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Proceedings for the North American Convention held in Toronto, Canada, 1851


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"The committee, to whom was referred the investigation of the case of J. C. Brown, beg leave to state, that they have duly considered the case, and from the nature of the circumstances, are not justified in declaring him guilty of the charge, neither can they entirely exonerate him from acting wrong; and as the case is undergoing a legal investigation, they therefore recommends that Mr. J. C. Brown's named be withdrawn as a candidate for any office in this Convention."

The committee on "Rules," reported the following:

1. Resolved, that each session of the convention be opened by addressing the Throne of Grace.

2. At the time appointed for the assembling of each session of the Convention, the President shall take the chair and call the Convention to order.

3. The minutes of the preceding sessions shall be read at the opening of each session, at which time all mistakes, if there be any, shall be corrected.

4. The President shall decide all questions of order subject to an appeal of the Convention.

5. All motions and addresses shall be made to the President; the member rising from his seat.

6. All motions, except those of reference, shall be submitted in writing.

7. All committees shall be appointed by the chair unless otherwise ordered by the Convention.

8. The previous question shall always be in order and, until decided, shall preclude all amendment and debate of the main question, and shall be put in this form, "shall the main question be now put?"

9. No member shall be interrupted while speaking, except when out of order, when he shall be called to order through the chair.

10. A motion to adjourn shall always be in order, and shall be decided without debate.

11. No member shall speak more than twice on the same question, without the consent of the Convention, nor more than fifteen minutes at each time.

12. No resolution except of reference, shall be offered to the convention, except it come through the business committee: but all resolutions rejected by the committee, may be presented directly to the convention, if the maker of such wishes to do so.

13. Rule as amended. Sessions of the convention shall commence at half-past nine o'clock, a. m., and shall close at one o'clock, p. m.; to commence at half-past two o'clock, p. m., and close at six, p. m.; evening session shall commence at half-past seven o'clock, and close at the discretion of the convention.

The business committee then reported the following resolutions, which, after a spirited debate, were received and adopted.

1. Resolved that the infamous fugitive slave enactment of the American Government—whether constitutional or unconstitutional, is an insult to God, and an outrage upon humanity, not to be endured by any people; we therefore earnestly entreat our brethren of the northern and southern states to come out from under the jurisdiction of those wicked laws—from the power of a Government whose tender mercies, towards the colored people, are cruel.

2. Resolved, that we feel truly grateful, as a people, to her Britannic Majesty's just and powerful Government, for the protection afforded us; and are fully persuaded from the known fertility of the soil, and salubrity of climate of the milder regions of Canada West, that this is, by far, the most desirable place of resort for colored people, to be found on the American continent.

3. Resolved, That we warmly recommend to colored settlers in Canada, to use all diligence in obtaining possession of uncultivated lands, for the laudable purpose of making themselves and their offspring independent tillers of a free soil.

The following protest against the first resolution was entered by the undersigned delegates:

Whereas, the convention, in adopting the first resolution, inviting the colored people to leave the northern part of the United States, has done so contrary to the desires and wishes of those of us, from the States, who believe it to be impolitic and contrary to our professed policy in opposing the infamous fugitive slave laws, and schemes of American colonization; therefore we do hereby enter our solemn disapprobation and protest against this part of the said resolution.

M R Delaney, Penn.

Wm H Topp, New York

Henry F Stanton, Ohio

Payton Harris, New York

On the motion of Rev. J P Campbell, Resolved, that all persons present, who come from places from which no delegates have been appointed, and who concur in the spirit of the call, and are desirous of participating in the deliberations, shall by having their names enrolled, be considered delegates of this convention.

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