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Proceedings of the Colored national convention, held in Rochester, July 6th, 7th, and 8th, 1853.


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us unfit for freedom; having denounced us as indolent, it is not strange that they should cripple our enterprise; having assumed our inferiority, it would be extraordinary if they sought to surround us with circumstances which would serve to make us direct contradictions to their assumption.

In conclusion, fellow-citizens, while conscious of the immense disadvantages which beset our pathway, and fully appreciating our own weakness, we are encouraged to persevere in efforts adapted to our improvement, by a firm reliance upon God, and a settled conviction, as immovable as the everlasting hills, that all the truths in the whole universe of God are allied to our cause.


The Business Committee reported through its Chairman, Dr. James McCune Smith, a plan for a National Council.

For the purpose of improving the character, developing the intelligence, maintaining the rights, and organizing a Union of the Colored People of the Free States, the National Convention does hereby ordain and institute the


ART. 1. This Council shall consist of two members from each State, represented in this Convention, to be elected by this Convention, and two other members from each State to be elected as follows: On the 15th day of November next, and biennially thereafter, there shall be held in each State, a Poll, at which each colored inhabitant may vote who pay ten cents as a polltax; and each State shall elect, at such election, delegates to State Councils, twenty in number from each State, at large. The election to be held in such places and under such conditions as the public meetings in such localities may determine. The members of the National Council in each State, shall receive, canvass and declare the result of such vote. The State Council thus elected, shall meet on the first Monday in January, 1854, and elect additional members to the National Council, in proportion of one to five thousand of colored population of such State; and the members of Council, thus elected, to take office on the 6th day of July next, and all to hold office during two years from that date; at the end of which time another general election by State Council shall take place of members to constitute their successors in office, in the same numbers as above. The State Council of each State shall have full power over the internal concern of said State.

ART. 2. The members of the first Council shall be elected by this Convention, which shall designate out of the number, a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary, and Committee of five on Manual Labor School—a Committee of five on Protective Unions—of five on Business Relations—of five on Publications.

ART. 3. The Committee on Manual Labor School, shall procure funds and organize said School in accordance with the plans adopted by this National Convention, with such modifications as experience or necessity may dictate to them. The Committee shall immediately incorporate itself as an Academy under the general Committee of the State of -----, and shall constitute the Board of Trustees of the Manual Labor School, with full power to select a location in the State designated by the National Council, to erect buildings, appoint or dismiss instructors in the literary or mechanical branches. There shall be a farm attached to the School.

ART. 4. The Committee on Protective Union, shall institute a Protective Union for the purchase and sale of articles of domestic consumption, and shall unite and aid in the formation of branches auxiliary to their own.

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