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Minutes of the National Convention of Colored Citizens; Held at Buffalo; on the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th of August, 1843; for the purpose of considering their moral and political condition as American citizens.

1843NY 17.pdf

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referred the address to the slaves, came in and announced that they were ready to report. Frederic Douglass claimed the privilege of speaking to the resolution pending—the house voted that Mr. Douglass proceed:—he opposed the resolution, and stated that the constitution of this country was a slaveholding instrument, and as such denied all rights to the colored man. Others who opposed the resolution, said that its sentiments were self-evident—that nothing could be plainer, than that native free born men must be citizens, and that the converse of this was palbably absurd—it was for this reason that they were opposed to the resolution; it was too plain and self-evident, to be entertained by the Convention for a moment, and they were opposed to bringing it in, and now that it was before us, to entertain it for a moment. While this subject was pending, a motion was made that the report of the committee on the address (the report of the committee being in order), be the first thing in order to-morrow morning—the motion was lost—the committee then presented the address with some very slight alterations: they also reported the following resolution.

Resolved, That each member of this Convention who is friendly to the sentiments contained in this address, come forward and sign it in the name of the ever living God, and that measures be taken to print 1000 copies for circulation—The report was accepted.

A motion was made that to-morrow at 10 o'clock be the order of the day to collect reports and statistical information from the delegates upon the state and condition of our people.

A motion was made by Mr. Sumner of Cincinnati, that the further consideration of the address to the slaves, be laid over until to-morrow at 2 o'clock P. M. Mr. Wright of New York, proposed an amendment—to fix the time at 9 o'clock A. M., instead of 2 P. M.—While this motion was pending, the hour for adjournment having come, the Convention adjourned to meet as per the rules.

Friday, August 18th, 1843.

Morning Session.—The Convention met according to adjournment. The president in the chair—prayer by the Rev. Mr. Malvin, of Cleveland, O.—The roll of the Convention was then called, and the minutes of the previous meeting read and approved. C. L. Remond moved a reconsideration of the vote by which the minutes had been approved—the motion did not prevail.

C. B. Ray moved, that one of the assistant secretaries having left the city, and the other being detained on business, that two persons be appointed to fill their places protempore—whereupon Messrs. W. P. McIntire and W. H. Yancy were on motion appointed.

The address to the slaves, with the resolution attached, being under consideration at the hour of adjournment, now being the order of the day, was called up, and Mr. Sharpe, of Rochester, obtained the floor to speak in opposition to it. The subject was further discussed on the same side by Mr. W. Watson of Cincinnati, and by Mr. Malvin of Cleveland, O. The president then announced that the order of the day had arrived, it being to hear reports and to collect statistics upon the condition of our people.


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