Tag Archives: National Anti-Slavery Standard
Christmas-Decoration

About Christmas Day in Boston (1867)

This letter from the National Anti-Slavery Standard’s Boston correspondent ran on January 4, 1868:

CHRISTMAS-DAY in this city seemed to be both a merry day and a happy one. The population generally appeared to be following the desires of their own hearts, and to take general comfort therein. Many, disregarding the admonition of St. Paul (Galatians 4:9-11), as they have a perfect right to do, no doubt, in these days of “Free Religion,” made a holy day of it, and assembled in their churches and meeting-houses, joining in a ceremonial more elaborate than even their customary weekly one.

Probably they had a good time, special arrangement having been made for the gratification of both eye and ear. Their sanctuaries, following the Jewish tradition, were adorned with “the fir-tree, the pine, and the box-tree together,” and skilful musicians performed for them the choicest music of the Roman Catholic Church, the best, no doubt, that has ever been performed or composed.

The Puritans, our Pilgrim Fathers, would certainly have made wry faces at all this, could it have been credibly foretold them. They stuck to St. Paul in regard to Christmas, however widely they departed from him in their observance of another day. One who has searched the old records of the infancy of New England tells us that it is set down with a grim satisfaction against the date of the 25th of December following the landing at Plymouth, “so no man rested all that day.” Mince-pie, church festivals and athletic sports were alike an abomination to them; and such “muscular Christianity” as was extant among them was the product of hard work, not at all of play.

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.
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A Platform for the Labor-Reformers

A Platform for the Labor-Reformers (1870)

After the Civil War ended and slavery was abolished, the National Anti-Slavery Standard, continued through 1870 reporting on the advances of the former slave population as well as other progressive movements like Woman Suffrage and Labor Reform. This item ran in the February 19, 1870 issue.

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.

A Platform for the Labor-Reformers

At a recent Convention in Natick of the Boston Eight-Hour League, Mrs. Rockwood offered the following resolutions:

  • Resolved, That we congratulate the workingmen of Massachusetts on the great success of our first political effort, which has thrown 14,000 vote and elected twenty-five numbers of the Legislature; valuing this not only for its own sake, but because it secures that thorough discussion of our question by the press upon which our success must finally depend.
  • Resolved, That while we consider the currency, the rate of interest, banking and a protective tariff, subjects of great importance to workingmen, and requiring at a proper time the most thorough discussion, we still believe that the shortening of the hours of labor and thus securing leisure for self-improvement, to be the first measure to be pressed, both on its own account and to prepare the way for co-operation—the only thing which will bring capital and labor into right relation.
  • Resolved, That we urge the friends of the cause that, wherever possible, all facts going to prove the practicability and success of co-operation be communicated to the public journals.
  • Resolved, That we pledge ourselves, and urge on our fellow-workingmen, to make such use of leisure for self-improvement by aid of lectures, libraries, schools and debating-societies, as will show our critics we need only a fair chance to make ourselves full sharers in the culture and development that have hitherto distinguished the capitalist classes.
  • Resolved, That we determine, and urge our friends, to resolve, to stand by and carry out the political movement so well begun.
  • Resolved, That we thank the last Legislature for the establishment of the Labor Commission, recognizing the great aid it will be to our cause, and that we ask the present Legislature to enlarge and continue it.
  • Resolved. That we join hands in the determination to ask all the workingmen of the State to help us make Massachusetts the pioneer State in this great cause wrapped up in what, in our judgment, is the success of republican institutions.

This is a practical and sensible platform, and should be received with respect. The resolutions were adopted. Speeches were made by Merssrs. Carruthers of Lynn, Steward, McNeill, Place and Bates, and Mrs. Rockwood, of Boston. A Mr. Jones sent in a suggestive and encouraging letter.


Slavery as an Educational Power

Slavery as an Educational Power

The 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. It implied not only suffrage rights for colored males, but also advocated suffrage for women. With perhaps the exception of William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator, also published by the Society, the Standard was the most influential voice for abolition leading up to the Civil War.

Slavery as an Educational Power

The slaveholders are ever seeking to cover the wickedness of their system by the pretense that it has a tendency to elevate the African from barbarism to the plane of civilization and Christianity. The President of the Republic of Liberia appears to take a different view of the matter. With every opportunity to form a correct judgment, he says, in his last message to the Legislature:

“My fear and anxieties for the last five or six years have been that the moral, intellectual and industrial training of a majority of the immigrants who may arrive here from the United States, as well as that of our posterity, bred and born in this country, will not keep pace with the advancement of the aborigines in those elements of individual and national greatness . In order to show that these fears and anxieties are not unfounded, I have only to state what is pretty generally known in Liberia, that there are thousands of natives, living within the jurisdiction of this Republic, who are intellectually in advance of at least one-half of the immigrants that arrive here annually from the United States”

This is very important testimony. President Benson proceeds to recommend that the Legislature look into the matter, and satisfy themselves whether the emigrants from the United States or the aboriginal inhabitants of the Republic have contributed most, in proportion to their numbers, to the wealth of the nation and the resources of the government.

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.
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Poisoning

Poisoning by the Use of Hair Restorers, Head-Washes, etc…

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.

In addition to news about the abolitionist movement — especially after the Civil War — the National Anti-Slavery Standard carried reform news on temperance, universal suffrage, labor reform, and items like this consumer warning about cosmetics from the Journal of Applied Chemistry that appeared in the November 27, 1869 issue.

Poisoning by the Use of Hair Restorers, Head-Washes, etc…

A constant use of the various advertised hair-washes, invigorators, restorers, etc., produce effects which inevitably, sooner or later, produces ill health, and often great bodily suffering.

Lead in some form is one of the ingredients of all these mixtures. By the continued application of these washes to the skin or scalp an absorption of lead takes place, and its poisonous effects manifest themselves under the various forms of lead poisoning.

The effects are so slow and insidious that, until the sufferer is entirely beyond cure, they are unnoticed, and in many cases even then the original cause is unknown. There is no doubt that many have gone to their graves without even their physicians being aware of the real cause of the disease.

It produces neuralgia, paralysis of some of the muscles of the face and the limbs. Many persons complain of sudden pain in the head, ear or eye, or sometimes in the shoulders, often in the fingers, not unfrequently of a numbness in the limbs, hands, or feet. Careful inquiry traces these effects to the use of some of these deleterious compounds. It is time the warning voice of the press should be heard and heeded by the thousands who are in the daily habit of using these poisonous articles, more especially as their use is making such rapid advances in this country. So many of these washes are now thrown upon the market, all professing to be perfectly innocuous, that people use them without the slightest investigation, not even giving a thought to the inevitable consequences.

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.
(more…)


Independence Hall

The Colored Youth of Philadelphia (1867)

By a Massachusetts Teacher

Among many things that interested me in Philadelphia was a visit of three hours time to an institute for colored people, of which I had never heard till about a fortnight ago, when I attended its exhibition in National Hall. This institute has been in existence about ten years. It was founded by two Quakers, who left money in their wills to form a school in which colored children and youth should be thoroughly educated from the primary up to the collegiate department. It has an excellent building, three stories high, with large halls for schoolrooms. The primary departments are on the first floor; the academic on the second; and in the third story are recitation-rooms, with blackboards all round.

The exhibition was in the second largest hall in the city. Next year it is to be in the great Opera House. Every one of its present teachers is colored. The principal is a Mr. Bassett, who was educated in the Normal School of Connecticut. He is a broad-faced, very dark mulatto, in whom the negro nearly puts out all trace of the white. Nothing can be more modest and unassuming than his manners were at the exhibition. We had a Latin salutatory, a Greek oration, and several fine English essays and poems, by both males and females, of ages from twelve to twenty years. The exercises showed wit, humor, pathos, admirable thought and eloquence, and were well delivered. The primary classes recited simultaneously, first a poem, and then a psalm, making a really beautiful exercise.

Nothing could have been more creditable than all the performances, and they received rounds of applause from an audience of two thousand people, all of whom went in by ticket. In the two days before these performances there had been most searching examinations before the trustees and some of the best educated gentlemen of the city. And on the third day before, there had been a meeting of the alumni of the institute, on which occasion there were orations and poems. I understand that these were quite a marvel, and sufficient, as Mr. Turner said, to set at rest any doubt as to the equality of the negro to the white; for pure negroes did as well as any whites do on similar occasions. I was unable to attend the meeting of the alumni, but I was desirous to see the school in undress; so, after a week’s vacation, I went to Mr. Bassett’s.

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.

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