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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 23.pdf

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Rev. John A. Warren, of Cleveland, Ohio, submitted the following; which was referred:

Whereas every form of dissipation tends to waste the resources of labor, and thus renders the power of resistance to the evils of poverty and ignorance our common enemies more difficult: Therefore

Resolved, That we include the use of tobacco among the great wastes of our resources, and recommend to all workingmen to practice economy in this as well as the use of liquors.

The consideration of the report of the Committee on Constitution was then proceeded with.

An amendment was adopted that the annual meeting be on the second Monday in December.

The constitution was then adopted as a whole.

Mr. Lewis H. Douglass, chairman of the Committee on Permanent Organization, reported officers for the ensuing year; which report was laid on the table.

Mr. Wm. H. Lester, of Virginia, offered the following:

Whereas the Legislature of Virginia is now largely under the control of a rebel majority, a result accomplished largely by intimidation on the part of the rebels towards the loyal voters, and especially the colored electors; and whereas there can be no real liberty for our race in that State, much less any safety for the interests of colored and white labor, unless said Legislature is under the control of loyal men: Therefore

Resolved, That this Convention earnestly invoke the Congress of the United States to enforce its own laws, by causing the test oath to be administered to the rebel Legislature of Virginia, and award the seats of those who cannot take it to their eligible opponents who received the next highest vote, when, from the circumstances; the electors must have known that they were casting their votes for ineligible candidates.

Resolved, That if Congress enforce the law, loyalty and the rights of [liberty?] will be preserved in Virginia. If not enforced, loyalty will be lost and the colored people, more than 600,000 in that State, will be reduced to a condition as deplorable as when they were fastened in chains of slavery.

Resolved, That these resolutions, properly attested, be forwarded by the Secretary to members of Congress and published in the newspapers of the country.


After our report closed yesterday—

The resolution of Mr. T.J. Hayes, of North Carolina, asking Congress to recognize the independence of Cuba, was passed.

Prof. A.M. Green submitted the following:

Resolved, That a delegation of five, of which the President or one of the Vice Presidents of this Convention shall be the chairman, be appointed to wait on Hon. S.J. Bowen, Mayor of Washington, and tender him the best wishes of this Convention for his able and earnest address of welcome to this body, and for the sympathy with the objects of this Convention expressed in that address.

Mr. Lewis H. Douglass thought that as the Mayor had already been thanked by this Convention this resolution smacked somewhat of toadyism; and the resolution was laid on the table.

Mr. Rapier, of Alabama from the Homestead Committee, submitted a report which hooked towards organization of a permanent bureau for the purpose of securing homesteads to colored people. Adopted.

Mr. Aaron M. Powell, editor of the Anti-Slavery Standard, New York, submitted a paper detailing the condition of the laboring people in his State. He contended that what was needed there most was the power behind the throne—the elective franchise—and recommended the Convention to appeal to Congress to give the poor laboring classes of the South lands belonging

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