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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 26.pdf

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20

homeless of the South, and that said committee be empowered to add to its numbers, and to act with any organization that shall desire the furtherance of the end contemplated, which Committee shall be further empowered to urge before Congress the expressed wishes of this Convention.

Resolved, That we urge upon the Senate of the United States the passage of the bill before it from the House, opening to the homestead settlers certain lands in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida, granted for railroad purposes in 1856, but which were forfeited by failure to comply with the conditions of the grant.

Resolved, That it is with special satisfaction as colored men, and with a general satisfaction as Americans, that we notice the favorable reception of the proposition to alter the constitution on the subject of franchise, not only by both branches of Cougress, by a large portion of the press of the land, but by the people thereof; and that we believe that in Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax, who we are confident represent the progressive spirit so happily ripe in the land, we have two honest personages who will exercise their utmost influence, so far as they may consistently, to place all American citizens, without regard to their complexon, on an equal political base.

Resolved, That the original abolitionists—those who were not ashamed or afraid to declare, uncompromisingly, when it endangered their lives to do so, for the immediate abolition of slavery, and that the colored men should enjoy all the political, educational and religious rights that any other citizens might claim—have a large and abiding share of our gratitude for their heroic, self-sacrificing advocacy and defense of the right, out of which has grown the present advanced public sentiment.

Resolved, That whatever short-comings may be laid to the Republican party, it is the party through which the rights legally secured to the colored American in his country were secured; that it has our gratitude and shall receive our support; that no other party need hope to alienate us therefrom, unless by outstripping it in consistency, and in an honest advocacy of genuine democratic principles.

Resolved, That the liberties of the citizens of this country can never be safe or uniform while the States are acknowledged to be the only power to regulate the suffrage.

Whereas by the laws of the District of Columbia all persons without regard to caste or color, are required to aid in bearing the burdens of the Government, all should be admitted to a full enjoyment of its privileges; and whereas under the existing laws of the said District our people are excluded from the jury boxes; therefore be it

Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed by the Chair to memorialize Congress in this matter with a view of securing the rights of our race in this respect and every other.

Resolved, That it is proper and opportune that we should now re-affirm the sentments of our fathers with reference to African colonization, as expressed by them in 1816, and give such other testimony against it as is justified by its history to the present hour.

Resolved, That while we desire, indeed would aid in the success to the extent of our opportunities, of any enterprise having for its object the improvement of mankind in any part of the world, we nevertheless here enter our stern protest against the action of any class of men who would compromise our popular status by asserting that our duty to Africa is more binding upon us than upon other citizens of our country.

WHEREAS the first day of January, 1862, has been made memorable by the issuing of the Proclamation of Emancipation by Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States

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