American Abolitionists and Antislavery Activists:
Conscience of the Nation

Updated April 4, 2021

l to r: Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips

Encyclopedia of Slavery and Abolition in the United States - G



GAGE, Frances Dana, 1808-1884, journalist, poet, reformer, temperance leader, women’s rights, anti-slavery leader.  Lectured on abolition and was often threatened with physical violence.  Her home was burned three times.  During the Civil War, she taught newly freed slaves and was active as a volunteer with the Sanitary Commission.  In 1863, she was appointed Superintendent of a refuge of more than 500 freed slaves at Paris Island, South Carolina.  Gage was married to abolitionist James L. Gage, a lawyer from McConnelsville, Ohio.

(Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 568-569; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 84; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 326-328; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 8, p. 605; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. II. New York: James T. White, 1892, p. 321)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GAGE, Frances Dana, reformer, b. in Marietta, Ohio, 12 Oct., 1808; d. in Greenwich, Conn., 10 Nov., 1884. Her father, Col. Joseph Barker, went from New Hampshire with the first company of pioneers that settled Ohio. Miss Barker married in 1829 James L. Gage, a lawyer of McConnellsville, Ohio. She early became an active worker in the temperance, anti-slavery, and woman's rights movements, and in 1851 presided over a woman's-rights convention in Akron, Ohio, where her opening speech attracted much attention. She removed in 1853 to St. Louis, where she was often threatened with violence on account of her anti-slavery views, and twice suffered from incendiarism. In 1857-'8 she visited Cuba, St. Thomas, and Santo Domingo, and on her return wrote and lectured on her travels. She afterward edited an agricultural paper in Ohio; but when the civil war began she went south, ministered to the soldiers, taught the freedmen, and, without pay, acted as an agent of the Sanitary commission at Memphis, Vicksburg, and Natchez. In 1863-'4 she was superintendent, under Gen. Rufus Saxton, of Paris island, S. C., a refuge for over 500 freedmen. She was afterward crippled by the overturning of a carriage in Galesburg, Ill., but continued to lecture on temperance till August, 1867, when she was disabled by a paralytic shock. Mrs. Gage was the mother of eight children, all of whom lived to maturity. Four of her sons served in the National army in the civil war. Mrs. Gage wrote many stories for children, and verses, under the pen-name of “Aunt Fanny.” She was an early contributor to the “Saturday Review,” and published “Poems” (Philadelphia, 1872); “Elsie Magoon, or the Old Still-House” (1872); “Steps Upward” (1873); and “Gertie's Sacrifice.” Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 568-569.


GAGE, James L., 1800-1863, McConnelsville, Ohio, lawyer, abolitionist.  Husband of Francis Dana Gage. 

(Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 568)


GAGE, Matilda Joslyn, 1826-1898, abolitionist, reformer, woman’s suffrage advocate, author.  Daughter of noted abolitionist Dr. H. Joslyn.

(Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 569; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 86; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 8, p. 607)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GAGE, Matilda Joslyn, reformer. b. in Cicero, N. Y., 24 March, 1826. Her father, Dr. H. Joslyn, was an active abolitionist, and she inherited from him an interest in the questions of woman suffrage and slavery. She was educated in De Peyster and Hamilton, N. Y., and in 1845 was married to Henry H. Gage, a merchant in Cicero. From 1852 till 1861 she wrote and spoke on reform measures, and was an eager advocate of the abolition of slavery at any cost. In 1862, on the presentation of colors to a company of the 122d Now York regiment, Mrs. Gage made an address in which she prophesied the failure of any course that did not abolish slavery. In 1872 she was elected president of the National woman suffrage association, and of the New York state woman's suffrage society, and she is now (1887) vice-president of each, and one of a special committee to arrange for an international council of women to meet in Washington in 1888. From 1878 till 1881 Mrs. Gage edited and published the “The National Citizen” in Syracuse, N.Y. She is the author of “Woman as an Inventor” (New York, 1870), and “The History of Woman Suffrage,” with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (3 vols., New York, 1881-'6). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 569.


GALUSHA, Elon, 1790-1859, Perry, NY, anti-slavery activist, abolitionist leader, Baptist clergyman, lawyer, reformer.  First President of the Baptist Anti-Slavery Society.  Manager, American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), 1837-1840.  Supported the Liberty Party. 

(Dumond, 1961, p. 349; Goodell, 1852, pp. 496, 499; Sorin, 1971; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 584)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GALUSHA, Elon, clergyman, b. in Shaftsbury, Vt.; d. in Lockport, N. Y., 13 June, 1859, was ordained to the Baptist ministry in early life, and served as pastor of churches in Whitesborough, Utica, Rochester, and Lockport, N. Y. At one time he was president of the Baptist missionary convention of New York. He was an attractive preacher, and one of the most widely known and esteemed among the Baptist ministers of his generation. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 584.


GARNER, Peter M., 1809-1868, Pennsylvania, pioneer abolitionist, teacher, helped slaves escape.

(Appletons’, 1888, Vol. II, p. 606)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GARNER, Peter M., abolitionist, b. in Lancaster county, Pa., 4 Dec., 1809; d. in Columbus, Ohio, 12 June, 1868. He removed to Fairview, Guernsey co., Ohio, with his parents, became a teacher, and was a pioneer in the anti-slavery movement in Ohio. In 1845, with two other citizens, he was seized by Virginians and taken to Parkersburg and thence to Richmond, and held in confinement six months, on a charge of assisting slaves to escape, but was finally released on his own recognizance. From 1847 till 1860 he taught in the Ohio penitentiary at Columbus, and during the war had charge of the military prisoners. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 606.



Chapter: “The Arbitrary Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act,” by Henry Wilson, in History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, 1872.

In January, 1856, Simon Garner, his wife Mary and son Robert, slaves of John Marshall, and Margaret, the wife of Robert, and four children, slaves of A. R. Gaines of Kentucky, left their masters, crossed the Ohio upon the ice, and found refuge in the house of a colored man, near a place called Mill Creek Bridge, in Cincinnati. Gaines traced them to their place of concealment, procured a warrant from a United States commissioner, secured the services of a deputy marshal and assistants, and went to the house to arrest the fugitives. Attempting to force an entrance, one of the party was shot and badly wounded by Robert Garner, who, with his wife, fought desperately; but they were overpowered. One of the children was found dead, two others were bleeding from severe wounds on the throat, and the fourth, a mere infant, was bruised in a most shocking manner. The frantic mother had sought to save her children from slavery by taking their lives. That desperate act excited the deepest horror, and secured for these victims of oppression the warmest sympathy, but the efforts made to save this heroic family were unavailing.

Judge Burgoyne issued a writ of habeas corpus, and a grand jury brought in a true bill against Margaret Garner for the death of her child, and against her husband and his father as accessories. But the laws and courts of Ohio were powerless in the presence of the Fugitive Slave Act and of the exigencies of slavery. Mr. Jolliffe, a veteran antislavery lawyer, labored with untiring but unavailing zeal and tact to save them. They were remanded to the custody of the claimants, taken back to Kentucky, and sent down the river. While being borne away to hopeless servitude, the mother accidentally fell, or purposely jumped, into the river. She was saved, but her child was lost; and the wretched woman expressed her thank fulness that the child was at last set free.

Source:  Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 2.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 446-447.


GARNET, Henry Highland, 1815-1882, African American, abolitionist leader, clergyman, diplomat, publisher.  Member Liberty Party.  Former fugitive slave.  Published The Past and Present Condition and Destiny of the Colored Race, 1848.  Publisher with William G. Allen of The National Watchman, Troy, New York, founded 1842. 

(Dumond, 1961, pp. 329-333; Mabee, 1970, pp. 57, 60, 61, 62, 64, 152, 255, 273, 294, 296, 325, 337, 338; Pasternak, 1995; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 33, 164, 192, 305-306, 329; Sernett, 2002, pp. 22, 67, 70-71, 116-117, 206, 209, 240; Sorin, 1971, pp. 89-92, 97, 113; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 606; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 154; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 332-333; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 8, p. 735; Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. African American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2013, Vol. 4, p. 608)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GARNET, Henry Highland, clergyman, b. in New Market, Md., 23 Dec., 1815; d. in Monrovia, Liberia, 13 Feb., 1882. He was a pure-blooded negro of the Mendigo tribe, of the Slave Coast, and born in slavery. His parents escaped with him to Bucks county, Pa., where they remained a year, and in 1826 settled in New York city. He was educated in Canaan academy, N. H., and the Oneida institute, near Utica, N. Y., where he was graduated with honor in 1840. He taught in Troy, N. Y., studied theology under Dr. Nathaniel S. S. Beman, was licensed to preach in 1842, and was pastor of a Presbyterian church in Troy for nearly ten years. For a short time he also published “The Clarion,” a newspaper. In 1846 he was employed by Gerrit Smith to distribute a gift of land among colored people. He went to Europe in 1850 in the interest of the free-labor movement, and lectured in Great Britain on slavery for three years. In 1851 he was a delegate to the peace congress at Frankfort. He went to Jamaica as a missionary for the United Presbyterian church of Scotland in 1853, but returned to the United States on account of failing health, and in 1855 entered on the pastorate of Shiloh Presbyterian church in New York city. In 1865 he accepted a call to a church in Washington, D. C. After a successful pastorate of four years he resigned to become president of Avery college, but gave up that post soon afterward, and returned to Shiloh church. President Garfield offered him the appointment of minister and consul-general to Liberia, and after the accession of President Arthur the nomination was made and confirmed by the senate. He arrived at Monrovia on 23 Dec., 1881, and entered auspiciously upon his diplomatic duties, but soon succumbed to the climate. A memorial school, organized by his daughter, Mrs. M. H. Garnet Barboza, was endowed in honor of him at Brewersville, Liberia. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 606.


GARRETT, Thomas, 1783-1871, Wilmington, Delaware, abolitionist leader, Society of Friends, Quaker, member of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, operator of the Underground Railroad, helped 2,700 Blacks escape to freedom, 1840-1860.  Vice President, American Anti-Slavery Society, 1843-1864.  Officer in the Delaware Abolition Society in 1827. 

(Drake, 1950, pp. 185, 187; Dumond, 1961; McGowan, 1977; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 74, 306, 464, 488; Still, 1883; Wilson, 1872, Vol. 2, pp. 83-86; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 609; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 165)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GARRETT, Thomas, abolitionist, b. in Upper Darby, Pa., 21 Aug., 1783; d. in Wilmington, Del., 23 Jan., 1871. He was of Quaker parentage, learned his father's trade, that of an edge-tool maker, removed to Wilmington in 1820, and became a wealthy iron merchant. He was devoted to the cause of emancipation from the time when a colored female servant was kidnapped from his father's house, in 1807, and for forty years gave aid and succor to fugitive slaves, and concealed their flight so skilfully that slave-owners usually gave up the chase when they learned that their runaways had fallen into his hands. As many as 3,000 fugitives from Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia owed their liberty to him. He never enticed negroes to escape, and shrewdly avoided any breach of the law that could be proved against him. In May, 1848, however, he was compelled to pay heavy damages to owners of escaped slaves, and, after the passage of the fugitive-slave law, incurred the penalty of a fine that swept away the remainder of his fortune. In answer to the reprimand of the U. S. district judge before whom he was tried, he said that he had always helped a fellow-being to liberty when he could, and should continue to do so. His fellow-townsmen readily advanced him the capital to begin business again, and before he died he had again acquired a competence. In accordance with his dying instructions, his body was borne to the grave by colored men of Wilmington. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 609.

Chapter: “Underground Railroad. - Operations at the East and in the Middle States,” by Henry Wilson, in History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, 1872.

But unquestionably the most efficient agent of the Underground Railroad, as he was the most successful in these associated efforts of antislavery men to aid escaping fugitives, was Thomas Garrett of Delaware. Born in Pennsylvania of Quaker parentage, and richly endowed by nature with qualities calculated to command the ·respect and confidence of others, he early took up his residence in Delaware. At the age of twenty-four, by the kidnapping of a colored woman of his family, whom he pursued and rescued, he took his first lesson in what proved to be his life , 's work. Though he lived in a slave State, with the usual characteristics of a slaveholding community, he never concealed his opposition to the system, or his purpose to assist those who sought to escape its thraldom. Indeed, for more than fifty years, he was the Good Samaritan of his State; his the house of refuge, always open to the fugitive victims of an oppressed race. So persistent was his philanthropy and so widely known were his sentiments, that he left a record of more· than twenty-seven hundred slaves\ he had assisted to escape. Nor did that record embrace the whole, as he did not begin the count at the outset of his operations. That .with such success and such clearly avowed opinions he should have been allowed to remain in a slave State, engaged in a lucrative business, and to fill up his more than fourscore years, are facts clearly opposed to the traditional policy of such communities. This seems all the more strange, as it does not appear that the slaveholders of that State had any scruples about inflicting upon him all that the law would impose. For in 1848, under the lead of James Bayard, afterward Senator of the United States, he was prosecuted four times before Judge Taney, and was convicted on the charge of abducting two slave children,--an alleged offence of which he was guilty, at worst, only by construction, --and mulcted in fines which swept from him all his property, leaving him penniless at the age of sixty, and compelling him to begin life anew.

With such evidence of his fidelity to his convictions, and of the determination of the slaveholders to prevent him from carrying into execution those convictions, it is certainly· a mystery, not to be fathomed here, that he was permitted to accomplish so much. If he did not bear with him a charmed life, there certainly seems to be reason for the belief that the " voice within " he thought he heard was no fancy ; and, more, that He who spoke that voice extended his protecting and guiding hand, enabling him to obey it. That, or far more than the ordinary amount of moral courage, must have inspired him when, in reply to the auctioneer who had just struck off the last article of his property, which had been seized and sold to pay the fine imposed, and who had expressed the hope that he would never be guilty of the like offence again, he said: " Friend, I haven't a dollar in the world; but if thee knows a fugitive who needs a breakfast send him to me." No more true heroism was exhibited by Luther at Worms, hardly more by the Apostles before the Sanhedrim. It was the utterance of a sublime trust, under circumstances well calculated to test the strength of both courage and principle.

No wonder, then, having outlived the fury of his persecutors, and the system which made them such, that he became an honored member of the community which had hunted him with such ferocity; that the closing years of his ripe old age were peaceful and serene; that, when he died, the whole community seemed moved as the heart of one man; and that his funeral seemed rather an ovation to a conqueror than the sorrowful rites around the lifeless form of a departed friend. It was a fitting close, too, to so triumphant a career, that representatives of the race he had done so much for became his own selected bearers of his body to the grave. His, too, was the rare good fortune, seldom accorded to reformers, of receiving here something like an adequate reward for their sufferings and sacrifices, not only in the accomplishment of what he labored for, but in the popular recognition of the virtues that made him thus heroic and effective.

Such was the Underground Railroad and the system of efforts it represented: They who engaged in those efforts were generally Christian men and women, who feared God and regarded man ; and they did it because, in their esteem, such service was but obedience to the royal law, " Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.'' They acted, indeed, in full view of the fact that in obeying that law they must often disregard human statutes; but this they were prepared to do, and to accept the consequences,--the censures, reproaches, and arguments they were sure to encounter; the fines, imprisonments, and even death itself, to which they were constantly exposed.  To the argument, generally twofold, that such interference was both unlawful and inexpedient, they returned for reply, that, though unlawful in the courts of earth, they were sure it could not be in the court of Heaven; and that that could not be inexpedient which was so clearly right.  They found warrant, too, in the infinite worth of the human soul, the wide difference between a chattel personal, subject to all the accidents of property, the helpless victim of human caprice, passion, and self-interest, and the freeman, at liberty to develop the vast capabilities of his humanity for both time and eternity.  The difference between Frederick Douglass, an ignorant and imbruted serf of an ill-tempered and brutal Maryland slaveholder, cowed and hopeless, and Frederick Douglass, with his imperial intellect, cultivated and resplendent, swaying thousands by his eloquence, and reaching forth his strong arm to lift up his race; between the Edmondson sisters, sold on the block for the vilest purposes, and the same, refined and Christian women, gracing the domestic and social circle,--was so great that they could not doubt the expediency of any efforts which might result in such a transformation.  And though the thousands thus rescued did not exhibit so wide discrimination, they felt it a glorious privilege, at whatever risk and cost, to give them the opportunity of such, or even far less, improvement.  There was, however, no election.  To them it was the Master’s

"Living presence in the bond and bleeding slave";

and the piteous entreaty of the latter was but the voice of Him they could not disobey. To them· it was both a promise and a warning

“That he who treads profanely on the scrolls of law and creed,

In the depths of God's great goodness may find mercy in his need

But woe to him who crushes the soul with chain and rod,

And herds with lower na.tu.res the awful form of God! "

Source:  Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 2.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 83-86.


GARRISON, William Lloyd, 1805-1879, journalist, printer, preeminent American abolitionist leader.  Founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  President and Member of the Executive Committee, AASS, 1843-1864.  Founder, editor, Liberator, weekly newspaper founded in 1831, published through December 1865.  Corresponding Secretary, 1840-1844, Counsellor, 844-1860, Massachusetts Anti-Slaery Society. 

(Drake, 1950, pp. 185, 187; Dumond, 1961, pp. 137, 167, 168, 169, 172, 173, 179, 182, 190, 273, 283, 286-287; Filler, 1960; Garrison, 1885-1889, 4 volumes; Goodell, 1852, 1852, pp. 396-397, 401, 405, 410, 419, 436, 455-456, 458-459, 460, 469, 512, 541; Abolitionist, Vol. I, No. XII, December, 1833; Kraditor, 1969; Mabee, 1970, pp. 2, 8, 26, 28, 131, 149, 152, 376, 378, 398n15; Mayer, 1998; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 41-42, 106, 131, 152, 179, 208-209, 289, 307-309, 321, 378, 463; Sorin, 1971; Stewart, 1992; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 610-612; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 168; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 332-334; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 8, p. 761; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. II. New York: James T. White, 1892, pp. 305-306; Merrill, Walter M. Against the Wind and Tide. 1963; Thomas, John L. The Liberator: William Lloyd Garrison. 1963)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GARRISON, William Lloyd, journalist, b. in Newburyport, Mass., 10 Dec., 1805; d. in New York city, 24 May, 1879. His father, Abijah Garrison, was a sea-captain, a man of generous nature, sanguine temperament, and good intellectual capacity, who ruined himself by intemperance. His mother, Fanny Lloyd, was a woman of exceptional beauty of person and high character, and remarkable for inflexible fidelity to her moral convictions. They emigrated from Nova Scotia to Newburyport a short time before the birth of Lloyd, and not long afterward the father left his family and was never again seen by them. At fourteen years of age Lloyd was apprenticed to the printing business in the office of the Newburyport “Herald,” where he served until he was of age, becoming foreman at an early day, and displaying a strong natural taste and capacity for editorship. From the first he was remarkable for his firmness of moral principle, his quick appreciation of ethical distinctions, and an inflexible adherence to his convictions at whatever cost to himself. His aims and purposes were of the highest, and those who knew him best foresaw for him an honorable career. His apprenticeship ended, he became editor for a time of the Newburyport “Free Press,” which he made too reformatory for the popular taste at that day. To this paper John G. Whittier, then unknown to fame, sent some of his earliest poems anonymously, but the editor, discovering his genius, penetrated his incognito, and they formed a friendship that was broken only by death. Mr. Garrison's next experiment in editorship was with the “National Philanthropist” in Boston, a journal devoted to the cause of temperance. We next hear of him in Bennington, Vt., whither he went in 1828 to conduct the “Journal of the Times,” established to support John Quincy Adams for re-election as president. Before leaving Boston, he formed an acquaintance with Benjamin Lundy, the Quaker abolitionist, then of Baltimore, where he was publishing the “Genius of Universal Emancipation,” a journal that had for its object the abolition of American slavery. Going to New England with the distinct purpose of enlisting the clergy in his cause, Lundy was bitterly disappointed by his want of success; but he mightily stirred the heart of young Garrison, who became his ally, and two years later his partner, in the conduct of the “Genius of Universal Emancipation.” This journal, up to that time, had represented the form of abolition sentiment known as gradualism, which had distinguished the anti-slavery societies of the times of Franklin and Jay, and fully answered the moral demands of the period. These societies were at this time either dead or inactive, and, since the Missouri contest of 1819-'20, the people of the north had generally ceased to strive for emancipation, or even to discuss the subject. With the exception of Lundy's earnest though feeble protest, supported mainly by Quakers, the general silence and indifference were unbroken. The whole nation had apparently come to the settled conclusion that slavery was intrenched by the constitution, and all discussion of the subject a menace to the Union. The emancipation of slaves in any considerable numbers, at any time or place, being universally regarded as dangerous to the public peace, the masters were held excusable for continuing to hold them in bondage. Mr. Garrison saw this state of things with dismay, and it became clear to him that the apathy which tended to fasten slavery permanently upon the country as an incurable evil could be broken only by heroic measures. The rights of the slaves and the duties of the masters, as measured by sound moral principles, must be unflinchingly affirmed and insisted upon. Slavery being wrong, every slave had a right to instant freedom, and therefore immediate emancipation was the duty of the masters and of the state. What was in itself right could never be dangerous to society, but must be safe for all concerned: and therefore there could be no other than selfish reasons for continuing slavery for a single day. In joining Lundy, Garrison at once took this high ground, creating thereby a strong excitement throughout the country. His denunciations of the domestic slave-trade, then rife in Baltimore, subjected him to the penalties of Maryland law, and he was thrust into jail. When released upon the payment of his fine by Arthur Tappan, of New York, he immediately resumed the work of agitation by means of popular lectures, and on 1 Jan., 1831, founded “The Liberator,” a weekly journal, in Boston, which he continued for thirty-five years, until slavery was finally abolished. It was small at first, but after a few years was enlarged to the usual size of the newspapers of that day. The spirit of the paper was indicated by this announcement in the first number: “I am aware that many object to the severity of my language, but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him moderately to rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—and I will be heard.” It was a purely moral and pacific warfare that he avowed. No appeal was made to the passions of the slaves, but to the consciences of the masters, and especially of the citizens of the free states, involved by the constitution in the guilt of slavery. But he was charged with a design to promote slave insurrections, and held up to public scorn as a fanatic and incendiary. The state of Georgia offered $5,000 reward for his apprehension, and the mails from the south brought him hundreds of letters threatening him with death if he did not abandon his moral warfare. The whole land was speedily filled with excitement, the apathy of years was broken, and the new dispensation of immediatism justified itself by its results. In 1832 the first society under this dispensation was organized in Boston; within the next two years the American anti-slavery society was formed in Philadelphia, upon a platform of principles formulated by Mr. Garrison; and from this time the movement, in spite of powerful efforts to crush it, grew with great rapidity. Governors of states hinted that the societies were illegal, and judges affirmed that the agitators were liable to arrest as criminals under the common law. Mr. Garrison aggravated his offence, in the eyes of many, by his opposition to the scheme of African colonization, which, under the pretence of unfriendliness to slavery, had gained public confidence at the north, while in truth it fostered the idea that the slaves were unfit for freedom. His “Thoughts on African Colonization,” in which he judged the society out of its own mouth, was a most effective piece of work, defying every attempt at an answer. From 1833 till 1840 anti-slavery societies on Mr. Garrison's model were multiplied in the free states, many lecturers were sent forth, and an extensive anti-slavery literature was created. The agitation assumed proportions that greatly encouraged its promoters and alarmed its opponents. Attempts were made to suppress it by the terror of mobs; Elijah P. Lovejoy, in 1837, at Alton, Ill., was slain while defending his press, and in 1835 Garrison was dragged through the streets of Boston with a rope around his body, his life being saved with great difficulty by lodging him in jail. Marius Robinson, an anti-slavery lecturer, in Mahoning county, Ohio, was tarred and feathered in a cruel way; Amos Dresser, a theological student, while selling cottage Bibles at Nashville, Tenn., was flogged in the public square because it happened that, without his knowledge, some of his Bibles were wrapped in cast-off antislavery papers; and in Charleston, S. C., the post-office was broken open by a mob, which made a bonfire of anti-slavery papers and tracts sent through the mails to citizens of that city. In 1840 the abolition body was rent in twain, mainly by two questions, viz.: 1. Whether they should form an anti-slavery political party. 2. Whether women should be allowed to speak and vote in their societies. On the first of these questions Mr. Garrison took the negative, on the ground that such a party would probably tend to delay rather than hasten the desired action in respect to slavery. On the second he took the affirmative, on the ground that the constitutions of the societies admitted “persons” to membership without discrimination as to sex. This division was never healed, and thenceforth Mr. Garrison was recognized chiefly as the leader of the party agreeing with him upon these two questions. Personally he was a non-resistant, and therefore a non-voter; but the great body of his friends had no such scruples, and held it to be a duty to exercise the elective franchise in opposition to slavery. In 1844 Mr. Garrison became convinced that the constitution of the United States was itself the main support of slavery, and as such was to be repudiated. Borrowing the words of Isaiah, he characterized it as “a covenant with death and an agreement with hell.” His influence carried the anti-slavery societies over to this ground, which they firmly held to the end of the conflict. Few of the members had any scruples as to forceful government. They simply declared that they could not conscientiously take part in a government that bound them by oath, in certain contingencies, to support slavery. The political party anti-slavery men went their way, leaving the work of moral agitation to Garrison and his associates, who were still a powerful body, with large resources in character, argument, and influence. The two classes, though working by divergent methods, had yet a common purpose, and, though controversy between them at times waxed warm, their agreements were broad and deep enough to insure mutual respect and a no inconsiderable degree of co-operation. The political anti-slavery leaders recognized the value of the moral agitation as a means for the regeneration of public sentiment, and for keeping their own party up to its work; and the agitators bore glad witness to the sincerity of men who, though they could not see their way clear to a repudiation of the constitution, were bent upon doing all that they could under it to baffle the designs of the slave-power. Thousands of the political abolitionists made regular and liberal contributions to sustain the work of moral agitation, and the agitators rejoiced in every display of courage on the part of their voting friends, and in whatever good they could accomplish. The civil war brought the sincere opponents of slavery, of whatever class, into more fraternal relations. Mr. Garrison was quick to see that the pro-slavery Union was destroyed by the first gun fired at Sumter, and could never be restored. Thenceforth he and his associates labored to induce the government to place the war openly and avowedly on an anti-slavery basis, and to bend all its efforts to the establishment of a new Union from which slavery should be forever excluded. In this they had the co-operation of the most enlightened and earnest leaders and members of the Republican party, and on 1 Jan., 1863, their united labors were crowned with success. President Lincoln's proclamation of freedom to the slaves was a complete vindication of the doctrine of immediate emancipation; while the conditions of reconstruction gave the country a new constitution and a new Union, so far as slavery was concerned. When the contest was over, the leaders of the Republican party united with Mr. Garrison's immediate associates in raising for him the sum of $30,000, as a token of their grateful appreciation of his long and faithful service; and after his death the city of Boston accepted and erected a bronze statue to his memory. During the struggle in which he took so prominent a part he made two visits to England, where he was received with many marks of distinction by the abolitionists of that country, as the acknowledged founder of the anti-slavery movement in the United States. The popular estimate of his character and career is doubtless expressed in the words of John A. Andrew, war-governor of Massachusetts: “The generation which immediately preceded ours regarded him only as a wild enthusiast, a fanatic, or a public enemy. The present generation sees in him the bold and honest reformer, the man of original, self-poised, heroic will, inspired by a vision of universal justice, made actual in the practice of nations; who, daring to attack without reserve the worst and most powerful oppression of his country and his time, has outlived the giant wrong he assailed, and has triumphed over the sophistries by which it was maintained.” Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 610-612.

Chapter, “Early Antislavery Movements: Benjamin Lundy - William Lloyd Garrison,” by Henry Wilson, in History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, 1872:

In the great conflict between freedom and slavery in America many names became historic, a few illustrious. No person is more inseparably associated with that struggle than William Lloyd Garrison. Men have differed, do and will differ, in their estimate of his distinctive doctrines and modes of action, and of his influence on the final result; but he will ever be associated in their memories with the conflict which emancipated one race and broke the power of another.

Born at Newburyport, Massachusetts, December 12, 1804, Mr. Garrison learned the art of printing, and commenced his editorial career at twenty-one years of age. He was first connected with the " Free Press," in his native town; next with the "National Philanthropist," a temperance paper, published in Boston; then with the "Journal of the Times," at Bennington, Vermont; then with the " Genius of Universal Emancipation," at Baltimore ; and finally, with " The Liberator," which he established in Boston, January 1, 1831, and of which he was the editor during the thirty-five years of its existence. During these forty years of continuous editorial service he evinced singular personal independence, rare moral courage, and an uncompromising fidelity to his convictions and to the claims of humanity.

While at Boston, in the spring of 1828, he became acquainted with Benjamin Lundy, then on his first tour to the Eastern States in the service of the slave. He there listened to the cogent reasonings and was moved by the tender appeals of that singularly disinterested and tireless champion, who had consecrated his life to the cause of his oppressed countrymen, and ever gratefully acknowledged these obligations.

When, in 1828, Mr. Garrison assumed the editorial control of the “Journal of the Times," at Bennington, Vermont, he announced in his editorial address that the paper would be independent in the broadest and stoutest signification of the term; that it should be trammeled by no interest, biased by no sect, awed by no power. He distinctly avowed that he had three objects in view, which he should pursue through life, whether in that place or elsewhere; and those three objects were "the suppression of intemperance and its associate vices, the gradual emancipation of every slave in the Republic, and the perpetuity of national peace." He pledged, himself that what might be wanting in vigor should be made up in zeal. This independence and this avowal elicited from Mr. Lundy, who had sought to secure Mr. Garrison's services for his" Genius of Universal Emancipation," the warmest commendations, because he had shown " a laudable disposition to advocate the claims of the poor, distressed African upon our sympathy and justice." And he declared, if he continued to advocate the cause of the unfortunate negro, that “his talents will render him a most valuable coadjutor in this holy undertaking."

Mr. Garrison continued his connection with the “Journal of the Times " for several months; but in the latter part of the summer of 1829 he became associated with Mr. Lundy in the editorship of his paper, in Baltimore. In this new field he was brought into more immediate contact with slavery; and yet his utterances were no less decided and strong, still proclaiming his unrelenting hostility to slavery, intemperance, and war. Although at first he had looked with favor on the colonization scheme, as "an auxiliary to abolition" deserving encouragement, yet utterly inadequate alone, a short residence at Baltimore, and a fuller acquaintance with the spirit and purposes of its advocates, soon led him to discard and denounce it, and from that time onward to become one of its most uncompromising foes. On the subject of slavery he claimed that slaves were entitled to complete and immediate emancipation; that expediency had no place in the consideration of questions of simple right; that, even if the question of expediency were admitted into the discussion, it remained true that the sooner the chains were broken the wiser the act; and that, if the idea of removing the slaves from the country were not visionary, as he contended it was, all colored people born on the soil had the right to remain, and none had the right to compel their removal.

The sinfulness of slavery and the duty of immediate emancipation had been often proclaimed before, --at least, in substance, if not in the precise phraseology of the new formula. Edwards, Hopkins, and Emmons, of the last century, as Wesley before them,, who had condensed his estimate of the system into that burning and oft-repeated sentence, " Slavery is the sum of all villanies," had stated, as strongly as language could express the thought, the essential wrongfulness of the system, and the duty of immediate repentance, with the consequent fruits meet for repentance. Rev. John Rankin, whose name is honorably associated with the earlier antislavery efforts of the present century, was a native of Tennessee; and he testifies that in his " boyhood " a majority of the people of Eastern Tennessee, though not of the State, were Abolitionists. In Kentucky, where he was first settled in the ministry, he says: “We had our abolition societies, auxiliary to a State society then existing." He spoke openly against the “sin" of slavery, while the people of his church showed the sincerity of their opposition by leaving the State almost as a body, because pf the increasing proslavery spirit of the people therein. At an anniversary meeting of the American Antislavery Society at New York, he declared that he himself and the antislavery societies of the South believed and avowed the doctrine of immediate emancipation.

In Ohio the antislavery sentiment was not only decided, but active. Indeed, several years before the formation of the American Antislavery Society the Chilicothe Presbytery made strenuous efforts to purge the Presbyterian Church of the sin of slavery. The Cincinnati Synod, on motion of Dr. Samuel Crothers, unanimously "resolved that the holding of slaves for gain is heinous sin and scandal." In 1825 Elizabeth Heyrick, of England, a member of the Society of Friends, had published a pamphlet, entitled, “Immediate, not Gradual Emancipation," which was somewhat in advance of the general sentiment of the British people, though they were not long in arriving at the same conclusion. It is stated, however, by Oliver Johnson, who had it on the highest authority, that Mr. Garrison had not seen the work before he wrought out the same sentiment in his own mind, basing his conclusion on the two-fold grounds of  ''moral duty and logical necessity." There can be no doubt that the new circumstances in which Mr. Garrison found himself, with the sad and revolting scenes which were daily enacted before his eyes in a slaveholding community, and in a slave-mart like Baltimore, quickened both mind and heart, and hastened convictions to which he soon arrived, and which, when reached, he was not slow to enunciate in language unequivocal and strong. For not only was slavery there, with it ordinary incidents of "wrong and outrage," but Baltimore was then, next to Richmond, the great Northern slave-mart of the Border States. It was the slave-trader's exchange, where was the slave-prison and where could be witnessed the revolting atrocities of the auction-block and the saddening exhibitions of the coffle and the slave-ship, with their heart-breaking partings, their apprehensions, and their despairing dread of impending evils. In a community where such scenes were common, and among a people accustomed to them and acquiescent in them, Mr. Garrison was not long in tracing the logic of the system, and in detecting the real tendency of colonization, and the empty pretensions of those who advocated it as a means of removing the evils of the system of oppression.

The subject, however, which more particularly stirred his soul and fired his indignation, and which called forth his fiercest anathemas, was the interstate slave-trade. In the prosecution of this general traffic an incident and illustration soon occurred which especially excited his feelings, and called forth his sternest rebukes and his most objurgatory language. The captain of a vessel owned by Francis Todd, of his own native town of Newburyport, took, with the owner's consent, a cargo of slaves for the New Orleans market. In consequence of the severity of his rebuke and his unmeasured words of condemnation, both a civil and criminal suit were instituted against Mr. Garrison. Tried by a proslavery court and jury, he was, of course, convicted, and his sentence embraced both imprisonment and fine.

The knowledge of this, and the great wrong done to an .American citizen simply for language employed only in behalf of freedom and against oppression, excited a good deal of feeling, as it became known, among the philanthropists of the time. The case was brought by Mr. Lundy to the notice of that munificent as well as earnest friend of the slave, Arthur Tappan of New York, who at once paid the fine; so that, after an incarceration of seven weeks, Mr. Garrison was set free. It is said that Henry Clay was on the point of doing the same thing, through the earnest solicitation of John G. Whittier, who represented to him that Mr. Garrison had been an earnest and effective advocate of the election of John Quincy Adams. This action of the agents of slavery completed the work already far advanced, and made Mr. Garrison ever afterward an uncompromising, if not a bitter foe, not only to slavery, but to everything that interposed itself between him and the object of his unconquerable aversion and determined hostility. Nothing was too high or too low, nothing was too strong or too sacred, to escape his fierce denunciations. No iconoclast ever dashed down more remorselessly the idols of popular regard. The oath of eternal hostility to Rome which the youthful Hannibal was made to swear was not more sacredly kept than was the vow of the young reformer, as he went forth from that Baltimore prison, against that power which held millions of his countrymen in chains, and which would silence free speech and destroy the liberty of the press.

Imprisonment neither intimidated nor silenced him. From that Baltimore jail he sent forth a letter in which he arraigned the law and the arbitrary conduct of the court. “Is it,'' he asked, “supposed by Judge Brice that his frowns can intimidate me, or his sentence stifle my voice on the subject of oppression? He does not know me. So long as a good Providence gives me strength and intellect, I will not cease to declare that the existence of slavery in this country is a foul reproach to the American name; nor will I hesitate to proclaim the guilt of kidnappers, slavery abettors, or slave-owners, wherever they may reside, or however high they may be exalted. I am only in the alphabet of my task; time shall perfect a useful work. It is my shame that I have done so little for the people of color; yea, before God, I feel humbled that my feelings are so cold and my language so weak. A free white victim must be sacrificed to open the eyes of the nation, and to show the tyranny of our laws. I expect, and am willing to be persecuted, imprisoned, and bound for advocating the rights of my colored countrymen; and I should deserve to be a slave myself if I shrank from that danger."

This violent individual demonstration was, however, but significant of the general feeling and policy toward this antislavery sheet and its heroic conductors. Nor did the persecutions, slanders, and libel suits which they prompted fail of their purpose. Former friends timidly shrunk from the fierce conflict, and withheld both their moral and pecuniary support; and even these earnest and brave men were compelled so far to succumb to the popular pressure as to dissolve their partnership, and the paper was changed from a weekly to a monthly journal. But, though not agreed in all things, they parted with “the kindliest feelings and mutual personal regard." Mr. Lundy declared that Mr. Garrison “had proven himself a faithful and able coadjutor in the great and holy cause"; and the latter, in separating from his philanthropic friend, expressed the hope that “we shall ever remain one in spirit and purpose."

After his liberation from prison, in June, 1830, Mr. Garrison proceeded North delivering a course of antislavery lectures in Philadelphia, New York, New Haven, Hartford, Boston, Charlestown, and other cities and towns of New England. In these lectures he maintained the sinfulness of slavery, and the duty of immediate and unconditional emancipation. The colonization scheme, which had obtained a strong hold upon the confidence and support of the churches and the benevolent people of the North, was sternly arraigned, and the designs of its originators were declared to be hostile to the free people of color in the slaveholding States. Earnest appeals were made, especially to members of Christian churches, to engage at once in the work of immediate and unconditional emancipation, which was proclaimed to be the duty of the people and the right of' the slave. But these views were far in advance of the prevailing sentiments of even most of the members of the churches; and although some gladly accepted them, the many were either hostile or indifferent.  It was often with difficulty, therefore, that churches were opened for his addresses, and sometimes they were positively refused.

In the month of August he issued proposals for the publication of a journal, to be called “The Liberator," in the city of Washington. The proposition, though hailed with favor by a few persons in different sections of the country, was "palsied by public indifference." The persecutions against Mr. Lundy had: also been so great in Baltimore that he had been compelled to remove the "Genius of Universal Emancipation” to the seat of the Federal government, thus rendering the establishment of “The Liberator” there less necessary.

But there was another reason for changing the place of the publication of the proposed journal. This reason is given by Mr. Garrison in his first number, which was published in Boston, in January, 1831 :--

“During my recent tour," he says, " for the purpose of exciting the minds of the people by a series of discourses on the subject of slavery, every place that I visited gave fresh evidence of the fact that a greater revolution in public sentiment was to be effected in the free States, and particularly in New England, than at the South. I found contempt more bitter, detraction more relentless, prejudice more stubborn, and apathy more frozen than among slave-owners themselves. Of course, there were individual exceptions to the contrary. This state of things afflicted, but did not dishearten me. I determined at every hazard to lift up the standard of emancipation in the eyes of the nation, within sight of Bunker Hill, and in the birthplace of Liberty. That standard is now unfurled; and. long may it float, unhurt by the spoliations of time or the missiles of a desperate foe, -- yea, till every chain be broken and every bondman set free! Let Southern oppressors tremble, - let their secret abettors tremble, --let their Northern apologists tremble, --let all the enemies of the persecuted blacks tremble! "

In establishing "The Liberator, Mr. Garrison announced that he should not array himself as the political partisan of any man, and that, in defending the great cause of human rights, he wished ".to derive the, assistance of all religions and of all par:ties."

Many persons, however, who had become deeply interested in Mr. Garrison's addresses in the summer and autumn deemed his language too vituperative, denunciatory, and severe. Some of his earliest and most, intimate friends, who earnestly, desired the success of his cause, had often remonstrated with him. In his salutatory address, referring to these remonstrances, he said:

“I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject I do not wish to think or speak or write with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest, --I will not equivocate, --I will not excuse, --I will not retreat a single inch, -- AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead!"

To those who questioned the wisdom of his course, he replied:

“It is pretended that I am retarding the cause of emancipation by the coarseness of my invective and the precipitancy of my measures. The charge is not true. On this question my influence, humble as it is, is felt at this moment to a considerable extent, and shall be felt in coming years, not perniciously, but beneficially, - not as a curse, but as a blessing; and posterity will bear testimony that I was right. I desire to thank God that he enables me to disregard' the fear of man that bringeth a snare,' and to speak his truth in its simplicity and power."

He closed with the vow to oppose and thwart the brutalizing sway of oppression, “till Africa's chains Are burst, and freedom rules the rescued land."

Mr. Garrison's partner in the publication of "The Liberator” was Mr. Isaac Knapp, a printer, like himself, and also a native of the same town. The paper was commenced without funds and without a single subscriber. Bearing the comprehensive and cosmopolitan motto, “My country is the world, my countrymen are all mankind," it appealed to no party, sect, or interest for recognition and support. Both editor and printer labored hard and fared meagerly; and it was only thus -- and a marvel it was at that -- that their journal lived. But Mr. Garrison had a mission to fulfil, and he bravely met the conditions it imposed. For, whatever may be the estimate of his policy, and whatever may have been his mistakes, none can withhold the meed of admiration at the moral courage and faith he exhibited as he entered upon his life's work. Hardly grander were their exhibition when Kepler was working out his problem of the solar system willing to "wait a century for a reader "; when Columbus was travelling through Europe, from court to court, from philosopher to prince, in the vain search for a convert to his new theory of a western passage to the Indies; or even when Luther was nailing his theses to the door of the church, and thus braving the thunders of the Vatican, than when that young man - with no advantages of birth or culture, with wounds still bleeding from his recent encounter with the dark and bloody tyrant, in his dingy room of sixteen feet square, at once his sanctum, workshop, and home-made assault upon a despotism which not only trampled millions of slaves in the dust, but dominated the whole country, binding both church and state in chains, and there forged his weapons of warfare from the indestructible materials of God's Word and the Declaration of Independence. It must have been something more than "the grace of indignation” which urged him on, which crowned him with the honors of imprisonment, gave him the garland of a rope, the escort of a mob of Boston's " respectability and standing," and extorted such honorable mention by Southern governors and legislatures as can now be gathered from their records.

It was not that Mr. Garrison discovered any new truths, or that he stood alone, which gave him his prominence from the start. The sinfulness of slaveholding, and the duty of its immediate relinquishment had been as unequivocally proclaimed by others, and there were those then in the field as decided and pronounced as he. It must have arisen partly, at least, from the peculiar state of public opinion at that time. After the crowning triumph of the Slave Power in the Missouri Compromise, and in the sectional victory of the South, by the defeat of Mr. Adams and the election of General Jackson, there seemed to be a general acquiescence on the part of the people in these triumphs, and a growing disposition to remit further antislavery effort. ·

The nation had reached its nadir; for, though there were subsequently other aggressions, more flagrant outrages, and new concessions and compromises, yet never after that was the nation so voiceless and timid. Cowed and silent before the domineering Power, with the number of protestants growing fewer and feebler, the very boldness and seeming audacity of the young man in his attic, telling the nation that he was in earnest and would be heard, aroused attention. The very deliberation with which he heralded and began the .assault, the stern defiance he bade the foe at whose feet he threw the gauntlet of mortal combat, made him the mark for criticism and hostile demonstration, as well as the rallying point of those who sympathized with him in spirit and in purpose. His impartiality, too, between sects and parties, men and schools, constitutions and laws, and whatever arrayed itself against the slave or remained neutral, increased that attention and criticism.

His pen, if possible, was more severe, caustic, and exasperating than had been his speech. While friends generally doubted and questioned, and the people condemned, the slaveholders were stung to madness. Before the close of the first year, the Vigilance Association of Columbia, South Carolina, “composed of gentlemen of the first respectability," offered a reward, of fifteen hundred dollars for the apprehension and conviction of any white person detected in circulating in that State "the newspaper called 'The Liberator.' “The corporation of Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, passed an ordinance rendering it penal for any free person of color to take from the post-office " the paper published in  Boston called 'The Liberator,'" the punishment for each offence to be twenty dollars fine or thirty days imprisonment. In case the offender was not able to pay the fine, or the fees for imprisonment, he was to be sold into slavery for four months. The grand jury of Raleigh, North Carolina, at the instigation of the attorney-general, made an indictment against the editor and publisher of “The Liberator" for its circulation in that county. The legislature of Georgia proceeded to pass an act, which was promptly signed by Governor Lumpkin, offering a reward of five thousand dollars for the arrest, prosecution, and trial to conviction, under the laws of the State, of the editor or publisher " of a certain paper called 'The Liberator,' published in the town of Boston and State of Massachusetts."

But neither the doubts of friends, the condemnation of the North, nor the threats and offered rewards of the South, moved Mr. Garrison from his purpose. He bade defiance to his persecutors, and avowed his readiness to die, if need be. He stood, he says, “like the oak, like the Alps, --unshaken, storm-proof. Opposition and abuse and slander and prejudice and judicial tyranny add to the flame of my zeal. I am not discouraged; I am not dismayed; but bolder and more confident than ever."

Nor is there any doubt that his voice and pen were among the most potent influences that produced the antislavery revival of that day. Antislavery societies were formed, antislavery presses were established, and antislavery lectures abounded. Nine years after the establishment of “The Liberator “there were nearly two thousand antislavery societies, with a membership of some two hundred thousand. This result, however, was not secured without agitation, controversy, and strife. Nor were these all outside of the societies. Within them were discords and dissensions, growing out of the nature of their work and the character of their members. For the latter were generally, and almost of necessity, persons of positive convictions and self-assertion, engaged in a work of appalling magnitude and beset with unanticipated difficulties. Especially true was this of those who gathered around Mr. Garrison; adopted and defended his views, and recognized him as their leader. Embracing many men, and especially women, of talent, culture, and eloquence, they were a small, compact, aggressive, and somewhat destructive body, who, with marked characteristics and occasional idiosyncrasies, yet seemed to be swayed by a common impulse, and to be committed not only to a common object, but to the pursuit of that object by modes peculiarly their own.

In pursuance of their object, they avowed the purpose of granting quarter to nothing which, in their apprehension, interposed itself between them and that object. Not finding that hearty co-operation and ready acquiescence in their utterances and modes of action in church or state which they desired or hoped for, but oftener hostility and persecution, they soon arrayed themselves in antagonism to the leading influences of both. Arid so, singularly enough, they presented what appeared to their countrymen the practical solecism of endeavoring to reform the government by renouncing all connection with it; of seeking to remove a political evil by refusing all association with political parties, by whose action alone that evil could be reached; of depending alone on moral suasion, and an appeal to the consciences of the people, and yet coming out of all the religious associations and assemblies of the land. This arraying themselves against the patriotism, the partisanship, and the religious sentiment of the great body of the people prevented harmonious co-operation, and rendered inevitable, sooner or later, a disruption of the national society. In that separation, which took place in 1840, but a small part remained with Mr. Garrison, --probably not more than one  fifth of the members of the antislavery societies then existing; and these were confined mainly to New England, and mostly to Eastern Massachusetts. Nor did their numbers increase during the conflicts of the subsequent twenty years. Indeed, it is doubtful whether, in 1860, when Mr. Lincoln was elected by a vote of nearly two millions, on a clearly defined and distinct issue with the Slave Power, there were more Abolitionists of that school than there were twenty years before, when the American Antislavery Society was rent in twain. During all this period, however, they acted, as they professed, "without concealment and without compromise." Whatever may be the estimate of the weight of their influence on public opinion, none will ever doubt the sincerity of their convictions, the purity of their motives, the boldness of their utterances, or· the inflexibility of their purposes.

Source:  Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 1.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 176-188.


GATES, Seth Merrill, 1800-1877, abolitionist leader, lawyer, newspaper editor, U.S. Congressman, Whig Party, Western New York.  Anti-slavery political leader in House of Representatives. 

(Dumond, 1961, p. 295; Mabee, 1970, p. 128; Sorin, 1971, p. 104; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 615-616)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GATES, Seth Merrill, lawyer, b. in Winfield, Herkimer co., N. Y., 16 Oct., 1800; d. in Warsaw, N. Y., 24 Aug., 1877. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1827, and began practice in Le Roy. He was elected to the state legislature in 1832, but declined a re-election. During this session he was instrumental in procuring a charter for the first railroad in western New York, being a portion of the present New York Central. In 1838 he purchased the “Le Roy Gazette,” which he edited for several years. He was elected to congress in 1838, and re-elected in 1840. On the expiration of his congressional service, he removed to Warsaw, and continued his law-practice. On account of his hostility to slavery, a reward of $500 was offered by a southern planter for his “delivery in Savannah, dead or alive.” In 1848 he was the Free-soil candidate for lieutenant-governor of New York, but was defeated. He drew up the protest of the Whig members of congress in 1843 against the annexation of Texas, erroneously attributed in several histories to Mr. Adams's pen; and the correspondence between Mr. Gates and ex-President John Quincy Adams, who signed the protest, is still in the possession of his son. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 615-616.


GAY, Sydney Howard, 1814-1888, New York, NY, author, newspaper editor, abolitionist.  Member of the Garrisonian abolitionists.  Became traveling lecturing agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) in 1842.  Gay was a member of the Executive Committee from 1844-1864 and Corresponding Secretary, 1846-1849.  Appointed editor of the Anti-Slavery Standard in 1844, published in New York.  Served until 1858, when he became an editor with the Tribune.  He was the wartime managing editor of the Tribune.  Ardent supporter of Lincoln and the Union. 

(Mabee, 1970, p. 298; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 618-619; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 195; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 8, p. 806)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GAY, Sydney Howard, author, b. in Hingham, Mass., in 1814; d. in New Brighton, Staten Island, 25 June, 1888, entered Harvard, but was obliged to give up study on account of his health. The degree of A. B. was afterward conferred upon him. After some years, spent partly in travel, partly in a counting-house in Boston, he began the study of law in his father's office in Hingham. But he soon abandoned it from conscientious scruples concerning the oath to support the constitution of the United States; for he came to the conclusion that, if one believed slavery to be absolutely and morally wrong, he had no right to swear allegiance to a constitution that recognized it as just and legal, and required the return of fugitives from bondage. Of the “Garrisonian abolitionists,” with whom he thereafter cast his lot, he says: “This handful of people, to the outside world a set of pestilent fanatics, were among themselves the most charming circle of cultivated men and women that it has ever been my lot to know.” In 1842 he became a lecturing agent for the American anti-slavery society, and in 1844 editor of the “Anti-Slavery Standard,” published in New York. This place he retained till 1858, when he became editorially connected with the “Tribune,” of which, from 1862 till 1866, he was managing editor. Henry Wilson, afterward vice-president of the United States, said: “The man deserved well of his country who kept the ‘Tribune’ a war paper in spite of Greeley.” Mr. Gay was managing editor of the Chicago “Tribune” from 1868 till the great fire of 1871. During the following winter he acted with the relief committee, and wrote their first public report, in the spring of 1872, of their great work of the past six months. Subsequently, for two years, he was on the editorial staff of the New York “Evening Post.” In 1874, William Cullen Bryant, being invited to join a great publishing-house in the enterprise of preparing an illustrated history of the United States, consented on condition that Mr. Gay should be its author, as he himself could not think of undertaking such a work at his advanced age. Mr. Bryant wrote the preface to the first volume, while the history itself was written by Mr. Gay, with the help of several collaborators in special chapters, to whom he gives credit in his prefaces. This work (4 vols., 8vo, New York, 1876-'81), beginning with the prehistoric races of America and coming down to the close of the civil war, introduced a new treatment of American history, which has been followed by later writers and has become popular. Mr. Gay afterward wrote a “Life of James Madison” (Boston, 1884). He was engaged on a life of Edmund Quincy for the series of the “American Men of Letters,” when he was interrupted by a long and serious illness. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 618-619.


GEARY, John White, general, statesman, soldier.  Became territorial governor of Kansas on August 18, 1856.  Opposed slavery.  Defended state against pro-slavery “border ruffians” from Missouri.  As Governor, in 1857, he vetoed pro-slavery laws of legislature.  Prominent Union General in the Civil War, commanding the 2nd Division of the 12th and 20th Corps.  

See also Kansas Conflict—Bleeding Kansas.  

(Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 620-621; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 203; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 8, p. 819; U.S. War Department. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. 128 vols. Washington, DC: GPO, 1881-1901. Series 1; Warner, 1964.)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GEARY, John White, soldier, b. near Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland co., Pa., 30 Dec., 1819; d. in Harrisburg, Pa., 8 Feb., 1873. His father was of Scotch-Irish descent. The son entered Jefferson college, but, on account of his father's loss of property and sudden death, was compelled to leave and contribute toward the support of the family. After teaching he became a clerk in a commercial house in Pittsburgh, and afterward studied mathematics, civil engineering, and law. He was admitted to the bar, but never practised his profession. After some employment as civil engineer in Kentucky, he was appointed assistant superintendent and engineer of the Alleghany Portage railroad. When war was declared with Mexico, in 1846, he became lieutenant-colonel of the 2d regiment of Pennsylvania volunteer infantry, and commanded his regiment at Chapultepec, where he was wounded, but resumed his command the same day at the attack on the Belen gate. For this service he was made first commander of the city of Mexico, and colonel of his regiment. He was appointed in 1849 to be first postmaster of San Francisco, with authority to establish the postal service throughout California. He was the first American alcalde of San Francisco, and a “judge of the first instance.” These offices were of Mexican origin, the “alcalde” combining the authority of sheriff and probate judge with that of mayor, and the judge of the first instance presiding over a court with civil and criminal as well as admiralty jurisdiction. Col. Geary served until the new constitution abolished these offices. In 1850 he became the first mayor of San Francisco. He took a. leading part in the formation of the new constitution of California, and was chairman of the territorial Democratic committee. In 1852 he retired to his farm in Westmoreland county, Pa., and remained in private life until 1856, when he was appointed territorial governor of Kansas, which office he held one year. He then returned to Pennsylvania, and at the beginning of the civil war raised the 28th Pennsylvania volunteers. He commanded in several engagements, and won distinction at Bolivar Heights, where he was wounded. He occupied Leesburg, Va., in March, 1862, and routed Gen. Hill. On 25 April, lS62, he received the commission of brigadier-general of U. S. volunteers. He was severely wounded in the arm at Cedar Mountain, 9 Aug., 1862, and in consequence could not take part in the battle of Antietam. At the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg he led the 2d division of the 12th corps. The corps to which Gen. Geary's regiment was attached joined the Army of the Cumberland, under Gen. Hooker's command, to aid in repairing the disaster at Chickamauga, and he took part in the battles of Wauhatchie and Lookout Mountain, in both of which he was distinguished. He commanded the 2d division of the 20th corps in Sherman's march to the sea, and was the first to enter Savannah after its evacuation, 22 Dec., 1864. In consideration of his services at Fort Jackson he was appointed military governor of Savannah, and in 1865 he was promoted to be major-general by brevet. He was elected governor of Pennsylvania in 1866, and held this office until two weeks before his death. During his administration the debt of the commonwealth was reduced, an effort to take several millions from the sinking fund of the state bonds was prevented, a disturbance at Williamsport quelled, and a bureau of labor statistics established by the legislature, 12 April, 1872. Gov. Geary possessed great powers of application and perception, force of will, and soundness of judgment, and was popular among his troops. The general assembly has erected a monument at his grave in Harrisburg. See “Gov. Geary's Administration in Kansas,” by John H. Gihon (Philadelphia, 1857).”  Source: Wilson, James Grant, & Fiske, John (Eds.). Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography. New York: Appleton, 1888, 1915.




GIBBONS, Abby (Abigail) Hopper, 1801-1893, Society of Friends, Quaker, women’s prison reformer, philanthropist, abolitionist, daughter of Isaac and Sarah Hopper, wife of noted abolitionist James Sloan Gibbons.  Gibbons was a member of the Executive Committee from 1841-1844.  American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  The Manhattan Anti-Slavery Society. 

(Emerson, 1897; Yellin, 1994, p. 43n41; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 636; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 237; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 347-348; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 8, p. 906)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GIBBONS, Abigail Hopper, philanthropist, b. in Philadelphia, 7 Dec., 1801, is a daughter of Isaac T. Hopper, the Quaker philanthropist. After teaching in Philadelphia and New York, she married Mr. Gibbons in 1833, and in 1836 removed to New York with him. In 1845 Mrs. Gibbons aided her father in forming the Women's prison association, and in founding homes for discharged prisoners, and frequently visited the various prisons in and about New York. She was the principal founder of the Isaac T. Hopper home, and for twelve years was president of a German industrial school for street children, the attendance at which increased in four months from 7 to nearly 200. Throughout the war Mrs. Gibbons gave efficient aid in hospital and camp, often at personal risk, and in 1863, during the draft riots, her house was one of the first to be sacked by the mob, owing to the well-known anti-slavery sentiments of herself and her husband. The attention of the rioters was first called to the house by some one who pointed it out as the residence of Horace Greeley, After the war she planned and organized a Labor and aid association for the widows and orphans of soldiers. She aided in establishing the New York infant asylum in 1871, and the New York diet kitchen in 1873, and has been one of the active managers of both these institutions. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 636.


GIBBONS, James Sloan, 1810-1892, Philadelphia, PA, New York, NY, Society of Friends, Quaker, merchant, abolitionist, philanthropist.  Member of the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1839-1840, 1840-1844.  Married to abolitionist Abigale Hooper. 

(Drake, 1950, pp. 160, 162, 198; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 636; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 242)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GIBBONS, James Sloan, merchant, b. in Wilmington, Del., 1 July, 1810, was educated in private schools in his native city, and in early life removed to Philadelphia, where he became a merchant. He came to New York in 1835, and has since been connected with banks and finance in that city. He has contributed to various literary and financial periodicals, and has published “The Banks of New York, their Dealers, the Clearing-House, and the Panic of 1857” (New York, 1858), and “The Public Debt of the United States” (1867). His song, “We are coming, Father Abraham,” was very popular during the civil war. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 636.


GIBBS, Josiah Willard, Sr., 1790-1861, New Haven, Connecticut, abolitionist, philologist-linguist, author, theologian, educator.  Aided the slaves in the famed Armistad trials of 1839-1840, in Hartford, Connecticut.

(Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 630; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 247)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GIBBS, Josiah Willard, philologist, b. in Salem, Mass., 30 April, 1790; d. in New Haven, Conn., 25 March, 1861. He was graduated at Yale in 1809, and from 1811 till 1815 was connected with the college as tutor. Subsequently he spent some years at Andover, where he devoted himself to the study of Hebrew and biblical literature, producing at this time some of his most important works. In 1824 he was called to New Haven, and became professor of sacred literature in the theological school of Yale college, which chair he retained until his death. He also held the office of librarian from 1824 till 1843, and in 1853 received the degree of LL. D. from Princeton. Prof. Gibbs was a constant contributor of articles on points of biblical criticism, archæology and philological science to the “Christian Spectator,” “Biblical Repository,” “New Englander,” and the “American Journal of Science.” He was particularly fond of grammatical and philological studies, and attained a high reputation for thoroughness and accuracy in them. His work appears in several of the most important philological books published during the century, and among others in the revised edition of Webster's “Unabridged Dictionary” and Prof. William C. Fowler's “English Language in its Elements and its Forms” (New York, 1850). For some years he was one of the publishing committee of the American oriental society. Prof. Gibbs published a translation of Storr's “Historical Sense of the New Testament” (Boston, 1817); a translation of Gesenius's “Hebrew Lexicon of the Old Testament” (Andover, 1824; London, 1827); an abridged form of Gesenius's “Manual Hebrew and English Lexicon” (1828); “Philological Studies with English Illustrations” (New Haven, 1856); “A New Latin Analyst” (1859); and “Teutonic Etymology” (1860).  Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1888.


GIDDINGS, Joshua Reed, 1795-1865, lawyer, statesman, U.S. Congressman, Whig from Ohio, elected in 1838. First abolitionist elected to House of Representatives. Worked to eliminate “gag rule,” which prohibited anti-slavery petitions. Served until 1859.  Leader and co-founder of the Republican Party. Argued that slavery in territories and District of Columbia was unlawful.  Active in Underground Railroad.  Was censured by the House of Representatives for his opposition to slavery.  Opposed Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and against further expansion of slavery into the new territories acquired during the Mexican War of 1846.

See also Giddings’ Resolution; US Congress Debates on Slaves as Property

(Blue, 2005, pp. 69, 84, 86, 100, 163, 165, 188, 199, 201, 202, 216, 218-220, 221, 224, 245; Dumond, 1961, pp. 243-245, 302, 339, 368; Filler, 1960, pp. 103, 145, 186, 224, 247, 258, 264, 268; Locke, 1901, pp. 64, 175; Mabee, 1970, pp. 56, 63, 261, 305, 306; Miller, 1996; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 6, 23-26, 32-33, 45, 48-49, 54-55, 60, 61, 63, 65, 69-72, 131, 136, 162-163, 166-167; Pease, 1965, pp. 411-417; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 45, 47-49, 56, 173, 305, 316-318; Stewart, 1970; Wilson, 1872, pp. 446-455; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 641-642; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 260; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 8, p. 946)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GIDDINGS, Joshua Reed, statesman, b. in Athens, Bradford co., Pa., 6 Oct., 1795; d. in Montreal, Canada, 27 May, 1864. His parents removed to Canandaigua, N. Y., and in 1806 to Ashtabula county, Ohio, where the boy worked on his father's farm, and by devoting his evenings to hard study made up somewhat for his limited educational advantages. In 1812 he enlisted in a regiment commanded by Col. Richard Hayes, being the youngest member, and was in an expedition sent to the peninsula north of Sandusky bay. There, 29 Sept., 1812, twenty-two men, of whom he was one, had a skirmish with Indians, in which six of the soldiers were killed and six wounded. Mr. Giddings afterward erected a monument there to the memory of his fallen comrades. After the war he became a teacher, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1820. He was elected to the Ohio legislature in 1826, served one term, and declined a re-election. In 1838 'he was elected, as a Whig, to congress, where he had hardly taken his seat before he became prominent as an advocate of the right of petition, and the abolition of slavery and the domestic slave-trade. He had been known as an active abolitionist before his election. His first attempt to discuss the subject on the floor of congress, 11 Feb., 1839, was thwarted by the gag rule; but two years later, 9 Feb., 1841, he delivered a notable speech on the war with the Indians in which he maintained that the contest was waged solely in the interest of slavery, the object being to enslave the Maroons of that state, who were affiliated with the Seminoles, and break up the asylums for fugitives. This subject he set forth more elaborately years afterward in his “Exiles of Florida” (Columbus, Ohio, 1858; new ed., New York, 1863). In the autumn of 1841 the “Creole” sailed from Virginia for Louisiana with a cargo of slaves, who got possession of the vessel, ran into the British port of Nassau, N. P., and, in accordance with British law, were set free. In the excitement that followed, Daniel Webster, secretary of state, wrote to Edward Everett, U.S. minister at London saying that the government would demand indemnification for the owners of the slaves. Thereupon Mr. Giddings, 21 March, 1842, offered in the house of representatives a series of resolutions in which it was declared that, as slavery was an abridgment of a natural right, it had no force beyond the territorial jurisdiction that created it; that when an American vessel was not in the waters of any state it was under the jurisdiction of the United States alone, which had no authority to hold slaves; that the mutineers of the “Creole” had only their natural right to liberty, and any attempt to re-enslave them would be unconstitutional and dishonorable. So much excitement created by these resolutions that Mr. Giddings, on the advice of his friends, withdrew them, but said he would present them again at some future time. The house then, on motion of John Minor Botts, of Virginia, passed a resolution of (125 to 69), and by means of the previous question denied Mr. Giddings an opportunity to speak in his own defence. He at once resigned seat and appealed to his constituents, who re-elected him by a large majority. In the discussion of the “Amistad” case (see CINQUE), Mr. Giddings took the same ground as in the similar case of the “Creole,” and in a speech a few years later boldly maintained that to treat a human being as property was a crime. In 1843 he united with John Quincy Adams and seventeen other members of congress in issuing an address to the people of the country, declaring that the annexation of Texas “would be identical with dissolution”; and in the same year he published, under the pen-name of “Pacificus,” a notable series of political essays. A year later he and Mr. Adams presented a report discussing a memorial from the Massachusetts legislature, in which they declared that the liberties of the American people were founded on the truths of Christianity. On the Oregon question, he held that the claim of the United States to the whole territory was just, and should be enforced, but predicted that the Polk administration would not keep the promise on which it had been elected—expressed in the motto “Fifty-four forty, or fight”—and his prediction was fulfilled. In 1847 he refused to vote for Robert C. Winthrop, the candidate of his party for speaker of the house, on the ground that his position on the slavery question was not satisfactory; and the next year, for the same reason, he declined to support the candidacy of Gen. Taylor for the presidency, and acted with the Free-soil party. In 1849, with eight other congressmen, he refused to support any candidate for the speakership who would not pledge himself so to appoint the standing committees that petitions on the subject of slavery could obtain a fair consideration; and the consequence was the defeat of Mr. Winthrop and the election of Howell Cobb, the Democratic candidate. Mr. Giddings opposed the compromise measures of 1850, which included the fugitive-slave law, and the repeal of the Missouri compromise, taking a prominent part in the debates. In 1850, being charged with wrongfully taking important papers from the post-office, he demanded an investigation, and was exonerated by a committee that was composed chiefly of his political opponents. It was shown that the charge was the work of a conspiracy. In 1856, and again in 1858, he suddenly became unconscious, and fell while addressing the house. His congressional career of twenty years continuous service ended on 4 March, 1859, when he declined another nomination. In 1861 President Lincoln appointed him U. S. consul-general in Canada, which office he held until the time of his death. One who knew him personally writes: “He was about six feet one-inch in height, broad-shouldered, of very stalwart build, and was considered the most muscular man on the floor of the house. Whenever he spoke he was listened to with great attention by the whole house, the members frequently gathering around him. He had several affrays on the floor, but invariably came out ahead. On one occasion he was challenged by a southern member, and promptly accepted, selecting as the weapons two raw-hides. The combatants were to have their left hands tied together by the thumbs, and at a signal castigate each other till one cried enough. A look at Mr. Giddings's stalwart frame influenced the southerner to back out.” Mr. Giddings published a volume of his speeches (Boston, 1853), and wrote “The Rebellion: its Authors and Causes,” a history of the anti-slavery struggle in congress, which was issued posthumously (New York, 1864). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 641-642.

Chapter: “Demand for the Recognition of Property in Slaves,” by Henry Wilson, in History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, 1872.

Repulsed at the Treasury Department, these persistent claimants again approached Congress. Their petition was referred to the Committee on Claims. But Mr. Giddings being chairman, no action was taken. Appealing again to the same body, .the petitioners were gratified by having their demand referred to the Committee on Territories. Its chairman was James Cooper, a native of Maryland, then a representative from Pennsylvania, afterward senator and a general ln the war of the Rebellion. Though informed by Mr. Giddings of its character, and of the reasons which influenced his adverse decision, yet, belonging to that large class of Northern statesmen which has always seemed to have a tender regard for slaveholders, Mr. Cooper reported in favor of the claims. The bill coming up for consideration, Mr. Giddings, who had mastered the subject, made a vigorous speech in opposition, and so far convinced even Mr. Cooper himself that he refused to vote for his own report. Mr. Adams, becoming deeply interested in the question, and obtaining from the Treasury Department a list of ninety negroes, for whom payment was demanded, spoke strongly in opposition to the, claims. Both he and Mr. Giddings dwelt largely, upon the moral considerations involved in the proposition to recognize the principle of property in man. Their speeches made a deep impression, and though the delegate from. Florida spoke in defence of the bill, there were but thirty-six ayes recorded in its favor. As an illustration of the sentiment and feeling which pervaded the, House, Mr. Giddings states that after the vote was taken,, Mr. Pickens of South Carolina came across· the hall to the seat of his colleague, Mr. Campbell, and asked him why he did not vote for the bill. "Why did not you vote for it?" responded Mr. Campbell. “Because I was ashamed to do so," replied Mr. Pickens. “Such was my case," said. Mr. Campbell. And yet while these slaveholders, from South Carolina were ashamed to support the proposition, the. Democratic members from New Hampshire did not hesitate to record their votes in its favor.

Near the close of the session of 1841 Mr. Thompson of South Carolina asked leave to introduce a bill appropriating one hundred thousand dollars for the benefit of the Seminoles and their chiefs who should surrender for the purpose of emigrating to the West. Mr. Giddings states that the object of the bill was the purchase of the pretended interest of certain white citizens in the exiles they claimed to own. Being better informed than any other member concerning the origin, cause, and history of the Florida war,  he did not fail to oppose the bill, laying bare at the same time the crimes and rascalities involved in a contest prosecuted mainly for the re-enslavement of those and their posterity who had sought in that Territory a refuge from the oppressor. His speech caused great excitement among the Georgia members, and he was repeatedly called to order. When he closed, Mr. Cooper, of that State, replied, denouncing abolitionism as “a moral pestilence," and Mr. Giddings and Mr. Adams as abolition leaders. Black, also of Georgia, followed in a high state of excitement, avowing his purpose to be personally offensive to Mr. Giddings, and declaring if the latter should go to Georgia he “would be hanged." The delegate from Florida made a feeble and vulgar assault, while Mr. Thompson took occasion to say that the Whig: party was not responsible for the conduct of the very obscurest of the obscure individuals belonging to that party." 

To this insulting language Mr. Giddings replied with dignified and unruffled firmness, denying the prerogative of the gentleman to designate his position in the Whig party, and assuring Mr. Thompson that he fully appreciated the insult intended. Though he could not resent it after the method so common at the South, he would say, in the language of a military veteran to a young officer who spat in his face; expecting to draw from him a challenge, " Could I as easily wipe the stain of your blood from my soul, you should not live an hour. Mr. Alford, springing from his seat with profane and menacing language, rushed towards him, but was met by Mr. Briggs of Massachusetts and persuaded to return to his seat. Mr. Thompson again assured the House that he spoke the feelings of both Northern and Southern Whigs, when he assured the member from Ohio that he was considered '' the very obscurest of the obscure members of the Whig party." 

Mr. Giddings states that General Harrison, soon to be inaugurated, arriving in Washington oil the day the debate occurred, expressed great dissatisfaction at its occurrence, and avowed his purpose to relieve the Whig party from any odium brought upon it by the course of Mr. Giddings. The next day Mr. Giddings called upon him, but the President elect gave him such unmistakable indications of his displeasure; that he never called upon him again. Mr. Giddings was from the same State, had served with him in the war of 1812, and had toiled for his election; but, true· to his convictions, he maintained the freedom of debate, and exposed the crimes of the Florida war. Mr. Thompson was from a State that had given General Harrison no vote, and had insulted an honest and God-fearing man, because of his stalwart defence of right and outraged humanity. The former was rewarded by a Northern President with the mission to Mexico, the latter with coldness and manifest tokens of his displeasure. But Mr. Thompson, though the recipient of executive favor, is forgotten, or scarcely remembered, while Mr. Giddings, whom he insolently characterized as " the very obscurest of the obscure individuals belonging to the Whig party,'' left a national reputation which his countrymen cherish with increasing· regard, a name which  they " will not willingly let die."

The British government had agreed to pay the sum of seventy-five thousand dollars for slaves on board the “Hornet" and “Encomium," which had been wrecked in its possessions in the West India waters before its act of emancipation. The President, distributing this appropriation to its claimants without consulting Congress, paid on his retirement four thousand dollars which had not been called for into the treasury. Slave-dealers, claiming this balance which the Secretary of · the Treasury refused to pay without authority of Congress, at once applied to that body. The claim was referred to the Committee of Ways and Means. A bill was reported by unanimous consent of the committee to pay the money to the owners of the slaves. The ever-watchful Giddings went to Mr. Stanley of North Carolina, who had charge of the bill, explained to him its character, and proposed that the Treasurer should be authorized to replace the money, which he held without authority of law, into the hands of the President, who would doubt­ less pay it over to the claimants, and Congress would be relieved of the odium of the transaction. Mr. Stanley agreed to accept the proposition as a substitute for the original bill. The amendment was accepted by the House, but rejected by the Senate. Mr. Giddings states that when it came up in the: House for concurrence, he asked Mr. Stanley for an explanation of that violation of good faith, but received none; that, he then expressed a desire to speak upon the measure, to which Mr. Stanley apparently consented; but when it came up; the latter moved the previous question, and the bill was passed.

Mr. Giddings then, obtaining the floor, moved a reconsideration of the vote. Indignant at the treatment he had received he denounced both it and the measure. Alluding to the fact that it was designed to pay the slaveholding constituents of Mr. Stanley for losses they had incurred in their vocation, he thanked God that he did not hold his seat by the votes of piratical slave-dealers." He entered, too, his earnest protest against the policy of making the Whig party incur the odium of thus sustaining, a commerce in human flesh. He showed how Presidents, Jackson and Van Buren had condescended to become the solicitors and agents of slave-dealers; how they obtained payment from England by falsely representing through Mr. Stevenson, that, Congress "regarded slaves as property, and paid for them as such when lost in the public, service in time of war." He, said the representation was "'untrue," and affirmed that the records would show that when that question had been raised in Congress the House of Representatives had "repudiated" the doctrine. He charged Mr. Stevenson, who was Speaker of the House in 1828, when that doctrine was thus repudiated, with uttering an “unmitigated falsehood."

Mr. Giddings challenged the representatives from Virginia in Congress to show one instance in which the House had decided that slaves were “property," or had voted to pay for them as such. The assertion, he said, was "a libel upon Congress and upon the people of the nation," and he protested that he denied the doctrine and would not be a party to the falsehood. He said. he felt humbled and deeply humiliated, on1ooking around him, to see two hundred and thirty American statesmen sitting in that hall and gravely legislating in behalf of piratical slave-dealers, whose crimes had rendered them moral outlaws, unfit for human association, and fitted only for the gallows. He showed with great force of logic that Congress had neither moral nor constitutional right to involve the people of the free States in a war for the defence of the slave-trade. He sharply criticised, too, both the President and the Senate for their action: in committing the nation to the support of the domestic slave-trade, and of the “heathenish " doctrine of property in man.

Neither Mr. Fillmore who reported nor Mr. Stanley who had charge of the bill attempted any vindication of the principles involved in it. Caleb Cushing, who had become a champion of Mr. Tyler's administration, contended that, the money being in the treasury of the United States, Congress became trustee for its distribution. It was therefore bound to make the distribution without regard to the circumstances under which it came· into, its custody. The motion for reconsideration, failed by a large majority.

Mr. Giddings then rose to a privileged question. He stated that while· he was addressing the House he noticed several persons standing in front of the clerk's desk, one of whom was Mr. Dawson of Louisiana; that when he had concluded his speech he was pushed by what appeared to be the elbow of a person, and at the same moment Mr. Dawson passed him on his way to the clerk's desk; that he addressed him in an undertone, when he turned round, seized the handle of a bowie-knife, which partly protruded from his bosom, and advanced towards him till within striking distance. Looking him in the eye, he inquired whether he pushed him in that rude manner. “Yes," he answered. "For the purpose," inquired Mr. Giddings, “of insulting me?” “Yes," he replied, partially removing his knife from its sheath.  Giddings then said: "No gentleman will wantonly insult another. I have no more to say to you, but turn you over to public contempt as incapable of insulting another." Dawson was then seized by one of his colleagues and taken from the hall. In laying these facts before the House, Mr. Giddings wished it to be distinctly understood that he did not claim the protection of the House, but left that body to protect its own dignity.

Alexander H. H. Stuart, a Whig member from Virginia, afterward Secretary of the Interior, then stated that he had noticed Mr. Dawson standing in front of the clerk's desk; that, from his appearance, he apprehended an intention of violence, but lost sight of him until he appeared in the aisle where Mr. Giddings was standing. Mr. Wise expressed the opinion that the member had intended no insult to Mr. Giddings. Mr. Adams rose and, in allusion to an incident that occurred a few days before when the same individual, offended at some remarks made by Mr. Arnold of Tennessee, went to his seat and assured him that if he did not keep quiet he would "cut his throat from ear to ear," inquired whether he had made the same threat to Mr. Giddings he lied to the gentleman from Tennessee. It was believed that, acting with the approbation of others, Dawson intended to insult Mr. Giddings and thus draw from him a blow, which would have been an excuse for an assault with a deadly weapon. In a letter, written on the same day this scene occurred, David Lee Child wrote: "I was sitting in the gallery. I saw Dawson in the centre of the hall, amidst a crowd of Southern members, all of whom were looking extremely wrathful, and one of them, as I am informed by a member, said with an oath, 'I would like to cut off Giddings's ears.'"

This disgraceful and instructive incident had a threefold significance. It was an illustration of the tone and temper of that slaveholding regime which controlled the land for more than half a century. It revealed the craven spirit of the North, which, though largely in the majority, submitted to such dictation, pocketed such insults, and gave to the villainous cause itself that municipal support and power without which it could not have maintained itself a single day. It revealed, too, the heroism and martyr spirit demanded in the few who dared to confront these violent men and meet the dangers thus incurred. Still such scenes were not without their influence at the North, nor could they fail to impress upon many there some idea of the degrading and dangerous presence of a system that generated such a spirit and prompted to such deeds.

In 1845 the subject of property in man was again forced upon public attention by appeals made to the XXVIIIth Congress for its practical recognition. The way in which this was sought, with its antecedents, was still more degrading, the necessary recital of which may well make any American ear tingle with shame, as thus reminded of the base uses to which the government lent itself in its ignoble service to the slave-mongers.

Source:  Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 1.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 532-538.



Chapter: “Coastwise Slave-Trade. - Demands upon the British Government - Censure of Mr. Giddings,” by Henry Wilson, in History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, 1872.

The British government was assured by Mr. Webster that the case was one " calling loudly for redress"; that the " Creole" was passing from one port to another of the United States, on a voyage " perfectly lawful,'' with persons bound to service belonging to American citizens, and recognized as property by the Constitution of the United States and in those States in which slavery existed; that the slaves rose, murdered one man, and that the " mutineers and murderers " took the vessel into a British port. He declared that it was the plain and obvious duty of the authorities of Nassau to assist in restoring to the master and crew their vessel, and in enabling them to resume their voyage and to take with them the mutineers and murderers to their own country to answer for their crimes. This extraordinary position and claim were laid before the British government; but all efforts to secure compensation for the slaves, or the surrender of the men who had asserted and maintained their own liberty, were unavailing. England declined to act the ignoble part of a slave-catcher for the slave-traffickers of the United States.

Mr. Giddings, then a member of the House of Representatives, was so impressed with the positions of the President and Senate, that he deemed it to be a duty he owed to his country to combat them. He drew up a series of resolutions, setting forth that prior to the adoption of the Constitution each State exercised full and perfect jurisdiction over slaves in its own territory; that by the adoption of the Constitution no part of that jurisdiction was delegated to the Federal government; that by the Constitution each State surrendered to the Federal government complete jurisdiction over commerce and navigation; that slavery, being an abridgment of the natural rights of men, could exist only by positive municipal law; that, when a ship belonging to a citizen of any State left the waters of the United States and entered upon the high seas, the persons on board became amenable to the laws of the United States; that when the brig " Creole " left Virginia the slavery laws of that State ceased to have jurisdiction over the persons on board; that in resuming their natural rights they violated no law of the United States, nor incurred any legal penalties; that all attempts to gain possession of or to re-enslave these persons were unauthorized by the Constitution and laws of the United States; that all attempts to exert the influence of the nation in favor of the coastwise slave-trade was subversive of the rights of the people of the free States, unauthorized by the Constitution, and prejudicial to the national character.

These resolutions were submitted to the consideration of Mr. Adams. He avowed his readiness to support them, excepting the one denying the right of the Federal government to abolish slavery in the States. He held that the national government, in case of insurrection or war, might, under the war-power, abolish slavery, and, with statesmanlike sagacity and a wise forecast of possible contingencies, which subsequent events proved to be near at hand, he did not wish to give a vote that would be quoted by the friends of slavery as a denial of that power; " but," he added, " I will cheerfully sustain all but that which denies this right to the Federal government.''

When, on the 21st of March, the State of Ohio was called, Mr. Giddings introduced these resolutions, and gave notice that he would call them up for" consideration the next day. The reading of the resolutions attracted profound attention, and created much excitement. Mr. Ward, a Democratic member from New York, proposed to bring the House to an immediate vote by demanding the previous question, Remarking that the resolutions were too important to be adopted or rejected without consideration, Mr. Everett of Vermont moved to lay them on the table; but his motion was defeated by a large majority. Mr. Holmes of South Carolina; rising under great excitement, remarked: "There are certain topics, like certain places, of which it might be said, ' Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.' “The House, by the large vote of one hundred and twenty-two to sixty-one, sustained the previous question. Mr. Everett asked to be excused from voting. As the subject was very important, and would probably come before the Committee on Foreign Relations, of which he was a member, he did not desire to express an opinion until he had examined it. He was a gentleman of high character, ripe age, large experience, and of much influence with his party and in the House. Usually moderate and cautious, on this occasion he seemed to be influenced by the excitement around him, and expressed his “utter abhorrence of the firebrand course of the gentleman from Ohio.'' Mr. Fessenden, then a young and rising member of the House from Maine, thought the resolutions were too important to be voted upon without greater deliberation. Mr. Cushing, then understood to be a special friend of the President and an exponent of his views, after reading the resolutions at the clerk's table, said: “They appear to be a British argument on a great question between the British and American governments, and constitute an approximation to treason on which I intend to vote ' No.'"

At the request of Mr. Fessenden, Mr. Giddings withdrew the resolutions, remarking that they would be published, and gentlemen would have time to examine them with care, and would present them the next day, when the resolutions would be in order. Mr. Botts then rose and, remarking that the withdrawal of the resolutions did not excuse their presentation, submitted a preamble and resolution; the first setting forth that Mr. Giddings, had presented a series of resolutions touching the most important interest connected with a large portion of the Union, then a subject of negotiation with the government of Great Britain of the most delicate nature, the result of which " might involve those nations and perhaps the civilized world in war," in which mutiny and murder were justified and approved in terms shocking all sense of law, order, and humanity; and the latter declaring that this House holds that "the conduct of the said member is altogether inconsistent and unwarranted, and deserving the severest condemnation of the people of this country, and of this body in particular." Objection being made to the consideration of the resolution, Mr. Botts moved a suspension of the rules, but was not sustained by a vote of the House.

As Ohio was still under the call for resolutions, under the rule, Mr. Weller, a Democratic member from that State, adopted Mr. Botts's resolution as his own, offered it, and called for the previous question. Several members questioned the propriety of ordering the previous question; but Mr. Weller, who was a Democrat of the most intense proslavery type, persisted in demanding it. The Speaker, Mr. White of Kentucky, decided that on a question of privilege the previous question could not cut off a member from his defence. Mr. Fillmore appealed from the decision; and the House overruled the Speaker by a large majority, and adjourned.

Thus arraigned for a conscientious discharge of public duty, Mr. Giddings spent the entire night and the forenoon of the next day in preparing for his defence. Calling at the residence of Mr. Adams, for the purpose of consultation, he found, he says," the aged patriot laboring under great distress." He expressed to Mr. Giddings the fear that no defence would be permitted; that the question would be taken without debate, and the vote of censure passed. Mr. Giddings anticipated the vote of censure; but he suggested that the reflections of the night would convince members of “the impropriety of condemning a man unheard." To this suggestion Mr. Adams made the discriminating and suggestive reply: "You are not as familiar with the slaveholding character as I am. Slaveholders act from impulse, not from reflection. They act together from interest, and have no dread of the displeasure of their constituents when they act for slavery."

On the assembling of the House, the Speaker remarked that the first business was on seconding the demand for the previous question. Mr. Weller said he would withdraw his demand for the previous question if Mr. Giddings would proceed with his defence, with the understanding that it should be called when he closed. But, Mr. Giddings refusing to make any terms to secure what he deemed to be his constitutional right, the previous question was ordered by seven majority. Mr. Weller then moved the suspension of the rules, to allow Mr. Giddings to make his defence; but the Speaker pronounced the motion out of order. To the suggestion of Mr. Adams that while the previous question cut off other members it ought not to apply to the member accused, the Speaker replied that the House had decided that the previous question applied to cases of privilege, and the privilege of one was the privilege of all.

The motion was made to hear Mr. Giddings by unanimous consent, and it was announced that such consent had been given. Mr. Giddings then said:" Mr. Speaker, I stand before the House in a peculiar position." Mr. Cooper of Georgia then objected to his proceeding, and he took his seat. Members gathered around Mr. Cooper, and persuaded him to withdraw his objection; but it was renewed by Mr. Calhoun of Massachusetts, who declared that he would not see a member of the House speak under such circumstances.

Mr. Giddings states that when he rose to speak he had intended to say: “It is proposed to pass a vote of censure upon me, substantially for the reason that I differ in opinion from a majority of the members. The vote is about to be taken without giving me an opportunity to be heard. It were idle for me to say I am ignorant of the disposition of a majority of the members to pass a vote of censure. I have been violently assailed in a personal manner, but have had no opportunity of being heard in reply. Nor do I ask for any favor at the hands of gentlemen; but, in the name of an insulted constituency, in behalf of one of the States of this Union, in behalf of the people of these States and of our Federal Constitution, I demand a hearing in the ordinary mode of proceeding. I accept no other privilege. I will receive no other courtesy."

The House, by a vote of one hundred and twenty-five to sixty-nine, adopted the vote of censure. Mr. Giddings then rose and, taking formal leave of the Speaker and officers of the House, retired from the hall. As he reached the front door he met Mr. Clay and Mr. Crittenden. Mr. Giddings states that "as Mr. Clay extended to me his hand he thanked me for the firmness with which I had met the outrage perpetrated upon me, and declared that no man would ever doubt my perfect right to state my own views, particularly while the Executive and the Senate were expressing theirs." Mr. Giddings immediately resigned, returned to Ohio, issued an address to the people of his district, was re-elected by a largely increased majority, and in five weeks took his seat in the House, “clothed with instructions from the people of his district to re-present his resolutions, and maintain to the extent of his power the doctrine which they asserted." He received a warm greeting from the friends of the freedom of debate, who had bravely stood by him in his time of trial.

The action of the House of Representatives, thus signally rebuked by Mr. Giddings's constituents, was also condemned by public meetings, whose proceedings were presented to Congress. Even some Democratic papers, among them the New York "Evening Post,'' asserted the right of Mr. Giddings to present his resolutions. And William C. Bryant, its accomplished editor, declared that if he was a resident of Mr. Giddings's district he would use every honorable means to secure his re-election. This action of the people produced most marked effects upon Congress. The majority who censured Mr. Giddings, fearing if the resolutions were again introduced they would be compelled to vote upon the principles embodied in them, voted, during the remainder of the session, when by the rules resolutions might be presented, to proceed to other business. Finding he could not present the resolutions, he reasserted and vindicated the principles embodied in them in an able and effective speech, which was listened to without interruption. Indeed; notwithstanding all their bluster and arrogant pretension, there seemed from that time a marked falling-off in their zeal, and a manifest disposition to desist from claims they had just declared their purpose to press even to and beyond the very verge of war. And this, notwithstanding the significant fact that the British ministry had not only refused the indemnity so clamorously demanded, but declined to deliver up Madison Washington and his compeers of the " Creole's" brave "nineteen," stigmatized by members of Congress as " murderers and mutineers."  When Lord Ashburton was charged with the mission of settling all questions of difference between the two nations, the British government especially instructed him to hold no correspondence on points pertaining to this controversy.

This sudden change of tactics of Southern members not only appears in marked contrast with their previous violent demonstrations, but provokes no very flattering estimate of the course of those Northern senators who had not a single vote to· cast against the resolutions of Mr. Calhoun, which defiantly demanded what even the South itself found it convenient to forget. Indeed, that absence of a single negative that unbroken silence, spoke louder than words. Trumpet-tongued it proclaimed the vassalage of the nation to the Slave Power, and the ignoble and cruel bondage under which the parties and public men of those days were held. It revealed the humiliating fact that they were obliged to smother their convictions and ignore the claims of truth, and were compelled to take the weightiest questions of government and those of national importance from the high court of reason and conscience into the secret conclave of party cabals, inspired by the spirit of slavery and under the discipline of the plantation. If the time ever comes when "things” shall be "what they seem," and conscience and candor shall take the place of mere policy and pretension, it will be regarded as among the marvels of history that men acting from such motives in their public capacity should ever exhibit anything honorable and hearty in their personal and social relations, or that a representation acquiescing and participating in such an administration of public affairs could be anything but demoralized and debauched in the personnel of which it was composed.

Mr. Giddings had been appointed, by the Speaker, chairman of the Committee on Claims, a position he held at the time of his resignation, when another was appointed for the remainder of the session. At the beginning of the next session, an unavailing effort was made by Southern members to induce the Speaker not to reappoint Mr. Giddings to this important post. Mr. White, a personal friend of Mr. Clay, and among the most liberal of Southern statesmen, had pronounced the vote of censure an outrage, and without hesitation made Mr. Giddings chairman again of the committee. Consisting of nine members, it was composed of four Northern and two Southern Whigs, one Southern and two Northern Democrats. The three Democrats and two Southern Whigs had given their votes for the censure, and they deemed it a humiliation to sit with him as chairman. They accordingly determined to revive an old rule of the House, which had practically become obsolete, authorizing the committees to choose their own chairmen. A member of the committee apprised Mr. Giddings of this purpose, and advised him to resign. Having, however, acted according to the dictates of his conscience, he chose to abide the result. Mr. Arnold, a slaveholding Whig of Tennessee, refusing to support a scheme which he styled an outrage on a member because he was opposed to slavery, the project fell through and Mr. Giddings was permitted to retain his position.

But Mr. Giddings's earnest and outspoken fidelity to principle and to the cause of human rights often involved him in conflicts and exposed him to personal dangers, which well-illustrated at once the coarse brutality and domineering violence of the slave-masters and the rough road they were called to travel who dared to question their supremacy and oppose their policy. A somewhat marked example occurred near the close of the session in 1845. For the purpose of exhibiting the rascality of slaveholding demands, and the guilty subserviency and complicity of the government in yielding to those demands, he referred to the treaty of Indian Spring, by which, after paying the slaveholders of Georgia the sum of $109,000 for slaves who had escaped to Florida, it added the sum of $141,000 as compensation demanded for " the off spring which the females would have borne to their masters had they remained in bondage." And, said Mr. Giddings, Congress actually paid that sum” for children who were never born, but who might have been if their parents had remained faithful slaves." 

Mr. Giddings's characterization of these outrageous and indecent demands and of this utterly indefensible policy greatly nettled the Southern members. Mr. Black of Georgia, in a towering passion, poured forth a torrent of coarse invectives and insinuations. He charged that Mr. Giddings had been interested in the horses and wagon lost by Mr. Torrey in his attempt to aid escaping fugitives; that Torrey died in the penitentiary; that the member of Ohio ought to be there; and, if Congress could decide the question, that would be his doom. With low-minded impertinence, he advised him to return to his constituents to “inquire if he had a character," asserting that he had none in that hall. To this gross assault Mr. Giddings replied with becoming dignity and force. Alluding to the policy which would throw around all executive and congressional action in behalf of slavery the shield "of perpetual silence," he said he did not hold the member from Georgia so much responsible as he did "the more respectable members" who stood around him, for the display of that " brutal coarseness which nothing but the moral putridity of slavery could encourage.", What he had said, he contended, were historic facts that could not be disproved. To the personal assault he should make no other reply than that he stood there clothed with the confidence of an intelligent constituency, while his antagonist, alluding to Mr. Black's failure to secure a re-election, had been discarded.  

Of course, language so direct and severe did but fan to a fiercer flame the fire that was already raging, and a collision seemed inevitable. Mr. Black, approaching Mr. Giddings with an uplifted cane, said: “If you repeat those words I will knock you down." The latter repeating them, the former was seized by his friends and borne from the hall. Mr. Dawson of Louisiana, who on a previous occasion had attempted to assault him, approaching him and, cocking his pistol, profanely exclaimed: "I’ll shoot him; by G-d I’ll shoot him." At the same moment, Mr. Causin of Maryland placed himself in front of Mr. Dawson, with his right hand upon his weapon concealed in his bosom. At this juncture four members from the Democratic side took their position by the side of the member from Louisiana, each man putting his hand in his pocket and apparently grasping his weapon. At the same moment Mr. Rayner of North Carolina, Mr. Hudson of Massachusetts, and Mr. Foot of Vermont, came to Mr. Giddings's rescue, who, thus confronted and thus supported, continued his speech. Dawson stood fronting him till its close, and Causin remained facing the latter until he returned to the Democratic side. Thus demoralized and imbruted seemed the men, even those high in station, who assumed to be the champions of slavery and its policy. Upon such men moral considerations were lost. The only forces they ever respected were those of physical power.

Source:  Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 1.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 446-455.


GILBERT, Abijah, 1806-1881, New York, advocate of abolitionism.  Member of the Whig and Republican Parties.  U.S. Senator from Florida, 1869-1875. 

(Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 644; Biographical Directory of the United States Congress)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GILBERT, Abijah, senator, b. in Gilbertsville, Otsego co., N. Y., 18 June, 1806; d. there, 23 Nov., 1881. His grandfather, Abijah, settled in Otsego (then Montgomery) county in 1787, and his father, Joseph, was engaged there in manufacturing and other business. The son entered Hamilton college, but did not complete his course, owing to illness. He engaged in mercantile pursuits in the country, and afterward in New York city, but retired in 1850. In politics he was a strong Whig, and afterward a Republican, and was an early advocate of the abolition of slavery. After the civil war he removed to St. Augustine, Fla., and took an active part in the reconstruction of the state. He was elected to the U. S. senate as a Republican, and served from 1869 till 1875, after which he retired to private life, continuing to reside in St. Augustine till just before his death. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 644.


GILBERT, Timothy, 1797-1865, Boston, Massachusetts, abolitionist, religious organizer, businessman.  Massachusetts Abolition Society, Vice-President, 1846-, Manager, 1850, Executive Committee, 1850.  Member American Baptist Anti-Slavery Convention.  His home was a station on the Underground Railroad in Boston, MA.


GILLETT, Francis, 1807-1879, Connecticut, U.S. Senator, co-founder of the Republican Party, anti-slavery advocate.  Member of the Liberty Party.  Free-Soil Senator from Connecticut.  Served March 1854-March 1855.  Voted against the Kansas-Nebraska Bill in 1854. 

(Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 652; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 290)


GILLILAND, James, b. 1761, South Carolina, Red Oak, Ohio, Presbyterian clergyman, anti-slavery activist.  Vice President and Manager of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833.  Censured and silenced for speaking for slave emancipation in 1796.  Moved to Brown County, Ohio, in 1805.  Pastor, Red Oak Church, with mixed race congregation.  Known as “Father Gilliland.” 

(Dumond, 1961, pp. 91, 134-135; Locke, 1901, p. 90)



Chapter: “The Arbitrary Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act,” by Henry Wilson, in History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, 1872.

In the spring of 1854, Joshua Glover was seized at Racine, Wisconsin, taken, chained and bleeding, to Milwaukee, and lodged in prison. The people of that city feeling outraged by the brutality and indignant at the cruelty exhibited, a public meeting was held, a vigilance committee appointed, and counsel volunteered to defend the alleged fugitive. About one hundred men went from Racine, marched to the prison, where they were joined by citizens of Milwaukee, and made a demand for him. This being denied, he was taken by force, carried back to Racine, and sent to Canada. This rescue was made the occasion of a decision of the judicial tribunals of Wisconsin, denying the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Act, which excited deep and widespread interest and hope.

Several who assisted in the rescue were arrested for resisting a public officer in the discharge of his duty. Among them was Sherman M. Booth, an editor of the city. A writ of habeas corpus was sued out in his behalf, which was granted by Judge Smith, on the ground that the Fugitive Slave Act was unconstitutional. An appeal was taken before the full bench of the Supreme Court, Judge Vinton presiding, by which the decision of Judge Smith was confirmed. The principal grounds for this decision were, in the words of the judge, " that the Constitution of the United States confers no power upon Congress to legislate upon the subject of the surrender of fugitives from labor; that the act in question attempts to confer judicial power upon commissioners, not upon courts; and that, by virtue of the act, a person may be deprived of his liberty "without due process of law." To the objection that the Supreme Court of the United States had declared the act of 1793 constitutional, which was not, it was claimed, “distinguishable in principle " from the act of 1850, the court expressed the opinion that they were not " in all respects alike in principle, or even similar." The two acts “differ essentially," the court contended,” in the manner in which the surrender is to be effected." It also affirmed that, in referring to the commissioners the decision of the fact whether the person claimed was or was not a fugitive from service, the act was repugnant to the Constitution, because it attempts to confer upon these officers judicial power, and because it is a denial of the right of the alleged fugitive to have those questions tried by a jury.

Although this decision was hailed with delight by the fugitive and his friends, and much was hoped from it, shedding, as it did, a momentary light upon that dark hour, yet it never gained, to any great extent, the popular indorsement as a true exposition of the Constitution. It was never re affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States, nor were there any similar decisions by any of the State courts.

Mr. Booth and several others were indicted in the District Court of the United States, tried, and convicted. Mr. Booth and Mr. Rycraft were sentenced to fine and imprisonment, and committed to jail. The people were intensely excited. A writ of habeas corpus was issued by the Supreme Court, then at the capital of the State. That court unanimously ordered their discharge, and they were escorted to their homes in triumph.

Source:  Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 2.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 444-446.


GOODELL, Reverend William, 1792-1878, New York City, reformer, temperance activist, radical abolitionist.  Manager, 1833-1839, and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Published anti-slavery newspaper, The Investigator, founded 1829 in Providence, Rhode Island; merged with the National Philanthropist the same year.  Wrote Slavery and Anti-Slavery, 1852. Co-founder of the New York Anti-Slavery Society, 1833.  Editor of The Emancipator, and The Friend of Man, in Utica, New York, the paper of the New York Anti-Slavery Society.  Co-founded the Anti-Slavery Liberty Party in 1840.  Was its nominee for President in 1852 and 1860.  In 1850, edited American Jubilee, later called The Radical Abolitionist.

(Blue, 2005, pp. 19, 20, 23, 25, 32, 34, 50, 53, 54, 101; Drake, 1950, p. 177; Dumond, 1961, pp. 167, 182, 264-265, 295; Goodell, 1852; Mabee, 1970, pp. 48, 107, 187, 228, 246, 249, 252, 300, 333, 341, 387n11, 388n27; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 1, 7, 22, 29, 31, 35, 46, 63, 64, 71, 72, 162-163, 199, 225, 257n; Pease, 1965, pp. 411-417; Sorin, 1971, pp. 411-417; Van Broekhoven, 2001, pp. 30-31, 35-36, 87; Abolitionist, Vol. I, No. XII, December, 1833; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 384; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 9, p. 236)


GOODLOE, Daniel Reaves, 1814-1902, associate editor and editor of anti-slavery newspaper, The National Era, in Washington, DC, the newspaper of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  Worked, with abolitionist leader Gamaliel Bailey.  Goodloe also wrote for the New York Tribune

(Dumond, 1961, p. 265; Filler, 1960, pp. 63, 116, 122, 152, 156, 240, 261, 263-264; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 39, 162; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 390)


GOODNOW, Isaac Tichenor, 1814-1894, Boston, MA, abolitionist, educator, political leader.  Actively supported the New England Emigrant Aid Company and its effort to keep Kansas as a free state.  Went to Kansas to support the movement.




GREELEY, Horace, 1811-1872, journalist, newspaper publisher, The New York Tribune. American Anti-Slavery Society. Major opponent of slavery. Co-founder, Liberal Republican Party in 1854.  Supporter of the Union.

(Blue, 2005, pp. 62, 110, 147-149, 159, 182, 253, 258, 262; Dumont, 1961, p. 352; Filler, 1960, pp. 6, 45, 56, 88, 112, 117, 163, 219, 237, 259; Greely, 1866; Greely, 1868; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 33, 54, 78, 81, 86, 96, 98, 116-117, 136, 138, 143, 146, 153, 154, 199, 204, 217-220, 227-229, 233; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 65, 67, 69, 141, 324, 476, 692-695; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 734-741; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 529; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 370-373; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 9, p. 647)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GREELEY, Horace, journalist, b. in Amherst, H., 3 Feb., 1811; d. in Pleasantville, near New York city, 29 Nov., 1872. His birthplace is shown in the accompanying engraving. On both sides his ancestors were of Scotch-Irish origin, but had been settled in New England for some generations. His father Zaccheus Greeley, was a small farmer, always poor, and, by the time Horace was ten years old, a bankrupt and a fugitive from state, to escape arrest for debt. Horace was the third child, four followed him, and when the little homestead of fifty acres of stony land at Amherst was lost and his father became a day-laborer at West Haven, Vt., the united exertions of all that were able to work brought the family only a hard and bare subsistence. Horace had been a precocious child, feeble, and not fond of sports, but with a strong bent to books. He could read before he could talk plainly, when he was not yet three years old, and he was soon after the acknowledged chief in the frequent contests of the village spelling-match. He received only a common-school education, and after his sixth year had schooling only in winter, laboring at other times in the field with his father and brothers. When six years old he declared he would be a printer, and at eleven he tried to be apprenticed in the village office. He was rejected then on account of his youth, but tried again, three years later, at East Poultney, Vt., in the office of the “Northern Spectator,” and was accepted as an apprentice for five years, to be boarded and lodged, and, after six months, to be paid at the rate of $40 a year. He learned the business rapidly, became an accurate compositor, gained the warm regard of his employer and of the whole village, showed a special aptitude for politics and political statistics, rose to be the neighborhood oracle on disputed points, took a leading part in the village debating-society, and was intrusted with a portion of the editorial work on the paper. Meantime he spent next to nothing, dressed in the cheapest way, went without a coat in summer and without an overcoat in winter, was laughed at as “gawky” and “stingy,” and sent almost every cent of his forty dollars a year to his father. At last, in June, 1830, the paper was suspended, and young Greeley, then in his twentieth year, was released from his apprenticeship, and turned out upon the world as a “tramping jour printer.” Fourteen months of such experience sufficed. He visited his father, who had now removed to the “new country” near Erie, Pa., worked with him on the farm when he could not find employment in country printing-offices, sent home most of his earnings, when he could, and at last decided to seek his fortune in New York. With his wardrobe in a bundle, slung over his shoulder by a stick, he set out on foot through the woods, walked to Buffalo, thence made his way, partly on canal-boats, partly by walking the tow-path, to Albany, and then down the Hudson on a tug-boat. With $10 in his pocket, and his stick and bundle still over his shoulder, on 18 Aug., 1831, he entered the city in which he was to be recognized as the first of American journalists. He wandered for days from one printing-office to another vainly searching for work. His grotesque appearance was against him; nobody supposed he could be a competent printer, and most thought him a runaway apprentice. At last an Irishman at the cheap boarding-house he had found told him of an office where a compositor was needed; a Vermont printer interceded for him, when he was about to be rejected on his appearance, and at last he was taken on trial for the day. The matter assigned him had been abandoned by other printers because of its uncommon difficulty. At night his was found the best day’s work that anybody had yet done, and his position was secure.

He worked as a journeyman printer in New York for fourteen months, sometimes in job-offices, for a few days each in the offices of the “Evening Post” and the “Commercial Advertiser,” longer in that of the “Spirit of the Times, making friends always with the steady men he encountered, and saving money. Finally, in January, 1833, he took part in the first effort to establish a penny paper in New York. His partner was Francis V. Story, a fellow-printer; they had $150 between them, and on this capital and a small lot of type bought on credit from George Bruce, on his faith in Greeley's honest face and talk, they took the contract for printing the “Morning Post.” It failed in three weeks, but they had only lost about one third of their capital, and still had their type. They had therefore become master job-printers, and Greeley never worked again as a journeyman. They got a “Bank-note Reporter” to print, which brought them in about $15 a week, and a little tri-weekly paper, “The Constitutionalist,” which was the lottery organ. Its columns regularly contained the following card: “Greeley and Story, No. 54 Liberty street, New York, respectfully solicit the patronage of the public to their business of letter-press- printing, particularly lottery-printing, such as schemes, periodicals, and so forth, which will be executed on favorable terms.”

Mr. Greeley had renewed his habit of writing for the papers on which he was employed as a compositor. He was thus a considerable contributor to the “Spirit of the Times,” and now, by an article contributed to the “Constitutionalist,” defending the lotteries against a popular feeling then recently aroused, he attracted the attention of Dudley S. Gregory, of Jersey City, the agent of a great lottery association, whose friendship soon became helpful and was long-continued. His partner, Story, died after seven months, and his brother-in-law, Jonas Winchester, was taken into the partnership instead. The firm prospered, and by 1834 Mr. Greeley again began to think of editorship. The firm now considered itself worth $3,000. With this capital and the brains of the senior partner, the “New Yorker,” the best literary weekly then in America, was founded. Shortly before its appearance James Gordon Bennett visited Mr. Greeley and proposed to unite with him in establishing a new paper to be called the “New York Herald.” In declining, Mr. Greeley recommended another partner, who accepted and continued the partnership with Bennett until the “Herald” office was burned, when he retired. The “New Yorker” appeared on 22 March, 1834, sold one hundred copies of its first number, and for three months scarcely increased its circulation from this point over one hundred copies a week. By September, however, it had risen to 2,500. At the end of a year it was 4,500, at the end of the second year 7,000, and of the third 9,500. It was steadily popular with the press and people, and steadily unsuccessful pecuniarily. The first year showed a loss of $3,000, the second year of $2,000 more, and the third year of a further $2,000. Mr. Greeley became widely known and respected as its editor, was able to add to his income by furnishing editorials to the “Daily Whig” and other journals, and within four years had attained such prominence that the tow-headed printer who was mistaken for a runaway apprentice and dismissed from the “Evening Post” office, because the proprietors wished to have “at least decent looking men at the cases,” was selected by William H. Seward and Thurlow Weed as the best man available for the conduct of a campaign paper, which they desired to publish at Albany, to be called the “Jeffersonian.” He continued his work on the “New Yorker,” but went back and forth between New York and Albany each week. The “Jeffersonian,” for a campaign paper, was unusually quiet, calm, and instructive; but it seems to have given the Whig central committee satisfaction, and it still further brought its editor to the notice of the press and of influential men throughout the state. The “Jeffersonian” lasted until the spring of 1839, and Mr. Greeley was paid a salary of $1,000 for conducting it. A few months later the country entered upon the extraordinary popular excitements attending the presidential canvass of 1840, and when Mr. Greeley, prompt to seize the opportunity, issued simultaneously at New York and Albany, under the firm-name of “H. Greeley & Co.,” the first number of a new campaign paper called the “Log Cabin,” it sprang at once into a remarkable circulation; 20,000 copies of the first issue were printed, and this was thought to be an extravagant supply; but it was speedily exhausted. Other editions were called for, and finally, the type having been distributed, the number had to be rese, and in all 48,000 copies were sold. In a few weeks 60,000 subscriptions had been received, and the advance did not cease until the weekly issue had risen to between 80,000 and 90,000 copies—a circulation then absolutely unprecedented. The “Log Cabin” was a vivacious political journal, much more aggressive than the “Jeffersonian” had been, and displaying many of the personal peculiarities of its editor, his quaintness, his homely common sense, and an extraordinary capacity for compact and pungent statement. It printed rough caricatures of Van Buren and other Democrats, gave a good deal of campaign poetry, with music attached, and yet made room for lectures upon the “Elevation of the Laboring Classes.” In all the heat and fury of that turbulent campaign its editor set in one respect an example of moderation not always followed in contests of a much later date. In answer to a correspondent he said flatly: “Articles assailing the personal character of Mr. Van Buren or any of his supporters cannot be published in the ‘Log Cabin.’” Meantime, Mr. Greeley was widely consulted, was appointed on campaign committees, asked to make speeches, and called hither and thither to aid in adjusting political differences. He had become a person of influence and a political factor. He continued his paper for one week after the term promised, in order to send to his readers a complete account of the victory, the election of Gen. Harrison as president, with as full returns of the vote as possible. After an interval of a few weeks it was resumed as a family political paper, and continued until it was able, on 3 April, 1841, to announce that “on Saturday, April 10th instant, the subscriber will publish the first number of a new morning journal of politics, literature, and general intelligence. ‘The Tribune,’ as its name imports, will labor to advance the interests of the people and to promote their moral, social, and political well-being. The immoral and degrading police reports, advertisements, and other matter which have been allowed to disgrace the columns of our leading penny papers will be carefully excluded from this, and no exertion spared to render it worthy of the hearty approval of the virtuous and refined, and a welcome visitant at the family fireside. Horace Greeley, 30 Ann street.”

Until this time Mr. Greeley had acquired great reputation, but no money. In spite of the brilliant success of the “Log Cabin,” and the general esteem for the “New Yorker,” neither had ever been profitable, and their editor, always talked of as “able, but queer,” began also to be recognized as lacking in business qualifications. He gave credit profusely, loaned money when he had it to almost any applicant, made his paper sometimes too good for the popular demand, and had no faculty for advertising his own wares. Once, when admitting that his paper was not profitable, he frankly said: “Since the ‘New Yorker’ was first issued, seven copartners in its publication have successively withdrawn from the concern, generally, we regret to say, without having improved their fortunes by the connection, and most of them with the conviction that the work, however valuable, was not calculated to prove lucrative to its proprietors. ‘You don't humbug enough’ has been the complaint of more than one of our retiring associates; ‘You ought to make more noise, and vaunt your own merits. The world will never believe you print a good paper unless you tell them so.’ Our course has not been changed by these representations.”

Mr. Greeley, although eccentric enough in his appearance and habits, had thus far developed but few eccentricities of thought. He was temperate almost to the verge of total abstinence, partly, no doubt, from taste, partly also, perhaps, from his observations on the intemperate habits common about his father's early home in New Hampshire. He was opposed to slavery, but rather deprecated northern interference: approved of the colonization society, and opposed anti-slavery societies at the north. He believed prohibition impracticable, but was warmly in favor of high license. He was vehemently in favor of a protective tariff, and always, as he expressed it, “an advocate of the interests of unassuming industry.” He had been captivated by vegetarian notions, and was for a short time an inmate of a Grahamite boarding-house. There he met Miss Cheney, a young teacher from Connecticut, who was making a short stay in New York, on her way to North Carolina. She was a highly nervous, excitable person, full of ideas, prone to “isms,” and destined to have a strong and not always helpful influence on his life. He continued the acquaintance by correspondence, became engaged, married her in North Carolina, and made a short wedding-journey, of which his first visit to Washington was the principal feature. About the same period he contributed a good many verses to the “Log Cabin”—“Historic Pencillings,” “Nero's Tomb,” “Fantasies,” “On the Death of William Wirt,” etc. They are not destitute of poetic feeling, but in later years he was never glad to have them recalled. In 1859, learning that Robert Bonner, of the “New York Ledger,” proposed to include them among representative poems in a volume to be made up from authors not appearing in Charles A. Dana's “Household Book of Poetry,” Mr. Greeley wrote: “Mr. Bonner, be good enough—you must—to exclude me from your new poetic Pantheon. I have no business therein, no right and no desire to be installed there. I am no poet, never was (in expression), and never shall be. True, I wrote some verses in my callow days, as I suppose most persons who can make intelligible pen-marks have done; but I was never a poet, even in the mists of deluding fancy. . . . Within the last ten years I have been accused of all possible and some impossible offences against good taste, good morals, and the common weal; I have been branded aristocrat, communist, infidel, hypocrite, demagogue, disunionist, traitor, corruptionist, and so forth, and so forth, but cannot remember that any one has flung in my face my youthful transgressions in the way of rhyme. . . . Let the dead rest! and let me enjoy the reputation, which I covet and deserve, of knowing poetry from prose, which the ruthless resurrection of my verses would subvert, since the unobserving majority would blindly infer that I considered them poetry.”

In establishing the “Tribune,” Mr. Greeley had considerable reputation; wide acquaintance among newspaper men and practical politicians, one thousand dollars in money borrowed from James Coggeshall, and the promise from another source of a thousand more, which was never realized. He had employed, some time before, at $8 a week, a young man fresh from the University of Vermont. This young man, Henry J. Raymond, now became his chief assistant in the conduct of the new paper, and gradually a considerable force of people of similar fitness gathered about him, the paper always having an attraction for men of intellect and scholarly tastes. In the early years it thus enjoyed the services of George William Curtis, William Henry Fry, Charles A. Dana, Margaret Fuller, Albert Brisbane, Bayard Taylor, Count Gurowski, and others. Of its first number, 5,000 copies were printed, and, as Mr. Greeley said, “with difficulty given away.” About 600 subscribers had been procured through the exertions of his personal and political friends. Being published at first at one cent a copy, it was regarded as a serious rival by the cheap papers, and the “Sun” especially undertook to interfere with its circulation by forbidding its newsboys to sell the new paper. The public considered this unfair, and the “Tribune” was greatly helped. In four weeks it reached a circulation of 6,000; in four weeks more its circulation had risen to the limit of the press, being between 11,000 and 12,000. Its business management was chaotic, but by July the chances for a permanent success were so clear that Thomas McElrath, a business man of excellent standing, was taken in as an equal partner. A weekly issue was projected, and on 20 Sept. the “New Yorker” and the “Log Cabin” were merged in the first number of “The New York Weekly Tribune,” which soon attained considerable circulation and ultimately became a great political and social force in rural communities, particularly in the period of the anti-slavery discussion prior to and during the war for the Union. From this time forward Mr. Greeley's business prosperity was secure, but the “Tribune” might easily have been far more successful from the mere money point of view if its editor had been less outspoken and indifferent to the light in which the New York public might regard his opinions. The controlling influences in the city were then largely favorable to free-trade: but he made the “Tribune” aggressively protectionist. A commercial community was necessarily conservative, but the “Tribune” soon came to be everywhere regarded as radical. New York had close business connections with the south, but the “Tribune” gradually became more and more explicit in its anti-slavery utterances. The prevailing religious faith among the better educated classes was orthodox; Mr. Greeley connected himself almost from the outset with a Universalist church. He aimed always to practise the utmost hospitality toward new ideas and their exponents, so that people soon talked of the “isms” of the “Tribune.” Sympathizing profoundly with workingmen, he was led constantly to schemes for bettering their condition, and became interested in the theories of Fourier. Before the “Tribune” was a year old he had discussed the subject of “Fourierism in France” in an article beginning thus: “We have written something, and shall yet write much more, in illustration and advocacy of the great social revolution which our age is destined to commence, in rendering all useful labor at once attractive and honorable, and banishing want and all consequent degradation from the globe. The germ of this revolution is developed in the writings of Charles Fourier.” In March, 1842, he began publishing, under a contract with a number of New York Fourierites, one column daily on the first page of the “Tribune” on Fourierite topics, from the pen of Albert Brisbane. The theories here advanced were also occasionally defended in the editorial columns. Mr. Greeley became a subscriber to one or two Fourierite associations, notably that of the “American Phalanx” at Red Bank, N. J., and occasionally addressed public meetings on the subject. When the famous Brook Farm experiment was abandoned, its chief, George Ripley, sought employment on the “Tribune,” and was soon its literary editor. Another of its members, Charles A. Dana, became in time the “Tribune's” managing editor. Another, Margaret Fuller, contributed literary work and occasional editorials, and lived in Mr. Greeley's family; and another, George William Curtis, was also employed. In 1846 Henry J. Raymond, who had now, owing to some disagreement, left the “Tribune” and become a leading editor on the “Courier and Enquirer,” saw that Fourierism offered an inviting point for attack upon the “Tribune.” Mr. Greeley, whose conduct of the paper was always argumentative and pugnacious, responded to some criticism by challenging Mr. Raymond to a thorough discussion of the whole subject, in a series of twelve articles and replies, to be published in full in all the editions of each paper. Mr. Raymond accepted, and made therein his first wide reputation in New York. Mr. Greeley's articles were undoubtedly able, but he was not so adroit a fencer as his opponent, and he had the unpopular side. The discussion left on the public mind the impression that Mr. Raymond was the victor, and the Fourierite movement from that date began its decline in America. Mr. Greeley was always careful to mark his dissent from many of Fourier's propositions. In the discussion Mr. Raymond endeavored to force him into the position that no man can rightfully own land (substantially the doctrine of which Henry George has since been the apostle), but Mr. Greeley indignantly repudiated it. In later years he dwelt upon the principle of association as the only one in Fourier's scheme that particularly attracted him; and in the form of co-operation among working-men this always received his zealous support. 

The rappings and alleged spiritual manifestations of the Fox sisters at Rochester early attracted attention in the “Tribune,” and were fairly described and discussed without absolute incredulity. In 1848, at Mrs. Greeley's invitation, the Fox sisters spent some time in his family as his guests. He listened attentively to what they said, inquired with interest into details, but hesitated to accept doctrine of actual spiritual communications, at any rate failed, he said, to see that any good of them. Nevertheless, the open-minded readiness that he displayed in investigating this, any other new subject presented to him, led to identification for some time in the public mind that as effective a weapon as could be used against the “Tribune” in commercial and conservative New York to call it a Fourierite and spiritualistic organ. With all his radicalism, however, there were two subjects on which, then and throughout life, he was steadily conservative. He constantly defended the sanctity and permanence of the family relation, and protested against anything in legislation, or public practice tending to break down the sanction of the Sabbath as a day of rest.

Meanwhile, the “Tribune” prospered moderately and almost continuously, and if Mr. Greeley had not been hopelessly incapable in business matters, should soon have placed him in a position of comfortable independence. In twenty-four years it invested from its earnings $382,000 in real estate and machinery, and divided among its owners a sum equal to an annual average of over $50,000. But Mr. Greeley inherited his father's tendency to reckless indorsements for his friends, was readily imposed upon by adventurers, and found it easier to give a dollar to every applicant than to inquire into his deserts. In spite of an income liberal for those days, he was thus often in serious straits for money, lived in an extremely plain if not always economical fashion. Presently, as his property became more valuable, he contracted the habit of money for immediate necessities by parting with some of it. After it was clear to practical that the “Tribune” was a success, he sold of it to Thomas McElrath for $2,000. By the time it was seven years old he owned less than a third of it. In 1860 his interest was reduced to twentieths, in 1868 to less than one tenth, and by 1872 he actually owned only six shares out of the hundred into which the property was then divided. Meantime, though always hampered by his business ideas, the property had advanced in until in 1867 he was able to sell at $6,500 a share, and his last sale was at $9,600. The price the daily “Tribune” was kept at one cent until the beginning of its second volume, when it was advanced to two cents for a single number, or nine a week. It then had 12,000 subscribers, and did not lose 200 of them by the increase in price. A year later it had reached a circulation of 20,000, and advertisements were so numerous that frequent supplements were issued. After a time the price was again advanced to three cents, and finally to four. The circulation rose to a steady average of 35,000 to 40,000, and there were periods of extraordinary interest, especially during the civil war, when for months it reached from 60,000 to 65,000. The weekly edition, being free then from competition, with strong weekly issues in the inland cities, gained a wide circulation throughout the entire north, being probably more generally read for some years in the northern states and territories than any other one newspaper. During political canvasses it sometimes reached a total circulation of a quarter of a million copies, and often for years ranged steadily above 100,000 copies a week. A semi-weekly edition was begun for the benefit of weekly readers enjoying mail facilities that led them to want their news oftener, and this edition ultimately attained a steady circulation of from 15,000 to 20,000 copies.

First Whig, then Anti-slavery Whig, then Republican, the “Tribune's” political course was generally in accord with the more popular and aggressive tendency of these parties. But it was also a highly individualized journal, constantly representing many opinions advocated by its editor irrespective of party affiliations, and sometimes against them. He held that the worst use any man could be put to was to hang him, and for many years vehemently opposed capital punishment. He favored the movement for educating women as physicians, and sought in many ways to widen the sphere of their employments. But he opposed woman suffrage unless it could be first shown that the majority of women themselves desired it. He assailed repudiation in every form, north or south, and was the bitterest critic of the repudiating states. In practice a total abstinent, he always favored the repression of the liquor traffic, and, where possible, its prohibition. He did not believe prohibition possible in states like New York, and there he favored high license and local option. He thought popular education had been directed too much toward literary rather than practical ends, sum and earnestly favored the substitution of scientific for classical studies. He gave the first newspaper reports of popular lectures by Prof. Louis Agassiz and other eminent scientists; but he thought ill of theatres, and in the early days of the “Tribune” would not insert their advertisements. He encouraged the discussion of a reformed spelling; but, while allowing the phonetic system to be commended in his columns, refused to adopt it. He gave much space to accounts of all co-operative movements among laborers, and sought to encourage co-operation in America as a surer protection for labor than trades-unionism. He sought to remain on good terms with the latter, and even accepted the first presidency of Typographical Union No. 6; but when subsequently, under this union, to a strike was ordered in his office to prevent the insertion of an advertisement for printers by a rival paper, he gave notice that thenceforward he would tolerate no trades-union meddling, should mind his own business, and require them to mind theirs. He was a warm friend to every movement in behalf of the Irish people, and particularly for the restoration to them of a greater measure of self-government. He advocated judicious but liberal appropriations for internal improvements, and was conspicuous in urging government aid for the construction of the first Pacific railroad. He strove to diffuse knowledge of the west and promote its settlement, giving much space to descriptions of different localities, and making removal to the west his panacea for all sorts of misfortune and ill-luck in the east. He actively encouraged one of his agricultural editors to establish a colony in Colorado on land that could be cultivated only by irrigation, and was proud that the successful town founded by this colony was called by his name, and that its first newspaper bore as its title the “Greeley Tribune,” in an enlarged facsimile of his own handwriting. He had personally a great fondness for farming, but little success at it, though he derived great comfort and recreation from his experiments on the farm that he bought at Chappaqua, thirty-three miles north of New York, where his family resided in the summer, and where for many years he spent his Saturdays chopping down or trimming his trees, and occasionally assisting at other farm labor. He favored an international copyright. He constantly watched for new men in literature, was one of the first editors in America to recognize the rising genius of Dickens, and copied a sketch by “Boz” in the first issue of his first newspaper. He was one of the earliest in the east to discover Bret Harte, and perhaps the earliest to recognize Swinburne. He held frequent public discussions—one with Samuel J. Tilden and Parke Godwin on protection, another with Robert Dale Owen on marriage and divorce. He frequently addressed, in his editorial columns, open letters to distinguished public men, promptly printed replies if any came, and was apt to follow these with a telling rejoinder. Thurlow Weed, Benjamin F. Butler, Oliver P. Morton, John J. Crittenden, Samuel J. Tilden, and many others, were thus singled out. He was fond of taking readers into his confidence. Thus he published details of his experiments in farming, and printed serially a charming autobiography. He announced his intended movements, particularly his trips to Europe and through the west. The latter proved an ovation, especially in the territories and in California. Being arrested once in Paris as a director of the American world's fair, at the suit of a disappointed French exhibitor, he published a graphic and amusing account of his imprisonment in Clichy. He admired Fenimore Cooper, and yet was involved in the series of libel suits instituted by that novelist, through a letter (written by Thurlow Weed) published anonymously in the “Tribune”; whereupon he pleaded his own case, and promptly published an amusing report of the trial and the adverse verdict. Sometimes, especially in discussion, he was less good-humored. In an angry letter to a state officer about some public documents advertised in the New York “Times,” he referred to its editor as “that little villain, Raymond.” Replying to a charge against him by the “Evening Post” of some corrupt association with the slave interest, he began, “You lie, villain, wilfully, wickedly, basely lie.” A subscriber in Aurora, N. Y., discontinued his newspaper on the ground of Greeley's opposition to William H. Seward, and angrily said his only regret in parting was that he was under the necessity of losing a three-cent stamp to do it. Greeley published the letter with this reply: “The painful regret expressed in yours of the 19th inst. excites my sympathies. I enclose you a three-cent stamp to replace that whose loss you deplored, and remain, Yours placidly.” Quaint letters like this, the oddities of his excessively crabbed handwriting, peculiarities of dress, his cravat (apt to be awry), his white coat, his squeaky voice, his shuffling manner, came to be universally known, and only seemed to add to the personal fondness with which his readers and a large portion of the general public regarded him. He became, in spite of almost every oratorical defect, a popular speaker, always in demand, and always greeted with the loudest applause on whatever occasion, social, educational, reformatory, or political, he appeared. As early as January, 1843, he was announced as a lecturer on the subject of “Human Life,” the advertisement being accompanied with the request, “If those who care to hear will sit near the desk, they will favor the lecturer's weak and husky voice.” He was afterward able to make this weak and husky voice heard by mass meetings of thousands, and by the delivery of lectures throughout the west he often more than doubled in a winter the annual salary that he received from the “Tribune.” But he went, whenever he could, wherever he was asked, whether paid or not. He was always ready to write for other people's papers, too, sometimes for pay, because he needed the money, but almost as readily without it, because he craved new audiences.

In 1848 he was elected to the National house of representatives, to fill a vacancy for three months. Regarding as an abuse the methods then pursued by congressmen in charging mileage, he published a list of the members' mileage accounts. This caused great indignation, which was heightened by the free comments on congressional proceedings contributed daily to the “Tribune” over his signature. Thus he said that if either house “had a chaplain who dared preach of the faithlessness, neglect of duty, iniquitous waste of time, and robbery of the public by congressmen, there would be some sense in the chaplain business; but any ill-bred Nathan or Elijah who should undertake such a job would be kicked out in short order.” He broke down the mileage abuse. He also introduced the first bill giving homesteads, free, to actual settlers on the public lands. In 1861 he was a candidate for U. S. senator against William M. Evarts, defeating Evarts, but being defeated in turn by the combination between Evarts's supporters and a few men favoring Ira Harris, of Albany, who was elected. In 1864 he was one of the Republican presidential electors. In 1867 his friends again put him forward for the senate, but his candor in needlessly restating the views he held on general amnesty, then very unpopular, made his election impossible. The same year he was chosen delegate-at-large to the convention for revising the state constitution. At first he took great interest in the proceedings, but grew weary of the endless talk, and finally refused either to attend the body or draw his salary. Two years later he was made the Republican candidate for state comptroller, at a time when the election of the ticket was known to be hopeless, and in 1870 he was again nominated for congress by the Republicans in a hopelessly Democratic district, where he reduced the adverse majority about 1,700, and ran largely ahead of the Republican candidate for governor. On the death of Charles G. Halpine (“Miles O'Reilly”), he accepted an appointment to the city office that Halpine had held, and discharged the duties gratuitously, turning over the salary to Col. Halpine's widow. With one notable exception, this completes his career as office-holder or candidate for office.

Mr. Greeley's hostility to slavery grew stronger from the beginning of his editorial career. In 1848 he was intense in opposition to the Mexican war, on the ground that it was intended to secure more slave territory. In 1852 he sympathized with the Free-soil movement, and disapproved of the Whig platform—“spat upon it,” as he said editorially—but nevertheless supported the Whig candidate, Gen. Winfield Scott, because he thought that better than, by supporting a ticket that he knew could not be elected, to risk the success of the Democrats. In 1856 he was an enthusiastic supporter of John C. Frémont, and during the next four or five years may be said to have been the chief inspiration and greatest popular leader in the movement that carried the Republican party into power. He was indicted in Virginia in 1856 for circulating incendiary documents—viz., the “Tribune.” Postmasters in many places in the south refused to deliver the paper at all, and persons subscribing for it were sometimes threatened with lynching. Congressman Albert Rust made a personal assault upon him in Washington, and no northern name provoked at the south more constant and bitter denunciation. Throughout the Kansas-Nebraska excitement the “Tribune” was constantly at a white heat, and its voluminous correspondence and ringing editorials greatly stimulated the northern movement that made Kansas a free state. Still, he favored only legal and constitutional methods for opposing the aggressions of slavery, and brought upon himself the hostility of the Garrison and Wendell Phillips abolitionists, who always distrusted him and often stigmatized him as cowardly and temporizing.

Up to this time the popular judgment regarded Seward, Weed, and Greeley as the great Republican triumvirate. But in 1854 Mr. Greeley had addressed a highly characteristic letter to Gov. Seward complaining that Seward and Weed had sometimes used their political power to his detriment, and shown no consideration for his difficulties, while some of Seward's friends thought Greeley an obstacle to the governor's advancement. Having labored to secure a legislature that would send Mr. Seward to the U. S. senate, it seemed to him “a fitting time to announce the dissolution of the political firm of Seward, Weed, and Greeley by the withdrawal of the junior partner.” The letter showed that the writer was hurt, but it was not unfriendly in tone, and it ended thus: “You have done me acts of valued kindness in the line of your profession; let me close with the assurance that these will be ever gratefully remembered by Yours, Horace Greeley.” Gov. Seward's friends claimed that on account of Greeley's disappointment as an office-seeker, as shown in this private letter, he had resolved to prevent Seward's nomination for the presidency in 1860. Mr. Greeley denied this emphatically, but declared that he did not think the nomination advisable, and that in opposing Seward he discharged a public duty, in utter disregard of personal considerations. At any rate, he did oppose him successfully. The Seward men prevented his reaching the National convention as a delegate from New York; but he secured a seat as delegate from Oregon in place of an absentee, and made such an effectual opposition to Mr. Seward that he may fairly be said to have brought about the nomination of Abraham Lincoln. In the canvass that followed, the “Tribune” was still a great national force. Immediately after the election Mr. Greeley said: “If my advice should be asked respecting Mr. Lincoln's cabinet, I should recommend the appointment of Seward as secretary of state. It is the place for him, and he will do honor to the country in it.”

When the civil war approached. Mr. Greeley at first shrank from it. He hoped, he said, never to live in a Union whereof one section was pinned to the other by bayonets. But after the attack on Fort Sumter and the uprising at the north he urged the most vigorous prosecution of the war, to the end that it might be short. He chafed at the early delays, and the columns of his paper carried for weeks a stereotyped paragraph, “On to Richmond!” demanding the speediest advance of the National armies. Rival newspapers hastened in consequence to hold him responsible for the disaster at Bull Run, and his horror at the calamity, and sensitiveness under the attacks, for a time completely prostrated him. He subsequently replied to his critics in an editorial, which became famous, headed “Just Once,” wherein he defended the demands for aggressive action, though denying that the “On to Richmond” paragraph was his, and saying he would have preferred not to iterate it. Henceforth he would bar all criticism on army movements in his paper “unless somebody should undertake to prove that Gen. Patterson is a wise and brave commander.” If there was anything to be said in Patterson's behalf, he would make an exception in his favor. He continued to support the war with all possible vigor, encourage volunteering, and sustain the drafts, meantime making more and more earnest appeals that the cause of the war—slavery—should be abolished. Finally he addressed to President Lincoln a powerful letter on the editorial page of the “Tribune,” which he entitled “The Prayer of Twenty Millions.” He made in it an impassioned appeal for the liberty of all slaves whom the armies could reach, and said: “On the face of this wide earth, Mr. President, there is not one disinterested, determined, intelligent champion of the Union cause who does not feel that all attempts to put down the rebellion, and at the same time uphold its inciting cause, are preposterous and futile; that the rebellion, if crushed out to-morrow, would be renewed within a year if slavery were left in full vigor; that army officers who remain to this day devoted to slavery can at best be but half-way loyal to the Union; and that every hour of deference to slavery is an hour of added and deepened peril to the Union. I appeal to the testimony of your ambassadors in Europe. It is freely at your service, not mine. Ask them to tell you candidly whether the seeming subserviency of your policy to the slave-holding, slavery-upholding interest is not the perplexity, the despair of statesmen and of parties; and be admonished by the general answer.” This appeal made a profound impression upon the country, and drew from the president within two days one of his most characteristic and remarkable letters, likewise published in the “Tribune.” Mr. Lincoln, after saying that “if there be perceptible in it [Mr. Greeley's letter] an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right,” continued: “My paramount object is to save the Union, and not either to save or destroy slavery. . . . What I do about slavery and the colored race I do because I believe it helps to save this Union, and what I forbear I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. . . . I have here stated my purpose according to my views of official duty, and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere should be free.” The emancipation proclamation was issued within a month after this correspondence.

In 1864 Mr. Greeley became convinced that the rebels were nearer exhaustion than was thought, and that by a little diplomacy they could be led into propositions for surrender. He accordingly besought the president to send some one to confer with alleged Confederate commissioners in Canada. Mr. Lincoln finally sent Mr. Greeley himself, subsequently despatching one of his private secretaries, Col. John Hay, to the spot to watch the proceedings. It was found that the so-called commissioners had not sufficient authority. The negotiations failed, and Mr. Greeley's share in the business brought upon him more censure than it deserved. As soon as the surrender did come he was eager for universal amnesty and impartial suffrage, and he thought the treatment of Jefferson Davis a mistake. When, after imprisonment and delay, the government still failed to bring Mr. Davis to trial, Mr. Greeley visited Richmond and in the open court-room signed his bail-bond. This act provoked a storm of public censure. He had been writing a careful history of the civil war under the title of “The American Conflict.” The first volume had an unprecedented sale, and he had realized from it far more than from all his other occasional publications combined. The second volume was just out, and its sale was ruined, thousands of subscribers to the former volume refusing to take it. On the movement of George W. Blunt, an effort was made in the Union League club to expel Mr. Greeley. This roused him to a white heat. He refused to attend the meeting, and addressed to the president of the club one of his best letters. “I shall not attend your meeting this evening. . . . I do not recognize you as capable of judging or even fully apprehending me. You evidently regard me as a weak sentimentalist, misled by a maudlin philosophy. I arraign you as narrow-minded blockheads, who would like to be useful to a great and good cause, but don't know how. Your attempt to base a great enduring party on the heat and wrath necessarily engendered by a bloody civil war is as though you should plant a colony on an iceberg which had somehow drifted into a tropical ocean. I tell you here that, out of a life earnestly devoted to the good of human kind, your children will recollect my going to Richmond and signing the bail-bond as the wisest act, and will feel that it did more for freedom and humanity than all of you were competent to do, though you had lived to the age of Methuselah. I ask nothing of you, then, but that you proceed to your end by a brave, frank, manly way. Don't sidle off into a mild resolution of censure, but move the expulsion which you purposed and which I deserve if I deserve any reproach whatever. . . . I propose to fight it out on the line that I have held from the day of Lee's surrender. So long as any man was seeking to overthrow our government, he was my enemy; from the hour in which he laid down his arms, he was my formerly erring countryman.” The meeting was held, but the effort at any censure whatever failed.

Mr. Greeley did not greatly sympathize with the movement to make the foremost soldier of the war president in 1868, but he gave Gen. Grant a cordial support. He chafed at the signs of inexperience in some of the early steps of the administration, and later at its manifest disposition to encourage, in New York, chiefly the wing of the Republican party that had been unfriendly to himself. He disapproved of Gen. Grant's scheme for acquiring Santo Domingo, and was indignant at the treatment of Charles Sumner and John Lothrop Motley. The course of the “carpet-bag” state governments at the south, however, gave him most concern, and brought him into open hostility to the administration he had helped to create. In 1871 he made a trip to Texas, was received everywhere with extraordinary cordiality, and returned still more outspoken against the policy of the government toward the states lately in rebellion. Dissatisfied Republicans now began to speak freely of him as a candidate for the presidency against Gen. Grant. Numbers of the most distinguished Republicans in the senate and elsewhere combined in the formation of the Liberal Republican party, and called a convention at Cincinnati to nominate a national ticket. Eastern Republicans, outside of New York at least, generally expected Charles Francis Adams to be the nominee, and he had the united support of the whole revenue reform and free-trade section. But Mr. Greeley soon proved stronger than any other with western and southern delegates. On the sixth ballot he received 332 votes, against 324 for Adams, a sudden concentration of the supporters of B. Gratz Brown upon Mr. Greeley having been effected. Immediate changes swelled his majority, so that when the vote was finally announced it stood: Greeley, 482; Adams, 187. In accepting the nomination, which he had not sought, but by which he was greatly gratified, Mr. Greeley made the restoration of all political rights lost in the rebellion, together with a suffrage impartially extended to white and black on the same conditions, the cardinal principle of the movement. His letter ended with this notable passage: “With the distinct understanding that, if elected, I shall be the president, not of a party, but of the whole people, I accept your nomination in the confident trust that the masses of our countrymen, north and south, are eager to clasp hands across the bloody chasm which has too long divided them, forgetting that they have been enemies in the joyful consciousness that they are and must henceforth remain brethren.”

Mr. Greeley's nomination at first caught the popular fancy, and his canvass promised for a time to resemble that of 1840, in the enthusiastic turmoil of which he had first risen to national prominence. But, contrary to his judgment (though in accordance with that of close friends), the Democrats, instead of putting no ticket in the field, as he had expected, formally nominated him. This action of his life-long opponents alienated many ardent Republicans. The first elections were considered in his favor, and when in the summer North Carolina voted, it was believed that his friends had carried the state. The later official vote, however, gave the state to the Grant party, and from that time the Greeley wave seemed to be subsiding. At last, on appeals from his supporters, who thought extraordinary measures needful, he took the stump in person. The series of speeches made in his tour, extending from New England through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, evoked great enthusiasm. All sides regarded them as an exhibition of brilliant and effective work unprecedented in that generation. But they were not enough to stem the rising tide. Mr. Greeley received 2,834,079 of the popular vote, against Gen. Grant's 3,597,070; but he carried none of the northern states, and of the southern states only Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas.

He had always been more sensitive to attacks and reverses than the public imagined, and now the strain proved too great. The canvass had been one of extraordinary bitterness, his old associates reviling him as a turn-coat and traitor, and some of the caricatures being unparalleled for their ferocity. His wife, always feeble, and of late years suffering greatly from a combination of nervous and other diseases, fell ill while he was absent on his tour. On his return he watched almost continuously for weeks at her bedside, and he buried her in the closing weeks of the canvass. For years he had been a sufferer from insomnia; he had necessarily lost much sleep, and during and after his wife's illness he scarcely slept at all. He was not disappointed in the election, for he had known for weeks that defeat was inevitable. Nor did this act, though generally disapproved by his friends, weaken his friendships. Henry Ward Beecher wrote: “You may think, amidst clouds of smoke and dust, that all your old friends who parted company with you in the late campaign will turn a momentary difference into a life-long alienation. It will not be so. I speak for myself, and also from what I perceive in other men's hearts. Your mere political influence may for a time be impaired, but your own power for good in the far wider fields of industrial economy, social and civil criticism, and the general well-being of society, will not be lessened, but augmented.” But Mr. Greeley's nervous exhaustion resulted in an inflammation of the upper membrane of the brain. He resumed his editorial duties, but in a few days was unable to continue them. He remained sleepless, delirium soon set in, and he died on 29 Nov., 1872.

The personal regard in which he was held, even by his bitterest opponents, at once became manifest. His body lay in state in the city hall, and a throng of many thousands moved during every hour of the daylight through the building to see it. The president, vice-president, and chief justice of the United States, with a great number of the leading public men of both parties, attended the funeral, and followed the hearse, preceded by the mayor of the city and other civic authorities, down Fifth avenue and Broadway. John G. Whittier described him as “our later Franklin,” and the majority of his countrymen have substantially accepted that phrase as designating his place in the history of his time, while members of the press consider him perhaps the greatest editor, and certainly the foremost political advocate and controversialist, if not also the most influential popular writer, the country has produced. In 1867 Francis B. Carpenter painted a portrait of Mr. Greeley for the “Tribune” association; a larger one, executed by Alexander Davis, was exhibited in the Paris salon, afterward became the property of Whitelaw Reid, and is now (1887) in the “Tribune” counting-room. At the time of Mr. Greeley's visit to Rome, Hiram Powers made a portrait bust, and at a later date Ames Van Wart executed one in marble, on a commission from Marshall O. Roberts. The bronze bust in Greenwood cemetery was presented by the printers of the United States. John Q. A. Ward is now (1887) completing a colossal sitting figure, to be cast in bronze and placed at the entrance of the “Tribune” building. The accompanying portrait is from an excellent photograph by Bogardus. Mr. Greeley's works are “Hints Toward Reforms” (New York, 1850); “Glances at Europe” (1851); “History of the Struggle for Slavery Extension” (1856); “Overland Journey to San Francisco” (1860); “The American Conflict” (2 vols., Hartford, 1864-'6); “Recollections of a Busy Life” (New York, 1868; new ed., with appendix containing an account of his later years, his argument on marriage and divorce with Robert Dale Owen, and miscellanies, New York, 1873); “Essays on Political Economy” (Boston, 1870); and “What I Know of Farming” (New York, 1871). He also assisted his brother-in-law, John F. Cleveland, in editing “A Political Text-Book” (New York, 1860), and supervised for many years the annual issues of the “Whig Almanac” and the “Tribune Almanac.” Lives of Horace Greeley have been written by James Parton (New York, 1855; new eds., 1868, and Boston, 1872); L. U. Reavis (New York, 1872); and Lewis D. Ingersoll (Chicago, 1873). There is also a “Memorial of Horace Greeley” (New York, 1873). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 734-741.


GREEN, Beriah, 1795-1874, Whitesboro, New York, reformer, clergyman, abolitionist.  President, 1833-1837, and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Active supporter of the anti-slavery Liberty Party.

(Blue, 2005, pp. 17, 34-35; Dumond, 1961, pp. 159, 295; Goodell, 1852, pp. 395-396, 556; Green, 1836; Mabee, 1970, pp. 20, 21, 24, 25, 40, 45, 46, 109, 151, 152, 227, 252, 257, 363, 366, 369; Pease, 1965, pp. 182-191; Sernett, 2002, 36-39, 46, 55, 72, 78, 93-94, 99, 105-106, 108, 113, 116, 122, 125; Sorin, 1971, pp. 25, 60, 90, 96, 97, 130; Abolitionist, Vol. I, No. XII, December, 1833; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 742; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 539; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 9, p. 480; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. II. New York: James T. White, 1892, p. 326)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GREEN, Beriah, reformer, b. in New York state in 1794; d. in Whitestown, N. Y., 4 May, 1874. He was graduated at Middlebury college in 1819, and studied theology with the intention of becoming a Presbyterian minister, but formed a creed of his own, which did not admit of his joining any denomination. He removed to Kennebunk, Me., in 1820, and the following year to Ohio, and was professor of sacred literature in the Western Reserve college. His determined opposition to slavery shortened his stay in this community, and three years later he became president of the Oneida institute, Ohio. Throughout his life he was the earnest friend of Gerrit Smith and other abolitionists, and in 1834, having taken an active part in the formation of the American anti-slavery society, was chosen its president. Mr. Green was also a temperance advocate and promoter of public education. In 1845 he founded the Manual labor school in Whitestown, N. Y. He had just addressed the board of excise in the town-hall of Whitestown, urging the prohibition of intoxicating liquors, and was waiting at the head of a line of citizens to place his vote in the ballot-box, when he fell dead. He published “History of the Quakers” (Albany, 1823) and “Sermons and Discourses, with a Few Essays and Addresses” (Utica, N. Y., 1833). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 742.


GREEN, Reverend Jacob, 1722-1790, Malden, Massachusetts, clergyman, educator, anti-slavery activist, writer.  Wrote in 1776 a pamphlet, “Observations on the Reconciliation of Great Britain and the Colonies, by a Friend of American Liberty.”

(Zilversmit, 1967, pp. 140, 144, 145; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 548)


GREW, Henry, 1781-1862, Society of Friends, Quaker, clergyman, religious writer, reformer, abolitionist.  Daughters were Mary and Susan Grew, both abolitionists.  Active in abolition movements.  Member of the New England Anti-Slavery Soceity.  Attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, England, in June 1840. 

(Yellin, 1994, pp. 71, 312, 333)


GREW, Mary, 1813-1896, abolitionist leader, women’s rights activist, Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS), Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.  Leader of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society.  Grew was an officer of the state branch of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Co-editor of the Pennsylvania Freeman.  Was active in the Free Produce Association.  In 1840, Grew and other women were elected as delegates at the World Anti-Slavery Convention.  They were, however, excluded from the floor.  After 1840, she was involved in women’s rights and other reform activities.  Daughter of abolitionist Henry Grew.  She was a stronger supporter and friend of prominent abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. 

(Van Broekhoven, 2002, p. 206; Yellin, 1994, pp. 43, 71-72, 76, 84-85, 163, 176-177, 301-302, 326)


GRIFFING, Josephine Sophia White, 1814-1872, Connecticut, abolitionist leader, women’s rights leader, active in Underground Railroad in Ohio, wife of Charles Stockman Spooner Griffing, also a strong abolitionist, member and agent for the Western Anti-Slavery Society, major writer for abolitionist paper The Anti-Slavery Bugle.  The Griffing home was a station on the Underground Railroad in Ohio.  Active in Women’s National Loyal League, which tried to outlaw slavery.  Agent for the National Freedman’s Relief Association of the District of Columbia. 

(Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 375-376; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 9, p. 574)


GRIMKÉ, Angelina Emily (Mrs. Theodore Weld), Society of Friends, Quaker, reformer, radical abolitionist leader, feminist, author, orator; wrote An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South, 1836, member Anti-Slavery Society of New York.  Sister of abolitionist leader Sarah Moore Grimké.  Married to noted abolitionist Theodore Weld. 

(Barnes & Dumond, 1934; Ceplair, 1989; Drake, 1950, pp. 157-158, 173n; Dumond, 1961, pp. 90, 93, 185, 190-193, 195-196, 278-279; Lerner, 1967; Lumkin, 1974; Mabee, 1970, pp. 13, 28, 35, 36, 93, 129, 140, 188, 190, 191, 194, 213, 241, 266, 347, 348, 358, 376; Perry, 2001; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 44, 162, 173-174, 199, 289, 290, 308, 321-322, 416, 465, 511; Soderlund, 1985, p. 13; Van Broekhoven, 2002, pp. 26-31, 36, 63, 70, 80, 97, 99, 100, 114, 122, 148; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 768; Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 425; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 634; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 379-382; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 9, p. 621; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. II. New York: James T. White, 1892, p. 325; Barnes, Gilbert H., ed. Letters of Theodore Dwight Weld, Angelina Grimké Weld, and Sara Grimké, 1822-1844, 2 Vols. 1934.)


GRIMKÉ, Sarah Moore, 1792-1873, Society of Friends, Quaker, reformer, radical abolitionist, feminist, orator, author, women’s rights advocate, political activist.  Wrote An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States, 1836.  Member of the Anti-Slavery Society of New York.  Sister of abolitionist leader Angelina Emily Grimké. 

(Birney, 1885; Ceplair, 1989; Drake, 1950, pp. 157-158; Dumond, 1961, pp. 190, 275; Lerner, 1967; Mabee, 1970, pp. 47, 92, 129, 141, 194, 266, 342; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 44, 162, 199, 290, 308, 322-323, 362, 416, 433, 465, 519; Soderlund, 1985, p. 13; Van Broekhoven, 2002, pp. 26-31, 36, 63, 70, 80, 97, 99, 100, 114, 122, 148; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, p. 768; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 1, p. 635; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 379-382; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 9, p. 627; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. II. New York: James T. White, 1892, p. 325; Barnes, Gilbert H., ed. Letters of Theodore Dwight Weld, Angelina Grimké Weld, and Sara Grimké, 1822-1844, 2 Vols. 1934.)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GRIMKÉ, Sarah Moore, reformer, b. in Charleston, S. C., 6 Nov., 1792; d. in Hyde Park, N. Y., 23 Dec., 1873. After the death of her father, she and her sister Angelina, afterward Mrs. Theodore D. Weld (q. v.), having long been convinced of the evils of slavery, emancipated their negroes and left their home. In her own account of the event, Miss Grimké says: “As I left my native state on account of slavery, deserted the home of my fathers to escape the sound of the driver's lash and the shrieks of the tortured victims, I would gladly bury in oblivion the recollections of those scenes with which I have been familiar. But it may not, can not be; they come over my memory like gory spectres, and implore me with resistless power in the name of humanity, for the sake of the slave-holder as well as the slave, to bear witness to the horrors of the southern prison-house.” Miss Grimké went to Philadelphia in 1821, and became one of the most active members of the Anti-slavery society, also advocating women's rights. She lectured in New England, and afterward made her home with the Weld family, teaching in their school, which was established in Belleville, N. J., in 1840. She published in 1827 an “Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States”—an effective anti-slavery document—and afterward wrote “Letters on the Condition of Woman and the Equality of the Sexes” (Boston, 1838). She also translated Lamartine's “Joan of Arc” (1867). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 768.


GRINNELL, Josiah Bushnell, 1821-1891, New Haven, Vermont, abolitionist, Republican Party co-founder, theologian, lawyer.  Founded First Congregational Church, Washington, DC, in 1851.  Founded town of Grinnell, Iowa.  Iowa State Senator, 1856-1860.  Congressman 1863-1867.  Supported radical abolitionist John Brown.  Advocated for use of colored troops in the Union Army.  As Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. 

(Mabee, 1970, p. 356; Payne, 1938; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 323-324; Schuchmann, 2003; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III, pp. 1-2; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 2, p. 4; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 9, p. 634; Congressional Globe)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GRINNELL, Josiah Bushnell, congressman, b. in New Haven, Vt., 22 Dec., 1821; d. in Marshalltown, Ta., 31 March, 1891. He was graduated at Auburn theological seminary, entered the ministry of the Presbyterian church, and preached seven years in Union Village, N. Y., Washington, D. C., and New York city. He founded the Congregational church at Grinnell, Iowa, in 1854, and preached there gratuitously for several years, but afterward retired from the ministry and became an extensive wool-grower. He was a member of the state senate in 1856-'60, special agent of the post-office department in 1861-'3, and in 1863-'7 was a representative in congress, having been elected as a Republican. He was a special agent of the treasury department in 1868, and in 1884 was appointed commissioner of the U. S. bureau of animal industries. When in the Iowa senate Mr. Grinnell took an active part in the formation of the state free-school system, and was also the correspondent and confidant of John Brown, entertaining him and his company. “In my library,” says Mr. Grinnell in a recent letter, “secretly, in the gleam of bayonets, and near a miniature arsenal for the protection of a score of ex-slaves, he wrote a part of his Virginia proclamation.” Mr. Grinnell was active in aiding the escape of fugitive slaves, and at one time a reward was offered for his head. He was connected with the building of six railroads, and laid out five towns, including that of Grinnell, Iowa, which was named for him. He gave the proceeds of the sale of building-lots in that town to Grinnell university, now merged in Iowa college, and was for some time its president. He published “Home of the Badgers” (Milwaukee, Wis., 1845); “Cattle Industries of the United States” (New York, 1884); and numerous valuable pamphlets and addresses. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III, pp. 1-2.


GROSVENOR, Cyrus Pitt, 1792-1879, Salem, Massachusetts, clergyman, abolitionist leader, anti-slavery agent, anti-slavery Baptist minister, educator.  Lectured on anti-slavery.  American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) Vice President, 1834-1835, Manager, 1839-1840, 1840-1841.  Member of the Liberty Party.  Leader of the anti-slavery movement in Massachusetts and Connecticut. 

(Dumond, 1961, pp. 188, 285, 393n24; Putnam, 1893, p. 14, “Friend of Man,” October 6, 1836, May 10, 1837)


GRUBER, Reverend Jacob, clergyman.  Preached against slavery; called it a sin.  Gave sermon in Washington County, Maryland, on August 16, 1818.  He was indicted on grounds of sedition.  He was defended by attorney Rodger B. Tanney (later Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court).  He was defended on the principle of free speech. 

(Dumond, 1961, pp. 142-147; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 35, 472)


GURLEY, Ralph Randolph, 1797-1872, Washington, DC, clergyman, co-founder of Liberia.  Secretary, American Colonization Society (ACS), 1833-41, Executive Committee, 1839-41.  Agent for the ACS.  Served as administrator (Secretary), keeping records and writing the Annual Report

(Burin, 2005, pp. 16, 23-24, 64, 100; Campbell, 1971, pp. 9, 10, 48, 49, 53, 97, 112, 113, 138, 174; Dumond, 1961, pp. 172, 199-200; Rodriguez, 2007, p. 163; Sorin, 1971, p. 30; Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III, pp. 13-14; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 2, p. 56; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 9, p. 731; Staudenraus, P. J. The African Colonization Movement, 1816-1865. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961, pp. 35, 76, 78-79, 94-103, 119-135, 171, 197-198, 202-204, 207-209, 213-214, 222-223, 237-239, 242, 307-308)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

GURLEY, Ralph Randolph, clergyman, b. in Lebanon, Conn., 26 May, 1797; d. in Washington, D. C., 30 July, 1872. He was graduated at Yale in 1818, removed to Washington, D. C., and was licensed to preach as a Presbyterian, but was never ordained. From 1822 till 1872 he acted as the agent and secretary of the American colonization society, visited Africa three times in its interests, and was one of the founders of Liberia. He also went to England to solicit aid in the work of colonization. During the first ten years of his agency the annual income of the society increased from $778 to $40,000. He delivered addresses in its behalf in all parts of the country, edited “The African Repository,” and, besides many reports, wrote the “Life of Jehudi Ashmun” (New York, 1839); “Mission to England for the American Colonization Society” (1841); and “Life and Eloquence of Rev. Sylvester Larned” (New York, 1844). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III, pp. 13-14.


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