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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored Men of the State of Tennessee, :with the addresses of the convention to the white loyal citizens of Tennessee, and the colored citizens of Tennessee. : Held at Nashville, Tenn., August 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th, 1865.
1865-NASHVILLE TN-STATE CONVENTION OF THE COLORED MEN OF TENNESSEE.13.pdf
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Current Saved Transcription [history]
of January, as days of jubilee for the colored people of Tennessee, to be by them celebrated through all time.
Mr. Parrish reported that General Thomas would give return transportation to delegates. A resolution of thanks was adopted to Gen. Thomas for his kindness.
The Convention adjourned sine die.
The Colored Tennessean, August 12, 1865.
1. James Lynch was born in Baltimore on January 8, 1839, and in his youth obtained a good education. In 1858 he joined the Presbyterian Church in New York, but soon thereafter was accepted by the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Conference in Indiana. He transferred to Baltimore, and in 1863 went to South Carolina as a missionary to the freedmen from the A.M.E. Church. From 1866 to June 15, 1867, he was the editor of the Christian Recorder in Philadelphia. Later he was with the Freedmen's Bureau in Mississippi and in 1871 was elected secretary of state.
2. The reference is to Willard Saulsbury (1829-1892), United States senator from Delaware, 1859-1871.
3. William Gannaway Brownlow (1805-1877) was elected governor of Tennessee by acclamation in 1865. Before the Civil War, he had long identified himself with the Whig party and developed into a staunch unionist, editing for a time the Knoxville Whig, an influential paper in easter Tennessee whose circulation before the Civil War exceeded that of any other political paper in the state. His newspaper was suppressed shortly after Tennessee seceded from the Union, and in its last issue Brownlow declared that he would rather be imprisoned than "recognize the hand of God in the work of breaking up the American Government." Refusing to pledge allegiance to the Confederate government, he fled to the mountains of North Carolina on November 5, 1861 (Congressional Record, 42nd., 2 sess., pp. 1038-1040), but was arrested shortly thereafter. On order of Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate secretary of war, he was sent inside federal lines on March 3, 1862. Going at once to Ohio, he spent some time regaining his health (having contracted typhoid fever while imprisoned) and writing his Sketches of the Rise, Progress, and Decline of Secession; with a Narrative of Personal Adventure Among the Rebels (1862), after which he made an extensive lecture tour through the North, where he was shown distinguished attention by public officials and large audiences. Having earlier shown himself to be no opponent of slavery, his views now changed and he supported President Lincoln's emancipation policy.
As governor of Tennessee, he determined to disfranchise all who had fought against the United States and asked the legislature for a military force to make such a measure effective. Elected to the Senate in 1868, he took office on March 4, 1869. While his Senate career proved undistinguished, he generally acted with Republicans, and for a while spoke often and vigorously in debate. His health, however, failed rapidly, and toward the end of his term he became unable to speak. The last bill introduced by his was for the purchase of a site for Fisk University. At the end of his term, he returned to Knoxville, bough control of the Whig, which he sold in 1869, and edited it until his death. It has been said that, "while not in controversy, he was a peaceful and charming man, but his opinion made him always a storm center." See Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography (20 vols.; New York, 1928-1936), III, 177-178.
4. The reference to Clinton Brown Fisk (1828-1890), Union general. In 1865, Fisk was detailed an assistant commissioner to the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands with Authority over Kentucky and Tennessee, and for a time the northern part of Alabama. An ardent Methodist imbued with a keen sense of missionary zeal, he saw in the freedmen an opportunity for social and spiritual service. Taking over an abandoned army barrack in Nashville, where he exercised almost dictatorial power for a time, he opened in 1866 a school for blacks, which was chartered in 1867 as Fisk University. The
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