To the Constitutional Convention of the State of Ohio,
In behalf of the Colored Men of Ohio, in General Conven-
tion assembled, the undersigned have been appointed to present to
you, a few things relating to the interest of the Colored Men of this
State, and particularly in regard to amending the present Constitu-
tion, by stricking out the word "white" in the fourth article, first
section, thereby permitting colored men to exercise the Elective
Franchise, with the same restrictions only, which are imposed upon
"Hear us for our cause."
Under an oath to support the Constitution of the United States,
you are assembled to frame for the State of Ohio, her organic law.
The United States Constitution, so says its preamble, was framed to
support justice--therefore opposed to injustice, to promote domestic
tranquility--therefore opposed to domestic turmoil; to promote the
general welfare; and we need not tell you that the general welfare is
not secured by "the greatest good to the greatest number, merely,
but, in the language of the Hon. John Quincy Adams, by the great-
est good to the whole." This is the professed end of all legislation;
this is the real end of all righteous legislation; so much so, that it
begins to be generally believed, that every law is, or ought to be,
to use Mr. Webster's words, "a re-enactment of the law of God,"
or else, according to Mr. Seward, to say nothing of Fortesque,
Coke, Blackstone, Noyes, Jenks and others, it is "null and void."
"The reasonabless of law is the soul of law." "Statutes against
fundamental morality are void." And a certain well known citizen
of the United States, says--"law finds its home and its definition
nowhere but in the bonds of an universal brotherhood, the claims of
equality or equity, the demands of inherent and inalienable rights,
identical with the principles of democracy and the genius of the
We ask, gentlemen, is not this the principle of all just govern-
ment? As far as we admire the frame work of any government,
is not our admiration proportioned to the equality of its laws?
When we see the Bey of Tunis abolishing slavery in his domin-
ions, why is it that the universal conscience approves the deed?
When Americans are rescued from the Algerines, why is it that
the nation unites in the praise of those rescuing them? When the
Autocrat of Russia lifts up with his own hand, the thousand serfs in
his dominions, on to a half constructed platform of equality, why is
that there is an acclaim in favor of the act, so far, around the world?
--And why is it thrown in the scale of justice, to weigh aginst the
oft-repeated terrors of his vindictiveness? Is it not because the uni-