Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Minutes of the Proceedings of the Second Convention of Delegates from the Abolition Societies Established in Different Parts of the United States - Assembled at Philadelphia, on the seventh day of January, - one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, and continued, - by adjournments, until the fourteenth day of the same - month, inclusive
Author: Poulson, Zachariah, 1761-1844 [Printer]
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Minutes of the Proceedings of the Second Convention of Delegates from the Abolition Societies Established in Different Parts of the United States - Assembled at Philadelphia, on the seventh day of January, - one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, and continued, - by adjournments, until the fourteenth day of the same - month, inclusive" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



MINUTES

OF THE

PROCEEDINGS

OF THE SECOND

Convention of Delegates

FROM THE

ABOLITION SOCIETIES

Established in different Parts of the United States,

ASSEMBLED AT

_PHILADELPHIA_,

ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF JANUARY, ONE THOUSAND SEVEN
HUNDRED AND NINETY-FIVE, AND CONTINUED, BY
ADJOURNMENTS, UNTIL THE FOURTEENTH DAY
OF THE SAME MONTH, INCLUSIVE.

[Illustration: (decoration)]

_PHILADELPHIA:_

PRINTED BY ZACHARIAH POULSON, JUNR. NUMBER EIGHTY,
CHESNUT-STREET, EIGHT DOORS BELOW THIRD-STREET,

MDCCXCV.



MINUTES

OF THE

PROCEEDINGS

OF THE SECOND

Convention of Delegates.


_Philadelphia, Wednesday, January 7th. 1795._

Agreeably to the recommendation of the Convention, held in this city
last year, a number of Delegates, from the several Abolition Societies
in the United States, assembled, this day, at the City Hall, when, by
the credentials produced, it appeared, that the following persons had
been chosen to represent their respective Societies in this Convention:

_Connecticut Society._

Jonathan Edwards,
Uriah Tracy,
Zephaniah Swift.

_New-York Society._

John Murray, junior,
William Johnson,
Lawrence Embree,
William Dunlap,
William Walton Woolsey.

_Pennsylvania Society._

William Rawle,
Robert Patterson,
Benjamin Rush,
Samuel Coates,
Caspar Wistar,
James Todd,
Benjamin Say.

_Delaware Society._

Richard Bassett,
John Ralston,
Allen McLane,
Caleb Boyer.

_Wilmington Society_ (_state of Delaware_.)

Cyrus Newlin,
James A. Byard,
Joseph Warner,
William Poole.

_Maryland Society._

Samuel Sterett,
Adam Fonerdon,
Joseph Townsend,
Joseph Thornburgh,
George Buchanan,
John Bankson,
Philip Moore.

_Chester-town Society_ (_state of Maryland_.)

Edward Scott,
James Houston.

Of whom the following appeared and took their seats, _viz._

Jonathan Edwards,
Uriah Tracy,
Zephaniah Swift,
William Johnson,
Lawrence Embree,
William Dunlap,
William Walton Woolsey,
William Rawle,
Robert Patterson,
Benjamin Rush,
Samuel Coates,
Caspar Wistar,
James Todd,
Benjamin Say,
Richard Bassett,
Caleb Boyer,
Cyrus Newlin,
Joseph Warner,
Samuel Sterett,
Joseph Townsend,
Joseph Thornburgh,
John Bankson,
Philip Moore,
Edward Scott,
James Houston.

The Convention proceeded to the election of a President, and, on
counting the ballots, it appeared, that Benjamin Rush was duly elected.

Walter Franklin, one of the Secretaries of the Pennsylvania Abolition
Society, was appointed Secretary, and Joseph Fry, Doorkeeper.

Agreed, That all questions, which shall come before this Convention, be
decided by a majority of the votes of the members present, and that
every motion, when seconded, shall, if required by the President, or
any member, be reduced to writing.

The address, from the last Convention, to the different Abolition
Societies in the United States, was then read; after which, several
written and verbal communications were made.

Jonathan Edwards, William Dunlap, Caspar Wistar, Cyrus Newlin, Caleb
Boyer, Philip Moore, and James Houston, were appointed a committee to
consider of, and report, the objects proper for the attention of this
Convention, and the most suitable means of attaining the same.

Ordered, That the several communications, made this evening, be
referred to the above committee, and that the members of the Convention
be requested to impart to them such information as they may possess,
relative to the object of their appointment.

Adjourned till to-morrow evening at five o'clock.


_January 8th. 1795._

The Convention met.

Present--Jonathan Edwards, Uriah Tracy, Zephaniah Swift, William
Johnson, Lawrence Embree, William Dunlap, William Walton Woolsey,
William Rawle, Robert Patterson, Samuel Coates, Caspar Wistar, James
Todd, Benjamin Say, Richard Bassett, Caleb Boyer, Cyrus Newlin, Joseph
Warner, Joseph Townsend, Joseph Thornburgh, John Bankson, Philip Moore,
Edward Scott, James Houston.

The President being absent, Uriah Tracy was appointed to preside for
the evening.

An extract, from the minutes of the proceedings of a general meeting of
the New Jersey Abolition Society, was read, by which it appeared, that
Joseph Bloomfield, William Coxe, junior, James Sloan, John Wistar, and
Franklin Davenport, were elected to represent that Society in this
Convention, of whom, William Coxe, junior, James Sloan, and Franklin
Davenport, appeared and took their seats.

The committee, appointed at the last meeting, not being prepared to
make a final report, were continued.

Several communications, from the New Jersey Society, were presented by
their Delegates, and referred to the said committee.

Adjourned till to-morrow afternoon at five o'clock.


_January 9th. 1795._

The Convention met.

Present--Jonathan Edwards, Uriah Tracy, Zephaniah Swift, William
Johnson, Lawrence Embree, William Dunlap, William Walton Woolsey,
William Coxe, junior, James Sloan, Franklin Davenport, William Rawle,
Robert Patterson, Benjamin Rush, Samuel Coates, Caspar Wistar, James
Todd, Benjamin Say, Richard Bassett, Caleb Boyer, Cyrus Newlin, Joseph
Warner, Samuel Sterett, Joseph Townsend, Joseph Thornburgh, John
Bankson, Philip Moore, Edward Scott, James Houston.

A letter, from the President of the Providence Abolition Society, was
read; by which it appeared, that Theodore Foster and George Benson were
appointed to represent that Society in this Convention.

A letter, from the Washington Abolition Society in Pennsylvania, was,
also, read, notifying the appointment of Thomas Scott, Absalom Baird,
and Samuel Clark, as Representatives of the said Society, in this
Convention.

The Secretary was directed to inform such of those gentlemen as are now
in this city, of the receipt and purport of the above letters.

The Convention being informed, that the absence of Joseph Bloomfield,
of New Jersey, was occasioned by sickness, mention thereof was ordered
to be made on the Minutes.

The committee, appointed to consider of, and report, the objects proper
for the consideration of the Convention, and the most suitable means of
attaining the same, made report, which, after amendment, was adopted as
follows, _viz._

_First_, That an address be made, by this Convention, to the several
Abolition Societies in the United States, recommending to them, to send
Deputies to a Convention, similar to the present, to be holden in
Philadelphia the first day of January, in the year 1796; also, that it
be recommended to those Societies, who have not sent, to this
Convention, complete copies of the laws of their several states,
relative to slavery, to send, to the next Convention, copies of all
such laws, both those which are now in force, and those which have been
repealed; and to send, to the next, and every succeeding, Convention,
an accurate list of their officers for the time being, together with an
account of the place of their abode, and of the offices, civil,
military, or ecclesiastic, which they may sustain, with the number of
members of which they consist: that it be further recommended, to the
several Societies, to send, annually, to the Convention, an accurate
list of all those persons who have been relieved and liberated by their
agency; and, also, an account of such trials and decisions of courts,
the general knowledge of which they shall judge subservient to the
cause of abolition: that it be recommended to the several Societies, to
institute public periodical discourses, or orations, on the subject of
slavery, and the means of its abolition; also, to continue, without
remission, and in such ways as they shall, respectively, judge most
likely to be successful, their exertions to procure an amelioration of
the laws of their respective states, relative to the Blacks; and, at
the same time, to give particular attention to the education of the
black children: and, as an historical review of the legislative
provisions, relative to slavery, in the several states of the Union,
from their respective settlements to the present time, would be
conducive to the general benefit,--that it be further recommended, to
the several Abolition Societies, to take measures for procuring the
materials, and promoting the publication, of such a work; and that a
communication of the steps taken, in pursuance of this recommendation,
be made to the ensuing Convention.

_Second_, That the Convention take into consideration the case of those
persons, who, having been made free by the republic of France, are
still holden in slavery by those who have emigrated into the United
States from the territories of the said republic; and that the
Convention devise some lawful measures for their relief:--we barely
suggest, whether an application to the French ambassador be, or be not,
proper in the case.

_Third_, That the Convention take into consideration the means of
improving the condition of the Blacks, who are, or may be, made free in
the different states, and of preventing the inconveniences that may
arise from the degraded state of the Negroes in the United States.

_Fourth_, That it be recommended, to the Society of New Jersey, to
enter on proper measures to procure an amendment of the law of that
state, prohibiting the manumission of slaves of a greater age than
thirty-five years.

William Johnson, Franklin Davenport, and Samuel Coates, were appointed
to prepare an address, as proposed in the first and fourth sections of
the above report.

The second section was referred to William Walton Woolsey, William
Rawle, James Todd, and Edward Scott, to report thereon.

The third section was referred to Lawrence Embree, Caspar Wistar,
Benjamin Say, Joseph Warner, and Samuel Sterett, to report thereon.

Samuel Coates, James Sloan, and Joseph Townsend, were appointed a
committee to enquire, and report, concerning the measures taken, in
pursuance of the several resolutions of the former Convention, for
transmitting memorials and addresses to the Congress of the United
States, and the Legislatures of individual states.

Adjourned till to-morrow evening at six o'clock.


_January 10th. 1795._

The Convention met.

Present--Uriah Tracy, Zephaniah Swift, William Johnson, Lawrence
Embree, William Dunlap, William Walton Woolsey, James Sloan, William
Rawle, Robert Patterson, Benjamin Rush, Samuel Coates, James Todd,
Benjamin Say, Caleb Boyer, Cyrus Newlin, Joseph Warner, Joseph
Townsend, Joseph Thornburgh, John Bankson, Philip Moore, James
Houston.

Theodore Foster, delegated to represent the Providence Society,
appeared and took his seat.

The committee, to whom was referred the second section of the report of
the committee of arrangement, reported, that they had taken the subject
into consideration; that it appeared to them, to be within the province
of the several Societies to act therein; and that the Convention should
recommend, to the said Societies, to exert themselves for the
liberation of the persons described in the said report, so far as may
be consistent with the laws of their respective states.

Ordered, That the said report be accepted.

Adjourned till Monday evening next at six o'clock.


_Monday evening, January 12th. 1795._

The Convention met.

Present--Jonathan Edwards, Zephaniah Swift, Theodore Foster, William
Dunlap, William Johnson, Lawrence Embree, William Walton Woolsey, James
Sloan, William Rawle, Robert Patterson, Samuel Coates, Caspar Wistar,
James Todd, Benjamin Say, Caleb Boyer, Cyrus Newlin, Joseph Warner,
Joseph Townsend, Joseph Thornburgh, John Bankson, Philip Moore, Edward
Scott, James Houston.

The President being absent, Zephaniah Swift was appointed to preside
for the evening.

The committee, appointed to enquire concerning the measures taken, in
pursuance of the resolutions of the former Convention, for transmitting
memorials and addresses to the Congress of the United States, and the
Legislatures of individual states,--presented the following report,
which was read and accepted, _viz._

The committee, appointed to enquire if the memorials to Congress, and
the different state Legislatures, were presented agreeably to the order
of the Convention last year,--report,

That the memorial was presented to the Senate and House of
Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled, who took
the same into consideration, and granted the prayer thereof by enacting
a law, of which the following is a copy:

     _An Act to prohibit the carrying on the Slave-trade from the
     United States to any foreign place or country._

     Section I. BE _it enacted by the Senate and House of
     Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress
     assembled_, That no citizen or citizens of the United
     States, or foreigner, or any other person coming into, or
     residing within the same, shall, for himself or any other
     person whatsoever, either as master, factor or owner, build,
     fit, equip, load or otherwise prepare any ship or vessel,
     within any port or place of the said United States, nor
     shall cause any ship or vessel to sail from any port or
     place within the same, for the purpose of carrying on any
     trade or traffic in slaves, to any foreign country; or for
     the purpose of procuring, from any foreign kingdom, place or
     country, the inhabitants of such kingdom, place or country,
     to be transported to any foreign country, port or place
     whatever, to be sold or disposed of, as slaves: And if any
     ship or vessel shall be so fitted out, as aforesaid, for the
     said purposes, or shall be caused to sail, so as aforesaid,
     every such ship or vessel, her tackle, furniture, apparel
     and other appurtenances, shall be forfeited to the United
     States; and shall be liable to be seized, prosecuted and
     condemned, in any of the circuit courts or district court
     for the district, where the said ship or vessel may be found
     and seized.

     Section II. _And be it further enacted_, That all and every
     person, so building, fitting out, equipping, loading, or
     otherwise preparing, or sending away, any ship or vessel,
     knowing, or intending, that the same shall be employed in
     such trade or business, contrary to the true intent and
     meaning of this act, or ways aiding or abetting therein,
     shall severally forfeit and pay the sum of two thousand
     dollars, one moiety thereof, to the use of the United
     States, and the other moiety thereof, to the use of him or
     her, who shall sue for and prosecute the same.

     Section III. _And be it further enacted_, That the owner,
     master or factor of each and every foreign ship or vessel,
     clearing out for any of the coasts or kingdoms of Africa, or
     suspected to be intended for the slave-trade, and the
     suspicion being declared to the officer of the customs, by
     any citizen, on oath or affirmation, and such information
     being to the satisfaction of the said officer, shall first
     give bond with sufficient sureties, to the Treasurer of the
     United States, that none of the natives of Africa, or any
     other foreign country or place, shall be taken on board the
     said ship or vessel, to be transported, or sold as slaves,
     in any other foreign port or place whatever, within nine
     months thereafter.

     Section IV. _And be it further enacted_, That if any citizen
     or citizens of the United States shall, contrary to the true
     intent and meaning of this act, take on board, receive or
     transport any such persons, as above described, in this act,
     for the purpose of selling them as slaves, as aforesaid, he
     or they shall forfeit and pay, for each and every person,
     so received on board, transported, or sold as aforesaid, the
     sum of two hundred dollars, to be recovered in any court of
     the United States proper to try the same; the one moiety
     thereof, to the use of the United States, and the other
     moiety to the use of such person or persons, who shall sue
     for and prosecute the same.

        FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG.
              _Speaker of the House of Representatives._

        JOHN ADAMS, _Vice-President of the United States,
                    and President of the Senate_.

     APPROVED--March the twenty-second, 1794.
        G^o: WASHINGTON, _President of the United States_.

That the memorial, to the General Assembly of Connecticut, was
presented, accompanied with a memorial from the Abolition Society of
that state; whereupon, a bill was originated, and passed, in the House
of Representatives, to abolish slavery in Connecticut; which bill was
negatived by a small majority in the legislative Council.

That the memorials, to the Assemblies of New Jersey and Pennsylvania,
were presented, but not acted upon.

That the memorial, to the Delaware Assembly, was presented late in the
session, but no order taken thereon.

That the memorials, to the Legislatures of New York, Maryland, and
Virginia, by reason of accidents, were not presented.

That no certain information is yet obtained, that the memorials were
presented to the Legislatures of North Carolina, South Carolina, or
Georgia, although your committee have reason to believe they were
presented, as they were forwarded by a careful person.

The committee, appointed to prepare an address, as proposed in the
first and fourth sections of the report of the committee of
arrangement, presented one, which was read, and ordered to lie on the
table.

The committee, to whom was referred the third section of the report of
the committee of arrangement, made report, which was read, and ordered
to lie on the table.

The following resolutions were then adopted, _viz._

Resolved, That addresses be prepared and presented to the Legislatures
of those states, which have not passed laws for preventing the
importation of slaves.

Samuel Coates presented an essay of an address on this subject, to the
state of Georgia, which, with the above resolution, was referred to
William Dunlap, William Rawle and Joseph Townsend.

Resolved, That a memorial be transmitted to the Legislature of South
Carolina, requesting a continuance of the act for preventing the
importation of slaves.

Jonathan Edwards presented a draught of an address on this subject,
which, with the resolution, was referred to the above committee, who
were authorized to embrace such other objects, in the memorials, as
they might judge proper.

Resolved, That Theodore Foster, William Rawle, and William Johnson, be
a committee to consider, and report, whether any, and what, amendments,
appear necessary in the act, passed by the Congress of the United
States, prohibiting the carrying on the slave-trade to any foreign
place or country.

Resolved, That it be recommended to the several Societies, to transmit,
to the next Convention, an account of the number of free Negroes in
their respective states, with a general statement of their property,
employments, and moral conduct.

The address, to the several Abolition Societies, was re-committed to
William Walton Woolsey, William Johnson, Samuel Coates, and Robert
Patterson, for the purpose of incorporating therein such other matters
as this Convention have resolved to recommend to the said Societies.

Adjourned till to-morrow evening at six o'clock.


_January 13th. 1795._

The Convention met.

Present--Uriah Tracy, Zephaniah Swift, Theodore Foster, William
Johnson, Lawrence Embree, William Dunlap, William Walton Woolsey,
James Sloan, William Rawle, Robert Patterson, Samuel Coates, Caspar
Wistar, James Todd, Benjamin Say, Caleb Boyer, Cyrus Newlin, Joseph
Warner, Joseph Townsend, Joseph Thornburgh, John Bankson, Philip Moore,
Edward Scott, and James Houston.

The President being absent, Theodore Foster was appointed to preside
for the evening.

The committee, appointed to prepare memorials to the Legislatures of
the states of Georgia and South Carolina, presented two essays, which
were read; the one to the Legislature of Georgia, was ordered to lie on
the table; that to the Legislature of South Carolina, after amendment,
was agreed to as follows, _viz._

_To the ---- of the State of South Carolina._

     The memorial and petition of the Delegates from the several
     Societies, formed in different parts of the United States,
     for promoting the abolition of slavery, in Convention
     assembled, in Philadelphia, on the seventh day of January,
     1795.

     _Respectfully shew_,

THAT, having been deputed, and having convened, for the purpose of
considering, and carrying into effect, the most proper measures for
the abolition of slavery; and being forcibly impressed with a sense of
the dangers to which the citizens of the United States are exposed,
while a numerous class of men exist among them, deprived of their
natural rights, and forcibly held in bondage;--we think it our duty to
address you, as men, fellow citizens, and brethren, and earnestly to
request your attention to the means of avoiding the evils naturally
resulting from the above mentioned unhappy circumstances.

The first step which we take the liberty of suggesting to you, is an
entire prohibition of all traffic in slaves, between your state and
every other nation or state, either by importation or exportation: This
is the first and principal object of our memorial--an object which we
the more earnestly recommend to your attention, as we are informed that
the law of your state, prohibiting the importation of slaves, will
expire sometime in March next.

In considering this subject, many methods of conciliating the
affections of this unfortunate people, and preparing them for that
state in society upon which depends our political happiness, suggest
themselves:--such as, an amelioration of their condition and a
diffusion of knowledge among them. But, as nothing can be effectual
while the number of slaves may be daily increased by importation, and
while the minds of our citizens are debased, and their hearts hardened,
by contemplating these people only through the medium of avarice or
prejudice (a necessary consequence of the traffic in man) we confine
the prayer of this petition to the total prohibition of all traffic in
slaves, between your state and every other nation or state, either by
importation or exportation; which we respectfully solicit you to grant,
having full confidence, that, independant of other considerations, you
will see the evident policy of the measure.

       *       *       *       *       *

The committee, appointed to consider whether any, and what, amendments
appear necessary in the act, passed by Congress, prohibiting the
carrying on the slave-trade to any foreign place or country, made
report as follows, _viz._

The committee, to whom was referred the consideration of the act of the
Congress of the United States, for prohibiting the traffic in slaves,
report,--

That, in their opinion, no amendment is necessary to the law in
question. It appears, to them, to prohibit the exportation of slaves
from America, for the purposes of traffic, or from any part of any
foreign country, whether a port, river, bay, or coast, to any other
foreign country. The generical term "place" certainly includes as well
the sea as the land; and it is, in substance, declared to be unlawful
so to traffic in any place or manner, except only what the
constitution, at present, denies the power of restraining, _viz._ the
importation of slaves into the United States.

Whether further experience may point out defects at present not seen,
the committee cannot predict. It may not, perhaps, be prudent to aid
avarice and inhumanity by the attempt.

Ordered, That the said report be accepted.

On motion,

Resolved, That this Convention address the free black people, in the
United States, exhorting them, by suitable arguments and motives, to
such conduct and behaviour as may be judged most proper to promote
their own happiness, and render them useful members of society.

Ordered, That Samuel Coates, Robert Patterson, and William Dunlap, be a
committee to prepare, and report, an address conformable to the said
resolution.

Adjourned till to-morrow evening at six o'clock.


_January 14th. 1795._

The Convention met.

Present--Uriah Tracy, Zephaniah Swift, Theodore Foster, William
Johnson, Lawrence Embree, William Walton Woolsey, James Sloan, Robert
Patterson, Benjamin Rush, Samuel Coates, Caspar Wistar, James Todd,
Benjamin Say, Cyrus Newlin, Joseph Warner, Joseph Townsend, and James
Houston.

The address, to the Legislature of the state of Georgia, was read a
second time, and, being amended, was adopted as follows, _viz._

_To the ---- of the State of Georgia._

     The memorial and petition of the Delegates from the several
     Societies, formed in different parts of the United States,
     for promoting the abolition of slavery, in Convention
     assembled, in Philadelphia, on the seventh day of January,
     1795.

     _Respectfully shew_,

THAT the Convention, assembled in the month of January, 1794, addressed
your body on the subject of the African slave-trade; and the present
Convention, not having been informed of the success of that memorial,
have thought it a duty incumbent on them, to re-call your attention to
some points nearly connected with the honor of humanity, and the
interest of your state, and of the United States.

We have learned, with the highest satisfaction, that you have
prohibited the importation of slaves into your state, from all other
parts of the world, except Africa. We congratulate you, and the friends
of humanity in general, on such a step; but the time, we hope, is not
far distant, when every motive of wisdom and true policy will lead you
to prohibit entirely this species of commerce. And we, at this time,
request your serious attention to a consideration of the evil likely to
ensue from the continuance of the traffic, and to the numerous
advantages which must arise from its abolition. Among the least of
these, we would mention the consistency it would afford to the American
character, now held up, as an example to the European world; and the
good treatment which might hence be naturally expected, as likely to be
afforded to those blacks who are already in your country. To these
suggestions, permit us to add a wish, that you would consider of the
propriety of passing a law, to empower the owners of slaves to grant
their gradual emancipation, by will or otherwise, as we are well
convinced, that the happiest effects are to be expected from a
progressive abolition of slavery.

       *       *       *       *       *

The committee, to whom was re-committed the address to the several
Abolition Societies, for the purpose of incorporating therein such
other matters as had received the approbation of the Convention since
the appointment of the first committee,--presented one with the
additions, which, being read and amended, was adopted as follows,
_viz._

_To the ---- Society for promoting the abolition of slavery, &c._

THE Delegates, from the several Abolition societies in the United
States, convened in this city, express to you, with great satisfaction,
the pleasure they have experienced from the punctual attendance of the
persons delegated to this Convention, and that harmony with which they
have deliberated on the several matters that have been presented to
them, at this time, for their consideration. The benefits which may
flow from a continuance of this general meeting, by aiding the
principal design of its institution--the universal emancipation of the
wretched Africans who are yet in bondage, appear to us so many and
important, that we are induced to recommend to you, to send Delegates
to a similar Convention, which we propose to be holden, in this city,
on the first day of January, in the year one thousand, seven hundred
and ninety-six.

We have thought it proper to request your further attention to that
part of the address, of the former Convention, which relates to the
procurement of certified copies of the laws of your state respecting
slavery; and that you would send, to the next Convention, exact copies
of all such laws as are now in force; and of such as have been
repealed. Convinced that an historical review of the various acts and
provisions of the Legislatures of the several states, relating to
slavery, from the periods of their respective settlements to the
present time, by tracing the progress of the system of African slavery
in this country, and its successive changes in the different
governments of the Union, would throw much light on the objects of our
enquiry and attention, and enable us to determine, how far the cause of
justice and humanity has advanced among us, and how soon we may
reasonably expect to see it triumphant;--we recommend to you, to take
such measures as you may think most conducive to that purpose, for
procuring materials for the work now proposed, and assisting its
publication; and to communicate, to the ensuing Convention, what
progress you shall have made toward perfecting the plan here offered
for your consideration and care.

Believing that an acquaintance with the names of the officers of the
several Abolition Societies, would facilitate that friendly
correspondence which ought always to be preserved between our various
associations, we request that you would send, to the next, and to
every future, Convention, an accurate list of all the officers of your
Society, for the time being, with the number of members of which it
consists. And it would assist that Convention in ascertaining the
existing state of slavery in the United States, if you were to forward
to them an exact account of the persons who have been liberated by the
agency of your Society, and of those who may be considered as signal
instances of the relief that you have afforded; and, also, a statement
of the number of free blacks in your state, their property,
employments, and moral conduct.

As a knowledge of what has been done, and of that success which has
attended the efforts of humanity, will cherish the hope of benevolence,
and stimulate to further exertion, we trust that you will be of opinion
with us, that it would be highly useful to procure correct reports of
all such trials, and decisions of courts of judicature, respecting
slavery, a knowledge of which may be subservient to the cause of
abolition, and to transmit them to the next, or to any future,
Convention.

It cannot have escaped your observation, how many persons there are who
continue the hateful practice of enslaving their fellow men, and who
acquiesce in the sophistry of the advocates of that practice, merely
from want of reflection, and from an habitual attention to their own
immediate interest. If to such were often applied the force of reason,
and the persuasion of eloquence, they might be awakened to a sense of
their injustice, and be startled with horror at the enormity of their
conduct. To produce so desirable a change in sentiment, as well as
practice, we recommend to you the instituting of annual, or other
periodical, discourses, or orations, to be delivered in public, on the
subject of slavery, and the means of its abolition.

We cannot forbear expressing to you our earnest desire, that you will
continue, without ceasing, to endeavour, by every method in your power
which can promise any success, to procure, either an absolute repeal of
all the laws in your state, which countenance slavery, or such an
amelioration of them as will gradually produce an entire abolition.
Yet, even should that great end be happily attained, it cannot put a
period to the necessity of further labor. The education of the
emancipated, the noblest and most arduous task which we have to
perform, will require all our wisdom and virtue, and the constant
exercise of the greatest skill and discretion. When we have broken his
chains, and restored the African to the enjoyment of his rights, the
great work of justice and benevolence is not accomplished--The new born
citizen must receive that instruction, and those powerful impressions
of moral and religious truth, which will render him capable and
desirous of fulfilling the various duties he owes to himself and to his
country. By educating some in the higher branches of science, and all
in the useful parts of learning, and in the precepts of religion and
morality, we shall not only do away the reproach and calumny so
unjustly lavished upon us, but confound the enemies of truth, by
evincing that the unhappy sons of Africa, in spite of the degrading
influence of slavery, are in no wise inferior to the more fortunate
inhabitants of Europe and America.

As a mean of effectuating, in some degree, a design so virtuous and
laudable, we recommend to you to appoint a committee, annually, or for
any other more convenient period, to execute such plans, for the
improvement of the condition and moral character of the free blacks in
your state, as you may think best adapted to your particular situation.

By a decree of the National Convention of France, all the blacks and
people of color, within the territories of the French republic, are
declared free, and entitled to an equal participation of the rights of
citizens of France. We have been informed that many persons, of the
above description, notwithstanding the decree in their favor, have been
brought from the West-India islands, by emigrants, into the United
States, and are now held as slaves.--We suggest to you the propriety,
as well as the necessity, of making enquiry into the subject, and of
effecting their liberation, so far as may be found consistent with the
laws of your state.

Copies of our proceedings will be transmitted to you, and we hope, that
you will receive such satisfaction as will induce your early attention
to the objects we have here recommended.

       *       *       *       *       *

The committee, appointed to prepare an address to the free black
people, reported one, which was read, and ordered to be postponed for
the consideration of the next Convention.

       *       *       *       *       *

Resolved, That Theodore Foster, Robert Patterson, Samuel Coates, and
Benjamin Say, be a committee to superintend the publication and
distribution of the proceedings of this Convention; and that so many
copies thereof as may be thought proper by the Pennsylvania Abolition
Society, be printed, and distributed among the several Abolition
Societies in the United States.

That the address, to the several Abolition Societies, be signed by the
President, attested by the Secretary, and transmitted, by the above
mentioned committee, to the said Societies.

That the Memorials, to the Legislatures of the states of South Carolina
and Georgia, be signed and attested as above mentioned, and
transmitted to the respective Presidents or Speakers of one branch of
the Legislature, or laid before the respective Houses, in such manner
as the President may think expedient.

That a copy of the proceedings of this Convention be transmitted to the
President of the Abolition Society of London.

Resolved, That the Abolition Society of Pennsylvania be requested to
thank the Mayor of the city of Philadelphia for accommodating the
Convention with a room.

The Convention then adjourned _sine die_.


_Published by order of the Convention_,

          WALTER  FRANKLIN, _Secretary_.

_Philadelphia, January 14th. 1795._

[Illustration: (decoration)]


       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's Notes

Changed long-s to regular s throughout text.

Pages 20, 24, 26: The long dash ---- represents the blank area in the
  "To the" address title.

Page 22: Retained original spelling of independant.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Minutes of the Proceedings of the Second Convention of Delegates from the Abolition Societies Established in Different Parts of the United States - Assembled at Philadelphia, on the seventh day of January, - one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, and continued, - by adjournments, until the fourteenth day of the same - month, inclusive" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home