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Georgia State Colored Convention, Macon, November 1869


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"The Georgia State Colored Convention, which met at Macon last week, adjourned on Saturday. It numbered 236 delegates, representing 56 counties, resulted in the formation of an organization to be called the 'State Mechanics' and Laborers' Association,' and provided for local workingmen's Unions. They also recommended the formation of auxiliary Workingwomen's Associations. In the resolutions adopted they declared that capital could only be safe when the laborer is protected, and labor is paid its just reward; they also declared that capital could have no advantage over united labor, and that there was no advantagonism between the two when justice was done; they recommended the organization of Cooperative Supply Clubs and associations for the purchase of lands, urged the withdrawal of women from field labor whenever possible, and recommended the formation of clubs among those employed on plantations for material defense. An excellent report on education was presented, and the establishment of a paper to support the movement was determined upon, of which the Hon. H. M. Turner is to be editor. A series of strong resolutions favoring emigration, declaring that there is no antagonism between them and any foreign labor, and offering a welcome to the Chinese here, passed unanimously. [1] Reports were made from the several counties represented, showing that in four-fifths of them a frightful state of disorder prevails. Thirty murders, five of them women, were reported as having occurred during the last six months. Most of the assassins were known, and are yet at large. In only two instances have arrests been made. Only one man has been convicted, and he was only sentenced to ten years' imprisonment. In thirty-six counties schools were reported, the highest number in any one being eleven, with 1,500 scholars. In thirteen counties there were but two schools, and in ten others but one each. The day wages reported ranged from twenty-five to seventy-five cents, and monthly wages from $5 to $10. Yearly wages averaged $50. In nearly every county great complaint is made of employers failing to fulfill their contracts, and that the laborers have been cheated out of their share of the crops. Only five counties were reported wherein the blacks obtain justice from the civil courts. As this is the first Convention of the kind which has been held in the South, its proceedings are of more than ordinary interest. Before the adjournment, delegates were appointed to the National Convention to be held here in December. Similar conventions will soon be held in nearly all the Southern States."

National Anti-Slavery Standard, November 6, 1869.

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