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

1865LA.9.pdf

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250

BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS

the suffrage, except to educated men. The whites and the blacks are separately and unequally taxed for the schools. If we are not citizens, why make soldiers of us? That Legislature has been only elected by the whites. It is not before them, but before the world, that we have to lay our claims.

(Applause. )

Capt. J. B. Noble and Mr. A. E. Barber are of opinion that, by sending a memorial to the Legislature, we only recognize the de facto government.

Mr. H. Grimes finds that civil law is now moving in a very narrow circle. Had the men who had the power of dragging us through the streets, and of impressing us into the army, be willing of granting to the colored the right of suffrage, what could have prevented them to do so? The Convention of 1864 emanated from the military power, and could freely grant us our right. The black man, born on this land, is better entitled to citizenship than the white emigrant, who is received with open arms. If this petition is to be treated as our soldiers have been, as we ourselves have been, then, gentlemen, you have better never send that memorial.

(Applause.)

Rev. W. A. Dove do not see yet any good reason not to send the petition to the Legislature. It is true that we will meet there political enemies, but it is so in all the States. Congress itself is a Congress of white men, acting for white men. But, the sending of this memorial is the first step to take, in this matter, and it is proper that we take it at the start.

Capt. J. H. Ingraham speaks for the third time, by consent of the Convention. He denies that the Legislature be the proper authority to be addressed.That body has treated with contempt every bill which was in favor of us. If we have blood in our veins, we will not seek to be once more rebuked. But, in the language of Patrick Henry, we will say, "give me liberty, or give me death.

(Loud applause; the proceedings are suspended for a few minutes.)

After some remarks, full of feeling, by Dr. A. W. Lewis and Rev. J. Allen, the roll is called, which resulted as follows: 22 ayes, and 51 nays. The official record of the vote will be found in our french leading article.The result of the vote appeared to give general satisfaction.

The report of the committee on grievances is taken up. A letter written by Messrs. R. H. Isabelle and J. F. Winston, addressed to the General Commanding the Division of West Mississippi, is read, exposing the ill of the black and complaining of the militia regulations.

Messrs. H. Grimes and L. Thomas add new facts to the indignities previously mentioned.

All the communications are referred to the Committee on Grievances, and the Executive Committee is empowered to have them printed.

The Convention proceeds to elect the Executive Committee. The following gentlemen are duly elected: L. Banks, President, by 41 votes; J. P. Winston, Vice-President, by 35; Chas. Aubert, Treasurer, by [illegible]; Capt. E. Morphy, Corresponding Secretary, by 38; Rev. R. McCarey, Recording Secretary, by [illegible]; R. C. Baylor, Sargent-at-arms, by [illegible]; Capt. J. H. Ingraham, Superintendent of the Bureau of Industry by the unanimous vote of 63 delegates; and O. S. Dunn,l First Assistant, by 32 votes. The other members of the Executive Committee will be elected during the next session.

Rev. J. Allen gives the benediction.

At quarter past five o'clock P.M., the Convention adjourns.

THE STATE CONVENTION

Saturday, January 14, 1865.

The Convention is called to order at half-past eleven o'clock; Capt. J. H. Ingraham in the chair. Prayer offered by Rev. George Steptoe. Roll called; 55 delegates answer to their names. Capt. Conway, Col. Hanks, Major Plumley, Mr. W. R. Harmount and other distinguished visitors were present.

Messrs. J. B. Noble, J. F. Winston and P. Hill ask for a suspension of the rules, in order to offer a motion to reconsider the vote on the memorial to the Legislature. After a debate during which Messrs. H. Berryman, J.B. Noble, Rev. R. McCarey and J. A. Craig are heard on one side of the question, and Messrs. Dr. R. I. Cromwell and Rev. J. Allen on the other side, the suspension of the rules does not obtain a two-thirds vote, as required by

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