xt7xpn8x9z3r https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7xpn8x9z3r/data/mets.xml Fee, John Gregg, 1816-1901. 1891  books b92-45-26783936 English National Christian Association, : Chicago : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Fee, John Gregg, 1816-1901. Berea College. Slavery Kentucky. Autobiography of John G. Fee, Berea, Kentucky text Autobiography of John G. Fee, Berea, Kentucky 1891 2002 true xt7xpn8x9z3r section xt7xpn8x9z3r 

m,  , :   , ,.,,.,
 i: -Z-  , . -
    Z-1  --  ,,
    -  I  
-W---   --l   z::I

: : - :: t\'--E \:

'2r1 11

-: -.-II 1-
   1..     z -
         11-          ;      I
                             . - n
                           .  i - -

    1. "I,11 , 1. 4 11'1
11       "'"  "
- I"I',




    Entered according to act of Congress in the year Agqi,
                   BY JOHN G. FEE,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, 1). C.



   IN consenting to write an introduction to the Autobi-
ography of one whom I have long known and honored, I
desire to say that the nineteenth century has not been
more remarkable for its discoveries in science, art, and all
forms of material progress, than it has for the moral hero-
is m of many men and women whose courage, faith, pa-
tience and self-sacrifice have done so much to promote
justice and humanity, and for the advancement of the
Redeemer's kingdom. Among these Christian patriots
there is one whose long life of consecration to the good of
his fellow men ought to be not only an example but an
inspiration to the youth of our land. John G. Fee, of
Berea, Ky., was born and raised under the influences of
slavery and was surrounded by those powerfully conserva-
tive forces that held many good men to the defense of
  Perhaps no other institution ever did so much to pervert
all sense of justice and to deaden all feelings of compassion
as that which declares that under a republican government
men might hold their unoffending fellow men in bondage.
     "Chain them, and task them, and exact their sweat,
     With stripes that Mercy with a bleeding heart
       Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast."
  Nay, more, it held that this right of property in man
carried with it the right to set at naught the family relation
and doom men to the perpetual ignorance of God and his
  The youth of our land can have little conception of the
absolute control that half a century ago the system of
slavery had on the minds and consciences of the nation.
Nothing but a sublime faith in God enabled the men and
women of that day to cheerfully accept reproach, ostracism
and ridicule as inevitable consequences of the defense of
the poor and needy whose special claim was that they



were at once the feeblest and most despised of the children
of men. Nor has this been the sole, possibly not the
greatest, of the moral conflicts that have demanded and
developed a true, moral heroism. The spirit of caste, the
outgrowth of slavery, was and is not less exacting and
iniquitous. To regard a fellow man simply in his relation
to his Maker, and to accord to him just that appreciation
that his intelligence and moral worthiness demand, to do
this without regard to sect or color, is still held in large
sections of our country to be a crime against society which
will not be tolerated when there is power to suppress it.
So, too, the moral protest against oathbound secret societies,
-the uncompromising hostility to the liquor traffic and to
any form of legislative approval of it, and above all, the
opposition to divisions in the church of Christ as seen in
the sects and denominations, demand a moral heroism
which needs to be not less steadfast and self-sacrificing
than that which wrested from slavery its scepter of power.
  Because Mr. Fee was in all these points most uncom-
promising and true, and because of his indomitable
perseverance amidst abounding obstacles, he has achieved
a large measure of success, and won the appreciation of
even his sometime enemies. But Bro. Fee is now advanced
in life. His labor, though still efficient and valuable,
cannot in the nature of things much longer continue. His
reward is in his works that will follow him. In the
language of the poet reformer, John G. Whittier, as applied
to another, we may say, "Thanks for the good man's
beautiful example."
      His faith and works, like streams that intermingle,
            In the same channel ran;
      The crystal clearness of an eye kept single
            Shamed all the frauds of man.
      The very gentlest of all human natures
            He joined to courage strong
      And love outstretching unto all Godas creatures
            With sturdy hate of wrong."
                                      H. H. HINTMAN.




  Some six years since a friend requested that I prepare
articles for the Berea Evangelist, on the topic, "Berea: its
History and its Work." I did so. The articles appeared
in the Berca Evangelist during the years 1885-6. Since
that time friends have urged that I prepare a sketch of
my leadings and labors up to my coming to Berea, and
embody the whole in a volume. To do so will now be
labor and care; yet in this way I may be able to do con-
tinued good,-utter truth when my tongue shall be silent.
I may be able in an emphatic way to say to the reader,
Trust God-trust him for success, for support, for life. If
in this way you will trust God, he by his word, by his Spirit
and by his providence, will lead you into the highest use-
fulness of which, in your day and generation, you are
capable. Often trials will come, friends fail, and the heavens
above appear as brass and the earth beneath as iron, yet
if you will hold on with Jacob, or stand still with Moses,
you will see the face of God; the Red Sea of difficulties
will open before you, and you will walk through dry shod.
The future journey may indeed be a barren, stony wsilder-
ness, yet the manna will be fresh every morning and the
shekinab of God will go before you and lead you across the
Jordan, where you will eat the "new corn" in the land of
promise. To this my own consciousness bears testimony;
were I to say less I would not be faithful.
                                      JOHN G. FEE.
 Berea, Ky., i89I.


This page in the original text is blank.



                 CHAPTER I.
Parentage.-Conversion. -College Life.-At the
    Theological Seminary.-Deep Conviction and
    Consecration.-Field of Labor.-Burden of Spirit.
    -Sealingof the Holy Spirit.-Wife Chosen.-
    Betrothal.-Search for the Field of Labor.-
    Marriage.-Called to the Church in Lewis
    County.-Anti-Slavery Sermon.-Cast out of a
    Boarding-place .  .......................... 9-30
                 CHAPTER II.
A Home.-Resolutions of the Church.-Salary.
   Meeting of Synod.-Resolutions.-My With-
   drawal.-Ecclesiastical Position.- Union on
   Christ.-Separation from A. M. Society.-An-
   ticipated Mob.-Prosecution of Hannahs.-ln-
   vitation to C. M. Clay.-Expected Violence.-
   Anti-Slavery Manual.-Protest against Secret
   Orders...  ....... ....................   31-55
                 CHAPTER III.
Commission from the A. M. A.-Preaching and
   Church Building.-Redemption of a Slave
   Woman.-Her Effort to Free her Children.-
   Her Capture and Imprisonment ............... 56-71
                 CHAPTER IV.
Imprisonment of a Colporter.-Assault on Myself.-
   House Burning.-Church House.-Baptism.-
   Consideration of the Subject.-Baptism of My-
   self and Wife.-Invitation to Madison County.-
   Organization of a Church.-Call to the Church.-
   Selection of a Place.-Name, Berea.....  72-93



                 CHAPTER V.
Removal to Madison County.-Projected College.-
   Its Foundation Principles.-Survey of Fields.-
   Mob at Dripping Springs.-Mob in Rockcastle
   County.-Fourth of July.-C. M. Clay and I
   differ.-Mob in Rockcastle County.-Mob in
   Madison County.-Dark Days at Berea.-En-
   treaty to Leave.-Decision to Hold On.-
   Trusts...................             94-124
                 CHAPTER VI.
Coming of J. A. R. Rogers.-Visit of C. M. Clay.-
   His Expediencies.-The first Commencement.-
   Adoption of a Constitution.-Caste.-Sectarian-
   ism.-Decision to Raise Funds.-Visit to the
   Imprisoned Mother.-Address in Plymouth
   Church.-Expulsion of Teachers and Friends at
   Berea.-Excitement in Bracken Countv.-Wife
   Returns to Berea.-Our Sojourn in' Ohio.-
   Death and Burial of our Son Tappan.-Visit to
   Berea ............1........   .. .. ... .... 125-160
                CHAPTER VII.
Effort to Get Back.-Battle at Richmond, Ky.-
   Again Mobbed at Augusta, Ky.-Mobbed at
   Washington, Ky.-Return of my Wife to Berea.
   -Her Stay There.-Return to the Border.-Stay
   at Parker's Academy.-Return to Berea.-Re-
   sumption of the Work.-Moved to go to Camp
   Nelson.-My Work There       .161-183

               CHAPTER VIII.
Return to Berea.-Resumption of the Work.-The
   American   Missionary  Association. - Work
   Denominational-Divisive.-Association of Min-
   isters and Churches.-Kentucky Missionary As-
   sociation.-A Convention of Christians.-An
   Address, "Wherein We Differ from the Denom-
   inations."......                       84-212


This page in the original text is blank.

This page in the original text is blank.



Parentage -Conversion.-College Life.-At the Theolog-
   ical Seminary.-Deep Conviction and Consecration.
   -Field of Labor.-Burden of Spirit.-Sealing of the
   Holy Spirit.-Wife Chosen.-Betrothal.-Search for
   the Field of Labor.-Marriage.-Called to the Church
   in Lewis County.-Anti-Slavery Sermon.-Cast out
   of a Boarding-place.
   I WAS born in Bracken County, Kentucky,
Sept. 9, i8i6.
  My father, John Fee, was the son of John
Fee, senior. He was of Scotch and English
descent. His wife, formerly Elizabeth Brad-
ford, was   of Scotch-Irish  descent.   My
father was an industrious, thrifty farmer.
Unfortunately he inherited from his father's
estate a bondman-a lad bound until he should
be 25 years of age.
  My father came to the conclusion that if he
would have sufficient and permanent labor he
must have slave labor. He purchased and
reared slaves until he was the owner of some
thirteen. This was a great sin in him individ-
ually, and to the family a detriment, as all
moral wrongs are.



  My father was observant, and by his read-
ing kept himself familiar with passing events.
He saw that the effects of slavery were bad;
that it was a hindrance to social and national
prosperity; and consequently invested his
money in lands in free States and early deeded
portions of these lands to each of his children.
He did not see the end from the beginning,-
what was to be the after-use of some of these
  My mother was industrious and economical;
a modest, tender-hearted woman, and a fond
mother. I was her first born. She loved me
very much, and I loved her in return.
  Her mother, Sarah Gregg, was a Quakeress
from Pennsylvania. Her eldest son, Aaron
Gregg, my wife's grandfather, was an indus-
trious free laborer, an ardent lover of liberty,
and very out-spoken in his denunciations of
slavery. This opposition to slavery and his
love of liberty passed to his children and
children's children, almost without exception.
  In my boyhood I thought nothing about the
inherent sinfulness of slavery. I saw it as a
prevalent institution in the family life of my
relations on my father's side of the house.
These were kind to me, and occupied what




were considered good social positions. I was
often scolded for being so much with the
slaves, and threatened with punishment when
I would intercede for them. Slavery, like
every other evil institution, bore evil fruits,
blunted the finest sensibilities and hardened
the tenderest hearts.
  By false teaching, unreflective youth can
be led to look- upon moral monstrosities as
harmless; as even heaven-approved institu-
tions. Vivid now is the impression made on
my youthful mind on seeing a Presbyterian
preacher, who was a guest in my grandfather's
house, rise before an immense audience and
select for his text, "Cursed be Canaan: a
servant of servants shall he be unto his
brethren." Of course the drift of the dis-
course was after the plea of the slaveocracy-
"cGod decreed that the children of Ham should
be slaves to the children of Shem and Japheth;
that Abraham held slaves, and Moses sanc-
tioned such."
  All this was intensified by seeing a much-
venerated neighbor, and slaveholder, who had
represented the people in the State Legisla-
ture, mount his horse, then uncovering his
gray hairs, cry out in a loud voice, "The




greatest sermon between heaven and earth."
The providence and truth of God led me, in
after years, to a very different conclusion.
  In the year 1830, when I was fourteen years
old, Joseph Corlis, an earnest Christian man,
took a subscription school near to my father's
house, and insisted with great earnestness that
he be allowed to board in my father's family.
There was a providence in this. Under his
prayers and faithful labors, I was deeply con-
victed of sin and gave myself to God. My
desire was to connect myself with the M. E.
church. My father opposed, saying I was
too young. He was not himself a Christian.
Some two years after this he was awakened,
joined the Presbyterian church near to his
home, and requested that I go with him. I
desired a home with God's people, and gladly
embraced the opportunity. After the lapse
of some two years I was impressed that it
was my duty to prepare for the Gospel
ministry.  I soon entered as a student in
Augusta College, then located in Augusta,
Bracken Co., Ky., my native county. I
prosecuted my studies there for about two
and a-half years, then went to Miami Univer-
sity, at Oxford, Ohio, and there finished my




course of classical study save the review of
the last term of study; and finding I could do
this at Augusta College, and enter Lane
Theological Seminary at the beginning of the
term of study there, I returned to Augusta
College and took   my diploma there.   I
entered Lane Seminary in the year i842.
Here I met in class one of my former class-
mates, John Milton Campbell, a former
student at Oxford, Ohio. He was a man of
marked piety and great goodness of heart.
Years previously he had consecrated himself
to the work of missions and chose West
Africa as his field. Another member of the
same class was James C. White, formerly of
Boston, Massachusetts, late pastor of the
Presbyterian church on Poplar St., Cincinnati.
These brethren became deeply interested in-
me as a native of Kentucky and in view of
my relation to the slave system, my father
being a slaveholder. They pressed upon my
conscience the text, "Thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy
neighbor as thy self," and as a practical mani-
festation of this, "Do unto men as ye would
they should do unto you." I saw that the
duty enjoined was fundamental in the religion





of Jesus Christ, and that unless I embraced
the principle and lived it in honest practice, I
would lose my soul. I saw also that as an
honest man I ought to be willing to wear the
name which would be a fair exponent of the
principle I espoused. This was the name
Abolitionist, odious then to the vast majority
of people North, and especially South. For
a time I struggled between odium on the one
hand, and manifest duty on the other. I saw
that to embrace the principle and wear the
name was to cut myself off from relatives and
former friends, and apparently from all pros-
pects of usefulness in the world. I had in the
grove near the seminary a place to which I
went every day for prayer, between the hours
of eleven and twelve. I saw that to have light
and peace from God, I must make the conse-
cration. I said, ",Lord, if needs be, make me
an Abolitionist." The surrender was com-
plete. I arose from my knees with the con-
sciousness that I had died to the world and
accepted Christ in all the fullness of his char-
acter as I then understood Him. Self must
be surrendered. The test, the point of sur-
render, may be one thing to one man, a differ-
ent thing to another man; but it must be
nadee,-all given to Christ.




  In this consecration-this death to the
world-I also made up my mind to accept all
that should follow. Imperfect as has been
my life, I do not remember that in all my
after difficulties I had to consider anew the
questions of sacrifice of property, of comfort,
of social position, of apparent failure, of per-
sonal safety, or of giving up life itself. The
latter I regarded as even probable. This,
with the rest, had been embodied in my
former consecration. I felt that "my life was
hid with Christ in God."
  Soon after the submission and consecration
referred to, the question arose, WVhere ought
I to expend my future efforts, and manifest
forth this love to God and man I had invi-
tations to go with class-mates into the State
of Indiana, into communities thrifty and pros-
perous, with multiplied schools and growing
churches. This was enticing to young aspir-
ations, even to those who intended to do
good. I was also considering seriously the
duty of going with J. M. Campbell, my class-
mate, to Western Africa; and was in corres-
pondence with the American Board of Com-
missioners for Foreign Missions in reference
to my going as a missionary abroad.



  Whilst these fields of labor were being
considered, there came irresistibly the consid-
eration of another field: that part of the home
field which lay in the South, and especially in
Kentucky, my native State. Then came be-
fore me my relation to the slave.  I had
shared in the fruits of his unrequited toil; he
was blind and dumb, and there was no one to
plead for him.
  "Love thy neighbor as thyself" rang in my
ears. I also considered the condition of the
slave-owner. I knew he was willingly de-
ceived by the false teachings of the popular
ministry. I knew also that the great part of
the non-slaveowners, who were by their votes
and action the actual slaveholders, did not see
their crime; that they despised the slave be-
cause of his condition, and that these non-slave-
owners were violently opposed to any doctrine
or practice that might treat the slave as a
"neighbor," a brother, and make him equal
before the law. I knew also that the great
body of the people were practically without
the fundamental principle of the Gospel, love
to God and love to man; that, as in the days of
Martin Luther, though the doctrine of justifi-
cation by faith was plainly written in the Bible,




yet the great body of people did not then see
it; so now the great doctrine of loving God
supremely and our neighbor as ourselves, "4on
which hang all the law and the prophets,"
though clearly written in the Bible, was not
seen in its practical application by the great
mass of the people. Such was my relation to
this people, and theirs to God and the world,
that I felt I must return and preach to them
the gospel of impartial love.
  In my bedroom on bended knee, and look-
ing through my window across the Ohio river,
over into my native State, I entered into a sol-
emn covenant with God to return and there
preach this gospel of love without which all
else was "4as sounding brass or a tinkling cym-
  I had kept up correspondence with my
father, and told him my convictions and
purposes. He was greatly incensed, and
wrote, saying, "sBundle up your books and
come home; I have spent the last dollar I mean
to spend on you in a free State."
  At the end of my second year of theological
study I returned to my home, intending to do
what I could for my father's conversion and
that of the family. I spent ten months with
my father and the community around. I felt



during this time a great burden of spirit in view
of the condition of society and the work which
lay before me. I spent at one time, alone, in
an open field on my father's farm, a whole
night in prayer. On two other occasions,
in prayer, alone, in a distant part of the
farm, I had to my soul two of the fullest revela-
ations of the glory of God in my life's history.
These were not my first conversion, nor
second conversion, nor sanctification. Con-
version is committal to Christ, soul, body, and
spirit. Of this I had been conscious previous
to these after scalings of the Spirit.
  Sanctification is none the less by faith than
justification, but it is continuous. There may
arise to-day a new duty, a new apprehension
of a habit un-Christ like, but not seen before.
With this new apprehension comes the neces-
sity of a new committal to Christ, with full as-
surance of sustaining grace.
  There was another incident, a providence
of good to me in these months of stay and
labor. During a series of religious meetings
held in the church house where I had previous-
ly made my own public profession of Christ,
I saw the conversion of the one to whom I
gave my best affections, and the one I then




decided to make, if possible, the sharer of my
future joys and sorrows. I had known her
from her childhood, and her mother before her;
yet with all her attractions and merits in my
eyes, I had no thought of choosing her previ-
ous to her conversion, as the partner of my
life. I knew no one could be happy with me,
nor a help-mate in the life I had resolved to
live, unless she was converted, and thus one
in stirit and jpurfosc with myself.
  On that day of her conversion and espousal
to Christ (for I heard her experience and con-
secration) I decided to seek with her future
oneness.  I had   before me a goz'ernzig(r
purpose, and to this all my plans conformed.
Marriage to me was not a mere impulse nor a
mere business transaction. I believed then, as
now, that in order to true and wise marriage
there is some one in the world in whom there
is, first, that peculiar combination of qualities
which form the basis of peculiar and exclusive
affection; and then there must be that purpose
of soul and habit of life that fit for future har-
mony and usefulness. This I found in her:
that affection, sympathy, courage, cheer,
activity, frugality and endurance, which few
could have combined, and which greatly sus-




tained me in the dark and trying hours that
attended most of our pathway. This much is
due to truth and may be suggestive to others.
  By this time it became apparent that my
work in trying to convert my father to senti-
ments of justice and liberty was ended. He
had supplied himself, from every possible
source, with pro-slavery books and pamphlets,
and became violent in his opposition to all efforts
for the freedom of the slave. He still hoped
to efface my convictions and lure me from my
purpose.  He offered to pay all bills if I
would go to Princeton, New Jersey, and spend
a year in the Theological Seminary in that
place. This offer I declined. I said, I will not
by any act of mine bid God-speed to an institu-
tion in which the teaching and practice is
subversive of the fundamental principles of the
Gospel,-love to God supreme, and to our
neighbors as ourselves.
  I was offered the pastorate of two churches
in the county (Bracken), with  abundant
support, but on the condition that I would "go
along and preach the Gospel and let the subject
of slavery alone." I replied, "The Gospel is
the good news of salvation from sin, all sin,
the sin of slave-holding as well as all other sins;




and I will not sell my convictions in reference
to that which I regard as an iniquity, nor my
liberty to utter these convictions for a mess of
  I sanw that my work in that region was
ended. But Iny covenant was upon me to
preach the gospel of love in Kentucky. I
needed therefore to look for another field.
  Ecclesiastically I wvas connected with the
New School Presbyterian "church" or sect.
The ministerial brethren of that body at that
time, in  Kentucky, were relatively few.
Several of these brethren earnestly solicited
my co-operation. I told them my convictions
in reference to the sinfulness of human slavery;
of its utter subversion of the great fundamental
principles of the Gospel. Some replied, "Yes,
slavery is a bad thing; so was polygamy; but
God tolerated it, and sent his prophets to
preach principles that ultimately supplanted
it. So," they  said, "4we must deal with
slavery." I replied, Principles can be effective
only as they are seen and applied.
  I was fettered wvith the notion that if I
would purify the church, or sect, I must
stay in it and there apply the principles, hold
up the truth. Soon, hotswever, an "ey e-opener"




came. I was invited to attend a meeting of
the presbytery xvithin the bounds of which I
was then living. This was near to Cynthiana,
Harrison Co., Ky. I went. I saw there, as
elsewhere, the blight of slavery on every thing
around me; the degradation of the slave, the
idleness of the youth, the pride of the people,
the spirit and manner of the ministers them-
selves. Sabbath came; and the hour to com-
mune, to eat at the Lord's table, came. With
this came to my mind the text, 4"If any man
that is called a brother be a fornicator, or
covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a
drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one
not to eat." I said, If the slaveholder be not
an extortioner, then no man under heaven is.
I left the church house, and went out into an
adjoining woodland and sat down on a log and
wept as I thought of my condition,-that of
holding ecclesiastical connection with men
with whom I could not eat at the Lord's table.
The pastorate of that church was offered to
me. I saw in the eldership and leading mem-
bers determined opposition to the freedom of
the slave. I saw there was not to me, in that
place, an open door, and returned to my




  After a few days I took my horse and
started on an exploring tour through the inte-
rior of the State. Then, like most other min-
isters, I was working in the narrow groove of
sect, and that a small one in Kentucky. Go-
ing from place to place, I traveled on horse-
back between three and four hundred miles.
I heard, in my journeying, of a small church
in the city of Louisville, Kentucky, then with-
out a pastor. I visited the church and found
the membership small-twenty-one in number.
In this church there was to me one hopeful
feature, and that was that there was but one
slave-owner in the membership, and she the
widow of a former preacher, who was repre-
sented as having been an anti-slavery man.
I said, This people will probably hear the
truth spoken in love. I agreed to come and
labor with them for a season. I then re-
turned to my home in Bracken County.
  Soon a letter from the church followed me,
saying, "If you will be useful among us, you
must separate yourself from that abolition
presbytery at Cincinnati." By that presbv-
tery I had been licensed to preach the Gospel,
and my connection, ecclesiastically, was yet
with that body. I replied, If my usefulness




with you depends upon my separating from
godly men, then with you I cannot be useful.
  Again I was apparently without a field of
labor; but my purpose was unchanged, and
my willing covenant to preach the gospel of
love in my native State was yet upon me, but
in what place to preach I knew not. WVith
me it was then true that I must go forward,
"not knowing whither I went."
  As previously suggested, my life's future
was merged with that of another, and hers
with mine. She had decided to go where I
should go, and if I roamed in keeping my
covenant, I should not roam alone. Accord-
ingly with her consent, Matilda Hamilton and
I were married September 26, i844.
  Soon after this, two brethren, S. Y. Garri-
son and E. P. Pratt, extended to me an invi-
tation to assist in a meeting to be held in
Lewis County, Kentucky.   I accepted the
invitation and wvent at the time appointed. I
found a new church house just completed,
and a large concourse of people. As I was
informed, most of the people were descend-
ants of Pennsylvanians, and but few slave-
holders were in the community. The mem-
bership of the church was small, but to me




hopeful. There were at the beginning of the
meeting only three members. These were
women, wives of men who were not slave-
holders. During the meeting two persons,
on the profession of their faith, were added to
the church. These were not slaveholders.
I preached to the people, found attentive ears,
and immediately an urgent solicitation to labor
with them-
  In that community there was but one other
church, a small band of Old School Presby-
terians. The man who preached to them,
once in each month, lived many miles distant,
find wras pro-slavery in his teachings. I said,
These people are practically without the Gos-
pel; this is missionary ground; there is an
open door and I will come.  Efforts were
made to secure for me a partial support.
Nearly one hundred dollars were pledged by
the people; application was made to the
American Home Missionary Society for addi-
tional aid; and, as I n axv recollect, the sum
was two hundred dollars.   I returned to
Bracken County, where I had previously left
an appointment to deliver a lecture on the
subject of slavery, in the court house in
Brooksville, the county seat. This appoint-




ment produced great commotion. Threats of
violence were made, and with these came
entreaties from relatives and friends to with-
draw the appointment. During life, in all
new or responsible engagements, I have been
slow and careful in making them; but once
made, as far as I can now remember, I have
met my appointments, or made a vigorous
effort in trying to do so.
  I went to the appointment,-my wife with
me. James Hawkins, then the nominal slave
of my father-in-law, wvent also, but "followed
afar off." He went not to be seen as a hearer,
but to guard the horses and saddles of mvself
and wife, and this of his own devising;-not
known to us. We found in the court house a
small audience of men. I delivered my lec-
ture and we came quietly home.
  Mly father was so incensed that he said,
",Enter not my door again." After some two
weeks I preached a sermon in Sharon church
house. My father was present. After ser-
mon he invited me and Matilda, my wife, to
go home with him. Though he opened, for
a time, the door of his house, he never opened
the door of his heart to the sentiments of free-
dom to the slave, or to the doctrine of doing




unto men as he would they should do unto
  The prospects of the newly-begun life, to
my wife, were not flattering, and all I could
then do was to walk by faith and not by sight.
After the lapse of a few more weeks we went
to Lewis County, to enter upon the work as
previously arranged. We took board in the
house of Benjamin Given. He was a mem-
ber of the AM. E. Church.
  Soon after entering upon my work in Lewis
County, John D. Tully, then husband to Ruth
Tully, who was a member of the little church,
requested that I would preach a sermon on
the subject of slavery. I at once consented,
and announced my purpose to do so at Union
church house, four weeks from that time. I
had then an engagement to attend in the
meantime, the then-called 4"Southwestern
Anti-slavery Convention," to be held in the
city of Cincinnati, Ohio, in the month of April,
I845. At that convention I made my first
acquaintance with Salmon P. Chase, and was
with him on the committee of resolutions
there discussed and adopted.  There I heard
George W. Clark sing in his inimitable man-
ner, that soul-stirring song, 4"Be free! 0 man,