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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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Current Saved Transcription [history]

LOUISIANA, 1865 249

The benediction is offered by the Rev. W. A. Dove. At 3 o'clock P.M., the Convention adjourns. Among the new visitors admitted to seats to-day, were Mr. S. Seiler, of the German Gazette, Mr. Anthony Fernandez and Mr. E. Commagere.

On Friday evening, Messrs. Dr. Lewis, C. H. Hughes, Rev. A. McCarey, H. F. O'Connor of Baton Rouge, and Captain Barret will speak at Liberty School.


Friday, January 13, 1865.

The Convention is called to order at quarter past 11 o'clock A.M., Capt. J. H. Ingraham, in the chair. The audience is more numerous than it has previously been. Col. Hanks, in full uniform, has been present during the greater part of the proceedings. Hon Thos. J. Durant was among the visitors, and was received with applause, and all the delegates standing.

Prayer offered by the Rev. H. Reading, of Baton Rouge. Roll called; 52 delegates present. Minutes of yesterday's proceedings read, corrected and approved.

Several motions are offered, and laid over under the rules.

The first object is to consider the propriety of appointing a committee of seven to inquire, throughout the State, which churches have not contributed to the expenses for the Convention, and report the same to the Executive Committee.

Mr. A. E. Barber complains that freedmen have been deprived of their right to education. Rev. W. A. Dove says that the influence of ministers is very great; every minister of the Gospel has to favor every thing tending to the elevation of his race. We are now six millions of colored men; it is more than the white were, when they conquered their independence. If the elders or deacons of the churches do not concur in this move, let them be removed. He does not care for any particular religious denomination, provided that they are in cooperation with their fellow worshippers.

The committee will be appointed.

The Convention resolves to send copies of the minutes and the documents on file to the President Lincoln, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, the Senators and Representatives who are friendly to our cause. On motion, Maj. Gen. Butler and several other names are added on the list.

On motion of Messrs. A. E. Barber and J. F. Winston, a committee of five is appointed to nominate candidates for the Executive Committee. Messrs. Rev. R. McCarey, chairman, C. Martinez, E. Morphy, J. F. Winston and H. Vagner are appointed on said committee.

Mr. Curiel is called to the chair. The reports of the several committees are called for.

Mr. J. A. Craig reads the report of the committee to send a petition to the Legislature. The address is written in a clear and energetic language, setting forth the claims of the colored people to the right of suffrage. A report of the minority, protesting against the propriety of addressing the Legislature is presented and read.

Capt. J. H. Ingraham says that, according to the Louisiana Legislature, we are but chattels. The Convention of 1864 had the matter in hand, and would do nothing. The Legislature has no right by their Constitution to grant us a general suffrage. Congress alone has that power. We have been denied our demand by Gen. Shepley and Gen. Banks, and any new attempt will be useless.

Dr. J. W. Rogers says that, in his opinion, this petition was in accordance with the expressed wish of President Lincoln. It does not matter if the Legislature be called a bogus Legislature. If we are refused, we will find thousands of signatures to send our protest to Congress.

Capt. J. B. Noble reminds the Convention that the rights of the colored people had been reserved in the treaty of cession. He alluded to the change of the times. Formerly the colored men were not at liberty to meet as they have met to-day, in this Convention, without fear of mob or prison.

Capt. J. H. Ingraham cannot perceive the propriety of addressing the Legislature; the Constitution does not authorize the General Assembly to grant

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