Gamaliel Bailey and Antislavery Union

By Stanley Harrold | Go to book overview

chapter five
Struggle for the Liberty Party

In February 1843 Bailey turned down Lewis Tappan's request that he attend the Second World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. He suggested his Cincinnati associate the Reverend Jonathan Blanchard as an alternative, and attributed his own inability to attend the convention to his expanding family responsibilities. By 1843 Bailey had two sons, Marcellus born in 1840 and Frederick born in 1841. In addition his parents would soon join his household, requiring that he rent a larger house and hire at least one servant. More importantly, he was concerned for the health of his children after having seen one after the other die in infancy in the 1830s. His anxiety had been heightened only months earlier in September 1842 when Marcellus appeared near death with a "billious [sic] fever terminating in the brain." At that time Bailey had become so despondent while the child lay apparently dying that despite his medical training he collapsed across a bed, leaving Margaret to nurse Marcellus until the fever broke.1

Bailey might have also told Tappan that just as he anticipated enlarged family commitments, he expected to be devoting a great deal of time to his publishing business and to the Liberty party. He planned that year to expand the number of periodicals he published, and he and his Cincinnati colleagues were locked in a struggle for control of the third party with its leaders in New York and Massachusetts.

When he wrote to Tappan, Bailey had already begun regular publication of Facts for the People, a cheap monthly designed for mass distribution of Philanthropist reprints. Several months later in August 1843 he undertook a much more ambitious and risky venture in establishing an antislavery daily, and in less than a year he began to publish Margaret Bailey Youth's Monthly Visitor, a juvenile magazine. Bailey had been issuing Facts irregularly since

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