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A. E. Arnold to Frederick Douglass, June 20, 1853


GENEVA, June 20th, 1853.

FRIEND DOUGLASS: SIR:—In answer to a
call for a County Convention in Ontario Co.,
delegates from Canandaigua and Geneva
met in the Court House at Canandaigua on
Monday, June 13th, and appointed the fol-
lowing officers: Rev. D. Blake, President;
George [illegible]
Vice Presidents; A. E. Arnold, Secretary,
and Mrs. A. E. Arnold, Assistant Secretary;
and after remarks by Messrs. Fisher, Tomp-
son, Arnold, and others, the following pre-
amble and resolutions were adopted:

Whereas, in consequence of the wrongs
which have been inflicted upon our oppressed
race in this country for more than two hun-
dred years, and in order to secure the re-
dress of these wrongs, we have been sum-
moned by some of the most distinguished
citizens of the country, to hold a National
Convention in the city of Rochester on the
6th day of July next, and believing that the
time has come when the Free Colored Peo-
ple of the United States should arise from
their lethargy, and make one determined
and united effort in behalf of their crushed
race—to remove the disabilities under which
they labor, and to promote the elevation of
their race on the American soil; therefore,

Resolved, That we cordially respond to
the call for a National Convention of our
people, to be held at the time and place spec-
ified in the call published in Frederick Doug-
lass' Paper.

Resolved, That we regard it necessary to
hold a Convention like this, having for its
object the amelioration of the condition of
our enslaved race, and the elevation of a
nominally free people on the American soil,
at the noon of the nineteenth century, in a
country which boasts of having proclaimed
to the world the most sublime traits that
was ever conceived by the human mind, or
proclaimed from human lips, as a sad and
melancholy reflection upon the spirit of the
age, and a foul blot on our country's other-
wise proud escutcheon.

Resolved, That a crime more audacious
than the Fugitive Slave Law is not to be
found among the darkest despots of Europe;
it is a law which turns happiness into mis-
ery, and fills the sweet cup with the bitterest
of woe, and cements this whole republic into
one vast hunting ground for human game.

Resolved, That notwithstanding the mighty
efforts that has been made to silence the ag-
itation for liberty, we are determined to con-
tinue this agitation until the chains which
now clank over this land shall be broken,
and not a sigh or a groan from human op-
pression shall be heard in this wide-extended


Resolved, That we, as a people, have been,
and still are, deprived of many of our civil,
and all of our political rights; we now deem
it our indispensable duty to form ourselves
into an organization, by which to more effect-
ually repel the various and vigorous as-
saults of our oppressors; and we have come
to the conclusion, after the most deliberate
considerations, to inform ourselves upon all
political occasions, as to the character of the
candidate, and to give our suffrages to none
but such as will most willingly and cheer-
fully grant (as far as is in their power) to us
all rights and privileges that every good
American citizen may claim legitimately.

Resolved, That education is the only sure
road to happiness, respectability and wealth;
and that we will leave no legitimate measure
untried whereby to get education, and not
only to get literary attainments, but also to
become thoroughly educated in all the arts
and sciences of the day.

Resolved, That the Colored People of the
United States have, for generations, received
at the hands of the whites a series of cruel-
ties and wrongs which are unpracticed by
any other people; and as good American
citizens, we believe it ceases to be (if it ever
was) a virtue to submit passively any longer
to such wrongs. But after the most due re-
flections and due considerations we are re-
solved to enter the field with all the force of
our moral strength, and the dignity of con-
verted humanity, and a determination wor-
thy the cause of liberty, and then battle for
all the rights and privileges guaranteed by
the Constitution of the United States to ev-
ery citizen of the same.

After which, the following delegates were
duly appointed to attend said Convention:
Rev. D. Blake, A. B. Slater, H. W. Johnson,
R. Tompson, and Miss B. Stewart, of Can-
andaigua, G. P. Fisher, A. E. Arnold, Mrs.
M. A. Jeffrey, and Mrs. A. Adams, of Ge-
neva; and after remarks from various speak-
ers, and some minor business, it adjourned.

Respectfully yours,



Arnold, A. E.




A. E. Arnold to Frederick Douglass. PLSr: Frederick DouglassP, 24 June 1853. Reports that nine delegates from Canandaigua and Geneva counties were elected; conveys resolutions adopted at the county convention.


This document was calendared in the published volume and has not been published in full before.


Frederick Douglass' Paper



Publication Status



Frederick Douglass' Paper