Junior Anti-Slavery Society Constitution

PAS Papers, Box 11B/Microfilm reel 31

Preamble

Believing Slavery to be sinful at variance with our republican institutions and consequently dangerous to the liberties of our Country- And concurring in the sentiment so nobly advanced as self evident in the Declaration of Independence. “That all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And being firmly established in the belief that slavery is an open violation of these rights, it therefore becomes our duty as Americans, as Christians to use every honorable means to affect its speedy overthrow-

And for the better accomplishment of our designs, knowing the power of united action, we do hereby agree to form ourselves into a Society and for our orderly government do the following

Constitution

Article 1st. This Society shall be called “the Junior Anti-Slavery Society of the City and County of Philadelphia,” and shall be auxiliary to the Pennsylvania State Anti Slavery Society

Art 2nd. The object of this Society shall be the immediate abolition of Slavery And as an efficient means for the attainment of this desirable end, we shall exert ourselves to elevate the moral and intellectual condition of the free people of Colour. Endeavouring to procure for them the full exercise of those rights and privileges to which they are justly entitled. And, as another most important means we shall use our exertions in disseminating throughout the land a correct knowledge of our principles believing that Slavery is to be abolished by the power of Truth exerting its influence upon the consciences and conduct of men constantly upholding our principal arguments That all Slavery is Sin, and therefore ought to be immediately and unconditionally abolished.

And while thus advancing our own more immediate object we shall endeavour to spread the pure Peace principles and practice of our religion, urging upon the advocates of our cause the importance of totally discarding all thoughts of promoting or defending it by other than Moral power. Throwing back with indignation the gross falsehood that we would ever countenance much less instigate the Slave to right himself by his own physical force.

And in the dissemination of these principles cleaving steadfastly to the right of free discussion without hope of reward or fear of punishment [?] which springs from a good or bad conscience we shall press forward untill Liberty or Slavery finally triumphs.

Art 3rd The officers of this Society shall be a President, vice President Record Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer. There shall also be a Board of Managers consisting of the before named Officers and twelve additional members.

Art 4th. They shall be elected annually, at the Stated Meeting immediately preceding the annual Meeting. Their terms commencing at the last mentioned meeting.

Art 5th. The President in his absence the Vice President, shall preside at all meetings of the Society, enforce the Constitution and laws and decide upon all questions of order. At the request of ten members, he shall direct the Secretary to record the Yeas and Nays upon any Question, and appoint all special committees Subject to the approval of the Society.

Art 6th. The Recording Secretary shall keep regular minutes of the proceedings of the Society and carefully preserve all its documents. [?] directed by the Board of Managers he shall call special meetings notifying each member of the time and place of holding Said Meeting.

Art 7th It shall be the duty of the Corresponding Secretary to correspond with such Societies and individuals as he may think most calculated to forward the cause of Anti-Slavery and prove useful and interesting to the Society, and there by bind us closer in the bonds of fellowship. He shall copy in a book provided for this purpose all letters which he may address to either individuals or Societies which copies with answers if received, shall be read before the Society at the first meeting in every month.

Art 8th. The Treasurer shall collect monies due the Society, pay all drafts of the Board of Managers, keep an accurate account of his receipts and payments, and report to the Society the state of the Treasury monthly.

Art 9th The Board of managers shall hold stated meetings monthly and take such measures as they may deem expedient for the we?l?fare of the Society, and the promotion of the Anti-Slavery cause. They shall direct the Treasurer in the application of all funds, fill any vacancies uccuring in their own body, and present a report of their proceedings to the Society annually.

Art 10th. The officers of this Society shall upon leaving their offices, deliver to their successors, all its property in their profession.

Art 11th. Any person, over the age of fifteen approving the objects and sentiments of this Society as expressed in the Preamble and Second Article of the Constitution and holding similar opinions with those expressed in the Declaration of Sentiments adopted by the Anti Slavery Convention held in this City on the fourth of December 1833 shall become a member by signing this Constitution and contributing to the funds.

Art 12th. Fifteen members shall constitute a Quorum

Art 13th. The vote on the previous question shall not be taken unless seconded by ten of the members.

Art 14th. The Stated meetings of this Society shall be held on the first and third Friday of each month. And the annual meeting on the third Friday of December in each year.

Art 15th. Proxy votes shall be received if given in writing.

Art 16th. This constitution may be amended at any stated Meeting meeting of the Society with the Consent of two thirds of the members present notice of such amendment having been given at the previous Stated meeting.

Art 17th. It shall be the duty of the Recording Secretary to copy this Constitution in a book, expressly provided for that purpose, together with any amendments that may be hereafter made in accordance with the 16th article of this society  Constitution.