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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.15.pdf

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Resolved, That P.H. Reason, U. Boston, Wm. H. Topp, E.P. Rodgers, A.H. Francis, A. Dunbar, J. Sharp, James W. Duffin be that committee.

To be continued.

The committee appointed on Wednesday morning to report a form of petition for special signatures of the Convention, reported through P.H. Reason, chairman, the following, which was adopted.

Form of Petition

The State Convention of colored citizens assembled at Albany, on the 18th, 19th, and 20th, to consider their political condition, in behalf of their brethren throughout the State, would respectfully represent:

That although by the nature of the government we are taught, that an equality, not of property or favor, but of rights, is the firmest foundation of liberty, and that on which democracy is founded--yet, by Art. II, Sec. 1, State Constitution, a distinction is made with regard to them of the most serious nature--which, while it acknowledges them as citizens, denies them the rights which all other possess as attached to that honorable appellation.

They would submit it to your honorable body, whether it can be for the benefit of the community, that a part should be depressed and degraded; whether humanity and policy do not alike suggest the propriety of elevating the character of the humblest members of the State, by not debarring them from the most efficient instrument of their elevation, simply on account of complexional difference.

In view, therefore, of the injustice and levelling policy of this act, they would respectfully ask, that by an amendment, the enjoyment of equal political rights and privileges, may be extended to them as foreigners. In fine, they would respectfully pray for the abolition of that part of the State Constitution which imposes upon them unequally a property qualification for the use of the franchise. Signed, &c.

The committee appointed on Wednesday morning to draw up certain instructions or recommendations to the people on petitioning, in behalf of the convention, submitted through the chairman, Alexander Crummell, the following:

The committee on the resolution which has reference to petitioning, would beg leave most respectfully to


Prayer is one of the earliest and most spontaneous of all human exercises. Man is a creature of wants, which are ever presented in continuous succession. From his imperfect and dependent nature, petitionary addresses are ever attendant upon him, from the dawn of existence to the last slow lingering descent and appearance of life.

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