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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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Resolved, That the President appoint a Committee of five on Resolutions and Communications.
Mr. TURNER moved that this Convention adjourn, and stand adjourned until tomorrow at 11 A. M.
After debate, by Messers. Whipper, Pinchback and Turner, the question was taken on agreeing to the motion to adjourn, and decided in the negative.
Mr. ELLIOTT, of South Carline, rose to a question of privilege, affecting himself, he said, not only as a member of the Convention, but as a citizen of the Unites States—not only as a private citizen, but as a public servant, selected by the people whom he had the honor to represent. It had recently come to his knowledge, that a report had been circulated among the members of the Convention, by an irresponsible agent of a faction of the Republican party, whose course had been such as to carry from one portion of the country to the other a spirit of dissension and of faction. When chosen an humble representative of the people of this State, to take part in the deliberations of the Convention, he had thought to meet here friends of his race, whose only aim or object was to endeavor to bring about that feeling harmony and unity that would make their meeting a success; but he now found it became him, at this early stage of the Convention, to call attention to the irresponsible statements set in circulation by wholly irresponsible agent. It had been alleged that he was an opponent of the Federal Administration of the Government of this country, and for that reason there should not be extended towards him that consideration that is due, not only from one member of this body to another, but one common among gentlemen. He did not think it necessary to set himself right or vindicate his position, before the people of the State who had so often honored him with their confidence, and but their voice, elevated him to positions of honor and trust amongst them. He did not deem it necessary to vindicate his position before his colleges, who now sit in the Convention, because he was too well known amongst them. It was unnecessary for him to enter into a vindication of his course in the past, before those who had sat side by side with him in the legislative branch of the Government of the country. But he felt it a duty he owed to every gentlemen from other sections that he should, as a member of his body, as a man, and as a gentlemen, brand this falsehood with the censure and condemnation that it deserves. "I have stood," said Mr. Elliott, "by the Republican party, not because it was the Republican party in name, not because I, as an individual, received any position of trust or of honor from that party, but because, in my heart of hearts, and soul of souls, I believe honestly and conscientiously in the principles of that party. I stand here, whilst making this avowal, to sat that I am not lied to any faction or any
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