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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the State Convention of the colored citizens of Tennessee, held in Nashville, Feb. 22d, 23d, 24th & 25th, 1871.
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Number of colored churches, 14, day schools, 4, sabbath schools, 8, value of property held by colored people, $120,000.
To the Hon. Henry Wilson, Chairman Military Committee, United States Senate, Washington, D.C.
Your petitioners, colored citizens of the State of Tennessee, and many of us late soldiers in the United States army, respectfully but most earnestly request you to use your best endeavors as Chairman of the Senate Military Committee to secure the favorable action of your committee at an early day as practicable upon the bill introduced by Hon. Charles Sumner, of Massachusetts, giving to colored soldiers and their heirs the same bounties as allowed to white soldiers. Your petitioners would further represent that the colored soldiers fought with equal valor where required, as their white brethren in arms, that they enlisted mostly, if not generally, from purely patriotic motives, not moving or caring at the time for bounties; but upon the cessation of hostilities being thrown upon their own resources to earn a livelihood, though proceeding under difficulties and on an uphill grade, they nevertheless labored on, and today, as they were in the dark days of 1861-2, 3, are ready to do or die for the General Government; yet they feel, and protest that the government should not discriminate in the payment of its bounties to one class of its defenders to the exclusion of another, purely on account of color. Your petitioners would further represent that there are many an aged parent of deceased colored soldiers who in the prime of their manhood spent their days in slavery, who now in their old age are struggling hard in their poverty with the cold charities of the world, when, if the Government would extend to him the same benefits in the provisions of the law passed for his white brethren, he could weather the storm, if not pass his remaining days in ease, at least in approximate comfort.
Your petitioners believing you to be the friend of no class of the citizens of the Government to the exclusion of another class, address to you this their petition, believing that when the matter is properly brought to your attention, will lend your prompt aid to their relief, and to this end will ever pray as in duty bound.
C. C. Cleaveland, Geo. T. Wassan, Henry Jones, David Brown, Samuel Webb, W. F. Yardley, A. B., Parker, J. Halsey, Henry Jones.
The committee on transportation reported the following, which was adopted;
Whereas, many delegates are far from home, and have travelled by railroad, Resolved that a committee be appointed to confer with the various superintendents of the different railroads, and request a free return of the delegates of the Convention over their lines.
D. L. Lapsley, N. Walker, John Shelton, Committee.
We the committee on transportation would most respectfully report that applications have been made at all the railroad departments of Nashville, and have succeeded in getting free transportation on all the roads except the Louisville and Nashville road, and the Agent refuses on the ground that the rules of that road was to give no free passes to any delegation numbering less than twenty.
The above agreement for free passes provides that every delegate shall bring a statement in writing, signed by the secretary of this Convention, stating that he is a delegate to this Convention, on what road he came, and that he paid full fare from his home to Nashville.
The following are gentlemen for the approval of the certificates: Nashville and Chattanooga and Nashville and Northwestern roads see J. W. Thomas at the depot, Nashville and Decatur road, Col. Sloss. or Reynolds, at depot, Tennessee and Pacific, Maney or Col Paramore, at N. and C. depot, Edgefield and Kentucky road, see Major Blanton, corner of Locust and College streets, and this we submit to your Honorable Convention.
D. L. Lapsley, John Shelton, Alfred Gordon, Nelson Walker, added to the committee.
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