The AntiSlavery Tariff Men

The leaders of the anti-slavery agitation were those men with the greatest tariff interest.

There were no significant anti-slavery agitators who were not either tariff men or paid and directed by tariff men.

The correlation between the leaders of the anti-slavery agitation and tariff interests is not just suspiciously close. It is precisely perfect. The leaders of the anti-slavery agitation were the identical men with the largest tariff interests and who led the pro-tariff agitation.

It is inconceivable that, on the basis of sheer random chance, the anti-slavery agitators should, of all the millions of people in America, just happen to be the most tariff interested men in the country, with their anti-slavery activities proportional to their tariff interest, no less. There must have been some relationship.

The politician who initiated the anti-slavery controversy, James Tallmadge, Jr., was, as a Congressman, also foremost in agitating for the tariff and internal improvements. After his term in Congress, he had a long career agitating for the tariff as the nation's great spokesman for domestic manufacturing.

The nation's greatest antislavery agitator, Lewis Tappan, is well known to historians for his work in founding and managing the American Anti-Slavery Society, with his brother and business partner Arthur Tappan. Lewis, however, was also the chief organizer of the national agitation for a protective tariff that culminated in the 1828 Tariff of Abominations, an array of fact that seems to have been completely ignored by American historians.

The nation's second most prominent anti-slavery financier, Gerrit Smith, was the very man with the greatest personal financial interest in internal improvements financed by tariff funds.

Tanner and wool grower John Brown was the nation's most prominent anti-slavery terrorist. He was interested in tariff protection for leather and for wool. He and his father were both distributors of pro-tariff propaganda. He blamed the "Slave Power" for the failure of his Massachusetts wool business due to the lowered tariff of 1846. His massacres of pro-southern settlers in Kansas had a significant effect on the balance of power to control the tariff by diminishing the migration of southern settlers to that territory.

Former U.S. President John Quincy Adams was the leading anti-slavery agitator in Congress from 1831 until his death in 1848. His Massachusetts constituents demanded tariff protection. Serving for several terms as chairman of the Committee on Manufactures, Adams was in a position to shape tariff policy. He was first to sound the alarm to the Whigs that the annexation of slave-state Texas would shift the balance of power and result in the loss of the protective tariff.

Joshua Giddings was a U.S. Congressman from Ashtabula County in the north-eastern corner of Ohio, serving from 1837 until 1858. He was a close second to Adams in the leadership of the anti-slavery faction in the Congress. His primary interest was in federal expenditures for internal improvements for Ohio harbors financed by the proceeds of the tariff on foreign imports.

The nation's most prominent anti-slavery politicians were beholden to the "generosity" of tariff men. Those were hard-nosed businessmen who were understandably desperate to preserve their businesses by tariff protection. Lewis Benedict was foremost among these.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, the nation's most famous antislavery author, was paid as a propagandist by the antislavery newspaper founded and financed by Lewis Tappan.

Elijah Parish Lovejoy, the nation's most famous antislavery antislavery newspaper martyr, was put up to the business by Godfrey and Gilman, two lead mining speculators of Alton, Illinois, who were heavily in debt and desperate for tariff protection on lead.

Elihu Embree, the editor and publisher of the nation's first antislavery newspaper, was, with his father and his brother, the owner of one of the largest iron manufacturing furnaces in East Tennessee.

Benjamin Lundy was the editor of an early antislavery newspaper, The Genius of Universal Emancipation. Lundy was originally a saddler in St. Clairsville, Ohio and had his newspaper published in nearby Steubenville, Ohio. Steubenville was the center of the great wool-growing region west of the Alleghenies. The largest woolen factory west of the Alleghenies was located there. Both wool and leather goods, including saddles, were objects of tariff protection. Lundy began publishing his Genius of Universal Emancipation anti-slavery newspaper in Greenville, Tennessee, with the help of the deceased Elihu Embree's father, Thomas Embree. Elijah Embree, Elihu's brother was one of his first subscription agents.

Students of the Civil War should be familiar with these men, their businesses and their method of politics and propaganda. They should be aware that every anti-slavery agitator was such a man or in his pay. Many zealous young persons with no tariff interests of their own were recruited, paid and directed in their antislavery activities by these tariff men.