Free Produce Convention (Article)

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Free Produce Convention (Article)


"In accordance with previous notice a number of friends of abstinence from the productions of Slavery, met in Convention at Salem, Union Co., Ia., 11th mo. 19th, 1850.

The meeting was organized by the appointment of Wm. Beard President, Joel Parker and Thomas Freeman Vice Presidents, and Walter Edgerton and Reuben Macy Secretaries.

On motion, a committee of seven was appointed to prepare business for the action of this meeting. The following persons constituted said committee, viz: Walter Edgerton, Wm. H. Brisbane, Levi Coffin, Wm. Hough, Jonathan Swain, Sarah Franklin, Jemmima Maxwell and Nathan Thomas.

After the reading of a chapter from the sacred volume, and a solemn pause, an excellent letter from Judge Jay to the colored citizens of New York, relative to the bearing of the infamous Fugitive Slave Law upon the colored population was read, and also a letter from H.H. Garnet, a black man, who is now advocating the cause of abstinence from Slave-grown produce in England, to the editor of the ""Non-Slaveholder,"" setting forth the cheering progress of the cause in that country.

On motion, Wm. H. Brisbane of Cincinnati, was called upon to address the meeting, who came forward and interested the audience in an able and impressive manner till the close of the session.

On motion, the Convention adjourned till 5 o'clock this evening.


The Convention met according to adjournment, - the President in the chair.

The Committee on business through its chairman reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were separately taken up, discussed and unanimously adopted:
Whereas, Slavery is an evil professedly deprecated by the great mass of the christian community, especially in the non-slaveholding portion of our country; Therefore,
1. Resolved, That it becomes our imperative duty, if we would maintain any character for consistency, to avoid as much as practicable giving any countenance or support to that most wicked institution.

2. Resolved, That the African Slave Trade - the wars, and incalculable loss of human life incident thereon - the horrors of the ""middle passage"" in the Slaver - the unutterable agony of tens of thousands of our fellow-men and women as they cross the briny deep, the victims of the man-thief's cupidity, together with the scarcely less infamous but legalized traffic in the bodies and souls of men carried on in the midst of this liberty-loving Republic! the tearing asunder of husbands and wives, parents and children, and the application of the chain, the iron collar, the hand-cuff, the knotted-lash and branding-iron, to the quivering flesh of the unfortunate who have fallen among thieves, and all the rest of the pharaphernalia of human torture which the ingenuity of the most inhuman tyrant can invent, depend almost, if not exclusively upon the consumption of the produce of the labor of the slave; Therefore:

3. Resolved, That the consumers of slave produce are the primary supporters of this most infamous scheme from first to last.

4. Resolved, That with these views it is our duty to endeavor to put in train a set of measures by which we can be furnished with articles of consumption in common use free from the blood of the slave, and that we appoint a committee who shall digest a plan of operations and present it to a future session of the convention.

The following persons were appointed a committee as contemplated in the above resolution, viz: Walter Edgerton, Levi Coffin, Nathan Thomas, Joel Parker, and Dr. Brisbane.

On motion, adjourned till 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.


Eleventh mo. 20th, pursuant to adjournment the Convention again met - the president in the chair.

The committee on business reported the following resolution which was unanimously adopted.

Resolved, That we recognize the Non-Slaveholder as an able and efficient advocate of the abstinence cause, and would therefore recommend it to the friends of that cause, and solicit for it their hearty patronage.

The Committee to digest and propose a plan by which we may be furnished with articles of consumption in common use free from the blood of the slave, reported the following resolutions.

Resolved, That this Convention recommend the formation of a joint stock company raised upon shares of five dollars each to be under the control of twelve directors, and to be regularly chartered, for the establishment of a wholesale free -produce store in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Resolved, That Dr. Brisbane, Thos. Freeman, Samuel Lewis, Levi Coffin, Thomas Franklin and Richard Gaines, be a committee to make arrangements to carry the foregoing plan into execution, to - detail such regulations as may be necessary for the formation of said company upon the most efficient principles, and shall have power to fill all vacancies which may occur in their own body and are directed to prosecute the concern till the company is duly formed, and stock sufficiently taken to accomplish the above object.

Resolved, That the Fugitive Slave Law is so wicked, barbarous and unjust in its features and requirements, that no good honest citizens can without disgracing himself yield the slightest obedience to it.

On motion adjourned till early candle-lighting, this evening.


At early candle-lighting the convention met.

On motion, Resolved that the Secretary be directed to forward the proceedings of this Convention to the True Democrat, the Anti-Slavery Bugle and Ohio Standard for publication.

On motion, adjourned sine die .
W. EDGERTON, Sec'y."


The North Star




“Free Produce Convention (Article),” No Stain of Tears and Blood, accessed June 21, 2024,

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