Letter requesting ministers petition Congress against passing the Kansas-Nebraska Bill


Transcription of Primary Source


Dear Brethren:

Upon another page you find a Protest which explains itself. It is sent simultaneously to every Clergyman of every name in New England. It is earnestly hoped that every one of you will append your name to it, and thus furnish to this nation and this age the sublime and influential spectacle of the great Christian body of the North united, as one man, in favor of freedom and of solemn plighted faith. It can hardly be doubted, that if this Protest can go immediately to Washington, carrying upon it the names of the entire Clergy of New England, it will exert there a moral influence of incalculable weight—possibly, in connection with other influences—sufficient in the good Providence of God, to avert the impending evil.

Permit us, then, to commend the following suggestions to your notice, and, so far as they agree with your own convictions, to your immediate action.

1. Please tear off, sign, fold, seal and return to us this annexed Protest BY THE NEXT MAIL to this city, directed to “Rev. John Jackson, Boston, Mass.” He will combine all the answers received into one great Protest, which will be immediately forwarded to Congress.

If you have already—either as a private citizen or as a clergyman—signed any other similar document, PLEASE SIGN THIS ALSO; as it is earnestly desired to embrace in this movement (as far as possible,) the unanimous clerical voice of New England.

2. If deemed judicious, please exert your influence to get up and send immediately on to your Representative in the House, a similar protest from your own neighborhood. It is believed that a great number of such protests—even if less than one hundred legal voters should sign each one—will be of great consequence in indicating the general arousal of the slumbering sentiment of the North, on this fearfully important subject.

3. It is respectfully submitted whether the present is not a crisis of sufficient magnitude and imminence of danger to the liberties and integrity of our nation, to warrant and even demand the services of the clergy of all denominations in arousing the masses of the people to its comprehension, through the Press and even the Pulpit.

4. It is affectionately urged that it find frequent remembrance in all Christian supplications to Him who holds the hearts of all rulers in his hand, and, as the rivers of water, can turn them whithersoever He will.

Affectionately yours,

Boston, February 22, 1854.

Letter for Clergymen to Send to the Senate

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled:

The undersigned—Clergymen of different religious denominations in New England—herby, in the name of Almighty God, and in His presence, do solemnly protest against the passage of what is known as the “Nebraska Bill,” or any repeal, or modification of existing legal prohibitions of Slavery in that part of our National domain, which it is proposed to organize into the territories of Nebraska and Kansas.

We protest against it as a great moral wrong; as a breach of faith eminently injurious to the moral principles of the community, and subversive of all confidence in National engagements; as a measure full of danger to the peace and even the existence of our beloved Union, and exposing us to the righteous judgments of the Almighty.

And your protestants, as in duty bound, will ever pray.


Curator Notes

Exact Title: 
"To the Clergy of New England.: Dear Brethren: Upon another page you find a protest which explains itself. It is sent simultaneously to every clergyman of every name in New England..."
2 leaves; 28 cm.
Place of Publication: 
American Antiquarian Society
Catalog Code: 
BDSDS. 1854 copy 1, BDSDS. 1854 copy 2