MOUNT PLEASANT — The village of Mount Nice was an essential cease on the Underground Railroad and for a couple of 12 months dwelling to Benjamin Lundy, an early founding father of the abolitionist motion.
The village was established in 1803 by Jesse Thomas and Robert Carothers. In keeping with Nationwide Park Service info, Carothers was an Irishman from Virginia and Thomas a Quaker from North Carolina.
Quakers didn’t consider in slavery. Mount Nice and its many Quaker residents grew to become a refuge for individuals attempting to flee slavery and for individuals who had already been free of it.
“Native residents constructed and administered a college free of charge black kids, and in 1848 established a Free Labor Retailer which bought no merchandise that have been produced by slave labor. Rice, as an example, was made by Quakers and cotton was made by German immigrants, however nothing bought within the retailer was produced from the efforts of slavery. The shop remained open till 1857. As an essential station on the Underground Railroad and a definite voice within the abolitionist sentiment, the village of Mount Nice performed a significant function within the antislavery motion,” in keeping with the Nationwide Park Service.
Whereas residing in Mount Nice from 1822-23, Lundy revealed his newspaper, Genius of Common Emancipation, there. Lundy was born in New Jersey in 1789 and raised by mother and father who belonged to the Society of Associates — the Quakers.
“They raised their son to oppose violence and the enslavement of different human beings. On the age of 19, Lundy was residing in Wheeling, Virginia, (now West Virginia), the place he was working as an apprentice to a saddle maker. It was in Wheeling that Lundy first grew to become conscious of the brutality of slavery,” in keeping with the Ohio Historical past Connection.
After residing in Wheeling, Lundy moved to St. Clairsville. By 1815 he established the Union Humane Society, which was a gaggle devoted to abolishing slavery west of the Appalachian mountains, in keeping with Ohio Historical past Connection. The group started with 5 individuals and grew to have 500 members.
In 1819 he moved to Missouri the place he tried to persuade individuals there that slavery ought to be abolished.
Regardless of his efforts, Missouri was adopted into the union as a slave state as a substitute of a free one. Lundy then moved to Mount Nice in 1822 the place he lived for a couple of 12 months. In 1823 he determined to maneuver to Tennessee in an effort to succeed in out to slave house owners there together with his newspaper and its teachings on abolishing slavery. He lived there for a couple of 12 months and determined to maneuver to Maryland in 1824. He lived in Baltimore for a number of years, giving lectures and printing his newspaper.
“Northerners didn’t at all times respect Lundy’s efforts. Many Northerners seen slavery as immoral. Others believed that their high quality of life would decline with an finish to slavery. They felt they’d now face competitors for jobs and property from the freed former slaves. A few of these individuals have been violently against the abolitionists’ plans,” in keeping with the Ohio Historical past Connection.
“One such man was Baltimore resident Austin Woolfolk, a slave dealer. He almost beat Lundy to demise in 1828. Different residents of Baltimore additionally threatened Lundy’s life and prompted him to maneuver to Philadelphia.”
Whereas residing in Philadelphia his printing press was destroyed in 1838 by slavery supporters. He then moved to Illinois to restart his newspaper. He died there in 1839 after changing into unwell and having a fever.
Benjamin Lundy’s houses in St. Clairsville at 164 E. Most important St., and Mount Nice on Union Avenue nonetheless stand at the moment. The Mount Nice Historic Society yearly conducts excursions of a number of historic constructions within the village.
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