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State Convention of the Colored People of Louisiana, January 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th, 1865


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Invitations to attend the sessions of the Convention are tendered to Hon. Thomas J. Durant, (adopted with loud cheers.) Dr. P.B. Randolph admitted after a slight opposition), and Rev. Thomas W. Conway (wiout remark.) The name of Maj. B. Rush Plumley is presented by Mr. Barber. Mr. E. Chesse says that he feels it his duty to oppose Major P. being tendered a seat in the Convention, the Major having endorsed certain measures of Gen. Banks, detrimental to our race; moreover, Major P. being in political disaccord with Mr. Durant, it would be improper to invite them to meet under the present circumstances. The question being put to vote, the Convention does not invite Major Plumley.

Powr is then given the President of the Convention to invite such distinguished persons he may think proper. As soon as the resolution is adopted the President turns toward Mr. James Graham, who is among the audience, and invites him to take a seat among the members of the Convention. (Applause.) Mr. Graham returns his thanks in a very happy and appropriate manner.

At a quarter past four o'clock P.M., the Convention adjourns. Messrs. Dr. W. Rogers and L. Boguille are announced as speakers, at the School of Liberty, tonight.


Wednesday, January 11, 1865.

The Convention is called to order at half past eleven o'clock A.M. Prayer offered by Rev. R. McCarey. The roll being called, 65 delegates answer to their names.

New delegates are admitted, viz: M. Sturgis, Th. Lewis, J. Graves, Allen Cromwell, Clay, Alexander, Fields.

The minutes of last session's proceedings not being quite ready, their consideration is postponed up to 3 o'clock.

Mr. Winston moves a suspension of the rules until twelve o'clock., in order that the motions be entertained. Carried.

Messrs. B. Geddis and Dr. W. Rogers, as a committee to notify Hon. Thos. J. Durant of the invitation tendered to him by the Convention, report by presenting a letter from the gentleman, in which he states that he has seen with deep interest the efforts of the colored peopulation and particularly of this Convention, that he felt grieved that professional engagements have prevented his attendance, but he will attend the Convention as soon as possible and that he sympathizes with them in the important object they have in view. (Applause.)

On motion of Mr. Noble, Mr. Durant's letter is accepted, and will be inserted in the minutes.

The Convention proceeds to elect a vice-president from the parish of East Baton Rouge. The vote being taken, Mr. L. Thomas obtains 38 votes, Mr. L. Berhill 19, and Mr. L. Graham 4. Mr. Thomas is declared duly elected, and is conducted to the platform.

The following motions are offered and adopted:

1o. By Messrs. Logan and Davis: That a committee of nine have charge of preparing a petition to the Legislature. The committee will be appointed afterwards.

2o. By Messrs. Barrett and Logan: That a committee be appointed upon General Military Affairs, and to inquire why we are commanded and cannot command.--Carried.

Mr. R. C. Baylor having proposed that every political personalities be prohibited, an animated debate arises; the motion is laid on the table. In a personal explanation, Mr. Baylor points to the fact that he has been a slave up to the arrival of Gen. Butler; consequently his intentions could have been misunderstood.

The project is taken section by section.

The Convention takes up the proposed Constitution.

The preamble provides for the organization of the Leagues. The articles are substantially as follows: 1. The object of the League shall be for the promotion of moral development, education and industry. 2. There shall be an Executive Committee, which (as amended by Mr. Martinez) shall have the power to establish the necessary regulations for the fulfillment of the

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