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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 23.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

[23]

meeting read and approved. The Convention united in singing a liberty song. The business committee reported complete. The report was accepted.

J. N. Gloucester, chairman of the committee upon the condition of the colored people, announced that the committee were ready to report. The report was read, and, on motion, adopted. (See last Report.

R. Francis, having voted with the majority upon the address to the slaves, now moved a reconsideration of that vote.

Mr. Ray, of New York, rose and opposed the reconsideration of the vote, and gave his reasons, among others, that that subject had already occupied too much of the time of the Convention, and they had fixed upon the hour for the final adjournment of the Convention; that they had as much business before them as could be attended to in the interim, and if this subject should now come up again, it would consume all the time to the hour of adjournment; for himself, with many others who had not yet spoken upon the subject, and had intended not to, would feel called upon to express their views upon the subject.

Mr. Sumner, of Ohio, objected to reconsider the vote, on the ground that several persons having remained to the Convention longer than they had at first intended, expressly to vote upon that subject and see it finally disposed of, had left the Convention, and he feared, that fact being known, that advantage had been taken of it; and he was, for this reason, as well as for many others, opposed to reconsider the vote.

Mr. Banks, of Michigan, said, though having voted with the majority, he was, nevertheless opposed to reconsider the vote, for the same reasons, among others, as stated by Mr. Sumner. He thought that justice demanded that it should not be reconsidered.

Upon the question being taken, the vote was reconsidered.

Mr. Francis, of Rochester, then rose and advocated the adoption of the address, and stated, that since the adjournment he had changed his mind in respect to it, and should the question be taken, should change his vote.

Mr. Morris, of Rochester, said he had also changed his mind in respect to the merit of the address, and should also change his vote.

The President now evacuated the chair to one of the Vice Presidents, and took the floor to speak in opposition to the address. He said that he should probably want one hour to express his views upon the subject before us, whereupon the Convention suspended the rules to give him time. Mr. Beman took a moral view of the subject, and opposed it principally upon moral grounds. He said that he objected to it because it had too much of the physical, and not enough of the moral weapon about it. The remarks of Mr. Beman were of great force, and produced effect upon the audience.

Mr. Garnit rose and replied to Mr. Beman; he endeavored to meet the objections raised by the President.

Mr. Douglass spoke forcibly in opposition to the address.

Mr. Remond spoke upon the same side of the question.

Mr. Ray rose and proceeded to speak in opposition to the address, but owing to the lateness of the hour, and the time having nearly come to adjourn, he did not proceed to give his views.

Several voices were for taking the question. The President

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