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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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A letter was then read from the Lynchburg church. The letter was received and laid on the table.
The President then called for a song, and the "Flag of the Free" was then sung, and received with much enthusiasm and frequently applauded.
On motion, a vote of thanks was tendered to the gentlemen who addressed the meeting.
On motion, a vote of thanks was tendered to the Lincoln Monument Association1 for the entertainment they had afforded them.
R. D. Beckley, President.
Wm. E. Walker, Secretary.
Morning Session, Friday, August 5th, 1865.
The Convention was to order at 10 o'clock by the President.
The session was opened with prayer by the Chaplain.
The roll was then called and the members severally answered to their names.
The minutes of the previous meetings were then read and approved.
On motion of Mr. J. M. Brown, Mr. Robert Robinson was elected an honorary member of the Convention. Messrs. Brown, Cook, Hobson, Parker and others opposed accepting any gentlemen as honorary members who were not in attendance. Objection overruled .
Mr. N. H. Anderson moved all honorary members be exempted from taxes. . Rev. J. M. Brown desired the motion withdrawn and gentlemen be left free to do as they please. Motion withdrawn.
On motion, Capt. Ferree, Wm. L. Ives and Dr. Pettijohn were then elected as honorary members of the Convention.
The Committee appointed to wait on Gen. Butler reported through Mr. Keeling, of Norfolk. He said they had waited upon the General, who said his engagements would not allow him to be present. He sent his best wishes to the Convention, and advised them to be prudent and cautious in their deliberations, as their proceedings would be looked upon with much interest all over the country; yet he assured them that the time was not far distant when they would be in possession of all their rights.
On motion, the report was received and the Committee discharged.
The President then suggested that Mr. Fields Cook be invited to address the Convention in place of General Butler--objected to, as the next thing in order was the unfinished business of yesterday.
Mr. Cook respectfully declined interfering with the regular order of business, especially as he could not fill the place of Gen. Butler.
The following letter was then read by the Secretary. The letter bears the post mark of Washington, D.C., and is directed to Fields Cook and others, of the Colored State Convention, Alexandria, Virginia:
Beware! beware! Fields Cook, you and other negroes will die before the autumn leaves fall upon the unavenged graves of the many Southerners who are buried through our land. You are never to be on an equality with the whites, though superior to many of them; but you, and many of you, will die soon if this Freedmen's Convention, &c., &c., continues, particularly here in Virginia! So beware! The South must and shall be avenged! The combined powers of Heaven and earth cannot prevent it. The black man, like the Indian, will, in a few years, pass from this land. Slavery, as it was called, was Virginia's only anchor. Beware! you are all doomed!
Mr. N. H. Anderson, of Richmond, Va., objected to the reception of the letter, while Mr. Hobson thought it of sufficient importance to claim the most solemn consideration of every one present.
Mr. Fields Cook then followed. He said that the letter had been addressed to him and others, that his life was of but little importance, but let him die where or when he might, so he died in the discharge of his duty, his work he hoped would be fulfilled. Such letters could not intimidate him. He should continue to go forward in the discharge of his duty, let the consequences be what they might.
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