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PROCEEDINGS OF THE ANTI-SLAVERY CONVENTION

Held at Upper Alton, May 5, 1847

Source: Alton Telegraph, May 14, 1847

 

The above pictured token was distributed by anti-slavery circles in 1838, and reads

"Am I Not a Woman and a Sister," and depicts an enslaved woman kneeling in chains.

 

 

The convention met at 10 o'clock a.m., pursuant to notice. The meeting was called to order by one of the Notifying Committee, and opened with prayer by the Rev. Hubbell Loomis. The following persons appeared:

Rev. Hubbell Loomis, Rev. T. B. Hurlbut, Rev. Lemuel Foster, and Major C. W. Hunter of Upper Alton.

Messrs.B. Viall, ____ Proctor, John R. Woods, and Jesse Walton of Alton city.

Also, the following Delegates:

Messrs. Isaac Snedeker and George W. Burke of Jersey County.

Messrs. John Viall, T. A. Brown, and _____Meacham of Macoupin County.

Mr. J. McNell of Randolph County.

On motion, Major C. W. Hunter was elected President of the Convention, and Jesse Walton, Clerk. A business committee was then appointed, consisting of Messrs. Loomis, Foster, and B. Viall, to prepare the necessary documents for forming, agreeably to the call, an Anti-Slavery Association.

 

After some time for retirement and deliberation, the committee reported several different papers, containing different forms for an Association, with different phraseology to specify its object. In selecting from these, an animated discussion arose, with respect to the manner of expressing the object of the society, and means for securing it; in the midst of which the Convention took a recess for dinner, until 2 o'clock p.m.

 

After recess, others appeared in Convention, viz.:

Hon. Cyrus Edwards, Dr. John James, Rev. Mr. Dennison, Messrs, Elias Hibbard and John Bates of Upper Alton.

Rev. A. T. Norton and Mr. Richard Sanderson of Alton city.

A letter was read from the Rev. Mr. Palmer of Jersey county, expressing his regret at not being able to be present, and the importance of adhering to the principles of the Bible in the anti-slavery reform. The discussion above mentioned was then resumed, and continued for a time with much interest; when the following Preamble and Constitution was adopted:

PREAMBLE

We, the undersigned, in order for combined and efficient action, in behalf of the just and equal and inalienable right of man, as laid down in the Word of God, and our Declaration of Independence; do form ourselves into an Association under the following:

 

CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE 1

This Association shall be called, "The Madison County Anti-Slavery Society."

 

ARTICLE 2

The object of this society shall be, the extinction of slavery in our land and nation; by exhibiting clearly, boldly and faithfully, but with kindness and love, its inherent guilt and opposition to God's Word; the fearful havoc it makes with all the moral relations of the enslaved; its destructive tendency in our government; the pecuniary ruin which attends it; and the divine wrath which it incurs; and by employing against it all those means and efforts, and all that influence, which, as lovers of our fellow men, as freemen, and as Christians, we are enabled to employ, and are bound in duty to use.

 

ARTICLE 3

Any person who is willing to co-operate in the above object, shall, on signing this Constitution, be a member of this society.

 

ARTICLE 4

The society shall hold an annual meeting at such time and place as it shall appoint; and also other meetings, from time to time, as the cause demands; either fixed upon by itself, or called by its officers.

 

ARTICLE 5

The officers of the society shall be a President, two Vice-Presidents, a Recording and Corresponding Secretary, and a Treasurer, elected annually, and who shall perform the usual duties of such officers, and hold their places until others are chosen in their room.

 

ARTICLE 6

The above officers shall together constitute an executive board, which shall act for the society in the interval of its meetings, guide in carrying out its plans and efforts, call extra meetings of the society if necessary, &c., and any three of them shall constitute a quorum for business.

 

ARTICLE 7

The above Board shall have power to fill its own vacancies occurring in the interval of the society's annual meetings.

 

ARTICLE 8

Any expenses which it may be necessary to incur, shall be incurred by the direction of the society itself, and not of the board.

 

ARTICLE 9

The meetings of the society shall be opened and adjourned with prayer to Almighty God, for divine aid and guidance; when singing and reading a portion of God's word, shall also be regarded as appropriate.

 

ARTICLE 10

This Constitution may be altered at any annual meeting of the society by a vote of two-thirds of the members present.

The Society then proceeded to the election of its officers; when Major C. W. Hunter was chosen President, and Dr. T. A. Brown of Brighton and Dr. J. Knapp of Alton, Vice-Presidents. Rev. L. Foster of Upper Alton was chosen Corresponding Secretary, and Jesse Walton of Alton, Treasurer and Depositary. A proposition for co-operation being made by Bro. McNeil of Randolph County on motion, it was

 

Resolved, That this society co-operate with the anti-slavery body in Randolph County, in obtaining lecturers, and in holding a mass meeting, during the coming fall, at Eden in that county; the time being previously made known through the public press.

 

On motion, voted to meet at the call of executive board; when the society adjourned with prayer.

 

Jesse Walton, clerk

 

 

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