Gerrit Smith


‘Progressive and Arrogant Pretensions’: Highlights from The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922

The November release of The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society includes responses by three Southern senators to anti-slavery resolutions enacted in Vermont, a call for placing temperance and abolitionism above political party, and a speech by Charles Sumner on the “origin, necessity and permanence” of the Republican Party.


Remarks of Messrs. Clemens, Butler, and Jefferson Davis, on the Vermont Resolutions Relating to Slavery (1850)

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On January 10, 1850, Senators Jeremiah Clemens, Andrew Butler, and Jefferson Davis delivered speeches before the U.S. Senate responding to several anti-slavery resolutions passed by the Vermont General Assembly and presented to the U.S. Senate. The first resolution found:

That slavery is a crime against humanity, and a sore evil in the body politic, that was excused in the framers of the Federal Constitution as a crime entailed upon the country by their predecessors and tolerated solely as a thing of inexorable necessity.

The General Assembly further resolved to petition Vermont’s U.S. Senators to resist the extension of slavery to the territories. Senator Clemens began his remarks by explaining why he had not attempted to block a motion to print the resolutions:

‘Progressive and Arrogant Pretensions’: Highlights from The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922

“The Deadly Fangs of Fierce Reptiles”: Highlights from Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922

The February release of Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922: From the Library Company of Philadelphia includes several 19th-century addresses made by African Americans. Highlighted in this post is an 1846 speech by Gerrit Smith read by the abolitionist and minister Theodore Sedgwick Wright, a Reconstruction-era broadside encouraging African American men in the state of Georgia to vote, and a late-19th-century collection of talks by Professor Daniel Barclay Williams, including his thoughts on temperance. 


An Address to the Three Thousand Colored Citizens of New-York Who Are the Owners of One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Acres of Land (1846) 

By Theodore Sedgwick Wright 

“The Deadly Fangs of Fierce Reptiles”: Highlights from Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922

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