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The Minutes of the State Convention of the People of Color of the State of Indiana

1851 Indianapolis State Convention.compressed.3.pdf

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race. For, on Monday next, is the annual State election, which, I have no doubt, from the best information that I can gain, will endeavor to seal the destinies of the Colored Americans of this State by at least thirty thousand votes against us.

Gentlemen, I believe that this Convention will produce a new epoch in the history of the Colored Americans of Indiana; and I truly regret that your choice has not decided upon one who, from his experience and knowledge of parliamentary rules would be more able to discharge the duties that will be required upon this occasion than myself. This is the second Convention of any note that I have had the privilege of meeting in, and the first time that I have ever been called to the chair, to preside over a body of this magnitude. I would ask to be excused were it not that I do not wish to be considered remiss in the performance of any duty assigned me by my fellow citizens, especially when our liberties are at stake. Without any further apology, gentlemen, I will impartially endeavor to discharge the duties assigned me to the best of my ability.

Gentlemen of the Convention, and Fellow Citizens; before I take my seat you will permit me to say to you, that there are several important subjects which I trust will claim the undivided attention of this Convention. And, as I shall be confined to the chair during the sitting of this Convention, you will permit me to lay before you, a few important subjects, which I had contemplated introducing for the consideration of this Convention.

1st. As Colored Americans, we are entitled to all rights, privileges, and immunities of citizenship as other citizens according to the letter and the spirit of the United States.

2d. We are deprived of those inherent rights, set forth in the Declaration of Independence, and confirmed by the Constitution of the United States, all of which have been conferred upon foreigners that come into this country.

3d. Industry, Education, and Temperance should claim the undivided attention of each and every delegate of this Convention.

4th. The proposition of England to the Colored Americans of the United States, to immigrate to the island of Jamaica, and the kind and friendly manner we are received in Canada.

5th The American Colonization Scheme, I do hope will claim the special attention of this Convention, as it has been going the rounds through the public papers, that the colored people of Indiana had called a Convention for the purpose of deciding in favor of emigrating to Liberia.

6th and lastly. A response to the call for a National Convention, the time and place of holding it, and the propriety of electing delegates to represent the Colored Americans of Indiana in said Convention.

With these remarks, gentlemen, I will take my seat, hoping that the great Creator of all mankind will bless our efforts on this occasion.

The convention then proceeded to business as follows:

On motion, it was

Resolved, that the President appoint a committee to prepare business for the consideration of this Convention.

The following were appointed said committee: J. L. Johnson, J. H. Morris, W. H. Manly, J. A. Warren, and J. J. Fitzgerald.

On motion of Mr. J.A. Warren, it was

Resolved, That the time of meeting of each day's sessions, be at 9

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