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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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Convention, and, unless there is more harmony of feeling, there will be very little done. If gentlemen had a just appreciation of their duties, and the value of their time here, it seems to me they would come here with graver countenances, with their minds filled with properly digested ideas, and be ready to go before the Committees, to give them the benefit of their cogitatious. In the country in which I reside, these questions are of vital importance : questions of education, and of the progress of the rising generation. These questions lie near the heart of every colored man in Arkansas, and they are expecting that something will be done, by this Convention, to give an impetus to the education of the rising generation. Another question, which stands pre-eminent, is the question of remedies for the outrages upon the colored people of the South. Each man of this Convention must stand by his vote. I am not prepared to accept the declaration or action of this Convention upon this subject, unless I am given the right to shoulder the whole responsibility, and cast the full vote of the State from which I come, and, having done that, I am prepared to go home and assume the responsibility. Without I am thus represented I am not disposed to believe that we have been justly and fairly dealt by. Each State should stand the equal of all and the peer of none. I trust the Convention will adopt the resolution.
Mr. WHIPPER, of South Carolina, said:
Mr. President--Since early this morning I have been silent and gladly would have remained so, if I could do it without injustice to myself or those I represent. But it seems to me these discussions, and discussions entirely worthless in their character, have consumed the time of this Con-vention. I did not oppose this resolution. I looked upon it as inne-cessary, in the first place, and I think I can clearly show it is unjust now. The gentleman comes here one day after the Convention has been in ses-ion, and I beleive there are other members behind. It is no fault of mine--no fault of any member of this Convention--that they are not here, nor could we accord to him the right to vote for those who, perhaps, for reasons best known to themselves, have chosen to stay at home. We do not know how they would vote if they put in an appear-ance. It is to be remembered that this is not a Convention of States; it is not a Convention based upon the population, Arkansas would have had but one, and upon that basis, is overruled here. South Carolina, with her twelve representatives, has over six hundred thousand ; Louisiana has over three hundred thousand ; Arkansas has but a handful, who are as well represented here as any State in this Convention. The resolution, by its very terms, is unequal.
After further debate, participated in Messrs. Whipper, Grey and Burch,
Mr. BURCH moved to lay the amendment reported by the Commit-tee on the table.
The question was taken on agreeing to the motion by the member from Louisiana, and decided in the affirmative.
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