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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Southern States Convention of Colored Men, held in Columbia, S.C., commencing October 18, ending October 25, 1871.
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Orleans, Louisiana, on the 11th day of August, 1871, for the purpose of electing delegates to said Convention, I have the honor of being elected a delegate to represent the first Congressional District, State of Louisiana, in said Convention. But circumstances over which I have no control prevent me from attending in person. I, therefore, authorize H. M. Turner, President of the Georgia State Convention, to act as my proxy, and suggest a few topics for consideration, hoping you will bring them before the Convention:
1st. We should effect some organization by which we may effect a union among the various castes of persons of African origin and negro descent, by league or otherwise.
2d. A Homestead Bureau and Emigration Association
3d. Establish a day we should celebrate as national day of our emancipation and enfranchisement.
4th. I would recommend the organization of negro Republican political clubs throughout the Southern States, and say to the Republican party: Come upon our platform; we have advanced from equality before the law, to equal public privileges, that is, the free exercise of the right of a citizen upon all common carriers on the national highways, namely: steamboats upon the rivers, ships upon the high seas, railroads that receive their charters, or aid, from the United States Government. Make it an issue before the people.
5th. The election of at least half of the members of Congress from the Southern States should be of our race. This should be strictly impressed upon the minds of the delegates. Also the election of President Grant, in 1872.
6th. Declare a name for our race, that will apply to the whole people of African origin and negro descent. We are negroes—not colored people. We are not Indians, Chinese, Malays, or Mexicans; we should be called "negroes." WE are, in this country, American citizens of negro descent, and should be proud of the name, and hurl the polite American phrase, "colored person," from us, and say to the one that uses it, "I am a negro." Let us respect our ancient name as much as the whites do the name of Saxon, Celt, Latin.
You will please read this epistle to the Convention, and have it put upon the minutes, if the Convention deems it necessary.
Gentlemen of the Convention, you have my best wishes, and I trust your Convention may be of great benefit to our race.
(Signed) R. J. CROMWELL
Mr. QUARLES moved a reconsideration of so much of the resolution relative to the appointment of Committees on special subjects as relates to the Committee on Rules.
The motion was agreed to.
On motion of Mr. QUARLES, the rules of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, so far as applicable, were adopted as the rules for the government of this body.
Mr. PRICE, of North Carolina, introduced the following resolution, which was agreed to:
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