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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.18.pdf

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Resolved That one of the distinctive and peculiar features of republicanism, is, that rights are to be guaranteed and extended, without arbitrary or unnatural distinctions.

Resolved, That whenever, in the administration of such government, a portion of its citizens are deprived (from any such invidious,) of an equal participation of the privileges and prerogatives of citizenship, the principles of republicanism are manifestly violated.

That, That to the non-possession of the elective franchise may be traced most of the degradation to which we, as a people, have been for years subjected, and is the fruitful source of unnumbered and unmitigated civil, literary, and religious wrongs.

Resolved, That in proportion as we are treated with disrespect, contumel and neglect, in our political, literary, and ecclesiastical relations, from the want of the elective franchise--so would we command respect and influence in there different relations by the possession of it.

Resolved, That there is great hope for the politically oppressed in their own exertions, relying upon the favor of heaven, and appealing to the just sentiments of those in political power.

Resolved, That the way to obtain rights that have been wrested from a depressed people, is, by the continual presentation of the first principles of political freedom, truth, and justice, accompanied by corresponding efforts on the part of the proscribed.

The following report was handed in by Patrick H. Reason, chairman of the committee:


The committee of eight, one from each senatorial district, appointed to suggest a plan by which we can effectually and harmoniously proceed in our future efforts for the right of suffrage, respectfully report the following resolutions:

1. Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed, consisting of four members from Albany and three from Troy, whose duty it shall be to procure signatures to petitions, and the correspond with other committees throughout the State, appointed for the same purpose.

2. Resolved, That a committee of five from each county in the State, except New York, where there shall be a committee of ten, be appointed in accordance with the last clause of the above resolution--said committees to be termed "county committees."

3. Resolved, That it shall be the duty of the county committees to forward their petitions, when prepared, to the central committee, postage paid, and at as early a date as possible; and the chairman of the central committee to present the same in person to some member or committee of the legislature.

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