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Proceedings of the Southern States Convention of Colored Men, held in Columbia, S.C., commencing October 18, ending October 25, 1871.

1871SC-Regional-Columbia_Proceedings 9.pdf

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position, by our votes, who can afford to say to us now "you can't have them," and all that kind of talk. But let us unite, not as colored men necessarily, and by our voice and actions prove that, as colored men, we are fitted for the citizenship conferred upon us by acts of Congress and the voice of the American people, after a tremendous struggle, in which one hundred and eighty thousand colored men, amongst others, offered themselves as a sacrifice for the liberties we now enjoy. Remembering that we are colored men, remembering that we have a peculiar fight to make in many localities, let us prove to the American people and the world that we deserve the dear bought rights and immunities of American citizenship.

The Convention is now ready for business. What is its pleasure?

On motion of Mr. TURNER, the thanks of the Convention were tendered to the Hon. J.T Walls, of Florida, for the able and impartial manner in which he presided as temporary Chairman.

Mr. WALLS introduced the following resolution, which was adopted:

Resolved, That Committees on the following subjects be appointed by the Chair:

Committee on Education and Labor.

Committee on Address to the American People.

Committee on Printing.

Committee on Finance.

Committee on Civil Rights.

Committee on Organizations.

Committee on Emigration.

Committee on Outrages in the South.

Committee on Rules.

Mr. WALLS, of Florida, presented a letter from the Hon. J. C. Gibbs, Secretary of State of Florida, and requested that it be read to the Convention. The letter was read, as follows:

To the President of the National Convention:

SIR—In consequence of the absence of His Excellency from this State, and my presence here during the absence of the Governor being required by law, I am under the necessity of a forced absence from the Convention on the 18th instant, which I truly regret.

I believe it possible that this Convention may be made the most important gathering of our people that has ever occurred on this continent. It is the authorized voice of one million voters, and this million voters as honest in their purpose, and as loyal to Republican ideas and institutions, as any other million voters in our beloved country. This is a grand opportunity for the uplifting and vindication of our struggling people, and may broad considerations of justice and human progress characterize all the deliberations of the Convention.

I expect that many of the most learned and judicious men of our race will be present, and ready to co-operate for that which is practical, possible and just. We earnestly desire the enforcement of the reconstruction laws of Congress, that life and property may be safe in these Southern States.

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