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James Wagoner Sold Into Slavery

This 1838  map by Joseph Gest is included to illustrate the proximity of where James Wagoner was kidnapped in Cincinnati, Ohio and sold in Newport, Kentucky   —  right across the river.

From the July 1860 issue of Douglass’ Monthly

Readers will recollect the case of Wagoner, a free colored man kidnapped from Cincinnati, taken over into Kentucky, where he and his two kidnappers were arrested and put in jail. The kidnappers were set at liberty and the free citizen of Ohio held as a slave. The particulars were copied from the Cincinnati Gazette.

DM-July-1860On Monday Wagoner was brought before the Mayor of Newport on a writ of habeas corpus, and it was proved that he was born in Ohio, of free parents, and that he had never been in Virginia. The statement of two persons from Virginia was taken that Wagoner was a fugitive slave, the Mayor so decided, and Wagoner was hurried by the Sheriff to the auction block, and sold to Dr. Foster of Newport for $100, and afterward the enslaved negro could be neither seen nor heard of.

The Cincinnati Gazette is quite aroused by so diabolical an outrage, which is but one of a series the people of that city are in a good part responsible for by their, frequent and meek submission to them. Official and unofficial kidnappers prey upon colored people there with about as much impunity as in Dahomy. Says the Gazette:

Here is a free man, a man born of parents legally freed and residing free in Ohio, kidnapped, kept in jail six months, and finally sold for jail fees while his kidnappers were allowed to escape. Of the disgraceful alacrity which certain individuals in Newport have manifested, we cannot trust out selves to speak. Not only has a grievous and irreparable wrong been done to Wagoner, but the honor of the great State of Kentucky, in whose name the wrong has been committed, has been sullied, and the dignity of the State of Ohio insulted. For an Ohioan has been made a slave by tricks which would disgrace a ‘shyster’ before that lowest of human tribunals, the Tombs Police Court in New York.

We trust our readers whose blood will be stirred by the recital of this wrong, will not forget that the Democratic party is the champion and defender of that system which this whole business is but the legitimate outgrowth. Their indignation should not vent itself in frothy declamation and violent invective, but should crystallize into efficient action.

Followup

Wagoner To Be Returned To Ohio

The Cincinnati Commercial of the 8th has the following in regard to the kidnapped and sold James Wagoner:

His purchaser, Dr. J. Q A. Foster, has given Geo. P. Webster, Esq. , Attorney in the case, an order upon the jailor of Lexington, to surrender Wagoner upon the payment of certain fees and costs. Mr. Webster leaves this morning for that place, and will probably return this evening with Wagoner, who will be placed in jail to await the next sitting of the Circuit Court in this city.

Source:  Douglass’ Monthly – July, 1860

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.
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Suffragettes

The 1848 Women’s Rights Convention Opens

The Seneca Falls Convention was the first women’s rights convention. It advertised itself as “a convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman“. It spanned two days (July 19–20, 1848) and attracted widespread attention. It was followed by other women’s rights conventions, including one in Rochester, New York just two weeks later.

This small item promoting it appeared in Frederick Douglass’s The North Star on July 14, 1848:

North Star Announcement

North Star Announcement

Woman’s Rights Convention: A Convention to discuss the Social, Civil and Religious Condition and Rights of Woman, will be held in the Wesleyan Chapel at Seneca Falls, New York, on Wednesday and Thursday, the 19th and 20th of July instant. During the first day, the meetings will be exclusively for women, which all are earnestly invited to attend. The public generally are invited to be present on the second day, when Lucretia Mott, of Philadelphia, and others, both ladies and gentlemen, will address the Convention.

Wesleyan Chapel at Seneca Falls

Wesleyan Chapel at Seneca Falls

On July 28, 1848 The North Star followed up with this extended report:

One of the most interesting events of the past week, was the holding of what is technically styled a Woman’s Rights Convention, at Seneca Falls. The speaking, addresses, and resolutions of this extraordinary meeting, were almost wholly conducted by women; and although they evidently felt themselves in a novel position, it is but simple justice to say, that their whole proceedings were characterized by marked ability and dignity.

No one present, we think, however much he might be disposed to differ from the views advanced by the leading speakers on that occasion, will fail to give them credit for brilliant talents and excellent dispositions. In this meeting, as in other deliberative assemblies, there were frequently differences of opinion and animated discussion; but in no case was there the slightest absence of good feeling and decorum. Several interesting documents, setting forth the rights as well as the grievances of woman, were read. Among these was a declaration of sentiments, to be regarded as the basis of a grand movement for attaining all the civil, social, political and religious rights of woman.

Lucretia Mott

Lucretia Mott

As these documents are soon to be published in pamphlet form, under the authority of a Committee of women, appointed by that meeting, we will not mar them by attempting any synopsis of their contents. We should not, however, do justice to our own convictions, or to the excellent persons connected with this infant movement, if we did not, in this connection, offer a few remarks on the general subject which the Convention met to consider, and the objects they seek to attain.

In doing so, we are not insensible that the bare mention of this truly important subject in any other than terms of contemptuous ridicule and scornful disfavor, is likely to excite against us the fury of bigotry and the folly of prejudice. A discussion of the rights of animals would be regarded with far more complacency by many of what are called the wise and the good of our land, than would be a discussion of the rights of woman. It is, in their estimation, to be guilty of evil thoughts, to think that woman is entitled to rights equal with man.

Many who have at last made the discovery that negroes have some rights as well as other members of the human family, have yet to be convinced that woman is entitled to any. Eight years ago, a number of persons of this description actually abandoned the anti-slavery cause, lest by giving their influence in that direction, they might possibly be giving countenance to the dangerous heresy that woman, in respect to rights, stands on an equal footing with man. In the judgment of such persons, the American slave system, with all its concomitant horrors, is less to be deplored than this wicked idea. It is perhaps needless to say, that we cherish little sympathy for such sentiments, or respect for such prejudices.

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

Standing as we do upon the watch-tower of human freedom, we cannot be deterred from an expression of our approbation of any movement, however humble, to improve and elevate the character and condition of any members of the human family. While it is impossible for us to go into this subject at length, and dispose of the various objections which are often urged against such a doctrine as that of female equality, we are free to say, that in respect to political rights, we hold woman to be justly entitled to all we claim for man. We go farther, and express our conviction that all political rights which it is expedient for man to exercise, it is equally so for woman.

All that distinguishes man as an intelligent and accountable being, is equally true of woman; and if that government is only just which governs by the free consent of the governed, there can be no reason in the world for denying to woman the exercise of the elective franchise, or a hand in making and administering the laws of the land. Our doctrine is, that “Right is of no sex.” We therefore bid the women engaged in this movement our humble God-speed.

Top photo and photo of the Wesleyan Chapel by Jen J. Walker – See more at Women’s Rights National Historical Park ~ Seneca Falls, New York.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Newspapers Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily, The Revolution, and the National Citizen and Ballot Box.
This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.
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Plan of the city of Washington.

Happy Birthday to the District of Columbia!

The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country’s East Coast. The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any U.S. state.

The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the preexisting settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. Named in honor of George Washington, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital.

From its founding via the Residence Act in 1790 until the Civil War, the question of slavery in the district was often debated.
(more…)

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Rowing him up Salt River

Candidates for the Presidency

The Whig and Democratic Candidates are thus described: with what accuracy let their friends judge.

General Zachary Taylor

General Zachary Taylor

GEN. ZACHARY TAYLOR. – And so Messrs. Clay, Webster, Clayton and M’Lean, all of whom (at least in the estimation of their friends) possess the requisite mental and civil qualifications for the Presidency, are thrust aside to make room for a miserable old slave-monger, who has no qualification of any sort, except as a professional butcher of the human race – an occupation which they do say he understands pretty thoroughly. As the pioneer of Polk’s hired assassins in Mexico, Gen. T. won an enormous sight of ‘glory’ at the fiendish massacres of Palo Alto, Monterey and Buena Vista, in a detestable war for the extension of slavery – and it is this abominable fact alone, and not the slightest personal merit on his part, that has secured his nomination. This is well understood. The old Turk is said to be the owner of an extensive sugar plantation on the Mississippi, with two or three hundred slaves, constantly driven to unpaid toil – toil so desperately exhausting as to destroy the lives of the slaves on an average, in five years. A delightful candidate for Northern freemen to support!

Lewis Cass

Lewis Cass

LEWIS CASS. – The Utica Liberty Press winds up a long article upon the Baltimore Convention, with the following notice of Lewis Cass.

“We have said nothing specially of the nominee of the Convention. Nor is it necessary. Lewis Cass is one of the most miserable demagogues alive. Gross in person – almost idiotic in visage – narrow in intellect – shrivelled in soul – vulgar in taste – treacherous by instinct – crawling in his ambition – devious in his course – truckling to his superiors – mean among his equals – domineering to his inferiors – without one particle of frank manhood in his composition – he is a Hunker of the Hunkers, pledged to veto any act excluding slavery from our free territories, ready and eager to stoop to the dirtiest work of the slave power, and is the fit tool of flesh mongers, who would blister the free soil of Mexico with the curse of negro bondage. To think of the republic of Washington being ruled by a Cass, while that of Lafayette is ruled by a Lamartine! The possibility of such a degradation palsies our pen. We stop.”

Source:  The North Star – July 14, 1848

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.

Top Image: Rowing him up Salt River - The cartoonist is optimistic about the prospects of Whig presidential candidate Zachary Taylor, here shown rowing Democratic opponent Lewis Cass up the river of political misfortune. Cass, seated in the stern, wears an almost comical frown and Taylor, plying his oars in the bow, a look of determination.

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heatwave

Town Gossip: The Heat

Last week we grumbled and chattered about the heat, because the thermometer touched 100, and this week we are inclined to do the reverse, because the same marvelous little instrument has marked 40 degrees less.

Within 24 hours, between Sunday and Monday, the change was 40 degrees, an inconsiderable matter when so simply recorded, but a very serious matter when seriously considered. London physicians, and men of science, tell us that when the thermometer falls 10 degrees in that city it kills 300 people! We think there is little difference in the localities as to the effects, but in this city we have not weighed the matter very nicely. We realize when the thermometer goes up to 100 that some 40 or 50 deaths are announced as proceeding from sunstroke, to say nothing of all those unannounced, but we do not calculate for sudden cooling off.

Let the thermometer fall, as it did the past week, 40 degrees in 24 hours, and we will venture to say, in spite of our acclimatization and familiarity with sudden changes, as many deaths will occur from it in this city as in London. Understand us; we do not mean to say that the next week’s bill of mortality will make the increase, but that the blow will have been struck, and those who are in low health, or who have been suffering, will receive the billet that will speed them to the other world.

With the advent of really hot weather comes all the little excitements that naturally accompany it. Mosquitoes, for instance, those wretched little creatures on whom man has pronounced the decided verdict that he can see into the wisdom of all things else that the Almighty has created, but he cannot see into the mosquitoes. We think the city is partially exempt from the wretched pests, but there are localities about us which just about this time we should be glad to inhabit, localities where the trees are green and waving, where the waters ripple and dance over the clean gravelly bottom, and where nature seems to have set a bounteous repast before her hungry devotees, and all is spoiled by — mosquitoes.

The idea is too terrible to contemplate, and we must drop it—and go into something else.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, founded in 1855 and continued until 1922, was an American illustrated news publication started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.

Source: Frank Leslies Weekly – July 16, 1864
Image Details: ‘A place where the thermometer continually overleaps all laws of decorum.’ – Art Young, 1892.

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