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

1863KS.3.pdf

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Whereas, It has been charged by one of the journals of this city--which charge has been further confirmed and corroborated by statements and reports received here from soldiers serving in the ranks of the First regiment Kansas Colored volunteers--that certain officers have obtained money to a large amount from their men, either on pretext of depositing the same in bank for the men, or by borrowing in small amounts; the said money being wholly at the disposal of said officers, who are reported to have given no proof to the men of their holding the same; and

Whereas, We are not able to prove or disprove these rumors, but as they come to us with such force and directness, we are constrained, on behalf of our friends, patriotically serving their country in that regiment, to take some action on them; therefore

Resolved, That we, the colored men of the State of Kansas, do most respectfully call the attention of Major General Blunt to these charges, and ask of him such investigation as will either prove or disprove them, so that the public may be satisfied that no intentional wrong, at least, is done to the colored soldiers of his command. We appeal to Gen. Blunt in the full consciousness that he will do justice, for we have had generous proof of his desire to recognize the courage and soldierly capacity of those of our race who have the honor to serve under him.

Whereas, It appears that the First regiment Kansas colored volunteers have not yet been paid for the period during which they served prior to their final muster into the United States service, January 13th, 1863; and

Whereas; It appears that the Secretary of War caused the issuance of an order directing their payment; and

Whereas, It appears that the original muster-in-rolls of the regiment did not show, as we are informed it is necessary for them to do, in order to warrant the payment by a Paymaster, that any man was enlisted prior to the 13th of January, aforesaid; and

Whereas, It appears that it was a belief which existed in the minds of the officers who had direction of said muster, that the men would be paid, for the time prior to the muster aforesaid, on what are known as Quartermaster of laborers rolls, which caused this error; and

Whereas, It appears that the intention of the War Department was to do justice, and pay this regiment, as all others are paid, from date of enlistment; and as this purpose has been defeated by the cause before mentioned, therefore,

Resolved, That Major General Blunt be requested to lay the facts before the Secretary of War, and the Honorable James H. Lane and S. C. Pomeroy, United States Senators from this State, and the Representative Hon. A. C. Wilder, be respectfully asked to assist in the purpose sought, to the end that the Secretary of War may issue a special order allowing the muster and pay roll, following the order, to bear upon it the date of enlistment of the respective men in such shape as will enable the Paymaster to pay the men, so that justice may be done to those who are faithfully fighting for the nation; and it is further

Resolved, That this Convention cordially and heartily endorses the National policy of Freedom. That in this unnatural war it recognizes no place for the colored race but with the Government and nationality that has made its radiant banner the symbol of human rights; and that we unhesitatingly and earnestly call upon all of our race, who can, to take up arms and serve the cause, the nation, and the flag, which in despite of all hindrances is pressing surely and triumphantly forward to universal liberty, equality in rights for all, and recognition of merit as they only test of manhood; and we further

Resolve, That while we thus urge our brethren everywhere to seek over the red fields of war the shining paths of peace, yet recognizing as a truth the statement, that duties and rights, go hand in hand; that we shall not cease from our just demand upon the Government of the Union, that it remove the invidious barriers which now exist between the white and colored soldiers, and give to the latter as to the former, the same rights of pay and promotion, by which the nation recognizes the worth of the patriotic soldiers who fight its battles.

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