Pro-Slavery Letter from the Cincinnati Post and Anti-Abolitionist

Newspaper Article

Background Notes

    Cincinnati was often at the apex of the struggles for racial equality in the nineteenth century.  Situated just across the Ohio River from the slave holding state of Kentucky, the city was the scene of three major race riots in 1829, 1834, and 1841.  It was also the home of the Lane Theological Seminary and home to prominent Abolitionist author Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin) who came to Ohio with her father Lyman Beecher when he became the first president of the Seminary in 1832. In 1834 Lane was the scene of prominent “debates” on slavery that profoundly impacted the nation’s thinking about the issue.  Cincinnati was also the home of a powerful pro-slavery faction that published the Cincinnati Post and Anti-Abolitionist from 1841 to 1842. According to another sympathetic newspaper, the Holy Springs (Miss) Guard, the Post was “designed as a check upon the mad proceedings of the abolitionists of the west, and a defense to Southern rights and interests.”  The editor was L. Greely Curtiss and a subscription was two dollars per year. The following appeared on the front page of the February 26, 1842, edition.

Transcription of Primary Source

One among the most mischievous consequences of modern Abolition, is that it certainly tends to excite the most injurious prejudices, heart burnings and jealousies of the South against the North, and the North against the South. That such has already been the case, will not be denied by the most casual observer, and if their schemes are persevered in, the result must inevitably be the severance of this our happy Union, and all the unspeakable calamities which would result from it.  It becomes then every friend of his country to oppose with all his might the spread of such pernicious doctrines: to watch their movement with Argus eyes and ceaseless vigilance, and be ever ready to oppose them, and to stay their mad career….

It is the bounden duty of every man to examine into the subject who feels the least desire for the welfare of our common country.  The spirit of abolitionism is the spirit of the devil cloaked under the garb of love and philanthropy!  No good spirit would do as they have done, and are doing.  Have they not advised the slave to steal, to runaway from his master, to use brute force.  Out of their own mouths they stand convicted of these awfully heinous crimes, for day after day do they send forth their emissaries loaded with papers, books and pamphlets, publishing their own damming deeds to the world.


Curator Notes

Cincinnati Post and Anti-Abolitionist
Vol. 1, no. 30
Probable Date: 
February 26, 1842
L. Greeley Curtiss was editor and publisher
Place of Publication: 
Cincinnati, Ohio
American Antiquarian Society
Catalog Code: