The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960

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THE LITTLE MAN walking alone down the trail from the
Sabine River toward Nacogdoches late in June, 1832, was
no ordinary settler come to make his fortune in Texas
and to start life anew on a far frontier. Benjamin Lundy's mission
involved principles. The lure that had led this gentle, middle-
aged Quaker to undertake a tedious and dangerous trip from
Maryland to Mexico was neither wealth nor adventure nor the
opportunity to escape from Eastern circumstances he could not
master. Benjamin Lundy had traveled to Texas to further a
humanitarian project to which he had long dedicated his life-
the abolition of Negro slavery. Those Texans who chanced to see
him cross the Sabine on the evening of June 27 watched, had they
known it, not a commonplace adventurer, but a major representa-
tive of the gathering forces that were ultimately to extinguish
slavery in the United States; and Lundy's trips to Texas, which so
long as he lived he must have considered failures, contributed
their share to the developing sectional controversy that was to
lead to disunion and Civil War.'
Lundy had long agreed with other American philanthropists
who held that slavery was an institution so at variance with the
principles of Christianity and the Declaration of Independence as
to be totally out of place in the nineteenth-century United States.
The philanthropists' early expectation that American slavery
would gradually disappear had not been realized. Instead of de-
clining, slavery had increased after 18oo. Earnest humanitarians,
observing its growth with horror, exerted themselves to do every-
thing in their power to extinguish it. To further that enterprise,
Lundy had established a newspaper, the Genius of Universal
Emancipation, in 1821. For a decade his publication had served
1There is no complete biography of Lundy, but see Fred Landon, "Benjamin
Lundy in Illinois," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, XXXIII (1940),
57-67, and his A Memorial to Benjamin Lundy, Pioneer Quaker Abolitionist,
1789-1839 (n.p., 1939)

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 29, 2016.

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