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Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored People and Their Friends; held in Troy, NY; on the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th of October, 1847

1847NY 5.pdf

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Alex. Crummell here obtained leave to read a series of resolutions which was connected with the report subsequently submitted by him. The resolutions were received, and laid over for further consideration, and the Convention adjourned to 2 o'clock, P. M.


Convention called to order by the President. Prayer by H. H. Garnet.

The minutes not being ready to read, Thos. Van Rensselaer, of N. Y., in a few brief remarks laid the subject of a Bank before the Convention, to be established for the benefit of the colored people.

The minutes of the Morning Session were now read, corrected and adopted.

J. McCune Smith, on behalf of the committee upon the Printing Press, made a report, which was accepted, and on motion to adopt it, Thos. Van Rensselaer spoke at length against the adoption of the report, expressing fears that the undertaking was too great to be carried into successful operation.

C. B. Ray advocated the adoption of the report. Stephen Myers opposed the measure, if it contemplated establishing a new paper, to the embarrassment of those now in existence, but was in favor of merging the "Ram's Horn" and "National Watchman" in one, to be the National paper.

Andrew Jackson of Kentucky warmly advocated the adoption of the report as an organ of the Colored Americans.

Peyton Harris of Buffalo spoke in favor of Press, &c.

George Wilson advocated the report, was in favor of a National Paper established upon a firm basis

Lewis Hayden doubted the propriety of establishing a National Press,—and wanted more light upon the subject before the report should be adopted.

H. H. Garnet advocated the adoption of the Report, and said, that the cause of freedom had so far advanced, that some method hitherto untried, needed to be resorted to He believed that the most successful means which can be used for the overthrow of Slavery and Caste in this country, would be found in an able and well-conducted Press, solely under the control of the people of color—He delieved most religiously in the doctrine of self-help. One of the poets had truly said,

"Hereditary bondmen, know ye not,

Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow?"

The establishment of a National Printing Press would send terror into the ranks of our enemies, and encourage all our friends, whose friendship is greater than their selfishness. He had listened carefully to argument, in opposition to the measure, and was surprised to see the greatest amount of it came from editors, who are, or are to be. Of course there was nothing of selfishness in all this. With or without the sanction of the Convention, a Press would be established, by the help of God.

Frederick Douglass was opposed to the adoption of the Report, was in favor

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