The Michigan Slate Anti Slavery society convened at the court house, in Jackson, agreeably to adjournment, at 10 o' clock A. M., and was opened by prayer by the President, Rev. J. P. Cleveland.
The minutes of the last annual meeting were then read.
On motion, T. Foster was appointed assistant Secretary.
Messrs. G. W. Clark, J. T. Gilbert and R. B. Bement were appointed a committee to form a roll of members.
Resolved, That all persons who are members of any A. S. society, or who are prepared to join this society, be admitted as members of this meeting.
The following persons then gave their names, to wit:
Jackson.-S.B.Treadwell, G.W. Clark, J.D. Cowdin, M. Harrison, B.I. Mather, W.J. Ryon, J.W. Geer, E. Vedder. Wm. Tyler, J.A. Bannister, J. Wood, Norman Allen, D. Rand, O.N. EIlison.
Ann Arbor.- G. Beckley, C. Branch, S . Damon, C. Bliss, M. Wheeler, S. Felch, L. Townsend, Dr. J.B. Barns, W.S. Bird, T.Y. Stone, J.P. Cleveland.
Marshall- J.S. Fitch, J.T. Gilbert, J.A. Vanarman, N. Durfee, G.G. Lay.
Pittsfield - Samuel Dutton, D. Underwood, J.W. Brooks, John Ayres, Asher Aray, James Aray.
Detroit. - Doct. A.L. Porter, W. Isham, H. Hallock, H.P. Hoag, W.C. Munroe, M.S. Lightfoot, R. Banks.
Concord.- Thos. M'Gee, D. Mann, D. Torrans, J.M. Reed, C.A. Seymour, J. Taylor, M.B. Hopkins.
Albion.-E. Child, C.B. Taylor.
Ypsilanti-H.H. Griffin, A.A. Copeland.
Eaton Rapids.-J.D. Conklin, W. Crane, J.W. Toles, J.S. Fifield, Geo. Shepard, S.D. Morse.
Rives. - Asahel King, J. Cole, R. Cole, R.H. King, S. Wilber, P.J. Miner, L. Sears.
Napoleon - J.H. Burrouss, J.S. Love, R.B. Rexford, T. Elliot, S. Morton.
Leoni.-J. Marsh, A.B. Maxon, H.S. Limbocker, A. Crawford,
Grass Lake - L.H. Jones. H.A. Jones.
Wm. Kirklan, Pinckney; J. Montgomery, Eaton co. ; L.T. Higgins, S. Higgins, Cayuga; W. Smith, Spring Arbor; U. Adams, Rochester; W.M. Suliivan, Leslie; H. Tripp, Franklin; R.L. Hall, Tecumseh; Thos. Cotton, Brooklyn; R.B. Bement, Litchfield; T. Foster, Scio; S. Pomroy, Tompkins; N. Ockron, Sharon; S. Wood, Scipio; J.H. Cole, Spring Arbor; H. Stowell, Highland; S.T. Lord, do.; N. Power, Farmington, A.L. Power, do.; L. Russell, T.J. Champion, Homer; Mr. E. Cole, Brooklyn; Marvin Allen, Adrian; J. Whitman, jr., Springport; James Barbour, Livingston Co.
Resolved, That the Executive Committee, with three additional members, consisting of Messrs. Kirkland, Power and Isham constitute a committee to prepare business for the meeting.
Resolved, That J.P. Cleveland, and E. Child, members of the Executive Committee, be excused, and that Drs. A.L. Porter, and J.B. Barns, be substituted in their place, and that John A. Vanarman be substituted in the place of Z. Platt, Esq. who is absent.
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to designate the place and time of the next annual meeting. Messrs. Fitch, Lightfoot and Cotton were appointed that committee.
Resolved, That Messrs. J.T. Gilbert, W.M. Sullivan, and Mr. Higgins, be a committee to nominate delegates to attend the National A.S. Convention, to be held in New York, in May next.
Resolved, That the Society take a recess till half past 1 P.M. Closed with prayer by M. Harrison.
Half Past One, P.M.
President took the chair, and the meeting was opened with prayer by Mr. Fitch.
The annual report of the Executive Committee was then read, which was accepted, and after considerable discussion and slight amendment, it was adopted and ordered to be published under the direction of the Executive Committee.
[The following is a brief synopsis of the Report. The great length of it--making seven closely printed columns--the limited space we have to occupy, and the press of matter on hand will prevent our giving anything but a bird's eye view of it.]
Your Committee beg leave to report that owing to the extreme pecuniary pressure of the times, the unprecedented excitement of the last presidential campaign and the discouraging circumstances that no competent traveling agent could be procured to enter the field, the plan adopted at our last annual meeting to support the Cause in the State proved a partial failure. Through the liberality of a few individuals, however, and a small amount for subscriptions, the local financial agent has received in all the past year, $502,62, and has paid out fur the cause by way of paying off old debts of the state society - sustaining the Freeman the past year, &c, $661,18.
The financial agent adopted, as your committee believe, the only wise and just course for the cause and for all concerned, in dividing the limited means which came into his hands towards discharging the debts of the previous year, and of furnishing the Freeman to its subscribers as often as possible. He has contracted no debts for the cause the past year which he has not paid.
While the editor of the Freeman has paid out to sustain the cause the past year $159,36 more than all he has received, he makes no formal demand for remuneration for services &c., any farther than the friends of the slave feel able and cheerful to meet.
Your committee have no evidence that the Freeman, on the whole, has not, to say the least, been as well supported since it advocated the policy of independent A.S. nominations, as while it advocated A.S. political action, as it did from its commencement upon the old questioning and scattering system of voting between the pro-slavery parties.
Your committee believe it to be not only the privilege but the bounden duty of all Americans, clothed with the sacred power of the elective franchise, to use it in its wisest and most effectual form, in connection with their moral influence to the full extent of their constitutional jurisdiction for the speedy overthrow of slavery in the United States.
Our friends in the Empire State in connection with kindred spirits in other States, seem to have led the way in what your committee regard that sound practical abolition contemplated in the constitution of the American Anti-Slavery Society - to use our rightful, moral and political power for the overthrow of American slavery.
Your committee most fully believe from the canvass of the late presidential election, exhibiting, as it does, but here and and there a solitary Anti-Slavery vote upon the old scattering system of Anti-Slavery voting, that the friends of liberty judged correctly who believe that a far greater number would concentrate their votes upon well known, and well tried men, than would scatter them to the four four winds.
The fact that they recognize but ONE Anti-Slavery vote in this State, upon the obsolete scattering mode of Anti-Slavery voting, and 328 for Birney and Earle, your committee think, proves to a demonstration, the wisdom and superiority of the concentrated, over every other system of Anti-Slavery political action. They believe that experience, observation and common sense unite to establish this.
They would, therefore, most cordially recommend to all the members of the Michigan State Anti-Slavery Society, as well as to all the friends of liberty--humanity and the highest interest of their country of every class of their fellow citizens in this state, to associate their political as well as moral power in all constitutional ways against American Slavery, and in favor of American liberties, fully believing it not only to be right in itself so to do, but the highest and most enlightened view of expediency, with reference to the greatest possible ultimate good to the enslaved and our whole country.
Your committee can see no difference in the principle of concentrating or scattering Anti-Slavery votes except it be that the former bears the marks of an honest and open course of conduct, and the latter of a species of duplicity.
Your committee believe that the only way for men to secure public confidence in whatever correct principles they may profess, is uniformly to exhibit to the world a corresponding conduct. So far therefore from believing, that the abolitionist, who at our late presidential election, voted upon their principles in an associate capacity or otherwise, have destroyed public confidence in the sincerity of their professions as abolitionists, and thrown the cause back, as has by some been asserted, your committee are confident that it has in reality proved the reverse and has secured a much larger share of public confidence in the sincerity and determination of such abolitionists than they could possibly have secured, either by omitting to vote at all, or by voting in violation of their avowed principles.
Your committee fully believe that the moral, religious, and ecclesiastical bearings of this great enterprise deserves a prominent place in our efforts. They are also full as confident that while the one is done, the other should not be left undone, and that correct political action against so great a political as well as moral evil is one of the most unequivocal expressions of abhorrence of the evil, and that to sustain slavery directly or indirectly by our suffrages would most essentially neutralize our supposed or pretended moral suasion against it.
Your committee rejoice that they can on the whole report that the signs of the times clearly indicate that the overthrow of this common enemy to man is rapidly approaching, not only in our own country but throughout the world. - Its downfall in the West lndies; its seeming speedy termination in the dominions of France, Spain, Portugal and Denmark, - the vigorous efforts in progress to supply the world with free labor cotton from the plains of India - the unceasing abhorrence to slavery in the christian church in Europe and America - and the recent extensive exhibitions of its hostility to free labor in the United States - all foretell its near and certain doom in our own land.
In conclusion, being deeply impressed with the fact that there never was a time when all the friends of humanity and universal liberty were more loudly called upon than now, for united, wise and vigorous efforts for the triumph of the principles so dear to them. Your committee would most earnestly entreat all such in the state to rally around the liberty standard the ensuing year, in the support of at least one press, one efficient lecturing agent to present the length and breadth, the heighth and the depth of the claims of our cause to all the citizens of Michigan.
Your committee fondly trust that our young and rising state will never forfeit her well earned reputation of contributing a larger support to the true liberty ticket in 1840, according to her population, not-withstanding her immense disadvantages, than any other state in the Union.
When she remembers the auspicious commencement, may she take courage in her onward march for universal emancipation, until by the blessing of heaven, "Liberty shall be proclaimed throughout all the land to all the inhabitants thereof."
Resolved, That Robert Banks and Nathan Power be added to the committee to nominate officers.
The business Committee reported resolutions which were read and considered in their order.
Resolved, That no speaker shall speak more than twice to any resolution under debate, and that he shall occupy but ten minutes at a time.
Resolved, That the great fundamental principles of all rational freedom embodied in the Declaration of American Independence, that all men by nature have an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are of divine origin, and that they are the principles upon which our enterprise is based.
Closed with prayer by Mr. Beckley.
Half Past Six, P.M.
The Society met, and was opened with prayer by Mr. McGee.
Resolved, That we fully approve the practice of of making independent nominations, and that we cordially recommend to all the friends of good order and of liberty and humanity to unite their suffrages upon well tried men of their own selection, who shall have absolved all connection with pro-slavery parties.
Resolved, That it is in vain for the northern people of this union to attempt to screen themselves from the sin and guilt of slaveholding, while they fail to use every lawful effort to absolve themselves from all constitutional compacts in favor of slavery, and neglect to throw around fugitives the shield of a jury trial.
Resolved, That the more party victories that shall be achieved in our country, by sacrificing northern rights to southern slavery, the more hopeless will be the condition of the slave and the redemption of our own lost liberties from the slaveholding despotism of this nation.
Resolved, That the doctrine of choosing the least of two moral evils - of doing evil that good may come, and that the end justifies the means, is at war with the Bible and the sacred principles of the declaration of Independence.
Resolved, That we might as well think of purifying the stream without first cleaning its fountain which sends forth only filthy waters, as to think of rendering the pecuniary, commercial, manufacturing and agricultural interests of this nation, permanently prosperous, while slavery, whose waters "like the troubled ocean casting up mire and dirt," moves at its pleasure all this vast and complex machinery.
Resolved, That while we will use every lawful measure in our power to enlighten our fellow citizens upon the evils and dangers of slavery we will also show to them our abhorrence of it by withholding our political support from all men of whom we have not satisfactory evidence that they are consistent, practical friends of the equal rights and equal liberties of all.
Resolved, That the fact that while thirteen non-slaveholding states of the Union have more than double the number of freemen to the slaveholding states - pay about nine-tenths of the national revenue - furnish about this proportion of the national defence in times of peace and war - sustain most of the public institutions of learning in the country, and still have furnished the republic with its Presidents but 12 out of 52 years- its Speaker in Congress but 2 out of 35 years, and the other national officers not in a much larger ratio, should at once lead every northern man seriously to enquire whether he did not indeed lose his liberties when Missouri was annexed to the Union as a great slave country.
Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed by the house whose duty it shall be to investigate the financial concerns of the Michigan Freeman, and report to this meeting a plan by which it can be sustained another year. Messrs. Beckley, Foster, Portee, M'Gee, and Rexford, were appointed said committee.
Resolved, That the Society now adjourn to 9 o'clock to-morrow morning. Closed with prayer, by Mr. Hallock.
FEB, 11.--THURSDAY M0RNING, 9 O'CLOCK. The society met agreeably to adjournment, and was opened with prayer by Mr Tripp. The committee to nominate delegates to the national convention, reported the following persons: J. T. Gilbert, John Vanarman, R. B. Bement. Dr. Meeker, G. W. Clark, H. Hallock, Levi Barnum, R B. Rexford, Marcus Harrison, W. C. Munroe, Charles H. Stuart. The report was adopted. The committee to nominate officers for the ensuing year made a report which was accepted, amended, and adopted, as follows : -
Rev. J. P. CLEVELAND, President,
Rev. M. Harrison, Jackson Co.
J. S. Fitch, Calhoun "
Dr. A. L. Porter, Wayne " V. Presidents
W. W. Crane, Eaton "
N. G. Chase, Jackson "
N. Power, Oakland "
S. B. Treadwell, Cor. Sec'y.
L. Townson, Rec. Sec'y.
Dr J. B. Barns, Treasurer.
Rev. G. Beckley,
S. B. Noble, Ex. Com.
The committee on the time and place of the next meeting, reported recommending that the next annual meeting be held at Marshall immediately after the adjournment of the State Temperance Society, which is appointed to be held there on the first Tuesday of February, 1842. The report was adopted.
The society took a recess till half past 1 P. M. Closed with prayer by Mr. Munroe.
HALF PAST ONE, P.M. The Society met, and opened with prayer by Dr. Bement. The Committee to whom was referred the subject of the Michigan Freeman, and of devising, if possible, a plan by which it may be sustained, had leave to report. which after some amendment was adopted as follows: -
1st. That the society is in debt to agents, for rent and otherwise, about $200.
2d. To the editor of the Freeman for his services from the commencement of his labors as such, and for funds advanced by him for the support of the Freeman, $650.
3d. The amount due the Society from subscribers is about equal to the amount due from the Society to subscribers, for papers which have been paid for in advance, and they not supplied.
4th. That in view of the extreme severity of the times and the great consequent embarrassments at present attendant upon the support of a paper, devoted exclusively to the anti-slavery cause in this state,it is deemed desirable, if practicable, to establish a weekly miscellaneous newspaper, under the direction of the Executive Committee, sufficiently general in its character, to answer all the purposes of a business and family paper, excluding all sectarianism, and all principles at present advocated by the two great political parties, and in which at the same time the principles and objects of this society shall be fully set forth and steadily maintained.
5th. That the interests of the cause and the support of the paper require one or more agents whose duty it shall be to lecture - raise funds and obtain subscribers for the paper.
Resolved, That we make the following alterations and additions to the constitution of our society, viz: That that article recognizing it to be auxiliary to the American anti-slavery society be repealed, and also that it shall be the duty of all the young members of this society to withhold their votes from all candidates for office until they shall gain satisfactory evidence that they are in favor of the immediate abolition of slavery, and if elected to office, which shall vest them with the power to legislate or to act in any lawful manner against slavery, they will in all cases use it to the extent of the American Constitution.
Resolved, That the unwearied exertions of the editor of the Michigan Freeman, during the past year, to sustain and carry forward the interests of our noble enterprise, his unyielding integrity in support of practical Anti-Slavery principles, and his unexampled fortitude and perseverance in combatting the numerous opposing influences, which have greatly embarrassed the progress of our cause - paralized our efforts to advance its interests, have justly entitled him to our affectionate regard - our hearty co-operation, and to our best efforts for his liberal support, and speedy remuneration for past services.
Resolved, That we earnestly recommend to all the friends of liberty in the State henceforth to follow the recent noble example of our eastern friends, to hold frequent county, town and district meetings for the purpose of discussing the subject of slavery as it exists in this country, for its abolition until the slave is free and our country redeemed.
Resolved, That the American Government being a Democratic Republic, or a Government of the people, every free man of full age ought to enjoy the privileges of the elective franchise.
Resolved, That the president of this society and all others who are friendly to the object of said society, and in the habit of writing for public journals of the day be earnestly requested to contribute to the columns of the contemplated organ of the society.
Resolved, That a collection be now taken up to pay the sexton and the expenses of stationary in this meeting.
The committee reported a collection of $3,60.
Resolved, That the thanks of this meeting be tendered to the citizens of Jackson for their hospitalities during our present session. Closed with prayer; singing the christian doxology, and tho apostolic benediction.
Michigan State Anti Slavery Society
Signal of Liberty
W. S. Bird
W. J. Ryon
W. C. Munroe
T. Y. Stone
S. D. Morse
S. B. Teadwell
R. H. King
R. B. Rexford
P. J. Miner
O. N. Ellison
M. S. Lightfoot
J. W. toles
J. W. Geer
J. W. Brooks
J. T. Gilbert
J. S. Love
J. S. Fitch
J. S. Fifield
J. P. Cleveland
J. M. Reed
J. H. Burross
J. D. Cowdin
J. D. Conklin
J. A. Vauarman
J. A. Bannister
H. P. Hoag
H. H. Griffin
G. G. Lay
Dr. J. B Baras
C. B. Taylor
C. A. Seymour
B. I. Mather
A. L. Porter
A. A. Copeland