THE “CONVENTIONS” OF CONVENTIONS: POLITICAL RITUALS AND TRADITIONS
RULES OF CONVENTIONS
This page presents a snapshot of how the rules which governed the practices of the conventions were shown in the minutes over a ten-year period (1833-1843). Although not all conventions recorded the minutes with the precision and clarity displayed by the 1833 Philadelphia Convention, there is some mention of the rules being adopted in the minutes of almost every Convention. The language that communicated these moments of rules adoption revealed how they were an integral part of how the Colored Conventions movement constituted itself as a political ritual in its very enactment. Despite not having political standing, these conventions constantly refered to the “rules and regulations of the last.” Such statements created links between conventions and a sense of the work as a whole. However, the conventions did not simply adopt these rules without consideration, or simply as a routine. Rather, the debate and adaptation of the rules that would govern the proceedings was something of importance, and we can see changes that vary between locations over time.
 “MINUTES OF THE FOURTH ANNUAL CONVENTION FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE FREE PEOPLE OF COLOUR, IN THE UNITED STATES; HELD BY ADJOURNMENTS IN THE ASBURY CHURCH, NEW YORK, FROM THE 2D TO THE 12TH OF JUNE, INCLUSIVE, 1834.”