A Letter from Dr. Hudson
DELAWARE, OHIO, 1st mo. 10, 1842.
My last report to you left me at Oberlin, where I had the pleasure of a reunion with my fellow-laborer, C. C. Burleigh, with whom I have visited some of the most important settlements in the northern portions of Lorain, Cuyahoga, Lake, and Ashtabula counties. In Oberlin, brother B. delivered a course of seven lectures, to large and intelligent audiences. They were greatly admired, and calculated to do his hearers permanent good. The anti-slavery spirit of this place is terrible to the slaveholding States, “as an army with banners.” The abolitionists here do not have to tell that they are “as much opposed to slavery as anybody”—their works declare it—they are known and read of all men, as being opposed to slavery—the only evidence of genuine opposition to slavery, or any other sin.
“When I was a stranger, ye took me in .”
While we were here, seven “strangers” arrived from old Kentucky : five women, and two men. They seemed to have some notion of trying to “take care of themselves;” and therefore were, with their own consent , colonizing themselves to “Victoria's dominions.” They were hotly and closely pursued by those who professed to have a very tender regard for them—very much afraid that they would suffer for the want of care. “Seven hundred dollars” were offered to reward any one who would kindly look after them and take care of them; as “three of them were genteel waiting maids,” for whom Mrs. General Taylor, of Newport , Kentucky , felt an especial regard.
They were very fortunate, however, in falling into the hands of “friends,” who are “careful to entertain strangers” without charge. I had an interview with them. They were full of anxiety about Mrs. Gen. Taylor and her family—didn't know how “the poor creatures would take care of themselves;” as they did not know enough to cook their own food, &c.; but that they had done their duty, and could not afford to serve them any longer, without pay .
The way in which they escaped from the snare of the fowler, brother Byrd, I see, has communicated to you. They got safely by their befooled pursuers to Cleveland, whence they found a direct passage to Malden. There they remained in safe quarters, while the Ohio blood-hounds, for many days, were trying to negotiate with some jack-tars in Cleveland, who were abolitionists, to keep a look out for “the poor creatures.” “The genteel waiting maids” intended, when they were settled in the land of freedom, to send a letter of condolence, reproof, and instruction, to Mrs. Taylor. A warrant was issued for their apprehension, under the United States law; and Benedict, the people's agent, was on the alert to serve his masters, and get their “shene.” He reaped his own folly for reward.
The Kentuckians find that they missed the mark greatly, when they got the Ohio legislature to make her black law. They got the legislators under such high pressure, by hot whisky punch , that the law came forth, such a complicated and confused instrument, as to be of no service to them. “This ball they can't stop.”
Almost daily I meet “strangers” winding their way along, following the North star.
National Anti-Slavery Standard, February 17, 1842