TOGETHER WITH PERSONAL MEMORIES OF
THE STRUGGLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
JOHN F. HUME
G. P. PUTNAM S SONS
NEW YORK AND LONDON
Cbe fcnfcfcerbocfeer press
JOHN F. HUME
Reproduced by DUOPAGE process
in the United States of America
MICRO PHOTO INC.
Cleveland 12, Ohio
/ i i o5
THE opening chapter of this work was prepared
during the recent presidential campaign. It
was the idea of the author that it should appear in
one of the leading newspapers or magazines before
the election, but maturer reflection brought about
a change of purpose. He realized that its publica
tion at that time, might, not altogether unreason
ably, be looked upon as a political move having as
its object the election or defeat of a particular can
didate for office, whereas he had no desire to play
the partisan. His sole aim was to vindicate the
character of a portion of the citizens of this country
some living, some dead whom he had always
believed to be most deserving of popular esteem,
from what he considered the unmerited aspersions
of a man who has since come into a position so con
spicuous and so influential that his condemnation
necessarily carries with it a damaging effect.
Having gone so far as the preparation of the initial
chapter, he concluded that proofs of his assumptions
and assertions might at certain points be thought
desirable, if not necessary, and that he should so
prolong his work as to provide them. His first idea
at this point, as his years went back beyond the
beginning of the Abolitionist movement in this
country, and as he had been from early boyhood
identified with this movement, was to contribute
such information as his recollection of events would
supply. In other words, he decided to write a
narrative, the matter of which would be reminiscent,
with here and there a little history woven in among
the strands of memory like a woof in the warp. It
has ended in history supplying the warp, and the
reminiscence indifferently supplying the woof.
However, the value of the production is, doubt
less, greatly enhanced by the change. A string of
pearls dropping the former simile and adopting
another is estimated according to the gems it con
tains, and not because of the cord that holds it to
gether. The personal experiences and recollections
that are here and there interwoven, by themselves
would be of little consequence; but they will be
found to carry upon them certain historical facts
and inferences some new in themselves and in their
connections which, as the author hopes and be
lieves, are of profitable quality and abounding
In consequence of the change of plan just ex
plained, the scope of the work is materially affected.
What was begun as a magazine article, and continued
as a brochure, ends in a volume.
J. F. H.
POUGHKEEFSIE, N. Y.,
I. THEODORE ROOSEVELT AND THE ABO
LITIONISTS ...... i
II. THE ABOLITIONISTS WHO AND WHAT
THEY WERE 15
III. ONE OF THEIR TRAITS .... 26
IV. PRO-SLAVERY PREJUDICE . . -3
V. THE POLITICAL SITUATION . . .41
VI. ANTI-SLAVERY PIONEERS . . .49
VII. SALMON PORTLAND CHASE . 59
VIII. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS . . . . 67
IX. ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETIES ... 72
.X. WANTED, AN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY . 79
XI. ANTI-SLAVERY ORATORS ... 88
XII. LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS ... 94
XIII. ANTI-SLAVERY WOMEN . . . .100
XIV. -MOBS . . . . . . .108
XV. ANTI-SLAVERY MARTYRS . . 113
XVI. THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD . . 121
XVII COLONIZATION . . . . .128
XVIII. LINCOLN AND EMANCIPATION . . 136
XIX. THE END OF ABOLITIONISM . . . 150
XX. MISSOURI >57
XXL MISSOURI (Continued) . . . . i?4
XXII SOME ABOLITION LEADERS . . .186
XXIII. ROLLS OF HONOR ..... 201
EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION . . . .211
BORDER SLAVE-STATE MESSAGE . . . .213
" PRAYER OF TWENTY MILLIONS" . . . 214
INDEX 2l ^
THEODORE ROOSEVELT AND THE ABOLITIONISTS
THHE following is .an extract from Theodore
1 Roosevelt s biography of Thomas H. Benton
in Houghton, Mifflin, & Co. s American Statesmen.
Series, published in 1887:
" Owing to a variety of causes, the Abolitionists have
received an immense amount of hysterical praise which
they do not deserve, and have been credited with deeds
done by other men whom, in reality, they hampered and
opposed rather than aided. After 1840, the professed
Abolitionists formed a small and comparatively unim
portant portion of the forces that were working towards
the restriction and ultimate destruction of slavery; and
much of what they did was positively harmful to the
cause for which they were fighting. Those of their
number who considered the Constitution as a league with
death and hell, and who, therefore, advocated a dissolu
tion of the Union, acted as rationally as would anti-
polygamists nowadays if, to show their disapproval of
Mormonism, they should advocate that Utah should be
allowed to form a separate nation. The only hope of
2 The Abolitionists
ultimately suppressing slavery lay in the preservation of
the Union, and every Abolitionist who argued or signed
a petition for the dissolution was doing as much to per
petuate the evil he complained of, as if he had been a
slaveholder. The Liberty party, in running Birney,
simply committed a political crime, evil in almost all its
consequences. They in no sense paved the way for the
Republican party, or helped forward the Anti-Slavery
cause, or hurt the existing organizations. Their effect
on the Democracy was nil ; and all they were able to
accomplish with the Whigs was to make them put for
ward for the ensuing election a slaveholder from Louis
iana, with whom they were successful. Such were the
remote results of their conduct; the immediate evils they
produced have already been alluded to. They bore con
siderable resemblance except that after all they really
did have a principle to contend for to the political Pro
hibitionists of the present day, who go into the third
party organization, and are, not even excepting the
saloon-keepers themselves, the most efficient allies on
whom intemperance and the liquor traffic can count.
"Anti-Slavery men like Giddings, who supported Clay,
were doing a thousandfold more effective work for the
cause they had at heart than all the voters who supported
Birney; or, to speak more accurately, they were doing
all they could to advance the cause, while the others were
doing all they could to hold it back. Lincoln in 1860
occupied more nearly the ground held by Clay than that
held by Birney; and the men who supported the latter
in 1844 were the prototypes of those who worked to op
pose Lincoln in 1860, and only worked less hard because
they had less chance. The ultra Abolitionists discarded
expediency, and claimed to act for abstract right on
principle, no matter what the results might be; in conse
quence they accomplished very little, and that as much
Theodore Roosevelt 3
for harm as for good, until they ate their words, and went
counter to their previous course, thereby acknowledging
it to be bad; and supported in the Republican party the
men and principles they had so fiercely condemned.
The Liberty party was not in any sense the precursor of
the Republican party, which was based as much on ex
pediency as on abstract right, and was, therefore, able
to accomplish good instead of harm. To say that ex
treme Abolitionists triumphed in Republican success and
were causes of it, is as absurd as to call Prohibitionists
successful if, after countless efforts totally to prohibit
the liquor traffic, and after savage denunciations of those
who try to regulate it, they should then turn round and
form a comparatively insignificant portion of a victorious
high-license party. The men who took a great and effec
tive part in the fight against slavery were the men who
remained with their respective parties."
No word of praise or approval has Mr. Roosevelt
for the men and women for representatives of both
sexes were active sharers in the work performed
who inaugurated, and for a long period carried for
ward, the movement that led up to the overthrow
of African slavery in this country. He has no en
comiums to bestow on those same men and women
for the protracted and exhausting labors they per
formed, the dangers they encountered, the insults
they endured, the sacrifices they submitted to, the
discouragements they confronted in many ways and
forms in prosecuting their arduous undertaking.
On the contrary, he has only bitter words of con
demnation. In his estimation, and according to his
dogmatic utterance, they were criminals political
4 The Abolitionists
His words make it very manifest that, if Mr.
Roosevelt had been a voter in 1840, he would not
have been an Abolitionist. He would not have
been one of that devoted little band of political
philanthropists who went out, like David of old, to
do battle with one of the giant abuses of the time,
and who found in the voter s ballot a missile that
they used with deadly effect. On the contrary, he
would have enrolled himself among their adversaries
and assailants, becoming a member because it is
impossible to think of Theodore Roosevelt as a non-
partisan of one of the leading political parties of
the day. There were but two of them the Whigs
and the Democrats. In failing to support one or
the other of these parties, and giving their votes
and influence to a new one that was founded and
constructed on Anti-Slavery lines, the Abolitionists,
in Mr. Roosevelt s opinion, "committed a political
Now, for what did those parties stand in 1840?
Who were their presidential candidates in that year?
Martin Van Buren was the candidate of the Demo
crats. He had been for eight years in the offices of
Vice-President and President, and in that time, in
the opinion of the Anti-Slavery people of the coun
try, had shown himself to be a facile instrument in
the hands of the slaveholders. He was what the
Abolitionists described as a "doughface" a North
ern man with Southern principles. As presiding
officer he gave the casting vote in the Senate for the
bill that excluded Anti-Slavery matter from the
United States mails, a bill justly regarded as one of
the greatest outrages ever perpetrated in a free
Theodore Roosevelt 5
country, and as holding a place by the side of the
Fugitive Slave Law. True, he afterwards this
was in 1848, like Saul of Tarsus, saw a new light
and announced himself as a Free Soiler. Then
the Abolitionists, with what must always be re
garded as an extraordinary concession to partisan
policy, cast aside their prejudices and gave him
their support. Yet Mr. Roosevelt charges them
with being indifferent to the demands of political
General William Henry Harrison, candidate of
the Whigs, was a Virginian by birth and training,
and an inveterate pro-slavery man. When Gov
ernor of the Territory of Indiana, he presided over
a convention that met for the purpose of favoring,
notwithstanding the prohibition in the Ordinance
of 87, the introduction of slavery in that Territory.
These were the men between whom the old parties
gave the Abolitionists the privilege of pick and
choice. Declining to support either of them, they
gave their votes to James G. Birney, candidate of
the newly formed Liberty party. He was a Southern
man by birth and a slave-owner by inheritance, but,
becoming convinced that slavery was wrong, he
freed his negroes, giving them homes of their own,
and so frankly avowed his Anti-Slavery convictions
that he was driven from his native State. His sup
porters did not expect to elect him, but they hoped
to begin a movement that would lead up to victory.
They were planting seed in what they believed to
be receptive soil.
After 1840, the old parties became more and
more submissive to the Slave Power. Conjointly,
6 The Abolitionists
they enacted those measures that became known as
the compromises of 1850, the principal ones being
the Fugitive Slave Law and the act repealing the
Missouri Compromise. Both of them pronounced
these acts to be "a finality," and both of them in
national convention declared there should be no
further agitation of the subject. They set out to
muzzle all the Anti-Slavery voices of the country.
By this time it was perfectly manifest that there
was not only nothing the slaveholders might demand
which the old parties would not concede, but that
there was, so far as the slavery issue was involved,
absolutely no difference between them. It is a
notable fact that in the eight years following 1840,
of the four presidential candidates put in nomination
by the two parties, three were slaveholders, the
fourth being a Northern "doughface," and both of
the two who were elected held slaves.
For the nomination and election of one of these
men, whom he describes as "a slaveholder from
Louisiana " (General Taylor), Mr. Roosevelt is dis
posed to hold the Abolitionists accountable. They
forced the poor Whigs into those proceedings, he
intimates, probably by telling them they ought to
do nothing of the kind, that being what they actually
did tell them. But as the Abolitionists, four years
earlier, in the same way defeated the Whigs when
they were supporting a slaveholder from Kentucky
(Clay), and a man who, in his time, did more for the
upbuilding of slavery than any other person in
America, it would appear that the score of responsi
bility on their part was fairly evened up.
In citing the action of Joshua R. Giddings as an
Theodore Roosevelt 7
anti-third-party man, Mr. Roosevelt is not altogether
fortunate. Subsequent to the presidential campaign
of 1844, the third-party Abolitionists held a conven
tion in Pittsburg, in which Giddings was a leading
actor. As chairman of the committee on platform,
he submitted a resolution declaring that both of the
old parties were "hopelessly corrupt and unworthy
The Abolitionists could not see that they were
under obligation to either of the old parties, believ
ing they could do far better service for the cause
they championed by standing up and being counted
as candidates honestly representing their principles.
They fought both of the old parties, and finally beat
them. They killed the Whig party out and out,
and so far crippled the Democrats that they have
been limping ever since. Their action, in the long
run, as attested by the verdict of results, proved
itself to be not only the course of abstract right,
but of political expediency.
In 1840, the vote of the third-party Abolitionists,
then for the first time in the political field, was 7000;
in 1844 it was 60,000, and in 1848 it was nearly
300,000. From that time, with occasional backsets,
Mr. Roosevelt s "political criminals" went steadily
forward until they mastered the situation. From
the first, they were a power in the land, causing the
older parties to quake, Belshazzar-like, at sight of
their writing on the wall.
But according to Mr. Roosevelt, the men of the
Liberty-Free-Soil party had no share in fathering
and nurturing the Republican party, to which he
assigns all the credit for crushing slavery. Says he,
8 The Abolitionists
"The Liberty party was not in any sense the pre
cursor of the Republican party, which was based as
much on expediency as on abstract right." It is
very true that many Republicans, especially in the
earlier days, were neither Abolitionists nor Anti-
Slavery people. A good many of them, like Abra
ham Lincoln, were sentimentally adverse to slavery,
but under existing conditions did not want it dis
turbed. Many of them, having broken loose from
the old parties, had no other place of shelter and
cared nothing for slavery one way or the other, some
being of the opinion of one of the new party
leaders whom the writer hereof heard declare that
"the niggers are just where they ought to be." All
this, however, does not prove that the third-party
people were not the real forerunners and founders
of the Republican party. They certainly helped to
break up the old organizations, crushing them in
whole or part. They supplied a contingent of
trained and desperately earnest workers, their hearts
being enlisted as well as their hands. And what
was of still greater consequence, they furnished an
issue, and one that was very much alive, around
which the detached fragments of the old parties
could collect and unite. Their share in the com
position and development of the new party can be
illustrated. Out in our great midland valley two
rivers the Missouri and the Mississippi meet and
mingle their waters. The Missouri, although the
larger stream, after the junction is heard of no more;
but being charged with a greater supply of sedimen
tary matter, gives its color to the combined flood of
the assimilated waters. Abolitionism was merged
Theodore Roosevelt 9
in Republicanism. It was no longer spoken of as a
separate element, but from the beginning it gave
color and character to the combination. The whole
compound was Abolitionized.
It was not, indeed, the voting strength, although
- this was considerable, that the Abolitionists brought
to the Republican organization, that made them the
real progenitors of that party. It is possible that
the other constituents entering into it, which were
drawn from the Anti-Slavery Whigs, the "Anti-
Nebraska " .Democrats, the "Barnburner" Demo
crats of New York, the "Know-Nothings," etc.,
numbered more in the aggregate than the Aboli
tionists it included; but it was not so much the
number of votes the Abolitionists contributed that
made them the chief creators of the Republican
party, as it was their working and fighting ability.
They had undergone a thorough training. For
nearly twenty years they had been in the field in
active service. For the whole of that time they had
been exposed to pro-slavery mobbing and almost
every kind of persecution. They had to conquer
every foot of ground they occupied. They had
"Hone an immense amount of invaluable preparatory
work. To deny to such people a liberal share of the
credit for results accomplished, would be as reason
able as to say that men who clear the land, plough
the ground, and sow the seed, because others may
help to gather the harvest, have nothing to do with
raising the crop. BuLjor the pioneer work of the
Abolitionists there would have been no Republican
There had been Anti-Slavery people in this coun-
io The Abolitionists
try before the Abolitionists conscientious, zealous,
intelligent but somehow they lacked the ability, in
the language of the pugilists, to "put up a winning
fight." They had been brushed aside or trampled
under foot. Not so with the Abolitionists. They
had learned all the tricks of the enemy. They were
not afraid of opposition. They knew how to give
blows as well as to take them. The result was that
from the time they organized for separate political
action in 1840, they had made steady progress, al
though this seemed for a period to be discouragingly
slow. It was only a question of time when, if there
had been no Republican party, they would have
succeeded in abolishing slavery without its assistance.
Although, as before remarked, the Republican
party was made up of a good many elements besides
the Abolitionists, there was among them but little
homogeneousness. They were indifferent, if not
hostile, to each other, and, if left to themselves,
would never have so far coalesced as to make a work
ing party. They had no settled policy, no common
ground to stand on. They would have been simply
a rope of sand. But the Abolitionists supplied a
bond of union. * They had a principle that operated
like a loadstone in bringing the factions together.
There was another inducement the Abolitionists
had to offer. They had an organization that was
perfect in its way. It was weak but active. It had
made its way into Congress where it had such repre
sentatives as John P. Hale and Salmon P. Chase in
the Senate, and several brilliant men in the Lower
House. It had a complete outfit of party machinery.
It had an efficient force of men and women engaged
Theodore Roosevelt n
in canvassing as lecturers and stump orators. It
had well managed newspapers, and the ablest pens
in the country not excepting Harriet Beecher
Stowe s were in its service. All this, it is hardly
necessary to say, was attractive to people without
political homes. The Abolitionists offered them
not only shelter but the prospect of meat and drink
in the future. In that way their organization be
came the nucleus of the Republican party, which
was in no sense a new organization, but a reorg
anization of an old force with new material added.
And here would seem to be the proper place for
reference to the historical fact that the Republican
party, under that name, had but four years of ex
istence behind it when the great crisis came in the
election of Lincoln and the beginning of the Civil
War Lincoln s election being treated by the South
as a casus belli. The Republican party was estab
lished under that name in 1856 and Lincoln was
elected in 1860.
Now, the work preparatory to Lincoln s election
was not done in four years. The most difficult part
of it the most arduous, the most disagreeable, the
most dangerous had been done long before. Part
of it dated back to 1840. Indeed, the performance
of the Republican party in those four years was not
remarkably brilliant. With the slogan of "Free
soil, free men, and Fremont" it made an ostenta
tious demonstration in 1856 an attempted coup de
main which failed. It would have failed quite as
signally in 1860, but for the division of the Demo
cratic party into the Douglas and Breckenridge
factions. That division was pre-arranged by the
12 The Abolitionists
slaveholders who disliked Douglas, the regular
Democratic nominee, much more than they did
Lincoln, and who hoped and plotted for Lincoln s
election because it furnished them a pretext for
The change of name from "Free Soil " or "Lib
erty " to "Republican " in 1856 had very little sig
nificance. It was a matter of partisan policy and
nothing more. "Liberty" and "Free Soil," as
party cognomens, had a meaning, and were sup
posed to antagonize certain prejudices. "Repub
lican," at that juncture, meant nothing whatever.
Besides, it was sonorous; it was euphonious; it was
palatable to weak political stomachs. The ready
acceptance of the new name by the Abolitionists
goes very far to contradict Mr. Roosevelt s accusa
tion against them of being regardless of the claims
of political expediency.
The writer has shown, as he believes, that with
out the preparatory work of the political Abolition
ists there would have been no Republican party.
He will now go a step further. He believes that
without that preliminary service there would not
only have been no Republican party, but no Civil
War in the interest of free soil, no Emancipa
tion Proclamation, no Thirteenth and Fourteenth
Amendments to the Federal Constitution. There
might have been and probably would have been
considerable discussion, ending in a protest, more
or less "ringing," when slavery was permitted to
overstep the line marked out by the Missouri Com
promise. There might even have ^een another
"settlement." But no such adjustment would
Theodore Roosevelt 13
have seriously impeded the northward march of the
triumphant Slave Power. Indeed, in that event it
is more than probable that ere this the legal repre
sentatives of the late Robert Toombs, of Georgia,
would, if so inclined, have made good his boast of
calling the roll of his slaves at the foot of Bunker
So far we have dealt with Mr. Roosevelt s indict
ment of the Abolitionists for abandoning the old
pro-slavery political parties, and undertaking to con
struct a new and better one. That, in his judgment,
was a political crime. But he charges them with
another manifestation of criminality which was much
more serious. He accuses them of hostility to the
Union, which was disloyalty and treason. The evi
dence offered by him in support of his accusation
was the Anti-Unionist position taken by William
Lloyd Garrison, who branded the Union as a "league
with hell," and some of his associates. But Garri
son was not a leader, or even a member, of the third
or Liberty party. He denounced it almost as bit
terly as Mr. Roosevelt.
Garrison was a Quaker, a non-resistant, and a non- \
voter. He relied on moral suasion. He saw no
salvation in politics. The formation of a new Anti-
Slavery party excited his fiery indignation. He de
clared that it was "ludicrous in its folly, pernicious
as a measure of policy, and useless as a political
Far and away the most potential member and
leader of the political Abolitionists was Salmon P.
Chase. Instead of denouncing the Constitution as
"a league with death and hell," he claimed that it
14 The Abolitionists
was an Anti-Slavery document and should be so
construed. As for the Union, by his services in
successfully managing the finances of the country in
its great crisis, he did as much to sustain the Union
as any other man of that time. To accuse him of
hostility and infidelity to the Union, is something
that no one can do with impunity. In fact, so clear
and so clean, as \yell as so bold and striking, is the
record of Chase and his associates, beginning in 1840
and continuing down until the last shackle was
stricken from the last bondsman s limbs, that even
the shadow of the White House cannot obscure it.
Nor is Mr. Roosevelt happy in his illustration,
when, in his concluding arraignment of the Abo
litionists, he seeks to discredit them as an organiza
tion of impracticables by comparing them to the
political Prohibitionists of to-day. When the latter,
if that time is ever to be, shall become strong enough
to rout one or both of the existing main political
parties, and, taking the control of the Government
in their hands, shall not only legally consign the
liquor traffic to its coffin, but nail it down with a
constitutional amendment, then Mr. Roosevelt s
comparison will apply.
THE ABOLITIONISTS WHO AND WHAT THEY WERE
IN selecting those who are to receive its remem
brance and its honors, the world has always
given its preference to such as have battled for free
dom. It may have been with the sword ; it may
have been with the pen ; or it may have been with
a tongue that was inflamed with holy rage against
tyranny and wrong; but whatever the instrumen
tality employed; in whatever field the battle has
been fought ; and by whatsoever race, or class, or
kind of men ; the champions of human liberty have
been hailed as the bravest of the brave and the most
worthy to receive the acclaims of their fellows.
Now, if that estimate be not altogether inaccurate,
what place in the scale of renown must be assigned
to those pioneers in the successful movement against
African slavery in this country who have commonly
been known as "Abolitionists " a name first given
in derision by their enemies? It should, in the
opinion of the writer hereof, be the very highest.
Me is not afraid to challenge the whole record of
human achievements by great and good men (always
save and except that which is credited to the Saviour
of mankind) for exhibitions of heroism superior to
theirs. Nay, when it is remembered that mainly
16 The Abolitionists
through their efforts and sacrifices was accomplished
a revolution by which four million human beings
(but for the Abolitionists the number to-day in
bondage would be eight millions) were lifted from
the condition in which American slaves existed but
a few years ago, to freedom and political equality
with their former masters; and, at the same time
when it is considered what qualities of heart and
brain were needed for such a task, he does not be
lieve that history, from its earliest chapters, fur
nishes examples of gods or men, except in very rare
and isolated cases, who have shown themselves to be
In the matter of physical courage they were un
surpassed, unsurpassable. A good many of them
were Quakers and non-resistants, and a good many
of them were women, but they never shrank from
danger to life and limb, when employed in their
humanitarian work. Some of them achieved the
martyr s crown.
In the matter of conscience they were indomitable.
Life to them was worth less than principle.
In the matter of money they were absolutely un
selfish. Those of them who were poor, as the most
of them were, toiled on without the hope of financial
recompense. They did their work not only without
the promise or prospect of material reward of any
kind, but with the certainty of pains and penalties
that included the ostracism and contempt of their
fellows, and even serious risks to property and life.
All these sacrifices were in the cause of human
liberty; but of liberty for whom? That is the
crucial point. In all ages there have been plenty of
Who and What They Were 17
men who have honorably striven for liberty for
themselves. Some there have been who have risen
to higher planes. We have an example in La
fayette. He fought to liberate a people who were
foreign in language and blood ; but they were of his
own color and the peers of his compatriots.
TJhe Abolitionists, however, espoused the cause,
and it was for that that they endured so much, of
creatures that were infinitely below them; of beings
who had ceased to be recognized as belonging to
humanity, and were classed with the cattle of the
field and other species of "property." So low were
they that they could neither appreciate nor return
the services rendered in their behalf. For their
condition, the Abolitionists were in no sense re
sponsible. They had no necessary fellowship with
the unfortunates. They were under no especial
obligation to them. They were not of the same
family. It was even doubted whether the races had
a common origin. And yet, to the end of securing
release for these wretched victims of an intolerable
oppression, not a few of them dedicated all they
possessed life not cxcepted.
True it is that they had no monopoly of benevo
lence. Many noble men and women have gone as
missionaries to the poor and benighted, and have
sought through numerous hardships and perils to
raise up those who have been trodden in the dust.
But, as a rule, their services have been rendered
pursuant to a secular employment that carried
financial compensation, and behind their devotion
to the poor and oppressed has been the expectation
of personal reward in another world, if not in this.
1 8 The Abolitionists
But such motives barely, if at all, influenced the
Abolitionists. No element of professionalism en-
tered into their work. They were not particularly
religious. They neither very greatly reverenced
nor feared the Church, whose leaders they often
accused of a hankering for the "flesh-pots " that in
duced them to lead their followers into Egypt, rather
than out of it. They were partly moved by a hatred
of slavery and its long train of abuses that was irre
pressible, and which to most persons was incompre
hensible, and partly by a love for their fellows in
distress that was so insistent as to make them forget
themselves. Their impulses seemed to be largely
^ntuitive, if not instinctive, and if called upon for a
(philosophical explanation they could not have given
In such a struggle for freedom and natural human
rights as was carried on by the Abolitionists against
tremendous odds and through a term covering many
long years, it does seem to the writer of this essay
that mortal heroism reached its height.
Nor am I by any means alone in the opinion just
expressed. As far back as 1844, when the Abo
litionists were few in number and the objects of
almost savage persecution in every part of our
country, the Earl of Carlisle, who, in his day was
one of the most capable leaders of British public
opinion, declared that they were engaged "in fight
ing a battle without a parallel in the history of an
cient or modern heroism."
I am moved to write the story of the Abolitionists,
partly because it is full of romantic interest, and
partly because justice demands it. Those doughty
Who and What They Were 19
file leaders in the Anti-Slavery fight do not to-day
have an adequate acknowledgment of the obligations
that the country and humanity should recognize as
belonging to them, and they never have had it.
Much of the credit that is fairly theirs has been mis
applied. Writers of history so called, although
much of it is simple eulogy have been more and
more inclined to attribute the overthrow of slavery
to the efforts of a few men, and particularly one
man, who, after long opposition to, of neglect of, the
freedom movement, came to its help in the closing \/
scenes of a great conflict, while the earlier, and cer.
tainly equally meritorious, workers and fighters have
been quite left out of the account. The writer does
not object to laborers who entered the field at the
eleventh hour, sharing with those who bore the heat
and burden of the day; but when there is a dispo
sition to give to them all the earnings he does feel
The case of the Abolitionists is not overstated
when it is said that, but for their labors and strug
gles, this country, instead of being all free, would
to-day be all slaveholding. The relative importance
of their work in creating, by means of a persistent
agitation, an opposition to human slavery that was
powerful enough to compel the attention of the
public and force the machine politicians, after long
opposition, to admit the question into practical
politics, cannot well be overestimated.
They alone and single-handed fought the opening
battles of a great war, which, although overshadowed
and obscured by later and more dramatic events,
were none the less gallantly waged and nobly won.
20 The Abolitionists
It is customary to speak of our Civil War as a
four years conflict. It was really a thirty years
war, beginning when the pioneer Abolitionists en
tered the field and declared for a life-and-death
struggle. It was then that the hardest battles were
I write the more willingly because comparatively
few now living remember the mad excitement of the
slavery controversy in ante-bellum days. The ma
jority the living and the working masses of to-day
will, doubtless, be gratified to have accurate pic
tures of scenes and events of which they have heard
their seniors speak, that distinguished the most
tempestuous period in our national history the one
in which the wildest passions were aroused and in
dulged. Then it was that the fiercest and bitterest
agitation prevailed. The war that followed did not
increase this. It rather modified it sobered it in
view of the crisis at hand and served as a safety-
valve for its escape.
For the same reason, the general public has now
but slight comprehension of the trials endured by
the Abolitionists for principle s sake. In many
ways were they persecuted. In society they were
tabooed ; in business shunned. By the rabble they
were hooted and pelted. Clowns in the circus made
them the subjects of their jokes. Newspaper scrib
blers lampooned and libelled them. Politicians de
nounced them. By the Church they were regarded
as very black sheep, and sometimes excluded from
the fold. And this state of things lasted for years,
during which they kept up a steady agitation with
the help of platform lecturers, and regularly threw
Who and What They Were 21
away their votes so it was charged in a "third
party " movement that seemed to be a hopeless
Another inducement to the writer to take up the
cause of the Abolitionists is the fact that he has al
ways been proud to class himself as one of them.
He came into the world before Abolitionism, by
that name, had been heard of; before the first Abo
lition Society was organized ; before William Lloyd
Garrison founded his Liberator , and before (not the
least important circumstance) John Quincy Adams
entered Congress. He cannot remember when the
slavery question was not discussed. His sympathies
at an early day went out to the slave. He informed
himself on the subject as well as a farmer boy might
be expected to do in a household that received the
most of its knowledge of current events from the
columns of one weekly newspaper. He cast his first
vote for the ticket of the Abolitionists while they
were yet a "third party."
The community in which he then lived, although
in the free State of Ohio, was strongly pro-slavery,
being not far from the Southern border. The popu
lation was principally from Virginia and Kentucky.
There were a few Abolitionists, and they occasion
ally tried to hold public meetings, but the gather
ings were always broken up by mobs.
The writer very well remembers the satisfaction
with which he, as a schoolboy, was accustomed to
hear that there was to be another Abolition "turn
out." The occasion was certain to afford consider
able excitement that was dear to the heart of a boy,
and it had another recommendation. The only
22 The Abolitionists
room in the village "town " we called it for such
affairs, except the churches, which were barred
against "fanatics," was the district schoolhouse,
which, by common consent, was open to all comers,
and as the windows and doors, through which mis
siles were hurled during Anti-Slavery gatherings,
were always more or less damaged, "we boys"
usually got a holiday or two while the building was
undergoing necessary repairs.
As might be surmised, the lessons I learned at
school were not all such as are usually acquired at
such institutions. My companions were like other
children, full of spirit and mischief, and not without
their prejudices. They hated Abolitionists because
they the Abolitionists wanted to compel all white
people to marry "niggers." Although not naturally
unkind, they did not always spare the feelings of
"the son of an old Abolitionist." We had our
arguments. Some of them were of the knock-down
kind. In more than one shindy, growing out of the
discussion of the great question of the day, I suffered
the penalty of a bloody nose or a blackened eye for
standing up for my side.
The feeling against the negroes friends the
Abolitionists was not confined to children in years.
It was present in all classes. It entered State and
Church alike, and dominated both of them. The
Congressional Representative from the district in
which I lived in those days was an able man and
generally held in high esteem. He made a speech
in our village when a candidate for re-election. In
discussing the slavery question everybody dis
cussed it then he spoke of the negroes as being "on
Who arid What They Were 23
the same footing with other cattle." I remember
the expression very well because it shocked me, boy
that I was. It did not disturb the great majority
of those present, however. They cheered the senti
ment and gave their votes for the speaker, who was
re-elected by a large majority.
About the same time I happened to be present
where a General Assembly of one of our largest re
ligious denominations was in session, and listened
to part of an address by a noted divine the most
distinguished man in the body which was intended
to prove that slavery was an institution existing by
biblical authority. He spent two days in a talk that
was mostly made up of scriptural texts and his
commentaries upon them. This was in Ohio, and
there was not a slave-owner in the assembly, and yet
a resolution commendatory of the views that had
just been declared by the learned doctor, was
adopted by an almost unanimous vote.
In the neighborhood in which I lived was an old
and much respected clergyman who was called upon
to preach a sermon on a day of some national sig
nificance. He made it the occasion for a florid
panegyric upon American institutions, which, he de
clared, assured freedom to all men. Here he paused,
"When I spoke of all men enjoying freedom under
our flag/ he resumed, "I did not, of course, include
the Ethiopians whom Providence has brought to our
shores for their own good as well as ours. They
are slaves by a divine decree. \ As descendants of
Ham, they are under a curse that makes them the
servants of their more fortunate white brethren."
Having thus put himself right on the record, he
24 The Abolitionists
proceeded with his sermon. No one seemed to take
exception to what he said.
In the same neighborhood was a young preacher
who had shortly before come into it from somewhere
farther North. In the course of one of his regular
services he offered up a prayer in which he expressed
the hope that the good Lord would find a way to
break the bands of all who were in bondage. That
smacked of Abolitionism and at once there was a
commotion. The minister was asked to explain.
This he declined to do, saying that his petition was
a matter between him and his God, and he denied
the right of others to question him. That only in
creased the opposition, and in a short time the
spunky young man was compelled to resign his
About that time there appeared a lecturer on
slavery which meant against slavery who carried
credentials showing that he was a clergyman in good
standing in one of the leading Protestant denomina
tions. In our village was a church of that persua
sion, whose pastor was not an Abolitionist. As in
duty bound, the visiting brother called on his local
fellow-laborer, and informed him that on the follow
ing day, which happened to be Sunday, he would
be pleased to attend service at his church. On the
morrow he was on hand and occupied a seat directly
in front of the pulpit ; but, notwithstanding his con-
spicuousness, the home minister, who should, out of
courtesy, have invited him to a seat in the pulpit, if
to no other part in the services, never saw him. He
looked completely over his head, keeping his eyes,
all through the exercises, fixed upon the back pews,
Who and What They Were 25
which happened, on that occasion, to be chiefly
Such incidents, of themselves, were of no great
importance. Their significance was in the fact that
they all occurred on the soil of a free State. They
showed the state of feeling that then and there
ONE OF THEIR TRAITS
THE writer has spoken of the courage of the
Abolitionists. There is another trait by which
they were distinguished that, in his opinion, should
not be passed over. That was their extreme
hopefulness their untiring confidence. No matter
how adverse were the conditions, they expected to
win. They never counted the odds against them.
They trusted in the right which they were firmly
persuaded would prevail some time or another. For
that time they were willing to wait, meanwhile doing
what they could to hasten its coming.
Benjamin Lundy, the little Quaker mechanic, who
was undeniably the Peter-the-Hermit of the Abo
litionist movement, when setting out alone and on
foot, with his printing material on his back, to begin
a crusade against the strongest and most arrogant
institution in the country, remarked with admirable
naivete, "I do not know how soon 1 shall succeed
in my undertaking."
William Lloyd Garrison, when the pioneer Anti-
Slavery Society was organized by only twelve men,
and they people of no worldly consequence, the
meeting for lack of a better place being held in a
colored schoolroom on "Nigger Hill" in Boston,
One of Their Traits 27
declared that in due time they would meet to urge
their principles in Faneuil Hall a most audacious
declaration, but he was right.
The writer, when a boy, was witness to an exhi
bition of the same spirit. A kinsman of his was a
zealous Abolitionist, although not particularly gifted
with controversial acumen. He and his minister, as
often happened, were discussing the slavery ques
tion. The minister, like many of his cloth at that
time, was a staunch supporter of "the institution,"
which, according to his contention, firmly rested on
"How do you expect to destroy slavery, as it ex
ists in Kentucky, by talking and voting abolition up
here in Ohio?" asked the clergyman.
"We will crush it through Congress when we get
control of the general government," said my kins
"But Congress and the general government have,
under the Constitution, absolutely no power over
slavery in the States. It is a State institution," re
plied the clergyman.
It is unnecessary to follow the discussion, but,
one after another, the quicker-witted and better-
informed preacher successfully combated all the
propositions advanced by my relative in trying to
give a reason for the faith that was in him, until he
was completely cornered. "Well," said he at last,
"the good Lord has not taken me into His confi
dence, and I don t know what His plans for upset
ting slavery are, but He will be able to manage it
My kinsman lived long enough to see the day
28 The Abolitionists
when there was not a slave on American soil, and
the minister lived long enough to become a roaring
It was doubtless their confidence in ultimate
triumph, a result of their absolute belief in the
righteousness of their cause, that, as much as any
thing else, armed and armored the Abolitionists
against all opposition. It was one main element of
their strength in the midst of their weakness. With
out it they could not have persisted, as they did, in
their separate or "third party " political action, that
cleared the way and finally led up to a victorious
organization. Year after year, and for many years,
they voted for candidates that had no chance of elec
tion. Their first presidential ticket got only seven
thousand votes in the whole country. The great
public, which could not see the use of acting politi
cally for principle alone, laughed at their simplicity
in "throwing away their votes." "Voting in the
air " was the way it was often spoken of, and those
who were guilty of such incomprehensible folly were
characterized as "one idea people." They, how
ever, cared little for denunciation or ridicule, and
kept on regularly nominating their tickets, and as
regularly giving them votes that generally appeared
in the election returns among the "scattering."
They were not abashed by the insignificance of their
" They were men who dared to be
In the right with two or three,"
according to the poet Lowell.
In the county in which I lived when a boy, there
One of Their Traits 29
was one vote polled for the first Abolitionist presi
dential ticket. The man who gave it did not try to
hide his responsibility in fact, he seemed rather
proud of his aloneness but he was mercilessly
guyed on account of the smallness of his party.
His rejoinder was that he thought that he and God,
who was, he believed, with him, made a pretty good-
sized and respectable party.
T HE intensity perhaps density would be a bet-
1 ter word in this connection of the prejudice
that confronted the Abolitionists when they entered
on their work is not describable by any expressions
we have in our language. In the South it was soon
settled that no man could preach Anti-Slaveryism
and live. In the North the conditions were not
much better. Every man and woman because the
muster-roll of the Abolition propagandists was re
cruited from both sexes carried on the work at the
hazard of his or her life. Sneers, scowls, hootings,
curses, and rough handling were absolutely certain.
One incident throws light on the state of feeling at
When Pennsylvania Hall, which the Abolitionists
of Philadelphia largely Quakers had erected for
a meeting place at a cost of forty thousand dollars
was fired by a mob, the fire department of that city
threw water on surrounding property, but not one
drop would it contribute to save the property of the
Why was it that this devotion to slavery and this
hostility to its opposers prevailed in the non-slave-
holding States? They had not always existed. In-
Pro-Slavery Prejudice 31
deed, there was a time, not so many years before,
when slavery was generally denounced ; when men
like Washington and Jefferson and Henry, although
themselves slave-owners, led public opinion in its
condemnation. Everybody was anticipating the
day of universal emancipation, when suddenly
almost in the twinkling of an eye there was a
change. If it had been a weather-cock as to a
considerable extent it was, and is public opinion
could not have more quickly veered about.
Slavery became the popular idol in the North as
well as in the South. Opposition to it was not only .
offensive, but dangerous. It was sacrilege.
Sojar as the South was concerned the revolution
is easily accounted for. Slavery became profitable.
A Yankee magician had touched it with a wand of
gold, and from being a languishing, struggling sys
tem, it quickly developed into a money-maker.
Whitney, the Connecticut mechanical genius, by
the invention of the cotton-gin, made the produc
tion of cotton a highly lucrative industry. The price
of negroes to work the cotton fields at once went
up, and yet the supply was inadequate. Northernly
slave States could not produce cotton, but they
could produce negroes. They shared in the golden
harvest. Such cities as Baltimore, Washington,
Richmond, Wheeling, and Louisville became centers
of a flourishing traffic in human beings. They had
great warehouses, commonly spoken of as "nigger
pens," in which the "hands" that were to make
the cotton were temporarily gathered, and long
coffles that is, processions of men and women,
each with a hand attached to a common rope or
32 The Abolitionists
chain marched through their streets with faces
The slave-owners were numerically a lean minority
even in the South, but their mastery over their fel
low-citizens was absolute. Nor was there any mys
tery about it. As the owners of four million slaves,
on an average worth not far from five hundred dol
lars each, they formed the greatest industrial com
bination what at this time we would call a trust
ever known to this or any other country. Our
mighty Steel Corporation would have been a baby
beside it. If to-day all our great financial companies
were consolidated, the unit would scarcely come up
to the dimensions of that one association. It was
not incorporated in law, but its union was perfect.
Bound together by a common interest and a com
mon feeling, its members in the highest sense co
partners in business and in politics, in peace and in
war were prepared to act together as one man.
But why, I again ask, were the Northern people
so infatuated with slavery? They raised no cotton
and they raised no negroes, but many of them, and
especially their political leaders, carried their adula
tion almost to idolatry.
When Elijah P. Lovejoy was shot down like a
dog, and William Lloyd Garrison was dragged half
naked and half lifeless through the streets of Boston,
and other outrages of like import were being perpe
trated all over the North, it was carefully given out
that those deeds were not the work of irresponsible
rowdies, but of "gentlemen" of merchants, manu
facturers, and members of the professions. They
claimed the credit for such achievements.
Pro-Slavery Prejudice 33
There were reasons for such a state of things
some very solid, because financial.
The North and the South were extensively inter
laced by mutual interests. With slave labor the
Southern planters made cotton, and with the pro
ceeds of their cotton they bought Northern ma
chinery and merchandise. They sent their boys and
girls to Northern schools. They came North them
selves when their pockets were full, and freely spent
their money at Northern hotels, Northern theatres,
Northern race-tracks, and other Northern places of
Then there were other ties than those of business.
The great political parties had each a Southern wing.
Religious denominations had their Southern mem
bers. Every kind of trade and calling had its
But social connections were the strongest of all,
and probably had most to do in making Northern
sentiment. Southern gentlemen were popular in
the North. They spent money lavishly. Their
manners were grandiose. They talked boastfully of
the number of their "niggers," and told how they
were accustomed to "wallop" them.
Then there were marriage ties between the sec
tions. Many domestic alliances strengthened the
bond between slavery and the aristocracy of the
In the circles in which these things were going
on, it was the fashion to denounce the Abolitionists.
Women were the most bitter. The slightest sus
picion of sympathy with the "fanatics" was fatal to
social ambition. Mrs. Henry Chapman, the wife of
34 The Abolitionists
a wealthy Boston shipping merchant who gave orders
that no slaves should be carried on his vessels, was
a brilliant woman and a leader in the highest sense
in that city. But when she consented to preside
over a small conference of Anti-Slavery women, so
ciety cut her dead, her former associates refusing to
recognize her on the street. The families of Arthur
and Lewis Tuppan, the distinguished merchants of
New York, were noted for their intelligence and
culture, but when the heads of the families came to
be classified as Abolitionists the doors of all fashion
able mansions were at once shut against them.
They in other ways suffered for their opinions.
The home of Lewis Tappan was invaded by a mob,
and furniture, books, and bric-a-brac were carried to
the street and there burned to ashes.
The masses of the Northern people were, how
ever, led to favor slavery by other arguments. One
of them was that the slaves, if manumitted, would
at once rush to the North and overrun the free
States. I have heard that proposition warmly sup
ported by fairly intelligent persons.
Another argument that weighed with a surpris
ingly large number of people, was that civil equality
would be followed by social equality. As soon as
they were free, negro men, it was said, would marry
white wives. "Do you want your son or your
daughter to marry a nigger?" was regarded as a
knockout anti-Abolitionist argument. The idea, of
course, was absurd. "Is it to be inferred that be
cause I don t want a negro woman for a slave, I do
want her for a wife?" was one of the quaint and
pithy observations attributed to Mr. Lincoln. I
Pro-Slavery Prejudice 35
heard Prof. Hudson, of Oberlin College, express
the same idea in about the same words many years
And yet there were plenty of Northern people to
whom "Amalgamation" the word used to describe
the apprehended union of the races was a veritable
scarecrow. A young gentleman in a neighborhood
near where I lived when a boy was in all respects
eligible for matrimony. He became devoted to the
daughter of an old farmer who had been a Kentuc-
kian, and asked him for her hand. "But I am told,"
said the old gentleman, "that you arc an Aboli
tionist. The young man admitted the justice of the
charge. "Then, sir," fairly roared the old man, "you
can t have my daughter; go and marry a nigger."
But what probably gave slavery its strongest hold
upon the favor of Northern people was the animosity
toward the negro that prevailed among them. No
where was he treated by them like a human being.
The "black laws," as those statutes in a number of
free States that regulated the treatment of the blacks
were appropriately called, were inhuman in the ex
treme. Ohio was in the main a liberal State. She
was called a free State, but her negroes were not
free men. Under her laws they could only remain
in the State by giving bonds for good behavior.
Any one employing negroes, not so bonded, was
liable to a fine of one hundred dollars. They could
not vote, of course. They could not testify in a
case in which a white man was interested. They
could not send their children to schools which they
helped to support. The only thing they could do
"like a white man" was to pay taxes.
36 The Abolitionists
The prejudice against the poor creatures in Ohio
was much stronger than that they encountered on
the other side of the Ohio River in the slave State
of Kentucky. Here in Kentucky they were
property, and they generally received the care and
consideration that ownership ordinarily establishes.
The interest of the master was a factor in their be
half. In many instances there was genuine affection
between owner and slave. "How much better off
they would be if they only had good masters," was
a remark I very often heard in Ohio, as the negroes
would go slouching by with hanging heads and
averted countenances. There is no doubt that at
this time the physical condition of the blacks was
generally much better in slavery than it was in free
dom. What stronger testimony to the innate desire
for liberty what Byron has described as "The
eternal spirit of the chainless mind " than the fact
that slaves who were the most indulgently treated,
were constantly escaping from the easy and careless
life they led to the hostilities and barbarities of the
free States, and they never went back except under
" O carry me back to old Virginy,
To old Virginy s shore,"
was the refrain of a song that was very popular in
those days, and which was much affected by what
were called "negro minstrels." It was assumed to
express the feelings of colored fugitives from bond
age when they had time to realize what freedom
meant in their cases, but I never heard the words
Pro-Slavery Prejudice 37
from the lips of a man who had lived in a state of
I have elsewhere referred to the fact that women
were often the most bitter in their denunciations of
the Abolitionists. In the neighborhood in which I
passed my early days was a lady who was born and
raised in the North, and who probably had no de
cided sentiment, one way or the other, on the
slavery question ; but who about this time spent
several months in a visit to one of the slave States.
She came back thoroughly imbued with admiration
for "the institution." She could not find words to
describe the good times that were enjoyed by the
wives and daughters of the slave-owners. They
had nothing to do except to take the world easy,
and that, according to her account, they did with
great unanimity. The slaves, were, she declared,
the happiest people in the world, all care and
responsibility being taken from their shoulders by
masters who were kind enough to look out for their
But one day she unwittingly exposed a glimpse
of the reverse side of the picture. She told the
story of a young slave girl who had been accused of
larceny. She had picked up some trifling article
that ordinarily no one would* have cared anything
about; but at this time it was thought well to make
an example of somebody. The wrists of the poor
creature were fastened together by a cord that
passed through a ring in the side of the barn, which
had been put there for that purpose, and she was
drawn up, with her face to the building, until her
toes barely touched the ground. Then, in the
38 The Abolitionists
presence of all her fellow-slaves, and with her cloth
ing so detached as to expose her naked shoulders,
she was flogged until the blood trickled down her
"I felt almost as bad for her," said the narrator,
"as if she had been one of my own kind."
"Thank God she was not one of your kind! " ex
claimed a voice that fairly sizzled with rage.
The speaker who happened to be present was a
relative of the author and a red-hot Abolitionist.
Then came a furious war of words, the two en
raged women shouting maledictions in each other s
faces. As a boy, I enjoyed the performance hugely
until I began to see that there was danger of a col
lision. As the only male present, it would be my
duty to interfere in case the combatants came to
blows, or rather to scratches and hair-pulling. I
did not like the prospect, which seemed to me to be
really alarming, and was thinking of some peaceable
solution, when the two women, looking into each
other s inflamed faces, suddenly realized the ridicu
lousness of the situation and broke into hearty peals
of laughter. That, of course, ended Uie contro
versy, not a little to the relief of the writer.
If the influence of a great majority of the women
of that day was thrown on the side of slavery, as
was undoubtedly the case, the minority largely made
up for the disparity of numbers by the spunk and
aggressiveness of their dc inonstrations. A good
many of the most indomitable and effective Abolition
lecturers were women such as Mrs. Lucretia Mott,
the Grimk sisters, Abby Kelly, and others whose
names are here omitted, although they richly deserve
Pro-Slavery Prejudice 39
to be mentioned. Of all that sisterhood, the most
pugnacious undoubtedly was Abby Kelly, a little
New England woman, with, as the name would in
dicate, an Irish crossing of the blood. I heard her
once, and it seemed to me that I never listened to a
tongue that was so sharp and merciless. Her eyes
were small and it appeared to me that they con
tracted, when she was speaking, until they emitted
sparks of fire. Although she went by her maiden
name, she was a married woman, being the wife of
Stephen Foster, a professional Abolitionist agitator
and lecturer. Although himself noted for the bit
terness of his speech, when it came to hard-hitting
vituperation he could not begin to "hold a candle "
to his little wife.
The two traveled together and spoke from the
same platforms. They were constantly getting into
hot water through the hostility of mobs, which they
seemed to enjoy most heartily. Foster s life was
more than once in serious danger, but they kept
right on and never showed the slightest fear. The
only meeting addressed by them that I attended,
though held on the Sabbath, was ended by the
throwing of stones and sticks and addled eggs.
But if the current of public opinion in the North
suddenly turned, and for a long time ran with over
whelming force in favor of slavery, it changed about
almost as suddenly and ran with equal force in the
opposite direction. The county in which I lived
when a boy, that furnished only one vote for the
first Abolitionist presidential ticket, became a Re
publican stronghold. It was in what had been a
Whig district, and when the Whig party went to
40 The Abolitionists
pieces, the most of its ctibris drifted into the Repub
On the occasion of one of the pro-slavery mobs I
elsewhere tell about, when a supply of eggs with
which to garnish the Abolitionists was wanted, and
the money for their purchase was called for, the
town constable the peace officer of the community
put his hand in his pocket and supplied the funds.
A few years thereafter, on my return to the village
after a considerable absence, I found that I had
come just in time to attend a Republican rally
which was that day to be held in a near-by grove.
When I reached the scene of operations a procession
to march to the grove was being formed. There
was considerable enthusiasm and noise, but by far
the most excited individual was the Grand Marshal
and Master of Ceremonies. Seated on a high horse,
he was riding up and down the line shouting out his
orders with tremendous unction. He was the con
stable of the egg-buying episode.
THE POLITICAL SITUATION
IN several of his addresses before his election to
the Presidency, Mr. Lincoln gave utterance to
the following language: "A house divided against
itself cannot stand. I believe this Government can
not permanently remain half slave and half free. I
do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it
to cease to be divided. It will become all one thing
or all the other thing."
The same opinion had been enunciated several
years before by John Quincy Adams on the floor
of Congress, when, with his accustomed pungency,
he declared, "The Union will fall before slavery or
slavery will fall before the Union."
But before either Adams or Lincoln spoke on the
subject away back in 1838 the same idea they ex
pressed had a more elaborate and forcible presenta
tion in the following words:
" The conflict is becoming has become not alone of
freedom for the blacks, but of freedom for the whites.
It has now become absolutely necessary that slavery shall
cease in order that freedom may be preserved in any
portion of our land. The antagonistic principles of
liberty and slavery have been roused into action, and
one or the other must be victorious. There will be no
42 The Abolitionists
cessation of the strife until slavery shall be exterminated
or liberty destroyed."
The author of the words last above quoted was
James Gillespie Birney, who was the first Abolition
ist, or "Liberty party," candidate for the Presi
dency, and of whose career a brief sketch is elsewhere
That the slaveholders reached the same conclusion
that Birney and Adams and Lincoln announced,
viz., that the country was to be all one thing or all
the other thing, is as manifest as any fact in our
history. It is equally certain that they had firmly
resolved to capture the entire commonwealth for
their "institution," and had laid their plans to that
end. They were unwilling to live in a divided
house, particularly with an occupant who was
stronger in population and wealth than they were.
They saw the danger in such association. Northern
sentiment toward slavery was complacent enough,
even servilely so, but it might change. The South
thought it had too much at stake to take the chances
when the opportunity for absolute safety and per
manent rule was within its reach. It resolved to
make the whole country, not only pro-slavery, but
slaveholding. If, through any mischance, it failed
in its calculation, the next step would be to tear
down the house and from .its ruins reconstruct so
much of it as might be needed for its own occu
pancy. That it would be able in time to possess
itself of the whole country, however, for and in be
half of its industrial policy, it did not for an instant
doubt. It was not empty braggadocio on the part
The Political Situation 43
of the celebrated Robert Toombs, of Georgia, when
he uttered his famous boast. 1 He voiced the prac
tically unanimous opinion of his section.
Nor was there anything seemingly very presump
tuous in that anticipation. So far, the South had
been invariably victorious. In what appeared to be
a decisive battle in the test case of admitting Mis
souri into the Union as a slave State, it had won.
So pronounced was its triumph that whatever Anti-
Slavery sentiment survived the conflict appeared to
be stunned and helpless. All fight was knocked out
of it. Its spirit was broken. While the South was
not only compact and fully alive, but exultingly
aggressive, the; North was divided, fully one half of
its population being about as pro-slavery as the
slaveholders themselves, and the rest, with rare ex
ceptions, being hopelessly apathetic. The Northern
leaders of both of the old political parties Whig
and Democratic were what the Abolitionists called
"dough-faces," being Northern men with Southern
principles. The Church was "a dumb dog," and
the press simply drifted with the tide. It was not
at all strange that the slaveholders expected to go
on from conquest to conquest.
There were two policies they could adopt. One
was to attack the enemy s citadel; or rather, the
several citadels it possessed in its individual States,
and force them to open their doors to the master
and his human chattels. The other was to flank and
cover, approaching the main point of attack by way
of the Territories. These, once in possession of
the slaveholders, could be converted into enough
l Sec page 13.
44 The Abolitionists
slave States to give them the control of the general
government, from which coigne of advantage they
could proceed in their own time and way to possess
themselves of such other free States as they might
In the matter of the Territories they had a great
advantage. The North was up against a stone wall
at the Canadian border. In that direction it could
not advance a step, while the South had practically
an unlimited field on its side from which to carve
possessions as they might be wanted, very much as
you would cut a pie.
In pursuance of its territorial policy being the
line of action it first resolved upon the first move
ment of the South was to annex Texas a victory.
The next was to make war on Mexico, and (a joke
of the day) conquer a "piece" from it large enough
to make half a dozen States, all expected to be
slaveholding another victory.
By a curious irony the filching of land for slavery s
uses from a neighbor, and on which the foot of a
slave had never pressed, was exultingly spoken of at
the time by its supporters as "an extension of the
area of freedom." The act was justified on the
ground that we needed "land for the landless,"
which led Benjamin F. Wade of Ohio to assert on
the floor of the United States Senate, with as much
truth as wit, that it was not land for the landless
that was wanted, but "niggers for the niggerless."
Then came the battle over Kansas. The passage
of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill in Congress, although
involving a breach of good faith on the part of the
South, was hailed as another victory for that sec-
The Political Situation 45
tion. It was a costly victory. It was followed by
defeat not only disastrous but fatal. The result in
Kansas was really the turning-point in the great
struggle. It broke the line of Southern victories.
It neutralized the effect of the whole territorial
movement up to that point. It completely spoiled
the slaveholders well-laid plans. We will always
give Grant and his men all praise for victories lead
ing up to Appomatox, but, in some respects, the
most important victory of the great conflict was won
on the plains of Kansas by John Brown of Ossawat-
tomie and his Abolition associates.
The most sagacious Southern leaders saw in that
result conclusive proof that the scale was turned.
They realized that they were beaten within the lines
of the Union, and they began to arrange for going
out of it. They helped to elect a Republican Presi
dent by dividing the Democratic party in 1860 be
tween two candidates Douglas and Breckenridge
in order that they might have a plausible pretext for
But the slaveholders had not abandoned the other
policy to which reference has been made that of
carrying their institution, by main force, as it were,
into some, if not all, of the free States. To that
end they had, in sporting parlance, a card up their
sleeves which they proceeded to play. That card
was the decision of the United States Supreme
Court in the Dred Scott case, upon which they re
lied to give them the legal power to take and hold
their slaves in all parts of the land. Up to the date
of that decision, the current of judicial rulings had
been that slavery, being a municipal institution,
46 The Abolitionists
was local, while freedom was national. Hence,
when a master took his slave into a free State, at
that instant he became a free man. The Dred Scott
decision was intended to reverse the rule. Practi
cally it held that slave ownership, wherever the
Constitution prevailed, was both a legal and a nat
ural right. It, as Benton forcibly expressed it,
"made slavery the organic law of the land and free
dom the exception"; or, as it was jocularly ex
pressed at the time, it left freedom nowhere.
Although at the time of its promulgation, it was
claimed by some of the more conservative pro-
slavery leaders that the Dred Scott dictum applied
only to the Territories, giving the masters the legal
authority to enter them with their slaves, that posi
tion was clearly deceptive. The principle involved,
as laid down by the Court, was altogether too broad
for that construction. In effect it put the proprie
torship of human beings upon the same footing
with other property rights, and claimed for it the
same constitutional protection. The bolder men of
the South, like Toombs of Georgia, did not hesitate
to give that interpretation to the Court s pronounce
ment, and to insist on it with brutal frankness. If
they were wrong, the Court was putty in their hands
and they could easily have had a supplemental rul
ing that would have gone to any extent.
If the Dred Scott decision had been promulgated
by our highest court, and the slaveholders had in
sisted upon the license it was intended to give them
for taking their slave property into free territory, at
the time that Garrison was being dragged by a mob
through Boston s streets; when Birncy s printing-
The Political Situation 47
press in Cincinnati was being tumbled into the Ohio
River; when Pennsylvania Hall, the Quaker Abo
litionists forty-thousand-dollar construction, was
ablaze in Philadelphia; when Lovejoy, the Aboli
tion martyr, was bleeding out his life in one of the
streets of Alton, Illinois when, in fact, the whole
land was swayed by a frenzied hatred of the men
and women who dared to question slavery s right to
supremacy, the writer believes the movement would
have been successful. Public opinion was so in
clined in States like Indiana and Illinois, and even
in Ohio, that they might have been easily toppled
over to the South. Indeed, at that time it is a
problem how Massachusetts would have voted on a
proposition to " slavery ize" her soil. The surpris
ing thing, as we look back to that period, is that
slavery did not get a foothold in some of the free
States, if not in all of them.
But by the time the South was ready to play its
trump card, it was too late. The game was lost.
Public opinion had become revolutionized through
out the North. The leaven of Abolitionism had
got in its work. The men and women, few in num
ber and weak in purse and worldly position as they
were, who had enlisted years before in the cause of
emancipation, and had fought for it in the face of
almost every conceivable discouragement, had at
last won a great preliminary victory. Slavery,
through their exertions, had become impossible,
both in the Territories and in the free States of the
North, the United States Supreme Court and all
the forces of the slave power to the contrary not
48 The Abolitionists
Then came to the South a not unanticipated, and
to many of her leaders a not unwelcome political
Waterloo, in the election of Lincoln. This gave
the argument for secession that was wanted. The
South had then to yield which she had no idea of
doing or to go into rebellion. She went out of
the Union very much as she would have gone to a
frolic. She had no thought that serious fighting
was to follow. She did not believe, as one of the
Southern leaders expressed it, that the Northern
people would go to war for the sake of the niggers."
THE early Abolitionists were denounced as fan
atics, or "fan-a-tics," according to the pro
nunciation of some of their detractors. They were
treated as if partially insane. The writer when a
boy attended the trial of a cause between two neigh
bors in a court of low grade. It was what was called
a "cow case," and involved property worth, per
haps, as much as twenty dollars. One of the wit
nesses on the stand was asked by a lawyer, who
wanted to embarrass or discredit him, if he were not
an Abolitionist. Objection came from the other
side on the ground that the inquiry was irrelevant;
but the learned justice-of-the-peace who presided
held that, as it related to the witness s sanity, and
that would affect his credibility, the question was
admissible. It is not, perhaps, so very strange that
in those days, in view of the disreputableness of
those whose cause they espoused, and the apparently
utter hopelessness of anything ever coming out of
it, the supporters of Anti-Slaveryism should be sus
pected of being "out of their heads."
Although Don Quixote, who, according to the
veracious Cervantes, set out with his unaided strong
right arm to upset things, including wind-mills and
50 The Abolitionists
obnoxious dynasties, has long been looked upon as
the world s best specimen of a "fanatic," he would
ordinarily be set down as a very Solomon beside the
man who would undertake single-handed to over
throw such an institution as American slavery used
to be. Such a man there was, however. He really
entered on the job of abolishing that institution,
and without a solitary assistant. Strange to say,
he was neither a giant nor a millionaire.
According to Horace Grecley, "Benjamin Lundy
deserves the high honor of ranking as the pioneer of
direct and distinctive Anti-Slaveryism in America."
He was slight in frame and below the medium
height, and unassuming in manner. He had, it is
said, neither eloquence nor shining ability of any
At nineteen years of age he went to Wheeling,
Virginia, to learn the trade of a saddler. He
learned more than that. Wheeling, as he tells us,
was then a great thoroughfare for the traffickers in
human flesh. Their coffles passed through the
place frequently. "My heart," he continues, "was
grieved at the great abomination. I heard the wail
of the captive, I felt his pang of distress, and the
iron entered into my soul."
But much as Lundy loathed the business of the
slave-dealers and slave-drivers, he then had no idea
of attempting its abolishment. He married and
settled down to the prosecution of his trade, and
had he been like other people generally he would
have been content. But he could not shut the pic
tures of those street scenes in Wheeling out of his
mind and out of his heart.
Anti-Slavery Pioneers 51
The first thing in the reformatory line he did was
to organize a local Anti-Slavery society in the village
in which he was then living in Ohio; at the first
meeting of this society only five persons were
About this time Lundy made some important
discoveries. He learned that he could write what
the newspapers would print, and give expression to
words that the people would listen to. He was
quick to realize the fact that the best way to reach
the people of this country was through the press.
He started a very small paper with a very large
name. It was ambitiously nominated The Genius
of Universal Emancipation. He began with only six
subscribers and without a press or other publishing
material. Moreover, he had no money. He was
not then a practical printer, though later he learned
the art of type-setting. At this time he had his
newspaper printed twenty miles from his home, and
carried the edition for that distance on his back.
But insignificant as Lundy s paper was, it had the
high distinction of being the only exclusively Anti-
Slavery journal in the country, and its editor and
proprietor was the only professional Abolition lec
turer and agitator of that time.
Afterwards, in speaking of his journalistic under
taking, Mr. Lundy said: "I began this work with
out a dollar of funds, trusting to the sacredness of
the cause." Another saying of his was that he did
not stop to calculate "how soon his efforts would
be crowned with success."
As Lundy spent the greater part of his time in
traveling from place to place, procuring subscrip-
5 2 The Abolitionists
tions to his journal and lecturing on slavery, he
could not issue his paper regularly at any one point.
In some instances he carried the head-rules, column-
rules, and subscription-book of his journal with him,
and when he came to a town where he found a
printing-press he would stop long enough to print
and mail a number of his periodical. He traveled
for the most part on foot, carrying a heavy pack.
In ten years in that way he covered twenty-five
thousand miles, five thousand on foot.
He decided to invade the enemy s country by
going where slavery was. He went to Tennessee,
making the journey of eight hundred miles, one half
by water, and one half on foot. That was, of course,
before the day of railroads.
He continued to issue his paper, although often
threatened with personal violence. Once two bullies
locked him in a room and, with revolvers in hand,
tried to frighten him into a promise to discontinue
his work. He did not frighten to any extent.
Seeking what seemed to be the most inviting field
for his operations, he decided to move his establish
ment to Baltimore, going most of the way on foot
and lecturing as he went whenever he could find an
His residence in Baltimore came near proving
fatal. A slave-trader, whom he had offended, at
tacked and brutally beat him on the street. The
consolation he got from the court that tried the
ruffian, who was " honorably discharged," was that
he (Lundy) had got "nothing more than he de
served. Soon afterwards his printing material and
other property was burned by a mob.
Anti-Slavery Pioneers 53
He went to Mexico to select a location for a
projected colony of colored people. He traveled
almost altogether afoot, observing the strictest
economy and supporting himself by occasional jobs
of saddlery and harness mending. In his journal
he tells us that he often slept in the open air, the
country traversed being mostly new and unsettled.
He was in constant danger from panthers, alligators,
and rattlesnakes, while he was cruelly beset by gnats
and mosquitoes. His clothes in the morning, he
tells us, would be as wet from heavy dews as if he
had fallen into the river.
Intellectually, Lundy was not a great man, but
his heart was beyond measurement. The torch
that he carried in the midst of the all but universal
darkness of that period emitted but a feeble ray,
but he kept it burning, and it possessed the almost
invaluable property of being able to transmit its
flame to other torches. It kindled the brand that
was wielded by William Lloyd Garrison, and which
possessed a wonderful power of illumination.
Garrison was beyond all question a remarkable
man. In the qualities that endow a successful
leader in a desperate cause he has never been sur
passed. He had an iron will that was directed by
an inflexible conscience. "To him," says James
Freeman Clarke, "right was right, and wrong was
wrong, and he saw no half lights or half shadows be
tween them." He was a natural orator. I never
heard him talk, either on or off the platform, but I
have heard those who had listened to him, speak of
the singular gift he possessed in stating or combat
ing a proposition. One person who had heard him,
54 The Abolitionists
often compared him, when dealing with an adver
sary, to a butcher engaged in dissecting a carcass,
and who knew just where to strike every time, a
homely, but expressive illustration. His addresses
in England on a certain notable occasion, which is
dealt with somewhat at length elsewhere, were de
clared by the first British orators to be models of
Lundy and Garrison met by accident. They
were boarding at the same house in Boston, and
became acquainted. Lundy s mind was full of the
subject of slavery, and Garrison s proved to be re
ceptive soil. They decided to join forces, and we
have the singular spectacle of two poor mechanics
a journeyman saddler and a journeyman printer
conspiring to revolutionize the domestic institutions
of half of the country.
They decided to continue the Baltimore news
paper. Garrison s plain-spokenness, however, soon
got him into trouble in that city. He was prose
cuted for libelling a shipmaster for transporting
slaves, was convicted and fined fifty dollars. The
amount, so far as his ability to pay was involved,
might as well have been a million. He went to
prison, being incarcerated in a cell just vacated by
a man who had been hanged for murder, and there
he remained for seven weeks. At the end of that
time Arthur Tappan, the big-hearted merchant of
New York, learning the facts of the case, advanced
the money needed to set Garrison free.
Undeterred by his experience as a martyr, Garri
son who had returned to Boston resolved to
establish a journal of his own in that city, which
Anti-Slavery Pioneers 55
was to be devoted to the cause of the slave. The
Liberator appeared on the 1st of January, 1831.
In entering upon this venture, Garrison had not
a subscriber nor a dollar of money. Being a printer,
he set up the type and struck off the first issue with
his own hands.
In the initial number the proprietor of the Liber-
ator outlined his proposed policy in these words:
"I will be as harsh as truth; as uncompromising as
justice. I am in earnest. I will not excuse; I will
not retreat a single inch; and I will be heard."
The first issue of the paper brought in a contribu
tion of fifty dollars from a colored man and twenty-
five subscribers. It was not, therefore, a failure,
but its continuance involved a terrible strain. Gar
rison and one co-worker occupied one room for
work-shop, dining-room, and bedroom. They
cooked their own meals and slept upon the floor.
It was almost literally true, as pictured by Lowell,
the poet :
" In a small chamber, friendless and unseen,
Toiled o er his types one poor unlearned young man.
The place was dark, unfurnitured and mean,
Yet there the freedom of a race began."
The effects produced by Garrison s unique pro
duction were simply wonderful. In October of its
first year the Vigilance Association of South Caro
lina offered a reward of fifteen hundred dollars for
the apprehension and prosecution to conviction of
any white person who might be detected in dis
tributing or circulating the Liberator. Georgia
went farther than that. Less than a year after
56 The Abolitionists
Garrison had established his paper, the Legislature
of that State passed an act offering a reward of five
thousand dollars to whomsoever should arrest, bring
to trial, and prosecute its publisher to conviction.
The Liberator was excluded from the United States
mails in all the slave States, illegal as such a pro
There was, however, opposition nearer home.
The Liberator establishment was wrecked by a mob,
and Garrison, after having been stripped of nearly
all his clothing, was dragged, bareheaded, by a rope
round his body through the streets of Boston until,
to save his life, the authorities thrust him into jail.
No man in this country was so cordially hated by
the slaveholders as Garrison. Of the big men up
North the leaders of politics and society they
had no apprehension. They knew how to manage
them. It was the little fellows like the editor of
the Liberator that gave them trouble. These men
had no money, but they could not be bought.
They had no fear of mobs. They cared nothing
for the scoldings of the church and the press. An
adverse public sentiment never disturbed their
equanimity or caused them to turn a hair s breadth
in their course.
It is true that Lundy and Garrison had very little
to lose. They had neither property nor social posi
tion. That, however, cannot be said of another
early Abolitionist, who, in some respects, is entitled
to more consideration than any of his co-workers.
James Gillespie Birney was a Southerner by birth.
He belonged to a family of financial and social
prominence. He was a gentleman of education and
Anti-Slavery Pioneers 57
culture, having graduated from a leading college
and being a lawyer of recognized ability. He was
a slave-owner. For a time he conducted a planta
tion with slave labor. He lived in Alabama, where
he filled several important official positions, and was
talked of for the governorship of the State. But
having been led to think about the moral, and other
aspects of slaveholding, he decided that it was
wrong and he would wash his hands of it. He
could not in Alabama legally manumit his slaves.
Moreover, his neighbors had risen up against him
and threatened his forcible expulsion. He removed
to Kentucky, where he thought a more liberal senti
ment prevailed. There he freed his slaves and made
liberal provision for their comfortable sustenance.
But the slave power was on his track. He was
warned to betake himself out of the State. The
infliction of personal violence was meditated, and a
party of his opposers came together for that pur
pose. They were engaged in discussing ways and
means when a young man of commanding presence
and strength, who happened to be present, an
nounced that while he lived Mr. Birney would not
be molested. His opposition broke up the plot.
That young man became a leading clergyman and
was subsequently for a time Chaplain of the United
Birney went with his belongings to Ohio, thinking
that upon the soil of a free State he would be safe
from molestation. He established a newspaper in
Cincinnati to advocate emancipation. A mob
promptly destroyed his press and other property,
and it was with difficulty that he escaped with his life.
58 The Abolitionists
More sagacious, although not more zealous, than
Lundy and Garrison and a good many of their fol
lowers, Birney early saw the necessity of political
action in the interest of freedom. He was the real
founder of the old " Liberty" party, of which he
was the presidential candidate in 1840 and in 1844.
Of course, there were other early laborers for
emancipation that, in this connection, ought to be
mentioned and remembered. They were pioneers
in the truest sense. The writer would gladly make
a record of their services, and pay a tribute, espe
cially, to the memories of such as have gone to the
spirit land, where the great majority are now mus
tered, but space at this point forbids.
SALMON PORTLAND CHASE
IF I were asked to name the man to whom the
colored people of this country, who were slaves,
or were liable to become slaves, are under the great
est obligation for their freedom, I would unhesitat
ingly say Salmon Portland Chase.
If I were asked to name the man who was the
strongest and most useful factor in the Government
during the great final contest that ended in the
emancipation of the black man, I would say Salmon
In expressing the opinions above given, no re
proach for Abraham Lincoln, nor for any of the
distinguished members of his Cabinet, is intended
or implied. Inferiority to Salmon P. Chase was not
a disgrace. Physically he rose above all his official
associates, which was no discredit to them, and in
much the same way he towered intellectually and
administratively. His was the most trying, the
most difficult position, in the entire circle of public
departments. It was easy to get men to fight the
battles of the Union if there was money to pay them.
It was easy to furnish ships and arms and supplies
in sufficient quantity, notwithstanding the terrible
drain of the greatest of civil wars, as long as the
60 The Abolitionists
funds held out. Everything depended on the treas
ury. Failure there meant irretrievable disaster. It
would not answer to have any serious mistakes in
that quarter, and in fact no fatal mistakes were there
made. In all other departments there were failures
and blunders, but the financial department met
every emergency and every requisition. Chase s
financial policy it was that carried the country
majestically through the war, and that afterwards
paid the nation s debts.
There is a circumstance that has not been men
tioned, as far as the writer knows, by any of Mr.
Chase s biographers, which seems to him to be
significant and worth referring to. During the
Civil War, Walter Bagehot was editor of the Econo
mist , the great English financial journal. His opin
ion in financial matters was regarded as the highest
authority. It was accepted as infallible. He dis
cussed the plans of Mr. Chase with great elaborate
ness and great severity. He predicted that they
were all destined to failure, and proved this theoreti
cally to his own satisfaction and the satisfaction of
many others. The result showed that Mr. Chase
was right all the time, and the great English econo
mist was wrong.
The entrance of such a man into the Abolitionist
movement marked an era in its history. It was the
thing most needed. He gave it a leader who, of all
men then living, was most competent for leadership.
From that time he was its Moses.
The greatest service rendered to the Abolition
cause by Salmon P. Chase was in pushing it forward
on political lines. There was a contest for the mas-
Salmon Portland Chase 61
tery of the Government from the hour he took
command. The movement was to be slow, some
times halting and apparently falling back, in some
respects insignificant, in all respects desperate, but
there was to be no permanent defeat and no com
The espousal of Abolitionism by Mr. Chase was a
remarkable circumstance. He was not an enthusiast
like Garrison and Lundy and many other Anti-
Slavery pioneers, but precisely the opposite. He
was cold-blooded and cool-headed, a deliberate and
conservative man. His speeches were described as
giving light but no heat. His sympathies were
seemingly weak, but his sense of justice was im
mense. Apparently, he opposed slavery because it
was wrong rather than because it was cruel. He
had a big body, a big head, and a big conscience,
the combination making a strong man and a good
That he did, in fact, sympathize with the slaves
was shown by his professional work in their behalf,
more particularly in pleading without fee or other
reward the cases of escaped fugitives in the courts.
So numerous were his engagements in this regard
that his antagonists spoke of him sneeringly as the
"Attorney-General for runaway niggers." Upon
some of his Anti-Slavery cases he bestowed an im
mense amount of work. His argument in the case
of Van Zant the original of Van Tromp in Mrs.
Stowe s Uncle Tom s Cabin, an old man who was
prosecuted and fined until he was financially ruined
for giving a "lift" in his farm wagon to a slave
family on its way to Canada, was said at the time to
62 The Abolitionists
have been the most able so far made in the Supreme
Court of the United States. That and other similar
utterances by Mr. Chase were published for popular
reading, and were widely distributed by friends of
It is possible that, in performing this arduous
labor, Mr. Chase, who was not without personal
ambition, was able, with his great native sagacity,
to foresee, although it must have been but dimly,
the possibilities of political development and official
promotion, but at the same time, for the same
reason, he could the more clearly realize the weari
some, heart-breaking struggle that was before him.
It was an enormous sacrifice that he made. Jour
neymen printers and saddlers, like Garrison and
Lundy, who had never had as much as one hundred
dollars at one time in their lives, and who had no
social position and no influential kinsfolks, had little
to lose. But it was very different with Chase. He
had a profession that represented great wealth. He
had distinguished and aristocratic family connec
tions. He had a high place in society. All these
he risked and largely lost.
In speaking of his sacrifices at that time in a
subsequent letter to a friend, he wrote:
" Having resolved on my political course, I devoted
all the time and means I could command to the work of
spreading the principles and building up the organization
of the party of constitutional freedom then inaugurated.
Sometimes, indeed, all I could do seemed insignificant,
while the labors I had to perform, and the demand upon
my very limited resources by necessary contributions,
taxed severely all my abilities."
Salmon Portland Chase 63
The writer hereof was a witness to one incident
that showed something of the loss that Mr. Chase
sustained in a business way because of his principles.
While a law student in a country village he was sent
down to Cincinnati to secure certain testimony in
the form of affidavits. During his visit he called at
Mr. Chase s law office, introduced himself, and was
very pleasantly received. He noticed that there
was a notary public in the office.
Among other instructions he had been directed to
get the affidavit of a leading business man in Cincin
nati, a railroad president. The document was pre
pared and signed, but there was no one at hand
before whom it could be sworn to. The writer
remarked that he knew where there was a notary
in a near-by office. We proceeded to Mr. Chase s
chambers, and were about to enter when my com
panion noticed the name on the door. He fell back
as if he had been struck in the face. "The
Abolitionist," he exclaimed, "I would n t enter his
place for a hundred dollars!" We went elsewhere
for our business, and on the way my companion
expressed himself about Mr. Chase. "What a pity
it is," he said, "that that young man is ruining
himself. He is a bright man," he went on, "and I
employed him professionally until he went daft on
the subject of freeing the niggers whom the Lord
made for the purpose of serving the white people."
Like pretty much all the early Abolitionists, Mr.
Chase had a taste of mob violence. He had one
singular experience. When the mob destroyed
the printing establishment of James G. Birney in
Cincinnati, Chase mingled with the crowd. He
64 The Abolitionists
discovered that personal violence to Mr. Birney was
contemplated and that his life was in danger. He
made all haste to Birney s residence and gave him
warning of his peril. Then he took his stand in the
doorway of the building and calmly awaited the
coming of the rabble. Those who knew Chase will
remember that in size he was almost a giant, and
his countenance had a stern, determined look. The
multitude, finding itself thus unexpectedly con
fronted, paused and entered into a parley that gave
the hunted man an opportunity to reach a place of
Chase had an appointment to speak in the village
in which the writer lived, and the opposers of his
cause arranged to give him a warm reception.
Something prevented his attendance, and a very
mild and amiable old clergyman from an adjoining
town, who took his place, received the shower-
bath of uncooked eggs that had been intended for
the Cincinnati Abolitionist.
Chase s great work for the Anti-Slavery cause was
in projecting and directing it on independent politi
cal lines. Up to that time most Anti-Slavery people
opposed separate party action. Garrison and his
Liberator violently denounced such action. Moral
suasion was urged as the panacea. Chase himself
had not been a "third party" man. In 1840, when
there was an Abolition ticket in the field, headed
by his personal friend, James G. Birney, he had not
supported it. But soon afterwards, becoming firmly
convinced that Anti-Slavery people had nothing to
hope for from either of the old parties, he set about
the work of building a new one. The undertaking
Salmon Portland Chase 65
was with no mental reservation on his part. When
he put his hand to that plow there was no looking
back, notwithstanding that a rougher or more stony
field, and one less promising of returns for the
laborer than that before him, would be difficult to
In 1841 he headed a call for a convention at Co
lumbus, the State capital, to organize the Liberty
party in the State of Ohio, and at the same time
nominate a State ticket. Less than a hundred sym
pathizers responded to the call, and the ticket put
in nomination received less than one thousand votes.
Among the attendants at the Columbus meeting
was a near kinsman of the author. On his return,
in describing the proceedings, he said that pretty
much everything was directed by a Mr. Chase
(Salamander Chase was his name, he said), a young
Cincinnati lawyer. That young man, he declared,
would yet make a mark in the world.
From that time every important move was di
rected by Chase. He prepared the calls for import
ant meetings. He wrote their addresses and their
platforms. He made the leading speeches. He
presided at the great convention at Buffalo in 1848,
which formulated the "Free-Soil" party successor
to the Liberty party and wrote the platform which
In speaking of Chase s share in the independent
organization of this time, William M. Evarts says:
"He must be awarded the full credit of having
understood, resolved upon, planned, organized, and
executed this political movement."
The movement thus conducted by Mr. Chase was
66 The Abolitionists
slow and tremendously laborious, but it was effec
tive. In the presidential elections of 1844 an< 3 1848
it held the balance of power and turned the scale to
further its purposes. In 1852 it shattered and de
stroyed one of the old pro-slavery parties, and be
came the second party in the country instead of the
third. In eight years more it was the first.
The charge has been made against Mr. Chase
that, while a member of Lincoln s Cabinet, he as
pired to supersede his chief in the Presidency. But
did he not have a right to seek the higher office,
especially when the policy pursued by its incumbent
did not meet his full approval? He merely shared
the sentiment that was then entertained by nearly
all the radical Anti-Slavery people of the country.
It is not unlikely that Chase felt somewhat en
vious of Lincoln. After, as he stated in his letter
of congratulation to Mr. Lincoln on his first elec
tion, he had given nineteen years of continuous and
exhausting labor to the freedom movement, it would
be but natural that he should feel aggrieved when
he saw that the chief credit of that movement was
likely to go to one who had, to his own exclusion,
come up slowly and reluctantly at a later day to its
support. If he were somewhat jealous, it would be
hard not to sympathize with him.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS
IF I were asked to name the man who, next to
Salmon P. Chase, most effectually and meritori
ously contributed to the liberation of the black man
in this country, I should unhesitatingly say John
By the great majority of those now living Mr.
Adams is known only as having once been Presi
dent of the United States and as belonging to a
very distinguished family. His name is rarely men
tioned. There was a time, however, when no other
name was heard so often in this country, or which,
when used, excited such violent and conflicting emo
tions. It can justly be said that for many years
John Quincy Adams, individually and practically
alone, by his services in Congress, sustained what
Anti-Slavery sentiment there was in the nation. It
was but a spark, but he kept it alive and gradually
extended its conflagration.
When Adams entered Congress opposition to
slavery was at its lowest ebb. It was almost ex
tinct. The victory of the slaveholders in the Mis
souri contest had elated them most tremendously
and had correspondingly depressed and cowed their
adversaries. As a general thing, the latter had given
68 The Abolitionists
up all idea of making any further fight. Northern
Presidents, Northern Congressmen, Northern edi
tors, Northern churchmen, were the most ready and
servile supporters slavery had. Anti-Slavery so
cieties had been abandoned. Anti-Slavery journals
had perished. Disapproves of the "institution,"
with the exception of a few men of the Lundy stamp
and the Lundy obscurity, were silent. There was
one magnificent exception.
It was at that crisis that John Quincy Adams
entered Congress and began a fight against slavery
that, covering a period of seventeen years, literally
lasted to the last day of his life. He was carried
helpless and dying from the floor of Congress, where
he had fallen when in the discharge of his duties.
The position of Mr. Adams, who had been elected
as an independent candidate, was unique. lie owed
his official place to no political party, and was, there
fore, free from party shackles in regulating his
course. He took up the fight for the black man s
freedom as one who was himself absolutely free.
Most wonderfully did he conduct that fight. There
was nothing in the eloquence of Demosthenes in
Athens, of Cicero in Rome, of Mirabeau in France,
of Pitt or Gladstone in England, that surpassed
the force and grandeur of the philippics of Adams
against American slavery. Alone, for the greater
part of his service in Congress, he stood in the midst
of his malignant assailants like a rock in a stormy
sea. Old man that he was, plainly showing the in
roads of physical weakness, he was in that body of
distinguished and able men more than a match for
any or all of his antagonists. He was always "the
John Quincy Adams 69
old man eloquent." Says one of our leading his
torical writers :
"As a parliamentary debater he had few, if any,
superiors. In knowledge and dexterity there was no
one in the House that could be compared with him. He
was literally a walking cyclopedia. He was terrible in
invective, matchless at repartee, and insensible to fear.
A single-handed fight against all the slaveholders in the
House was something upon which he was always ready
Speaking of his effectiveness in congressional
encounters another Congressman writes :
" He is, I believe, the most extraordinary man living.
I have with my own eyes seen the slaveholders literally
quake and tremble through every nerve and joint, when
he arraigned before them their political and moral sins.
His power of speech has exceeded any conception I have
heretofore had of the force of words or logic."
At last his enemies in Congress decided that they
would endure his attacks no longer. They took
counsel together and agreed upon a plan of opera
tions looking to his expulsion from that body. As
one of his biographers, also a distinguished Con
gressman, expressed it: "It was the preconcerted
and deliberate purpose of the slave-masters to make
an example of the ringleader of political Abolition
ism. They meant to humiliate and crush him, and
this they did not doubt their power to do."
Mr. Adams submitted a petition, without giving
it his personal endorsement, asking for a dissolution
of the Union. That furnished the pretext his
70 The Abolitionists
enemies wanted. They accused him of treason in
contenancing an assault upon the Union, although
they were at the time engaged in laying the founda
tion of a movement looking to its ultimate over
throw. The outcome of this undertaking was one
of the most thrilling scenes ever witnesssd in the
American Congress; or, for that matter, in any
other deliberative assembly.
Preparations for the affair were made with great
elaborateness. The galleries were filled with the
friends, male and female, of pro-slavery Congress
men. The beauty and chivalry of the South were
there. They had come to witness the abasement
of the great enemy of their most cherished institu
tion. They were to see him driven from the nation s
council chamber, a crushed and dishonored man.
Not one friendly face looked down upon him as he
sat coolly awaiting the attack, and upon the floor
about him were few of his colleagues that gave him
The two most eloquent Congressmen from the
South were selected to lead the prosecution. One
was the celebrated Henry A. Wise, of Virginia ; the
other "Tom" Marshall, of Kentucky. The latter
opened the proceedings by offering a resolution
charging Mr. Adams with treasonable conduct and
directing his expulsion. He supported it with a
speech of much ingenuity. Wise followed in a fiery
diatribe. Both speakers imprudently indulged in
personal allusions of a somewhat scandalous nature,
thus laying themselves open, with episodes in their
careers of questionable propriety, to retaliation from
a man who thoroughly knew their records.
John Quincy Adams 71
At this point we have the testimony of an eye
" Then uprose that bald, gray old man of seventy-five,
his hands tremulous with constitutional infirmity and
age, upon whose consecrated head the vials of tyrannic
wrath had been outpoured. Unexcited he raised his
voice, high-keyed, as was usual with him, but clear, un-
tremulous, and firm. Almost in a moment his infirmities
disappeared, although his shaking hand could not but be
noted, trembling, not with fear, but with age."
His speech was absolutely crushing. He met
every point that had been urged against him and
triumphantly refuted it. He handled his oratorical
antagonists with merciless severity, depicting certain
events in their lives with such vividness that the
onlookers gazed upon them with visible and unmis
takable pity. Said one of these men when he
afterwards understood that a certain party was
about to engage in a controversial debate with Mr.
Adams, "Then may the Lord have mercy on him."
Mr. Adams was not expelled. His opponents
frankly admitted their discomfiture and dropped the
It cannot be denied that John Quincy Adams,
almost by his unaided efforts, preserved and sus
tained the life of the Anti-Slavery cause at a time
when it was almost moribund. He plowed the
ground, cutting a deep and broad furrow as he went
his way, and in the upturned soil such laborers as
Birney and Garrison and Chase planted the seed
that rooted and grew until it yielded a plentiful
THE divergent characteristics of the East and the
West were never more clearly shown than in
the progress of the Anti-Slavery movement. Efforts
were made to plant Abolition societies at various
points throughout the West, but they failed to take
permanent root and soon disappeared. The failure
was not due to any lack of interest, but rather to an
excess of zeal on the part of the Western support
ers of the cause. Society organizations on the lines
of moral suasion were too slow and tame to suit
them. They preferred the excitement of politics.
They believed in the superior efficacy of a political
party, and to its upbuilding they gave their energies
and resources. In the "long run" they were amply
vindicated, but for all that, the favorite Eastern
method for organized effort had its advantages.
The East, and especially New England, always
believed in societies. If anything of a public nature
was to be promoted or prevented, a society always
appealed to the New^Englander as the natural in
strumentality. There is a tradition that when Bos
ton was ravaged by a loathsome disease, a number
of its leading citizens came together and promptly
organized an anti-smallpox society.
Anti-Slavery Societies 73
When, therefore, it was decided that an Anti-
Slavery movement should be inaugurated in Boston,
the proper thing to do, according to all the stand
ards of the place, was to organize a society. But
the thing was more easily resolved upon than done.
It required the concurrence of several parties of like-
mindedness. Boston was a pretty large place, but
Anti-Slavery people were scarce. The number
(doubtless selected because it was Apostolic) as
sumed to be necessary was twelve. Fifteen people
of somewhat similar views were at last brought to
gether. After much discussion nine favored an
organization and six opposed it. So far the opera
tion was a failure. But at last, after much canvass
ing, twelve men were found who promised their
co-operation twelve and no more. Although re
spectable people, they were not of Boston s "first
citizens" by any means. It is said that if they had
been called upon for a hundred dollars each, not
over two of them could have responded without
The twelve came together at night and in the
basement of an African Baptist Church, the room
being used in the daytime to accommodate a school
for colored children. It was in an obscure quarter
of Boston known as "Nigger Hill." The confer
ence was in the month of December, and the night
is thus described by Oliver Johnson, who was one
of the twelve : "A fierce northeast storm, combining
rain, snow, and hail in about equal proportions, was
raging, and the streets were full of slush. They
were dark, too, for the city of Boston in those days
was very economical of light on Nigger Hill."
74 The Abolitionists
Both nature and man seemed to be in league
against those plucky pioneers of an unpopular cause.
They, however, were not dismayed nor disheart
ened. It was as they were stepping out into the
gloomy night, that Mr. Garrison, who, it is scarcely
necessary to say, was one of the twelve, remarked
to his associates: "We have met to-night in this
obscure schoolhouse; our numbers are few, and our
influence limited, but mark my prediction. Faneuil
Hall shall ere long echo to the principles we have
What those principles were is shown by the de
claration adopted by that handful of confederates,
and which, in view of the time and circumstances
of its formulation, was certainly a most remarkable
document. Its essential proposition was: " We,
the undersigned, hold that every person of full age
and sound mind has a right to immediate freedom
from personal bondage of whatsoever kind, unless
imposed by the sentence of the law for the commis
sion of some crime."
The Declaration of Independence, which was pro
duced with no little theatrical effect amid the pomp
and circumstance of a national conclave that had
met in the finest hall in the country, was unques
tionably a remarkable and memorable pronounce
ment. It was for the time and situation a radical
utterance. It was the precursor of a revolution
that gave political freedom to several million people.
But the platform of principles that was announced
by the New England Anti-Slavery Society (the name
adopted) in that little grimy schoolroom on "Nigger
Hill" was, in at least some respects, a more remark-
Anti-Slavery Societies 75
able document. Its enunciation required an equal
degree of physical and moral courage. It was the
precursor of a revolution that gave both personal
and political freedom to a larger number than were
benefited by the other declaration. But what chiefly
distinguished it, the time and the situation being
considered, was its radical utterance. It gave no
countenance to any measure of compromise. It
offered no pabulum to the wrongdoer in the form of
compensation for stolen humanity. It demanded
what was right, and demanded it at once. And
that fearless and unyielding platform became the
basis for all the Abolition societies that came after
it. A goodly number of such societies were organ
ized. "The Anti-Slavery Society for the City of
New York" was formed by a few men who met and
did their work while a mob was pounding at the
door, and who, having completed their task, fled for
It was at first intended that a national Anti-
Slavery society should be established with head
quarters in the city of New York, but its proposed
organizers discovered that there was not a public
hall or church in that city in which they would
be permitted to assemble. Philadelphia, with its
Quaker contingent, offered a more inviting field,
and to that city it was decided to go. But serious
obstructions here interposed. Representatives ap
peared from fourteen States, which was highly en
couraging, but no prominent Philadelphian could
be found to act as chairman of the meeting. A
committee was appointed to secure the services of
such a man, but, after interviewing a number of
76 The Abolitionists
leading citizens, it was compelled to report that it
was received by all of them with "polite frigidity."
Strange to say, the convention was permitted to
meet for three days in succession in a public as
sembly room without interference from a mob.
The police, however, warned the participants not to
hold night sessions, as they in that case would not
promise protection. The good behavior of Phila
delphia on this occasion was noteworthy, but it was
too good to last. When another Anti-Slavery meet
ing, not long after, was convened in that city, it
was broken up by a mob, and the hall in which it
met was burned to the ground.
Finally came the National Anti-Slavery Society,
which, in view of its limited financial resources, cer
tainly did a wonderful work. Its publications, in
spite of careful watching of the mails and other
precautions adopted by the slaveholders, reached
all parts of the country, and its preachers, sent out
and commissioned to proclaim the new evangel of
equal manhood, were absolutely ubiquitous.
Those early Anti-Slavery lecturers were a peculiar
set. Since the days of the Apostles there have
been no more earnest propagandists. They were
both male and female. That they were, as a rule,
financially poor, it is unnecessary to state. They
lived largely on the country traversed. Sympa
thizers with their views, having received and enter
tained them sometimes clandestinely after a
public talk or two, would carry them on to the next
stations on their routes, occasionally contributing a
few dollars to their purses. It made no particular
difference to them whether they spoke in halls, in
Anti-Slavery Societies 77
churches, or in the open air. Before beginning
their addresses their usual course was to challenge
their opponents to debate, and to taunt them with
lack of courage or principle if they failed to re
spond. Of course, they were in constant danger
from mobs. They were stoned, clubbed, shot at,
and rotten-egged, and in a few extreme cases tarred
and feathered ; but they were never frightened from
They were by no means policy-wise. That was
one of their peculiarities. Their idea seemed to be
that they could drive people easier than they could
lead them. They used no buttered phrases. They
told the plainest truths in the plainest way. They
gave their audiences hard words, and often received
hard knocks in return. They called the slaveholders
robbers and man-stealers. They branded Northern
politicians with Southern principles as " dough
faces/ But their hardest and sharpest expletives
were reserved for those Northern clergymen who
were either pro-slavery or non-committal. They
blistered them all over with their lashings. In
speaking of one of the most noted among them,
Lowell describes him as
"A kind of maddened John the Baptist
To whom the hardest word came aptest."
The lecturer of whom I saw the most in those
early trying days was Professor Hudson, of Oberlin
College. While in that part of the field he made
headquarters at my father s house, radiating out
and filling appointments in different directions. He
was exceedingly sharp-tongued and very fearless.
78 The Abolitionists
Nothing seemed to please him better than a "scrim
mage" with his opponents. Often he conquered
mobs by resolutely talking them down and making
them ashamed of themselves. But on one occa
sion, looking through the window from the outside
to see what awaited him in a room where he was to
speak, he saw a pot of boiling tar on the stove that
heated the room and a pillow-case full of feathers
conveniently near, while a half-drunken crowd was
in possession of the place, and concluded to run.
He, however, had been seen and was pursued.
There was a foot race, but as some of the pursuers
were better sprinters than Hudson, and he was
about to be captured, he dashed into the first house
he came to and asked for protection. The pro
prietor was a kinsman of mine. He was an old
man, but hearty and vigorous. He ordered his
sons to take their guns and guard the other en
trances, while he took his stand in the front door
with an axe in his hand. When the mob came up
and demanded the Abolitionist, he gave warning
that he would brain the first man that attempted to
enter his house without his consent. So evidently
in earnest was he that the rowdies, after a little
bluster, concluded to give up the hunt and left in
WANTED, AN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY
THE National Anti-Slavery Society the society
organized by Garrison and his confreres, and
which longest maintained its organization made
one great mistake. It disbanded. It assumed that
its work was done when African slavery in this
country was pronounced defunct by law. It took
it for granted that the enslavement of the colored
man not necessarily the negro was no longer pos
sible under the Stars and Stripes. Then and there
it committed a grievous blunder. Its paramount
error was in assuming that a political party could
for all time be depended upon as a party of free
dom. It trusted to the assurances of politicians
that they would protect the colored man in all his
natural and acquired rights, and in that belief volun
tarily gave up the ghost and cast its mantle to the
Now, the fact is that the National Anti-Slavery
Society was never more needed, than it is to-day.
There is a mighty work to be done that was directly
in the line of its operations. First and foremost, it
will not be denied that a citizen of our Republic who
is deprived of the elective franchise is robbed of one
of his most valuable privileges one of his most
8o The Abolitionists
essential rights. The ballot, under a political sys
tem like ours, is both the sword and the shield of
liberty. Without it no man is really a freeman.
He does not stand on an equality with his fellows.
Nor will it be denied that the negro, although our
amended Constitution promises him all the privileges
of citizenship, is in many parts of our country prac
tically divested of his vote. By a species of leger
demain in the communities in which he is most
numerous and most needs protection, he is to all
intents and purposes disfranchised. What will fol
low as the final outcome we do not know, but that
is the beginning of his attempted re-enslavement.
It is beyond any question that his return to invol
untary servitude in some condition or conditions,
the disarming him of the ballot being the initial step
in the proceeding, is seriously contemplated, if not
deliberately planned. Indeed, under the name of
"peonage" the work of re-establishing a system of
slaveholding that is barbarous in the extreme is
already begun. Men and women have been seized
upon by force, and upon the most flimsy pretexts
have been subjected to a bondage that in its in
humanities may easily equal even the slavery of the
olden time. The number of victims is undoubtedly
much larger than the general public has any idea of.
Nor are there lacking signs of studied preparation
for the extension of the system. The present time
is full of them. Efforts to create a prejudice against
the colored man arc visible in all directions. He is
described as a failure in the role of freeman. The
idleness and shiftlessness of certain members of his
race undoubtedly altogether too numerous are
Wanted, an Anti-Slavery Society 81
dwelt upon as characteristic of the entire family.
Scant praise is given to those members who are
doing well, and whose number is encouragingly
large. These are as far as possible ignored. The
race problem is spoken of as full of increasing difficul
ties, and as imperatively demanding a change from
present conditions. The people of the North are
being especially indoctrinated with such ideas.
They are told that they must leave their brethren
of the former slaveholding States, and in which the
negroes principally dwell, to deal with the issues
arising between the whites and the blacks; that
they the Southerners understand the questions
to be settled, and that outsiders should withhold
their hands and their sympathies. It is none of
their business, they are informed, while assurances
are freely given that the people who, because of
their experience with them, understand the negroes,
will take considerate care of them. What kind of
care they are taking of them in certain quarters is
shown by recent incontestable revelations.
And what has the political party which, in view
of its manifold professions, was supposed to have
the interests of the negro in its especial keeping,
done about it? Nothing whatever. It has looked
on with the coolest indifference. The only concern
it has shown in the matter has related to the ques
tion of Congressional representation as dependent
upon the enumeration of electors, and, in so doing,
has plainly intimated that if, through the negro s
political robbery, it can secure an increase of par
tisan power, it is perfectly willing that the cause of
the injured black man should "slide."
82 The Abolitionists
Indifference in regard to the rights of peoples of
color is unfortunately not the only nor even the
greatest charge to be laid at the door of the Repub
lican party. It may be asserted that this party has
become an active aggressor in trampling down the
liberties of colored peoples. As the assignee of
Spain in taking over (without consulting those who
were most concerned) the control of the territory of
the Philippine Islands, it has purchased (and has
paid cash for) the right to dominate from eight to
ten millions of people. These people may, under
the existing conditions, be described as being in a
state of slavery. If a foreign people, say a people
coming from the other side of the globe, should
treat Americans as we have treated the Filipinos,
should deny to us the right of self-government,
should send great armies to chastise us for disobedi
ence (or for what they might call "rebellion"), and
should do this for no better reason than that our
skin was darker or lighter than their own, we Ameri
cans would doubtless consider ourselves to be in a
state of slavery. Why in any sense is slavery in
Luzon more defensible than slavery in South Caro
lina or in Alabama? If it be wrong to keep in slav
ery the black man in America (as in theory at least
we are all now agreed it is wrong), what is the
justice in depriving of his freedom the brown-
skinned Tagal? Can a bill of sale from Spain give
to us any such privilege, if privilege it may be called?
Can an agreement with Spain bring to naught
our responsibilities under our own Declaration of
Although, owing to the remoteness of the islands,
Wanted, an Anti-Slavery Society 83
we have as yet but little trustworthy knowledge as
to what has really occurred in this new territory,
and possibly in any case have not been informed of
the things which are most to be condemned, the re
ports that have reached us of barbarities perpetrated
upon a people who never did us any harm or wrong
ought certainly to awaken in American bosoms
every throb of pity and every sentiment of manli
ness. We have had accounts of butcheries called
"battles" in which have been slaughtered hundreds
of almost defenseless creatures for no offense except
that of standing up for their independence. It is
said that certain districts that would not acknowledge
our mastery have been turned into wildernesses, and
that in these districts the number of the slain may
easily have equaled the victims of massacres in
Armenia and Bessarabia, massacres which we have
always so strenuously condemned. Thousands of
men, women, and children have perished at our hands
or in connection with operations for which we were
responsible; and in addition to the taking of life
there is record of the infliction of serious cruelties.
As assignees of Spain, we seem to have succeeded
not only to her properties but to her policies in the
treatment of subject races. We do not know that
in the greatest excesses of the bad colonial govern
ment of Spaniards they ever inflicted a torture more
exquisite than that of the "water cure." How
many of the perpetrators of these atrocities have
been adequately punished, or how many have been
punished at all?
It is wonderful with what complacency we have
received the accounts of these horrible affairs.
84 The Abolitionists
Nobody has been disturbed. The newspapers, be-
yond reporting the facts, have had nothing to say.
The Church has been silent at least that can be said
of the Protestant Church. Not one brave or manly
word of protest or condemnation has the writer
heard, or heard of, from a Protestant American
pulpit. Catholics, being victims and sufferers, have
complained and protested. The greatest discomfort
these things have produced has been occasioned by
the apprehension that, through somebody s lack
of patriotism, our flag may be withdrawn from the
field of such glorious operations. It used to be our
boast that Freedom followed our flag. Now slavery
In view of the facts stated we can understand, not
only the serenity, but the favor with which the peo
ple of this country, or the great body of them, so
long looked upon the workings of African slavery,
and the difficulty which the Abolitionists had in
arousing a sentiment of revulsion toward it.
One of the curious things in this connection is the
similarity the practical sameness of the arguments
used to justify the Philippine occupation and those
once used to justify American slaveholding. We
are now working to civilize and Christianize the
Filipinos, and were then civilizing and Christianizing
the negroes with the lash and the bludgeon.
Of course, there are other arguments. Increase
of trade and wealth, as the result of our appropria
tion of other peoples possessions, is freely predicted.
It has always been the robber s plea. That is what
it is to-day, even when employed by a professed
Christian nation. Nor is it improved by the fact
Wanted, an Anti-Slavery Society 85
that the grounds upon which it is predicated and
urged are largely fallacious. The spoliation of the
Philippines will never repay us for the blood our
own blood and treasure it has cost us, apart from
any moral or humanitarian consideration. There is
not one aspect in this business that promises to re
dound to our benefit. No, I won t say that; I
would hardly be justified in going that far. In one
particular the Philippine operation has profited a
considerable part of our people. It has added
materially to our Army and our Navy. The oppor
tunity for enlargement in those quarters was, un
doubtedly, the strongest inducement for our entering
upon a colonial policy. For a great many people,
and especially in official circles, we cannot have a
standing army that is too large, nor too many ships
of war. The more powerful those appendages of
our authority the larger is the opening for the kins
men and retainers of those in high places, who may
be seeking profitable and agreeable employment,
and the more liberal the contributions of contractors
and jobbers to the sinews of partisan warfare. Our
Army to-day is nearly three times what it was five
years ago, although outside of the Philippines we
are at peace with all mankind. Nor is that formida
ble advance at an end. The Far East is now certain
to be the world s great battle-ground for the near
future, and since we have entered that field as the
master of the Philippines, like a knight of the olden
time who was ready to do battle with all comers, we
must be constantly increasing our preparation. We
may not only have to fight the Russians and the
Japanese and the Chinese, one or all, but those
86 The Abolitionists
foolish Filipinos may again take it into their silly
heads that they can govern themselves as well or
better than we can do it for them. That means re
bellion, and, of course, chastisement must follow.
As climatic conditions in that part of the world are
such that it requires the presence of three men in
the army to supply the active services of one, it is
obvious that so long as we adhere to our present
Asiatic policy, we shall never have an army and a
navy large enough and strong enough to meet the
requirements of our new condition.
Onfall questions affecting human liberty, no one
can fail to observe that the attitude of the two great
political parties of to-day, is practically that of the
two principal parties at the time the Abolitionists
began their operations. One of them may pass per
functory resolutions against the Philippine crime,
but dares to say nothing about the treatment visited
upon the negro. The other may say a few compassion
ate, but meaningless, words for the negro, but can
not denounce the oppression of the Filipinos. Both
are fatally handicapped by their connections and
committals. Both are, in fact, pro-slavery, although
the one in power, because of its responsibility for
existing conditions, is the more criminal of the two.
[What this country now needs, in the opinion of
the writer, is a revival of Abolitionism, and to that
end, as one of the instrumentalities that would be
serviceable, he holds that the old National Anti-
Slavery Society should be restored^) The most of
the men and women that made that institution so
useful and honorable, have passed from the scenes
of their labors, but a few of them are left, and they
Wanted, an Anti-Slavery Society 87
and such as may feel like joining them, should meet
and unfurl the old standard once more. There may
be new associations looking to very much the same
ends, but better the old guard under the old name.
It would carry a prestige that no newer organization
could command. It would create a measure of confi
dence that would be most strongly felt. The prin
ciples and policies it should urge are few and simple.
First: Let it declare that the colored man in this
country must be permitted to enjoy all his rights
under the Constitution as it is, both political and
Second : Let it declare that all forms of servitude,
including the denial of political self-government, un
der the flag, as well as under the Constitution, must
And then let it go to work for the results thus in
dicated, in the spirit and with the confidence of the
old-time leaders. The Society should be revived
and re-established, not for a single campaign only,
or for the rectification of such oppressions as are
now in sight, but for all time. It ought to be made
a permanent institution. It should be so arranged
that the sons would step into the ranks as the fathers
dropped out and that new recruits would be constant
ly enlisted. Thus reorganized the grand old institu
tion would be an invaluable watchman on the walls
of Freedom s stronghold. The exhortation to which it
should listen, is that of the poet Bryant when he says :
"Oh not yet
Mayst thou unloose thy corslet, nor lay by
Thy sword, nor yet, O Freedom, close thy lids
In slumber, for thine enemy never sleeps."
WILLIAM CURTIS, in one of his
essays, says that "three speeches have made
the places where they were delivered illustrious in
our history three, and there is no fourth." He
refers to the speech of Patrick Henry in Williams-
burg, Virginia, of Lincoln in Gettysburg, and the
first address of Wendell Phillips in Faneuil Hall.
If it was the purpose of Mr. Curtis to offer the
three notable deliverances above mentioned as the
best and foremost examples of American oratory,
the author cannot agree with him. In his opinion
we shall have but little difficulty in picking out the
three entitled to that distinction, provided we go to
the discussion of the slavery question to find them.
That furnished the greatest occasion, being with its
ramifications and developments, by far the greatest
issue with which Americans have had to deal.
The three speeches to which the writer refers were
the more notable because they were altogether im
promptu. They were what we call "off hand."
They were delivered in the face of mobs or other
bitterly hostile audiences a circumstance that prob
ably contributed not a little to their effectiveness.
John Quincy Adams, who was unquestionably
Anti-Slavery Orators 89
one of the greatest of American orators, made
several speeches in Congress that will always com
mand our highest admiration; but the one to which
a somewhat extended reference is made in another
chapter, when an attempt was made by the slave
holders to expel him from that body, easily ranks
among the first three exhibitions of American
I quite agree with Mr. Curtis in giving the Faneuil
Hall speech of Wendell Phillips a pre-eminent place.
A meeting had been called to denounce the murder
of Lovejoy, the Abolitionist editor. The audience
was composed in large part of pro-slavery rowdies,
who were bent on capturing or breaking up the
meeting. One of their leaders a high official of
the State of Massachusetts, by the way made a
speech in which he justified the murderous act.
"That speech must be answered here and now,"
exclaimed a young man in the audience. "Answer
it yourself," shouted those about him. "I will,"
was the reply, "if I can reach the platform." To
the platform he was assisted, and although an at
tempt was made for a time to howl him down, he
persisted, and before long so interested and charmed
his hearers that his triumph was complete.
It did not take the country long to realize that in
that young man, who was Wendell Phillips, a new
oratorical luminary had arisen. He took up the
work of lecturing as a profession, treating on other
subjects as well as slavery; but when slavery was
the subject no charge was made for his services.
Said Frederic Hudson, the noted New York editor,
in 1860: "It is probable that there is not another
f )o The Abolitionists
man in the United States who is ns much heard and
read as Henry Ward Beecher, unless the other man
be Wendell Phillips."
The mention of Henry Ward Becchcr s name is
suggestive of oratory of the very highest order. It
will not be denied by any competent and unpreju
diced person that his great speech in England
there were five addresses, but the substance was the
same upon the American question (which directly
involved the slavery issue) during our Civil War
was far and away the finest exhibition of masterful
eloquence that is to be credited to any of our
countrymen. The world has never beaten it.
Mr. Beecher found himself in England by a for
tunate accident at a most critical period in our
national affairs. A crisis had there been reached.
A powerful party, including a large majority of the
public men of Great Britain, favored intervention
in behalf of the South. Southern agents were at
work all over the kingdom, and were remarkably
effective in propagating their views. It looked as
if the Rebel interest was on the point of winning,
when Mr. Beecher appeared on the scene. He had
not gone to England to make public speeches. He
was there for health and recreation, but, realizing
the situation with his quick percept iven ess, he took
up the gage of battle. It was a fearful resolution
on his part. The chances seemed to be all against
him. It was one man against thousands. His vic
tory, however, was complete. II is five great speeches
in the business centres of England and Scotland
were not only listened to by thousands, but they
went all over the country in the public prints.
Anti-Shivery Orators 91
They completely changed the current of public
Mr. Beccher s first address was in Manchester,
which, owing to the interest of the leading business
men of that city in the cotton trade and the furnish
ing of ships and supplies for blockade running, was
a seething hot bed of Rebel sentiment. When he
arrived in that place on the day he was to speak, he
was met at the depot by friends with troubled faces,
who informed him that hostile placards signifi
cantly printed in red colors had been posted all
over the city, and, if he persisted in trying to speak,
he would have a very uncomfortable reception.
lie was asked how he felt about trying to go on.
"I am going to be heard," was his reply.
The best description of the scene that ensued is
supplied in Mr. Beecher s own words :
" The uproar would come in on this side, and then on
that. They would put insulting questions and make all
sorts of calls to me, and I would wait until the noise had
subsided and then get in about five minutes of talk.
The reporters would get that down, and then up would
come another noise. Occasionally I would see things
that amused me, and I would laugh outright, and the
crowd would stop to see what I was laughing at. Then
I would sail in with another sentence or two. A good
many times the crowd threw up questions that I caught
and threw back. I may as well at this point mention a
thing that amused me hugely. There were baize doors
that opened both ways into side alleys, and there was a
huge burly Englishman standing right in front of one of
these doors and roaring like a bull of Bashan. One of
the policemen swung his elbow round and hit him in the
92 The Abolitionists
belly and knocked him through the doorway, so that the
last part of his bawl was out in the alleyway. It struck
me so ludicrously to think how the fellow must have
looked when he found himself * hollering outside, that I
could not refrain from laughing outright. The audience
immediately stopped its uproar, wondering what I was
laughing at. That gave me another chance, and I
caught on to it. So we kept it up for about an hour and
a half before the people became so far calmed down that
I could go on peaceably with my speech. My audience
got to like the pluck I showed. Englishmen like a man
that can stand on his feet and give and take, and so for
the last hour I had pretty much clear sailing. The next
morning every great paper in England had the whole
"And when the vote came to be taken for in Eng
land it is customary for audiences to express their deci
sion on the subject under discussion you would have
thought it was a tropical thunder-storm that swept
through the hall as the Ayes were thundered, while
the Nays were an insignificant and contemptible minor
ity. It had all gone on our side, and such enthusiasm I
It has been repeatedly stated, and to this day is
generally believed, is so stated in several of Mr.
Lincoln s biographies, I believe, that Mr. Beecher
went to England at the President s request, and for
the purpose of making a speaking tour. The best
answer is that given by Mr. Beecher himself.
" It has been asked," said he, " whether I was sent
by the government. The government took no stock in
me at that time. I had been pounding Lincoln in the
earlier years of the war, and I don t believe there was
Anti-Slavery Orators 93
a man down there, unless it was Mr. Chase, who would
have trusted me with anything. At any rate, I went on
my own responsibility."
But in referring to Abolition orators, and espe
cially orators whose experience it was to encounter
mobs, the writer desires to pay a tribute to one of
them whose name he does not even know.
A meeting that was called to organize an Anti-
Slavery society in New York City was broken up
by a mob. All of those in attendance made their
escape except one negro. He was caught and his
captors thought it would be a capital joke to make
him personify one of the big Abolitionists. He was
lifted to the platform and directed to imagine him
self an Anti-Slavery leader and make an Abolition
speech. The fellow proved to be equal to the occa
sion. He proceeded to assert the right of his race
to the privileges of human beings with force and
eloquence. His hearers listened with amazement,
and possibly with something like admiration, until,
realizing that the joke was on them, they pulled him
from the platform and kicked him from the building.
LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS
IN speaking of the orators and oratory that were
evolved by the Slavery issue, there are two
names that cannot be omitted. These are Abraham
Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. It was the
good fortune of the writer to be an eye and ear
witness of the closing bout, at Alton, Illinois, be
tween those two political champions in their great
debate of 1858. The contrast between the men was
remarkable. Lincoln was very tall and spare, stand
ing up, when speaking, straight and stiff. Douglas
was short and stumpy, a regular roly-poly man.
Lincoln s face was calm and meek, almost immo
bile. Me referred to it in his address as "my rather
melancholy face." Although plain and somewhat
rugged, I never regarded Lincoln s face as homely.
I saw him many times and talked with him, after
the occasion now referred to. It was a good face,
and had many winning lines, Douglas s counte
nance, on the other hand, was leonine and full of
expression. His was a handsome face. When
lighted up by the excitement of debate it could not
fail to impress an audience.
Lincoln indulged in no gesticulation. If he had
been addressing a bench of judges he would not
Lincoln and Douglas 95
have been more impassive in his manner. He was
an animate, but not an animated, bean-pole. He
poured out a steady flow of words three to Doug
las s two in a simple and semi-conversational tone.
He attempted no witticisms and indulged in no
oratorical claptrap. His address was pure argu
ment. Douglas s manner was one of excitement,
and accompanied and emphasized by almost con
tinuous bodily movement. His hands and his feet,
and especially that pliable face of his, were all busy
talking. He said sharp things, evidently for their
immediate effect on his audience, and showed that
he was not only master of all the arts of the practi
cal stump orator, but was ready to employ them.
But the most noticeable difference was in the
voices of the men. Douglas spoke first, and for the
first minute or two was utterly unintelligible. His
voice seemed to be all worn out by his speaking
in that long and principally open-air debate. He
simply bellowed. But gradually he got command
of his organ, and pretty soon, in a somewhat labori
ous and painful way, it is true, he succeeded in
making himself understood.
Lincoln s voice, on the contrary, was without a
quaver or a sign of huskiness. He had been speak
ing in the open air exactly as much as Douglas, but
it was perfectly fresh, not a particle strained. It
was a perfect voice.
Those who wanted to understand Douglas had to
press up close to the platform from which he was
speaking, and there was collected a dense, but not
very deep, crowd. There was no crowding in front
of Lincoln when he was speaking. He could be
96 The Abolitionists
heard without it. There was a line of wagons and
carriages on the outskirts of the audience, and I
noticed, when Lincoln was speaking, that they were
filled with comfortably seated people listening to his
address. They did not need to go any nearer to
him. The most of the shouting was done by
Douglas s partisans, composing a clear majority of
the crowd, but it was very manifest that Lincoln
commanded the attention of the greater number of
those who were interested in the arguments. He
did not act as if he cared for the applause of the
multitude. He said nothing, apparently, simply to
tickle the ears of his hearers.
Rather strange was it that the only points on
which there did not appear to be much, if any,
difference between the two men were reached when
they came to the propositions they advocated.
Douglas was avowedly pro-slavery. He was talking
in southern Illinois and on the border of Missouri,
to which many of his hearers belonged, and his
audience was mostly Southern in its feelings. lie
was plainly trying to please that element. He not
only approved of slavery where it was, but meta
phorically jumped on the negro and trampled all
over him. He denied that the negro was a "man "
within the meaning of the Declaration of Indepen
dence. Lincoln, however, as far as slavery in the
States was involved, met Douglas on his own
ground, and "went him one better." He said, "I
have on all occasions declared as strongly as Judge
Douglas against the disposition to interfere with
the existing institution of slavery."
If a stranger who knew nothing of the speakers
Lincoln and Douglas 9?
and their party associations had heard the two men
on that occasion, he would have concluded that one
was strongly in favor of slavery and the other was
not opposed to it.
Their only disagreement was as to slavery in the
Territories, and that was more apparent than real.
Lincoln contended for free soil through the direct
action of the general government. Douglas advo
cated a roundabout way that led up to the same
result. His proposition, which he called " popular
sovereignty," was to leave the decision to the people
of the Territories, saying he did not care whether
they voted slavery up or voted it down. That was
a practical, although indirect declaration in favor of
free soil. The outcome of the contests in Kansas
and California showed that at that game the free
States with their superior resources were certain to
win. The shrewder slaveholders recognized that
fact, and their antagonism to Douglas grew accord
ingly. They deliberately defeated him for the Presi
dency in 1860, when he was the regular candidate of
the Democratic party, by running Breckenridge as
an independent candidate. Otherwise Mr. Douglas
would have become President of the United States.
Out of a total of 4,680,193 votes, Mr. Lincoln had
only 1,866,631. The rest were divided between his
As between Lincoln and Douglas, who together
held the controlling hand, the slaveholders pre
ferred Lincoln, against whom they had no personal
feeling, while they knew that his policy was no more
dangerous to their interests than the other man s,
if faithfully adhered to and carried out. Besides
98 The Abolitionists
that, by this time many of them had reached that
state of mind in which they wanted a pretext for
secession from the Union. Lincoln s election would
give them that pretext while Douglas s would not.
On a boat that carried a portion of the audience,
including the writer, from Alton to St. Louis, after
the debate was over, was a prominent Missouri
Democrat, afterwards a Confederate leader, who
expressed himself very freely. He declared that he
would rather trust the institutions of the South to
the hands of a conservative and honest man like
"Old Abe," than to those of "a political jumping-
jack like Douglas." The most of the other South
ern men and slaveholders present seemed to concur
in his views.
It is a fact that a good many of the Anti-Slavery
leaders living outside of Illinois, and a good many
of those living within it, wanted the Republicans of
that State to let Douglas go back to the Senate
without a contest, believing that he would be far
more useful to them there than a Republican would
be. It is not improbable that enough of the Illinois
Republicans took that view of the matter, and
helped to give Douglas the victory in what was a
very close contest.
A portion of Douglas s speech was a spirited de
fense of his "squatter sovereignty" doctrine against
the denunciations of members of his own political
party, in the course of which he gave President
Buchanan a savage overhauling. It showed him to
be a master of invective.
"Go it, husband; go it, bear," was Mr. Lincoln s
comment on that part of Douglas s address.
Lincoln and Douglas 99
I went to the debate with a very strong prejudice
against Douglas, looking upon him as one of the
most time-serving of those Northern men whom the
Abolitionists called "dough-faces." I confess that
my views of the man were considerably modified. I
admired the pluck he showed in speaking when his
voice was in tatters. Still more did I like the reso
lution he displayed in defying those leaders of his
own party, including the President, who wanted him
to retreat from the ground he had taken, seeing that
it had become practically Anti-Slavery.
At the same time I had an almost worshipful ad
miration for Lincoln, whom I had not before seen
or heard. I expected a great deal from him. I
thought his closing appeal in that great debate
would contain some ringing words for freedom. He
had, as I supposed, a great opportunity for telling
eloquence. He stood almost on the ground that
had drunk the blood of Lovejoy, the Anti-Slavery
martyr. I felt that that fact ought to inspire him.
I was disappointed. Mr. Lincoln s speech was alto
gether colorless. It was an argument, able but per
fectly cold. It was largely technical. There was
no sentiment in it. Lovejoy had died in vain so far
as that address was concerned. I am free to say
that I was led to doubt whether Mr. Lincoln was
then in hearty sympathy with any movement look
ing to the freedom of the slave, and this impression
was not afterwards wholly removed from my mind.
MY father was a subscriber to the National Era,
the Anti-Slavery weekly that was published
in Washington City before the war by Dr. Gamaliel
Bailey. Being the youngest member of the family,
I usually went to the post-office for the paper on
the day of its weekly arrival. One day I brought it
home and handed it to my father, who, as the day
was warm, was seated outside of the house. He
was soon apparently very much absorbed in his
reading. A call for dinner was sounded, but he
paid no attention to it. The meal was delayed a
little while and then the call was repeated, but with
the same result. At last the meal proceeded with
out my father s presence, he coming in at the close
and swinging the paper in his hand. His explana
tion, by way of apology, was that he had become
very much interested in the opening installment of a
story that was begun in the Era, and which he de
clared would make a sensation. "It will make a
renovation," he repeated several times.
That story, it is almost needless to say, was Uncle
Tom s Cabin, and it is altogether needless to say
that it fully accomplished my father s prediction as
to its sensational effects. Since the appearance of
Anti-Slavery Women 101
the Bible in a form that brought it home to the
common people, there has been no .work in the
English language so extensively read. The author s
name became at once a cynosure the world over.
When Henry Ward Beecher, the writer s distin
guished brother, delivered his first lecture in Eng
land, he was introduced to the audience by the
chairman as the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher
The way in which the idea of writing the book
came to the author was significant of the will that
produced it. A lady friend wrote Mrs. Stowe a
letter in which she said, "If I could use a pen as
you can, I would write something that would make
the whole nation feel what an accursed thing slavery
is." When the letter reached its destination, and
Mrs. Stowe came to the passage above quoted, as
the story is told by a friend who was present, she
sprang to her feet, crushed the letter in her hand in
the intensity of her feeling, and with an expression
on her face of the utmost determination, exclaimed,
"If I live, I will write something that will do that
The circumstances under which she executed her
great task would ordinarily be looked upon as alto
gether prohibitory. She was the. wife of a poor
minister and school-teacher. To eke out the family
income she took boarders. She had five children of
her own, who were too young to be of any material
assistance, and, in addition, she occasionally har
bored a waif that besought her protection when
fleeing from slavery. Necessarily the most of her
time was spent in the kitchen. There, surrounded
102 The Abolitionists
by meats and vegetables and cooking appliances,
with just enough of the common deal table cleared
away to give space for her writing materials, she
composed and made ready for the publisher by far
the most remarkable work of fiction this country
has produced. Slavery is dead, but Mrs. Stowe s
masterpiece lives, and is likely to live with growing
luster as long as our free institutions survive, which
it is to be hoped will be forever.
One of the most remarkable early workers in the
Abolition cause was Mrs. Lucretia Mott, a little
Quaker woman of Pennsylvania. The writer saw
her for the last time shortly before her death. She
was then acting as presiding officer of an "Equal
Rights" meaning equal suffrage meeting. Sit
ting on one hand was Susan B. Anthony, and on the
other Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and next to one
of them sat a stately negro.
She was then an aged woman, but her eye seemed
to be as bright and her movements as alert as they
had ever been. Framed by her becoming Quaker
bonnet, which she retained in her official position,
the face of the handsome old lady would have been
a splendid subject for an artist.
Mrs. Mott gave much of her time and all the
means she could control to the cause of the slave.
She was an exceedingly spirited and eloquent
speaker. On one lecturing tour she traveled twenty-
four hundred miles, the most of the way in old-
fashioned stage-coaches. By a number of taverns
she was denied entertainment.
Like other pioneers in the same movement, Mrs.
Mott was the victim of numerous mobbings. One
Anti-Slavery Women 103
incident shows her courage and resourcefulness.
An AntKSlavery meeting she was attending was
broken up by rowdies, and some of the ladies pres
ent were greatly frightened. Seeing this Mrs. Mott
asked the gentleman who was escorting her, to leave
her and assist some of the others who were more
timid. "But who will take care of you? " he asked.
"This man," she answered, lightly laying her hand
on the arm of one of the roughest of the mob. The
man, completely surprised, responded by respect
fully conducting her through the tumult to a place
But before Mrs. Stowe and Mrs. Mott had taken
up the work for the bondman, two other remarkable
women had become interested in his cause. Their
history has some features that the most accom
plished novel-writer could not improve upon. They
were sisters, known as the Grimke sisters, Sarah
and Angelina, the hitter becoming the wife of Theo
dore W. Weld, a noted Abolition lecturer. They
were daughters of a Judge of the Supreme Court of
South Carolina, their early home being in Charleston.
The family was of the highest pretension, being
related to the Rhetts, the Barnwells, the Pickenses,
and other famous representatives of the Palmetto
aristocracy. It was wealthy, and of course had
many slaves. The girls had their colored atten
dants, whose only service was to wait upon them
and do their bidding. That circumstance finally
led. to trouble.
At that time there was a statute in South Carolina
against teaching slaves to read and write. The
penalties were fine and imprisonment. The Grimke"
io4 The Abolitionists
girls, however, had little respect for or fear of that
law. The story of their offending is told by Sarah.
Her attendant, when she was little more than a
child, was a colored girl of about the same age.
" I took an almost malicious satisfaction in teaching
my little waiting maid at night, when she was supposed
to be occupied in combing and brushing my long hair.
The light was put out, the key-hole screened, and flat on
our stomachs before the fire, with the spelling-book
under our eyes, we defied the law of South Carolina."
South Carolina was long noted for its rebels, but
it never had a more interesting one than the author
of the above narrative ; nor a braver one.
As the sisters grew up, they more and more
showed their dislike of slavery and their disposition
to aid such colored people as were within their
circle. Such conduct could not escape observation,
and the result was their banishment from their
Southern home. They were given the alternative
of "behaving themselves" or going North to. live.
They were not long in deciding, and they became
residents of Philadelphia. Here they joined the
Quakers, because of their coincidence of views on
the slavery question. They had before been Pres
byterians, having been raised as such. They be
came industrious and noted Anti-Slavery lecturers.
To one of them is to be credited a notable oratorical
Being no longer able to ignore the growing Anti-
Slavery sentiment of its constituency, the Massa-
Anti-Slavery Women 105
chusetts Legislature in 1838 appointed a committee
to consider the part that that State had in the sub
ject of slavery, and especially in connection with
slavery in the District of Columbia. The committee
asked an expression of their views from those enter
taining different sentiments on the subject. The
Anti-Slavery people invited Angelina Grimke" to
represent them. The sessions of the committee
were to be held in the great hall of the Legislature in
the State House, where, up to that time, no woman
had ever spoken. The chairman of the committee,
however, consented that Miss Grimke" should be
heard, and the fact that she was a woman probably
helped to bring out an immense audience.
She spoke for two hours, and then, being asked
to speak again, at the next meeting, she spoke for
two hours more. The impression she produced
may be inferred from the fact that the chairman of
the committee was in tears nearly the whole time
she was speaking. The effect upon all who heard
her was admitted to be very great.
The sincerity of these women was put to an un
usual test. They had a brother who remained in
South Carolina, where he was a prominent citizen
and a large slave-owner. Like many sharing the
privileges of "the institution," he led a double life.
He was married to a white woman by whom he had
children. He also had a family by a colored woman
who was one of his slaves. In his will he bequeathed
his slave family to a son by his lawful wife, with the
stipulation that they should not be sold or unkindly
Of these things the Grimkd sisters knew nothing
io6 The Abolitionists
until after the war which had freed their illegitimate
relatives. Then all the facts came to their knowl
edge. What should they do about it? was the ques
tion that immediately confronted them. Should
they "Carolina s high-souled daughters," as Whit-
tier describes them, and not without some part in
the pride of the family to which they belonged
acknowledge such a disreputable relationship?
Not a day nor an hour did they hesitate. They
sent for their unfortunate kinspeople, accepted
them as blood connections, and took upon them
selves the duty of promoting their interests as far
as it was in their power to do so.
Although a quiet and retiring person, and, more
over, so much of an invalid that the greater part of
her time was necessarily passed in a bed of sickness,
a New England woman had much to do with pub
lishing the doctrines of Abolitionism, through the
lips of the most eloquent man in the country. She
was the wife of Wendell Phillips, the noted Anti-
"My wife made me an Abolitionist," said Phillips.
How the work was done is not without its romantic
It was several years before he made his meteoric
appearance before the public as a platform talker,
and while yet a law student, that Phillips met the
lady in question. The interview, as described by
one of the parties, certainly had its comical aspect.
"I talked Abolitionism to him all the time we were
together," said Mrs. Phillips, as she afterwards re
lated the affair. Phillips listened, and that he was
not surfeited nor disgusted appears from the fact
Anti-Slavery . Women
that he went again and again for that sort of
When Phillips asked for her hand, as the story
goes, she asked him if he was fully persuaded to be
a friend of the slave, leaving him to infer that their
union was otherwise impossible.
"My life shall attest the sincerity of my conver
sion, was his gallant reply.
IN his Recollections, the Rev. Samuel T. May, who
was one of the most faithful and zealous of the
Anti-Slavery pioneers, and belonged to that band
of devoted workers who were known as Abolition
lecturers, tells of his experience in delivering an
Anti-Slavery address in the sober New England city
"It was a Sabbath evening," he says. "I had
spoken about fifteen minutes when the most hideous
outcries yells and screeches from a crowd of men and
boys, who had surrounded the house, startled us, and
then came heavy missiles against the doors and the
blinds of the windows. I persisted in speaking for a
few minutes, hoping the doors and blinds were strong
enough to withstand the attack. But presently a heavy
stone broke through one of the blinds, scattered a pane
of glass, and fell upon the head of a lady sitting near
the center of the hall. She uttered a shriek and fell
bleeding on the floor."
There was a panic, of course, and the Abolition
lecturer would have been roughly handled by the
mob if a young lady, a sister of the poet Whittier,
had not taken him by the arm, and walked with him
through the astonished crowd. They did not feel
like attacking a woman.
There was nothing unusual, except the part per
formed by the young lady, in the affair described in
the foregoing narrative. Mobs were of constant
occurrence in the period of which we are speaking.
It was not in the slave States that they were most
frequent. Northern communities that were regarded
as absolutely peaceable and perfectly moral thought
nothing of an anti-Abolitionist riot now and then.
They occurred "away up North " and "away down
East." Even sleepy old Nantucket, in its sedentary
repose by the sea, woke up long enough to mob a
couple of Abolition lecturers, a man and a woman.
The community in which the writer resided when
a boy, was fully up to the pacific standard of most
Northern neighborhoods. Yet it was the scene of
many turmoils growing out of Anti-Slavery meet
ings. The district schoolhouse, which was the only
public building in the village that was open for such
gatherings, called for frequent repairs on account of
damages done by mobs. Broken windows and doors
were often in evidence, and stains from mud-balls,
decayed vegetables, and antiquated eggs, which no
body took the trouble to remove, were nearly always
On one occasion, at an evening meeting, the lec
turer was a young professor, who was "down" from
Oberlin College, against which, as "an Abolition
hole," there was a very strong prejudice. He had
not got more than well started, when rocks, bricks,
and other missiles began to crash through the win
dows. The mob was resolved to punish that young
no The Abolitionists
man, and had come prepared to give him a coating
of unsavory mixture. He was a preacher as well as
a teacher, and his "store clothes" were likely to be
tray him ; but some thoughtful person had brought
an old drab overcoat and a rough workman s cap,
and arrayed in these garments he walked through
the crowd without his identity being suspected.
But another party was not so fortunate. He was
a respected citizen of the village, an elder in the
Presbyterian church, and a strong pro-slavery man.
He dressed in black and his appearance was not
unlike that of the lecturer. By some hard luck he
happened to be passing that way when the crowd
was looking for the Abolitionist, and was dis
covered. "There he goes," was the cry that was
raised, and a fire of eggs and other things was
opened upon him. He reached his home in an
awful plight, and it was charged that his conversa
tion was not unmixed with profanity.
On another occasion the writer was present when
the friends of the lecturer undertook to convey him
to a place of safety. They formed a circle about
him and moved away while the mob followed, hurl
ing e gg s an d clods and sticks and whatever else
came handy. We kept quietly on our way until we
reached a place in the road that had been freshly
graveled, and where the surface was covered with
stones just suited to our use. Here we halted, and,
with rocks in hand, formed a line of battle. It took
only one volley to put the enemy to rout, and we
had no further trouble.
At last, after several men had been prevented
from speaking in our village, the services of a female
Mobs 1 1 1
lecturer were secured. The question then was,
whether the mob would be so ungallant as to dis
turb a woman. The matter was settled by the
rowdies on that occasion being more than usually
demonstrative. The lecturer showed great courage
and presence of mind. She closed the meeting in
due form, and then walked calmly through the
noisy throng that gave her no personal molestation
or insult. Deliberately she proceeded to a place of
safety and then went into hysterics.
Finding that it was impossible to hold undisturbed
public meetings, the Abolitionists adopted a plan
of operations that was altogether successful. They
met in their several homes, taking them in order,
and there the subject they were interested in was
uninterruptedly discussed. Intelligent opponents
of their views were invited to attend, and frequently
did so. So warm were the discussions that arose
that the meetings sometimes lasted for entire days,
and conversions were not unusual.
It was in one of these neighborhood gatherings
that the writer first became an active Anti-Slavery
worker. He had memorized one of Daniel O Con-
nell s philippics against American slavery, and, be
ing given the opportunity, declaimed it with much
earnestness. After that he was invited to all the
meetings, and had on hand a stock of selections for
delivery, his favorite being Whittier s Slave Mother s
Lament over the Loss of Her Daughters :
" Gone, gone sold and gone
To the rice swamp dank and lone,
Where the slave whip ceaseless swings,
Where the noisome insect stings;
1 1 2 The Abolitionists
Where the fever demon strews
Poison with the falling dews;
Where the sickly sunbeams glare
Through the hot and misty air.
Gone, gone sold and gone
To the rice swamp dank and lone,
From Virginia s hills and waters
Woe is me my stolen daughters! "
It was marvelous how little damage all the mobs
effected. Lovejoy of Illinois was killed a great
loss and occasionally an Abolitionist lecturer got a
bloody nose or a sore shin. Professor Hudson, of
Oberlin College, used to say that the injury he most
feared was to his clothes. He carried with him what
he called "a storm suit," which he wore at evening
meetings. It showed many marks of battle.
Among those who suffered real physical injury
was Fred. Douglass, the runaway slave. While in
bondage he was often severely punished, but he en
countered rougher treatment in the North than in
the South. He was attacked by a mob while lectur
ing in the State of Indiana; was struck to the earth
and rendered senseless by blows on the head and
body, and for a time his life was supposed to be in
danger. Although in the main he recovered, his
right hand was always crippled in consequence of
some of its bones having been broken.
IF any one is desirous of estimating the extent of
the sacrifice of life, of treasure, of home and
family comforts, and of innumerable fair hopes that
the ii.stitution of slavery, in its struggle, not merely
for existence, but for supremacy, cost this country,
let him visit a government cemetery in the neigh
borhood of one of the great battle-fields of the Re
bellion, and there, while looking down the long
avenues lined with memorial stones that a grateful
country has set up, make inquiry as to the number
of those that are there bivouacked "in fame s eternal
camping ground." Some idea a faint one it is true
will then be had of the multitudes that gave up all
they possessed that liberty might live and rule in
this fair land of ours. . They were martyrs in the
very highest sense to Freedom s immeasurable
cause. The war was the product of slavery. It
was the natural outcome of the great moral conflict
that had so long raged in this country. It was
simply the development of an agitation that had
begun on other lines.
But there were martyrs to the cause of freedom
before the war. Everybody knows more or less of
the story of John Brown, of Ossawatomie, whose
ii4 The Abolitionists
soul kept "marching on," although his body was
"a-mouldering in the grave."
There was another case involving the surrender of
life to that cause, which has always struck me as
having stronger claims to our sympathies than
that of John Brown and his comrades in self-
I have already referred to Elijah P. Lovejoy
who was a young Congregational clergyman, who
went from the State of Maine to St. Louis, Mis-
souri, in 1839. ^ e became the editor of a re
ligious journal in which he expressed, in very
moderate terms, an opinion that was not favorable
to slave-holding. The supporters of the institution
were aroused at once. They demanded a retraction.
) "I have sworn eternal hostility to slavery, and by
the blessing of God I will never go back," was his
reply. He also declared, "We have slaves here,
| but I am not one of them."
It was deemed advisable by Mr. Lovejoy and his
friends to move his printing establishment to Alton,
opposite Missouri, in the free State of Illinois.
There, however, a pro-slavery antagonism immedi
ately developed. His press was seized and thrown
into the Mississippi River. The same fate awaited
two others that were procured. But, undismayed,
Mr. Lovejoy and his friends once more decided that
their rights and liberties should not be surrendered
without a further effort. Another press was sent
for. But in the meanwhile a violent public agitation
had arisen. At the instance of certain pro-slavery
leaders in the community a public meeting had
been called to denounce the Abolitionists. Mr.
Anti-Slavery Martyrs 115
Lovejoy was invited to attend it and declare what
he would do.
"Gentlemen," said he, "as long as I am an Amer
ican citizen ; as long as American blood runs in my
veins, I shall hold myself at liberty to speak, to
write, and to publish whatever I please on any sub
ject, being amenable to the laws of my country for
The fourth press arrived. It was landed from a
passing boat in the small hours of the morning, and
was safely conveyed to a warehouse where Mr.
Lovejoy and several of his friends assembled with a
view to its protection. What followed is thus
"An hour or two afterwards there came from the
grog-shops a crowd of people who knocked at the door
and demanded the press. One of the owners of the
warehouse informed them it would not be given up.
Presenting a pistol, the leader of the mob announced
that they were resolved to have the press at any cost.
Stones were thrown, windows broken, and shots were
fired at the building. The cry of burn them out was
raised. Ladders were procured, and some of the rioters
mounted to the roof of the building and set it on fire.
Mr. Lovejoy at this point stepped out of the building
for the purpose of having a talk with his enemies, when
he was fired upon. He received five balls, three in his
breast. He was killed almost instantly."
The animosity of his enemies was such that they
followed his remains with scoffings and insults on
its way to the grave.
But the most cruel and brutal persecutions by the
ii6 The Abolitionists
slave power were not always those that involved the
sacrifice of life.
In Canterbury, in the State of Connecticut, lived
a Quaker lady of the name of Prudence Crandall.
She conducted a school for young ladies. Among
those she admitted was a colored girl. The fact
becoming known, objection was raised by the citi
zens of the place. The position in which Miss
Crandall was placed was a most trying one. Having
invested all her means in the school building and its
equipment, she was confronted with the alternative
of losing her business and her property, or dismiss
ing the colored student who had done no wrong.
She chose to stand by her principles.
A public meeting was called, and a resolution to
prevent the maintenance of the school, if colored
students were admitted, was adopted by the citi
zens. Nevertheless, that brave Quakeress opened
her doors to several colored young women. That
brought the issue to a head, and then began a sys
tem of most remarkable persecutions. The school
building was bombarded with clubs and stones, the
proprietress found the stores of the village closed
against her, and the young lady students were
grossly insulted when they appeared upon the
streets. Even the well from which drinking water
was obtained was polluted.
Finding that there was no law in Connecticut
under which the instruction of colored people could
be prohibited and punished, the enemies of Miss
Crandall went to the Legislature of the State and
asked for such an enactment, and, to the eternal
disgrace of that body, their request was complied
Anti-Slavery Martyrs 117
with. It was made a crime in Connecticut to in
struct colored people in the rudiments of an ordi
Miss Crandall, as she made no change in her
course of action, was arrested, brought before a
committing magistrate, and sent to jail. A man
had shortly before been confined in the same prison
for the murder of his wife, and therefrom had gone
to execution. Miss Crandall was confined in the
cell this man had occupied. Other indignities were
heaped upon this devoted and courageous lady.
Physicians refused to attend the sick of her house
hold, and the trustees of the church she was ac
customed to attend notified her that she and the
members of her family were denied admission to
Miss Crandall was finally convicted of the crime
with which she was charged, but the case, being
carried to the highest court of the State, was dis
missed on a technicality. But, although the legal
prosecution of this poor woman reached an end, her
enemies did not cease their opposition. The mob
made an attack upon her dwelling, which was also
her schoolhouse. Doors and windows were broken
in, and the building was so thoroughly wrecked as
to be uninhabitable. Having no money with which
to make repairs, she was forced to abandon the
structure and her educational business at the same
The Crandall family became noted for its martyrs.
A brother of Prudence Crandall was Dr. Reuben
Crandall, of Washington City. He was a man of
high attainments, being a lecturer in a public scien-
u8 The Abolitionists
tific institution. While engaged in his office he re
ceived some packages that had been wrapped in
newspapers, among which happened to be a copy
or two of Abolition journals. At the request of a
gentleman who was present at the unpacking he
gave him one of the publications. Having looked
it over the gentleman dropped it, where it was
picked up by some one who was on the lookout for
incendiary publications. No little excitement fol
lowed its discovery. The community was aroused.
Indeed, so great was the agitation occasioned that
Dr. Crandall, to whom the inhibited paper had been
traced, was in great physical danger from mob vio
lence. He was arrested, and, partly to save his life,
was thrust into jail, where he remained for eight
months. He was tried and, although acquitted,
was really made the subject of capital punishment.
Tuberculosis developed as the result of his incarcera
tion, and death soon followed.
Of many cases of the kind that might be cited,
perhaps none is more strikingly illustrative than
that of Charles Turner Torrey, a New England
man. He was accused of helping a slave to escape
from the city of Baltimore, and being convicted on
what was said to be perjured testimony, was sent to
the penitentiary for a long term of years. The con
finement was fatal, a galloping consumption merci
fully putting a speedy end to his confinement. And
then a remarkable incident occurred. Torrey was
a minister in good standing of the Congregational
denomination, and also a member of the Park
Avenue Church of Boston. Arrangements were
made for funeral exercises in that church, but its
Anti-Slavery Martyrs 119
managers, taking alarm at the threats of certain
pro-slavery men, withdrew their permission and
locked the sanctuary s doors. Slavery punished the
dead as well as the living.
The case of Amos Dresser, a young Southerner,
may not improperly be mentioned here. He had
gone to a Northern school, and had become a con
vert to Abolitionism. He went to Nashville, Ten
nessee, to canvass for a book called the Cottage Bible,
which would not ordinarily be supposed to be dan
gerous to well regulated public institutions. While
peaceably attending to his business he was accused
of Anti-Slaveryism. He did not deny the charge
and was arrested, his trunk being broken open and
its contents searched and scattered. He was taken
before a vigilance committee and by it was con
demned to receive twenty lashes on his bare back,
"well laid on," and then to be driven out of
town. The sentence was carried out, we are told,
in the presence of thousands of people of both
Of the many somewhat similar instances that
might here be referred to the writer will make room
for only one more.
A seafaring man of the name of Jonathan Walker
undertook to convey in a sloop of which he was the
owner seven colored fugitives to the Bahama Islands,
where they would be free. Owing to an accident
to his boat, he and his companions were captured.
He was sentenced, among other things, to have his
hand branded with the letters S. S., signifying
" Slave Stealer."
The fncident just referred to inspired one of the
120 The Abolitionists
finest productions of Whittier s pen. Singing of
that "bold plowman of the wave" he proceeds:
" Why, that hand is highest honor,
Than its traces never yet
Upon old memorial hatchments was
A prouder blazon set;
And the unborn generations, as they
Tread our rocky strand,
Shall tell with pride the story of
Their father s branded hand."
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
THE prescribed penalties for assisting in the
escape of fugitive slaves were severe. By the
terms of the Fugitive Slave Act, as it was called,
any one convicted of that offense, besides a liability
for one thousand dollars damages recoverable in a
civil action, was subject to a five-hundred-dollars
fine and imprisonment in a penitentiary for one
year. As the writer has not "done time" for par
ticipation in certain transactions dating back to his
earlier days, in which the legal rights of slave-owners
were indifferently respected, he thinks it advisable
to be somewhat reserved in his recital of personal
experiences when taking the public into his con
fidence. The Fugitive Slave Law and for that
fact we should give "most hearty thanks" is about
as dead as any statute can be, but as in the case of
a snake that has been killed, it may be the wiser
course not to trifle with its fangs. Therefore, in
stead of telling my own story in the first person
singular, I offer as a substitute the confession of
one John Smith, whose existence no one will pre
sume to dispute. Here is his statement:
"There was an did barn on my father s farm. It
was almost a ruin. One end of the roof had fallen
122 The Abolitionists
in, pretty much all the windows were gone, and
there was a general air of dilapidation about the
place. A dwelling-house, to which it was an ap
pendage, had been burned and not rebuilt, and the
barn had been left to fight a battle with the ele
ments and other foes in pretty much its own way.
"Not that it was wholly abandoned. There was
one mow that was kept pretty well supplied with
grass, and there were two or three horse stalls that
were in tolerable order, although but rarely used.
There were a number of excellent hiding-places
about the old rookery. In the basement all sorts
of rubbish, including unused vehicles and machinery,
had been stored away, and so wedged and packed
was it that it would have taken hours to uncover
man or beast seeking concealment there.
"One of the curious features of the situation was
that the building was in sight of none of the roads
in the neighborhood, while less than a hundred feet
from it was a strip of woods in which the removal of
the larger trees had stimulated a sturdy and densely
matted undergrowth that was penetrable only by
means of paths that had been made by the cattle.
It was what was called a woods pasture. With
this cover for his movements any one could ap
proach or leave the old barn with little danger of
"Naturally enough, such a ramshackle was in ill-
repute. There were tales about it in the neighbor
hood. Some children had gone there to play on
one occasion, and had been badly frightened by a
big as big as a half-bushel, they asserted black
face that was seen to be watching them. They fled
The Underground Railroad 123
from the premises in great alarm, and for a time
there was talk of an investigation by their friends.
The incident, however, was soon forgotten.
"That old barn was a regular station on one of
the underground railroads that extended from the
Ohio River to Canada. To but few persons was its
true character known, and they were very close-
mouthed about it. I was one of the few that were
in the secret. Being the youngest member of the
family, it fell to my lot to drive the horses and cows
to and from the pasture in which the old barrack
was located, and while there it was an easy matter
to visit that establishment and ascertain if it shel
tered any fresh arrivals.
"One day I had to report that two fugitives were
in the barn, being a mother and child. Then came
the question which in that instance was a difficult
one to answer as to who should convey them to
the next station on the line, twenty miles away.
A brother, between five and six years older than I
was, and who was something of a dare-devil, did
the most of the work of transportation, but he
was in bed with typhoid fever. A hired man, who
was employed partly because he was in hearty ac
cord with the humanitarian views of the household,
and who on several occasions had taken my brother s
place, was absent. There was nobody but myself
who was ready to undertake the job, and I was only
eleven years old. There was no help for it, how
ever. The slaves had to be moved on, and I was
greatly rejoiced in the prospect of adventure that
was opened up to me. The journey had to be
made at night, but for that I cared nothing, as I
124 The Abolitionists
had repeatedly gone over the route by daylight, and
thought I knew the road perfectly.
"Midnight found me on the highway, and on the
driver s seat of one of our farm wagons, to which
was attached a span of horses moving in the direc
tion of the north star. That luminary was not on
this occasion visible. The sky was heavily overcast
and the night was very dark. A light rain was fall
ing. With all the confidence I had in my own abil
ity, more than once would I have lost the way, but
for the sagacity of the horses, which had gone over
that route a number of times under similar circum
stances. They acted as if altogether familiar with
it. Those horses proved themselves to be excellent
"The inclemency of the night was in one respect
a great advantage. It kept at home those who
might incline to be too inquisitive. The few
travelers we met passed on with a word of greeting,
while I whistled unconcernedly.
"Over the bottom of the wagon was scattered
some hay that might be used either as feed for the
horses or as a bed for weary travelers. There was
also an old-fashioned buffalo-robe, somewhat dilapi
dated, that could serve for concealment or as shelter
from the elements. Two or three empty baskets
suggested a return from the market. There was
another article that one would hardly have looked
for. This was a smoke-cured ham loosely wrap
ped in some old sacking. It had gone over that
route a number of times. Its odor neutralized the
smell by which the presence, immediate or recent,
of negroes might be detected.
The Underground Railroad 125
"My fellow-travelers, as my passengers might be
called, were interesting companions. Both, in one
sense, were children, the mother certainly not being
over seventeen years old. She was a comely half-
breed mulatto. Her baby a pretty boy of two
years was one degree nearer white.
"The girl was inclined to be confidential and
talkative. She said she was old mas r s daughter.
Her mother had been one of old mas r s people.
She had grown up with the other slave children on
the place, being in no way favored because of her
relationship to her owner. The baby s father was
young mas r* old master s son, as it appeared
and who, consequently, was a half-brother of the
youthful mother. Slavery sometimes created sin
"As the story ran, all the people, including the
narrator and her baby, when ole mas r died were
leveled on by the Sheriff s man. She did not
quite understand the meaning of it all, but it was
doubtless a case of bankruptcy.
Young mas r, she said, tole her she had to
run away, taking the baby of course. Oh, yes,
she said very emphatically, I never would have left
Kentuck without Thomas Jefferson meaning her
little boy. Young mas r, according to her ac
count, arranged the whole proceeding, telling her
what course to take by night, where to stop and
conceal herself by day, and what signal to give
when she reached the big river.
"When the Ohio had been crossed her young
master met her, evidently to the great delight of
the poor creature. He gave her some money, and
126 The Abolitionists
told her that when she reached her destination he
would send her some *mo. After putting her in
charge of some kind people, evidently representa
tives of the underground line, they had parted,
according to her description of the incident, in an
affecting way. He kissed me and I cried/ was her
simple statement. Notwithstanding the boasted
superiority of one race over another, human nature
seems to be very much the same, whether we read
it in a white face or in a black one. /
"The little girlish mother was very much alarmed
for the safety of her boy and herself when we began
our journey, wanting to get out and conceal herself
whenever we heard any one on the road. After
several detentions from that cause, the weary crea
ture stretched herself upon the hay beside her sleep
ing infant and almost immediately fell into a heavy
slumber. She could stand the strain no longer. I
drew the buffalo-robe ever the two sleepers, and
there they rested in blissful unconsciousness until
the journey was ended.
"Half-way between the termini of my route was
a village in which lived a constable who was sus
pected of being in the employ of the slave-owners.
It was thought advisable that I should avoid that
village by taking a roundabout road. That I did,
although it added an extra half to my trip. The
result was that the sun was just peeping over the
eastern hills, as I reached a set of bars showing an
entrance into a pasture lot on one side of the high
way. Removing the bars, I drove into the field,
and passing over a ridge that hid it from the road,
I stopped in front of a log cabin that had every
The Underground Railroad 127
appearance of being an abandoned and neglected
homestead. That was the station I was looking
for. Arousing my sleeping passengers, I saw them
enter the old domicile, where I bade them good-
by, and received the tearful and repeated thanks of
the youthful slave mother, speaking for herself and
her offspring. I never saw them again, but in due
time the news came back, over what was jocularly
called the grape-vine telegraph, that they had
safely reached their destination.
"At the home of the station agent I was enthusi
astically received. That a boy of eleven should
accomplish what I had done was thought to be quite
wonderful. I was given an excellent breakfast,
and then shown to a room with a bed, where I
had a good sleep. On my awakening I set out
on the return journey, this time taking the most
direct route, as I had then no fear of that hireling
"Subsequently I passed through several expe
riences of a similar kind, some of them involving
greater risks and more exciting incidents, but the
recollection of none of them brings me greater sat is-
faction than the memory of my first conductorship
on the Underground.
"All of which is respectfully submitted by
" JOHN SMITH."
I HAVE had a good deal to say about Anti-
Slavery societies. There was another society
which was called into existence by the slavery situa
tion. Whether it was pro-slavery or anti-slavery was
a question that long puzzled a good many people.
It was the Colonization Society. A good many
Anti-Slavery people believed in it for a time and
/! gave it their support. "I am opposed to slavery,
but I am not an Abolitionist: I am a Coloniza-
tionist," was a declaration that, when I was a boy,
I heard many and many times, and from the lips of
It did not take the sharp-sighted leaders of the
Abolition movement very long to discover that
one of the uses its managers expected to make of
the Colonization Society was as a shield for slavery.
It kept a number of excellent people from joining
in an aggressive movement against it, took their
money, and made them believe that they were at
work for the freedom of the negro.
Strangely as it might appear, the negroes, who
were assumed to be the beneficiaries of the coloniza
tion scheme, were opposed to it. Quicker than the
white people generally did, they saw through its
false pretense, and, besides, they could not under
stand why they should be taken from the land of
their nativity, and sent to the country from which
their progenitors had come,. any more than the de
scendants of Scotch, English, and German immi
grants should be deported to the lands of their
Equally strange was it that the Colonization
Society, if really friendly to the negro, should find
its most zealous supporters among slaveholders. Its
first president, who was a nephew of George Wash
ington, upon learning that his slaves had got the
idea that they were to be set at liberty, sent over
fifty of them to be sold from the auction block at
New Orleans. That was intended as a warning to
the rest. One of its presidents was said to be the
owner of a thousand slaves and had never manu
mitted one of them. The principal service that thej
colonization movement was expected to do for the
slave-owners was to relieve them of the presence of
free negroes. These were always regarded as ai
menace by slave-masters. They disseminated ideas!
of freedom and manhood among their unfortunate!/
brethren. They were object-lessons to those in
bondage. The slave-owners were only too glad to
have them sent away. They looked to Liberia as
a safety-valve. It did not take long for intelligent
people who were really well-wishers of the black
man to perceive -these facts.
The severest blow that the Colonization Society
received in America was from the pen of William
Lloyd Garrison, who, under the title of Thoughts on
African Colonization, published a pamphlet that had
130 The Abolitionists
wide distribution. It completely unmasked the
pretended friendship of the Colonizationists for the
negroes, free or slave. From that time they lost
all support from real Anti-Slavery people. There
was, however, to be a battle fought, in which the
Colonization Society figured as a party, that fur
nished one of the most interesting episodes of the
England, at the time of which we are speaking,
was full of Anti-Slavery sentiment. Slavery, at the
end of a long and bitter contest, had been abolished
in all her colonies. Her philanthropists were rejoic
ing in their victory. The managers of the Coloniza
tion Society resolved, if possible, to capture that
sentiment, and with it the pecuniary aid the British
Abolitionists might render. It was always a tre
mendous beggar. They, accordingly, selected a
flucnt-tongued agent and sent him to England to
advocate their cause. He did not hesitate to repre
sent that the Colonization Society was the especial
friend of the negro, working for his deliverance from
bondage, and, in addition, that it had the support
of "the wealth, the respectability, and the piety of
the American people."
When these facts came to the knowledge of the
members of the newly formed New England Anti-
Slavery Society, they were naturally excited, and
resolved to meet the enemy in this new field of
operations. This they decided to do by sending a
representative to England, who would be able to
meet the colonization agent in discussion, and
otherwise proclaim and champion their particular
views. For this service the man selected was Wil-
liam Lloyd Garrison, who was then but twenty-eight
Remarkable it was that one who was not only so
young, but imperfectly educated, being a poor
mechanic, daily toiling as a compositor at his
printer s case, should be chosen to meet the most
polished people in the British Empire, and hold
himself ready to debate the most serious question
of the time. That such a person should be willing
to enter upon such an undertaking was almost as
remarkable. But Garrison showed no hesitation in
accepting the task for which he was selected.
On his arrival in England, Garrison sent a chal
lenge to the colonization agent for a public debate.
This the Colonizationist refused to receive. Two
more challenges were sent and were treated in the
same way. Then Garrison, at a cost of thirty dol
lars, which he could ill afford to pay, published the
challenge in the London Times, with a statement of
the manner in which it had been so far treated. Of
course, public interest was aroused, and when Gar
rison appeared upon the public platform, as he at once
proceeded to do, he was greeted with the attend
ance of multitudes of interested hearers. Exeter
Hall in London was crowded. The most distin
guished men in England sat upon the stage when
he spoke, and applauded his addresses. Daniel
O Connell, the great Irish orator, paid them a most
florid compliment. They were, unquestionably,
most remarkable samples of effective eloquence
plain in statement, simple in style, but exceedingly
logical and forcible. They were widely published
throughout England at the time of their delivery.
13* The Abolitionists
One of the results was that the leading emanci
pationists of Great Britain signed and published a
warning against the colonization scheme, denouncing
it as having its roots in 44 a cruel prejudice," and
declaring that it was calculated to "increase the
spirit of caste so unhappily predominant," and that
it " exposed the colored people to great practical
persecution in order to force them to emigrate."
As for the poor agent of the Colonizationists, see
ing how the battle was tending, he left England in
a hurry, and was nevermore heard of in that part of
Garrison s personal triumph was very striking,
and it was splendidly earned. He was made the
recipient of many compliments and testimonials.
A curious incident resulted from this great popu
larity. He was invited to breakfast by Sir Thomas
Buxton, the noted English philanthropist, with a
view to making the acquaintance of a number of
distinguished persons who were to be present.
When Mr. Garrison presented himself, his enter
tainer, who had not before met or seen him, looked
at him in great astonishment.
4 Are you William Lloyd Garrison?" he inquired.
44 That is who I am," replied Mr. Garrison, 44 and
I am here on your invitation."
44 But you are a white man," said Buxton, 44 and
from your zeal and labors in behalf of the colored
people, I assumed that you were one of them."
Garrison left England in what, metaphorically,
might be described as "a blaze of glory." Hun
dreds attended him when he went to embark on his
homeward voyage, and he was followed by their
cheers and benedictions. Wonderfully different
was the treatment he received on his arrival in his
own country. Not long afterwards he was dragged
through Boston streets by a hempen rope about his
body, and was assigned to a prison cell, as affording
the most available protection from the mob.
Nevertheless, we have had some excellent people
not slave-owners who, out of compassion for the
black man, or from prejudice against his color, and,
perhaps, from a little of both, have favored a policy
of colonization in this country. Mr. Lincoln was
one of them. "If all earthly power were given me,
I should not know what to do with the existing in
stitution. My first impulse would be to free the
slaves and send them to Liberia." So said Mr.
Lincoln in one of his debates with Douglas.
"I cannot make it better known than it already
is," said Mr. Lincoln in a message to Congress,
dated December I, 1862, "that I strongly favor^
At Lincoln s instance Congress appropriated
several large sums of money then much needed in
warlike operations for colonizing experiments.
One of these has a curious and somewhat pathetic
history. A sharper by the name of Koch, having
worked himself into the confidence of the President
and some other good people, got them to buy from
him an island in the West Indies, called He a Vache,
which he represented to be a veritable earthly par
adise. Strangely enough, it was wholly uninhabited,
and therefore ready for the uses of a colony. Several
hundred people colored, of course were collected,
put aboard a ship, and dumped upon this unknown
134 The Abolitionists
land. It will surprise no one to learn that pretty
soon these people, poisoned by malaria, stung by ven
omous insects and reptiles, and having scarcely any
thing to eat, were dying like cattle with the murrain.
In the end a ship was sent to bring back the survivors.
Nevertheless, the kind-hearted President did not
give up the idea. At his request a delegation of
Washington negroes called upon him. He made
them quite a long speech, telling them that Con
gress had given him money with which to found a
colony of colored people, and that he had found
what seemed to be a suitable location in Central
America. He appealed to them to supply the
colonists. The negroes, not anxious for exile,
diplomatically said they would think the matter
over. In the end it was discovered that Central
America did not want the negroes, and that the
negroes did not want Central America.
A story that is curiously illustrative of Mr. Lin
coln s attachment to the policy of removing the
colored people is told by L. E. Chittenden in his
Recollections of President Lincoln. Mr. Chittenden
was a citizen of Vermont and Register of the Treas
ury under Lincoln, with whom he was in intimate
and confidential relations:
" During one of his welcome visits to my office," says
Mr. Chittenden, " the President seemed to be buried in
thought over some subject of great interest. After long
reflection he abruptly exclaimed that he wanted to ask
me a question.
" Do you know any energetic contractor? 1 he in
quired; one who would be willing to take a large con
tract attended with some risk ?
11 I know New England contractors, I replied, who
would not be frightened by the magnitude or risk of
any contract. The element of prospective profit is the
only one that would interest them. If there was a fair
prospect of profit, they would not hesitate to contract to .
suppress the Rebellion in ninety days.
" There will be profit and reputation in the contract
I may propose, said the President. It is to remove
the whole colored race of the slave States into Texas.
If you have any acquaintance who would take that con
tract, I would like to see him.
" I know a man who would take that contract and
perform it, I replied. * I would be willing to put you
into communication with him, so that you might form
your own opinion about him.
"By the President s direction I requested John Brad
ley, a well-known Vermonter, to come to Washington. He
was at my office the morning after I sent the telegram
to him. I declined to give him any hint of the purpose
of my invitation, but took him directly to the President.
When I presented him I said: Here, Mr. President,
is the contractor whom I named to you yesterday.
" I left them together. Two hours later Mr. Bradley
returned to my office overflowing with admiration for
the President and enthusiasm for his proposed work.
The proposition is, he said, to remove the whole
colored race into Texas, there to establish a republic of
their own. The subject has political bearings of which
I am no judge, and upon which the President has not
yet made up his mind. But I have shown him that it is
practicable. I will undertake to remove them all within
It is unnecessary to state that the Black Republic
of Texas was a dream that never materialized.
LINCOLN AND EMANCIPATION
MESSRS. Nicolay and Hay, who were Mr.
Lincoln s private secretaries during the
time he was President, and afterwards the authors
of his most elaborate biography, say: "The bless
ings of an enfranchised race must forever hail him
as their liberator."
Says Francis Curtis in his History of the Republi
can Party, in speaking of the President s Emancipa
tion Proclamation: "On the 1st day of January,
1863, the final proclamation of freedom was issued,
and every negro slave within the confines of the
United States was at last made free."
Other writers of what is claimed to be history,
almost without number, speak of the President s
pronouncement as if it caused the bulwarks of
slavery to fall down very much as the walls of
Jericho are said to have done, at one blast, over
whelming the whole institution and setting every
bondman free. Indeed, there are multitudes of
fairly intelligent people who believe that slavehold-
ing in this country ceased the very day and hour
the proclamation appeared. In a recent magazine
article, so intelligent a man as Booker Washington
speaks of a Kentucky slave family as being emanci-
Lincoln and Emancipation 137
pated by Mr. Lincoln s proclamation, when, in fact,
the proclamation never applied to Kentucky at all.
The emancipationists of Missouri were working
hard to free their State from slavery, and they
would have been only too glad to have Mr. Lincoln
do the work for them. They appealed to him to
extend his edict to their State, but got no satisfac
tion. The emancipationists of Maryland had much
the same experience. Both Missouri and Mary
land were left out of the proclamation, as were
Tennessee and Kentucky and Delaware, and parts
of Virginia and Louisiana and the Carolinas. (See
Appendix.) The explanation is that the proclama
tion was not intended to cover all slaveholding ter
ritory. All of it that belonged to States that had
not been in rebellion, or had been subdued, was
excluded. The President s idea was to reach only/
such sections as were then in revolt. If the procla
mation had been immediately operative, and had
liberated every bondman in the jurisdiction to which
it applied, it would have left over a million slaves
in actual thraldom. Indeed, Earl Russell, the
British premier, was quite correct when, in speaking
of the proclamation, he said: "It does not more
than profess to emancipate slaves where the United
States authorities cannot make emancipation a
reality, and emancipates no one where the decree
can be carried into effect."
For the failure of the proclamation to cover all
slaveholding territory there was a plausible reason.
Freedom under it was not decreed as a boon, but as
a penalty. It was not, in theory at least, intended
to help the slave, but to chastise the master. It
138 The Abolitionists
was to be in punishment of treason, and, of course,
could not consistently be made to apply to loyal
communities, or to such as were under government
control. The proclamation, it will be recollected,
was issued in two parts separated by one hundred
days. The first part gave the Rebels warning that
the second would follow if, in the meanwhile, they
did not give up their rebellion. All they had to do
to save slavery was to cease from their treasonable
practices. Had the Rebels been shrewd enough,
within the hundred days, to take the President at
his word, he would have stood pledged to maintain
their institution, and his proclamation, instead of
being a charter of freedom, would have been a
license for slaveholding.
The proclamation did not, in fact, whatever it
may have otherwise accomplished at the time it was
issued, liberate a single slave. What is more,
slavery as an institution was altogether too securely
rooted in our system to be abolished by proclama
tion. The talk of such a thing greatly belittles the
magnitude of the task that was performed. Its
removal required a long preliminary work, involv
ing, as is made to appear in previous chapters of
this work, almost incalculable toil and sacrifice, to
be followed by an enormous expenditure of blood
and treasure. Its practical extinguishment was the
work of the army, while its legal extirpation was
accomplished by Congress and the Legislatures of
the States in adopting the Thirteenth Amendment
to the Federal Constitution, which forbids all slave-
holding. That amendment was a production of
Congress and not of the Executive, whose official
Lincoln and Emancipation 139
approval was not even required to make it legally
The story of the proclamation, with not a few
variations, has often been told; but the writer
fancies that the altogether correct account has not
always been given. It may be presumptuous on
his part, but he will submit his version.
To understand the motive underlying the procla
mation we must take into account its author s
feeling toward slavery. Notwithstanding various
unfriendly references of an academic sort to that
institution, he was not at the time the proclamation
appeared, and never had been, an Abolitionist.
Not very long before the time referred to the
writer heard Mr. Lincoln, in his debate with Ste
phen A. Douglas at Alton, Illinois, declare lay
ing unusual emphasis on his words: "I have on
all occasions declared as strongly as Judge Douglas
against the disposition to interfere with the existing
institution of slavery."
Judge Douglas was what was then called a
" dough-face" by the Abolitionists being a North
ern man with Southern principles, or "proclivities,"
as he called them.
Only a little earlier, and several years after Mr.
Lincoln had claimed to be a Republican, and a
leader of the Republicans, he had, in a speech at
Bloomington, Illinois, asserted that, "the conclu
sion of it all is that we must restore the Missouri
Now the adoption of the Missouri Compromise
was the hardest blow ever inflicted on the cause of
free soil in America. It did more to encourage the
140 The Abolitionists
supporters of slavery and to discourage its oppo
nents than anything else that ever happened. Its
restoration would undoubtedly have produced a
similar effect. Although he is not to be credited
with any philanthropic motive, Stephen A. Douglas
did an effective work for freedom when he helped
to overthrow that measure. Leading Abolitionists
have accorded him that meed of praise.
But there was that proposition which Mr. Lincoln
was so fond of repeating, that the nation could not
remain half free and half slave "a divided house"
but the remedy he had to propose was not manu
mission at any proximate or certain time, but the
adoption of a policy that, to use his own words,
would cause "the public mind to rest in the belief
that it [slavery] was in the course of ultimate extinc
tion. Practically that meant very little or nothing.
What the public mind then needed was not "rest,"
but properly directed activity.
But the declarations above quoted were all before
Mr. Lincoln had become President or had probably
thought of such a thing. Did the change of posi
tion lead to a change of opinion on his part? We
are not left in uncertainty on this point. His
official views were declared in what might be called
a State paper. Soon after his inauguration, his
Secretary of State sent Minister Dayton, at Paris, a
dispatch that he might use with foreign officials, in
which, in speaking of the Rebellion, he said: "The
condition of slavery in the several States will remain
just the same whether it succeeds or fails. . . .
It is hardly necessary to add to this incontrovertible
statement the further fact that the new President
Lincoln and Emancipation 141
has always repudiated all designs, whenever and
wherever imputed to him, of disturbing the system
of slavery as it has existed under the Constitution
About the same time Mr. Lincoln stated to a
party of Southern Congressmen, who called upon
him, that he "recognized the rights of property
that had grown out of it [slavery] and would respect v
those rights as fully as he would similar rights in
any other property."
No steps were taken by Mr. Lincoln to recall or
repudiate the foregoing announcements. On the
contrary, he confirmed them in his official action.
He annulled the freedom proclamations of Fremont
and Hunter. He did not interfere when some of
his military officers were so busy returning fugitive
slaves that they had no time to fight the masters.
He approved Hallock s order Number Three exclud
ing fugitives from the lines. He even permitted
the poor old Hutchinsons to be sent away from the
army very much as if they had been colored people,
when trying to rouse "the boys" with their freedom
songs. In many ways Mr. Lincoln showed that
in the beginning and throughout the earlier part of
his Administration he hoped to re-establish the
Union without disturbing slavery. In effect he so
declared in his introduction to his freedom procla
mation. He gave the rebel slaveholders one hun
dred days in which to abandon their rebellion and
save their institution. In view of such things it is
no wonder that Henry Wilson, so long a leading
Republican Senator from Massachusetts, in his Rise
and Fall of the Slave Power, in speaking of emanci-
pation, said "it was a policy, indeed, which he [the
President] did not personally favor except in con
nection with his favorite idea of colonization."
It is needless to say that the President s attitude
was a great surprise and a sore disappointment to
the more radical Anti-Slavery people of the country,
who had supported him with much enthusiasm and
high hopes. They felt that they had been deceived.
They said so very plainly, for the Abolitionists
were not the sort of people to keep quiet under
provocation. Horace Greeley published his signed
attack (see Appendix) entitled, The Prayer of
Tivcnty Millions, which is, without doubt, the most
scathing denunciation in the English language.
Henry Ward Beecher "pounded" Mr. Lincoln, as
he expressed it. Wendell Phillips fairly thundered
his denunciations. There was a general under-swell
Now, Mr. Lincoln was not a man who was in
capable of reading the signs of the times. He saw
that he was drifting towards an irreparable breach
with an element that had previously furnished his
staunchest supporters. As a politician of great
native shrewdness, as well as the head of the Gov
ernment, he could not afford to let the quarrel go
on and widen. There was need of conciliation.
Something had to be done. We know what he did.
He issued his Emancipation Proclamation^,
As far as freeing any slaves was concerned, he
knew it amounted to very little, if anything. He
said so. Less than two weeks before the preliminary
section of the proclamation appeared, Mr. Lincoln
was waited on by a delegation of over One hundred
Lincoln and Emancipation 143
Chicago clergymen, who urged him to issue a pro
clamation of freedom for the slaves. What good
would a proclamation from me do, especially as we
are now situated?" asked Mr. Lincoln by way of
reply. "I do not want to issue a document that
the whole world would see must necessarily be in
operative, like the Pope s bull against the comet.
Would my word free the slaves, when I cannot even
enforce the Constitution in the rebel States?"
In contemplating a proclamation applicable to the
rebel States, it is hardly to be supposed that Mr.
Lincoln did not understand the situation two weeks
earlier quite as well as when the document appeared.
If Mr. Lincoln had been told, when he entered on
the Presidency, that before his term of office would
expire he would be hailed as "The Great Emanci
pator," he would have treated the statement as
equal to one of his own best jokes. Slavery was a
thing he did not then want to have disturbed. He
discounteTiarrce^ alt radical agitators of the subject,
and especially in the border slave States, where he
was able to hold them pretty well in check, except
in Missouri. There they stood up and fought him,
and in the end beat him. One of the rather curious
results of this condition of things was that, when
the States came to action on the Thirteenth Consti
tutional Amendment, the one absolutely abolishing
slavery, the throe border slave States of Kentucky,
Maryland, and Delaware, over which the President s
influence was practically supreme, gave an ad
verse vote of four to one, while Missouri, with
whose radical emancipationists he had continuously
been at loggerheads, ratified the amendment by a
144 The Abolitionists
legislative vote of one hundred and eleven ayes to
Nevertheless, notwithstanding the President, at
the beginning of his official term, opposed Anti-
Slavery agitation and Anti-Slavery action with all
his might, he promptly faced about as soon as he
discovered that the subject was one that would not
"down." No one ever worked harder to find a
solution of a difficult problem than he did of the
slavery question. He began to formulate plans to
that end, the most distinguishing feature, however,
being the spirit of compromise by which they were
pervaded. All of them stopped before an ulti
matum was reached. Besides his proclamation,
which, as we have seen, applied to only a part of
the slaves, he devised a measure that would have
been applicable to all of them. In his special mes
sage of December, 1863, he proposed to Congress
the submission of a constitutional amendment that
would work universal liberation. There were con
ditions, however. One was that the slaves should
be paid for by the Government ; another that the
masters might retain their uncompensated services
until January i, 1900; that is, for a period of thirty-
seven years, unless they were sooner emancipated
by the grave, as the most of them would be. (See
The President s somewhat fantastic proposition
was not claimed by him to be for the bondman s
benefit. He urged it as a measure of public econ
omy, holding that, as slavery was the admitted
cause of the Rebellion, the quickest and surest way
to remove that cause would be by purchase of all
Lincoln and Emancipation 145
the slaves, which, he insisted, "would shorten the
war, and thus lessen the expenditure of money and
The public did not take to the President s plan at
all, especially the Abolitionists did not. They no
more favored the buying of men by the Govern
ment than by anybody else. They held that if the
master had no right to the person of his bondman,
he had no right to payment for him. And as for
an arrangement that might prolong slaveholding for
thirty-seven years, they saw in it not only a measure
of injustice to the men, women, and children then
in servitude, the most of whom would be doomed
to bondage for the rest of their natural lives, but a
possible plan for side-tracking a genuine freedom
In the proposition just considered we have not
only the core of the President s policy during much
of his official tenure, but an explanation of his
mental operations. He was sentimentally opposed
to slavery, but he was afraid of freedom. He
dreaded its effect on both races. He was opposed
to slavery more because it was a public nuisance
than because of its injustice to the oppressed black
man, whose condition, he did not believe, would be
greatly, if at all, benefited by freedom. Hence he
wanted manumission put off as long as possible. It
was "ultimate extinction" he wanted, to be attended
with payment to the master for his lost property.
Another thing he favored and which he seems to
have thought entirely practicable as a condition to
liberation, was the black man s removal to a place
or places out of contact with our white population.
146 The Abolitionists
But in entire fairness to Mr. Lincoln, it should
be said that, although his proclamation was inoper
ative for the immediate release of any slaves, it was
by no means wholly ineffectual. Its moral influence
was considerable. It helped to hasten a movement
that had, however, by that time become practically
irresistible. Its political results were far more
marked and important. If it did not fully restore
cordiality between the President and the Abolition
leaders, it prevented an open rupture. It served
as a bridge between them. Although they never
took Mr. Lincoin fully into their confidence again,
the Abolitionists interpreted his proclamation as a
concession and an abandonment of his previous
policy, which it was much more in appearance than
actually. At all events, it was splendid politics.
The somewhat theatrical manner in which it was
worked up and promulgated in installments, thus
arousing in advance a widespread interest and
curiosity, showed no little strategic ability. No
more skillful move is recorded in the history of our
parties and partisans than this act of Mr. Lincoln,
by which he disarmed his Anti-Slavery critics with
out giving them any material advantage or chang
ing the actual situation. I am not now speaking
of the motive underlying the proclamation of the
President, but of its effect. Without it he could
not have been renominated and re-elected.
Another observation, in order to be entirely just
to Mr. Lincoln, after what has been stated, would
at this point seem to be called for. There is no
doubt that from the first he was at heart an Anti-
Slavery man, which is saying a good deal for one
Lincoln and Emancipation H7
born in Kentucky, raised in southern Indiana and
southern Illinois, and who was naturally of a con
servative turn of mind. Nevertheless, he was never
an Abolitionist. He was opposed to immediate
what he called "sudden" emancipation. He .,
recognized the "right" his own word of the
slave-owner to his pound of flesh, either in the per-
sqrToFTiis bondman or a cash equivalent. He was
strongly prejudiced against the negro. Of that
fact we have the evidence in his colonization ideas.
He favored the banishment of our American-born
black people from their native land. It. was a cruel
proposition. True, the President did move from
his first position, which, as we have seen, was far
from that occupied by the Abolitionists, but from
first to last he was more of a follower than leader
in the procession.
And here the author wishes to add, in justice to
himself, that if, by reason of anything he has said
in this chapter, or elsewhere in this work, in criti
cism of Mr. Lincoln s dealings with the slavery issue,
he should be accused of unfriendliness toward the
great martyr President, he enters a full and strong
denial. He holds that, in view of all the difficul
ties besetting him, Mr. Lincoln did well, although
he might have done better. Much allowance, must
be made to one situated as he was. He un
doubtedly deserves the most of the encomiums
that have been lavished upon him. At the same
time, the conclusion is inevitable that his fame as
a statesman will ultimately depend less upon his
treatment of the slavery issue than upon any other
part of his public administration. The fact will
1 48 The Abolitionists
always appear that it was the policy of Salmon P.
Chase, Charles Sumner, Thaddeus Stevens, Horace
Greeley, Henry Ward Beecher, and other advocates
of the radical cure, with whom the President was in
constant opposition, that prevailed in the end, arid
with a decisiveness that proves it to have been feas
ible and sound from the beginning. Mr. Lincoln s
most ultra prescription his Emancipation Procla
mation was ineffective. If it was intended to
eradicate slavery altogether, it was too narrow ; if to
free the slaves of Rebels only, it was too broad. So
with his other propositions. His thirty-seven-year-
liberation scheme, his "tinkering off " policy (as he
called it) for Missouri, his reconstruction proposals,
and his colonization projects, all failed. Indeed, if
we take his official action from first to last, it is a
question whether the President, owing to his ex
treme conservatism, was not more of an obstruc
tionist than a promoter of the Anti-Slavery cause.
Not that any change of opinion on the point just
stated will materially affect the general estimate in
which Mr. Lincoln is held. Although his popular
ity, due, in part at least, to the extravagance of
over-zealous admirers, has without much doubt
already passed its perihelion, it can never disappear
or greatly diminish. His untiring and exhaustive
labors for the Union, the many lovable traits of his
unique personality, his unquestionable honesty, his
courage, his patriotism, and, above all, his tragic
taking off, have unalterably determined his place in
the regard of his countrymen. Indeed, so strong is
the admiration in which he is held, that it would be
vain to attempt to disabuse many, by any amount
Lincoln and Emancipation 149
of proof and argument, of the opinion that Afri
can slavery in this country was actually and ex
clusively killed by a presidential edict. So firmly
fixed in the popular belief is that historical myth
that it will undoubtedly live for many years, if not
generations, although history in the end will right
it like all other misunderstandings.
Mr. Lincoln had his weaknesses and limitations,
like other men. All must admit that his treatment
of the slavery question was not without its mistakes.
It has always seemed to the writer that his most
ardent admirers seriously blunder in claiming super-
lativeness for him in that regard, and more especially
in giving him credit for results that were due to the
efforts of other men. His fame is secure without
such misappropriation. He would not ask it if
living, and it will in due time be condemned by
THE END OF ABOLITIONISM
THE original and distinctive Abolition move
ment that was directed against slavery in all
parts of the land without regard to State or terri
torial lines, and because it was assumed to be wrong
in principle and practice, may be said, as far as the
country at large was concerned, to have culminated
at the advent of the Republican party. To a con
siderable extent it disappeared, but its disappearance
was that of one stream flowing into or uniting with
another. The union of the two currents extended,
but did not intensify, the Anti-Slavery sentiment of
the country. It diluted it and really weakened it.
It brought about a crisis of great peril to the cause
of Anti-Slaveryism - in some respects the most
critical through which it was called upon to pass.
Many of those attaching themselves to the Repub
lican party, as the new political organization was
called, were not in sympathy with Abolitionism.
They were utterly opposed to immediate emancipa
tion ; or, for that matter, to emancipation of any
kind. They wanted slavery to remain where it was,
and were perfectly willing that it should be undis
turbed. They disliked the blacks, and did not want
to have them freed, fearing that if set at liberty
they would overrun what was then free soil.
The End of Abolitionism 15 [
The writer recollects hearing a prominent man
in the new party, who about that time was making
a public speech, declare with great emphasis that,
"as for the niggers, they are where they ought to
be." The speaker on that occasion was one of many
who belonged to the debris of the broken-up Whig
party, and who drifted into Republicanism because
there was no other more attractive harbor to go to.
One of these men was Abraham Lincoln, whom I
heard declare in his debate with Douglas at Alton,
Illinois: "I was with the old-line Whigs from the
origin to the end of their party." The Whigs were
never an Anti-Slavery party. The recruits to Re
publicanism from that quarter were generally very
tender on "the nigger question," and the most they
were prepared to admit was that they were opposed
to slavery s extension. These men largely domi
nated the new party. They generally dictated its
platforms, which, compared with earlier Abolition
utterances, were extremely timid, and they had
much to do with making party nominations. Their
favorite candidates were not those whose opinions
on the slavery question were positive and well un
derstood, but those whose views were unsettled if
not altogether unknown. When General Fremont
was nominated for the Presidency, not one in ten
of those supporting him knew what his opinions on
that subject were, and a good many of them did not
care. Mr. Lincoln was accepted in much the same
It is true that, from certain expressions about the
danger to our national house from being "half
free" and "half slave," and other generalizations
of a more or less academic sort, it was known that
Mr. Lincoln was antagonistic to slavery; but as to
whether he favored that institution s immediate or
speedy extinguishment, and, if so, by what meas
ures, was altogether unknown. We now know,
from what has been set forth in another chapter,
that at the time of his first nomination and elec
tion, he had very few things in common with the
Abolitionists. He then evidently had no thought
of being hailed as the * liberator of a race. " He pre
ferred, for the time at least, that the race in question
should remain where it was, and as it was, unless it
could be bodily transported to some other country
and be put under the protection of some other flag.
He did not break with the Abolitionists, although
he kept on the edge of a quarrel with them, and
especially with what he called the"Greeley faction,"
a good part of the time. He never liked them v but
he was a shrewd man a born politician and was
too sagacious to discard the principal round in the
ladder by which he had climbed to eminence. He
managed to keep in touch with the Anti-Slavery
movement through all its steady advancement, but,
as elsewhere stated, it was as a follower rather than
as a leader.
While a resident of the slave State of Missouri, I
twice voted for Mr. Lincoln, which was some evi
dence of my personal feeling toward him. Both
times I did it somewhat reluctantly. On the first
occasion there were four candidates. Breckenridge
and Bell were Southern men both by residence
and principle and had no claim on Anti-Slavery
support. But with Douglas the case was different.
The End of Abolitionism 153
He had quarreled with the pro-slavery leaders, al
though of his own party. He had defied President
Buchanan in denouncing border-ruffianism in Kan
sas. He had refused to give up his "popular sover
eignty" dogma, although it clearly meant ultimate
free soil. The slave-masters hated him far more
than they did Lincoln. I heard them freely discuss
the matter. They were more afraid of the vindic-
tiveness of the fiery Douglas than of the opposi
tion of good-hearted, conservative Lincoln. In my
opinion there was good reason for that feeling.
Douglas, as President, would undoubtedly have
pushed the war for the Union with superior energy,
and slavery would have suffered rougher treatment
from his hands than it did from Mr. Lincoln s.
There was another reason why the slaveholders pre
ferred the election of Lincoln to that of Douglas.
Lincoln s election would furnish the better pretext
for the rebellion on which they were bent, and
which they had already largely planned. They
were resolved to defeat Douglas at all hazards, and
Douglas had been very distasteful to the Abo
litionists. They called him a "dough - face."
Nevertheless, quite a number of them where I lived
in Missouri voted for him. Missouri was the only
State he carried, and there he had less than five
hundred majority. He got more than that many
free-soil votes. I was strongly tempted to give him
mine. Chiefly on account of political associations,
I voted for Lincoln.
When it came to the second election, I again
voted for Mr. Lincoln with reluctance. The principal
154 The Abolitionists
reason for my hesitancy was his treatment of the
Anti-Slavery people of the border slave . States,
and especially of Missouri. The grounds for my
objection on that score will appear in the next
chapter, which deals with the Missouri embroglio,
as it was called.
From what has just been stated, it will be seen
that the cause of Anti-Slaveryism had, at the forma
tion of the Republican party, reached a most peril
ous crisis. It was in danger of being submerged
and suffocated by unsympathetic, if not positively
unfriendly, associations. It ran the risk, after so
many years of toil and conflict, of being undone by
those in whose support it was forced to confide.
Such would undoubtedly have been its fate if, owing
to circumstances over which no political party or
other organization of men had control, the current
of Anti-Slavery sentiment had not risen to a flood
that swept all before it.
It is rather a curious circumstance that, at the
crisis just alluded to, the nearest approach to original
Abolitionism that was to be found, was in a slave
State. In Missouri there was an organized opposi
tion to slavery that had been maintained for several
years, and which was never abandoned. The vitality
displayed by this movement was undoubtedly due
in large measure to the inspiration of the man who
was its originator, if not its leader. That man was
Thomas H. Benton. Whether Benton was ever an
Abolitionist or not, has been a much-disputed ques
tion, but one thing is certain, and that is that the
men who sat at his feet, who were his closest dis
ciples and imbibed the most of his spirit such as
The End of Abolitionism 155
B. Gratz Brown, John How, the Blairs, the Filleys,
and other influential Missourians, were Abolition
ists. Some of them weakened under the influence
of the national administration, but not a few of
them maintained their integrity. Even in the first
days of the Civil War, when all was chaos there, an
organization was maintained, although at one time
its only working and visible representatives con
sisted of the members of a committee of four men
a fifth having withdrawn who were B. Gratz
Brown, afterwards a United States Senator; Thomas
C. Fletcher, afterwards Governor of the State; Hon.
Benjamin R. Bonner, of St. Louis, and the writer
of this narrative. They issued an appeal that was
distributed all over the State, asking those in sym
pathy with their views to hold fast to their principles,
and to keep up the contest for unconditional free
dom. To that appeal there was an encouraging
number of favorable responses.
And thus it was that when Abolitionism may be
said to have been lost by merger elsewhere, it re
mained in its independence and integrity in slave-
holding Missouri, where it kept up a struggle for
free soil, and in four years so far made itself master
of the situation that a constitutional State conven
tion, chosen by popular vote, adopted an ordinance
under which an emancipationist Governor issued
his proclamation, declaring that "hence and forever
no person within the jurisdiction of the State shall
be subject to any abridgment of liberty, except
such as the law shall prescribe for the common
good, or know any master but God."
The writer entered on this work with no purpose
156 The Abolitionists
of relating or discussing the story of the Republican
party, in whole or in any part. His subject was
Abolitionism, and his task would now be completed
but for the movement in the State of Missouri, to
which reference has just been made. That mani
festation, he thinks, is deserving of recognition,
both on its own account and as a continuation of
the original movement, and he is the more inclined
to contribute to its discussion because he was then
a Missourian by residence, and had something to do
with its successful prosecution.
IN his interesting, though rather melodramatic,
romance, The Crisis, Winston Churchill tells the
imaginary story of a young lawyer who went from
New England to St. Louis, and settled there shortly
before the outbreak of the Civil War. Having an
abundance of leisure, and being an Abolitionist, he
devoted a portion of the time that was not absorbed
by his profession to writing articles on slavery for
the Missouri Democrat, which, notwithstanding its
name, was the organ of the Missouri emancipa
tionists, and lived in part on the money he received
as compensation for that work. That in part
describes the author s experience. .He was at that
time a young lawyer in St. Louis, to which place
he had come from the North, and those who have
read the earlier chapters of this work are aware that
he was an Abolitionist. Having a good deal of
time that was not taken up by his professional em
ployments, he occupied a portion of it in writing
Anti-Slavery contributions to the Democrat, and,
so far as he knows, he was the only person who to
any extent did so. A collection was made of a
portion of his articles, and with money contributed
by friends of the cause, they were published in
158 The Abolitionists
pamphlet form under the title of Hints toward
Emancipation in Missouri, and distributed through
out the State.
There the parallelism of the cases ceases. The
writer got no pecuniary compensation for his labor.
He asked for none and expected none. The Demo
crat was then in no condition to pay for volunteer
services, having a hard struggle for existence. He
was able to do it a service that, possibly, saved it
from at least a temporary suspension. One of its
chief difficulties was in getting printing paper, the
manufacturer it had been patronizing declining to
furnish it except for cash, while the Democrat needed
partial credit. At that time Louis Snyder, of
Hamilton, Ohio, a large paper-maker, visited St.
Louis on business that called for legal assistance,
and I was employed by him. When the work in
hand was finished, I remarked that there was some
thing else he might do in St. Louis that would pay
him. I explained the situation of the Democrat^
and assured him that, in my opinion, he would be
perfectly safe in giving trust to its proprietors, who
were honest men.
"Will you indorse their paper?" he asked.
Mr. Snyder was a crafty as well as a thrifty German.
I replied that, as I was not a wealthy man, the
question did not seem to be pertinent.
14 Will you indorse their paper for one thousand
dollars?" was his next question.
Being by this time somewhat "spunked up," I
replied that I would.
"Then I shall be pleased to meet your friends,"
said Mr. Snyder.
The result of the interview that followed was such
that the Democrat was materially assisted in con
tinuing its publication.
It is hardly necessary to state that I never heard
anything more of the one-thousand-dollar indorse
ment, the sole purpose of which was, doubtless, to
test my sincerity.
Soon afterwards I was offered the political editor
ship of the Democrat^ which I accepted on the one
condition that there was to be "no let-up on eman
cipation." I held the position until Missouri was a
In a surprisingly short time after the question
of Missouri s status in reference to the Union
was decided, the issue between Pro-Slaveryism and
Anti-Slavcryism came up. Political parties ranged
themselves upon it. Those who favored slavery s
immediate or speedy abolishment became known as
Radicals, while those advocating its prolongation
were called Conservatives. Those descriptives,
however, were too mild for such a time, and they
were quickly superseded by a more expressive local
nomenclature. The Radicals, because of their
alleged sympathy with the negro, were branded as
"Charcoals/* and their opponents, made up of
Republicans, Democrats, and Semi-Unionists, be
cause of the variegated complexion of the mixture,
were set down as "Claybanks." Mulattoes are
Tne Claybanks, or Conservatives, at the outset
enjoyed a decided advantage in having the State
government on their side. This was not the regu
larly elected administration, which was driven out
160 The Abolitionists
because of its open support of secession, but its
provisional successor. In trying to take the State
out of the Union with a show of legality, the lawful
Governor and his official associates made provision
for a State convention to be chosen by the people,
which they expected to control, but which, having
a Unionist majority, played the boomerang on
them by sending them adrift and taking the affairs
of the State into its own hands. In this it had
opposition. The most progressive men of the State
insisted that, after it had settled the question of
Missouri s relations to the Union, with reference to
which it was specially chosen, it \vasfunctus officio.
They held that there should be a new and up-to-
date convention, especially as the old one, owing to
the desertion of many of its treasonably inclined
members, including General Sterling Price, of the
Confederate Army, who was its first president, had
become "a rump," and so there were old-conven-
tionists and new-conventionists. The old-conven
tion men, however, were in the saddle. They had
the governmental machinery, and were resolved to
hold on to it. In that spirit the convention pro
ceeded to fill the vacant offices. It was in sentiment
strongly pro-slavery, as was shown by the fact that
a proposal looking to the very gradual extinguish
ment of slavery was rejected by it in an almost
unanimous vote, a circumstance that led the leading
pro-slavery journal of the State to boast that the
convention had killed emancipation 44 at the first
pop." Very naturally such a body selected pro-
slavery officials. Hamilton R. Gamble, whom it
made Governor, was a bigoted supporter of "the
institution." He had not long before been mixed
up in the proceedings that compelled Elijah P.
Lovcjoy to leave Missouri for Alton, Illinois, where
he was murdered by a pro-slavery mob. Gamble
was an able and ambitious man.
The Conservatives, likewise, had the backing of
the Federal Administration a statement that to a
good many people nowadays will be surprising.
There were reasons why such should be the case.
Judge Bates, of Missouri, who was Attorney-Gen
eral in Lincoln s Cabinet, had long been Gamble s
law partner and most intimate friend. He never
was more than nominally a Republican. Another
member of the Cabinet was Montgomery Blair, of
Maryland, who had been a resident of Missouri, and
was a brother of General Francis P. Blair, Jr., of St.
Louis. General Blair had been the leader of the
Missouri emancipationists, but had turned against
them. For his face-about there were, at least, two
intelligible reasons. One was that in the quarrel
between him and Fremont the most of his former
followers had sided with Fremont. That was enough
to sour him against them. The other was a very
natural desire to be solid with the administration at
Washington, which, as elsewhere shown, was not
then actively Anti-Slavery. It did not want the
question of slavery agitated, especially in the border
The Blairs were a clan as well as a family. The
quarrel of one was the quarrel of all, and the Mis
souri Radicals had no more effective antagonist than
the old Washington editor and politician, Francis
P. Blair, Sr., the family s head, who was so intimate
1 62 The Abolitionists
with the President that it was understood he could
at any time enter the White House by the kitchen
The writer was once a member of a delegation of
Missouri "Charcoals" that went to Washington to
see the President. An hour was set for the inter
view, and we were promptly at the door of the
President s chamber, where we were kept waiting
for a considerable time. At last the door opened,
but before we could enter, out stepped a little. old
man who tripped away very lightly for one of his
years. That little old man was Francis P. Blair,
Sr., and we knew that we had been forestalled. The
President received us politely and patiently listened
to what we had to say, but our mission was fruitless.
The Radicals of Missouri sent deputation after
deputation to the White House, and got nothing
they wanted. The Conservatives never sent a
deputation, and got all they wanted. They had
advocates at the President s elbows all the time.
With both State and Federal administrations
against them, the Missouri Charcoals may be
regarded as foolhardy in persisting in the fight they
made for the deliverance of their State from slavery.
They did persist, however, and with such success in
propagating their views that Governor Gamble and
the other Conservative leaders decided that heroic
measures to hold them in check were necessary.
He undertook to cut the ground from under their
feet. The old convention that had killed emanci
pation "at the first pop," or as much of it as was
in existence, was called together by the Governor,
who appealed to it to take such action as would
quiet agitation on the slavery question. Accord
ingly, it proceeded to enact what was called an
emancipation ordinance. The trouble with it was
that it emancipated nobody. It provided for the
liberation of part of the slaves at a distant future
day, allowing the rest to remain as they were. The
Radicals simply laughed at the measure. They
pronounced it a snare and a fraud, and went right
on with their work for unconditional freedom, and
the slave-owners continued to hold their human
property the same as before.
The Conservatives, however, had not exhausted
their resources. They sought to secure the military
as well as the civil control. On the assurance that
he could maintain peace and order, Governor Gam
ble was given authority by the President to recruit
an army of State troops, which, although equipped
and paid out of the national treasury, he was to
officer and direct. The organization was entrusted
to General John M. Scofield, a resident of Missouri,
and one of the Governor s friends.
The political advantage to the Conservatives of
exercising military control at such a time is obvious
enough. But at first there was an obstruction in
the person of General Samuel R. Curtis, the Fed
eral commander of the district, who was not a man
to waive his superior prerogative at a time when
martial law prevailed, and who was, besides, openly
in sympathy with the Radicals. They got not only
protection from him, but about all the patronage
he had to give. Pretty soon it was discovered that
active efforts for the removal of Curtis were in pro
gress. Charges of irregularities afterwards shown
164 The Abolitionists
to be without any foundation were circulated
against him. Indignant because of such injustice
to their friend, the Radicals were further incensed
when they learned that the scheme was to make
Scofield his successor.
Against General Scofield, as a gentleman and
soldier, they had nothing to say ; but his affiliation
with their opponents made him obnoxious to them,
and they sent a vigorous protest against his appoint
ment to the President. The proposed change,
however, was made, and the inevitable disagree
ment between the new commander and the Radi
cals quickly developed.
Scofield s administration was not successful. The
principal cause of failure was the adoption of Gov
ernor Gamble s policy of trying to run the State
without the help of Federal troops. They were
pretty much all sent away, and an elaborate plan
for substituting an "enrolled militia" was put in
operation. Here was an opportunity of which the
Rebels were quick to take advantage. They had a
wholesome regard for United States soldiers, par
ticularly under Curtis, who at Pea Ridge had given
them the worst drubbing they ever received west of
the Mississippi, but they cared little for "Gamble s
militia," into which a good many of their friends
were mustered, and when the pressure of Curtis s
strong hand was removed they at once aroused to
At this time it can be safely said that nowhere,
outside of hell, was there such a horrible condition as
prevailed in Missouri. Singly and in squads a good
many of Price s men returned from the South, and
with local sympathizers forming guerrilla bands
under such leaders as "Bill" Anderson, Poindexter,
Jackson, and Quantrcll, soon had practical posses
sion of the greater part of the State. The Radicals
were the principal sufferers. Conservatives, except
by the occasional loss of property, were rarely
molested. Between them and the Rebels there was
often an agreement for mutual protection in fact,
it was not always easy to draw the line between
them, but the Charcoals, especially if they were
"Dutchmen," could look for no compassion. They
were shot down in their fields. They were called
to their doors at night and there dispatched. Their
houses were burned and their stock stolen. Many
families of comparative wealth and refinement, in
cluding women and children, because of the inse
curity of their homes, slept in the woods for weeks
and months. The Radicals were not always for
tunate enough to escape bodily torture. Having
captured one of the best known among them, an
old man and a civilian, some of "Bill" Anderson s
men set him up against the wall of his house as a
target for pistol practice. Their play consisted in
seeing how near they could put their shots without
hitting, and this amusement they kept up while his
wife was running about in an effort to raise the
amount of money that was demanded for his
So successful were the Rebel bands at this time
that Missouri was not large enough to hold them.
One of them, led by Quantrell, crossed the Kansas
line, captured the city of Lawrence, and butchered
two hundred of its peaceable inhabitants, while the
1 66 The Abolitionists
border towns and cities of Iowa and Illinois were
greatly alarmed for their safety.
So intolerable did the situation become, that the
Radicals from all parts of the State met in confer
ence and decided to send a delegation to ask Mr.
Lincoln to change the department commander, in
the hope that it would bring a change of policy.
It is to be presumed that no President was ever
confronted with such a motley crowd of visitors as
the members of that delegation between seventy
and eighty in number as they formed in line around
three sides of the East Room in the White House.
Their garments were a sight ! Some of the men
were in full military dress and some in civilian
clothes, but the costumes of a majority were a mix
ture of both kinds, just as accident had arranged it,
and pretty much all showed evidences of hard usage.
One of the most forward of the delegates had neither
cuffs nor collar, and his shirt had manifestly not
been near a laundry for a long time. He apologized
to the President for his appearance, saying that he
had been sleeping in the woods where toilet accom
modations were very indifferent. Two or three of
the men bore marks of battle with the guerrillas, in
patched-up faces, and one of them carried an arm
that had been disabled by a gun shot in a red hand
kerchief sling. In speaking of these visitors, the
President afterwards jocularly referred to them as
"those crackerjacks from Missouri."
A formal address was presented, the principal
point being that, as the Missouri Unionists had fur
nished many thousand recruits to the Federal Army,
they had a right to look to the Government for
soldiers to assist in protecting their families and
their property. And here it will do no harm to
state that, notwithstanding the heavy drain made
by the Confederacy, Missouri, during the war, fur
nished 109,000 men to the national army.
After their formal address had been presented to
the President, the members of the delegation tackled
him, one after the other, as the spirit moved them,
and it can truthfully be said that in some of the
bouts that ensued he did not come out "first best."
He admitted as much when, afterwards referring to
this meeting, he spoke of the Missouri Radicals as
"the unhandiest fellows in the world to deal with in
The conclusion of the interview was attended with
an unexpected incident. The recognized leading
spokesman of the Missourians was the Hon. Charles
D. Drake, of St. Louis, who was made Chief Justice
of the Court of Claims at Washington by Grant,
when he became President. He was a very forcible
speaker. As Mr. Lincoln indicated by rising from
his seat that the conference was at an end, Mr.
Drake stepped forward and in well-chosen words
thanked him for the lengthy and courteous hearing
he had given his visitors, and in their names bade
him good-by. Then he started for the door, but
something seemed to arrest him. Turning sharply
to Mr. Lincoln, he said: "Mr. President, we are
about to return to our homes. Many of these men
before you live where rebel sentiments prevail and
where they are surrounded by deadly enemies. They
return at the risk of their lives, and let me tell you
that if any of their lives are sacrificed by reason of
1 68 The Abolitionists
the military administration you maintain in Mis
souri, their blood will be upon your garments and
not upon ours."
The President, evidently greatly surprised, made
no oral reply. Instead of speaking he raised his
handkerchief to his eyes. Seeing that he was weep-
ing, the delegates quietly and quickly filed out,
leaving Mr. Lincoln with his face still concealed.
The President denied the delegation s request,
although his formal decision was not announced
for several days, and its members returned to their
homes, when fortunate enough to have them, sorely
It is here well enough to state that two or three
months later the President relieved Scofield from his
Missouri command and sent him to the front in the
South, much to the betterment of his military repu
tation, and doubtless to his own personal gratifica
tion. Rosecrans was made his successor. Among
the earliest things he did was the bringing into the
State of a considerable force of Federal troops under
Generals Pleasanton and A. J. Smith. These were
sent through the State. The effect was almost
magical. Some of the guerrilla bands went South
to join Price, but the most of them dissolved and
disappeared. Their members, doubtless, went back
to their former occupations, and that was the last of
them. Missouri was pacified.
But were the Missouri Radicals so far disheartened
by their rebuffs from the President that they gave
up the fight? Not a bit of it. There was a tribunal
in some respects higher than the President, and to
that they resolved to go. The National Republican
Convention to nominate a successor to Mr. Lincoln
was approaching, and they decided to appeal to it
in a way that would compel a decision between them
and the President. They appointed a delegation to
the convention, which they instructed for General
Grant. The Claybanks also appointed a delegation,
which they instructed for Mr. Lincoln, and thus the
issue was made. The convention, although nominat
ing Mr. Lincoln by a vote that, outside of Mis
souri s, was unanimous, admitted the Charcoals and
excluded the Claybanks by the remarkable vote of
four hundred and forty to four.
While of no special consequence, some rather
humorous experiences in connection with the events
just spoken of may not be lacking in interest or
altogether out of place in a work like this.
Before leaving Missouri for the National Repub
lican Convention, which was held in Baltimore, June
8, 1864, the Radical delegates, including the writer,
decided to go by way of Washington and call upon
the President, thinking that, as there was a contest
ahead with his professed Missouri supporters, a bet
ter understanding with him might be of advantage.
As they were pledged to vote for another man, such
a proceeding on their part was certainly somewhat
audacious; nevertheless, Mr. Lincoln received us
graciously and listened patiently to what we had
"Mr. President," said one of the delegates, "if
you were to go out to Missouri you would find your
best friends as well as practically all the good Re
publicans of the State on our side of the dividing
1 70 The Abolitionists
"Well," remarked the President very deliberately,
"in speaking of dividing lines, the situation in Mis
souri recalls the story of the old man who had an
unruly sow and pigs. One day, when they escaped
from their enclosure and disappeared, he called his
boys and started out to hunt the runaways. Up
one side of the creek they went; but while they dis
covered plenty of tracks and rootings, they found
no hogs. Now let us go over to the other side of
the creek, said the old gentleman; but the result
was the same many signs but no pigs. Confound
those swine! exclaimed the old man, they root
and root on both sides, but it s mighty hard to find
them on either.
We, of course, were left to make the application
to ourselves, and that was all the satisfaction we got.
Being greatly elated over our victory in the con
vention, and thinking it settled some, if not all,
disputed points, we decided to return by way of
Washington and again call on the President. We
wanted to come to some sort of understanding with
him. As we had just voted against his nomination
such a step may have been more audacious than our
previous action. But, for all that, a pretty late
hour on the night of the convention found us at the
door of the President s room, seeking an inter
view that had been promised us in answer to a
Now, we had in our delegation a gentleman who
was accustomed to imbibe somewhat freely on
occasions like that. He had pushed himself to the
front, and, when the door opened for us, in he
rushed shouting: "Mr. President! Mr. President!
Mr. President ! we have found that old sow and pigs
for you! "
The President, who was standing on the opposite
side of the room, looked somewhat startled at first ;
but as he evidently recalled the illustration he had
given to us, and which was being returned to him,
a broad grin went over his face, although nothing
further was said about the swine. But the incident
was disastrous to our business. We were relying
on a prominent St. Louis lawyer, who was with us,
to present our case in a calm and impressive way;
but he, taking offense at being so unceremoniously
forestalled, kept his intended speech to himself.
His dignity was hurt, and he had nothing to say.
In fact, he walked away and left us. The result
was that our claims were rather lamely presented,
except by the first speaker, and we left the official
presence not a little chagrined and with no favorable
assurance having been obtained.
By all recognized party rules, when the nominat
ing convention had given the Missouri Radicals the
stamp of regularity, the President was bound to
prefer them in the bestowal of patronage. He did
nothing of the kind. At his death, practically all
of the offices in Missouri that were under his control
were held by Claybanks. These men became en
thusiastic supporters of Andrew Johnson, and, at the
end of his term, to a man went over to the Demo
cratic party, of which their leader, General Blair, was
soon made, on the ticket with Horatio Seymour, the
Vice-Presidential candidate. At Lincoln s death,
the Claybanks, as an organization, went out of
172 The Abolitionists
Very different was the treatment the Charcoals
received at the hands of General Grant when he be
came President. He made the leader of the anti-
Scofield delegation to Washington Chief Justice of
the Court of Claims. He made two or three other
leading Missouri Radicals foreign ministers and of
ficially remembered many of the rest of them. He
had been a Missourian, and it was well known that
he was in sympathy with the Radicals in their fight
Although the Missouri Radicals did not favor Mr.
Lincoln s candidature, with the exception of a few
supporters of Fremont, they gave him their loyal
support at the polls, and through this a large ma
jority in the State. They acted towards him much
more cordially than he ever acted toward them.
That Mr. Lincoln, in antagonizing the Missouri
Free Soilers, acted otherwise than from the most
conscientious impulses the writer does not for a
moment believe. He opposed them because he
disapproved of their views and policy. He said so
most distinctly on one occasion. Certain German
societies of St. Louis, having adopted a set of reso
lutions, entrusted them to James Taussig, a leading
lawyer of that city, to present to the President in
person. Mr. Taussig s report of the results of a
two hours interview can be found in several of Mr.
Lincoln s biographies. One passage from the report
is here given because it clearly shows Mr. Lincoln s
attitude toward the Missouri problem.
" The President," says Mr. Taussig, " said that the
Union men in Missouri who are in favor of gradual
emancipation, represented his views better than those
who are in favor of immediate emancipation. In ex
planation of his views on this subject the President said
that in his speeches he had frequently used as an illus
tration the case of a man who had an excrescence on the
back of his neck, the removal of which in one operation
would result in the death of the patient, while tinkering
it off by degrees would preserve life."
"Although sorely tempted," continues Mr. Taussig,
" I did not reply with the illustration of the dog whose
tail was amputated by inches, but confined myself to
arguments. The President announced clearly that, so
far as he was at present advised, the Radicals in Mis
souri had no right to consider themselves the representa
tives of his views on the subject of emancipation in that
The foregoing interview, it is well enough to
state, was long after the issuance of Mr. Lincoln s
In addition to carrying the State for Mr. Lincoln,
the Missouri Radicals carried it for themselves.
They elected a constitutional convention that
promptly passed an unconditional freedom ordi
nance. And thus terminated what is certainly one
of the most notable contests in our political history,
bringing about, as it did, the triumph of a reform
of unquestionable value to civilization and hu
manity, which was accomplished by men working
without patronage or other outside help, with no
pecuniary interest at stake, and no incentive beyond
the principle involved.
HERE follows an extract from the published
proceedings of the National Republican Con
vention of 1864, in which Mr. Lincoln was renomi-
"When that State [Missouri] was called, Mr. J. F.
Hume addressed the convention as follows:
" It is a matter of great regret that we differ from the
majority of the convention that has been so kind to the
Radicals of Missouri, but we came here instructed. We
represent those who are behind us at home, and we
recognize the right of instruction and intend to obey our
instruction; but, in doing so, we declare emphatically
that we are with the Union party of the nation, and we
intend to fight ihe battle through to the end with it, and
assist in carrying it to victory. We will support your
nominees be they whom they may. I will read the reso
lution adopted by the convention that sent us here.
[Here resolution of instruction was read.]
" Mr. President, in the spirit of that resolution I
cast the twenty-two votes of Missouri for them an who
stands at the head of the fighting Radicals of the nation
General U. S. Grant. "
The contention between the Missouri Radical and
Conservative delegations was thrashed out before
the committee on delegates, at an evening session.
Judge Samuel M. Breckenridge, of St. Louis, sus
tained the cause of the Conservatives in a very
ingenious argument, while the writer spoke for the
Radicals. The result was very satisfactory to the
latter, being, with the exception of one vote for
compromise, a unanimous decision in their favor.
That decision was sustained by the convention in its
next day s session by a vote of four hundred and
forty to four.
Anticipating that the subject would be discussed
on the floor of the convention, which was not the
case, however, I asked a very eloquent St. Louis
lawyer to take my place as chairman of the Radical
delegation and conduct the debate on the Radical
side. He declined. I then went to three or four
Congressmen who were members of the Radical
delegation and made the same appeal to each one of
them. All declined. I suspected at the time that
apprehension that a vote for anybody else would be
hissed by Lincoln s friends, had something to do
with their reticence. I had no such apprehension.
I did not believe there was anybody in that conven
tion who would dare to hiss the name of Grant. If
Grant had been a candidate before the convention
he would have been nominated.
When, as chairman of my delegation, I pro
nounced his name as Missouri s choice I remained
on my feet for fully a minute while a dead silence
prevailed. Meanwhile all eyes were turned upon
me. Then came a clap from a single pair of hands,
being the expression of a Missouri delegate. Others
followed, both inside and outside of the delegation,
176 The Abolitionists
increasing until there was quite a demonstration.
When the clamor had. subsided I made the next
move according to the programme agreed upon, and
the incident was closed.
And here it can do no harm to state that General
Grant knew that he was to receive the vote of the
Missouri Radicals if they were admitted to the con
vention the newspapers having generally published
the fact and did not decline the intended compli
ment. Grant lived in Missouri for a considerable
period, married there, and was on most friendly
terms with the Radical leaders, many of whom he
generously remembered when he got to be President.
For their action in voting for Grant, the Missouri
Radical delegates were sharply criticised at the time,
on the alleged ground that they secured admission
to the convention from Lincoln s supporters by con
cealing the fact or at least not revealing it that
they intended to vote for somebody else. The fact,
however, is that there was not a person in the con
vention who did not from the first understand where
they stood, and exactly what they intended to do.
Their Conservative contestants had distributed a
leaflet, intended as an appeal to the Lincoln men,
setting forth the instructions to both delegations.
Instead of the openly avowed opposition of the
Radicals to Mr. Lincoln s nomination being an im
pediment in their way, it strengthened them with
the convention, which, notwithstanding its seeming
harmony in his support, contained many delegates
who would very much have preferred nominating
somebody else; but who, for lack of organized oppo
sition, were compelled to vote for him. A sufficient
evidence of that fact was the presence in the con
vention of a large number of Congressmen whose
antagonism to the President was notorious. An
incident that strikingly illustrated Congressional sen
timent toward the President at that time, is given
in the Life of Lincoln, by Isaac N. Arnold, then a
member of Congress from Illinois. A Pennsyl-
vanian asked Thaddeus Stevens, the Republican
Congressional leader, to introduce him to "a mem
ber of Congress who was friendly to Mr. Lincoln s
renomination." Thereupon Stevens took him to
Arnold, saying: "Here is a man who wants to find
a Lincoln member of Congress, and as you are the
only one I know of I bring him to you."
The same feeling largely prevailed among leading
Republicans outside of Congress. Henry J. Ray
mond, of the New York Times, in his Life of Lin
coln, says that at that time "nearly all the original
Abolitionists and many of the more decidedly Anti-
Slavery members of the Republican party were
dissatisfied with the President." More explicit
testimony is the statement, in his Political Recollec
tions, of George VV. Julian, for many years a leading
member of Congress from Indiana. He says:
" The nomination of Mr. Lincoln was nearly unani
mous, only the State of Missouri opposing him, but of
the more earnest and thoroughgoing Republicans in both
Houses of Congress, probably not more than one in ten
really favored it. It was not only very distasteful to a
large majority of Congress, but to many of the more
prominent men of the party throughout the country."
The writer had an opportunity of witnessing a
i?8 The Abolitionists
peculiar manifestation of the feeling that has just
been spoken of. He attended a conference of radi
cal Anti-Slavery people that was held in a parlor of
one of the old Pennsylvania Avenue hotels in Wash
ington, a few months before the nominating con
vention. A number of well-known politicians were
present, but probably the most prominent was
Horace Greeley. The writer had never before seen
the great editor, and was considerably amused by
his unconventional independence on that occasion.
He occupied an easy chair with a high back. Hav
ing given his views at considerable length, he
laid his head back on its support and peacefully
went to sleep; but the half-hour lost in slumber
did not prevent him from joining vigorously in
the discussion that was going on as soon as he
There seemed to be but one sentiment on that
occasion. All entertained the opinion that, owing
to Mr. Lincoln s peculiar views on reconstruction,
and especially his manifest inclination to postpone
actual freedom for the negro to remote periods, and
other "unhappy idiosyncrasies," as one of the
speakers expressed it, his re-election involved the
danger of a compromise that would leave the root
of slavery in the soil, and hence his nomination by
the Republicans should be opposed. Chase was
clearly the choice of those present, but no one had
a plan to propose, and, while some committees were
appointed, I never heard anything more of the mat
ter. Two or three of those present on that occasion
were in the nominating convention and quietly voted
with the majority for Mr. Lincoln. The writer was
Missouri 1 79
the only one in both gatherings that maintained his
All this, it is well enough to remember, was long
after the President s Emancipation Proclamation
There was, however, another manifestation of the
antagonism spoken of which the public, for some
reason, never seemed to "get on to," that at one
time threatened very serious consequences, and
which, if it had gone a little farther, might have
materially changed the history of the country. That
was a movement, after Mr. Lincoln s nomination,
to compel him to retire from the ticket, or to con
front him with a strong independent Republican
candidate. According to Messrs. Nicolay and Hay,
Mr. Lincoln s private secretaries and his biogra
phers, the movement started in New York City
and had its ramifications in many parts of the
country. One meeting was held at the residence of
David Dudley Field, and was attended by such men
as George William Curtis, Noyes, Wilkes, Opdyke,
Horace Greeley, and some twenty-five others. In
the movement were such prominent people as
Charles Sumner, of Massachusetts, and Benjamin
F. Wade, of Ohio. One of the men favorable to
the proposition was Governor Andrew of Massa
chusetts. "He," says his biographer, Peleg W.
Chandler, "was very busy in the movement in 1864
to displace the President." "The secrecy," he
adds, "with which this branch of the Republican
politics of that year has been ever since enveloped
is something marvelous; there were so many con
cerned in it. When it all comes out, if it ever does,
i8o The Abolitionists
it will make a curious page in the history of the
time." The signal for the abandonment of the
movement, according to Mr. Chandler, was given
by Mr. Chase.
Almost at the beginning of the movement the
Missouri Democrat, doubtless because of its sup
posed opposition to Mr. Lincoln, was approached
on the subject. If the statements made to it were
anywhere near correct, the conspiracy, as it might
be called, had the countenance of a surprisingly
great number of weighty Republicans. The Demo
crat declined to become a party to the proposed
insurrection. It held that after what had occurred
in the Baltimore convention, it could not consist
ently and honorably do so.
There was another reason why it stood aloof.
Before the nomination it was, naturally enough,
looking out for some one who might be urged as a
suitable competitor for Mr. Lincoln s place. An
drew Johnson, of Tennessee, was then quite popular
with a good many people of radical views. The
writer prepared an article discussing his availability
as presidential timber and suggested him as a good
man for the nomination. The article appeared as a
leader in the Democrat, and was followed by others
in the same vein. The suggestion attracted atten
tion and led to a good deal of newspaper discussion.
Herein we have, according to the writer s opinion,
the leading cause of Johnson s nomination for the
Vice-Presidency. At all events, he was on the
ticket with Lincoln, and the Democrat could not
very well go back on its own man.
The new departure, as the proposition for another
Republican candidate in case Mr. Lincoln resolved
to stick might be called, that appeared so formid
able at one time, faded away without the public
knowing anything of its existence. The reason was
that it had no candidate. It had relied on Chase,
knowing the unfriendliness there was between him
and the President, but Chase said "No," and that
was the end of it.
The nomination of Mr. Chase for the Chief
Justiceship has always been regarded as an act of
great magnanimity on Mr. Lincoln s part, as well
as a clear perception of merit, it was doubtless all
that, but the actions of the two men at this time
certainly make out a case of striking coincidence.
Such things rarely come by accident.
From what has been stated, it will be seen that
the Missouri Radicals were by no means alone in
their opposition to the President s nomination, for
which they are so sharply taken to task by some of
his biographers and eulogists. They had plenty of
company, the only difference being that they stood
out in the open while the others acted covertly.
The Missouri Germans, who mostly approved the
candidature of Fremont, and some of whom refused
to vote for Lincoln, have been particularly assailed.
Messrs. Nicolay and Hay, in their Lincoln biog
raphy, even go so far as to attack them on the
ground of their religious, or rather anti-religious,
beliefs, calling them "materialist Missourians,"
"Missouri agnostics," etc., etc.
Now, after having lived among the Missouri Ger
mans at the time of our civil troubles, the writer is
impelled to say a few words in their behalf. He
1 82 The Abolitionists
does not hesitate to say that, in his opinion, there
was no body of men of equal numerical strength in
this country to whom, at that crisis, the Govern
ment and country had cause to feel under greater
obligation, and justice would require its acknowledg
ment at this time. But for them the enemies of the
Union would have captured the city of St. Louis
with its great Government arsenal, and with the
arms and ammunition thus secured would have
overrun both the States of Missouri and Kansas.
A large preponderance of the American-born citi
zens of St. Louis were Rebels. The Union people
of that city who saved the day, were principally the
"Dutch," as they were called.
A large army was needed at that point to protect
the Governnment s interests, when it had practically
no available forces. There was no law under which
it could be organized on the spot. No man could
be made to serve. No pay for service was assured,
or even promised. The army, however, was created
by the voluntary and patriotic action of its mem
bers. Nearly a dozen full regiments were organized
and equipped. Nine tenths of their members were
Germans. They did not wait for hostilities to be
gin. Foreseeing the emergency near at hand, they
organized into companies and regiments, and put
themselves on a war footing before a blow had been
struck or a shot had been fired. They met by
night to drill in factory lofts, in recreation halls,
and in whatever other places were most available,
the words of command being generally delivered in
German. The writer has a lively recollection of the
difficulties involved in trying to learn military evo-
lutions from instructors speaking a language he did
Many of the Germans of Missouri had seen service
in the Old World. They had served under Sigel in
the struggle of 1848. They found themselves under
Sigel again. It was with the step and bearing of
veterans that they marched (the writer was an eye
witness) in May of 1861, only a few days after
Sumter had been fired on, to open the mili
tary ball in the West at Camp Jackson, near St.
The same people went with Lyon to the State
capital, from which the Rebel officials were driven,
never to return. They were with Lyon at Wilson s
Creek, and with him many of them laid down their
lives on that bloody field. They were wherever
hard fighting was to be done in that part of the
country. The writer believes he is correct in say
ing they furnished more men to the Government s
service than any other numerically equal body of
citizens. So large was their representation in the
Union s forces in that region, that the Rebels were
accustomed to speak of the Union soldiers as "the
The fact that the Germans were fighting for an
adopted government makes their loyalty more con
spicuous. What they did was not from a love of
war, but because they were Abolitionists. They
were opposed to slavery. They owned no slaves.
They wanted the Government sustained, because
they believed that meant the end of slaveholding.
They supported Fremont largely because of his
1 84 The Abolitionists
And here the writer, before closing his work,
wants to say something about Fremont. He be
lieves no man in this country was made the victim
of greater injustice than he was.
It has always been the opinion of the writer that,
if Fremont had been permitted to take his own way
in his Western command a little longer, he would
have achieved a brilliant military success. He was
a weak man in some respects, being over fond of
dress parade. The financial management of his
department was bad, or, rather, very careless. Of
these shortcomings, which were considerably mis
represented and exaggerated, Fremont s enemies
took advantage, and succeeded in effecting his over
throw in the Western Department. But, notwith
standing his admitted failings, he gave evidence of
military ability. He showed that he possessed both
physical and moial courage, and he knew how to
plan a campaign. He undoubtedly formulated the
movement that resulted in the capture of Forts
Donelson and Henry in Tennessee, taking the
initial steps, but of which Halleck got the credit.
He was removed from command when in the field,
and almost on the eve of battle. He had an enthu
siastic army and the prospect of a decisive victory.
His recall gave up nearly the whole of Missouri to
the enemy, and was one of the causes of complaint
that the Missouri Unionists had against the National
Not long afterwards, with no more than even
chances, Fremont defeated Stonewall Jackson in
Virginia at Cross Keys which was more than any
of the other Union generals then in that department
could do. His prompt removal made it sure that
he should not do it again.
It was the misfortune of Fremont that his inde
pendence caused him to clash with selfish interests,
and he was sacrificed. He was selected for the
Trans-Mississippi command by the Blairs, evidently
with the expectation that he would bend to their
wishes. He soon showed that he was his own
master, and the trouble began. The Union peo
ple of his department were mostly with him, but
the Blairs had control of the administration in
As for his freedom proclamation, it was, to a cer
tain extent, an act of insubordination, but it was
right in principle and sound in policy. Its adoption
by the General Government would have saved four
years of contention and turmoil in Missouri, spent
in upholding a tottering institution that was doomed
from the first shot of the Rebellion. The President,
however, for reasons elsewhere explained, did not
at that time want slavery interfered with.
The story of Fremont s fall is best told by Whit-
tier in four lines:
" Thy error, Fremont, simply was to act
A brave man s part without the statesman s tact,
And, taking counsel but of common-sense,
To strike at cause as well as consequence."
SOME ABOLITION LEADERS
THE references that have been made to General
Frank P. Blair of Missouri have not been
complimentary to that individual. They would
indicate on the part of the writer no very exalted
admiration for or estimate of the man. In that
particular they are not altogether just. The stormy
period of the Rebellion brought out few more pic
turesque figures than his, or in some respects more
admirable characters. There is no question that,
but for the efforts of Blair, the Rebels would have
effected the capture of St. Louis at the beginning
of the war, to be followed by the at least temporary
control of the entire State of Missouri, and possibly
of Kansas as well. To that end preparations had
been carefully and skillfully made. The leader in
the movement was none other than Missouri s Gov
ernor, Claiborne F. Jackson, who was justly looked
upon as one of the most consummate and accom
plished schemers of the time. He was a Rebel from
head to foot. He had taken office with the de
liberate purpose of swinging his State into the Con
federate column, and without regard to the wishes of
the majority of the people whom he officially repre
sented. He was supported by a sympathetic corps
Some Abolition Leaders 187
of official assistants, including a majority of the
Legislature of his State, who gave him whatever
legislation he wanted. Every advantage seemed to
be on his side. He would undoubtedly have suc
ceeded but for the opposition of Blair. In him he
encountered an equal in cunning, and more than a
match in courage and energy.
When the Governor and his helpers were busy
raising an army pursuant to the conditions of a law
that had been enacted for the purpose, and which
hampered their operations, Blair went ahead in rais
ing and equipping an army on the other side with
out the slightest regard to law. The presence or
absence of a statute did not trouble him in the least.
He called on the Unionists to organize and arm, and
when a sufficient force, composed in greater part of
loyal Germans, had responded he struck the first
blow. In a legal aspect the whole proceeding was
irregular, but it was none the less effective.
When the Governor s army was quietly encamped
on the outskirts of St. Louis, for the capture and
occupancy of which it was getting ready, it found
itself unexpectedly surrounded by a superior force,
and its surrender was demanded in a way that ad
mitted of no denial. The writer was present on the
occasion. From a convenient eminence he witnessed
the whole proceeding. When Jackson s men the
rendezvous had in honor of his Excellency the Gov
ernor been named Camp Jackson were enjoying
themselves on a pleasant summer s day, sleeping
on the grass, playing cards, or escorting their lady
friends and other visitors about the grounds,
suddenly they realized that their position was
i88 The Abolitionists
commanded by hostile guns. Pointing downward
from higher ground not far off were nearly a score
of frowning cannons, behind which stood men with
burning fuses. I had watched the Union forces as
they approached. At the foot of the hill that hid
them from the camp they paused for a few moments,
and then up the hill went the horses that were drag
ging the cannons at a run. They were wheeled
when the summit was reached, and the guns thrown
into position. Everything was ready for action.
At the same time large bodies of armed men, their
arms glittering in the sunlight, were seen approach
ing from all sides on the double quick. The Rebels
were completely entrapped, and their immediate
capitulation was a thing of course. The credit for
the manoeuvres of the day was given to Captain
afterwards General Nathaniel Lyon, who was in
immediate command of the Unionists, but every
body understood that the real leader, as well as in
stigator, of the movement was Blair.
Blair had been the admitted leader of the Missouri
Abolitionists. He was as radical as any man among
them. One day he stopped me on the street for the
purpose of thanking me for a paper I had con
tributed to the Missouri Democrat, in which I had
favored what was practically immediate emancipa
tion in Missouri. He said that was the right kind
of talk, and what we had to come to. I felt greatly
flattered, because there was nothing in the article
that disclosed its authorship, and Mr. Blair had
taken the trouble to inquire about it.
Blair turned against the Missouri Abolitionists
when a decided majority of them turned against
Some Abolition Leaders 189
him in his quarrel with Fremont. They indorsed
Fremont s emancipation proclamation, which the
President, at Blair s instigation, it was charged at
the time, revoked.
Blair was a man not only of strong ambition but
of arbitrary temperament. He could not tolerate
the idea of a newcomer pre-empting what he had
considered his premises. If he could not rule he
was ready to ruin. That disposition accorded with
both his mental and physical make-up. Bodily he
was a bundle of bones and nerves without a particle
of surplus flesh. His hair was red, his complexion
was sandy, and his eyes, when he was excited and
angry, had a baleful expression that led some one
in my presence on a certain occasion to speak of
them as "brush-heaps afire."
He was not an eloquent man, although a ready
and frequent public speaker. His voice was not
musical. His strong forte was invective. He was
nearly always denouncing somebody. Apparently,
he was never so happy as when making another
miserable. Sometimes his personal allusions were
very broad. He was accustomed in his speeches to
refer to one of Missouri s United States Senators as
"that lop-eared vulgarian." That he was not al
most all the time in personal difficulties was due to
the fact that he was known to be a man of excep
tional courage. He was a born fighter. Physically
I think he was the bravest man I ever knew. I
witnessed several manifestations of his fearlessness,
but one particularly impressed me.
I have spoken of the Camp Jackson affair. Al
though the people in the Rebel encampment surren-
190 The Abolitionists
dered without a blow, the incident was attended
with considerable bloodshed. A mob of Rebel sym
pathizers, consisting largely of half-grown boys I
was in the midst of the throng at the time with
their pistols opened fire on a German Union regi
ment and killed several of its men. The troops, in
return, poured a volley into the crowd of spectators
from which the shots had come, killing or wounding
over forty persons, the most of them, as is usual in
such cases, being inoffensive onlookers. A man
standing beside me and, like myself, a spectator,
had the top of one ear clipped off by a Minid ball as
cleanly as if it had been done with a knife. I found
when, soon afterwards, I reached the business center
of the city, where the Rebel element then largely
predominated, that the story of the tragedy had
swelled the number of the victims to one thousand.
Intense excitement and the most furious indignation
prevailed. Hundreds of men, with flaming faces,
were swearing the most dreadful oaths that they
would shoot Frank Blair, whom they seemed to re
gard as wholly responsible, on sight. Many of them
were flourishing pistols in confirmation of thc>ir
bloody purpose. Just then the attention of the
crowd was drawn to an unusual spectacle. Down
Fourth Street, which was then the leading business
avenue of St. Louis, and at that time densely packed
with the excited people, came the Union soldiers
with the prisoners from Camp Jackson on their way
to the United States Arsenal grounds. At the head
of the procession marched the men of the First Mis
souri volunteer regiment, their guns "aport" and
ready for immediate service, and at their head the
Some Abolition Leaders 19*
only mounted man in the regiment, according to
my recollection rode their Colonel, who was Frank
Blair. He was in full uniform, which made him
still more conspicuous. No better target could
have been offered. I watched the audacious man,
expecting to hear a shot at any moment from the
sidewalk, or from a window of one of the high build
ings lining the street, and to see him topple from
his saddle. He understood very well the danger he
was braving. He knew that in that throng, where
everybody was armed, there were hundreds toying
with the triggers of their guns, and trying to muster
sufficient courage to shoot him down. Slowly, and
as calmly as if on ordinary dress parade, he led the
way until he passed out of sight. I thought then,
and still think, it was the pluckiest thing I ever
The effect of the breaking up and capture of Camp
Jackson was something wonderful. Up to that time,
the Rebels of St. Louis and their sympathizers had
been very demonstrative. In portions of the city
the Rebel cockade, which was a red rosette pinned
to the side of the hat, was conspicuous, and any one
not displaying that decoration was in danger of
having his hat smashed upon his head. After Camp
Jackson s surrender, I never saw a Rebel cockade
openly worn in St. Louis.
At the same time there was an extensive shifting
of positions. A good many men of prominence and
wealth, who had been leaning over towards the
South, suddenly straightened up, and not a few of
them showed a strong inclination the other way.
Some of the evolutions they executed were amusing.
i9 2 The Abolitionists
One of the first to discuss with the writer the Union
defeat at Bull Run was a former United States
Government official. He was tremendously excited
and correspondingly exultant. After describing how
the Southerners had vanquished the Government s
men, and particularly how the South Carolina
"black horse" had ridden them down in deadly
slaughter, he cried out, "That s the way we will
give it to you fellows all the time."
Not very long afterwards General Grant, having
entered Tennessee, and captured Fort Donelson,
and many prisoners, was about to visit St. Louis,
and the leading Unionists there decided to give him
a grand reception and an elaborate dinner. Money
had to be raised, and among those I met who were
soliciting it was my ex-Government-official friend.
He was fully as happy as he had been before, when
the Fort Donelson affair was alluded to. "Did n t
we give it to those fellows down there?" he ex
Out in western Missouri was a young lawyer of
great ambition and considerable promise. He was
afterwards a member of Congress. Like a good
many others he was at first puzzled to know what
course to take. In his dilemma he concluded to
consult an old politician in that section who was
much famed for his sagacity, and who bore the
military title of General.
"If you contemplate remaining in Missouri," said
the older man to the junior, "you should take the
Southern side. Missouri is a slave State and a
Southern State, and she will naturally go with her
Some Abolition Leaders 193
The young man availed himself of an opportunity
to make a public address, in which he aligned him
self in the strongest terms with those who had gone
into rebellion. But scarcely had this been done
when Lincoln issued his first call for troops, and
among those nominated to command them was the
old Missouri General, It was announced that he
had accepted the appointment. The younger man
was amazed. He went in hot haste for an explana
"It s all true," said the General. "The fact is,
when I talked with you before, I did not think the
Northern people would fight for the Union, but I
now see that I was mistaken ; and when the North
ern people, being the stronger and richer, do decide
to go to war, they are almost certain to win. You
had better take the Northern side."
1 But it is too late, said^the youngster. I have
committed myself in that speech I made."
"Oh! as for that matter," was the reply, "it s
of very little consequence if you have committed
yourself. It s easy to make a speech on the other
side and take the first one back. Nobody looks for
consistency in times like these."
Many Missourians, as well as many citizens of
other border slave States, at the beginning of the
trouble advocated a policy of neutrality. They saw
no necessity for taking sides. I was at a meeting
out in the interior of Missouri, where many citizens
had come together to consult as to the policy they
had better pursue. Among them was an old gentle
man who seemed to be looked upon by his neighbors
as a regular Nestor. He was called upon for his
194 The Abolitionists
views. "Gentlemen," said he, "we have got to
take sides and maintain our neutrality."
In that section of the country was another distin
guished and unique personage who conspicuously
figured in the events that are here being dealt with.
I knew him intimately. I now refer to James H.
Lane, who was better known as "Jim Lane," of
Kansas. Like Blair, Lane was a born leader of
men, and a leader under exceptional conditions.
He was generally credited with being a fighter a
dare-devil, in fact and a desperado; but in the
writer s opinion he was by no means Blair s equal
in personal courage. He had a great deal to do in
raising troops and organizing military movements,
but he did not go to the front. His fighting was
chiefly in "private scraps," in one of which he killed
His paramount ability was as a talker rather than
as a fighter. He was an orator, and his oratory was
of a kind that was exactly suited to his surround
ings. No man could more readily adapt himself to
the humor of his hearers. He knew precisely how
to put himself on their level. I have seen him face
an audience that was distinctly unfriendly, that
would scarcely give him a hearing; and in less than
half an hour every man in the crowd would be
shouting his approval. He could go to his hearers
if he could not bring them to him. I witnessed one
of his performances in that line.
He was a candidate for re-election to the United
States Senate. There was one rival that he particu
larly feared. The man was the late General Thomas
Ewing, then a resident of Kansas. At that particu-
Some Abolition Leaders 195
lar time he was in the Army and the commandant of
the St. Louis District in Missouri. Lane came to
St. Louis and had a talk with the writer, freely ad
mitting his dread of Ewing and asking for the Mis-
souri Democrat s support. Having a considerable
admiration for Lane as well as a liking for the man,
I promised him such assistance as I could reason
ably give. It happened to be at the time when
General Sterling Price, in making his last raid into
Missouri, was threatening St. Louis with an army
of nearly twenty thousand men, and there was no ad
equate opposing force at hand. Ewing, with barely
a tenth as many troops, went to the front and he
roically engaged the enemy. With no protection
but the walls of a little mud fort he succeeded in
repelling the attack of his powerful adversary. That
timely action probably saved St. Louis.
At this particular time it was arranged that there
should be a meeting of the Republicans of St. Louis
it was in the midst of an exciting presidential
campaign at which Lane was to be the principal
speaker. The meeting was held and Lane was
addressing a large audience with great acceptance
when the news of Ewing s achievement was received.
It was then customary, when war intelligence
arrived in the course of any political gathering, and
sometimes of religious gatherings, to suspend all
other proceedings until it had been announced and
the audience had time enough to manifest its feeling
on the subject.
Lane was in the midst of an eloquent passage
when he was interrupted by the arrival of the news
referred to. He stepped back, and the news-bearer,
196 The Abolitionists
taking his place, proceeded to give a graphic de
scription of Ewing s performance, concluding with a
glowing eulogy on that personage, and which was
received with tremendous cheering. Understand
ing Lane s feelings towards Ewing, I watched his
face while these events were passing. It plainly
showed his vexation. It was almost livid with sup
pressed emotion. But the time for him to resume
his address had come. What would he do was
the question I asked myself. lie answered it very
promptly. Jauntily stepping forward with his
countenance fairly wreathed in smiles, he exclaimed,
Ladies and gentlemen, that is glo-o-orious news
for us, but it s ter-r-r-ible for the other fellows."
Lane s enemies were confident they had him
beaten as a candidate for the Senate. He had done
certain things that rendered him unpopular with his
constituents. So certain were they that they did
not think it necessary to make an effort, and, in
conse -once, remained inactive. Not so with Lane.
He quietly waited until a few days before the choos
ing of the Legislature that was to decide on his case,
and then he entered on a lightning canvass. Ar
ranging for relays of fast horses it was before the
days of railroads in Kansas he began a tour that
would bring him practically face to face with every
voter in the State. He traveled and spoke both
by day and by night. Sometimes he addressed as
many as a dozen audiences in twenty-four hours.
The excitement attending his progress was great.
Men came many miles to hear him, sometimes
bringing their families with them. He succeeded in
completely revolutionizing public opinion. It was
Some Abolition Leaders 197
too late for his adversaries to attempt a counter-
movement, and the result was that Lane was re-
elected by an almost unanimous vote.
There was no doubt about Lane s attitude on
the slavery question. He was not only a radical
Abolitionist, but the acknowledged leader of the
Free-State men of Kansas. He recognized no right
of property in man, as many Missouri slaveholders
learned to their sorrow. I was present when he
congratulated a Kansas regiment that had just re
turned from a raid into Missouri, bringing many
black people with it. 4 Fellow soldiers, he shouted,
"you entered Missouri a white body, but you have
returned surrounded by a great black cloud. It is
the work of the Lord."
There was another man whose name, the author
thinks, properly belongs under the heading of this
chapter, and to whom, on account of pleasant per
sonal recollections, he would like to refer. He was
not a fighter like Blair and Lane, with whom his life
was in striking contrast. He was essentially a man
of peace. He was a Quaker. Although born in
Kentucky he was an Abolitionist. I now refer to
Levi Coffin of Cincinnati, who was credited with
successfully assisting over three thousand runaway
slaves on their way to freedom, and, in consequence,
became distinguished among both friends and foes
as the "President of The Underground Railroad. "
The most remarkable thing in his case was his im
munity from legal punishment. The slaveholders
knew very well what he was doing, but so expert
was he in hiding his tracks that they could never get
their clutches upon him.
198 The Abolitionists
I had rather an amusing experience with Coffin.
Having when a boy heard so much about him, I
was anxious to see him and make his acquaintance.
On the occasion of a visit to Cincinnati, with a letter
of introduction from an acquaintance of Coffin, I
went to his office, but not without trepidation. I
found the great man engaged in a conversation with
some one, his back being toward me, as I took my
stand just inside of his door. How he became aware
of my presence I don t know I certainly made no
noise to attract him but he certainly knew I was
there. Suspending the conversation in which he
was engaged he was seated in a revolving chair-
he suddenly turned so as to confront me, and silently
looked me over. At last he arose, and, stepping
up to me, lifted my hat with one hand, and laid the
other upon my head. I understood very well what
his movements meant. He was looking for outward
evidences of negro blood. So far as my complexion
went a suspicion of African taint might very well
have been entertained. I had been assisting my
father in harvesting his wheat crop, and my face
and hands had a heavy coating of tan, but my hair
was straight and stiff. I could see that the old
gentleman was puzzled. Not a word, so far, had
been spoken on either side.
"Where is thee from?" was the question that
broke the silence.
I answered that I was from Clark County, mean
ing Clark County, Ohio.
Coffin, however, evidently thought I referred to
Clark County, Kentucky, from which there had been
many fugitives, and that settled the matter in b is mind.
Some Abolition Leaders 199
"But, my boy, thee seems to have had a good
home," continued the old gentleman as he looked
over my clothes and general appearance. "Why is
thee running away?"
Then came the explanation and the solemn Quaker
indulged in a hearty laugh. He remarked that he
knew my family very well by reputation, and that
he had met my father in Abolitionist conventions
meetings he called them.
Then he invited me to go to his home and break
bread with him. I vainly tried to decline. The
old man would accept no excuse.
"Thy father would not refuse my hospitality."
That settled the matter, and I accompanied my
entertainer to his domicile. I was glad that I did
so, as it gave me the opportunity to see and greet
Coffin s wife, who was a charming elderly Quaker
lady. She had gained a reputation as a helper of
the slave almost equal to that of her husband.
When runaways set out on their venturesome
journeys, they were generally very indifferently
equipped. Ordinarily they had only the working
garments they wore on the plantations, and these
furnished but slight relief for a condition very near
to nudity. Mrs. Coffin set apart a working room
in her house, and there sympathizers of both races
joined her in garment-making, the result being that
very few fugitives left Cincinnati without being de
At the Coffin table were several guests beside
myself. One was a colored man. He had been a
slave, I learned, but his freedom had been pur-
chased, largely through the Coffins efforts.
200 The Abolitionists
After I left the Coffin mansion, I remembered
my unused letter of introduction, which I had
altogether forgotten. It was no longer called for.
ROLLS OF HONOR
THE first honors of Abolitionism unquestionably
belong to the organizers of the first societies
formed for its promotion. The first of these in the
order of time was the New England Anti-Slavery
Society, which came into being on the first day of
January, 1832. William Lloyd Garrison was chief
promoter and master spirit. It consisted at the out
set of twelve men, and that was not the only evidence
of its apostolic mission. It was to be the forerunner
in an ever-memorable revolution. The names of
the twelve subscribers to its declaration of views
and aims will always have a place in American his
tory. They were William Lloyd Garrison, Oliver
Johnson, William J. Snelling, John E. Fuller, Moses
Thatcher, Stillman E. Newcomb, Arnold Buffum,
John B. Hall, Joshua Coffin, Isaac Knapp, Henry
K. Stockton, and Benjamin C. Bacon.
As a suggestion from, rf not an offshoot of, the
New England organization, came the National Anti-
Slavery Society, which was organized in Philadel
phia in 1834. It was intended that the meeting of
its promoters should be held in New York, but so
intense was the feeling against the Abolitionists in
that city that no suitable room could there be
202 The Abolitionists
found, and the "conspirators," as they were called
by their enemies, were compelled to seek for accom
modation and protection among the Philadelphia
In that circumstance there was considerable sig
nificance. Two great declarations of independence
have issued from Philadelphia. One was for po
litical freedom ; the other was for personal freedom.
One was for the benefit of its authors as well as of
others. The other one was wholly unselfish. Which
had the loftier motive?
Ten States were represented in the Philadelphia
meeting, which, considering the difficulties incident
to travel at that time, was a very creditable showing.
One man rode six hundred miles on horseback to
The following is the list of those in attendance,
who became subscribers to the declaration that was
David Thurston, Nathan Winslow, Joseph South-
wick, James F. Otis, Isaac Winslow.
Daniel Southmayd, Effingham C. Capron, Amos
Phelps, John G. Whittier, Horace P. Wakefield,
James Barbadoes, David T. Kimball, Jr., Daniel
E. Jewitt, John R. Campbell, Nathaniel Southard,
Arnold Buffum, William Lloyd Garrison. -
Rolls of Honor 203
John Prentice, George W. Benson.
Samuel J. May, Alpheus Kingsley, Edwin A.
Stillman, Simeon Joselyn, Robert B. Hall.
Beriah Green, Lewis Tappan, John Rankin, Wil
liam Green, Jr., Abram T. Cox, William^oodell,
Elizur /Wright, Jr., Charles W. Denison, John
Jonathan Parkhurst, Chalkly Gillinghamm, John
McCullough, James White.
Evan Lewis, Edwin A. Altee, Robert Purviss,
James McCrummill, Thomas Shipley, Bartholomew
Fussell, David Jones, Enoch Mace, -John McKim,
Anson Vickers, Joseph Loughead, Edward P. Altee,
Thomas Whitson, John R. Sleeper, John Sharp, Jr.,
Milton Sutliff, Levi Sutliff, John M. Sterling.
The writer finds it quite impossible to carry out
the idea with which this chapter was begun, which
was to furnish a catalogue embracing all active Anti-
Slavery workers who were Abolitionists. Space
204 The Abolitionists
does not permit. He will therefore condense by
giving a portion of the list, the selections being dic
tated partly by claims of superior merit, and partly
As representative men and women of the East
chiefly of New England and New York he gives
David Lee Child, of Boston, for some time editor
of the National Anti-Slavery Advocate. He was
the husband of Lydia Maria Child, who wrote the
first bound volume published in this country in
condemnation of the enslavement of "those people
called Africans"; Samuel E. Sewell, another Bos-
tonian and a lawyer who volunteered his services in
cases of fugitive slaves; Ellis Gray Lowell, another
Boston lawyer of eminence ; Amos Augustus Phelps,
a preacher and lecturer, for whose arrest the slave
holders of New Orleans offered a reward of ten
thousand dollars; Parker Pillsbury, another preacher
and lecturer, who at twenty years of age was the
driver of an express wagon, and with no literary edu
cation, but who, in order that he might better plead
the cause of the slave, went to school and became a
noted orator; Theodore Weld, who married Ange
lina Grimke, the South Carolina Abolitionist, and
who as an Anti-Slavery advocate was excelled, if
he was excelled, only by Henry Ward Beecher and
Wendell Phillips ; Henry Brewster Stanton, a very
vigorous Anti-Slavery editor and the husband of
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the champion of women s
rights; Theodore Parker, the great Boston divine;
O. B. Frothingham, another famous preacher;
Thomas Wentworth Iligginson, the writer; Samuel
Rolls of Honor 205
Johnson, C. L. Redmond, James Monroe, A. T.
Foss, William Wells Brown, Henry C. Wright, G.
D. Hudson, Sallie Holley, Anna E. Dickinson,
Aaron M. Powell, George Brodburn, Lucy Stone,
Edwin Thompson, Nathaniel W. Whitney, Sumner
Lincoln, James Boyle, Giles B. Stebbins, Thomas
T. Stone, George M. Putnam, Joseph A. Howland,
Susan B. Anthony, Frances E. Watkins, Loring
Moody, Adin Ballou, W. H. Fish, Daniel Foster,
A. J. Conover, James N. Buffum, Charles C. Bur-
leigh, Williamf Goodell, Joshua Leavitt, Charles M.
Denison, Isaac Hopper, Abraham L. Cox.
To the above should be added the names of Alvin
Stewart of New York, who issued the call for the
convention that projected the Liberty party, and of
John Kendrick, who executed the first will including
a bequest in aid of the Abolition cause.
And here must not be omitted the name of John
P. Hale, of New Hampshire, who was a candidate
for the Presidency on the Liberty party ticket,
and also a conspicuous member of the U. S.
Going westward, we come to Ohio, which became,
early in the movement, the dominating center of H
Abolitionist influence. Salmon P. Chase was there.
James G. Birney, after being forced out of Kentucky,
was there. Ex-United States Senator Thomas
Morris, a candidate for the Vice-Presidency on the
Liberty party ticket, was there. Leicester King
and Samuel Lewis, Abolition candidates for the
governorship of the State, were there. Joshua^R.
Giddings and United States Senator Ben. Wade
206 The Abolitionists
One great advantage the Ohio Abolitionists en-
joyed was that they were harmonious and united.
In the East that was not the case. There was a
bitter feud between the Garrisonians, who relied on
moral suasion, and the advocates of political action.
All Ohio Abolitionists were ready and eager to em-
ploy the ballot.
There is another name, in speaking of Ohio, that
must not be omitted. Dr. Townsend was the man
who made Salmon P. Chase a United States Sena
tor, and at a time when the Abolition voting strength
in Ohio was a meager fraction in comparison with
that of the old parties numbering not over one in
twenty. It happened to be a time when the old
parties the Whigs and the Democrats had so
nearly an equal representation in the State Legis
lature that Townsend, who was a State Senator,
and two co-operating members, held a balance of
power. Both parties were exceedingly anxious to
control the Legislature, as that body, under the State
constitution then in force, had the distribution of a
great deal of patronage. The consideration for the
deciding vote demanded by Townsend and his asso
ciates was the election of Chase to the Senate.
They and the Democrats made the deal. Naturally
enough, the Whigs expressed great indignation
until it was shown that they had offered to enter
into very much the same arrangement.
Some years before the events just spoken of,
Townsend had been a medical student in Cincinnati.
One day he stepped into the courthouse, where a
fugitive-slave case was being tried. There he lis
tened to an argument from Salmon P. Chase, the
Rolls of Honor 207
negro s defender, that made an Abolitionist of him.
The senatorial incident naturally followed.
There was another Ohioan not an individual this
time, but an institution that will always hold a
high place in the annals of Abolitionism. Oberlin
College was a power in the land. It had a corps of
very able professors who were, without exception,
active Anti-Slavery workers. They regarded them
selves as public instructors as well as private teachers.
There was scarcely a township in Ohio that they did
not visit, either personally or through their disciples.
They were as ready to talk in country schoolhouses
as in their own college halls. Of course, they were
violently opposed. Mobs broke up their meetings
very frequently, but that only made them more
persistent. Their teachings were viciously misrep
resented. They were accused of favoring the inter
marriage of the races, and parents were warned, if
they sent their children to Oberlin, to look out for
colored sons-in-law and daughters-in-law. For such
slanders, however, the men and women of Oberlin
for both sexes were admitted to faculty and classes
seemed to care no more than they did for pro-
. There is another name which, although it belongs
exclusively neither to the East nor to the West, to
the North nor to the South, should not be omitted
from a record ilke this. Doctor Gamaliel Bailey re-"
sided in the District of Columbia, and issued the
National Era from Washington city.
Although a journal of small folio measurement
and issued but once a week, it was for a considerable
time the most influential organ of the Abolitionists.
208 The Abolitionists
Its circulation was large and its management very
able. Of course, it took no little courage and judg
ment to conduct such a publication in the very
center of slaveholding influence, and more than
once it barely escaped destruction by mobs.
If there was nothing else to his credit there was
one thing accomplished by the Era s owner that
entitles him to lasting remembrance. He was the
introducer, if not the real producer, of Uncle Toms
Cabin. It first appeared in the Era in serial num
bers. It is perfectly safe to say that no other news
paper in the country, of any standing, would have
touched it. Without Dr. Bailey s encouragement
the work would not have been written. This was
admitted by Mrs. Stowe.
Up to this point the people whose names have
been mentioned in these pages have, to a certain
extent, been public characters and leaders. They
were generals, and colonels, and captains, and orderly
sergeants, in the army of emancipation. There were,
also, privates in the ranks whose services richly de
serve to be commemorated, showing, as they do,
the character of the works they performed. The
writer cannot resist the temptation to refer to two
of them in particular, although, doubtless, there
were many others of equal merit. A reason for the
preference he shows in this case, that will not be
misunderstood, is the fact that one of the men was
his uncle and the other his father.
James Kedzie and John Hume were plain country
farmers residing in southwestern Ohio, neither
very rich nor very poor. They were natives of
Scotland, and stating that fact is almost equivalent
Rolls of Honor 209
to saying they were Abolitionists. None of the
Scotch of the writer s personal knowledge, at the
period referred to, were otherwise than strongly
Anti-Slavery. There are said to be exceptions to
all rules, and there was one in this instance. He
was a kinsman of the author, and a "braw " young
Scotchman who came over to this country with the
expectation of picking up a fortune in short order.
Finding the North too slow, he went South. There
he met a lady who owned a valuable plantation well
stocked with healthy negroes. He married the wo
man, and became something of a local nabob, with
the reputation of great severity as a master. One
day, with his own hand, he inflicted a cruel flogging
on a slave who had the name of a "bad nigger."
That night, when the master was playing chess with
a neighbor by candlelight on the ground floor of his
dwelling, all the windows being open, the negro
crept up with a loaded gun and shot him dead.
The sad affair was regretfully commented on by
the dead man s relatives, who, I remember, referred
.to his untimely ending as "his judgment," and as a
punishment he had brought upon "himself."
My uncle, and father did not conceal their unpopu
lar views. They openly voted the Abolition ticket.
In eight years, beginning with their two ballots,
they raised the third party vote in their immediate
vicinity to eight, and they boasted of the progress
they had made.
They did not make public addresses, but they
faithfully listened to those made by others in sup
port of the cause. They attended all Abolition
meetings that were within reach. They took the
210 The Abolitionists
National Era. Not only that, but they got up
clubs for it. The first club I recollect my father s
securing consisted of half a dozen subscribers, for
one half of which he paid. The next year s was
double in size, and so was my father s contribution.
There was no fund for the promotion of the Abo
litionist cause, for which they were called upon, to
which they did not cheerfully pay according to their
All Abolition lecturers and colporteurs were
gratuitously entertained, although their presence
was sometimes a cause of abuse, and even of danger.
There were other travelers who sometimes applied
for help. Their faces were of dusky hue, and their
great whitish eyes were like those of hunted beasts
of the forest. They went on their way strengthened
and rejoicing always in the direction of the North
The men are dead, but Slavery is dead also, partly
through their labors and sacrifices. Their unpreten
tious, patient, earnest lives were not in vain. They
contributed to the final triumph of Freedom s holy
January i, 1863. WHEREAS, on the 22d day of Sep
tember, 1862, a proclamation was issued by the President
of the United States, containing, among other things, the
following, to wit:
That on the ist day of January, 1863, all persons
held as slaves within any State or designated part of a
State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion
against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward
and forever free, and the Executive government of the
United States, including the naval and military authority
thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such
persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such per
sons or any of them in any efforts they may make for
their actual freedom.
That the Executive will on the first day of January
aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and
parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, re
spectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United
States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof,
shall on that day be in good faith represented in the
Congress of the United States, by members chosen
thereto at elections, wherein a majority of the qualified
voters of such States have participated, shall, in the ab
sence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed con
clusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof,
are not then in rebellion against the United States.
212 The Abolitionists
Now, THEREFORE, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of
the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested
as Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of the
United States, in time of actual armed rebellion against
the authority and government of the United States, and
as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said
rebellion, do on this first day of January, 1863, and
in accordance with my purpose so to do, publicly pro
claimed for the full period of one hundred days from the
day first above mentioned, order and designate as the
States and parts of States wherein the people thereof re
spectively are this day in rebellion against the United
States, the following, to wit:
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the Parishes of
St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St.
Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terre
Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans,
including the City of New Orleans), Mississippi, Ala
bama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Caro
lina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties
designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of
Berkeley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York,
Princess Ann, and Norfolk and Portsmouth) and which
excepted parts are for the present left precisely as if this
proclamation were not issued.
And by virtue of the power and for the purpose
aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as
slaves within said designated States and parts of States
are, and henceforward shall be, free, and that the Ex
ecutive government of the United States, including the
military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and
maintain the freedom of such persons.
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to
be free to abstain from all violence, unless in neces
sary self-defense; and I recommend to them that, in all
cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable
And I further declare and make known that such
persons, of suitable condition, will be received into the
armed service of the United States, to garrison forts,
positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels
of all sorts in said service.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of
justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military
necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind
and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand
and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this first day of Jan
uary, 1863, and of the independence of the United
States the Eighty-seventh.
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
BORDER SLAVE-STATE MESSAGE
AMENDMENT to the National Constitution recom
mended by President Lincoln in his Message to Con
gress of December T, 1862.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives
of the United States of America in Congress assembled:
that the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures
(or conventions) of the several States as amendments to
the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which
Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legis
latures (or conventions) to be valid as parts of the said
Article. Every State wherein Slavery now exists,
214 The Abolitionists
which shall abolish the same therein, at any time or.
times before the ist day of January in the year of our
Lord one thousand nine hundred, shall receive compen
sation from the United States as follows, to wit:
(Then follows a provision to issue bonds of the United
States Government, which shall be delivered to the States
in amounts sufficient to compensate the owners of slaves
within their jurisdictions for the loss of their slave
Article. All slaves who shall have enjoyed actual
freedom by the charces of the war, at any time before
the end of the rebellion, shall be forever free; but all
owners of such, who shall not have been disloyal, shall
be compensated for them at the same rates as is provided
for States adopting abolishment of slavery, but in such
way that no slave shall be twice accounted for.
Article. Congress may appropriate money and other
wise provide for colonizing free colored persons, with
their own consent, at any place or places without the
"PRAYER OF TWENTY MILLIONS"
On the iQth of August, 1862, Horace Greeley, under
the above heading, addressed a letter to the President,
which appeared over his signature in the New York
Tribune of that date. The conclusion of Mr. Greeley s
epistle was as follows:
" On the face of this wide earth, Mr. President, there
is not one disinterested, determined, intelligent champion
of the Union cause who does not feel that all attempts
to put down the rebellion, and at the same time uphold
its inciting cause, are preposterous and futile that the
rebellion, if crushed out to-morrow, would be renewed
within a year if Slavery were left in full vigor that army
officers who remain to this day devoted to Slavery can
at best be but halfway loyal to the Union and that
every hour of deference to Slavery is an hour of added
and deepened peril to the Union. I appeal to the testi
mony of your embassadors in Europe. Ask them to tell
you candidly whether the seeming subserviency of your
policy to the slaveholding, slavery-upholding interest
is not the perplexity, the despair of statesmen of all
parties, and be admonished by the general answer/*
Abolitionism, and Republi
canism, 8, 9; end of, 150-
Abolitionist movement, v.
praise of, i; and dissolu
tion of the Union, i, 2;
effect, 2; struggles, 3; and
political expediency, 5;
convention at Pittsburg,
7 ; third-party, 7 ; vote of,
7 ; founders of Republican
party, 8 ; pro-slavery mob
bing, 9; voting strength,
9; organization, 10; lec
turers, i *:; stump orators,
ii ; newspapers, n; pre
paratory work, 1 2 ; hostil
ity to Union, 1 3 ; disloyalty,
13; treason, 13; place in
history, 15; Quakers, 16;
physical courage, 16; un
selfishness of, 16; motives,
18; persecution of, 20;
feelings against, 22; hope
fulness of, 26; first presi
dential ticket, 28; preju
dice against, 30; abuse by
"gentlemen," 32; women,
38; preliminary victory of,
47; denunciation of early,
49; leaders, 186-198.
Adams, John Quincy, 21, 41;
attempted expulsion of,
from Congress, 69-7 1 ;
speech in his own defense
in Congress, 89.
Altee, Edward P., 203.
Altec, Edwin A., 203.
Anderson "Bill," 165.
Andrew, Governor, of Mas
sachusetts, Peleg s Life of,
Anthony, Susan B., .102, 205.
Anti -Slavery, causes, 2; mat
ter excluded from United
States mails, 4; formation
of party, 13; pioneers, 49-
58; lecturers, 76-78;
orators, 88-93; women,
100-107; mobs, 108-112;
in Haverhill, 108; in Nan-
tucket, 109; martyrs, 113-
120; sentiment in England,
Anti - Slavery societies, or
ganization, 26; in New
England, 72, 74, 75, 130,
aoi; National, 76, 79, 87,
Bacon, Benjamin C. t 201.
Bailey, Dr. Gamaliel, 100,
Ballou, Adin, 205.
Barbadocs, James, 202.
Bates, Judge, 161.
Beecher, Henry Ward, 90,
142, 148; speech in Eng
land, 90-93; and Lincoln,
Benson, George W., 203.
Benton, Thomas H., 154.
Birney, Jas. G., 2, 5, 42, 56-
"Black laws" 3 s;in Ohio, 35.
Black Republic of Texas,
Blair, Gen. Frank P., 158,
186-191; and Missouri
Missouri Abolitionists, 1 88;
appearance of, 189; fear
lessness, 189; quarrel with
Fremont, 189; and capture
of Camp Jackson, 189-191;
threats against, 190.
Blair, Montgomery, 158, 161.
Bonner, Hon. Benjamin R.,
Border Slave-State message,
text of, 213-214.
Boyle, James, 205.
Bradley, John, 135.
Breckenridge, 152; factions,
Breckenridge, Judge Samuel
Brodburn, George, 205.
Brown, B. Gratz, 155.
Brown, John, 45, 113.
Brown, William Wells, 205.
Buchanan, James 153.
Buffum, Arnold, 201, 203.
Buffum, James N., 205.
Bull Run, 192.
Burleigh, Charles C., 205.
Buxton, Sir Thomas, 132.
"affair" at, 186-188; effect
of capture, 191-194.
Campbell, David, 202.
Campbell, John R., 202.
Capron, Effingham C., 202.
Carlisle, Earl of, 18.
Chapman, Mrs. Henry, 33.
"Charcoals," Missouri, 159;
delegation to President,
162, 166; fight for "Free
Missouri," 162; appeal to
President for protection,
Chase, Salmon P., 10, 13, 14.
59-61, 148, 205; financial
policy, 60; espousal of
Abolitionism, 61; and
"third party," 64; election
to United States Senate,
Child, David Lee, 204.
Child, Lydia Maria, 204.
Chittenden, L. E., 134.
Churchill s Crisis, 157.
Civil War, 1 1 ; due to Aboli
Clay, Henry, 2, 6.
"Claybanks," 159; exclusion
from National Convention,
Coffin, Joshua, 201.
Coffin, Levi, 197-198; "Presi
dent of The Underground
Railroad, .. 197.
Colonization, 128-135; Soci
ety, 128; and England,
130-132; Lincoln s opinion,
133; experiments, 133-134.
friendship for negroes, 130.
Compromise of 1850, 6.
Conover, A. J., 205.
Cotton-gin, invention of, 31.
Cox, Abram L., 203, 205.
Crandall, Prudence, persecu
tion of, 116-117.
Crandall, Dr. Reuben, 117-
Crisis, The, 157.
Cross Keys, battle of, 184.
Curtis, Geo. William, 88, 179.
Curtis, Gen. Samuel R., and
military control of Mis
souri, 163-164; charges
Democratic party, division
Democrats, 4, 7; Anti-Ne
braska, 9; of New York, 9.
Denison, Charles M., 203,
Dickinson, Anna E., 205.
Dissolution of Union, peti
tion for, a.
Douglas, Stephen A., 12;
dislike of, by slaveholders
factions, xi; defeated for
President, 94-99; and
Abolitionists, 1 53 ; hated
by slave-owners, 153.
Douglass, Fred , 112.
Drake, Hon. Charles D., 167.
Dred Scott decision, 45-46;
too late for South s pur
Dresser, Amos, whipped, 119.
I 37~ I 3 8 I due to Abolition
ists, 12; story of, 139;
moral influence of, 146;
Lincoln s reasons for, 146;
ineffective, 148; text of,
Ewing, Gen. Thomas, 194;
repulsion of General Price,
Field, David Dudley, 179.
Fish, W. H., 205.
Fletcher, Thomas C., 155.
Fort Donelson, capture of,
Fort Henry, capture of, 184.
Foss, A. T., 205.
Foster, Daniel, 205.
Foster, Stephen, 39.
"Free-Soil" party, 65.
Fr6mont, General, 151; and
western command, 184-
185; financial bad manage
ment, 184; defeats Stone
wall Jackson, 184; removal,
185; freedom proclama
Frost, John, 203.
Frothingham, O. B,, 204.
Fugitive Slave Law, 5, xax.
Fuller, John E., aoi.
Fussell, Bartholomew, 203.
Gamble, Hamilton R., 160;
and emancipation ordi-
,- nance of, 163; and military
control of Missouri, 163.
Garrison, William Lloyd, 13
21, 26, 201, 202; dragged
through streets of Boston,
32; imprisonment for libel,
54; reception in England,
131-132; speech at Exeter
Genius of Universal Emanci
pation, The, 51.
Giddings, Joshua R., 2, 6, 205.
Gillinghamm, Chalkly, 203.
Goodell, William, 203, 205.
Grant, General, 44; and
"Charcoals," 172; nomina
tion by Missouri Radicals,
174-176; capture of Fort
Greeley, Horace, 142, 148,
Green, Beriah, 203.
Green, William, Jr., 203.
Grimk< sisters, 38, 103-106,
Hale, John P., 10, 205.
Hall, John B., 201.
Hall, Robert B., 203.
Hallock s Order Number
Harrison, Wm. Henry, 5.
Hay, John, 136.
Henry, Patrick, Williams-
burg speech, 88.
ligginson, Thomas Went-
Hints toward Emancipation in
Hollie, Sally, 205.
Hopper, Isaac, 205.
How, John, 155.
Howland, Joseph A., 205.
Hudson, Professor, 35, na,
Hudson, Frederic, 89.
Hume, John, 208-210.
Hutchinsons, the, 141.
He a Vache, 133.
Indiana, introduction of sla
very into, 5.
Jackson, Claiborne F., 186;
attempt to make Missouri
secede, 186-188; outwitted
by Nathaniel Lyon, 188.
Jackson, Stonewall, defeat
Jewitt, Daniel E., 202.
Johnson, Andrew, 171, 180.
Johnson, Oliver, 73, 201.
Johnson, Samuel, 205.
Jones, David, 203.
Joselyn, Simeon, 203.
Julian, Geo. W., Political
Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 44.
Kedzie, James, 208-210.
Kelly, Abby, 38-39.
Kendrick, John, 205.
Kimball, David T., Jr., aoa.
King, Leicester, 205.
Kingsley, Alpheus, 203.
Knapp, Isaac, 201.
Lane, James H., 194-197;
canvas for U. S. Senator,
196-197; attitude on sla
Lawrence, city of, capture by
Quantrell, 165; butchery
of inhabitants, 165.
Leavitt, Joshua, 205.
Lewis, Evan, 203.
Lewis, Samuel, 205.
Liberal party, 2, 3, 7, 8, 65.
Liberator, 21; first issue, 55;
South Carolina and Georgia
offers reward for its circu
lation, 55-56; excluded
from U. S. mails, 56;
office wrecked by mob, 56;
opposed to separate party
Lincoln, Abraham, 2, 8, u^
41; election of, n, 48;
Gettysburg speech, 88; and
Douglas, 94-99; debate of
1858, 94; and slavery, 96,
97; preferred by slave
holders, 98; Recollections
of, 134-135; and emanci
pation, 136-149; and Mis
souri Compromise, 139;
message to Minister Day
ton of Paris, 140; proposed
144; special message to
Congress, December, 1863,
144; emancipation policy,
145; and Aboli ti oni sts ,
147; and Free-Sellers, 172;
toward, 177; antagonism
to, 177-180; Life of, by 1.
N. Arnold, 177.
Lincoln, Sumner, 205.
Longhead, Joseph, 203.
Lovejoy, Elijah P., shooting
of, 32, 89, 114-115, 161.
Lowell, Ellis Gray, 204.
Lundy, Benjamin, 27, 50-54;
meeting with Garrison, 54.
Lyon, Nathaniel, 188.
McCrummil, James, 203.
McCullough, John, 203.
McKim, John, 203.
Mace, Enoch, 203.
against, 34-3 5.
Marshall, "Tom," 70.
and slavery, 105.
May, Samuel J., 203.
May, Rev. S. T., Recollet-
tions, 1 08.
Mexican War, 44.
Missouri, 157-185; Compro
mise, 6, 12, 139-140; ad
mission to Union as slave
State, 43; slavery contest,
67; and the Union, 159-160;
Radicals, 1 59 ; Conserva
tives, 159; "Charcoals,"
159; "Claybanks," 159;
military control of, 163-
166; guerrilla bands, 165;
pacification of, 168; Radi
cals, opposition to Lincoln,
in National Convention,
1 68- 1 69 ; delegation to
Lincoln, 169-171; Ger
mans, attacks on, 181-182;
loyalty of. 182-183.
Missouri Democrat, The, 157-
158; and Louis Snyder,
158-159; opposition to
Lincoln, 180; support of
Monroe, James, 205.
Moody, Loring, 205.
Morris, Senator, 205.
Mott, Mrs. Lucretia, 38, 102-
Mott, James, 203.
National Anti-Slavery Advo
National Era, The, 100, 207-
Negroes, prejudice against,
in North, 35; in Ohio, 36;
stronger in North than in
South, 36; suffrage, 80;
failure as freemen, 80-8 1.
Newcomb, Stillman E., 201.
Nicolay, J. C., 136.
"Nigger Hill," 26,73.
Oberlin College, 207.
O Connell, Daniel, 131.
Ohio, pro-slavery, 2 1 ; Aboli
tionists of, 21.
Ordinance of 87, 5.
Otis, James F., 202.
Parker, Theodore, 204.
Parkhurst, Jonathan, 203.
Pennsylvania Hall, firing of,
Phelps, Amos, 202, 204. .
Philippine Islands, 82-87;
slavery in, 82; massacres
in, 83; abuses in, 82-84;
spoliation of, 85.
Phillips, Wendell, 142; speech
in Faneuil Hall, 88-89.
Phillips, Mrs., 106-107.
Pillsbury, Parker, 204.
Pleasanton, General, 168,
" Popular sovereignty," 153.
Powell, Aaron M., 205.
Prayer of Twenty Millions,
The, 142; text of, 214-215.
Prentice, John, 203.
Presidential campaign of
Price, General Sterling, 160,
Prohibitionists, 2, 3, 14.
Purviss, Robert, 203.
Putnam, George M., 205.
Rankin, John, 203.
Raymond, Henry J., Life of
Redmond, C. L., 205.
Republican party, 2, 3, 7, 8;
elements of, 10; lack of
policy, io; and election of
Lincoln, 1 1 ; existence due
to Abolitionists, 12; and
negro rights, 81; and Phil-
Republican party, Coni d.
ippine Islands, 82; and
Republican Party, History of
the, Curtis, 136.
Rise and Fall of the Slave
Roosevelt, Theodore, and
Rosecrans, General, 168.
Russell, Earl 137.
Schofield, Gen. John M. t and
military control of Mis
souri, 163-164; charges
against, 164; relieved from
Secession, pretext for, 48.
Sewell, Samuel E., 204.
Sharp, John, Jr., 203.
Shipley, Thomas, 203.
Sigel, General, 183.
Slave-owners, mastery of, 32.
Slave power, submission to,
5; northward march, 13.
Slave production in Northern
Slavery, destruction of, i ;
overthrow of, 3; in ante
bellum days, 20; and Bibli
cal authority, 22; a State
institution, 27; condemned
by Washington, Jefferson,
and Henry, 31; Northern
support, 33-35, 68; spread
of, 42; introduction into
Territories, 43-44; practi
cal extirpation, 138.
Sleeper, John R., 203.
Smith, Gen. A. J. f 168.
Snelling, William J., 201.
Southard, Nathaniel, 202.
South Carolina "black
Southmayd, Daniel, 202.
Southwick, Joseph, 202.
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady,
Stanton, Henry Brewster,
Stebbins, Giles B., 205.
Sterling, John M., 203.
Stevens, Thaddeus, 148, 177.
Stewart, Alvin, 205.
Stillman, Edwin A., 203.
Stockton, Henry K., 201
Stone, Lucy, 205.
Stone, Thomas T., 205.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher n,
Sumner, Charles, 148, 179.
Sutliff, Levi, 203
Sutliff, Milton, 203.
Tappan, Arthur, 34.
Tappan, Lewis, 34, 203.
Taussig, James, 172.
Taylor, Gen. Z., 6.
Texas, annexation of, 44.
Thatcher, Moses, 201.
Thirteenth Amendment, 138;
vote on, 143-144.
Thompson, Edwin, 205.
Thoughts on African Colon
Thurston, David, 202.
Toombs, Robert, 13.
Torrey, Charles Turner, 118-
Townsend, Dr., ao$.
Uncle Tom s Cabin, 100, 208.
Underground railroad, 121-
127; confession of John
United States in Far East,
85; Army increase of, 85;
Navy increase of, 85.
Van Buren, Martin, 4; a
"doughface, ! 4; Free Soil-
Van Zant case, 61.
Vickers, Anson, 203.
Wade, Benjamin F., 44, *79
Wakefield, Horace P., 202.
Walker, Jonathan, branded,
Washington, Booker, 136.
Watkins, Frances E., 205.
Weld, Theodore W., 103, 204.
Wheeling, Va., slavery traf
fic in, 50.
Whigs, 2, 5-7, 9-
White, James, 203.
Whitney, Eli, 31.
Whitney, Nathaniel, 205.
Whitson, Thomas, 203.
Whittier, John G., 202.
vVinslow, Isaac, 202.
Winslow, Nathan, 202.
Wise, Henry A., 70.
Wrignt, Elizur, Jr., 203.
Wright, H^nry C., 205.
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