Black delegates promote cooperation in creating state constitutions.
1868 (Jan 14)
The new state constitutional conventions met in Charleston, South Carolina. Black delegates were in a decided majority. Louisiana had an equal number of Blacks and whites in its convention, while all other southern states had white majorities. The magnanimity of the Black delegates at Charleston was reflected in the words of Black representative Beverly Nash: "I believe, my friends and fellow-citizens, we are not prepared for this suffrage. But we can learn, we recognize the southern white man as the true friend of the Black man. In these public affairs we must unite with our white fellow-citizens. They tell us that they have been disfranchised, yet we tell the north that we shall never let the halls of congress be silent until we remove that disability." The state constitutions drawn up by southern constitutional conventions with Black members in 1867 and 1868 sought to abolish property qualifications for voting and holding office, imprisonment for debt, and slavery.