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54 NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Island—Geo. T. Downing; Illinois—John D. Bonner;^6 Pennsylvania—
Stephen Smith, Franklin Turner.^7 Honorary Members—Wm. H. Topp,^8
James W. Duffin,^9 N.Y.; Dr. Pennington, N.Y. Several others were also
present.

York, but emancipated in 1818, the self-educated Myers joined two other Albany blacks in producing
the Northern Star and Freeman's Advocate in 1842 and 1843. In addition to acting as the general agent
for that temperance and antislavery paper. Myers in 1842 launched the Elevator, his own irregularly
issued abolitionist publication. He later edited the North Star and Colored Farmer, which ceased
publication in 1849, and the Voice of the People, a prosuffrage paper launched in 1858. As competing
editors, Douglass and Myers occasionally clashed, but their relations were generally cordial and the
two exchanged friendly visits. Like Douglass, Myers lectured frequently at antislavery and temperance
meetings in New York and New England. He attended the National Negro Conventions in 1847, 1855,
and l864 and was probably the leading black figure in New York state politics in the 1850s. ln 1852
Myers, William H. Topp, and George T. Downing visited New York's governor to lobby against any
appropriation of state funds to the American Colonization Society. In 1858 his Voice of the People
encouraged those blacks who met the state's property qualification to vote for Republicans rather than
for Gerrit Smith or other Radical Abolitionists. During the Civil War he recruited Union troops,
l. Garland Penn, The Afro-American Press and Its Editors (Springfield Mass., 1891), 48—51; Quarles,
Black Abolitionists, 33, 95, 154, 172--73, 219–20; NS, 2 February, 29 June 1849; NASS, 9 October
1858; Albany Northern Star and Freeman's Advocate, 3 February 1842; George Rogers Howell and
Jonathan Tenney, History of the County of Albany, N.Y., From 1609 to 1886 (New York, 1886), 725;
Martin E. Dann, ed., The Black Press, 1827—1890: The Quest for National Identity (New York, 1971),
19–20; Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored People, and Their Friends, Held in Troy,
N.Y., on the 6th, 7th. 8th and 9th October. 1847 (Troy, 1847), 3; Proceedings of the Colored National
Convention, Held in Franklin Hall, Sixth Street, Below Arch, Philadelphia, October 16th, 17th and
18th, 1855 (Salem, N.J. 1855), 3, 6; Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored Men, Held in
the City of Syracuse, N.Y., October 4, 5, 6 and 7, 1864; with the Bill of Wrongs and Rights and the
Address to the American People (Boston, 1864), 4.

6. Although the name is rendered variously in New York City newspaper accounts, the delegate
is almost certainly James D. Bonner (?– 1855), whose presence Douglass notes in his discussion of the
meeting. Bonner, a Chicagoan, attended the Rochester convention in 1853, where he was named an
original member of the National Council. He presided over the Council's second meeting in July 1854
in Cleveland, Ohio. There he agreed with Douglass that the Council should continue to function and
that the decisions of an earlier, sparsely attended session in New York should be ratified. Active in
aiding fugitive slaves, Bonner once joined another Chicago abolitionist in sending Douglass a “huge
and highly finished cane" inscribed “A Terror to Kidnappers." FDP, 25 November 1853, 21, 28 July,
1 September 1854, 25 May, 14 December 1855; New York Evening Express, 9 May 1855; New York
Daily Tribune, 9, 10, 11 May 1855; Proceedings of the Colored National Convention, 1853, 25, 46.

7. Franklin Turner, a Philadelphia abolitionist, headed the Committee of Fifty that invited
Douglass to speak in that city in 1854. Turner was not an original member of the National Council. His
only reported attendance at a national convention was in 1855, when the meetings were held in his
home city. On that occasion he served as temporary secretary and as a member of the business
committee. In 1860 Turner wrote a public letter condemning emigration that was used by George T.
Downing and Charles L. Reason at a New York City mass meeting considering Henry Highland
Garnet's African Civilization Society. FDP, 1 December 1854; Proceedings of the Colored National
Convention, 1853, 46; Proceedings of the Colored National Convention, 1855, 3, 8; Lib., 4 May 1860;
Bell, “Negro Convention Movement." 234.

8. William H. Topp (e. 1812--57), a successful Albany merchant tailor who described his ances-

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