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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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cast our lot in the fortunes of battle, to protect her against foreign invasion.
Resolved, That the laws of evidence in judicial investigation, should be accommodated to, and identified with, the laws of the human mind, and, therefore, every force and circumstance having a tendency to throw light upon the subject under investigation, should be heard and judged of according to their relative weight and value, and with reference to all the circumstances of credit or discredit connected with them.
Resolved, That past experience has abundantly shown, that all attempts to establish artificial standards of credibility, depending upon such tests as race, color, creed, or country, are as unwise as they are unjust; that they serve only on the one side to obstruct the investigation of truth, by the erection of useless barriers; and, on the other, to defraud the excluded classes, while, at the same time, they subject them in their lives, in their persons, and in their property, to outrage and injustice, with impunity, from the more favored classes.
Resolved, That the true and only tests of credibility in a witness, are his intelligence, integrity, and disinterestedness; and that, as a race, we are willing to be subject to these tests, to be applied in each case as it occurs, and that we ought not to be subject to any other.
Resolved, That to a class of people, the right of testimony is as valuable as the right of self-defence-a right which no generous foe will deny even to an enemy.
Resolved, That we recommend the creation of a contigent fund, to be controlled by a committee, having discretionary power, to enable them to carry forward any measures that have for their object amelioration of our condition.
Resolved, That a State Executive Committee be appointed by the Convention, with full powers to adopt such measures as may be deemed expedient to accomplish the objects in view.
Resolved, That the common law, and the common school, are the only hope of a free and enlightened people; the former their shield, and the latter, their guide; and no people can be prosperous and happy who are deprived of these inestimable rights of God to man.
Resolved, That the character, integrity, industry, and intelligence of the colored citizens of California, will compare favorably with that of any class of men in this State, and are deserving of better treatment from the authorities than that to which they are exposed, by the legalizing of the principle (as applied to them) that "might makes right."
Resolved, That we will memorialize the Legislature at its approaching session, for the repeal of so much of the 3d and 4th paragraphs of Section 394, of an Act passed April 29th, 1851, entitled An Act to regulate proceedings in civil cases in the Courts of Justice in this State," as relates to negroes; also, to repeal so much of Section 14, of an Act entitled An Act concerning crimes and punishments," passed April 16th, 1850, as relates to negroes and mulattoes, and which disqualifies negroes and mulattoes from being competent witnesses in the Courts of Justice in this State, in cases or proceedings to which white persons are parties.
The Report of the Business Committee was accepted on motion of Mr. Anderson.
Mr. Henry moved to adopt the Report in sections:
Mr. Ferguson suggested that the preamble should be in order: adopted after the resolutions.
Resolutions No. 1 being read again, and upon the motion of Mr. Newby, adopted.
Resolution No. 2 read, and on motion of Mr. Barbadoes, adopted.
Resolution No. 3 read, Mr. Robinson moved its adoption--carried,
Resolution No. 4 was read, pending a motion to adopt it Mr. Newby said:
"I am opposed to the language of this resolution, 'that we hail with delight its onward progress;' no man can expect me to do this; a country whose prosperity and wealth has been built upon our sweat and blood; to say we hail its progress with delight, is to make ourselves ridiculous; to tell this to America--to the world--is to volunteer the acknowledgement of a degree
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