Baptists and the American Civil War: October 24, 1865

Ohio and Indiana Map 1861Far from the South, today in Indianapolis is the inaugural gathering of the State Convention of the Colored People of Indiana. Many Baptists are among those present.

Delegates note that the Declaration of Independence “declares life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as “inalienable rights of all men,” rights for which colored men “have fought, bled and died in order to secure them.”

These universal rights, delegates declare, “have long been flagrantly, wickedly and most inhumanely violated by the degenerate sons of noble sires, and what we hereby in vindication of republican principles, call upon the Federal and State governments to repeal the unwholesome and tyrannical laws which has bereft of us the rights guaranteed to other American citizens, and which by the founders of our institutions were understood to be guaranteed by the Constitution to all men alike, regardless of color.”

Accordingly, those present, noting a variety of state laws across the Midwest that specifically disadvantage blacks, pledge to “do all in our limited power” to work for “equal rights” for black citizens.

Source: “State Convention of the Colored People of Indiana, Indianapolis, October 24, 1865” (link)