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Minutes of the State Convention, Convened at Columbus
			
                                22

appears to be over twenty three thousand colored persons in Ohio,
making about one eighty seventh of the whole  population.  We
are here, and here lawfully, and we ask if it be true policy to ex-
clude persons thus in your midst, from any participancy in these
privileges, the enjoyment of which imposes upon those  enjoying
them, "correlative duties." Of course, if we have no protection,
we owe no allegiance, the amount of allegiance, according  to the
arrangement of nations, being graduated by the rights guarantied,
and the protection afforded.
   But, we repeat, colored men have participated in the struggles
of this country, and have thereby helped to uphold it. Do you ask
where?  Let the waters of Lake Champlain, as they came crim-
soned to the shore, answer. Let our old fathers' bones, mouldering
in secluded grave-yards tell the tale.  Ask the Black Rhode Island
Regiment, of the gallant defence of Red Bank, where four hun-
dred colored soldiers met and repulsed fifteen hundred Hessian
mercenaries. Go with us to the attack on the American lines, near
Croton river, 13th May, 1781.  See Col. Green cut down and
mortally wounded: but the sabres of the enemy reached him only
through the bodies of his faithful guard of blacks.  Every one of
them was slain.  Go to the records of Congress, and you will find
an act, recommending to South Carolina and Louisiana, the raising
of three thousand troops who were to be rewarded by their free-
dom.   Bring up the starving remembrance of Valley Forge,
and the horrors of the Jersey prison ship. Colored men know of
these, for they were there.  In Champaign county, is a  colored
man who served with General Washington.  In Ohio, are colored
descendants of Revolutionary sires. In this Convention, pleading
for right, were sons of men, who in 1812--'15, were drafted for
the war, and faced with your fathers the storm of battle.  And if
history be correct, the first blood of the Revolution was that of a
colored man.  We respectfully ask, have we not a just claim to
the same rights with you?
  Again, colored men are helping, through their taxes, to bear the
burdens of the State, and we ask, shall they not be permitted to
be represented?  The property of the colored people of Ohio is now
a matter ot consequence.  We take the liberty here to introduce
some statistics in regard to the colored people of this State, most
of which has been gathered by delegates to this Convention, a por-
tion being attested by the County Auditors.
  In returns from nineteen counties represented, we find the val-
ue of real estate and personal property belonging to colored per-
sons in those counties, amounting to more then three millions of
dollars.  In thirteen of these counties we find a colored population
of 13,213. In ten of these counties, we find twenty four schools
reported as separate colored schools. In two counties of the nine-
teen, colored children attend schools with the whites.
  Few statistics have been obtained, but we think the amount
above specified, certainly demands at your  hands some attention.
so that while colored men bear cheerfully their part of the bur-
dens of the State, they may have their part of the blessings.




			
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Minutes of the State Convention, Convened at Columbus


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