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Proceedings of the Colored Convention of the State of Kansas, Held at Leavenworth, October 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th, 1863


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In our peculiar position, it will not suffice that we are as good as other people. We must be better. We must be on the average more industrious, sober, and truthful, to the end, that by challenging comparison we may confound our enemies, and place potent arguments in the hands of our friends.

"Knowledge is power." Therefore we must get education for ourselves and the children. Each one of us ought to consider the character and elevation of the colored people of Kansas as in his own keeping, and labor with that view. Let each of us, as far as in us lies, endeavor to leaven the mass with new ideas and noble aspirations. Let each one, in his locality, be an example unto others, for precept without example is vain mockery.

Gentlemen, in conclusion, allow me to say that I heartily concur with the gentlemen who called this Convention, and anticipate much good from its deliberations. Again, thanking you for the honor conferred on me, I now enter on the discharge of the duties confided to my care.

On motion, the President appointed as a Committee on Credentials Morris, Twine and Burnham, who, after a brief absence, reported the following gentlemen as duly accredited Delegates:

Atchison Conty.--Wodson N. Twine, W. N. Johnson.

Wyandotte.--Edward Menser, Lilburn Drake.

Lynn.--John Montgomery, Chesley Jones, Charles Clark.

Leavenworth.--Robert Calwell, Burrell Atchison, John H. Morris, [. . .] Wm. Henderson, Samuel Watkins, Wm. H. Burnham, Thomas Newton, Wm. Henderson, Berry Craig, John Turner, J. W. Scott, and Wm. D. Mathews.

Miami.--John Lewis and Rev. Mr. Reed.

Shawnee.--Wm. G. Brooks, Benjamin Barney.

On motion, the President appointed the following Committees:

On Business--W. H. Burnham, John Montgomery, John H. Morris, Wodson N. Twine and Charles Clark.

On Finance--W. N. Johnson, Burrel Atchison, and Wm. Henderson.

On Number and Condition of the Colored people of Kansas--Wodson N. Twine, E. C. Menser, Benjamin Barney, John Lewis and Thos. Newton.

The Business Committee reported the following resolutions, which were adopted:

Whereas, Virtue is the road to happiness, and tends to the elevation of an oppressed people; therefor

Resolved, That the Convention urge our people to be sober, honest and chaste.

Resolved, That whereas, "knowledge is power," we recommend our people to seek education for themselves and children, and that they insist upon their educational rights everywhere in Kansas.

Resolved, That whereas, in this money getting age and nation, wealth is necessary to the elevation of a people, we recommend our people to be industrious and economical; and whereas, agriculture is the surest and most honorable road to independence, we recommend them to seek the country and agricultural pursuits, rather than towns and menial occupations.

Resolved, That we are utterly opposed to all schemes of colonization out of the United States, in whatever guise they may present themselves, considering them as visionary and impracticable; the offspring of hate, prejudice and injustice, ignoring the rights of the minority.

Whereas, The deprivation of the right of suffrage is a grievance hard to be borne, and is a reproach to the State of Kansas, whose history pledges her to freedom; therefore

Resolved, That a Committee of three be appointed to memorialize the next Legislature, to take the initiatory steps towards amending the Constitution, by striking out the word "white" in Article IX.

Resolved, That a Committee of three be appointed to write an address to the people of Kansas, in vindication of our right to the elective franchise.

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