(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
ANTI SLAVERY LECTURE.
The Northampton papers speak in exalted terms, of the Abolition lecture of
the Hon. Mr. Birney of Kentucky, delivered in that town on the 4th inst. The
Courier says it was "a temperate, sensible and gentlemanly performance."
In the Gazette we find a sketch of Mr. Birney's remarks. He seems to have
treated the subject in a dignified and temperate manner, which
will have more effect in convincing the people than all the vituperation and
abuse that has been poured out by Garrison, Thompson, and others. But Mr. B.
enterains the same opinions on this subject as other abolotionists. He considered
immediate emancipation as the only remedy. All other schemes would prove abortive.
He thought no preparation necessary to prepare slaves for the enjoyment of their
personal rights;- they must be made free and admitted to an equal enjoyment
of the social privileges with the whites, and they would soon become orderly
and peaceable citizens. About a year since he liberated his own slaves, and
has since employed them, and paid them wages: a decided improvement was soon
visible; they became orderly and industrious- laid up about half their wages,
and attended church regularly. In conclusion Mr. B. urged the necessity of concentrating
public sentiment at the north upon this subject, and bringing it to bear with
all its force through organized societies, being fully of the opinion that as
soon as the North unite in expressing their conviction of its horror, the South
will look about them and devise remedies.
Slavery, in the words of an English writer, is indeed "a thorn in the
side of our giant republic," it is a subject of deep interest both in a
moral and political point of view, and any scheme for removing the evil from
among us, should be thoroughly discussed and understood.
Mr. Birney advanced many arguments of great weight, in favor of immediate abolition;
yet the scheme itself, however plausible in theory, would we fear, be found
to work most wretchedly in practice. The consequences of manumitting at once
the whole body of slaves in the country, and casting them loose upon society,
in their present poor, depraved, and ignorant condition,- may be better conceived
than described. Divested of this and one or two other exceptionable features,
the scheme is worthy of serious consideration.
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The 1830s were the heyday of the formation of anti-slavery societies. Associations were established at the town, county and state levels. James G. Birney (1792-1857), a noted abolitionist, spoke in Northampton, Massachusetts, on June 4, 1835. Birney was born in the slave state of Kentucky and founded the abolitionist newspaper the Philanthropist in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1836. The Hampshire Gazette commented that his remarks were more dignified and temperate than those of fellow abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) and George Thompson (1804-1878), although he held the same opinions. The Greenfield Gazette and Franklin Herald was the newspaper in Greenfield, Massachusetts, from June 26, 1827 to June 27, 1837. It changed its name to the Gazette & Mercury.
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"Anti Slavery Lecture" article from Greenfield Gazette and Franklin Herald newspaper
| publisher Greenfield Gazette and Franklin Herald
| date Jun 16, 1835
| location Greenfield, Massachusetts
| width 3.25"
| height 7.5"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| accession # #L05.018
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