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Proceedings of the Convention of Colored Citizens of the State of Arkansas : held in Little Rock, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30, Dec. 1 & 2.


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On motion, the Committee on Invitations was ordered to request Governor Murphy,1 General Reynolds2 and General Sprague3 to be present and address the Convention. Carried.

On motion, to appoint Committee on Permanent Organization, the following named gentlemen were appointed, viz: J. T. White, President; David Young, John A. Jones, W. W. Andrews, A. L. Richmond, E. W, Armstead, B. Right, Wilson Brown, Nathan Warren, Jesse Lawson, Yancey Bowlen, George Sewell, Brutus Jackson, Winfield Scott and Moses Edwards, Vice-Presidents; J. W. Denby, Secretary, pro tem.

By particular request, Mr. J. W. Denby was called upon to address the House, which call he willingly and cheerfully responded to, in a short, elaborate address, stating that he had espoused our cause, and would tenaciously cling to it until we had equality before the law and the right of citizenship in the several States.

On motion, to adjourn to meet Friday morning, at 10 o'clock, A.M. Carried.


Friday Morning, December 1st, 1865.

House was called to order at 10 o'clock, A.M.--President in the Chair.

Prayer by Rev. J. T. White.

On motion, the minutes of the previous meeting were read and adopted.

The Committee of Arrrangements reported that two Delegates, from Phillipps County, had arrived, and were present. The President requested them to report, be received and take seats in the Convention. Carried.

William H. Grey and Richard E. Wall, from Phillipps County, Ark., reported and were unanimously received.

Mr. Wm. H. Grey moved that Mr. Wall be appointed Corresponding and Recording Secretary of the Convention, stating that his efficiency in chirography peculiarly fitted him for the position. Put in order--yeas, 14; nays, ____. The President then requested Mr. Wall to come forward and take his seat, thereby relieving Mr. J. W. Denby, Secretary pro tem.

A short and eloquent address, by Mr. Wm. H. Grey, on duties of Finance Committee, to compose of five, and requested the Convention to endow the President with power to appoint them. Wm. H. Grey, Chairman; W. W. Andrews, John A. Jones, Wilson Brown and A. L. Richmond.

On motion. Committee on Resolutions and Memorials be appointed, to compose of five. Carried. Wm. H. Grey, W. W. Andrews, John A. Jones, Wilson Brown and Richard E. Wall.

Mr. Grey then moved that the Committee to select Speakers report. Carried. Mr. Brutus, having been honored with the position of Chairman of that Committee, arose and stated that they had waited on the several distinguished gentlemen who were invited to be present and address the Convention, who acquiesced, and considered it a source of supreme gratification to be present at the first Colored Convention ever held in the State of Arkansas. The report was unanimously received.

On motion, Messrs. Owen Vance, Amos Green and Hartwell Furgerson be admitted to seats in the Convention. Carried.


Mr. Grey opened his remarks as follows:

Mr. President and Fellow-Citizens: Having but just arrived from a tedious journey of some six days, the latter portion of which was prosecuted on foot, for the purpose of being present at the organization of this honorable body, I find myself wholly unprepared to do justice to the subject under consideration; but as many of us have braved many difficulties to be present at this Convention, to consider these momentous questions, as they relate to

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