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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Liberty, and equality before the law. :Proceedings of the Convention of the Colored People of Va., held in the city of Alexandria, Aug. 2, 3, 4, 5, 1865.
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PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONVENTION OF THE COLORED PEOPLE OF VA.,
HELD IN THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA
AUG. 2, 3, 4, 5, 1865
COLORED STATE CONVENTION
Alexandria, Va., Aug. 2, 1865
Pursuant to a regular call of the Colored State Convention, a large representation met at Lyceum Hall, in the city of Alexandria, and at 10 o' clock A.M. The meeting was called to order by Mr. R. D. Beckley, of Alexandria, Va., and after some very appropriate remarks, on motion, Rev. C. W. Parker, of Alexandria, was appointed temporary Chairman, and Rev. Wm. E. Walker, of Petersburg, as Secretary.
Mr. Parker, on taking the chair, thanked the Convention for the honor conferred, and welcomed the delegates to the hospitalities of the city, and called upon Rev. Wm. Davis, of Norfolk, to open the proceedings with prayer, who, in a very felling and appropriate manner, addressed the throne of grace. After which was sung the patriotic hymn, "My Country, 'tis of thee."
The chairman then notified the Convention that the first business in order was the appointment of a Committee on Credentials.
On motion; the following gentlemen were appointed: N.H. Anderson, of Richmond; Wm. H. Kelly, of Norfolk; and R. D. Beckley, of Alexandria.
The committee having retired to examine the credentials of the delegates, the Convention was then addressed in a very able, eloquent and patriotic manner, by Mr. Geo. W. Cook, of Norfolk; Peter K. Jones, of Petersburg; and Rev. Nicholas Rickman, of Charlottesville.
By request, Mr. Geo. W. Cook, of Norfolk, addressed the meeting, and is the course of his remarks said:
The great question before the colored people is, what is necessary to be done? We very well understand that we must work. We are charged with being unproductive. They say we will not work. He who makes that assertion asserts an untruth. We have been working all our lives, not only supporting ourselves, but we have supported our masters, many of them in idleness.
Peter K. Jones, of Petersburg, was next called on, and said, among other things: It gives me inexpressible pleasure to be with you today. While listening to the gentleman who has just addressed you, I was reminded of my boyhood days. When I was seven or eight years of age I would often sit at the window by my mother, who has since gone to heaven, and would ask her why it was that so many colored mothers marching down South with little babies in their arms, and why many more were compelled to give up their children, leave them here, and themselves be sent down to Georgia and other extreme Southern States? And I often noticed that fathers, and brothers, and sisters were torn away from their relatives and sent further South into slavery and bondage. This was continued until within a few months past, when slavery and treason were swept from our beloved land. I suppose it is the object of those present to decide what they would have. We should ask God to perpetuate
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