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State Convention of the Colored Men of Alabama, Mobile, May 4, 1867


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Mobile, Ala., May 4, 1867.

Dear Tribune:

To day the colored men’s State Convention for this State adjourned after a three days' session. The "Conservatives" said— "Ha, there, the colored men are going to organize a separate party to be known as the negro party, and the boast of the radicals is going to end in smoke." But lo! how‘disappointed they must feel now since they have ascertained the real object of the Convention! What object was simply to take some action by which the so-called "Conservatives" might hereafter avoid troubling themselves about how the colored men would vote by their coming out in the plainest terms and saying — "We are Republicans and you Democrats or Conservatives may as well know it now as the day of election."

The convention, by resolution, declared that they met merely for the purpose of securing harmony of action; that they were a part of the Republican party of the State, and of the United States, and that they did "not dream of, or intend the organization of a colored man’s party. It also passed a resolution to the effect that if the employers of colored men carry out their threat to discharge them because of political differences, and to otherwise torment them by the denial of their rights before the law, they will, as loyal Republican citizens, carry out, with united voice, for the presence of a standing army, and for additional legislation by Congress looking to the punishment of treason, and even to the confiscation of the property of the guilty; but, by another resolution the convention declared their opposition to any such necessity as that which would invoke such action on their part, and that nothing but the bad conduct of their opponents could be taken as a warrant for the appeal alluded to.

The Convention were opposed to confiscation except that future conduct on the part of the late rebels should point to it as an imperious necessity.

No Convention to my knowledge, ever assembled, where there was so much decorum, and that respect for proper usages in the government of deliberative bodies as was the case here.

Every thing moved along smoothly, and the Convention adjourned without a single seed of bitterness or anger. Happy indeed would it be if the example set by this body could be generally observed by other, and especially similar convocations.

Hereafter, there will be no colored conventions in Alabama. Color will be regarded as an unnecessary prefix when bodies having political objects in view, or any other public bodies are to be designated. The Republican Party of Alabama will meet often but "colored" or "white" conventions belong to the past.

Tell us no more of gross ignorance on the plantations. The brightest and strongest points made in the speeches delivered during this convention were

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