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but the severity of her arraignments on the platform at times
led her hearers, especially those who did not agree with her, to
reach a dift'erent conclusion. When she came to Salem, Ohio,

392 Ohio Arch, and Hist. Society Publications.

it is said that she went to the home of Jacob Heaton, a prominent
anti-slavery advocate of that town, who was also a firm supporter
of the Liberty Party. When she came to his home, before
entering she said to him : "I do not know that thee will wish me
to enter thy home. I have come to kill the Liberty Party." To
this Mr. Heaton answered with a smile, "Come in, Abby, and
we will kill thee with kindness."


Oliver Johnson was born at Peacham, Vermont, December
2y, 1809. He died December 8, 1889. He was an apprentice
printer in the office of the Watchman published at Montpelier,
Vermont. He was afterwards engaged in a number of news-
paper enterprises and interested himself in benevolent movements
and the anti-slavery cause. He aided in organizing the New
England Anti-slavery Society in 1832, assisted William Lloyd
Garrison in the publication of the Liberator, went to Ohio and
there lectured for the Western Anti-Slavery Society and edited
the Anti-Slavery Bugle for almost two years. He afterward
returned to the east and in 1865 became managing editor of the
Independent. In 1870 he became editor of the Neiv York Weekly
Tribune and two weeks later accepted the editorship of the
Christian Union. He wrote a book entitled William Lloyd
Garrison and his Times; or sketches of the anti-slavery move-
ment in America.


John Frost was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, July
18, 1806 and died January i, 1885. He came with his parents
to Hanover Township, Columbiana County, in 181 1. He re-
ceived his education in the pioneer public schools and the print-
ing office. He was a born reformer and early became identified
with the anti-slavery movement — "itself a great educator."
In 1827 he entered the office of the American, published in New
Lisbon, Ohio, where he learned the printer's trade. In 1832
he established the Aurora, the first issue of which bears the
date of March 15 of that year. This paper he continued to
publish until 1856. Its character is set forth on preceding pages
and in the excerpt following this sketch. It was published at
first in an office "over the store of Potter and Quinby two
doors west of Mr. Daily's hotel," and later from an office on
Walnut Street, constructed in circular form, so built as the
editor expressed it, that "the devil could not corner him."

After the Aurora ceased publication, Mr. Frost went to
Ravenna, Ohio, where for a time he was one of the editors of
the Reformer, a radical anti-slavery paper. From 1859- 1862

Anti-Slavery Movement in Columbiana County 393

he followed the printer's trade in eastern cities principally Phila-
delphia. In 1863 he returned to Ohio and with Peter Walker
of Massillon commenced in that city the publication of the In-
dependent, which he continued successfully for ten years. In
1873 he returned to New Lisbon, where he was employed until
within a few weeks of his death in general newspaper work, much
of his time in his later years being spent in the office of the
Buckeye State. He was a reformer and actively interested in
promoting the moral and educational welfare of the communities
in which he lived. Firmly grounded in his faith, he was tolerant
of those sincerely holding opposite views and, through the stormy
controversial times in which he lived, he ever preserved a genial
and gentle personality.


Volume I, Number 1, March 15, 1921

The introductory note at the head of the first column is
brief and is here quoted in full :

"the aurora

will be published weekly, at two dollars per annum if paid within the
year, or two dollars and fifty cents if payment be extended beyond that
period. No discontinuance until all arrearages are paid — Office over
the store of Potter & Quinby two doors west of Mr. Daily's hotel.

"Advertisements not exceeding a square, one dollar for the three
first insertions, anw twenty-five cents for each subsequent insertion.
Longer ones in proportion."

The editor's salutatory, which appears at the head of the
third page, is as follows :

"In the early part of November, we issued a prospectus, for pub-
lishing, in the town of New Lisbon, a newspaper called 'The Aurora.'
At that time, we intended to commence its publication on the first of
January last, and with a view thereto we sent to Cincinnati for the press
and materials, which, in consequence of the obstruction of the navigation
of the Ohio River by ice, we have not been able to obtain until a few
weeks past.

"In presenting to the public the first number of our paper, some
apology for the matter it contains we deem necessary: Unfavored with
the advantages of an exchange, we were obliged to gather the best we
could from the few papers in our possession. Hereafter, we are in
hopes that these disadvantages will be removed ; and that we shall be
able, by a judicious selection, from the best periodicals and newspapers
printed in the United States, to make our future numbers more interesting
than the present.

"Since the issuing of our prospectus for this publication, much
speculation has been afloat as to the course that would be taken in its
direction. Many things have been in circulation, calculated to prejudice
and forestall public opinion ; and to produce a withholding of that sup-
port, which we otherwise might have expected. To correct the public

394 Ohio Arch, and Hist. Society Publications.

upon this subject, we have thought it advisable to notice two of the most
prominent objections that have been urged against the establishment of
this press. It is stated that this county cannot support tliree presses;
and that in case ours succeeds, it must be at the expense of others. This
statement, in our opinion, is incorrect — we cannot as yet, believe that
the rich county of Columbiana, with a population of thirty-six thousand,
is incapable of supporting three presses. It must be borne in mind that
improvement is on the march — that general information is becoming
every day more widely infused, and the advantages of newspapers more
properly appreciated. We deem the time not far distant when almost
every family in our county will consider a newspaper an indispensable
requisite to its interests and amusement.

"It has also been stated, and pretty generally circulated, that this
press has been established for the express purpose of rearing up a polit-
ical antimasonic party — to proscribe those who belong to the masonic
institution ; and to lift info office a few political aspirants, who have no
other way of getting in. We unequivocally pronounce this to be incor-
rect. We are opposed to political antimasonry unless it should be needed
to counteract the effects of political masonry; we are opposed to pro-
scribing any man, because he belongs to this society, or that ; and, we
are also opposed to that class of men that espouse any party for the
purpose of office.

"In principle, we are antimasonic. We look upon the masonic insti-
tution as entirely useless, and calculated, if for nothing more, to create
suspicion and mistrust. And in the direction of this paper, we shall
occasionally endeavor to show why, & wherein, it is useless, & the reasons
why it ought to be abolished. In doing which, we shall not travel out
of the path of truth, or o'erstep the bounds of candor and propriety.
Our columns also will be open for a fair discussion of its principles.
And if they are, as its friends represent them to be, correct and useful,
they have nothing to fear from investigation, if not, the public ought to
be made acquainted with them.

"By some, it is contended that the press has nothing to do with the
subject of masonry; that it steps aside from its duty when it meddles
with it. We think differently — we consider no society privileged, how-
ever ancient it may be, or whatever may be its tenets or principles. If
they be useful, the world ought to be made acquainted with it, if not,
justice requires an exposure; and the press, in our opinion, is the proper
vehicle to make that exposure. Whatever concerns the public, the press
ought not to withhold. Like a faithful sentinel, its duty is to watch
over the welfare of the country ; and to sound the alarm when danger
either stalks abroad at noonday, or skulks about under the cover of the
night. Such are our views of masonry, and such are our views of the
duties of the public press.

"In politics this press will be governed by principles rather than
men — only adhering to such men as are governed by correct motives,
and whose abilities and integrity entitle them to public confidence. Be-
lieving that the American system embraces the true policy of our country
— a policy calculated to make us independent in time of war, and happy
in time of peace, we shall give it our undivided support.

"As to the two political parties that now agitate this country, we
shall not espouse either; but endeavor to pursue an independent course,
and to publish such matter on both sides as may be interesting to the
public. Experience has fully shuwn that, in the rage of political excite-
ment, truth is frequently sacrificed to party purposes, and the public most
egregiously imposed upon — such things ought not to be — truth ought

Anti-Slavery Movement in Columbiana County 395

to be published, whether the same makes against this party or that;
that the people may be correctly informed, and be prepared to act in the
exercise of their elective franchise.

"Believing that the greatest portion of our readers will be among
those, who belong to the agricultural and manufacturing occupations,
we shall take great pains to make this paper valuable to them; for that
purpose, we shall, as soon as possible, devote a part of this paper ex-
clusively to such subjects as more particularly interest the^. — In short
it will be our aim to make our columns interesting to all classes of


The portraits of Abby Kelley, Oliver Johnson and Charles
C. Burleigh are reproduced from William Lloyd Garrison, i8oy
i8/9, The Story of His Life Told by His Children. These were
made from daguerreotypes taken prior to i860. The portrait of
John Frost is from a photograph loaned by his niece, Mrs. T. B.
Marquis. The picture of his office is from a photograph loaned
by his grand-daughter, Mrs. C. C. Helman.


The facts upon which the account of this rescue is based
were gleaned chiefly from the files of the Village Register pub-
lished in Salem, Ohio. Confirmatory and supplemental informa-
tion was gathered from files of the Liberator.




Among many villages of our state that pursue the
even tenor of their way so peacefully and quietly that
they earn their way to honorable obscurity, is Winona,
Columbiana County. This name was chosen from
Longfellow's Hiawatha, for the citizens of this place
find time to read, enjoy what we dignify as "literature"
and are in a very useful and unpretentious way "cul-
tured." The church and the school are liberally patron-
ized. The moral standard of the community is high.

Through the bellum and ante-bellum days this village
was simply a crossroads, unnamed as yet, with little to
distinguish it from the surrounding country, which is
rolling, well watered and fertile. It was not christened
Winona until the year 1868.

Hither in pioneer days at the opening of the last cen-
tury came the Quakers, chiefly from North Carolina.
The admission of Ohio as a free state in 1803 made it
attractive to these people. They were uncompromis-
ingly opposed to slavery. They did not seek contro-
versies with slaveholding neighbors in the South, but
preferred to make their homes in a land dedicated to
universal liberty.

As a people they were frugal, industrious, honest, a
little inconsistent, .strangers say, in their plain clothes
and plain language, but opposed with uncompromising
firmness to all forms of organized injustice, intolerance
and oppression. In the new state they found congenial


398 Ohio Arch, and Hist. Society Publications.

environment, the opportunity to practice unmolested the
tenets of their simple faith and a form of government
that disturbed them little in the course of their unevent-
ful and peaceful lives.

The settlement about what afterward became Winona
was typically Quaker. Year in and year out these
people tilled the earth, sowed the seed and gathered the
harvests in. On First Day of each week they met for
silent worship. They bowed in silence before partaking
of their daily bread. They were a law unto themselves
and very seldom needed either the restraining or direct-
ing hand of government. This is about the last place
that we should expect to give birth to any one who
should startle the community or aid in startling the

And yet on some subjects these people thought seri-
ously and profoundly. The slavery question was to them
one of absorbing interest. On it they read and medi-
tated. To many of them it was a source of education.
They became familiar with all the anti-slavery argu-
ments. To "remember those in bonds as bound with
them," was for them invested with all the force a direct
command from Mt. Sinai. Opposition to slavery grew
with the passing years and the appeals of Lundy and
Garrison found a fervid response in this farming com-

We have heard much of the "isolation of the rural
districts." This did not apply to the region of which
we write in the three decades before the Civil War, for
it was located in Columbiana County and only six miles
distant was the town of Salem, a center of anti-slavery
agitation, from which radiated the itineraries of the
agents of the Western Anti-Slavery Society.


400 OJiio Arch, and Hist. Society Publications.

In this community, when the movement was in full
swing, the Coppoc brothers, Edwin and Barclay, were
born. Their grandfather John Coppock and his wife
moved to Mount Pleasant, then in the Northwestern
Territory, but one year later in the state of Ohio. In
the year following, 1803, he moved to what in 1806 be-
came Butler Township, Columbiana County, Ohio.

John Coppock was descended from Aaron Coppock,
of Cheshire, England, who was born August 19, 1662
and came to America in 1683. He was a minister of
the gospel forty-two years. His son John, born July 1,
1709, married Margaret Coulston. To them were born
five children. The youngest son, Samuel, born Novem-
ber 3, 1748, married Anne Stillwell. Their oldest son,
John, born November 4, 1776, married Catherine Kirk.
Their son, Samuel, married Anne Lynch. Of this union
six children were born, Levi, Maria, Edwin, Barclay,
Lydia and Joseph L. Levi and the two daughters died
before they reached the age of twenty-five years. Joseph
L. Coppoc saw very active service in the Civil War and
rose to the rank of major. He was for many years a
minister in the Baptist church. A number of children
survive him.^

The sons of Samuel Coppock spelled their family
name Coppoc, omitting the final k. A cousin explains
the change in spelling as follows: Levi, the oldest son
of the family, who died in his twenty-fourth year, was
an expert speller and inclined to favor simplified spell-
ing, which even at that early day had a few advocates.
He and his brothers and sisters omitted the k in spelling
the family name, but their father always retained it.
While there seems to have been no authority for chang-
ing the name from "Coppock" to "Coppoc," this latter

Edivin Coppoc 401

Spelling will be used in the names of those who had
adopted it. In other words, each person will be accepted
as authority on the spelling of his own name.

It will be seen that the Coppocks were of colonial
ancestry. They came from Pennsylvania to that part
of the Northwest Territory which afterward became

Edwin Coppoc, the third child of Samuel and
Anne (Lynch) Coppock, was born in Butler Township,
Columbiana County, Ohio, June 30, 1835. His brother
Barclay was born at the same place January 4, 1839.
Their father died when the boys were young. They
grew up under the influence of a devout mother, grand-
parents and other relatives. The father died early in
1842, leaving a wife and six children, ranging in ages
from one to ten years. In the spring of 1842, a few
months after the death of his father, Edwin was placed
with John Butler, a farmer of sterling character with
whom he remained for eight years. During this time
he attended school in the winter and performed the work
that usually fell to the lot of farmer boys in the neigh-

The years from 1842 to 1850 were eventful. They
covered not only the brief period of the Mexican war
but the anti-slavery agitation which had been intensi-
fied by the results of that war, including a substantial
extension of slave territory, and the exciting debates in
Congress leading up to the enactment of the Fugitive
Slave Law. It is needless to say that discussion of the
burning question of the hour was carried on almost
without interruption in the Quaker communities of Ohio
and much that was said sank deep in the receptive minds
of the young. The talk in fron)- of the ample fireplace,

Vol. XXX— 26

402 Ohio Arch, and Hist. Society Publications.

at the table, in the church and on the rostrum turned
upon the wrongs of those in bonds and the aggressions
of the slave power. To all this Edwin Coppoc was an
attentive and serious listener. His impressions were
lasting; what he heard had much to do with what he
became when he reached young manhood's estate.

At the age of fifteen years, somewhat to the regret
of Mr. Butler, young Coppoc went to Springdale, Iowa,
in what was then known as the far West, to join his
mother who had married a man by the name of Raley
and was re-establishing a home for her children. She
was a woman of native intelligence and strong convic-
tions. Already she had known the trials and vicissitudes
of life. She had lost the sight of one eye when she was
a child and the other was beginning to fail. Two daugh-
ters and a son were soon to follow their father to the
grave. As Edwin grew into sturdy young manhood she
looked to him as a source of comfort and support. He
was industrious, frugal and bade fair to become a suc-
cessful farmer in the new western home. In 1859,
Thomas Winn of Springdale, Iowa, wrote of him:

"He came to Iowa with his widowed mother some seven
or eight years ago and settled here. I have been well and in-
timately acquainted with him and the whole family during the
greater part of the time mentioned. For more than a year Edwin
was an inmate of my family, [I] having employed him as a hired
hand on a farm, in which capacity he discharged his duties most
faithfuWy, and I can truly say that by his uniform industry, cor-
rect habits and amiable deportment he gained the confidence and
esteem of every member of my family. His reputation has
always been good as an honest, truth-speaking, straightforward,
industrious person. "-

In a similar vein, Charles Adams, of Philadelphia,
in December of the same year wrote of Edwin and his
mother in part as follows:

The numeral referances are to notes on pages ir)0-4r)l.

Edwin Coppoc 403

"About three years since, I visited Iowa and was at his
mother's house in Springdale settlement : her sons were then at
home; Edwin was a farmer, owned a team of oxen and followed
breaking prairie. He was industrious and much respected, and
had the reputation of being thrifty and attending closely to his
business. He broke some prairie for me also, and from his man-
ner and appearance and his mother's representation of him as
a dutiful and attentive son, I took quite an interest in him. In
December last, I had business again in Iowa, and dined at his
mother's house. Edwin had been on a visit to some of his rela-
tives in Kansas and returned the day before — so that I dined
with him also : He then talked of renting a farm in the spring,
and I inferred that it was his intention to marry.

"The mother is a member of the Society of Friends,
[orthodox] and is largely and respectably connected in New
Jersey and Pennsylvania. She is an excrn'plary zvom-an and has
been visited with many and grievous affictions, lost one eye in
her childhood and is now nearly blind. Of six children three
have died of consumption. "-

Late in December, 1857, an event of unusual im-
portance occurred in the village of Springdale. It was
the arrival of John Brown and his party on their way
from Kansas to Canada preparatory to the attack on
Harper's Ferry. It had not been the intention of John
Brown to stop long at Springdale. He had expected to
press on to Ashtabula County, Ohio, as soon as he could
sell his teams and wagons and thus realize sufficient
money to proceed on the journey by rail. Times were
very hard, however, and he could not raise sufficient
money to proceed. While cash was scarce, food in this
Iowa village was abundant and he found that it would
be much cheaper to winter there than to continue east-

Besides he found the people of this community in
hearty accord with his anti-slavery views. Springdale
was settled by the Quakers, a number of them from
Ohio. An Iowa writer thus describes the early settlers:

404 Ohio Arch, and Hist. Society Publications

"Among the first residents were John H. Painter, a Quaker,
who came in 1849; ^^^ Anne Coppoc, a Quakeress, and Dr. H.
C. Gill who came in 1850. During the next few years many
came, almost all of them Quakers ; so that when visited by Brown
and his band in 1857, it was a tl. riving Quaker settlement. Its
one street, which in fact is but a part of the public highway, is
bordered on either hand by modest frame houses surrounded
by spacious yards and shaded by overhanging braiiches of trees.
On all sides of the village the green and undulating fields stretch
away to the horizon. Within its homes the pleasant 'thee' and
'thy' of the Quaker are constantly heard ; and there prevails an
air of peace and serenity which is inexpressibly soothing and

It was not, of course, the natural beauty of the
place and surrounding country that especially appealed
to Brown and his followers but the friendly attitude of
the people who threw open their homes and bade the
storm beaten little expedition of anti-slavery warriors
a cordial welcome.

John Brown himself lived, while in Springdale, with
John H. Painter, a Quaker who became his staunch
friend. His men, however, were quartered in the home
of William Maxson about three miles distant from the
village. Here they found a haven of rest and social
enjoyment that contrasted sharply with the excitement
and turmoil of the border warfare in Kansas. Maxson
was not a Quaker but an ardent abolitionist.

They had regular camp duties to perform under the
direction of Aaron D. Stevens, one of their number
who had served in the United States army and was an
ideal instructor in military tactics. The men began
their daily work at five o'clock in the morning. Imme-
diately following breakfast they took up their studies
and continued until about ten o'clock. Books were
then laid aside and the remainder of the forenoon was
devoted to drill in the school of the soldier. A portion

Edwin Coppoc 405

of each afternoon was spent in gymnastics, sword drill
and company movements. This training was conducted
in an open space close to the Maxson home. There was
perhaps a double purpose in this. It was conveniently
located with reference to "winter quarters" and the
exhibition of arms, "carnal weapons", was not obtruded
upon the peace-loving Quakers of the village.

Of course these "conscientious objectors" to the use
of arms knew what was in progress at the drill grounds.
They also understood in a general way that Brown and
his followers believed that slavery must be overthrown
by force of arms, but their religious objections to war
were very materially modified by the thought that the
projected warfare was to be launched against the insti-
tution of slavery, which they considered the supreme
iniquity of the age. They were in full sympathy with
Brown in the object to be attained and while they did
not approve they were disposed to excuse the means
by which he sought to achieve the end. Had he and
his followers come on a mission to return fugitive
slaves to their masters, they would have found Spring-

Online LibraryOhio State Archaeological and Historical SocietyOhio archæological and historical quarterly (Volume 30) → online text (page 28 of 43)