Tuesday, June 4, 2019

1854 Southern M.E. Church Conference and Slavery

I have taken this story from the Covington Journal, of June 10, 1854. This was shortly after the Kansas-Nebraska Act had passed Congress.


On the 25th inst. (says the Columbus Times,) the Conference acted upon the report of the committee appointed upon the 9th section of the Discipline. It will gratify the friends of the church everywhere in the South to learn that the 9th section was expunged, as well as all other parts of the Discipline which condemned the institution of slavery. The general rule, forbidding "the purchasing of men, women, and children, with the intention to enslave them," and which has reference to the African slave trade, was retained, though the vote upon the expurgation even of this rule, was 47 to 54." 

It is not a surprise that slavery was a major national issue in this time and that it affected even churches and their operation, but I have not come across a lot of specific examples like this in my own searching of  records, so I thought I would share this one.

The Covington Journal was published just one county away from where some of my ancestors lived at the time, so I think of this as a local newspaper and enjoy finding tidbits in it. Being located in a slave state, but along the Ohio River, just across from Ohio and not far from Indiana, it and its publishers were in a unique position regarding slavery support and opposition.

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