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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Convention of Colored Men, Held in Edwards Opera House, Parsons, Kansas. April 27th and 28th, 1882.
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Pursuant to call, the convention convened in Edwards' opera house in the city of Parsons, and at ten o'clock a.m., Mr. Richard Stafford, Chairman of the Parsons Mass Meeting, called the Convention to order.
At the suggestion of Rev. T. [I?] Merritt, of Parsons, Mr. Wilmer Walton was invited to the rostrum and made introductory remarks, [??] the delegates to seek for a higher than human wisdom to direct them in the transaction of the important business to come before them, to rid themselves, as far as possible of satan's promptings in the way of envy, enmity and jealousy, and in memorializing Congress to endeavor to rightly ask for such needed favors as they can reasonably hope to have granted.
On motion of J. W. French, of [Labutte], Rev. A. Fairfax, of Chautauqua, was elected temporary chairman.
On motion of J. B. Garrett, a committee of two was appointed to escort him to the chair, after which Mr. Fairfax delivered the following excellent and appropriate address.
Gentlemen of the Convention
I thank you for the honor you have conferred upon me by electing me to preside over your convention, which I regard as the most important one ever held by the colored people since their emancipation. As to its primary object: to consider the best mode of bettering the condition of the colored race, and especially that of the refugees who have fled from the hand of oppression and wrong in the south, that had become too intolerable to bear. And tho' we have arrived in this free and liberty-loving state, where we can breathe a purer atmosphere, and are free from oppression and wrong, yet, we find ourselves uncomfortable in many of our surrounds - and it needs but a glance over our past history and present surroundings of enable us to see the vast room still left for better
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