xt79057crw8j https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt79057crw8j/data/mets.xml Birney, James Gillespie, 1792-1857. 1885  books b92-184-30604758 English P. Pillsbury, : Concord, N.H. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Slavery United States Controversial literature 1842. Slavery and the church. American churches the bulwarks of American slavery  / by James G. Birney. text American churches the bulwarks of American slavery  / by James G. Birney. 1885 2002 true xt79057crw8j section xt79057crw8j 







    13Y JAMES





   (ourlarb, ah. "'m.
       I 885.


This page in the original text is blank.


                   BY PARKER PILLSBURY.
  The following work is reproduced without apology. It
is needed as authentic anti-slavery history, and as showing
beyond all dispute who were most zealous defenders of
American slavery, and the most virulent opponents of the
active abolitionists.
  The author, Hon. James G. Birney, the only truly anti-
slavery man ever nominated for the presidency while slavery
lasted, was a native of Kentucky, and connected both by
birth and marriage with many of its first families. His ed-
ucation completed, he spent fifteen years in Huntsville, Ala-
bama, a successful lawyer, and for a time solicitor-general,
besides beingf tendered a seat on the bench of the supreme
  He was appointed by the legislature to nominate, at his
sole discretion, the faculty of the State University. Return-
ing to Kentucky, he was called to the Professorship of Polit-
ical Economy, Rhetoric, and Belles-Lettres in Centre Collegye
at Danville in that state. And those who knew him testified
that " his character and Christian influence were quite equal
to his public standing."  But public and private virtues,
intellectual eminence, and the hi(ghest lay official positions
in the Presbyterian church, were all lost in becoming a
repentant slaveholder and an active, earnest abolitionist.
  About the comnmencement of the wondrous career of Will-
iamn Lloyd Garrison and the establishment by him of The
Liberator in Boston, Mr. Theodore D. Weld, one of our most
eloquent and powerful anti-slavery lecturers and writers, en-
countered Mr. Birney while yet a slaveholder, and held some
searching discussions with him and his minister, also a slave-
holder, on the right of one man to hold absolute property in
his fellow-man. The; argument began with the minister in
the absence of Birney, who welcomed Weld to the parson-
age till he should return. He came in a few days, and


then the minister invited him and another lawyer to meet
Weld at dinner at his house.
  Here, also, the rigrht of property in man problem was in
order. But to the stunning surprise of the minister, he
learned that Birney was already fully convinced, intellect-
ually, that only the right of the kidnapper could be urged for
holding such property ; and that kidnapped human chattels
could never be owned, or held as lawful possessions, though
sanctified by transfer and conveyance through a thousand
  The discussion continued, earnest and more earnest, all day
and evening, even the minister's wife leaning to the Birney
side; tea was had and drank; and at a late hour Mr. Birney
invited Weld to dinner next day with him, and to come to
his office in the morning. And he went in the morningf and
found his host in profound meditation, sitting alone in the
inner office, and readv to confess that he had slept only little
the past night, but that he was fully assrired of his duty, and
that his slaves must have their freedom, then numbering, as
Mr. Weld now thinks, forty-two.
  Mr. Birney had for some years been giving much thought
to the African-colonization system. He had even accepted
an agency in that iniquitous and slavery devised and slavery
cherished enterprise, his field of operations including five of
the large slaveholding states. But he soon found himself
laboring in the interest of a movement adapted and intended
to perpetuate the very curse he himself deplored, and was
working, as he supposed, to destroy.
  So, having already liberated his slaves, and generously
provided for their well-being and well-doing so far as he
wvag able, he espoused the cause of "immediate and uncon-
ditional emancipatioDn," and by purse, pen, and voice com-
mencedits proclaination. Driven fromhis native state for his
anti-slavery fidelity, lie crossed over into Ohio and estab-
lished an anti-slavery newspaper. But he was repeatedly
mobbed, his press, types, paper, and other office property
being( taken out and sunk in the Ohio river, the city authori-
ties in large numbers evidently sanctioning, as did many of



the church officials actually sanctify by their presence and
approval, the shameful outrages. A well filled pamphlet now
before me, printed at the time and on the spot, fully war-
rants all these statements.
  The following is a specimen of the handbills that placard-
cd the bulletin boards and walls:
    "A Fugitiveefro in _7ustice."  100 Dollars Reward!
  The above sum will be paid for the delivery of one James
G. i3irney, a fugitive from justice, now abidingo in the city of
Cincinnati.  Said Birney, ill ail his associations and feel-
ings, is black, although his external appearance is -white.
Tile above reward will be paid, and no questions asked, by
                                           Old Kentucky.
  This was posted on a Sunday mnorning. The next day the
Cincinnati Whzig said, editorially,-
  "Public Sentiment.  We are informed on indisputable
authority that a large number of boarders have left the
Franklin House in this city; have left it on account of the re-
ception of Mr. Birney, Editor of the Philanthropist as a
boarder. There is no doubt an overwhelming majority in
the city are opposed to the wild schemes of the abolitionists."
  The proceedings of some of the "anti-abolition meetings
as they were named, showed that they were disgraceful as
well as unlawful assemblies, though called and conducted by
the authorities and best citizens. One committee, appointed
to draft resolutions, contained thirteen men who were memi-
bers of Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal.Wesleyan Methodist,
Swedenborgian, and Unitarian churches. So was Mr. Birney
reTarded and rewarded by his fellow-citizens and fellow-
Christians, only for liberating and providing for his slaves,
and then becoming a faithfuil abolitionist! Only that and
nothing more ! He had experience enough with the churches
and clergy to fully warrant the title of his little book, as all
who read it will believe without more argtlument.
  Whoever would see more on the subject, on the whole
matter of Slavery and Anti-Slavery as existingc in the coun-
try forty years ago, are respectfully referred to Acts of the
A n/i-Slavery Apostles, by Parker Pillsbury, to be had of him
at Concord, N. H., price one dollar and fifty cents,


                       Publisher's Notice.
 This work is reproduced by Parker Pillsbury, Concord, N. H.: price,
 single copy, 15 cents; 2 copies, 25 cents; 10 copies, 1 dollar.
 Also, for sale, "Acts of the Anti-Slavery Apostles," by Parker Pills-
bury: price, postage paid, one dollar and fifty cents.



  THE extent to which most of the churches in America
are involved in the guilt of supporting the slave system
is known to but few in this countrY. So far from being
even suspected by the great mass of the religious commu-
nity here, it would not be believed but on the most indis-
putable evidence. Evidence of this character it is proposed
now to present-applying to the Methodist Episcopal, the
Baptist, the Presbyterian, and the Protestant Episcopal
churches. It is done with a single view to make the
British Christian public acquainted withl the rehi state of
the case-in order that it may in the most intelligent arid
effective manner exert the influence it possesses vith the
American churches to persuade them to purify themselves
from a sin that has greatly debased them, and that threat-
ens in the end wholly to destroy them.
  The following inemorcandcla will assist English readers
in more readily apprehending the force and scope of the
  I. Of the twenty-six American states, thirteen are
slave states. Of the latter, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky,
Missouri, and Tennessee (in part), are slavxe-selling states;
the states south of them are slave-buying and slave-con-
suming states.
  II. Between the slave-selling, and slave-buying states
the slave-trade is carried on extensively and systemati-
cally. The slave-trader, on completing his purchases for
a single adventure, brings the gang together at a conven-
ient point; confines the men in double rows to a large
chain running between the rows, by means of smaller lat-
eral chains tightly riveted around the wrists of the slaves,

 England-where this pamphlet was first published.


and connected with the principal chain.  They are in
this way driven along the highways (the small boys, the
women, aned girls following), without any release from
their chains till they arrive at the ultimate place of sale,
Here they occupy barracoons, till they are disposed of, one
by one, or in lots, to those who will give most for them.
  III. Ministers and office-bearers, and members of
churches are slaveholders-buying  and selling slaves
(not as the regular slave-trader), but as their convenience
or interest may from time to time require. As a general
rule, the itinerant preachers in the Methodist church are
not permitted to hold slaves-but there are frequent
exceptions to the rule, especially of late.
  IV. There are in the United States, about 2,487,113
slaves, and 386.069 free people of color. Of the slaves,
80,000 are members of the Methodist church; 80,000 of
the Baptist; and about 40,000 of the other churches.
These church members have no exemption from being
sold by their owners as other slaves are. Instances are
not rare of slaveholding members of churches selling
slaves who are members of the same church with them-
selves. And members of churches have followed the
business of slave-auctioneers.
  V. In most of the slave states the master is not per-
mitted formally to emancipate, unless the emancipated
person be removed from the state (which makes the
formal act unnecessary), or, unless bya special act of the
legislature. If, however, he disregard the law, and per-
mit the slave to go at liberty and " do" for himself, the
law-on the theory that every slave ought to have a mas-
ter to see to him-directs him to be sold for the benefit of
the state. Instances of this, however, must be very rare.
The people are better than their laws-for the writer,
during a residence of more than thirty years in the slave
states, never knew an instance of such a sale, nor has he
ever heard of one that was fully proved to have taken
  VI. There is no law in any of the slave states forbid-
ding the slaveholder to remove his slaves to a free state;
nor against his giving the slaves themselves a " pass" for
that purpose. The laws of some of the free states present
obstructions to the settlement of colored persons within



their limits-but these obstructions are not insurmount-
able, and if the validity of the laws should be tried in the
tribunals, it would be found they are unconstitutional.
  ViI. In the slave states a slave cannot be a witness in
any case, civil or criminal, in vhich a white is a party.
Neither can a free colored person, except in Louisiana.
Ohio. Indiana, and Illinois (free states), mialake colored
persons incompetent as witnesses in any case in which a
white is a party. In Ohio, a white person can prove his
own ("book") account, not exceeding a certain sum, by
his own oath or affirmation. A colored person cannot, as
against a white. In Ohio the laws regard all wN-ho are
mulattoes, or above the grade of mulattoes, as white.
  VIII. There is no law in the slave states forbidding,
the several church authorities making slavelholding an
offence, for which those guilty of it might be excluded
from membership.
  The Society of Friends exists in the slave states-it ex-
cludes slaveholders.
  The United Brethren exist as a church in Maryland
and Virginia, slave states. Their Annual Conference for
these two states (in which are thirty preachers) met in
February [1840]. The following is an extract from its
  "No charge is preferred against any (preachers) except Frank-
lin Echard and Moses Michael.
  "dIt appeared in evidence that Moses Michael was the owner
of a female slave, which is contrary to the discipline of our
church. Conference therefore resolved, that unless brother
Alichael manumit or set free such slave in six months, he no
longer be considered a member of our church."
  IX. 'When ecclesiastical councils excuse themselves
from acting for the removal of slavery from their respec-
tive communions bv saving, they cannot legislate for the
abolition of slavery; that slavery is a civil or politiccl in-
stitution ; that it "' belongs to Coesar," and not to the
church to put anl end to it,-they shun the point at issue.
To the church member who is a debauchee, a drunkard,
a seducer, a murderer, theyr find no difficulty in saillng,-
"We cannot indeed proceed against your person, or yoAur
property-this belongs to Ctesar, to the tribuitnals of the
country, to the legislattcre; but we call suspend or



wholly cut you off from the communion of the church,
with a view to your repentance and its purification." If
a white member should by force or intimidation, day after
day, deprive another white member of his property, the
authorities of the churches would expel him from their
body, should he refuse to malie restitution or reparation,
although it could not be enforced except through the
tribunals, over which they have no control.  There is,
then, notbing to prevent these authorities from saying to
the slave-holder, " Cease being a slaveholder and remain.
in the church, or continue a slaveholder and go out of it.
You heave your choice."
   X. The slave states make it penal to teach the slaves
to read. So also some of them to teach thefree colored
peopIle to, read. Thus a free colored parent may suffer the
penalty for teaching his own children to read even the
Scriptures. None of the slave-holding churches, or re-
ligious bodies, so far as is known, have, at any time,
remonstrated with the legislatures against this iniquitous
legislation, or petitioned for its repeal or modification.
Nor have they reproved or questioned such of their mem-
bers, as, being also members of the legislatures, sanctioned
such legislation by their votes.
  XI. There is no systematic instruction of the slave-
members of churches, either orally or in any other way.
  XII. Uniting with a church makes no change in the
condition of slaves at home. They are thrown back just
as before, among their old associates, and subjected to
their corrupting influences.
  XIII. But little pains are taken to secure their attend-
ance at public worship on Sundays.
  XIV. The " house-servants " are rarely present at
f amily worship ; the "field-hands," never.
  XV. It is only one here and there who seems to have
any intelligent views of the nature of Christianity, or of
a future life.
  XVI. In the AMethodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and
Episcopal churches, the colored people, during service,
sit in a particular part of the house, now generally known
as the negro pew. They are not permitted to sit in any
other, nor to hire or purchase pews as other people, nor
would they be permitted to sit, even if invited, in the pews
of white persons. 'TIis applies to all colored persons,



whether members or not, and even to licensed ministers of
their respective connections. The "negro pew" is almost
as rigidly kept up in the free states as in the slave.
  XVII. In some of the older slave states, as Virginia
and South Carolina, churches, in their corporate character,
hold slaves, who are generally hired otut for the support of
the minister.  rfhe following is taken from the Charleston
Courier of February 12th, 1835.
           FIELD NEG RO ES, bp Thomas Gadsden.
  On Tuesday, the 17th instant, will be sold, at the north of the
Exchange; at ten o'clock, a prime gang of ten N EGQROES, accustomed
to the culture of cotton and provisions, belonging to the INDEPEN-
DENT CHURCH, in Ch(ist's Ch/itrch Par ish. . . Fe4. 6.
  XVIII. Nor are instances wanting in which negroes
are bequeathed for the benefit of the Indians, as the fol-
lowing Chancery notice, taken from a Savannah (Geo.)
paper will show.
                   "' Brigan Superior C(turi.
Between John J. Maxwell arid others, Executors of
          Ann Pray, comrplainants, and             IN
Mary Sleigh and others, Devisees and Legatees, under  EQUITY.
        the will of Ann Prav, defendants.     5
  "A Bill having been filed for the distribution of the estate of
the Testatrix, Ann Pray, and it appearing that among other ]lga-
cies in her will, is the following. viz., a legacy of one fourth of
certain ne-ro slaves to the American Board of Commissioners for
Domestic [Foreign it probably should have been] Missions, for
the purpose of sending the gospel to the heathen, and partictilarly
to the Indians of this continent. It is on motion of the solicitors
of the complainants ordered, that aill persons claiming the said
legacy; do appear and answer the bill of the complainants, within
four months from this day. And it is ordered that this (order be
published in a public Gazette of the city of Sav-annah. and in one
of the Gazettes of Philadelphia. once a month for flour months.
         - Extract from the minuel t s, Dec. 2nd, 1832.
  "JOHN SMITH, C. S. C. B. c."-(The bequest was not taccepted.)
  Charleston (City) Gazette.-" We protesta,-aint the assumption
-the unwarrantable assunmption-that slavery is ultimately to be
extirpated from the Southern states. Ultimate abolitionists are
enemies of the South. the same in kind, and only less in degree,
than ininiediate, abolitionists.''
  [Vashington (City) Telegraph.-'' As a man, a Christian, and a
citizen, we believe that slavery is right; that the condition of the
slaveholding states is the best existing organization of civil
society. "



  Chancellor Harper, of South Carolina.- ,,It is the order of
nature. and of GOD, that the being of superior faculties and knowl-
edge, and therefore of superior power, should control and dispose
of those who are inferior. It is as much in the order of nature
that men should enslave each other, as that other animals should
prey upon each other."
  Columebia (S. C.) Telescope -" Let us declare, through the pub-
lic jourinals of our country, that the question of slavery is not, and
shall not be open to discussion; that the system is deep-rooted
amiong us, and must remain forever; that the very moment any
private individual attempts to lecture upon its evils and immoral-
ity, and the necessity of putting means in operation to secure us
from them, in the same moment his tongue shall be cut out and
cast upon a dunghill."
  Augusta (Geo.) Chronicle.-" He [Amos Dresser] should have
been hung up as high as Haman, to rot upon the gibbet, until the
wind whistled through his bones. The cry of the whole South
should be death, INSTANT DEATH, to the abolitionist, wherever
he is caught."
   [Amos Dresser, now a missionary in Jamaica, was a
theological student at Lane Seminary, near Cincinnati.
In the vacation (August, 1835) he undertook to sell Bibles
in the state of Tennessee, with a view to raise means
further to continue his studies. Whilst there, he fell
under suspicion of being an abolitionist, was arrested by
the Vigilance Committee, whilst attending a religious
meeting in the neighborhood of Nashville, the capital of
the state, and after an afternoon and evening's inquisition
condemned to receive twenty lashes on his naked body.
The sentence was executed on him, between eleven and
twelve o'clock on Saturday night, in the presence of most
of the committee, and of an infuriated and blaspheming
mob. The Vigilance Committee (an unlawful association)
consisted of sixty persons. Of these, twenty-seven were
members of churches; one, a religious teacher, another,
the elder, who but a few days before, in the Presbyterian
church, handed Mr. Dresser the bread and wine at the
communion of the Lord's Supper.]
  In the latter part of the summer of 1835, the slave-
holders generally became alarmed at the progress of the
abolitionists. Meetings were held throughout the South
to excite all classes of people to the requisite degree of
exasperation against them.   At one of these meetings,
held at Clinton, Mississippi, it was



   "That slavery through the South and West is not felt as an
evil, moral or political. but it is recognized in reference to the
actual, and not to any Utopian condition of our slaves, as a bless-
ing, both to master and slave."
   ", That it is our decided opinion, that any individual who dares
to circulate, with a view to effectuate the designs of the abolition-
ists, tiny of the incendiary tracts or newspapers now in a course
of transmission to this country, is justly worthy, in the sight of
God and man, of immediate death; and we doubt not that such
would be the punishment of any such offender in any part of the
state of Mississippi where he may be found."
  " That we recommend to the citizens of Mississippi, to encour-
age the cause of the American Colonization Society, so long as in
good faith it concentrates its energies alone on the removal of the
free people of color out of the United States."
  "I That the clergy of the state of Mississippi be hereby recom-
mended at once to take a stand upon this subject, and that their
further silence in relation thereto, at this crisis, will, in our opin-
ion, be subject to serious censure."
  At Clharleston, South Carolina, the post-office was
forced, the Anti-Slavery publications, which were there
for distribution or fu Gher transmission to masters, taken
out and made a bonfire of in the street, by a mob of
several thousand people.
  A public meeting was appointed to be held a few days
afterward to complete, in the same spirit in which they
were commenced, preparations for excluding Anti-Slavery
publications from circulation, and for ferreting out per-
sons suspected of favoring the doctrines of the abolition-
ists, 'that they might be subjected to lynch law.  At this
assembly the Charleston Courier informs us,-
  " The Clergy of all denominations attended in a body, lending
their sanction to the proceedings, anid adding by their presence
to the impressive character of the scene."
  It was there resolved,-
  " That the thanks of this meeting are due to the Reverend gentle-
men of the clergy in this city, who have so promptly and so effectu-
ally responded to public sentiment, by suspending their schools in
which thefree coloredpopuldtion were taught; and that this meeting



deem it a patriotic action, worthy of all praise, and proper to be
imitated by otl er teachers of similar schools throughout the state."
   The alarm of the Virginia slaveholders was not less-
 nor were the clergy in the city of Richmond, the capital,
 less prompt than the clergy in Charleston to respond to
 "public sentiment." Accordingly, on the 29th of July,
 they assembled together, and
   Resolved, unanimously,-
   "That we earnestly deprecate the unwarrantable and highly
improper interference of the people of any other state with the
domestic relations of master and slave.
"-That the example of our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles,
in not interfering with the question of slavery, but uniformly
recognizing the relations of master and servant, and giving full
and affectionate instruction to both, is worthy of the imitation of
all ministers of the gospel.
  "That we will not patronize nor receive any pamphlet or news-
paper of the Anti-Slavery Societies, and that we will discounte-
nance the circulation of all such papers in the community.
  " That the suspicions which have prevailed to a considerable
extent against ministers of the gospel and professors of religion in
the state of Vitrinia, as identified with abolitionists, are wholly
unnerited-believing as we do, from extensive acquaintance with
our churches and brethren, that thev are unanimous in opposing
the pernicious schemes of abolitionists."

                     700,000 MA-embers.
  In 1780, four years before the Episcopal Mlethodist
Church was regularly organized in the United States, the
conference bore the following testimony against slavery
  " The conference acknowledges that slavery is contrary to the
laws of God, man, and nature, and hurtful to society; contrary to
the dictates of conscience and true religion, and doing what we
would not others should do unto us."
  In 1784, when the church was fully organized, rules
were adopted, prescribing the times at which members,
who were already slaveholders, should emancipate their
slaves. These rules were succeeded by the following:
  "Every person concerned, who will not comply with these
rules, shall have liberty quietly to withdraw from our society
within the twelve months following the, notice being given him as
aforesaid; otherwise the assistants shall exclude him the society.
  -4No person holding slaves shall in future be admitted into
society, or to the Lord's Supper, till he previously comply with
these rules concerning slavery.



  "Those who buy, sell, or give [slaves] away, unless on purpose
to free them, shall be expelled immediately."
   In 1785 the following language was held:-
   "t We do hold in the deepest abhorrence the practice of slavery,
and shall not cease to seek its destrulction by all wise and prudent
   In 1801:-
   "M We declare that we are more than ever convinced of the great
evil of African slavery, which still exists in these United States."
  "s Every member of the society who sells a slave shall, imme-
diately after full proof, be excluded from the society, c."
  "The Annual Conferences are directed to draw up addresses for
the (radual emancipation of the slaves to the legislature." "Proper
committees shall be appointed by the Annual Conferences, out of
the most respectable of our friends, for the conducting of the
business ; and tre presiding elders, deacons, and travelling
preachers, shall procure as many proper signatures as possible to
the addresses, and give all the assistance in their power, in every
respect to aid the committees, and to further the blessed under-
taking. Let this be continued from year to year until the desired
end be accomplished."
  In 1836 the General Conference met in May, in Cin-
cinnati, a town of 46,000 inhabitants, and the metropolis
of the free state of Ohio.   An anti-slavery, society had
been formed there a year or two before.    A  meeting of
the society was appointed for the evening of the 10th of
May, to which the abolitionists attending the Conference
as delegates were invited.  Of those who attended, two
of them made remarks suitable to the occasion. On the
12th of May, iRev. S. G. Roszell presented in the confer-
ence the following preamble and resolutions
  " Whereas great excitement has pervaded this country on the
subject of modern abolitionism, which is reported to have been
increased in this city recently by the unjustifiable conduct of
two members of the General Conference in lecturing upon, and
in favor of that agitating topic;-and whereas, such a course on
the part of any of its members is calculated to bring upon this
body the suspicion and distrust of the community, and misrepre-
sent its sentiments in regard to the point at issue ;-and whereas,
in this aspect of the case, a due regard for its own character,
as well as a just concern for the interests of the church confided
to its care, demand a full, decided, and unequivocal expression of
the view's of the General Conference in the premises." Therefore,
The Rev. Mr. Lovejoy, who was afterwards slain by the mob in defend-
ing his press at Alton, Illinois, was present at the meeting. He was on his
way from St. Louis, where he then resided, to Pittsburg, to attend the Gen-
eral Assembly of the Presbyterian Church.



  1. Resolved,-
  "By the delegates of the Annual Conference in General Con-
ference assemnbled, that they disapprove in the most unqualified
sense, the conduct of the two members of the General Conference
who are reported to have lectured in this city recently, upon, and
in favor of, modern abolitionism."
  2. Resolved,-
  "By the delegates of the Annual Conferences in General Con-
ference assembled,-that they are decidedly opposed to modern
abolitionism, and wholly disclaim any right, wish, or intention
to interfere in the civil and political relation between master and
slave as it exists in the slave-holding states of this Union."
  The preamble and resolutions were adopted,-the first
resolution bv 122 to 11, the last by 1'20 to 14.
  An address was received from the Methodist Wesleyan
Conference in England in wvhich the anti-Christian char-
acter of slavery, and the duty of the Methodist church
was plainly, yet tenderly and affectionately, presented for
its consideration. The Conference refused to publish it.
  In the Pastoral Address to the churches are these
  ",It cannot be unknown to you that the question of slavery in
the United States, by the constitutional comp-act which binds us
together as a nation, is left to be regulated by the several state
legislatures themselves, arid thereby is put beyond the con trol of
the general government as well as that of all ecclesiastical bodies,
it being manifest that in the slave-holdin g states themselves the
entire responsibility of its existence or non-existence rests with
those state legislatures. . . . . . . These facts, which are
only mentioned here as a reason for the friendly admonition
which we wish to give you, constrain us as your pastors who are
called to watch over your souls as they must give account, to
exhort you to abstain from, all abolition movements and associa-
tions, and to refrain from patronizing any of their publications,"
c. . . "From every view of the subject which we have been
able to take, and from the most calm and dispassionate survey of
the whole ground, we have come to the conclusion that the only
safe, scriptural, and prud nt way for us, both as ministers and peo-
ple, to take, is, wholly to refrain from this agitating subject," c.
  The temper exhibited by the general conference was
warmly sympathized in by many of the local conferences,
not only in the slave states but in the free.
  The Ohio Annual Conference had a short time before
  "1. That we deeply regret the proceedings of the abolitionists



 and Anti-Slavery Societies in the free states, and the consequent
 excitement produced thereby in the slave states; that we, as a
 Conference, disclaim all connection and cooperation with or be-
 lief in the same; and that we hereby recommend to our junior
 preachers, local brethren, and private members within  our
 bounds to abstain from any connection with them, or participa-
 tion of their acts in the premises whatever."
   "2. That those brethren and citizens of the North who resist
the abolition movements with firmness and moderation, are the
true friends to the church, to the slaves of the South, and to the
constitution of our common country," c.
   The New York Annual Conference met in June, 1836,
   "61. That this conference fully concur in the advice of the late
General Conference, as expressed in their Pastoral Address."
   " 2. That we disapprove of the members of this conference pat-
ronizing or in any way giving countenance to a paper called
'Zion's Watchman,' because in our opinion it tends to disturb
the peace and harmony of the body by sowing dissensions in the
   "8. That although we could not condemn any man or with-
hold our suffrages from him on account of his opinions merely, in
reference to the subject of abolitionism, yet we are decidedly of
the opinion that none ought to be elected to t