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Full text of "The abolitionists; together with personal memories of the struggle for human rights, 1830-1864"

THE ABOLITIONISTS 

TOGETHER WITH PERSONAL MEMORIES OF 

THE STRUGGLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

1830-1864 



BY 

JOHN F. HUME 



G. P. PUTNAM S SONS 

NEW YORK AND LONDON 

Cbe fcnfcfcerbocfeer press 
1005 



Ma. 



COPYRIGHT, 1903 

BY 
JOHN F. HUME 



Reproduced by DUOPAGE process 
in the United States of America 

MICRO PHOTO INC. 
Cleveland 12, Ohio 



Unicltetbochcr 

/ i i o5 






FOREWORD 

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 

502 iu 



iv Foreword 

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 
interest. 

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., 

July, 1905. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTKR PACK 

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 



vi Contents 

CHAPTM AGE 

XX. MISSOURI >57 

XXL MISSOURI (Continued) . . . . i?4 

XXII SOME ABOLITION LEADERS . . .186 

XXIII. ROLLS OF HONOR ..... 201 

APPENDIX 

EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION . . . .211 
BORDER SLAVE-STATE MESSAGE . . . .213 
" PRAYER OF TWENTY MILLIONS" . . . 214 

INDEX 2l ^ 



THE ABOLITIONISTS 



THE ABOLITIONISTS 



CHAPTER I 

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 

i 



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 
criminals. 



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 
crime." 

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 
expediency. 

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 
of confidence." 

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 
party. 
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 
rebellion. 

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 
Hill monument. 

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 
contrivance." 

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. 



CHAPTER II 

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 

15 



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 
their equals. 

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 

;it. 

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 
like protesting. 

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 
fought. 

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 
venture. 

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 
charge. 

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 
unoccupied. 

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 
existed. 



CHAPTER III 

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, 

26 



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 
biblical authority. 

"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 
man. 

"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 
somehow." 

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 
Abolitionist. 

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 
party. 

" 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. 



CHAPTER IV 

PRO-SLAVERY PREJUDICE 

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 
that time. 

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 
Abolitionists. 

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- 

3" 



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 
turned southward. 

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 
entertainment. 

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 
Southern outlet. 

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 
North. 

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 
before. 

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 
compulsion. 

" 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 
servitude. 

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 
wants. 

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 
back. 

"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 
lican lines. 

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. 



CHAPTER V 

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 

41 



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 
given. 

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 
want. 

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 
secession. 

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 
withstanding- 



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." 



CHAPTER VI 

ANTI-SLAVERY PIONEERS 

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 
4 49 



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 
sort. 

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 
present. 

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 
audience. 

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 
perfect eloquence. 

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 
ceeding was. 

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 
States Senate. 

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. 



CHAPTER VII 

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 
Portland Chase. 

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 

59 



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 
promise. 

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 
fighter. 

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 
the cause. 

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 
safety. 

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 
imagine. 

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 
it adopted. 

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. 



CHAPTER VIII 

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 
Quincy Adams. 

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 

67 



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 
to enter." 

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 
their sympathies. 

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 
witness : 

" 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 
whole business. 

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 
harvest. 



CHAPTER IX 

ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETIES 

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. 

72 



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 
bankruptcy. 

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 
set forth." 

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 
their lives. 

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 
their work. 

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 
disgust. 



CHAPTER X 

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 
winds. 

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 

79 



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 
Independence? 

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 
follows it. 

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 
personal. 

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 
cease. 

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." 



CHAPTER XI 

ANTI-SLAVERY ORATORS 



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 

ss 



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 
eloquence. 

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 
opinion. 

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 
speech down. 

"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 
never saw." 

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. 



CHAPTER XII 

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 

94 



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 
three antagonists. 

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. 



CHAPTER XIII 

ANTI-SLAVERY WOMEN 

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 

100 



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 
Stowe. 

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 
thing." 

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 
of safety. 

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. 
She says, 

" 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 
achievement. 

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 
treated. 

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- 
Slavery lecturer. 

"My wife made me an Abolitionist," said Phillips. 
How the work was done is not without its romantic 
interest. 

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 



107 



that he went again and again for that sort of 
entertainment. 

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. 






CHAPTER XIV 

MOBS 

^ * 

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 
of Haverhill. 

"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 

1 08 



Mobs 109 

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 
visible. 

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. 



CHAPTER XV 

ANTI-SLAVERY MARTYRS 

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 
8 "3 



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- 
sacrifice. 

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 same." 

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 
described : 

"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 
nary education. 

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 
that sanctuary. 

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 
time. 

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 
sexes. 

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." 



CHAPTER XVI 

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 



121 



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 
discovery. 

"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 
Abolitionists. 

"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 
gular relationships. 

"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 
constable. 

"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." 



CHAPTER XVII 

COLONIZATION 

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 
well-intending people. 

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 

128 



Colonization 129 

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 
ancestors. 

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 
slavery conflict. 

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- 



Colonization 131 

liam Lloyd Garrison, who was then but twenty-eight 
years old. 

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 
the world. 

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 



Colonization 133 

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^ 
colonization." 

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 ? 



Colonization 135 

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 
a year."* 

It is unnecessary to state that the Black Republic 
of Texas was a dream that never materialized. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

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- 

136 



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 
effective. 

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 
Compromise." 

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 
and laws." 

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- 



The Abolitionists 



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 
of indignation. 

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 
forty nays. 

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 
Appendix.) 

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 
blood." 

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 
movement. 

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 
history. 



CHAPTER XIX 

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. 

150 



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 
way. 

It is true that, from certain expressions about the 
danger to our national house from being "half 
free" and "half slave," and other generalizations 



The Abolitionists 



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 
they succeeded. 

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. 



CHAPTER XX 

MISSOURI 

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 

157 



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. 



Missouri 159 

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 
free State. 

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 
Claybanks. 

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 



Missouri 161 

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 
slave States. 

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 
door. 

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 



Missouri 163 

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 
pernicious activity. 

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 



Missouri 165 

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 
ransom. 

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 



Missouri 167 

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 
a discussion." 

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 
disappointed. 

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 



Missouri 169 

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 
to say. 

"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 
line/ 1 



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 
telegram. 

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! 



Missouri 171 

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 
business. 



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 
with Lincoln. 

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 



Missouri 173 

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 
State." 

The foregoing interview, it is well enough to 
state, was long after the issuance of Mr. Lincoln s 
Emancipation Proclamation. 

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. 



CHAPTER XXI 

MISSOURI Continued 

HERE follows an extract from the published 
proceedings of the National Republican Con 
vention of 1864, in which Mr. Lincoln was renomi- 
nated. 

"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 

174 



Missouri 175 

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 



Missouri 177 

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 
awoke. 

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 
consistency. 

All this, it is well enough to remember, was long 
after the President s Emancipation Proclamation 
had appeared. 

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 



Missouri 181 

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- 



Missouri 183 

lutions from instructors speaking a language he did 
not understand. 

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. 
Louis. 

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 
Dutch." 

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 
freedom proclamation. 



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 
Administration. 

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 



Missouri 185 

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 
Washington. 

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." 



CHAPTER XXII 

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 

186 



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 
witnessed. 

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 
claimed. 

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 
section." 



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 
tion. 

"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 
n 



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 adversary. 

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 
cently clothed. 

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. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

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 

201 



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 
Quakers. 

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 
attend it. 

The following is the list of those in attendance, 
who became subscribers to the declaration that was 
promulgated: 

Maine 

David Thurston, Nathan Winslow, Joseph South- 
wick, James F. Otis, Isaac Winslow. 

New Hampshire 
David Campbell. 

Massachusetts 

/ 

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 

Rhode Island 

John Prentice, George W. Benson. 
Connecticut 

Samuel J. May, Alpheus Kingsley, Edwin A. 
Stillman, Simeon Joselyn, Robert B. Hall. 

New York 

/ 

Beriah Green, Lewis Tappan, John Rankin, Wil 
liam Green, Jr., Abram T. Cox, William^oodell, 
Elizur /Wright, Jr., Charles W. Denison, John 
Frost. 

New Jersey 

Jonathan Parkhurst, Chalkly Gillinghamm, John 
McCullough, James White. 

Pennsylvania 
/ 

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., 
James ^ott. 

Ohio 

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 
by accident. 

As representative men and women of the East 
chiefly of New England and New York he gives 
the following: 

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. 
Senate. 

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 
were there. 



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- 
slavery mobs. 

. 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 

4 



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 
means. 

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 
Star. 

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 
cause. 



APPENDIX 

EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION 

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. 

an 



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 



Appendix 213 

cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable 
wages. 

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. 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN. 

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 
Constitution, namely: 

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 
property.) 

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 
United States. 

"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 



Appendix 215 

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/* 



INDEX 



Abolitionism, and Republi 
canism, 8, 9; end of, 150- 

156- 

Abolitionist movement, v. 

Abolitionists, hysterical 
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. 

"Amalgamation," 35. 

Anderson "Bill," 165. 

Andrew, Governor, of Mas 
sachusetts, Peleg s Life of, 
179. 

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, 

13- 

Anti - Slavery societies, or 
ganization, 26; in New 
England, 72, 74, 75, 130, 
aoi; National, 76, 79, 87, 
201. 

Anti-Unionist, 13. 



Bacon, Benjamin C. t 201. 



217 



218 



Index 



Bailey, Dr. Gamaliel, 100, 
207. 

Ballou, Adin, 205. 

Barbadocs, James, 202. 

Bates, Judge, 161. 

Beecher, Henry Ward, 90, 
142, 148; speech in Eng 
land, 90-93; and Lincoln, 
92. 

Bell, 152. 

Benson, George W., 203. 

Benton, Thomas H., 154. 

Birney, Jas. G., 2, 5, 42, 56- 
58. 205. 

"Black laws" 3 s;in Ohio, 35. 

Black Republic of Texas, 

135- 

Blair, Gen. Frank P., 158, 
186-191; and Missouri 
emancipationists, i6i;and 
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., 

*55- 

Border-ruffianism, 153. 
Border Slave-State message, 

text of, 213-214. 
Boyle, James, 205. 
Bradley, John, 135. 
Breckenridge, 152; factions, 

1 1. 
Breckenridge, Judge Samuel 

M., 175. 

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. 

CampJackson(St.Louis),i83; 
"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, 
166-168. 

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, 
206. 

Child, David Lee, 204. 

Child, Lydia Maria, 204. 

Chittenden, L. E., 134. 

Churchill s Crisis, 157. 

Civil War, 1 1 ; due to Aboli 
tionists, 12. 

Clay, Henry, 2, 6. 

"Claybanks," 159; exclusion 
from National Convention, 
169. 



Index 



2t 9 



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. 

Colonizationists, pretended 
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- 
118. 

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 
against, 163. 

Democratic party, division 
of, n. 

Democrats, 4, 7; Anti-Ne 
braska, 9; of New York, 9. 

Denison, Charles M., 203, 
205. 

Dickinson, Anna E., 205. 

Dissolution of Union, peti 
tion for, a. 

"Doughface,". 4. 

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 
pose, 47. 

Dresser, Amos, whipped, 119. 

Emancipation proclamation, 
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, 
211-213. 

Ewing, Gen. Thomas, 194; 
repulsion of General Price, 
195- 

Field, David Dudley, 179. 

Fish, W. H., 205. 

Fletcher, Thomas C., 155. 

Fort Donelson, capture of, 
184, 192. 

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 
tion, 185. 

Frost, John, 203. 

Frothingham, O. B,, 204. 

Fugitive Slave Law, 5, xax. 



220 



Index 



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 
Hall, 131. 

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 
Donelson, 192. 

Greeley, Horace, 142, 148, 

178. 179- 

Green, Beriah, 203. 
Green, William, Jr., 203. 
Grimk< sisters, 38, 103-106, 

204. 

Hale, John P., 10, 205. 

Hall, John B., 201. 

Hall, Robert B., 203. 

Hallock s Order Number 
Three, 141. 

Harrison, Wm. Henry, 5. 

Hay, John, 136. 

Henry, Patrick, Williams- 
burg speech, 88. 



ligginson, Thomas Went- 

worth, 204. 
Hints toward Emancipation in 

Missouri, 158. 
Hollie, Sally, 205. 
Hopper, Isaac, 205. 
How, John, 155. 
Howland, Joseph A., 205. 
Hudson, Professor, 35, na, 

205. 

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 
of, 184- 

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 
Recollections, 177. 

Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 44. 
Kedzie, James, 208-210. 
Kelly, Abby, 38-39. 
Kendrick, John, 205. 
Kentucky, 21. 
Kimball, David T., Jr., aoa. 
King, Leicester, 205. 
Kingsley, Alpheus, 203. 



Index 



221 



Knapp, Isaac, 201. 
"Know-Nothings,". 9. 

Lafayette, 17. 

Lane, James H., 194-197; 
canvas for U. S. Senator, 
196-197; attitude on sla 
very, 197. 

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 
action, 64. 

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 
constitutional amendment, 
144; special message to 
Congress, December, 1863, 
144; emancipation policy, 
145; and Aboli ti oni sts , 



147; and Free-Sellers, 172; 

Congressional sentiment 

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. 

Manumittal, arguments 
against, 34-3 5. 

Marshall, "Tom," 70. 

Massachusetts Legislature 
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, 



222 



Index 



Missouri, Continued 

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 
Johnson, 180. 

Monroe, James, 205. 

Moody, Loring, 205. 

Morris, Senator, 205. 

Mott, Mrs. Lucretia, 38, 102- 
103. 

Mott, James, 203. 

National Anti-Slavery Advo 
cate, 204. 

National Era, The, 100, 207- 
208. 

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. 

"Nigger-pens," 31. 

Noyes, 179. 

Oberlin College, 207. 
O Connell, Daniel, 131. 
Ohio, pro-slavery, 2 1 ; Aboli 
tionists of, 21. 
Opdyke, 179. 
Ordinance of 87, 5. 
Otis, James F., 202. 
Parker, Theodore, 204. 



Parkhurst, Jonathan, 203. 
Pennsylvania Hall, firing of, 

3. 

"Peonage," 80. 
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, 
Pointdexter, 165. 
" Popular sovereignty," 153. 
Powell, Aaron M., 205. 
Prayer of Twenty Millions, 

The, 142; text of, 214-215. 
Prentice, John, 203. 
Presidential campaign of 

1844, 7- 
Price, General Sterling, 160, 

195- 

Prohibitionists, 2, 3, 14. 
Purviss, Robert, 203. 
Putnam, George M., 205. 

Quantrell, 165. 

Rankin, John, 203. 

Raymond, Henry J., Life of 
Lincoln, 177. 

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- 



Index 



223 



Republican party, Coni d. 

ippine Islands, 82; and 

Abolitionism, 150-151. 
Republican Party, History of 

the, Curtis, 136. 
Rise and Fall of the Slave 

Power, 142. 
Roosevelt, Theodore, and 

Abolitionists, 1-14. 
Rosecrans, General, 168. 
Russell, Earl 137. 

Schofield, Gen. John M. t and 
military control of Mis 
souri, 163-164; charges 
against, 164; relieved from 
command, 168. 

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 
States, 31. 

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 

horse," 192. 

Southmayd, Daniel, 202. 
Southwick, Joseph, 202. 
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 

102, 204. 
Stanton, Henry Brewster, 

204. 

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, 

101, 102. 

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 
ization, 129. 

Thurston, David, 202. 

Toombs, Robert, 13. 

Torrey, Charles Turner, 118- 
119. 

Townsend, Dr., ao$. 



224 



Index 



Uncle Tom s Cabin, 100, 208. 
Underground railroad, 121- 

127; confession of John 

Smith, 121-127. 
United States in Far East, 

85; Army increase of, 85; 

Navy increase of, 85. 

Van Buren, Martin, 4; a 
"doughface, ! 4; Free Soil- 
er, 5. 

Van Zant case, 61. 

Vickers, Anson, 203. 

Virginia, 21. 

Wade, Benjamin F., 44, *79 

205. 
Wakefield, Horace P., 202. 



Walker, Jonathan, branded, 

119. 

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. 

Wilkes, 179. 

vVinslow, Isaac, 202. 

Winslow, Nathan, 202. 

Wise, Henry A., 70. 

Wrignt, Elizur, Jr., 203. 

Wright, H^nry C., 205. 



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