The Black Abolitionist Papers - Vol. 1

By C. Peter Ripley | Go to book overview
Save to active project

J. C. A. Smith to Editor, Anti-Slavery Reporter 13 March 1854

British antislavery leaders were eager to assist blacks with a worthy cause but felt obligated to protect the integrity of the antislavery move­ ment and its British supporters from the occasional black imposter who fraudulently raised money. By the mid-1840s, black American speakers were subjected to an informal but rigorous credentials check. The unof­ ficial head of the certification system was Louis Alexis Chamerovzow, secretary of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society and editor of the society-sponsored Anti-Slavery Reporter. Chamerovzow used the pages of the Reporter to warn local reform leaders about imposters. His 1 March 1854 article, entitled "Colored Lecturers--Caution," vaguely warned of "certain coloured men" who were not genuine fugitive slaves but who were "going through the country with and without a [pan­ orama] . . . delivering lectures on American slavery." Chamerovzow made no specific charges, but black abolitionist J. C. A. Smith, then touring England with a panorama, responded to Chamerovzow's article on 13 March. Smith's letter of reprimand appeared in the next issue of the Anti-Slavery Reporter. ASRL, 1 March, 1 April 1854.

Ashton under Line Lancashire [ England] March 13th, 1854

Dear Sir 1

Having seen a letter of yours in the, A. S. Reporter of March 1st 1854.

Condeming the conduct of coloured Lectures, with and without Pan­ oramas &c. &c. Cautioning the Public against them, and you withhold the names of the parties alluded. Sir I am a coloured man, and have a Panorama, and some times lecture on the horrors of Slavery, as the en­ closed programme will give a few of the particulars. And I feel your letter is calculated to do me much injury, in as much as where ever your letter has been read I shall at once be suspected as one of the culprits alluded to in your able columns. I think it is due to me that you should in your reporter state that I am not one of the suspected persons. I am sure you do not wish to injure those who are honestly trying with yourself to overthrow the cruel system of Slavery and give freedom to the downtrod­ den millions of our race.

I here respectfully solicit a notice in your Reporter for next month. Furthermore, I may state that I am not an escaped Slave. But for the peculiar crime of aiding and assisting Slaves to escape from their terrible bondage I was obliged, subsequently to leave the States. As my trial was


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Black Abolitionist Papers - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 612

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?