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Proceedings of the State Convention of the Colored Freemen of Pennsylvania, Held in Pittsburgh, on the 23d, 24th and 25th of August, 1841, for the Purpose of Considering their Condition, and the Means of Its Improvement. (Copy 1)
1841 Pittsburgh PA State Convention.04.pdf
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A STATE CONVENTION OF THE COLORED FREEMEN
To be held in the City of Pittsburgh, on the 4th Monday of August, 1841.
Freemen! The present Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania deprives you of the right of suffrage—a right, paramount in importance to all other political rights, being their foundation and only safeguard, and without which all other rights are rendered unsafe and insecure. Argument to induce you to make one united and powerful effort to obtain this right is useless. Nay, if argument were necessary to induce such effort, it would show that you were undeserving of its enjoyment. Your love of liberty, of your country, of yourselves, and of your posterity, will constitute inducements to effort more powerful than the most eloquent argument which we could adduce. You are therefore at once invited to assemble in State Convention, and devise and adopt the best means for its attainment.
The Convention should be a large one. Every county in the state should be represented. Every friend of equal laws and equal rights should be present, either in person or by representation. Every community that can should elect and send on a representation; and those who can elect no representatives should come themselves.
In our Circular first proposing the Convention, Harrisburgh was named as the place of meeting; but her citizens, although in favor of the Convention, thought it not best for it to meet there. From the commencement, a strong desire manifested itself, not to meet in the extreme eastern part of the state; and no other central place offering in good time, and the citizens of Pittsburgh calling for it with a unanimity and enthusiasm seldom equalled, it was thought expedient to yield to their request. Her want of centrality is fully compensated by her facilities of access; and the fatigues of the journey will be soon forgotten in the general kindness and hospitality of her citizens. Highways and Canals of the best quality, and on which is every species of conveyance, and at the lowest charges, start out from here, and reach every extreme of the state; offering an open door and easy journey to all who desire to come. Freemen, respond to the invitation of your fellow citizens. Let your Convention in Pittsburgh, on the Fourth Monday in August, 1841, be worthy of those who invite you, worthy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh, July 17, 1841.
[The above call was signed by one hundred and eight persons, of the Counties of Allegheny, Cumberland, Washington, Chester, Greene, Mifflin, Centre, Adams, Dauphin, Beaver, Franklin, Huntingdon, Fayette, York, Cambria, Indiana, Bedford, Armstrong, Lycoming, and Westmoreland.]
PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONVENTION.
AGREEABLY to the foregoing “Call,” the STATE CONVENTION of the COLORED FREEMEN of PENNSYLVANIA assembled, in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Front street, Pittsburgh, at 10 o’clock in the forenoon of Monday, August 23d, 1841.
At eleven o’clock, a large number of Delegates having appeared, LEWIS WOODSON, chairman of the Committee of Correspondence, took the chair, and called the Convention to order, and JOHN N. TEMPLETON was appointed Secretary, pro tempore.
The Convention was opened with prayer by the Chairman; after which he arose, and briefly addressed the Convention, as follows:
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