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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.

1865AK.6.pdf

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194

STATE CONVENTIONS, 1865

But linked to truth, magnetic poles of yore,

The dead sense wakens and she sins no more.

The drama moves--the people fill the stage,

And virtue will restore the golden age.

We, your humble petitioners, do most earnestly desire and pray that you clothe us with the power of self protection, by giving us our equality before the law and the right of suffrage, so we may become bona fide citizens of the State in which we live. Therefore,

Resolved, That we, the colored citizens of the State of Arkansas, deem it essential to the peace and dignity of the State of Arkansas, and the only method of obviating the superintendency of the Freedmen's Bureau, to grant us equality before the law. Therefore,

Resolved, That it is a fundamental principle of American politics, as old as the Government, that taxation and representation are inseparable, and we are taxed to support the Government of the State of Arkansas, we respectfully claim the right to be represented in the Government of the State, amenable to its laws and sheltered by its protection. Therefore,

Resolved, That we are the substrata, the foundation on which the future power and wealth of the State of Arkansas must be built, and as the future prosperity of the State cannot afford to rest upon ignorant labor, therefore, we respectfully ask the Legislature to provide for the education of our children. Therefore,

Resolved, That we ask for the foregoing resolutions for the following reasons, viz:

1st. That the loyal element of the State may become united, having a common interest and a common aim.

2d. Because we believe it to be the best interest to all concerned; that as we are subject to law, we should be protected by law.

3d. We consider the quantity of the world's great staple, cotton, produced by the freedmen of Arkansas, under the most disadvantageous circumstances, a sufficient refutation of the charge of indolence.

4th. Believing, as we do, that we are destined in the future, as in the past, to cultivate your cotton fields, we claim for Arkansas the first to deal justly and equitably for her laborers. Therefore,

Resolved, That our thanks are due to, and are hereby respectfully tendered to Gen. Reynolds, Gen. Carr,12 Dr. Granger, and other distinguished gentlemen, for their kind sympathies and gentlemenly courtesies toward us. Therefore,

Resolved, That we return our thanks to his Excellency, Gov. J. Murphy, of the State of Arkansas, for his excellent and well-timed remarks, in which he pledged himself to our future interest.

On motion of Mr. W. W. Andrews, the memorials and resolutions be adopted. Unanimously carried.

The House then adjourned, to meet at 2 o'clock, P.M.

Afternoon Session.

The House was called to order at 2 o'clock--President in the Chair.

The House opened with prayer, by Rev. Nathan Warren.

On motion of Mr. W. H. Grey, we return a vote of thanks to the citizens of Little Rock for their generous hospitalities and courtesies that the various Delegates have received at their hands.

Many distinguished guests being present, the remainder of the afternoon was very agreeably spent, among which were Major Gen. J. J. Reynolds, Robt. J. T. White, Secretary of State, &c.

On motion, the House then adjourned, sine die.

RICHARD E. WALL,

Corresponding and Recording Secretary.

Proceedings of the Convention of Colored Citizens of the State of Arkansas, Held in Little Rock, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30, Dec. 1 And 2, 1865.

Copy in the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University Library, Washington, D.C.

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