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Minutes of the fifth annual convention of the colored citizens of the state of New York : held in the city of Schenectady, on the 18th, 19th, and 20th of September, 1844.

1844 Schenectady NY National Convention_cropped.12.pdf

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convention the reasons for the resignations of Messrs. Videl, Smith, and Powell as members of this convention, the secretary has received the following:

  • At an adjourned meeting of the colored citizens of the city of New York, for the purpose of sending delegates to the Schenectady convention, held Sept. 16, 1844, a protest was presented and, after a full discussion thereon, adopted ; protesting against the adoption of two resolutions by the Rochester convention, help August 22d, 1843.

At the same meeting, a resolution was also adopted, requesting the delegates appointed to represent the city and county of New York in said convention to present the protest with a request that it may be recorded on its minutes.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, September 18th, the above mentioned Protest was presented to the Convention, through the Business Committee ; the merits of which were discussed during the remainder of that session, and nearly the whole of the time occupied by the evening session, and finally rejected, by a vote of 11 Yeas, to 38 Nays. After that result was announced, Messrs, U. B. Videl, J. McCune Smith, and Wm. P. Powel, resigned their seats as members of the convention, for the following reasons:

1. Because the convention in refusing to record upon its minutes the Protest, denied the right of petition.

2 Because in so doing, they established the rule that one convention has no power to interfere with the doings of a former convention. They claimed that the Protest simply took grounds against the resolution alluded to, as having been adopted at the convention of 1843, because the convention, having met for a specific object--to take measures to obtain an extention of the Elective Franchise--had no right to introduce into its deliberations matter extraneous to that object.

And by the adoption of those resolutions, fully committed the colored citizens of the State of New York in favor of one of three Political parties, which was injudicial as our final appeal, for the franchise must be made to the whole people, necessarily comprising voters attached to each political party.

On motion, the majority who voted against recording the Protest, were allowed the privilege of recording their reasons,

  • Dr. Smith, in giving the history of the Protests, stated that the meeting at which it was adopted, although an adjourned meeting, was small in number, and the protest was adopted by a vote of 6 in favor, to 4 against.

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