In 1815, while living at Saint Clairsville, Ohio, he organized an antislavery association, known as the "Union Humane Society," which within a few months had a membership of more than five hundred men.
He was bitterly denounced by slaveholders and also by such non-slaveholders as disapproved of all antislavery agitation, and in January 1827 he was assaulted and seriously injured by a slave-trader, Austin Woolfolk, whom he had severely criticized in his paper.
He was essentially humane; and it is worthy of notice that he was in favour of the abolition of slavery, while humane men like his friend Lord Sheffield, Dr Johnson and Boswell were opposed to the antislavery movement.
The settlers who had flocked to California after the discovery of gold in 1848 adopted an antislavery state constitution on the 13th of October 1849, and applied for admission into the Union.
His tariff and antislavery views, moreover, carried him more and more away from the Democratic party and toward the Whigs.
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