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‘ [87] necessary, for self-preservation, to seal up the mind and debase the intellect of man to brutal incapacity. We shall not now consider the policy of this resolve, but it illustrates the terrors of slavery in a manner as eloquent and affecting as imagination can conceive. . . . Truly, the alternatives of oppression are terrible. But this state of things cannot always last, nor ignorance alone shield us from destruction.’

The awakening interest in the subject of slavery here manifested was soon to be strengthened and confirmed. Two months later there came to Boston a young man,1 not yet forty, who had already devoted thirteen years to preaching the gospel of liberty, and had solemnly dedicated his life to the cause of the slave, and whose great and lasting glory it will be that he was the first American so to do. He was a Quaker, and his name was Benjamin Lundy. A native of New Jersey, where he was born (at Handwich, Sussex County) on the 4th of January, 1789, he went, at the age of nineteen, to reside in Wheeling, Virginia, and there learned the saddler's trade, serving an apprenticeship, and subsequently working for several months as a journeyman.

Wheeling was then a great thoroughfare for the wretches who were engaged in transporting slaves from Virginia to the Southern markets, and during his four years residence there Lundy was a constant witness of the horrors and cruelties of the traffic, as the ‘coffles’ of chained victims were driven through the streets. ‘My2 heart,’ he said, ‘was deeply grieved at the gross abomination; I heard the wail of the captive; I felt his pang of distress; and the iron entered my soul.’

Afterwards marrying and settling at St. Clairsville, Ohio, a few miles west of Wheeling, Lundy prosecuted his trade with much success, and soon accumulated a snug property. He organized an anti-slavery association, called the ‘Union Humane Society,’ which, 3 beginning with only five or six members, rapidly grew to nearly five hundred. He also wrote an appeal to the philanthropists of the United States, urging the formation,

1 Mar., 1828.

2 Life of Lundy, p. 15.

3 Ibid., p. 16.

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