Thursday, January 16, 2003

Ohio Moments


Pamphlet promoted early anti-slavery cause

On Jan. 16, 1856 the State Convention of Colored Men met in Columbus and drafted a pamphlet that included a request to the state legislature to remove the word "white" from the constitution in all references to suffrage. The four-day convention focused on ending slavery. Ohio had a large contingent of abolitionists and the state was a major route on the Underground Railroad. For example, the Ripley Anti-Slavery Society, which was an auxiliary of the Ohio State Anti-Slavery Society, was dedicated to the "entire abolition of slavery in the United States," as stated in its constitution. The eight-page pamphlet produced at the convention asked the legislature to, "... ponder the danger of circumscribing the great doctrines of human equality... to the narrow bounds of races or nations. All men are by nature equal, and have inalienable rights, or none have. We beg you to reflect how insecure your own and the liberties of your posterity would be by the admission of such a rule of construing the rights of men."

Rebecca Goodman

Ohio Moments will appear here daily during 2003. Have a suggestion? Contact Rebecca Goodman at rgoodman@enquirer.com or (513) 768-8361.




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