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Minutes of the State Convention of Colored Citizens, Held at Albany, on the 18th, 19th, and 20th of August, 1840, for the purpose of considering their political condition.

1840 State Convention in Albany NY.compressed.14.pdf

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of suffrage; the said petition to be signed by the President, Vice Presidents, and Secretaries, as well as the entire delegation assembled here in behalf of the colored people in this State.

Resolved, That P. H. Reason and A. Crummell be the committee.

The following resolution was then submitted:

Resolved, That inasmuch as the possession of a freehold estate to the amount of $250, secures to us the elective franchise, we do therefore strongly recommend to our people throughout the State to become possessors of the soil, inasmuch as that not only elevates them to the rights of freemen, but increases the political power in the State in favor of our political and social elevation.

A very spirited debate arose on this resolution, owing to the exception taken to that part of it which asserted that the obtainment of a certain amount of, property “elevates us to the rights of freemen.” The resolution was supported in the affirmative by C. B. Ray, T. S. Wright, E. P. Rodgers, chiefly, ard opposed by H. H. Garnet, U. Boston, A. Crummell, and others. The discussion on the resolution continued till near the close of the session, when Mr. Ray introduced an amendment, which was as strongly opposed, owing to its containing, as was contended, the same objectionable feature as the original resolution. While yet the question was pending, the Convention adjourned at half-past 12 o’clock.

Wednesday Afternoon. The Convention opened at 2 o’clock with prayer by the Rev. J. N. Mars, of Poughkeepsie.

The minutes were read and approved.

The Convention went into a committee of the whole, to receive statistical statements; Austin Stewart in the chair. A number of very important facts respecting the real and personal estate owned in the represented places and their vicinities—the state of schools, churches, &c. were made known--statistics of many places removed from the seats of representation, were communicated by delegates who had made it their duty to procure such general information. The Committee sat in very pleasant meeting for one hour and forty five minutes, when it rose and reported progress, the facts obtained being handed over to the Committee on Statistics, to be kept by them for the further use of the Committee on the Address.

Mr. Ray's amendment, which was under consideration at the close of the morning session, was called up, and after some further discussion, was laid indefinitely upon the table.

On motion, Resolved, That a committee of eight, one from each senatorial district, be appointed by the house, to form plans and suggestions, by which we can effectually and harmoniously proceed in our future efforts to obtain the right of suffrage.

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