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Proceedings of the State Convention of the colored citizens of Tennessee, held in Nashville, Feb. 22d, 23d, 24th & 25th, 1871.


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and ironing, and youngsters, such as are out of school, are quite too idle, doing little of nothing. Wages among common laborers range from a dollar and a half to two dollars per day, as a regular thing; back drivers make from $35.00 to $40.00 per week.

As to the amounts realized by laborers and farmers, the past year it has been very poor. A number of farmers have told us that they had labored all the year without realizing a cent, all of which we would most respectfully submit. Hoping that the God of providence may be with you, and that he may guide you by his unerring counsel in your deliberations, and that your Convention may prove a success.

Rev. Blackmon Williamson, Gilbert Algee, E. A. Anderson, Africa Boiley, Wm. Phillips, Morris Henderson, Benjamin Bullit, Malary Brooks, T. Stroteer, Committee.


Whereas, In the county of Rutherford there have been desparadoes and disguised parties who have committed great crimes upon some of the people: they have put to death several to our knowledge, namely, Lewis Ready and Fred Tucker.


The Committee on Contracts submitted the following report which the Convention adopted.


Your Committee on Contracts and Agreements beg leave to submit the following.

We find that farming labor as a general thing, has proved a failure to the laborer throughout the State, principally on account of the employer not meeting or complying with their contracts which they have made with their colored laborers, and partly on account of the employers refusing to pay their laborers after the crops are made. The colored people living in remote parts of the State, being destitute of the means necessary for their support and protection, are compelled to accept such terms as the employers propose, and therefore the wages received by the laborers will not sustain them, and school their children, even if they were to receive every dollar promised them .

We are sorry to report that the State officials are doing all in their power to retard the progress of colored labor in certain parts of the State, by using the convicts of the State Prison to labor on Railroads and in Coal Mines, and on the Levee at Nashville, thereby throwing out of employment those who have to depend on their honest labor for their living. We are also sorry to inform you that the farmers in different parts of the State are formed in secret conclave for the purpose of employing the colored people to work on such terms as they propose, and if the colored people refuse to work, they can get no work and are thus compelled to leave the neiborhood, or accept any terms offered them.

J. H. [S]ailor, Chairman.

R. M. Hanmer, Richard Ware, J. P. Miller, and Samuel Sharp—Committee. The report is accompanied by the following documents.



We have no meeting or school houses in this district. We are working for one-half the crop, finding our own stock and feeding them. We are compelled to do this or worse, for they will send the Kuklux after us at night. We are in great need.


The report from the ninth district is about the same as the eighth.


No meeting nor school-house. We have no equal show before the law, while we have to pay taxes as well as the white men. The Kuklux test is, six hundred noises.


We have one meeting and one school-house. We are working for one-half the crop and finding ourselves and stock. We have no say before the law. We are bound to do anything they want done, for if we don't, they will send the Kuklux on us at night. The test is, four hundred noises

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