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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 6.pdf

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7

of this country, and have thereby helped to uphold it. Do you ask where? Let the waters of Lake Champlain, as they came crimsoned to the shore, answer. Let our old fathers' bones, mouldering in secluded grave-yards tell the tale. Ask the Black Rhode Island Regiment, of the gallant defence of Red Bank, where four hundred colored soldiers met and repulsed fifteen hundred Hessian mercenaries. Go with us to the attack on the American lines, near Croton river, 13th May, 1781. See Col. Green cut down and mortally wounded; but the sabres of the enemy reached him only through the bodies of his faithful guard of blacks. Every one of them was slain. Go to the records of Congress, and you will find an act, recommending to South Carolina and Louisiana, the raising of three thousand troops who were to be rewarded by their freedom. Bring up the starving remembrance of Valley Forge, and the horrors of the Jersey prison ship. Colored men know of these, for they were there. In Champaign county, is a colored man who served with General Washington. In Ohio, are colored descendants of Revolutionary sires. In this Convention, pleading for right, were sons of men, who in 1812—'15, were drafted for the war, and faced with your fathers the storm of battle. And if history be correct, the first blood of the Revolution was that of a colored man. We respectfully ask, have we not a just claim to the same rights with you?

Again, colored men are helping, through their taxes, to bear the burdens of the State, and we ask, shall they not be permitted to be represented? The property of the colored people of Ohio is now a matter of consequence. We take the liberty here to introduce some statistics in regard to the colored people of this Stale, most of which has been gathered by delegates to this Convention, a portion being attested by the County Auditors.

In returns from nineteen counties represented, we find the value of real estate and personal property belonging to colored persons in those counties, amounting to more then three millions of dollars. In thirteen of these counties we find a colored population of 13,213. In ten of these counties, we find twenty four schools reported as separate colored schools. In two counties of the nineteen, colored children attend schools with the whites.

Few statistics have been obtained, but we think the amount above specified, certainly demands at your hands some attention so that while colored men bear cheerfully their part of the burdens of the State, they may have their part of the blessings.

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