Tag Archives: National Anti-Slavery Standard

Anti-Slavery Convention Address (1841)

This is an excerpt from “the Address” produced by the Western New-York Anti-Slavery Convention, billed as “A Convention of the People” held at Le Roy, in Genesee County, New York in January of 1841 ten years after the society’s founding. Accessible Archives subscribers can read the entire Address in the January 21, 1841 issue of the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

Following the convention the Address was distributed to newspapers and other abolitionist groups. This document was produced by committees meeting over a three day period.

Western New-York Anti-Slavery Convention Address (Excerpted)

Slavery, and the slave trade in the District of Columbia present a spectacle of moral turpitude, unequaled in Christian or heathen lands. How long shall it continue? How long shall the clanking of the slaves’ chains, mingle with the voices of your own representatives, as they make their boast of human liberty? How long shall the wailing of undelivered humanity, fall upon your ears like the tolling of the bell of Judgment? How long shall the soil of the Capital, “so fair and free,” quiver with the heavy tread of the land pirate, as he drags the victim of his ruthless tyranny to the auction block, and from thence to the slave prison? How long shall the “Robber right” prevail within your own constitutional jurisdiction? How long shall your petitions be disregarded, and yourselves made the jest and by-word of those whose education has been amid the influences of slavery?

It is for you to say. The power is yours. It will be of avail, when you shall say. This monster is not easily dislodged. Ten years of hard labor ought to have taught us so. If we conquer, it must be by stern, energetic action. The groans of the slave are daily being registered in heaven, and his tears are all bottled up. Fellow citizens, will you not arise? Look upon the blighting, withering influence of such a system upon the blighting, the slave, ourselves, our children, our children’s children— upon our politics, our religion, our social and domestic intercourse –and last, not least, upon our character abroad, and then say, how long it shall continue. Our lives are gliding by, like a weaver’s shuttle, and the time drawing near, when our accounts are all to be balanced by an infallible hand. The hour of death is an “honest hour.” Then, memory, (however long she may have been steeping herself in forgetfulness,) lashed into activity by conscience— that stem monitor of the Deity, runs over the deeds of a life with terrific rapidity. We shall not forget the slave, then. Nature will then be true to her holiest instincts, and proclaim her sympathy with her kind. As we desire peace upon a dying bed, let us not, while living, forget MAN, for he that forgetteth man, forgetteth the image of his Maker. O, then, let us not falter. Let no obstacle daunt us, no opposition dishearten us; but let our voices, “loud as old ocean’s roar,” be heard pleading for the down-trodden of our race, until the clanking of the chains shall no more be heard within the limits of our mighty land. That time will come, and who will not speed it? The spirit of freedom has gone abroad, and neither conferences, congresses, nor general assemblies, can arrest her march.

National Anti-Slavery Standard was the official weekly newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist society founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan to spread their movement across the nation with printed materials. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often addressed meetings at its New York City headquarters.



Appeal on Behalf of the Amistad Africans

National Anti-Slavery Standard was established in 1840 by the husband and wife team of Lydia and David Child, who both were affirmed abolitionists as well as recognized successful writers (Lydia Child was the author of the poem “over the river and through the woods”). Using the motto “Without Concealment–Without Compromise” the Standard sought to extend the rights of slaves across the country.

Items like the one below focused on major events and topics amount the abolitionist community appeared regularly.   This plea for help for the Amistad  Africans appeared in the National Anti-Slavery Standard on October 7, 1841.

Appeal on Behalf of the La Amistad Africans

National Anti-Slavery StandardThe appeals heretofore made for funds for the defence, support and education of these Mendi Africans, have been successful, and the money, so generously contributed, has been economically expended, and with the happiest results. The sums contributed and the expenditures made have been published in the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Reporter and the New-York Journal of Commerce, for the information of the donors and all persons interested. The time has now arrived when another appeal has become necessary. Such facts have recently come to the knowledge of the Committee, respecting the native country of these Mendians, and the feasibility of their reaching their kindred and homes, if they can be sent to Sierra Leone, that it had been determined to send the whole body of them (now reduced to 35 in number) back to Africa the present autumn. They will leave in a vessel for Sierra Leone as soon as the necessary funds shall be contributed. The Committee have in view two ministers of the gospel, one white and one colored, to accompany them to Mendi, and take up their abode with them as religious teachers, so long as the providence of God shall direct; and they are desirous of engaging one or two more, to be associated with these brethren as missionaries to Mendi.

Contributions are earnestly requested. Remittances may be made by mail, or otherwise, directed to Lewis Tappan, No. 7, Dorr’s Building, corner of Hanover and Exchange streets, rear of Merchants’ Exchange. Donors, if they choose, can specify whether their donations shall go towards defraying the expenses of the passage to Sierra Leone, &c., or for the support of the religious teachers. If not otherwise directed, the Committee will appropriate the money according to their discretion.— All donations will be acknowledged, and a paper, containing the acknowledgment, sent to each donor. The expenditures will also be published, as heretofore. (more…)


Imprisonment of Free State Abolitionists

From the Pennasylvania Freeman:

Many of the readers of the Freeman are familiar with the case of Dr. Brooke, and others, of Ohio.

By the constitution and laws of that State, all slaves entering her territory with the consent of their owners, are declared free. A party of slaveholders emigrating from Virginia to Missouri with their human chattels, encamped for the night in Clinton county, in which reside a large number of active abolitionists.

Several of these called at the encampment, and informed the slaves that by the laws of the State they were in, they were entitled to their freedom; whereupon they all decamped. For this act, twenty-one persons were indicted for abduction and riot.



Rumors Among Slaves in Alabama – 1840

Perry County, Alabama
December 24, 1840

There has been considerable excitement in this State, in reference to disturbances among the black population. The impression is general among them that they are to be free, either after Christmas, or the 4th of March, at farthest.  Great numbers have been examined, but it is evident there is no organization among them—no concerted plans. Some say one thing, some another. One fellow testifies that Van Buren is in the region of Mongomery with 200,000 men to effect their deliverance. Another says, Queen Victoria is coming to Alabama with a British army to deliver them! So you see it is all “moonshine.”



The 2nd Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society

In 1840 the seven year old Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society experienced some internal and external dissent and was dissolved and reformed under the same name. Researchers studying this group should know that the society was sometimes also referred to as the “Female Abolition Society,” “Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society,” or the “Boston Female A.S. Society.”

Details on the situation, as well as some letters from the people involved, can be found in the October 28, 1840 issue of the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

The new organization published these resolutions at their October 14, 1840 meeting: (more…)