How black Americans viewed the critical issues facing their people in the years following the war

Proceedings of the Black State Conventions, 1840-1865

Volume I: New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio

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edited by Philip S. Foner and George E. Walker

While the history of the National Negro Conventions is fairly well known, little has appeared on the state black conventions of the ante-bellum and Civil War years. State colored conventions were perhaps even more significant than the national gatherings. They reflect more accurately, and in greater detail, the grassroots thinking of the free black communities—mainly, of course, in the north—regarding issues of colonization, the battle to obtain the suffrage, education, abolitionism, and the struggle for equality.

Proceedings of the Black National and State Conventions, 1840-1965 Volume 1 traces the black convention movement in the northern states. It is arranged chronologically within each state, and all of the conventions are prefaced by an introduction.

Since the number of conventions varied with respect to delegates present, issues debated, and impact, the introductions, accordingly, vary in size. Reference notes for each convention are also included; conventions not contained in this volume have been listed in the Appendix.

The materials included in this volume represent a significant cross-section of Afro-American thought and action that developed in the post-bellum years.


About the Author(s)

Philip S. Foner is Professor Emeritus of History at Lincoln University.

George E. Walker is Associate Professor at George Mason University.

Subject Categories

African American Studies



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