Edward Strutt Abdy Visits Chillicothe, 1834

Abdy, Edward Strutt, 1791-1846. Journal of a Residence and Tour in the United States (3 vols.) London, 1835.

Quoted extensively in Gentlemen of Property, as a rare true sympathizer with free blacks in the U.S. He is apparently one of the best observers of the many anti-black and anti-abolitionist riots of the Jackson era. He also thought the solution to the American race problem was a thorough mingling of the races - what others would call "mulatization," "amalgamation," or
"miscegeny."

 
VISIT TO CHILLICOTHE AREA ca. June 22-26, 1834.
Cited from vol. 3 p. 85

"Chillicothe is a flourishing town on one of the great links of that chain of water communication which connects New York to New Orleans. It contains a population of four or five thousand people, of whom the colored portion forms about one-tenth. The latter have two churches and a school, consisting of thirty-five scholars of both sexes. The teacher, who is of the same race, is a graduate of the college of Athens (Ohio). [REF.: John Newton Templeton, Ohio University, 1828 graduate]

"Though they are taxed to the Poor Fund, they derive no benefit from it. Whatever is done to instruct the ignorant or relieve the indigent, is exclusively derived from their own resources. They complain bitterly of the many discouragements to which their legal disqualifications expose them. There is scarcely one who has not suffered from want of evidence to prove a pecuniary claim upon the white.

"One man [Henry Hill], who had been a tanner, and possessed property to the amount of 10,000 dollars, is now reduced to a state of poverty, from the frauds that have been practiced upon him with perfect impunity.

"Another had his house pulled down, in sight of himself and his family, and was forced to quit the place, as no legal proof could be obtained of an injury which was well known to the whole town.

"A third, who was a barber, happened to owe a physician, who died in Kentucky, seven dollars and three quarters for taking care of his health, while the doctor (Webb) owed him eighteen dollars for taking care of his beard ..."

Later more references to Afro-Americans in Jackson and Gallia counties.

mperdreau@ohiou.edu 06/29/98.

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