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Proceedings of the California State Convention of the Colored Citizens, Held in Sacramento on the 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th of October, 1865.
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The President in the Chair, and a quorum of members present. Prayer by the Chaplain. Roll called. Minutes of last meeting read, corrected and approved.
Mr. R. H. Small introduced Mr. F. W. B. Grinnage, of Nevada, and moved that he be elected an honorary member of the Convention. Carried.
The unfinished business was then taken up. Mr. Moore continued the report of the Business Committee.
By privilege, Mr. Anderson introduced Rev. M. C. Briggs, and moved that he be invited to take a seat in the Convention. Carried, by acclamation.
Mr. Briggs thanked the Convention for the honor conferred on him, for such he considered it, to be associated with men who were striving for the attainment of such a noble object as the enfranchisement of their race.
Mr. James B. Jenkins, of Placerville, was introduced, and elected an honorary member. Mr. Jenkins stated that he was on his return to Baltimore, his former home, and was glad that he would be able to make a good report of the progress we are making in this State.
The Secretary announced that Mr. E. P. Duplex had kindly consented to assist him, and would make a summary report of the remarks and speeches.
The report of the Business Committee was continued, and the resolutions were amended and referred to appropriate Committees.
The Chairman of the Committee on Education made his report, which was read.
A motion by R. A. Hall that the report be adopted by sections was agreed to.
The Chairman of the Committee, in presenting the first resolution, sustained it in some very well-timed and appropriate remarks, urging the adoption of the resolution. It was obvious, he said, to every intelligent mind that we required greater educational advantages, the law at present only allowing schools where there are ten children, with discretionary power on the part of the Commissioners to establish schools for a lesser number. The law should be amended so as to give to every child the privileges of education. If they were not to have a separate school, let them be admitted to those already established. As a law-abiding and tax-paying class we are entitled to greater advantages in this respect than we now enjoy, and which it is unfair to deprive us of.
The first resolution was adopted.
The Chairman of the Committee, after reading the second resolution, stated that the Institute at San Jose, under the superintendence of Mr. P. W. Cassey, was in successful operation. The site, with the improvements thereon, could have been purchased two years ago for twenty-five hundred dollars, but that it was now worth four thousand. With the increased advantages possessed by San Jose the property will certainly still further advance in value in the course of a couple of years more. At present the Institute was but poorly sustained. The Principal was a gentleman of distinguished ability. According to the most reliable information, the entire colored population of California is 4,086. A tax of one dollar levied upon each person would purchase the Institute, and leave a surplus of eighty-six dollars in the treasury; and with the probable success of an application for endowment by the Legislature of 5,000, would place the Institute on a firm basis, and establish a school of a high order.
Mr. R. F. Shorter said he was one of the founders of the Institute. The land on which it is situated, embracing some four or five acres, could have been obtained at one time for fifteen hundred dollars. He also stated that he was well acquainted with the owner of the site, who resided in San Francisco. The location was well adapted for a high school. The Institute was first established by subscription, the teacher receiving fifty dollars per month for his services. After employing two teachers, the Institute had secured the eminent services of the present able and experienced incumbent, P. W. Cassey. W. A. Smith petitioned the Public School Commissioners for State assistance towards sustaining the Institute, and they responded by granting a subsidy of fifty dollars per month in furtherance of that laudable object, the resident children to derive the benefit thereof gratuitously.
Mr. R. A. Hall, who attended the Convention for specific purposes, thought the present was the culminating time. Education was the theme that
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