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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 29.pdf

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tive government in the District of Columbia as a base plot designed to defraud the eight thousand freedmen therein of the elective franchise, and cheat them of their new-born freedom.

Referred to the Business Committee.

Judge Kelley, of Pennsylvania, addressed the meeting.

When he had concluded, Mr. Downing moved the adoption of the resolutions as reported from the Business Committee.

The previous question was called for, and they were adopted.

The Convention adjourned until nine o'clock next morning.


FRIDAY MORNING, January 15, 1869.

Convention met pursuant to adjournment.

Mr. F. G. Barbadoes, of Massachusetts, took the chair and called the Convention to order, in the absence of the President, Frederick Douglass, who, the Chair announced, had left the city.

Prayer was offered by Rev. C. H. Thompson, of New Jersey.

Mr. Hackett, of Maryland, enquired why H. H. Garnett, did not occupy the chair, as Mr. Douglass had desired him to do so. C. H. Thompson made a similar enquiry.

Mr. Barbadoes replied that the absence from the city of Mr. Douglass, left the Convention without a permanent presiding officer, and to enable this body to manifest its choice for such officer, it was necessary that one of the Vice Presidents, should take the chair. His name heading the list, he had assumed the position, to enable them to do so; he desired it distinctly understood, that he had no wish to occupy the chair permanently, and would willingly yield it to the choice of the Convention.

Mr. Geo. T. Downing, disregarded entirely, the assumed arrangement between Mr. Douglass and Mr. Garnett. Mr. Douglass had left the city, and had done wrong in attempting to choose his successor by such arrangement. That question was for this body to determine, and none other. Mr. Barbadoes was to all intents and purposes, the president, until changed by this body.

Mr. I. C. Weir, of Pennsylvania, maintained that Mr. Barbadocs was entitled to the position, by the law electing Presidents and Vice-Presidents. He was elected for that very purpose; to preside in the absence or inability of the President. He was there by right of precedence, and should be maintained in the position, while he exhibited the ability to conduct the proceedings.

Mr. John Bowers, also advocated the position taken by Messrs. Downing and Weir, and declared that it was eminently just and proper for Mr. Barbadoes to pursue the course he had; that it was a new feature, in organized bodies that a president, should, without consulting the body who had placed him in power, choose his successor.

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