H M Turner; James Porter (September 24, 1868)

H. M. Turner; James Porter

Hartford Daily Courant: September 24, 1868

To the Colored Voters of Georgia.—The rights guaranteed to us by the constitution of our state, and by the constitution and laws of the United States, have been unlawfully and arbitrarily torn from us by one branch of the General Assembly, a body created and established very largely by our votes, and that at the risk, in many instances, of starvation and death. The Democratic party, having, by refusing the colored members that right to vote, unlawfully obtain a large majority in the House of Representatives, have decided, by a…. resolution, in defiance of the constitution and laws of the United States, and of the state of Georgia, that colored men have no right to represent their race in the General Assembly, and have accordingly ejected them from their seats. By this act they have ignored our rights of citizenship and representation, rights established by the constitution and laws, and recognized by every sound and impartial jurist in the country….. By this act, nearly 100,000 taxed voters of Georgia are deprived of their right of representation, contrary to the cardinal principle of a Republican government. We have good reason to apprehend that this is only the prelude to what we may expect at the hands of the Democratic Party; as they neither regard our established rights, as citizens, and electors, or our condition and claims as freemen. In several counties we were advised by those we thought honest Democrats to elect colored representatives rather than loyal white men, while in several other counties not a white Republican could be found, or any white man who would accept the colored nomination; yet we are now censured and expelled for doing the best we could. And what is more astonishing, a number of white representatives, who were professed Republicans at home, since their arrival here have become decided Democrats. In view of this state of things, we call upon the colored men of every county in this state to send delegates to a state convention of colored citizens, to be held in the city of Macon, on the first Tuesday in October, 1868, for the purpose of taking into consideration our condition, and determining upon the best course for the future. There can be no doubt that our personal liberty is in as great danger as our civil and political rights. The same power which would override the constitution in one thing will do it in another. It is, therefore, a solemn duty which every colored man owes to himself, his family, and his country, to maintain his manhood and his right of citizenship. It is our duty to meet and invoke Congressional aid in the security of our rights. Rally, then, rally, colored voters, for your rights, your citizenship, and your personal liberty! Send your delegates with sufficient funds to remain until the business of the convention is completed. Guard against all disturbances, as this is a moral contest, a bloodless battle. Drunkards and fools fight in person; sober and wise men fight with thoughts and words.

As soon as this notice comes to band, begin to get your delegates ready.

H.M. Turner, President C. and P. R. Association. James Porter, Secretary.