previous next


2. ‘Cleveland’ and ‘the West’ have been freely spoken of as the locality by the Standard and other papers.

3. The Ohio friends are stronger and stronger for Cleveland, as time advances; especially Robinson and Brooke.1

4. Bradburn, who at first dissuaded us from Cleveland, now advises it;2 and Mr. Tilden, M. C.,3 has written a letter which I consider rather favorable than otherwise, as to that locality.

5. Those who have objected to Cleveland, have only suggested points farther West, not East, especially Chicago.

6. Agitation has commenced with a view to securing attendance from the Western Reserve, and, perhaps, a reduction of R. R. fares.

7. Of the signatures now received (some 700), a clear majority are from Ohio, thus showing a good degree of preparation.

8. The recent slave hunts in Ohio, under Republican4 administration, afford an admirable text; while the proximity of the State to slave States makes it a peculiarly suitable locality for a convention of national interest.

9. Burritt's convention5 will be an excellent preparation for6 ours.

1 Samuel Brooke.

2 In 1851, George Bradburn, who, after giving up the Lynn Pioneer, had been associated with Elizur Wright on the Boston Chronotype, removed to Cleveland, Ohio, and became one of the editors of the True Democrat (afterwards the Leader). He had greatly impaired his health by taking the stump for Fremont (Life of Bradburn, pp. 229, 233).

3 Daniel R. Tilden, a native of Connecticut, Representative in Congress of Ohio, 1843-47. See in Sanborn's “ Life of John Brown,” p. 609, Brown's letter to Tilden written in Charlestown jail Nov. 28, 1859. On Dec. 2, 1859, he participated in the mass-meeting held at Cleveland in commemoration of the execution of Brown (Lib. 29: 211).

4 Lib. 27.103.

5 Amid flagrant civil war, on a rapidly rising market for slave property, and at a time when steps were being actively taken to reopen the slave trade (ante, p. 411), Elihu Burritt started a preposterous movement for emancipation at less than half price, from sales of the public lands (Lib. 27: 58). According to the rule, that the more impracticable the scheme of abolition, the easier it was to secure the adhesion of the clergy at large, Mr. Burritt succeeded in putting forward the Rev. Eliphalet Nott, the Rev. Mark Hopkins, the Rev. George W. Bethune, the Rev. Leonard Bacon, the Rev. Abel Stevens, and other leading divines, together with (mirabile dictu!) Gerrit Smith, to call a convention at Cleveland on Aug. 25. See for the proceedings, which ended in the formation of a National Compensation Emancipation Society, with Elihu Burritt for its corresponding secretary, Lib. 27: 143, 148; and see for Mr. Garrison's comments on the movement and on the Convention Lib. 27: 58, 163. Burritt was thirty years behind Dr. Channing, who, interested by Lundy's personal advocacy of gradualism in Boston in 1828, wrote on May 14 of that year to Daniel Webster: ‘It seems to me that, before moving in this matter, we ought to say to them [‘our Southern brethren’] distinctly, “ We consider slavery as your calamity, not your crime, and we will share with you the burden of putting an end to it. We will consent that the public lands shall be appropriated to this object; or that the general Government shall be clothed with power to apply a portion of revenue to it” ’ (Webster's Works, 5: 366). But slavery had now become, in the Southern view, no evil, but a positive good—‘a necessary social and political institution’ wherever human society existed, to use the words of the Richmond Examiner (Lib. 27.1; cf. 28: 7, 57). The agents of the new Society would no more have been tolerated at the South than the disunion abolitionists. Even those of the Colonization Society had from the first purchased immunity solely by abstaining from any implication that slavery was a moral evil, and confining their pity to the free blacks. Senator Hayne of South Carolina, in a speech on the Panama question in the spring of 1826, became the mouthpiece of the Slave Power in a way that should have convinced Channing of the futility of his panacea. ‘On the slave question,’ said the haughty Southerner, ‘my opinion is this: I consider our rights in that species of property as not open even to discussion, either here [in Congress] or elsewhere; and, in respect to our duties imposed by our situation, we are not to be taught them by fanatics, religious or political. To call into question our rights, is grossly to violate them; to attempt to instruct us on this subject, is to insult us; to dare to assail our institutions, is wantonly to invade our peace. Let me solemnly declare, once for all, that the Southern States never will permit, and never can permit, any interference whatever in their domestic concerns; and that the very day on which the unhallowed attempt shall be made by the authorities of the Federal Government, we will consider ourselves as driven from the Union’ (Niles' Register, 30: 171). These words are proof that compensated emancipation had no chance except as a spontaneous Southern movement. The national political power which the Constitution bestowed upon the ruling caste at the South, effectually precluded the thought of such a movement. Clay's scheme in Kentucky, like McDonogh's in Louisiana, consisted in making the slave pay his full market value for freedom, and then betake himself to Africa.

6 Elihu Burritt.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December 2nd, 1859 AD (1)
November 28th, 1859 AD (1)
1851 AD (1)
1847 AD (1)
1843 AD (1)
1828 AD (1)
1826 AD (1)
August 25th (1)
May 14th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: