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Proceedings of the National Convention of the Colored Men of America: held in Washington, D.C., on January 13, 14, 15, and 16, 1869.

1869 National Convention in Washington DC 11.pdf

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two Sovereigns within the same realm, and claimed that the word State, was borrowed from Europe, and by their rule of interpretation could never be applied to the several States of America, but could be made to apply only to the United States.

Rev. J. Sella Martin, of New York, was called for but declined speaking on account of ill health. Profesor W. H. Day, of Delaware, was called for, and in his usually able and eloquent style, addressed the Convention.

Mr. Aaron M. Powell, of the Anti-Slavery Standard, was introduced, and also addressed the Convention with great earnestness and effect, as follows:

He was glad to be present, and shared in the deep feelings of gratitude which had been expressed for the progress of the cause of freedom. It was a shame to the white people of this country that there was still occasion for holding at the capitol of the Nation such a Convention of colored men, as an invidiously disfranchised class. He would have the Convention memorialize Congress for the prompt passage of an impartial suffrage law and of an additional Constitutional Amendment. He also spoke of the need of land and education to make the future of the colored people of the South secure and prosperous. But the question of suffrage was paramount at the present hour. The opportunity to to secure a fundamental guarantee of the rights of the colored people by Constitutional Amendment, would pass away for the present with the close of the present session of Congress.

On motion of Mr. Frederick Douglass, a vote of thanks was tendered their report, prefaced by the following resolutions:--

Resolved, That each State have as many votes in this convention as it has Senators and Representatives in Congress.

Resolved, That the District of Columbia have three votes, and that each Territory represented have one vote.

The committee were interrupted at this point by Mr. W. H. Hunter, of Pennsylvania, who objected to the report as having no reference to the object of the appointment of the committee. He protested against allowing it to be read. An explanation was made, and after a good deal of debate, the committee were permitted to proceed by Mr. Hunter withdrawing his objections. The committee then read another resolution, to wit:

Resolved, That the names of the Delegates reported be adopted.

GEORGE B. VASHON, Chairman Com.

J. J. SPELLMAN, G. S. WOODSON Secretaries

On motion, the report was received.

Rev. W. H. Hunter, moved that the report be adopted, excluding the Recommendations with regard to cutting down the representation.

Mr. George T. Downing, said he would vote for the resolution, more from compulsion than from a sense of justice: he did not think the representation either equal or just.

Mr. J. F. Cook, favored the motion from a strict sense of justice.

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