Status: Complete


emigration. Only those promoting emigration were allowed to participate, and a representative of
the opposition, John Malvin, was denied the opportunity to speak. The National Board of Commis-
sioners was formed to compete with Douglass’s National Council and to formulate a plan to assist
blacks with emigration. As a temporary solution, the board recommended buying land in Canada, but
eventually wanted to enable blacks to relocate to the West Indies or to South and Central America.
Proceedings of the National Emigration Convention of Colored People, 1854, 5, 7, 21, 28, 30, 37, 43;
Levine, Politics of Representative Identity, 97, David D. Van Tassel and John J. Grabowski, eds., The
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
(Bloomington, Ind., 1996), 732.

3. William Howard Day.

4. John Jones (1816-79), often referred to by contemporaries and the press as the “most promi-
nent colored citizen of Chicago," was the freeborn son of a free mulatto mother and a German named
Bromfield. A native of Greene County, North Carolina, Jones was later apprenticed to a Tennessee
tailor. Jones worked until he could save $100, then moved in 1841 to Alton, Illinois, and married
Mary Richardson, whom he had met in Tennessee. In 1845 the couple moved to Chicago, where Jones
taught himself to read and write and where he set up a tailor shop that catered primarily to whites. A
successful businessman, Jones owned property worth an estimated $85,000 before Chicago’s Great
Fire of 1871. He lectured throughout Illinois, stressing economic success and social integration as
fundamental goals for black advancement. He was vice president of the 1853 Colored National Con-
vention held in Rochester, New York, and participated in the Illinois Colored Convention of 1856.
Jones’s speaking took on added fervor in 1853 when he fought laws discouraging black migration
to Illinois, and again in 1864 when he led the successful fight for the repeal of Black Laws. Jones’s
home was a way station for the Underground Railroad and a meeting place and guest home for fellow
abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass and John Brown. Lib., 18 May 1860; Chicago Tribune,
12 March 1875, 22 May 1879; Allen H. Spear, Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890-
(Chicago, 1967), 6, 55, 77, 107, 111; Harold F. Gosnell, Negro Politicians: The Rise of Negro
Politics in Chicago
(1935; Chicago, 1967), 81-82, 111; Arna Bontemps and Jack Conroy, They Seek
a City
(Garden City, N.Y., 1945), 28-36; DANB, 366-67.

5. Antiemigration resolutions adopted at the Illinois Colored State Convention were published
by John Jones, chair of the committee, in the 28 October 1853 issue of Frederick Douglass’ Paper. In
a letter to Douglass, published in the 18 November 1853 issue of Frederick Douglass’ Paper, Delany
took issue with the resolution, suggesting that Jones and his committee had impugned Delany’s char-
acter and his motives. Douglass followed the publication of Delany’s letter with a brief response:
“Well; this is decidedly one of the most querulous, dictatorial, uncharitable, hasty, and unprovoked
assaults upon a worthy man which it has been our fortune or misfortune to meet with. The reader, to
understand the injustice of this letter, should bear in mind that Mr. Jones has never written one word
for our columns, in any manner reflecting upon M. R. Delany.” FDP, 28 October, 18 November 1853.


Pittsburgh, Pa. 26 Nov[ember] 1853.


Oh, Mr. Editor, such times as I’ve seen about my letter! ([P]ut this into
a sly corner, do.) [B]ut I can’t tell all. I have just sent my husband after
a piece of roast pig, you know; and must hurry before he comes back. I
haven't time to tell you how we came to this place, nor why; but Pittsburgh
is a smoky city,2 and contains a number of people to match. Such public

Y7271-Douglass_9780300218305.indb 56 1/26/18 9:41 AM

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