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Minutes of the State Convention, Convened at Columbus
slave, born in the United States, be manumitted, or otherwise law-
fully discharged from bondage, or if a black man be born within
the United States, and born free, he becomes thenceforward, a citi-
zen."  If Chancellor Kent be correct, we respectfully ask, where
is the right to disfranchise us?
  Said the Hon. Mr. Baldwin, before the United States' Senate,
"When the Constitution of the United States was framed, colored
men voted in a majority of these States; they voted in the States
or New York, in Pennsylvania, in Massachusetts, in Connecticut,
Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware and North Carolina; and long
after the adoption of the Constitution, they continued to vote in
North Carolina,  and Tennessee also.  The Constitution of the
United States makes no distinction of color.  There is no word
"white" to be found in that instrument.  All free people then stood
upon the same platform in regard to their political rights, and were-
so recognized in most of the States of the Union. *  *  *  *  The
free colored citizens of these States are as much entitled  to the
rights of citizenship, as are men of any  other color or complexion
whatever.  * * * *  To this day, in the State of Virginia,  free
colored persons, born in that State, are citizens."
  The property of colored men, as in Ohio, had always been taxed
to support government, and it was thought no more than right that
they should enjoy that blessing of government, the twin brother of
taxation, namely,  representation.    Accordingly, in  New  York,
from 1777 to 1821, colored men were represented equally  with
  That colored men are citizens, is attested by the fact that in 1812
--'15 colored men were drafted, in common with others for the war.
In September 1814, General Andrew Jackson issued his proclama-
tion to the free colored  inhabitants of Louisiana,  and told them,
that "through a mistaken policy they had heretofore been deprived
of a participation in the glorious struggle for national rights, in
which our country was engaged," and told them that this should no
longer exist."  He appealed to them as  "Sons of Freedom:"--as
"Americans,"--"as fathers, husbands, and brothers," to  enlist in
behalf of all they held dear.  Speaking to them of this land, he
says,--"Your country;" and of the whites,--"Your white fellow
citizens," and "countrymen." And when in December following, he
addressed the free people of color, congratulating them  upon  the
success of their arms, he said--"our brave citizens  [no distinction
as to color,] are united, and all contention has ceased among them.
Their only dispute is, who shall win the prize of valor, or who
the most glory, its noblest reward," showing an attachment to this
government, such only as free citizens can give.  We ask you,
whether it is right to disfranchise a citizen, and if so, where is the
power specified?  Is it in the Declaration of American Independ-
ence?  Is in the Articles of Confederation?  Is it in the Supreme
Law of the land--the U. States' Constitution?  Is it not contrary
to justice--to law--to abstract and concrete right--to every prin-
ciple of a free government?
  It is also contrary to true  political economy.    In the State of
Ohio, by the report of the Secretary of State made to you, there


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Minutes of the State Convention, Convened at Columbus


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