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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Colored National Convention, held in Franklin Hall, Sixth Street, Below Arch, Philadelphia, October 16th, 17th and 18th, 1855.
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Newport, R. I., October 15, 1855.
To the National Convention at Philadelphia:
RESPECTED BRETHERN - It was not my lot to receive an appointment to your Convention, as the people of Newport, R.I. in most other cases took no action thereon. Nevertheless, I deemed it proper to lay my views before you.
Some 25 or 26 years since, we formed the parent society In Philadelphia. Eighteen years since I was chosen one of the assessors of Philadelphia, to ascertain the number of the colored inhabitants, &c., &c., in the city. At both of these periods I stated my views of our best mode of action, which I shall now lay before your body, viz:—That your Convention recommend to our people to submit to a taxation of $1.00 per year, on all males of 21 years of age, (not excluding others that may see proper to pay it) or larger sums if preferred—that in every city or large village, where 200 colored persons are located, there be one assessor, or more if necessary, whose duty it shall be to assess the people and collect the money quarterly—that there be a committee of three in each city, &c., to whom he shall be amenable; and render his accounts quarterly, and they so do to the general Committee, who shall superintend the whole, and be located where your wisdom may direct. There would be little or no objection to such collections even in Slave States for educational purposes, when the persons were to be educated out of the State.There is no doubt in my mind that the sum of $100,000 could be collected annually, which would afford a handsome sum after the necessary expenses were met, which fund should be appropriated after the order of the Presbyterian Board of Education, the candidates being subject to an examination by your Committee; and when recommended to your board let them receive such aid as your laws shall direct.
Thus having the funds on hand assistance can be given when and where it is needed. As to schools or colleges, though I have passed my three score years and ten I am certain if the support and qualifications were present that I could find doors open in High Schools, Academies, Seminaries and Colleges, for five hundred young ladies and gentlemen of color, within the States of New England, New York and Pennsylvania.
Respected brethren, you will see that my plan is simple and comatable, and must recommend itself to your honorable notice. I have given no argument or direction, believing and knowing that your united wisdom will be sufficient for all such purposes.
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