American Anti-Slavery Society. Debate at the Lane Seminary, Cincinnati: Speech of James A. Thome, of Kentucky, Delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Anti Slavery Society, May 6, 1834; Letter of the Rev. Dr. Samuel H. Cox, against the American Colonization Society. Boston: Garrison & Knapp, 1834.
PHS Call number: PAM E 449 .D25 1834
Source thumbnail image: Sketch of Lane Theological Seminary (Cincinnati, OH) as it appeared shortly after opening in 1830 (Wikimedia Commons)
See especially Samuel H. Cox’s letter (pages 11-16).
This document is comprised of a letter within a letter within a published debate transcript. Rev. Samuel H. Cox (1793-1880) was a Presbyterian minister and abolitionist. He took a leadership role in the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1834 and was also involved in the temperance movement. Cox’s letter in this debate transcript includes a letter from Rev. Samuel E. Cornish and excerpts from writings by Rev. Peter Williams, Jr. (1786-1840), African American rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in New York, about colonization and slavery. Samuel Cornish (1795–1858) was one of the first African American Presbyterian ministers, was senior editor of Freedom’s Journal, the first black-owned and operated newspaper in America, and was a co-founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society.
1. Who is Rev. Cox, and what is his perspective on the American Colonization Society? How did his perception of the society change over time, and what was the main factor behind this change (page 12)?
2. What was Rev. Samuel Cornish’s position on colonization (page 12)? How did Rev. Cornish likely become a spokesperson for all African Americans on this subject?
3. When did Rev. Williams preach the sermon enclosed in Cornish’s letter (page 13)? What was the historical context?
4. What, according to Williams, is the “principle motive for supporting” the American Colonization Society for many of its supporters and promoters (page 13)?
5. What rebuttals does Cox offer (quoting Williams) in response to colonization advocates who warned that African Americans faced intractable prejudice in the United States, and would probably mix socially with whites if they stayed in this country after emancipation (page 14)?