The New International Encyclopædia/Lundy, Benjamin

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

LUNDY, Benjamin (1789-1839). An American anti-slavery agitator, born of Quaker parentage at Hardwick, Warren County, N. J. At the age of nineteen he went to Wheeling, on the Ohio, where he worked as a saddler's apprentice. The town was a great thoroughfare for the slave trade, and Lundy's indignation was quickly aroused against the whole slave system. His apprenticeship completed, he married, and, settling in Saint Clairsville, Ohio, soon built up a profitable business. It was not long before he organized ‘The Union Humane Society,’ which soon numbered nearly five hundred members. In 1819 he went to Missouri in the hope of strengthening the opposition to the admission of the Territory as a slave State, where he wrote a number of articles exposing the evils of slavery and the wickedness of its extension. After losing nearly all his property, he returned to Ohio in 1821 and began the publication at Mount Pleasant of the Genius of Universal Emancipation, which he shortly afterwards removed to Jonesborough, Tenn., and then again, in 1824, to Baltimore, Md. In 1825 he visited Haiti in search of a refuge for emancipated blacks, and four years later made another voyage to that country for the same purpose. Two years later he was brutally assaulted by a Baltimore slave-dealer enraged over an article in the Genius. In 1828 he journeyed on foot through the Eastern States, and made forty-three public addresses. In the fall of 1829 William Lloyd Garrison (q.v.) joined Lundy in Baltimore as assistant editor of the Genius. The two were alike in their hostility to slavery, but Garrison was an advocate of immediate emancipation on the soil, while Lundy was committed to schemes of colonization abroad. Within a few months, while Lundy was absent in Mexico, Garrison published extremely radical articles demanding immediate emancipation and asserting that the domestic slave trade was as piratical as the foreign. Garrison was brought to trial for criminal libel, and fined and imprisoned. This occurrence so reduced the circulation of the Genius that a friendly dissolution of partnership between Lundy and Garrison took place. It also raised up such a hostile spirit in Baltimore that Lundy shortly afterwards removed the paper to Washington, where, after some years, it failed. In the winter of 1830-31 Lundy visited the Wilberforce colony of fugitive slaves in Canada. In the following two years he made two trips to Texas in an attempt to secure an asylum for negroes under the Mexican flag. In 1836 he started the National Inquirer in Philadelphia, but retired from it in 1838. In the latter year almost all his possessions, which were stored in Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, were destroyed by a mob, which burned the building. In the following winter he removed to Lowell, Ill., where he reëstablished the Genius of Universal Emancipation; but after issuing a few numbers he was seized with a fever, and died August 22, 1839. Consult Earle, Life, Travels, and Opinions of Benjamin Lundy (Philadelphia, 1847).