The Meeting that Launched a Movement: The First National Convention

The Origins of the 1830 Convention


This section examine events and individuals that brought the 1830 convention to life: an emergency forcing thousands of Black people from Ohio, a letter from a young African American from Baltimore seeking a better life in another country, and the 70-year-old founder and leader of the AME Church, Bishop Richard Allen. The aforementioned are all featured prominently in the traditional origin story that has been passed along in scholarship for nearly two hundred years. Additionally, many other events, documents, and individuals promoted organizing on a national scale for the first time as well. Free African Americans across the country appear to have been simultaneously ready for such organizing efforts to emerge.