M. R. Hull Writes . . .
GERMANTOWN, KY., JAN.11.
DEAR JOHNSTON,—I am now in Bracken county , Ky., in the midst of that species of brutalization which takes beings made in the image of God, and crushes them to the earth with hogs, donkeys and mules. In this community may be found as kind masters as any known to the slave regions. But the kindest are unkind ; for they sell them, do not allow them to get an education, and almost always the father is not allowed to raise his own children, except they be illegitimate. The principal slaveholders here are members of the Church—some are Presbyterians; but they are mostly members of the Methodist Episcopal Churches, North and South , as they are distinguished here. Why they should differ I know not, for there is not an abomination known to sin that is allowed of by one, which is not tolerated by the other. The South, however, are in the habit of calling the members of the Church North Abolitionists , which they deny, and think it hard that they should bear such a reproach heaped upon their organization.
I am now in the neighborhood where the unfortunate, and I may say wicked, Doyle was detected, in March, with nearly forty slaves, which he had gathered up from about Lexington, with the intention, it is thought, of running them off to New Orleans. Here it was that Doyle and all the fugitives were apprehended and imprisoned. In Germantown, there were near three hundred persons assembled for the hellish purpose of hunting and shooting slaves, should they refuse to be apprehended and returned to their masters. On this occasion, the Southern Methodists turned out liberally, to chase the flying bondmen who were their brethren in the Church.
It is said of the slaves, that there were many of them pious; and of one, that he prayed eloquently and powerfully for his master and for slaveholders in general, and for those who hunted them as wild beasts on the mountains.
What a devilish religion that is, which stirs up its votaries to enslave, to dog, and often to shoot one another! It is certainly not the workings of that love, 'which worketh no ill to his neighbor.' A gentleman informed me that this county had been enriched as much by the capture of the forty fugitives as by a crop of tobacco. Several of the pious Southern Methodists were as successful as bloodhounds in the chase, and were rewarded for their doggishness. Will this kind of religion save the world, when we see it fails to save men from acting worse than savages— worse than wild hogs and hyenas? I am pained to the heart when I reflect this is the work of religionists, and that we have so many churches that not only tolerate this work of the devil, but are foremost in doing it up, much to the satisfaction of his Satanic majesty.
Six years ago I passed through this county, and during my stay among my wife's relations; I made several, as I thought, good Abolitionists: but, unfortunately, a slaveholding relation died and bequeathed his negroes to my converts. They have made sale of their property, being too anti-slavery to hold them —preferring to jingle them in their pockets, then eat the price of some while they wear out the others on their backs. One poor fellow, bequeathed to an aged brother, to wait on him in his declining days, and to be free at thirty-seven, was seized by a Southern Methodist by the name of John Reed, and with the aid of the constable, tied and carried to prison to be sold into interminable bondage, it is supposed. The mother of the doomed boy plead with the hardhearted creatures not to sell her son, but he was sold to a trader, and a wish expressed by some of the family that he might be taken to New Orleans, the Christian's slave market. I have visited these wicked kinsmen; and everything I saw about the house, the towels and the sheets, the curtains and the blankets, the calico and silk, the cider and coffee, all seemed to say, ' We are the price of blood! ' I broached the subject of negro selling, and found at once that conscience was doing its work. I suppose I could make them Abolitionists again, but their principles would only last until the slaves come in their possession, which they expect at the death of the widow.
A nephew inherited three. He is a member of the Northern Methodist Church—he sold them all, and retains his connexion in the Church. This is negro selling Methodism of the North. This is that kind of religion with which your Ohio Methodists hold communion. This is that kind sustained by Ohio preachers of the Ohio Conference who travel here. To such negro traders, they deal out the bread and wine , and then return to Ohio, and deal them out to you. What a conclave of evil doers! What religious bandits!
Yours, in the bonds of love,
M. R. HULL
The Liberator, February 16, 1849, reprinting from the New Concord (Ohio) Free Press.