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[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 plantation 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 sentiment 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 purpose. They were engaged in discussing ways and means when a young man of commanding presence and strength, who happened to be present, announced 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.

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