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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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Current Saved Transcription [history]

The chair subsequently announced the following as a Committee on Publication--B. Sanderson, J. J. Moore, J. H. Townsend, G. W. Gordon, W. H. Newby.

It was moved by Mr. E. A. Booth, that a committee of three be appointed to prepare an address to the colored people of this State, upon the subjects of Agriculture and Mining, and the benefits to be derived from the same. This motion was amended, at the suggestion of Mr. Francis, who proposed five on the committee, and was adopted.

The Chair appointed the following gentlemen--Messrs. J. Francis, E. A. Booth, S. B. Hyer, E. D. Vincent, and J. Hubbard.

Mr. Henry presented a motion, that a committee of five be appointed to prepare an address to the white people of California.

Mr. Francis proposed to amend by striking out the word "white."

Mr. Phelps was opposed to the amendment, he said--"Why have we met in this Convention? To adopt measures to secure a redress of our grievances. It is to the whites who have passed the laws which oppress us. Why then should we not address ourselves to them? As we desire they especially should know our opinions and our wishes. Let this word be retained."

Mr. Detter--"A resolution has already been adopted, in which similar language is used in reference to appealing to the whites; and yet it is proposed to strike the word out of Mr. Henry's resolution, to be consistent the Convention should reconsider, and throw out a former resolution."

Mr. Anderson favored the amendment of Mr. Francis. He was generally opposed to the use of such words when speaking to the people, "Let us," said he, "claim to be men, neither more nor less, and when asking that justice be done us, as we contemplate asking at the hands of the people of California, let not the word white be retained in the convention."

Mr. E. Waters:--"It is essential to a good understanding of the matter, that, in an address to the public generally, we should retain this word; we want to appeal to the whites specially, to let them know we mean something definite. They have got the power; we know it--they know it; we appeal to them as whites, to use that power beneficently towards us; we must appeal to them as superiors.

The President announced that the hour of adjournment had arrived, and benediction having been pronounced, the Convention adjourned until afternoon.


Afternoon Session.

Met at 4 o'clock, President Hall in the Chair; prayer was offered by the Rev. Emory Waters.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.

The subject of Mr. Henry's motion to appoint a Committee to prepare an address to the white people of California, was taken up, with Mr. Francis' proposed amendment to strike out the word "white."

Mr. Henry thought it proper to designate the persons addressed.

Mr. Townsend proposed as an amendment to Mr. Francis' amendment, the following resolution:

Resolved, That the State Executive Committee, be authorized to prepare an address to the citizens at large of this State--setting forth the true character and position of the colored people of California.

Mr. Ferguson thought the resolution of Mr. Townsend could not be accepted, in order, as an amendment; but as a substitute, it could: he read from Jefferson's Manual, to illustrate.

Mr. Newby did not agree with Mr. Ferguson: he thought the language of Mr. Jefferson, upon the point speculative, indefinite and unsatisfactory.

Mr. Moore thought it better to retain the word white.

Mr. Townsend opposed its retention; we have met as a convention of colored men, and there will be, no doubt, in the public mind, as to whom we address. He hoped no more time would be consumed in discussing a word.

The vote was taken on the motion to adopt Mr. Francis amendment, and was lost.

Mr. Phelps moved the reference of the subject proposed in Mr. Henry's

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