great injustice for gentlemen to say, that its character cannot be
brought under review without creating hard feelings and divisions.
If the Church possess any good, investigation will only tend to in-
crease its brightness. I wish the Church separated from all other
matters; and stand or fall upon its own merits. It has now reach-
ed its eighteen-hundreth year, and is certainly able to stand
alone. I hope therefore the amendment will prevail.
The hour of 12 o'clock having arrived, the Convention took a
President in the Chair. Prayer by the Rev. J. McC. Simpson.
The Chairman of the business committee reported 21, 22, 23, 24,
and 25, resolutions.
On motion of C. A. Yancy, the resolutions reported by the
committee were laid on the table, to be taken up one by one.
J. McC. Simpson presented from the Rev. E. Davis, of the A.
M. E. Church, a petition asking the Convention to dispense with
the evening sessions, and come up to the help of the Lord against
the mighty. Petition referred to H. Ford Douglass, committee of
The 17th resolution was taken up being laid on the table by ad-
journment. H. Ford Douglass moved that the resolution be made
the special order of the evening. Lost. The substitute of C. H.
Langston was then discusssed, and on motion of C. A. Yancy, the
substitute was amended by putting before the word "church," "so-
ciety," Mr. Taylor moved to amend the amendment, which was
as follows: "That we do not allow any pro-slavery ministers to
officiate in our churches." Mr. Yancy, on leave, withdrew his
amendment, with the understanding that he would offer a separate
resolution in reference to the societies.
While the motion was pending the yeas and nays being called,
for, the vote stood yeas 23, nays 11.
On motion of H. Ford Douglass, That it is the opinion of this
Convention, that no colored man can consistently vote under the
United States Constitution, John Brown, of Franklin, moved its
indefinite postponement, whereupon, Mr. H. F. Douglass arose, and
made the following remarks:
Mr. Chairman--I am in favor of the adoption of the resolu-
tions. I hold, sir, that the Constitution of the United States is
pro-slavery, considered so by those who framed it, and construed
to that end ever since its adoption. It is well known that in 1787,in
the Convention that framed the Constitution, there was considerable
discussion on the subject of slavery. South Carolina and Georgia re-
fused to come into the Union, without the Convention would allow the
continuation of the Slave Trade for twenty years. According to the
demands of these two States, the Convention submitted to that guilty
contract, and declared that the Slave Trade should not be prohibit-
ed prior to 1808. Here we see them engrafting into the Constitu-
tion, a clause legalizing and protecting one of the vilest systems of
wrong ever invented by the cupidity and avarice of man. And by
virtue of that agreement, our citizens went to the shores of Afri-