Daily Morning News

Savannah, Georgia

December 21, 1858



Threatened Moral Law.



      Deputy Marshal Dayton, who recently served writs for the arrest of about twenty or thirty white and colored residents of Oberlin, Ohio, for participating in the rescue of a fugitive slave, has thereby incurred the displeasure of the mob, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer says:

“The negroes threaten Dayton, and have once fired shots into his house at night.  Since these last arrests another assault has been made upon his family in his absence.  They first had a secret meeting; then on Tuesday night several negroes, armed with clubs, went to Dayton’s house, knocked, and wanted to see Dayton.  Mrs. Dayton, who was at home with her little children, informed them that her husband was not hat home.  They doubted Mrs. D.’s word, and wanted to come in and look for themselves.  Mrs. D., knowing she could not prevent their coming in, finally consented, and after looking the house over they left.  If the white people of Oberlin do not restrain such lawless acts, there will be worse trouble than that arising from rescuing fugitives.”



Daily Morning News

Savannah, Georgia

May 14, 1859



The Oberlin Slave Rescuers. – Inflammatory Letter.



      We stated yesterday that six of the Oberlin slave rescuers had plead guilty before the United States Court, at Cleveland, and were fined $25 each, and imprisoned twenty-four hours.  The cases of these prisoners have drawn forth a letter from the Hon. Joshua R. Giddings of Ohio, which he indulges in most inflammatory language, as will be seen by the following extracts:

      “In disregarding this law (fugitive slave) the prisoners did right.  Their error consisted in sparing the lives of the slave catchers.  Those pirates should have been delivered over to the colored men and consigned to the doom of pirates, which should have been speedily executed.  You are aware that this is the doctrine, which I proclaimed in Congress.  I adhere to it.  Had the prisoners executed the slave catchers promptly, it would have taught the administration a lesson not soon to be forgotten.  We should have been no more troubled with that class of miscreants.

      “Cleveland is now the Boston of 1775, and I trust her sons will meet the responsibilities thrown upon them with becoming firmness.  As to the future, I see no other course for the prisoners than patiently to await events.  Their counsel will apply to the Supreme Court of our State for a habeas corpus whenever sentence shall be pronounced upon any of their number.

      “I have great confidence in the judges composing that court.  But should they prove unequal to the occasion, the case will then be fully made up, and the appeal must then be taken to that highest of earthly tribunals, the source of all political power.  The people finding this government to have become destructive of the lives, the liberties and the happiness of its citizens, will alter or abolish it; and organized its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.  This duty, so solemnly enjoined upon us by the founders of our government, in that immortal charter of American liberty to which for almost a century we have been accustomed to look for instruction and direction in regard to our rights, will not be neglected.”



Daily Morning News

Savannah, Georgia

May 21, 1859



Oberlin Seeking British Aid!



      {We copy the following from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Portions of the letter detailing the facts in the rescue case, are omitted.}

      The following remarkable letter, written by Mr. Hamilton Hill, an Englishman Secretary of Oberlin College, to the British Foreign Anti-Slavery Society and sent to us by one of our foreign Representatives, who found it going the rounds of the British papers, will show the secret of much of the hatred towards this Government and the entire disrespect to our laws by this Oberlin Junta.


{From the British Daily Mail, April 29th, 1859.}

Result of the Fugitive Slave Law.

      The following letter has been addressed by Mr. Hamilton Hill, Secretary of Oberlin College, Ohio, U.S., to the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society:

Oberlin College, Ohio, U.S.,

Feb. 17, 1859.


      Dear Sir:  You have probably seen in some of the American papers an account of the rescue of a slave from his captors by some of the inhabitants of Oberlin, assisted by other humane persons in the neighborhood.

      “Prominent in this humane transaction were three Englishmen and Scotchmen; three or four are students in the college, the other a married man with a family.  These four British subjects, together with thirty-three others engaged in the affair, are now arraigned by the Federal Government of the United States under a charge of violating the Fugitive Slave Law, and are awaiting their trial, which takes place in March.

      “And now I come to the object I have in view in writing this letter, and which is, to solicit from the friends of the slave in Great Britain some pecuniary assistance, to enable these subjects of her Majesty to meet the expense necessary to defend themselves against this indictment.  The individuals in question are men whose means are limited, and though the sum required will be comparatively small, they are entirely unable to meet the necessary expenses.

      “Though nearly twenty years I have been Secretary of this College, I am in every sense of the word an Englishman, and such outrages as those I have recorded, and one more I have yet to mention, do not wean me from my devotion to my native country.  The other outrage I allude to is this –about two weeks ago a slave was burnt alive in Kentucky, within sight of Ohio.  This is the third case of the kind in Kentucky within a few months.  Is there any other civilized or half civilized country in the world where criminals are burnt alive?  Oberlin is well known in England as a thorough anti-slavery institution.  Here the colored man is educated on a perfect equality with the white.  No fugitive slave has ever yet been taken back to bondage from Oberlin, notwithstanding we have a pretty numerous population of that sort, and notwithstanding, also that many attempts have been made to that end.  We intend, as God will give us the ability, to maintain this proud ‘pre-eminence.’ ”

      This letter was evidently not intended for the public eye.  “These four British subjects,” together with the writer of the letter, who, although he has been Secretary to an American Institution near twenty years, still avows himself “in every sense of the word an Englishman,” are not only plotting treason against the Government that protects them, but are secretly asking aid from our ancient enemy!  These “British subjects” refuse to be naturalized!  They will take no oath renouncing their allegiance to Great Britain and to support the laws of this country.  Not they.  They boast of their hostile attitude to everything American, and glory in still being Britons.  We are glad to have their avowals in written and official form, over the signature of one who signs himself “Hamilton Hill, Secretary of Oberlin College, Ohio, U.S.,” and although twenty years a resident and an office holder, is still, “in every sense of the word an Englishman.”