Tennessee’s Abolitionist Newspaper — The Emancipator

Here’s a little known fact of American history and black history.  In the early 1800s there was an abolitionist movement in East Tennessee. Elihu Embree even started an anti-slavery newspaper, The Emancipator,  around 1820. Because of stiff opposition the movement died out and most of its leaders moved to free states.

Here are some quotations taken from Tennessee’s abolitionist newspaper:

“Here we behold human beings sold like herds of cattle — children torn by violence from their parent, and sold in distant lands; matrimonial ties disregarded.” –Manumission Society Of Tennessee

“Endeavor to know what is right, and to do it, dreading no consequences. Do good because it is good, not because men call it so.” –Elihu Embree

“I have never been able to discover that the author of nature intended that one complexion of the human skin should stand higher in the scale of being than another.” –Elihu Embree

“The practice of reducing our fellow men to a state of abject slavery is repugnant to the principles of the Christian religion.” –Manumission Society Of Tennessee

Christians appear to be fond of enslaving their fellow men and of growing rich off the spoil.” –Stephen Brooks

“Slaves are being degraded in their own estimation by being held slaves.” –Elihu Embree

“Through slavery men certainly sin against light and knowledge and are using the most probable means of drawing down the judgments of Heaven upon our guilty land.” –Stephen Brooks

“To my shame be it said that I have owned slaves. I always believed slavery to be wrong but had a tendency to not be very scrupulous in adhering to what I believed to be right. I repent that I ever owned one.” –Elihu Embree

“I must insist upon it, that every friend of slavery the enemy to American liberty, for American liberty is founded on the rights of man as expressed in the Declaration of Independence –’that all men are by nature equally free.’” –The Emancipator

“It is said by some that they use their slaves well, but how a man could use me well by depriving me of my liberty and entailing the same infamy on my posterity to the latest generation, I am at a loss to conjecture.” –Manumission Society Of Tennessee

“I believe it has never yet been the lot of any writer or speaker to please everybody; why then should I be vain enough to expect such an attainment?” –Elihu Embree

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About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. I have written two books: Mindrobics: How To Be Happy For The Rest Of Your Life and Your Sperm Won--Experiencing Your Value As A Championship Human Being. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I lead a non-traditional church in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the early church come to life in our time.
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6 Responses to Tennessee’s Abolitionist Newspaper — The Emancipator

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