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Proceedings of Consultation Convention of 350 leading Colored Men of Georgia. Held in Macon, Georgia, January 25th and 26th, 1888

1888GA-proceedings-18.pdf

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16

MINUTES OF CONSULTATION CONVENTION.

The special committee on Pledger resolution reported as follows:

We utterly repudiate and condemn lynch law, but commend the course of the colored men of Charleston and Greenville. S. C., who are trying to raise funds to secure a fair trial for the colored men who are charged with lynching the white man who committed an outrage upon a colored woman near Greenville, S. C.

The report was unanimously adopted.

The President had the following letter read:

MCINTOSH, LIBERTY COUNTY, GA., Jan 23, 1888.

Dear Brethren: -I cannot express my regret in words in not being able to be with you in your meeting of Consultation, My plan and purpose was to be with you without fail, but it seemed that Satan stepped in the way and as soon as I found out, I wrote to my good Bro. White to see if it was possible to change the time of meeting lest many others might be prevented from attending for a similar cause. But he informed me that it was too late.

The cause of my absence is this: This new Denny School law requires that the examination of public school teachers throughout the state, shall be on certain day or days, appointed by the State School Commissioner and there shall be no other time except on a special condition. My position requires me to provide colored teachers for five counties, very largely, which is no light duty. As the existence of our people's schools depends so largely upon me and as the State School Commissioner has seen fit to appoint almost the very day that we were to meet, viz.: we on the 25th and his appointment on the 26th, 27th, and 28th, inst. I could not possibly be present. Allow me to say brethren, that I look upon this meeting as one of very, very great importance, and especially at this time ; because you know there are many evils existing to the injury of our people that can be remedied if we will only plan wisely and move together in the execution of these plans when we return to our people. Brethren, I believe you will do it, and I shall look with great anxiety to the result of your deliberation. Respectfully yours,

FLOYD SNELSON.

Adjourned to 3 p. m.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON.

President called meeting to order at 3 p. m. Prayer was offered by Rev. J. C. Bryan.

Col. W. A. Pledger presented the report of the Committee on the Ballot, as follows:

WHEREAS, After the late rebellion between the states, the Negro of the state of Georgia was clothed with every right of an American citizen as to the discharge of his duty at the ballot box that his interests as a freeman might be protected, carrying out the adage that the ballot is the palladium of liberty, and

WHEREAS. Since that time he has been murdered from one end of the state to the other, and his properties destroyed by every means foul, his wives and daughters outraged; and has been generally intimidated at every attempt to exercise the use of the ballot, by white men whom he had formerly served at home and in war when it was to his detriment to so do; whose wives and daughters he had protected and cared for during the strife that led to his emancipation when the use of the bludgeon and torch would have hastened the breaking off of the shackles that held him in an ungodly bondage. These men, while consenting now to his retaining the right to hold the ballot, refuse him in many sections of this state, as in Putnam, Lincoln, McDuffie, Oglethorpe, Elbert, Talbot and other counties in this state the privilege of using it. These men assert that no instances of late of outrage upon the Negro vote can be pointed to. While we grant that but few instances can be named now, we refer the public and sentiment makers to the fact that the Negro abstains from voting, except in local contests; where all men running for office are white men, and no contests such as the fence law and prohibition questions, where all white men who are interested. For he well knows the consequence of taking part in any other contest.

WHEREAS, The Negro groans in silence and unrest, because of having majorities in six Congressional districts in Georgia and no representation in the National Congress, and though seemingly passing happily the hours away, is laboring in a discontentment that does the country no good, and

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