OHS home

Ohio Historical Society / The African American Experience in Ohio, 1850-1920








10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23 
PreviousPrevious Item Description Next Next
Minutes of the State Convention, Convened at Columbus



                        PREAMBLE AND RESOLUTIONS.

   1.  WHEREAS, The first Section of the 4th Article of the Constitultion of Ohio de-
prives every colored citizen of a free exercise of their inestimable right of the "Elec-
tive Franchise;" and whereas we are unprotected in person and property, in a so-
called "Free and Independent" form of government; and whereas our social, political
and religious rights are at the mercy of the law-makers of our land; therefore,
   Resolved, That we call upon, and earnestly pray the Constitutional Convention
now assembled in Cincinnati to so alter said article as to give every citizen, irrespec-
tive of color, a right to say at the ballot box who shall make and execute the law by
which he is governed.
   2.  WHEREAS, There still remains on the statute book of Ohio certain important
restrictions and disabilities, founded only on the unjust and inhuman distinction of
color, which laws tend greatly to degrade the Free Colored Citizens of the State, in 
attempting to annihilate the great principle of "Equal Rights" to all men as asserted
in the Declaration of our American Independence; and whereas there are hard
and unjust practices not lawful, tolerated in our State,--such as being prohibited
the privilege of an inside seat in the public Stage Coaches; also of the benefits of
Colleges, Academies, and Seminaries, also of the Deaf and Dumb, Blind, and Lu-
natic Asylums, and Poor Houses,--therefore,
   Resolved, That we look upon all those prohibitons as being unjust, and detrimen-
tal to the moral, intellectual and political elevation of the Colored people.
   3.  WHEREAS, Congress has recently passed a bill termed the "Fugitve Slave
Law," evincing on its part a determination to degrade us by robbing us of the last
vestage of human rights, to wit: Trial by jury, and Writ of Habeas Corpus--those
great bulwarks of human freedom, defended by the hero's blood, and patriotic ex-
ertions of the wise and good of every age; therefore,
   Resolved, That we look upon this bill as being more unjust than any law ever
passed before, and look upon those who voted in favor of this fiendish enactment as
being more despotic than the pagan edicts of Nero or Calagula--more cruel and 
Heaven-daring than any law makers that ever legislated, or practiced under heath-
en jurisprudence, even in the dark night of despotism that enshrouded France du-
ring her reign of terror.
   4.  Resolved, That we look upon the recent Fugitive Slave enactment as a hide-
ous deformity in the garbs of law--unconstitutional--opposed to the Institutions of
the Free States--an outrage upon humanity--at war with the teachings of Christi-
anity, and its place is first upon the catalogue of disgraceful, and abominable legis-
lations that characterised the tyranny of of Charles I., and we would urge upon the
people the necessity of its immediate and unconditional repeal.
   5.  Resolved, That this convention shall instruct each County in the State to
send up to each State Convention held in the State hereafter, as correct a statistical
list of the population, wealth, moral and literary attainments, agricultural and me-
chanical pursuits, &c., as can possibly be obtained.
   6.  WHEREAS, A combination of effort is the only efficient way of elevating any 
   Resolved, That this Convention recommend to each County to appoint an Agent,
whose duty it shall be to have the supervision of the County; to organize as many
moral reform, and literary societies as he can, and to call county and other public
meetings when circumstances demand it.
   7.  Resolved, That if the Convention would insert a clause providing that every 
colored man who owned three hundred dollars worth of taxable property shall be en-
titled to his citizenship, it would be the means of quickly making us an industrious
   8.  Resolved, That the delegates composing this Convention shall be requested to 
write out a report in as short a form as is expedient, giving the population, wealth
and condition of their respective counties.
   9.  Resolved, That these Reports be published in the Minutes.
   10.  WHEREAS, We, as a people, occupy a peculiar position in society, which po-
sition subjects us to all manner of menial services,
   Resolved, That we recommend our people to give their sons and daughters useful
trades, so that they may leave the blacking rooms, horse stables, steamboats, wash-
tubs and other menial employments; and we also recommend our people to put their
children under colored mechanics whenever they can find any who are capable of
giving such instructions.
   11.  WHEREAS, The people from time immemorial assembled in Conventions to
Download High Resolution TIFF Image
PreviousPrevious Item Description Next Next

OHS Archives/Library Pamphlet Collection

Minutes of the State Convention, Convened at Columbus


http://www.ohiohistory.org || Last modified
Ohio History Center 800 E. 17th Ave. Columbus, OH 43211 © 1996-2011 All Rights Reserved.