A Sabbath School Broken Up By A Magistrate


(From the Cincinnati Journal.)

Mr. BRAINARD,— In Gallatin County, Kentucky, a Sabbath-school was organized for the benefit of slaves. None were encouraged to come, but such as had leave from their masters. About thirty attended, and manifested great anxiety to learn to read the word of God. The school continued five or six Sabbaths without interruption. At length a constable and about twenty-five others came one Sabbath evening, just after the school was closed, and took the two young men, who formed and taught the school, with a warrant, and fined them sixteen shillings each, and costs for holding an unlawful assembly, the law under which the fine was infected. They ordered twenty lashes on the bare back well laid on, in case the fine is not promptly paid.

From the warrant it appeared that a good colonizationist was the informant. This fact shows that slavery tends not only to oppress the colored slave, but even the white freeman. These two benevolent young men, had they been unable to tender their fine, might have received twenty lashes each, on the bare back, well laid on. This shows us how much hope there is of preparing the mass of slaves for freedom, when even Sabbath-schools are broken up by the civil magistrates!! For gradual emancipation there is just one argument, and that is, the avarice of the master. The slaves, as a mass, never can be educated in a state of slavery. Avarice, the sole reason for slavery, will neither yield up either the time or expense necessary to educate slaves. Those who are willing to educate their own slaves will not be allowed to do it. The above fact is susceptible of the clearest proof. JOHN RANKIN, Ripley, Brown County, Ohio.


The Liberator, October 24, 1835. Note that while this lists the offense occurring in Gallatin, it's 1835, and Gallatin still also consisted of what is now Carroll and part of Trimble County in that year.