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State Convention of the Colored People of North Carolina, Raleigh, September 29, 1865


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SEPTEMBER 29, 1865


The Convention of the Colored People of North Carolina so long expected, so novel to the white people, and looked forward to as inaugurating great and dreaded innovations, met here to-day, and have spent the first day in peaceably organizing for the business before it. The counties along the seaboard and sounds, and those lying accessible by railroad to the capital, are generally represented. Probably, 150 delegates, who were appointed by meetings and in formal bodies of the free people, are present. Some bring credentials; others had as much as they could do to bring themselves, having to escape from their homes stealthily by night, and walk long distances, so as to avoid observation, such was the opposition manifested to the movement in some localities.

From Newbern, Beaufort, and Wilmington, there are full delegations— among them several ministers of intelligence, eloquence, and influence. Judged by ordinary rules, the Convention contains a more than average amount of intelligence and ability, and all seem to have come together with an earnest wish and determination to do their best for the interests of their race. No outward opposition has been manifested by the citizens to their assembling, though there is evidently a strong under-current of feeling adverse to the whole affair. The Progress this morning uttered its solemn warning to the colored people to be careful what they did. The Eastern counties, which have longest enjoyed freedom and the protection of the army, are evidently ahead of their less favored brethren in the central and western portion of the State, who have more recently emerged from Slavery, though they are not superior to them in intelligence and in the proper appreciation of "the situation," and the best means to be adopted for their mutual elevation.

The call for the Convention originated at Newbern, and the people hereabout were scarcely consulted upon the subject. Here they deemed it impolitic and unwise to call the Convention so near to, and preceding, the Constitutional Convention of the State, but were overruled. They are more cautious and moderate in their demands, while the delegates from below seem disposed to demand everything in the way of civil rights. One delegate from New-Hanover county, Wilmington, even proposes to demand admittance to the white Convention.

The Convention assembled in the Loyal African M.E. Church, sometimes called the Lincoln Church, from the fact that they have a statue of the martyr President, with a quotation from his last inaugural, ornamenting the building.

The Committee on Permanent Organization reported for the officers of the Convention the following: For President, J. W. Hood;1 for Vice-President, J. P. Shooks; for Secretary, John Randolph, Jr.; for Assistant Secretary, W.

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