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Proceedings of the Convention of the Equal Rights and Educational Association of Georgia : assembled at Macon, October 29th, 1866 : containing the annual address of the president, Captain J.E. Bryant

1866 Macon GA State Convention.17.pdf

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t1•s. They have no more 1 mtbority to prevent colored citiz ns from entering it, than they have· to deny that right to whit citizen . The Civil Rights Bill declare-;, 'that all persons, b-Orn ia the United States, and not subject to a o.y forei."n power, excludinf Indians not faxed,' are citizens of the United States. Uo!ored men being citizen;;, it follows of course that t"hcy are entitled to all and the same civil rights to which white citizens arc entitled, and that they ca.n not legally be denied th6m, a1:iy law, statute, ordinance, rcguh1tion or custom to the contrary notwithstanding. Colored citizens in Au­ gusta were denied the privilege of entering the cemet ry by the Mayor, but he would all ow white citizens to enter. General Tillson was appealed to, to prc.tect the colored citizens, and, as an officer of the Freedmen's Bureau, it, was his duty. A few weeks later, the city authoritit:S of Savannah forrid the colored citizens from enter­ ing the city park, and General Tillson interfored in their farnr. If he coull interfere in one, he could in the other. Colored citizens wished to enter a eity cem.etcry to decor.ate, with flowers, the graves of men who had fou ht to make them free, and, being prevented, General Tillsor. refusefl t-:> interfere in their behalf. Colored citi­ .zens wished to enter a city park for pleasure, and, being prevented, General Tillson did interfere in their behalf. I have demanded, I shall continue to demand that colored citrzens shall be protected in the full and free enjoyment of all the rights to whiah they are entitled. This I ehall do, although Gen. Tillson and all the rebels and dough-face Gener lls from the Potomac to the Gulf denounce me. But I do not wish that my friends .shall misunderstand my motives.


My friends, you have much to encourage you. One year ago, but few white Union men in the South were willing to ive you equal political rights; now they demand these rights for  ;ou: one year ago, there was no party at the 8outh that advocated your cause; now the Republican party is orgaLized, or is being or:_:auizcd in eY.:ory Southern State. This is tt.e party of freedom aud progrefs, 'tis the. party that conducted the war, that saved the country and made you

free. That;1king God for what he has already done for you


courage, and enter upon the work that now presents itself with fresh zeal. I abor to educate your peoplt·, nnd, while yeur white friends are laboring to secure for you those rights to which you are entitled, show by your own industry, economy and good behavior, that you will make good use of political rights, wh< u they are granted to you.

On motion of Rev H M Turner, of Bibb, the rules of the la;-t Convention werli adopted to goveru tl1is Uonvrntion. H(!v Lewi Smith, of Bibb, was a;)poiuted Ma.:··;l.nt!l of the Convention; h·

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