"Meeting of the Colored Men of Columbus," Ohio State Journal, October 22, 1850, p. 1.
Ohio State Journal
Meeting of the Colored Men of Columbus
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
Meeting of the Colored Men of Columbus.
We have been requested to publish the proceedings of the colored men of this city upon the subject of the Fugitive Slave Law. We are no friend or apologist of the law. We think, however, our blacks are unnecessarily alarmed. We do not think that a harder case than that of JERRY PHINNEY will be likely to arise in Columbus. The most of our citizens are so thoroughly opposed to kidnapping, and so sensitive on the subject, that any attempt of the kind here would fail, and the persons attempting such a game would hardly escape the vengeance of summary Lynch law:
Pursuant to public notice a large and enthusiastic meeting of the colored citizens of Columbus assembled in the Second Baptist Church, on the 7th instant, at 2 o'clock P.M., to take into consideration the provisions of the Fugitive Slave Law, enacted by the late Congress of the United States.
The meeting was called to order by D. Jenkins, and, on his motion, L.D. Taylor was called to the Chair, and C.H. Langston was appointed Secretary.
The object of the meeting being stated, a committee of five was appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the assembly. The committee, after a short absence, reported through their Chairman, J.M. Langston, the annexed resolutions:
WHEREAS, The late Fugitive Slave Law is unconstitutional, because it takes from a person his or her liberty "without due process of law;" suspends the Writ of Haebus corpus, the genial character of human freedom in time of peace - strikes down the right of trial by jury or otherwise - renders all persons insecure against unreasonable seizures, a right which is directly guaranteed to everyone by the organic law of our country - denies to every colored man the charter of his or her being - his own liberty - is in direct opposition to the principles of true Christianity, and the philanthropic teachings and requirements of our common Maker - is at war with the spirit and genius of the age, and repugnant to the nobler impulses, the manly dictates and the kindlier feelings of every truly refined and cultivated mind, as well as to the heathen and barbarian in his native wilderness: Therefore,
Resolved. 1st. That we pledge ourselves, all to each and each to all, to oppose this nefarious and abominable Law, by all the means in our power - that no fugitive from labor, or person claimed as such shall ever be taken from our midst, until we have done all in our power to secure his or her release, and that we advise all colored persons to go continually prepared, that they may be ready at any moment to offer defence in behalf of their liberty.
2d. That a truckling spirit and cringing disposition, marked the entire course of Northern Senators and Representatives, who in any way favored this diabolical enactment, honored with the name of law, - and that they have thereby rendered themselves obnoxious to their constituents and to the civilized world.
3d. That we feel confident that the philanthropy and benevolence, the patriotism, and humanity, which characterize the people of this community, will not allow them to enforce a law so nefarious in its machinery, and so destructive in its operations.
4th. That we earnestly advise all fugitives, if any here be in our midst, to quit their peaceful homes and seek an asylum in the land of liberty, beyond the lakes.
5th. That there be a committee of five appointed, whose duty shall be to appoint and regulate a vigilant committee in the city of Columbus, to protect our citizens against the seizure of slave-holders, their agents or attorneys.
6th. That the proceedings of this meeting be published in the city papers, and all others friendly to the cause of the slave.
On motion, the meeting adjourned for sine dic.
L.D. TAYLOR, Chairman.
C.H. LANGSTON, Secretary.