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

1865LA.7.pdf

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248 BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS

members will be admitted to join; no person shall be a member of more than one League at a time.

Mr. J. A. Craig insisted upon the liberty that must be left to join such local League as he may like best. Captain J. A. Noble remarked that it was proper that each citizen be entitled to only one vote. Captain W. B. Barrett said that there should not be such distinctions as district lines between us. We all have only one and the same sentiment. The resolutions, as adopted, cover the whole ground.

The duty of taxing the members of the several Leagues, is left to the Executive Committee.

Next in order is the proposition of Dr. R. W. Rogers and Chas. E. Logan. to appoint a committee to draft a petition to the Commanding General, asking that certain classes of colored persons be admitted in the City Railroad Cars.

Capt. W. B. Barrett says that there is one class of colored men, already admitted in the cars; the soldiers. But we want something more; we want that no distinction be made between citizens and soldiers. We must claim the right of riding for everyone of us, and claim it unconditionally. We must take this matter in hand as free citizens in general; we will never [illegible] before. (Applause.)

Mr. Sam. Delane. explains that Gen. Banks has written to the Railroad Company to ask how they understood the case. The answer not being satisfactory, Gen. Banks wrote another letter, saying that he saw no cause to establish any distinction whatever. Upon which the company hastened to concede the right of riding to the colored men bearing Uncle Sam's clothes.

Capt. W. B. Barrett rose again, and said that it behooves Louisiana, --who raised the first colored troops, and had the first Port Hudson [illegible]-- to step forward on this important occasion.

Vice President A. E. Barber being called to the chair, Capt. James H. Ingraham takes the floor. He revises the decisions of judge Bell, the black soldiers, and of judge Kinsman, who decided that the com power to exclude every one they choose. We must ask our rights as men. The commanding General is a friend of justice. Let us ask the admission of every one of us, and I am confident we will not address him in vain. Let us take a bold and general position, as the only manner consistent with our dignity. (Applause.)

Dr. S. W. Rogers explains that he wished only to bring the matter before the Convention. He was glad to have succeeded in raising this approved of the sentiments that had been expressed.

Mr. J. Graves says that the rights of colored men are the rights of the white; consequently, we cannot ask for less than the white enjoy. Be it a shame that a colored soldier be received in the cars, and his mother be expelled.

Mr. L. Thomas feels to be a Representative of the whole African Race. He stands here for the black man as well as for the light colored one. He wants a general measure, and is not in favor of confing the petition to some particular classes.

Dr. R. I. Cromwell makes some very judicious remarks on the difference between "citizens of the United States" (as we are recognized by Attorney General Bates), and "citizens of Louisiana" (that we are not according to the laws now in force.)

After this free exchange of remarks, the Convention resolves that the petition, will embrace "all the citizens of the United States."

The rules being suspended, Messrs. J. B. Noble and J. Curiel ask for the committee to inquire into the legacies of the late Mr. McDonough, i the colored population. The donations made to the City, the State, obtained Orphans (white), have been paid long ago. The colored institurions have not obtained their due.

The Convention adopt the motion; the committee will report to the Executive Board, and be empowered to employ an Attorney. Members of the Committee; Messrs. J. B. Noble, president, J. Curiel, C. Martinez, L. Banks and L. Bouguille.

The Treasurer, Dr. A. W. Lewis, submit the account of receipts and expenses. The report is received.

The Convention endorse the Declaration of Rights and Wrongs, adopted at Syracuse.

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