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my own having been entirely spoiled, attended meeting through
the day, and although laboring under considerable pain and

Anti-Slavery Movement in Columbiana County 367

fever from the abuse of the previous night, I was permitted
at 5 o'clock p. m. to open my mouth once more, for the dumb,
and to search out the cause of those who, by the avarice and
prejudice of the Nation, are appointed unto death.

"I will only add that I have since visited Berlin for the
purpose of addressing a number of respectable citizens who
were desirous of learning what this strange doctrine (abolition)
was. But tar and feathers having proven ineffectual, other
means were resorted to. I was now, together with my audience,
subjected to other outrages, under the professed authority and
sanction of law. The particulars of this transaction are worthy
of record, and I will endeavor to furnish them next week.


Marius R. Robinson. ■

"GiLLFORD, June 13, 1837."

From a manuscript sketch of the life of Marius R.
Robinson, written by his niece, Mrs. Homer C. Boyle,
who knew him well and got from him direct the account
of his experience at Berlin Center we quote the fol-
lowing :

"He went by invitation to Berlin Center, a village a few
miles north of Salem to speak. He was the guest of Jesse
Garretson, a Quaker merchant. * * * He spoke in Mr.
Garretson's dwelling on Friday, June 2. Another meeting was
arranged for the following Sunday when he proposed to vin-
dicate the Bible from the charge of supporting slavery. This
was more than the piety and patriotism of Berlin Center could
endure. At eleven o'clock on Saturday evening Mr. Robinson
vv^as sitting in the store of his Quaker friend, Jesse Garretson,
engaged in conversation with one or two friends. The leader
of the already formed mob. Dr. Hughes, burst into the room
saying, 'You have got to leave town tonight ; you have disturbed
the peace of our citizens long enough.' Mr. Robinson in spite
of the vigorous efforts of his friends to protect him, was dragged
into the street. * * * The hot tar burned his flesh. From
one of his arms a piece of flesh an inch square was torn. In
dragging him over a rack of scythes in the store another place
was cut in his hip quite deep * * * _ n^ ^^s placed in a
rough wagon, driven a distance of ten miles and thrown into
a field near the village of Canfield, where he was an entire
stranger, not knowing so much as the name of a single inhabi-

368 Ohio Arch, and Hist. Society Publications.

tant. The household to which he first presented himself was
frightened by his appearance, and declined helping him, but
he found a Good Samaritan in a Mr. Wetmore, by whom all
his wants were supplied. He attended public worship twice
on that Sunday and at five o'clock in the afternoon delivered
an anti-slavery address, but he never recovered from the injuries
then received. * * * He never manifested any other feeling
toward his persecutors than that expressed by Jesus when in
his agony upon the cross, he exclaimed, 'Father forgive them;
they know not what they do.' "

Those who perpetrated this outrage were all well
known. There was no attempt to conceal their identity;
neither was there any effort to bring them to justice for
this lawless act. On the other hand, Mr. Robinson was
hmiself arrested on the charge of "inciting a mob." He
was successfully defended in court by R. W. Tayler,
later auditor of state and father of R. W. Tayler, con-
gressman and U. S. district judge. There was plenty
of law, but it was seldom invoked at this time in behalf
of abolitionists.

In 1839, Mr. Robinson was delivering anti-slavery
lectures in Licking County. At Granville he was con-
fined to his room for some time by a severe illness.
Taking advantage of this his opponents resorted to a
novel device to rid the community of his presence. The
overseers of the poor were influenced to use their au-
thority in behalf of the local pro-slavery sympathizers.
They sent by a constable the following order which was
served on Mr. Robinson when J's was unable to leave
his bed :

"Licking County, jranville Township, ss.

"To H. C. Mead, Constable c*^ Said Tozvnship, Greeting:

"WHEREAS, We, the undersigned, overseers of the poor
of Granville township, havi received information that there has
lately come into said tcvvnship, a certain poor man, named
Robinson, who is not a legal resident thereof, and will likely

Anti-Slavery Movement in Columbiana County 369

become a township charge, you are therefore hereby commanded
to warn the said Robinson, with his family, to depart out of
said township. And of this warrant make service and return.
Given under our hands this first day of March, 1839.

"Charles Oilman,
"S. Bancroft,
"Overseers of the Poor."

Although he was ill, Robinson was not fright-
ened at this order and stood his ground until he was able
and ready to leave.

In 1840 and 1844 James G. Birney was the candi-
date of the Liberal Party for president of the United
States. He ran on a platform pledged to the abolition
of slavery and abolitionists of all shades of opinion
supported him. The radical wing of the party, the fol-
lowers of William Lloyd Garrison, grew restive under
the leadership of those who sought to liberate the slave
and at the same time to preserve the union. The aboli-
tion of slavery in the District of Columbia and in the
territory of the United States they considered good so
far as it went but not sufficient to justify continued
union with the South where slavery existed under the
sanction of the Constitution of the United States.
Rather than live under such a government, they would
rend the union asunder. They adopted as their battle
cry ''No Union with Slaveholders." In other words,
they were disunion abolitionists.

Naturally there were many who opposed slavery but
were not prepared to go to this extreme. The division
in the anti-slavery ranks, which had been growing for
some time, reached a crisis in the annual meeting of the
Western Anti-slavery Society which assembled in the
Disciple Church at New Lisbon, Ohio, June 5, 1845.
Abby Kelley, the aggressive and eloquent Quakeress and

Vol. XXX— 24

370 Ohio Arch, and Hist. Society Publications.

radical abolitionist, assailed the citadel of conservatism
in this convention and ultimately carried everything by
storm. She declared that "Washington and Jefferson
were slave holding thieves, living by the unpaid labor of
robbed women and children." At this outburst a dele-
gate stepped on the platform and declared, "This is a
slander upon Jefferson who said in his warning against
slavery T tremble for my country when I remember that
God is just, and that his justice cannot sleep forever'."
Almost pushing the speaker from the stand Abby
Kelley shouted:

"Ah, devils fear and tremble when the Almighty is thunder-
ing out his wrath upon them, — but are they the less devils?"

In the midst of the excitement a prominent citizen
arose and said, "She is proving it all, but it will lead to
war and bloodshed." At this point, oil was poured on
the troubled waters by someone who led the great audi-
ence in singing these lines from Whittier :

"We have a weapon firmer set

And better than the bayonet ;

A weapon that comes down as still

As snow-flakes fall upon the sod,

But executes a freeman's will

As lightning does the will of God."

The abolitionists of the Garrisonian school, now
having complete control in this stronghold of anti-
slavery sentiment in the West, took prompt steps to es-
tablish a newspaper for the promulgation of their views.
This was to be to this section in a measure what the
Liberator was to the East and the entire country. It
was not to supersede but to supplement Garrison's great,
organ, and to give due prominence to the anti-slavery
movement in Ohio and the northwest.

Anti-Slavery Movement in Columbiana County 371

On June 29, 1845, the Anti-Slavery Bugle was
launched. The first issue was published at New Lisbon,
Ohio, and bore at its masthead, "No Union with Slave
Holders." After the sixth issue it was moved to Salem,
Ohio, where it was published until Abraham Lincoln
issued his emancipation proclamation.

At first the Bugle carried the name of no editor, but
it did not lack bold and vigorous editorial expression.*
Some of the ablest writers of the abolition school in
the United States were on the ground ready and eager
to pen their fervid thoughts for publication. The sev-
enth issue was published in Salem, September 5, 1845.
In this appear the names of the following publishing
committee: Samuel Brook, George Garretson, James
Barnaby, Jr., David L. Galbreath and Lot Holmes.
Barnaby was also general agent for the paper and the
names of the editors were Benjamin S. Jones and J.
Elizabeth Hitchcock. The editors were later married.
In the issue of October 23, 1846, the name of George
Garretson appears for the last time on the publishing
committee. The names of the other members of this
committee appear without change until the issue of
October 8, 1847. At this time the members of the
publishing committee were transferred to the executive
committee of the Western Anti-slavery Society. In the
issue of June 15, 1849, appears the valedictory of Ben-
jamin S. Jones and J. Elizabeth Jones, the joint editors.
Two weeks later "Words of Introduction," present
Oliver Johnson, the famous anti-slavery advocate, as
the new editor. He came expecting to remain only one
year until a permanent editor could be found, but the

* The earliest editorials are said to have been written by Milo

372 Ohio Arch, and Hist. Society Publications.

work was so congenial to him that he consented to re-
main almost two years. His ''Parting Words" are
found in the issue of April 26, 1851. Marius R. Rob-
inson was then persuaded to undertake the editorial
work. His salutatory in the issue of May 24, 1851,
shows that he did this reluctantly and with misgivings
as to his qualifications for the new position. He re-
mained editor, however, until the cause for which the
Bugle was established had been accomplished and pub-
lication ceased.

The Bugle was a four page, six column paper, that
increased its size by increasing the width of its columns.
Its space was given up almost entirely to the anti-slavery
cause. There were few advertisements. The speeches
of friends of the cause in Congress and on the platform
were frequently reproduced in their entirety or extended
quotations. There were letters of generous length from
speakers in the field. Anti-slavery meetings and con-
ventions were ably reported and local clashes with pro-
slavery sympathizers were given considerable promi-
nence. In short, this was an organ of agitation and
propaganda. An editorial in the first issue sets forth
pretty clearly the purpose of the publication. It reads
as follows:


In extending to our readers our first greeting, we by no
means intend to disparage ourselves that they may exalt us.

Though you may consider our garb rather home-spun, and
our style somewhat homely, yet we come before you with no
humble pretensions. Our mission is a great and glorious one.
It is to "Preach deliverance to the captive, and the opening of
the prison door to them that are bound," to hasten in the day
when "Liberty shall be proclaimed throughout all the land, unto
all the inhabitants thereof." Though in view of the magnitude
of this enterprise, we feel that the intellect and power of an

Anti-Slavery Movement in Columbiana County 373

angel would be but as a drop in the ocean of Truth, by which
the vilest system of oppression the sun ever shone upon is to
be swept away, yet knowing as we do that our influence is cast
with justice and Humanity, with Truth and the God of Truth,
our pretensions are far from humble, though our talents may
be justly so considered.

He who professes to plead for man degraded and imbruted,
and to strive for the elevation of the crushed millions of his
race; he who professes to labor for the restoration of manhood
to man, and for the recognition of his divine nature, makes no
humble pretensions.

It is true our Bugle blast may not fall upon your ears with
all the sweetness and softness which so well becomes the orchestra
of an Italian or French opera company, but we intend that it
shall give no uncertain sound, and God aiding us, we will blow
a blast that shall be clear and startling as a hunting horn or
battle charge, and we trust that its peals shall play around the
hill-tops, and shall roll over the plains and down the valleys of
our State, until from the waters of the Ohio to those of the
mighty lakes, from Pennsylvania on the East to Indiana on the
West, the land shall echo and re-echo to the soul-stirring cry of

The Bugle was not devoted entirely to the anti-
slavery cause. Incidentally it favored temperance, the
abolition of capital punishment and woman suffrage.
The first call for an Ohio woman suffrage convention
appeared in this paper, April 13, 1850. This convention
was held in Salem on the 19th day of April of that year.
It may therefore be truthfully said that the Bugle was
potent in starting this reform which only recently has
been fully accomplished not only in this state but in the
United States.

The promoters of the Bugle seemed to have been
inspired with a high degree of state patriotism. They
make the appeal for the paper not only in the name of
its cause but in the name of Ohio. In the second issue
appears a lengthy editorial from which we quote as

374 Ohio Arch, and Hist. Society Publications.

"Unpopular then as may be the doctrine of 'No union with
Slaveholders,' yet believing it to be true, the Committee have
inscribed it upon their sheet. No other paper west o! the moun-
tains bears that motto. The Abolitionists of Eastern Pennsyl-
vania, of New York, and of New England have unfurled their
banners and written it upon the folds. Yonder, upon the soil
of Bunker's Height, beneath the very shadow of time-honored
and venerated Faneuil Hall, the "Liberator" has long since been
given to the breeze ; and towering above the crowded metro-
polis of New York, where the hurry of commerce, the din of
business, and the conflict of selfish interests have almost drowned
the voice of truth, floats the National 'Standard' of American
Abolitionists. In the Quaker city of Pennsylvania, whose name
once synonomous with Brotherly Love, has lost its beautiful
signification, there are enough to sustain that banner which is
the glory of the true 'Freeman' ; and from the hills of New
England — from the White mountains of New Hampshire is
heard the voice of a 'Herald of Freedom' cheering the handful
who have rallied around the mountain standard, and success-
fully defended it from the attacks of open foes and professed

" 'Westward the star of Empire takes its way !' Ohio has
heard the call and responded to it. Her flag has been unfurled —
the echo of Freedom's song has fallen upon her ear, she has
caught up the notes and her Bugle is even now sounding through-
out the land. Shall it be said that the Buckeye State is content
to remain behind her older sisters in this glorious enterprise?
God forbid! Let those of us who profess to love the cause of
freedom, show at this time that our love for it is not an empty

The non-resistant attitude of Garrison was pleasing
to the anti-slavery forces in Columbiana County, which
for the most part were reared under Quaker influences.
Their agitation often provoked blows and mob violence
of which they were the victims. In remarkably few in-
stances did they defend themselves against insult and
personal violence. Their meekness and persistence, as
one of their foes once expressed it, "were infernally ex-
asperating." They serenely refused to get angry or
excited. Their only weapon was argument, and it is

Anti-Slavery Movement in Columbiana County 375

not recorded that they ever ran out of ammunition in
the war of words. The industry with which they spread
their propaganda and devoted themselves to the over-
throw of the slave power was truly wonderful. At
night they traveled far to help fugitive slaves along the
Underground Railroad toward the goal of freedom; in
daytime they went long distances to hear their speakers,
and they gave freely of their time and meager means to
a cause that could bring them neither wealth nor fame,
— a cause that was to them an educatijig influence, an
inspiration to unselfish endeavor and, in some instances,
the master passion of their lives. They found a genuine
enjoyment in this work and were ever cheered by an
unwavering faith that it would ultimately triumph. By
the standards of their time they were narrow-minded
and fanatical, but they saw in straight and prophetic
lines and the "visionary" and "impractical" reforms that
they advocated in their day became the triumphant
realities of a succeeding generation.

The anti-slavery speakers whose itineraries radiated
from Salem, very frequently had difficulty in finding
rooms in which to conduct their meetings. Public build-
ings and churches were usually closed against them.
Even the Quakers who freely bore testimony against
slavery sometimes hesitated to open their meeting
houses to the anti-slavery agents. Oliver Johnson, then
editor of the Anti-Slavery Bugle, in the issue of that
paper June 22, 1850, gives an accoimt of a meeting that
he addressed in Columbiana on the Sunday preceding,
which is here reproduced in part : ,

"The afternoon meeting was appointed at our request, made
at the close of the regular meeting held in the morning — no one
objecting. On going to the meeting at three P. M., however,





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Anti-Slavery Movement in Columbiana County 377

Friends found the gate secured by strong padlocks, and the
doors and windows made fast. We have reason to believe that
this outrage against many respectable members of the Society
was committed with the full knowledge and approbation of the
two preachers who usually attend that meeting.

"Friends feeHng that their right to the use of the house
under the circumstances was unquestioned, did not hesitate to
scale the fences and enter it by the readiest means in their
power. To accomplish the object nothing more was necessary
than to remove a protruding nail from a sash by pressing against
it another nail, and then to open a window, through which a
boy found ready ingress. The bar that held one of the doors
being removed, the audience found shelter from the rain, and
enjoyed the opportunity they had sought for the promotion of
the cause of Christian Reform.

"Whatever of responsibility is involved in the removal of
the nail, we cheerfully take upon ourselves for the act was
performed by our hands ; and we must also plead guilty to a
subsequent effort to drive a fresh nail in the coffin of pro-
slavery Quakerism."

There were, however, some halls and churches that
were always open to anti-slavery speakers. Among" the
latter w^as the church* near Cool Spring, or Unionville,
as the village was later called. This was a favorite
meeting- place not only because the use of the church
was freely granted but because it was located midway
between a number of villages and conveniently acces-
sible to many people in northern Columbiana County.
On Sunday, July 14, 1850, a meeting of unusual interest
was held there. Following is the full account as it
appeared in the Bugle of July 20, 1850:

* The trustees of this church, which was located about one-fourth of a
mile east of Cool Spring, were Samuel Nye, David Galbreath and Samuel
Heaton, in whom and their successors the title of the property was vested
"to be free to all the sons and daughters of Adam" for public worship.
The father and two uncles of David Galbreath, all Quakers, had estab-
lished a similar church near the village of New Garden, Columbiana
County, in 1806. Three of his children he named after anti-slavery
leaders — Charles C. Burleigh, Abby Kelley and Parker Pillsbury. All
three of the trustees were in sympathy with the anti-slavery movement.
The church was torn down some time ago and the village of Cool Spring,
or Unionville as it is still called, has for years been slowly declining, due
to the growth of Leetonia, a railway town less than two miles distant.

378 Ohio Arch, and Hist. Society Publications.

"As we anticipated, the meeting at Cool Spring on Sunday
last was attended by a large concourse of people from the sur-
rounding country, most of them doubtless attracted by the pros-
pect of listening to the fervid eloquence of Abby Kelley Foster.
The meeting house being too small to accommodate even one-
half the throng, the windows on the north side were removed,
and the speaker taking her place at one of the apertures was
heard with great ease as well by those on the outside as by those
within the walls.

"Mrs. Foster's subject in the forenoon was the popular
religion of the land — the spuriousness of its worship and forms,
contrasted with the pure and undefiled Christianity of the New
Testament. She spoke with great power, and with an unction
proceeding from the heart and from a deep sympathy with
struggling humanity. The large audience listened as if spell-
bound for upwards of two hours, and we are confident that a
deep and abiding impression was made on many minds. At
the conclusion of her address, several questions were put by Dr.
Evans and De Lorma Brooks, Esq. of New Lisbon, which, for
want of time before adjournment, were not fully answered.
After a few remarks by Henry C. Wright, the meeting adjourned
until 2 o'clock P. M.

"The friends of the cause having reason to believe that a
concerted efifort would be made to throw the meeting into con-
fusion, determined to organize at the commencement of the
afternoon session by the appointment of a chairman to keep
order. Five or ten minutes, however, before the hour appointed
for the opening of the meeting, a vagrant buffoon and rowdy,
calling himself Dr. O. C. Evans, took his place near the stand
and commenced a characteristic speech. When the hour of 2
o'clock had arrived, Samuel Myers mildly requested him to
desist, but he refused to do so in the most insulting manner,
and proceeded with his harangue, being encouraged in that out-
rageous course by a few rowdies as vulgar as himself. Of course
he had no more right to speak at that time, in defiance of all
order and of the wishes of those who had called the meeting,
than he had to pick the pockets of those assembled ; but all
appeals to his sense of justice and his regard for decency were
alike vain ; he had come to the meeting resolved that his voice
should be heard, not in a peaceable and orderly manner, but in
such a way to produce all possible confusion. He was told tliat,
if he would suffer the meeting to become organized, he should
have the floor at once ; but it was of no use.

"Seing that remonstrance was vam, the anti-slavery friends
appointed their chairman, quietly removed their s])eakers' stam.
to the south side of the house, and left the brawler and his

Anti-Slavery Movement in Columbiana County 379

congenial spirits to themselves. The creature then played the
buffoon for an hour or more for the amusement of his cronies,
who enveloped in the smoke of burning tobacco doubtless thought
they had achieved a victory over the Abolitionists and saved the
Union and the Church from destruction ! That the noise of
the rowdy doctor — for he roared like a 'bull of Bashan' — and
the loud jeers of his boon companions, did not annoy the friends
of order, it would be too much to say ; but the disturbance was
not such as to interrupt the progress of the meeting. Able ad-
dresses were made by H. C. Wright and A. K. Foster. William
D. Ewing of New Lisbon, a sort of amateur Free-soiler, came
forward in a manly way to vindicate the Constitution and the
Union, but we cannot honestly say that he helped the cause he
sought to defend. De Lorma Brooks, an out-and-out Whig,
who believes that the 'self-evident truths' of the Declaration of
Independence are a transparent lie — whose highest rule of
morality is that 'Power gives Right.' and wouldn't mind holding
slaves and raising them for market if the law only allowed it
— controverted alike the views of the Abolitionists and of Mr.
Ewing. He admitted, however, that the former were consistent
in opposing the Union and Constitution believing as they did
that slavery was a sin and that it was a crime to aid in upholding

Online LibraryOhio State Archaeological and Historical SocietyOhio archæological and historical quarterly (Volume 30) → online text (page 26 of 43)