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Minutes of the State Convention, Convened at Columbus

versal conscience affirms this principle to be just, and the only prin-
ciple to be exercised between man and man?
   Our fathers of the revolution recognized this principle on the 
birth day of this nation, and proclaimed--"all men"--not a part of
men--but "All men are created equal, endowed by their Creator
with certain inalienable rights, among which are life liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness."  To secure these rights said they, "gov-
erments were instituted among men, deriving their just powers
from the consent of the governed."--They here announced two
important principles: First, That governments are instituted for
the protection of the rights of--not of a set of men--but of the ALL
men spoken of:  And, Second, That the government which does not 
protect the rights of all men, is not just.  And even now, North
Carolina and Virginia vie with Connecticut and Rhode Island in
claiming the honor of first making such a declaration.  In accord-
ance with it, colored men in N. Carolina, up till 1831, used the elec-
tive franchise in common with others.  This, it seems to us, and this
only, is in accordance with the spirit of free institutions, just like the
democracy so eloquently described by Hon. Wm. Allen of our own
State, "which asks nothing but what it concedes.  And concedes
nothing but what it demands.  Destructive only to despotism, it is
the sole coservator of liberty, labor, and property.  It is the sen-
timent of freedom, of equal rights and equal obligations.  It is the
law of nature pervading the law of the land.  "Yes,"--he glow-
ingly continues, "that is a noble, magnanimous, sublime sentiment,
which expands our affections, enlarges the circle of our sympa-
thies, and elevates the soul of man, until claiming an equality
with the best, he rejects as unworthy of his dignity, any political
immunities over the humblest of his fellows."  We respectfully
represent to you, that the continuance of the word "white" in the 
Ohio State Constitution, by which we are deprived of the privilege
of voting for men to make laws by which we are to be governed, is
a violation of every principle thus announced.
   It is also contrary to the governmental principles adopted practi-
cally in the law of nations, namely, that those born in a country
are members of the body politic, on arriving at the requisite age,
and on fulfilling the equal conditions imposed upon all.  So that no
accidental circumstance, like the color of the hair or the shape of 
the nose, has any power in reference to their rights.
   Gentlemen:  We have been taught by you to believe, that the
United States' Constitution is the Supreme law of the land.  The
fifth clause 1st section, Article second, recognizes the principle that
natural birth gives citizenship, otherwise, there seems to us to be no 
sense in the naturalization laws.  Those of us, therefore, who
were born in the United States, and reside in Ohio, are citizens of
Ohio.  If citizens of this State, entitled, by the United States'
Constitution, to all the rights and immunities of citizens of the sev-
eral States.  The elective franchise being among these rights and 
immunities, we respectfully urge upon our claim.
   Says Chancellor Kent [Vol. II. p. 258, sec. 32,] "Citizens, under
our Constitution and laws, mean free inhabitants born within the 
United States, or naturalized under the laws of Congress.  If a
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Minutes of the State Convention, Convened at Columbus


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