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Address to the Constitutional Convention of Ohio from the State Convention of Colored Men Held in the City of Columbus, January 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th, 1851.

1851 Address to the Constituti the Convention of Colored Men 2.pdf

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ADDRESS

To the Constitutional Convention of the State of Ohio, now assembled.

GENTLEMEN : -

In behalf of the Colored Men of Ohio, in General Convention assembled, the undersigned have been appointed to present to you, a few things relating to the interest of the Colored Men of this State, and particularly in regard to amending the present Constitution, by stricking out the word "white" in the fourth article, first section, thereby permitting colored men to exercise the Elective Franchise, with the same restrictions only, which are imposed upon you.

"Hear us for our cause."

Under an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, you are assembled to frame for the State of Ohio, her organic law. The United States Constitution, so says its preamble, was framed to support justice- therefore opposed to injustice, to promote domestic tranquility- therefore opposed to domestic turmoil; to promote the general welfare; and we need not tell you that the general welfare is not secured by "the greatest good to the greatest number, merely, but in the language of the Hon. John Quincy Adams, by the greatest good to the whole." This is the professed end of all legislation; this is the real end of all righteous legislation; so much so, that it begins to be generally believed, that every law is, or ought to be, to use Mr. Webster's words, "a re-enactment of the law of God," or else, according to Mr. Seward, to say nothing of Fortesque, Coke, Blackstone, Noyes, Jenks and others, it is "null and void." "The reasonabless of law is the soul of law." "Statutes against fundamental morality are void." And a certain well known citizen of the United States, says- "law finds its home and its definition nowhere but in the bonds of an universal brotherhood, the claims of equality or equity, the demands of inherent and inalienable rights, identical with the principles of democracy and the genius of the Christian religion."

We ask, gentlemen, is not this the principle of all just government? As far as we admire the frame work of any government, is not our admiration proportioned to the equality of its laws? When we see the Bey of Tunis abolishing slavery in his

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