarily assumed. It may be right to be courteous, and most certainly I feel no bitterness, my words are spoken
More in sorrow than in anger.
The people of Placerville are guilty of something; a wrong has already been committed; I consider that she has been arraigned, and until purged of that wrong, she is not entitled to the same courtesies with other counties; courtesies which we yield to others as their unquestioned right, as we claim them for ourselves while acting in good faith. The question of courtesy is not involved in this proceeding. Placerville holds the relation to this Convention of a person charged with an offence; he is not yet judged; but the onus probandi; the burden of proof rests upon him. From these circumstances can you treat her Delegates as you do those from the other counties? No! Some of your best men, members of your Executive Committee, visited Placerville to settle certain business agreeably to the action of the last Convention; that they were not successful, let Placerville bear the blame; for my own part, I hold that she has treated us most shamefully, most disgracefully."
Mr. Francis thought that we were pre-judging the case; no specific charge has been made; until this is done, we cannot decide upon the facts; we want information.
Mr. C. M. Wilson said, "I hope the gentleman who made the motion under discussion will withdraw it until the facts are ascertained; let us not be in too great haste; if the people of Placerville have acted wrongfully, let us know the facts."
Mr. N. Henry said, 'the gentleman from Placerville is a stranger to me, and I can have no prejudice against him; I would go for letting him come in at once, but it is said there is wrong, there is trouble among our people at Placerville; at present, there are no definite charges. If it had been said that this gentleman was implicated in the wrong, I should be against his admission; but if he had not a participation therein, then let us receive him."
Mr. Emory Waters said, "are there not Delegates from El Dorado county in the Convention? If you have already received Delegates from that county, it seems to me you should let those from Placerville come in; I think it will be inconsistent to refuse them; if they have troubles, let them settle them
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