Emancipated But Not Free in Rhode Island
 
From: Bernhard1848@att.net
 
It should be noted that this article is dated 1882, and Rhode Island soldiers filled State quota’s during the War Between the States in order to free the black man in the South and that he be given the franchise. One of the interesting resolutions proffered by the colored citizens of Rhode Island noted below was apparently aimed at black Republican voters: "Resolved: That we will hold in contempt, as a traitor to mankind and his race, that man who will permit his vote to be influenced by a tender of money or any other corrupting influences." 
 
Bernhard Thuersam
Cape Fear Historical Institute
Wilmington, NC
www.CFHI.net

Emancipated But Not Free in Rhode Island:
 
"Colored Voters: The colored voters of Rhode Island, who have long complained of the treatment which they have steadily received at the hands of the Republican party in the State—they being unrecognized as citizens, neglected and totally ignored in regard to their political rights, excepting that of suffrage, which is eagerly sought for—assembled in convention at Newport on the 18th of October, 1882, to express and make known their sentiments.
 
Several public speakers of high repute among them addressed the convention, set forth in plain language, besides other causes of complaint, that the colored voters were highly insulted by the (Republican) party in power, as they were not considered worthy being voted for, for any public offices in the gift of the people; declaring also that henceforward they intended to act independently of the Republican party on all occassions, but vote for the person, whatever the party to which he might belong, who would recognize them as citizens.
 
The colored people of the State numbered 6271 in 1875, and 6592 in 1880."
 
(Rhode Island, Appleton’s Annual Cyclopedia, 1882, Appleton & Company, pp. 791-792)