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Proceedings of the Colored National Labor convention : held in Washington, D.C., on December 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th, 1869.

1869-WASHGINGTON DC-Colored national Labor Convention 21.pdf

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and especially to the colored American, as its earliest fruits, that power which comes from competence and wealth, education and the ballot, made strong through a union whose fundamental principles are just, impartial and catholic.

The resolution before submitted relative to urging upon the Governors of the States to use their endeavors with their Legislature to pass the 15th amendment, was called up, and a lengthy discussion took place on its adoption. Adjourned until 7 o'clock p.m.


The Convention reassembled at 7 o'clock, and was called to order by Sella Martin, Vice President.

The report of the Committee on Savings Banks was received and adopted.

The report of the Committee on the prospective National Organ, to be styled the "New Era," was read, and after considerable debate, was laid on the table.

Hon. W. D. Kelley, of Pa., was introduced and addressed the Convention. He had no specific advice to give the colored men here assembled, but he had a claim on them, that if they be true to themselves they must be true to the Republican party--that party belonged to them, and they belonged to that party. After speaking at length of the progress made by the colored race since the first inauguration of President Lincoln, Mr. Kelley closed by warning them not to be seduced into allegiance with any other party but the dominant one. During his remarks he was frequently applauded.

Hon. W. J. White, of Georgia, was next introduced, and gave an interesting description of the natural advantages of that State. At the conclusion of his remarks a collection was again taken up to defray the expenses of the Convention, the amount previously collected having been found insufficient, and about $300 were collected.

Mrs. Carey, of Detroit, Michigan, was then introduced, and addressed the Convention at considerable length, her remarks being chiefly confined to the rights of women and the justice of their recognition by the sterner sex. At the conclusion of her remarks, as Chairman of the Committee on Female Suffrage, she offered the following resolution, accompanied with the report:

"Resolved, That as unjust discrimination in the departments of labor is made against woman, and as the organization of associations for the protection of said interest among the colored people of the United States is in its incipiency, that profiting by the mistakes heretofore made by our white fellow-citizens in omitting women as co-workers in such societies, that colored women be cordially included in the invitation to further and organize co-operative societies."


The committee, to whom was referred the subject of Woman's Labor, beg leave to report that in their opinion no subject bearing upon the industrial relations of the colored people to community requires more earnest consideration.

The avocations of women hitherto, and particularly colored women, have been lamentably circumscribed, both as to diversity of employment and breadth of operation, seamstresses, laundresses, teachers, clerks, and domestic servants, constituting almost the entire complement of pursuits. In these departments of labor they work without system or organization, there not being, so far as we have been able to learn, but one association among them to promote labor interests, whether by guarding against monopoly or arresting extortion and oppression.

We are pleased, however, to be able to say that a quiet but manifest desire to widen the boundaries of manual and other pursuits, and to invoke aid in protecting the same and other interests, is apparent in examples of noble women of the more favored class who, in the face of a discouraging public opinion, though gradually awakening, now agitate the elective franchise for women, and of colored women who go forth into hitherto forbidden paths of duty or interest with distinguished success.

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