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1932 Stories

By Dolores Schroeder, Dist. 33

Benjamin Lundy was born in 1789 in Hardwich, Sussex county, New Jersey. He had but little schooling.

He lived in Virginia, and while he was there he learned to hate slavery. In his early manhood he moved to Ohio. Here he organized the "Union Humane Society" to fight slavery, and wrote anti-slavery articles for newspapers. When he entered this work he said he would keep it up for the poor negroes' freedom.

While in Virginia he saw many a slavemaster beat his slaves, and even burn them at stakes, because they couldn't pick enough cotton or do their work satisfactorily. He thought that slaves had as much right in the United States as any white man did.

He started an anti-slavery paper in 1821. He called it "Universal Emancipation," the first anti-slavery journal in America. The paper was moved to Baltimore in 1824, and later to Washington, where after a few years it failed. In 1822 he removed to Tennessee Then he later traveled south and stopped at each town, borrowing printing presses and publishing his paper at different times. He visited Texas and once Mexico.

In 1836 he started the "National Inquirer" in Philadelphia, but later retired from it, two years later.

In Philadelphia a large abolitionist hall was built in 1838. A mob burned it and burned all of Lundy's papers and books. This made him more bitter against slavery.

Later he moved to Illinois. He couldn't publish a paper in Hennepin and the citizens of Lowell invited him to come there with his paper. He settled here in 1838. His paper was published irregular because of the lack of funds and help. His sons helped, but they were kept quite busy with the farm work. His paper is now the "Chicago Daily Tribune."

Lowell was one of the stopping places of the underground railway. Another underground railway was in Tonica. The stopping place was by the old grist-mill that was built by Baily Barrass in 1840. The negroes were brought up from the South in the night, rested and hid by day and sent onward to Canada by night.

Mr. Lundy had the intention of renewing the "Genius of Universal Emancipation," but in August, 1839, he was attacked by fever. He died
the 22nd of August, 1839. He was then 50 years old. He was buried
near Clear Creek, Putnam county, Illinois.

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