Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Torrey, Charles Turner

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TORREY, Charles Turner, reformer, b. in Scituate, Mass., in 1813; d. in Baltimore, Md., 9 May, 1846. His ancestor, James, was an early settler of Scituate. (See Torrey, William.) Charles was graduated at Yale in 1830, studied theology, and occupied Congregational pastorates in Princeton, N. J., and Salem, Mass., but soon relinquished his professional duties to devote himself to anti-slavery labors in Maryland. In 1843 he attended a slaveholders' convention in Baltimore, reported its proceedings, and was arrested and put in jail. In 1844, having been detected in his attempt to aid in the escape of several slaves, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to a long imprisonment in the state penitentiary, where he died of consumption that was brought on by ill usage. His body was taken to Boston, and his funeral attended from Tremont temple by an immense concourse of people. The story of his sufferings and death excited eager interest both in this country and in Europe, and “Torrey's blood crieth out” became a watch-word of the Abolition party, giving new impetus to the anti-slavery cause. He published a “Memoir of William R. Saxton” (Boston, 1838), and “Home, or the Pilgrim's Faith Revived,” a volume of sketches of life in Massachusetts, which he prepared in prison (1846). See “Memoir of the Martyr Torrey” (1847).