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Proceedings of the National Conference of Colored Men of the United States, Held in the State Capitol at Nashville Tennessee, May 6, 7, 8 and 9, 1879.


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Ex-Governor Pinchback made the point of order that the reading of papers was the present order of business, which point of order was sustained.

R. Allen, of Texas, offered the following:

Resolved, That this Conference, before it adjourns, elect a board of commissioners on migration, consisting of one gentleman from each State, to which all questions of migration may be referred.


C. O. H. Thomas, of Tennessee, desired to speak on a question of privilege.

The explanation which Mr. Thomas was seeking was given by the President.

The Secretary then read a paper from Wm. Stewart, of Bridgeton, N. J., on the " Necessity of a National Review Devoted to the Interests of the Negro-American." [See Appendix C.]

C. O. H. Thomas moved that thirty minutes discussion be allowed on the three papers which had been read.

The Chairman. Will the gentleman let me explain?

Mr. Thomas. Yes ; and be as plain as you can.

The Chairman. Then you cannot do what you desire by a discussion. The papers should be referred and we should have a report on these papers, and then we should have something to talk about.

Mr. Thomas. Then only the men who have prepared themselves can now be heard?

The Chairman. That is the only interpretation that can be placed upon it.

Rev. G. H. Shaffer. I move that each paper, when presented, be not read, but referred to the committee on the subject, and then let discussion follow on the report.

The motion was tabled by a vote of 60 to 45.

The reading of the next paper was called for.

The Chairman stated the next paper to be read was one by Bishop Miles, on the "Moral and Social Condition of the Negro." The reading of this paper was deferred for the present.

Rev. Allan Allensworth arose to a point of gallantry, stating that several gentlemen were sitting while ladies were standing. A change in position, as suggested by the delegate from Kentucky, was accordingly made.

The next paper on the programme was one by William Still, on the "Opportunities and Capabilities of Educated Negroes." [See Appendix D.]

As soon as the reading of this paper was concluded a number of delegates arose and endeavored to obtain the floor, ineffectually, however.

C. O. H. Thomas endeavored to discuss the paper, but was ruled out of order.

The following resolutions were offered by S. C. Upshaw, of Georgia:

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