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The Underground Railroad In Hudson County - Part Five

By Alexander Maclean

Edited by GET NJ, Copyright 2002

Academic Abolitionists talked of deporting Americans of African descent through an African colonization scheme.

In 1818 the upper part of the Louisiana purchase, then called Missouri, petitioned for admission as a State. This started a feud among the settlers on whether the new State should for slavery or free. These disputes frequently caused bloodshed and continued for half a century.

So acute was the controversy at the time, that the academic Abolitionists talked of deporting Americans of African descent through an African colonization scheme. In 1816 a society was organized in Princeton for this purpose; Liberia was the outcome of its efforts.

The prohibition of slave importation, and the great demand for slaves due to the enlargement of the slave territory, changed the condition of the slaves and introduced breeding farms to raise them for the market. It may be noted that healthy babies were quoted as having a trade value of ten dollars a pound.

The independence of Texas offered another opportunity to expand slave territory. The agitation of this question produced the celebrated "Gag Law" in Congress which prohibited and speech or resolution relating to slavery. It also resulted in the exclusion of all aboltion letters or pamphlets from the mails.

The efforts at repression were unsuccesful. Attempts to intimidate by riotous attacks on abolitionists was equally abortive, though many places suffered from the riots, the worst being Philadelphia. One of these riots took place in Newark on July 11, 1834, during which a church was damaged Minor riots regularly broke out in many places. The first time the late Major Pangborn spoke in Jersey City, he was stoned on the platform in an open air meeting on Jersey Avenue between York and Montgomery Streets, no hall being open for an abolition meeting. I may mention incidentally that the Major made his speech, though his clothing was soiled by missiles thrown at him before the audience rallied, and used the "cooper's butts" which they had carried in expectation of some interference.

Part Six

Hudson County Facts  by Anthony Olszewski
Hudson County, New Jersey is a place of many firsts - including genocide and slavery.
Political corruption is a tradition here.
First issue in a series by Anthony Olszewski
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