The National Era
Bailey was not a well man in early November 1846 when he returned to Cincinnati after a two week trip to New York City where he had finally met Lewis Tappan, his longtime benefactor. Although Bailey had been confined to bed for over a week in late September with a severe attack of dyspepsia, he had set out with Professor Timothy B. Hudson of Oberlin College in mid-October to confer with Tappan concerning the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society's new national antislavery paper in Washington, which he had agreed to edit. During the trip eastward and during the stay with Tappan in New York, Bailey had been "harassed and exhausted by one of the worst forms of intermittent fever." Not until he reached Baltimore on the return trip to Cincinnati had he begun to feel better, and two weeks later he was still not strong enough to resume his editorial duties. Nevertheless, he announced to his readers that he would depart Cincinnati at the end of the year to edit the Washington paper he and Tappan had named the National Era. This eagerness to begin in spite of poor health had impressed Tappan and confirmed him in his estimation that Bailey was the best man for the difficult post at the national capital.1
That the antislavery cause required a voice in Washington had been obvious for years. Theodore Weld and Joshua Leavitt had established an antislavery lobby there in 1841, and Leavitt had returned session after congressional session to work closely with the antislavery Whig congressmen in their fights against the gag rule and the annexation of Texas. Leavitt did research and joined in strategy sessions while ostensibly employed as the Emancipator's congressional reporter.2 Bailey had praised Leavitt's courage and ability, adding that "no where else can he render such service to the Anti-Slavery cause,
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Publication information: Book title: Gamaliel Bailey and Antislavery Union. Contributors: Stanley Harrold - Author. Publisher: Kent State University Press. Place of publication: Kent, OH. Publication year: 1986. Page number: 81.
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