Tag Archives: The North Star
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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Frederick Douglass Statue

Frederick Douglass’ Long Path to the Capitol

On June 19, 2013 descendants, national leaders and officials gathered to celebrate the placement of a statue in honor of Frederick Douglass in the State Capitol Building in Washington D.C. The nearly two ton monument features Douglass holding a paper is one hand with his other hand on a lectern complete with quill and ink.

The Frederick Douglass statue in the Emancipation Hall of the capitol’s visitor center is the fourth dedicated to an African American leader — it joined statues of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Sojourner Truth.

The placement of his statue follows a a drawn out struggle between the District of Columbia and congress. In 2012, the Senate finally approved moving the Douglass statue from an office building in Washington to its new location in the visitors center. The debate over whether or not D.C. could move a statue into the capitol building centered around Republicans opposition to D.C. statehood. Prior to the Douglass statue’s placement, only states have been granted the right to place statues in the capitol.


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A Lesson on How to ‘Approach the Poor’ – 1848

A young man, of eighteen or twenty, a student in a university, took a walk one day with a professor, who was commonly called the student’s friend, such was his kindness to the young men whose office it was to instruct.

While they were now walking together, and the professor was seeking to lead the conversation to grave subjects, they saw a pair of old shoes lying in their path, which they supposed to belong to a poor man who was at work in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day’s work.

The young student turned to the professor, saying, “let us play the man a trick; we will hide his shoes, and conceal ourselves behind those bushes and watch to see his perplexity when he cannot find them.”

“My dear friend,” answered the professor, “we must never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and you may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man. Put a dollar into each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves.”


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Slaves Working in Cotton

The Myth of the Happy Slaves in The North Star

“I once passed a colored woman at work on a plantation, who was singing, apparently, with animation, and whose general manners would have led me to set her down as the happiest of the gang. I said to her, “Your work seems pleasant to you.’ She replied, ‘No, massa.’

Supposing she referred to something particularly disagreeable in her immediate occupation, I said to her, ‘Tell me then what part of your work is most pleasant.’

She answered with much emphasis, ‘No part pleasant. We forced to do it.’”


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Runaway Slave

Runaway Slaves

Few persons who are not acquainted with the operations of the underground railroads, are aware of the number of runaway slaves who annually reach this city from the South. On remarking to a gentleman familiar with these matters, that there were a great many persons in Boston who had the look of Southern runaway slaves, he stated that probably one hundred or more of this class of persons arrived in this city almost every year. Many of them are provided for in the city, and others, after a while, proceed toward Canada.

- Boston Trav.

Yes; and many of these runaways who, the slaveholder would have us believe, can not take care of themselves, are now found to be, (many of them) among the most industrious and enterprising of our Northern citizens. They evidently are more effectively stimulated by Mr. Cash than Mr. Lash.

Collection: African American Newspapers
Publication: The North Star
Date: February 25, 1848
Title: Runaway Slaves
Location: Rochester, New York

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