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    Description

    [Abolition]. Draft of Memorial from Marietta College Students to Form an Anti-Slavery Society. Two pages of a bifolium, 8" x 10". Marietta, Ohio; circa 1835-1840; a draft memorial addressed to the "Faculty of Marietta College."

    This is a draft of what was intended to be a memorial signed by "students of several departments of the Institution" to establish an anti-slavery society.

    "In forming ourselves into a society, our object is this, in its general announcement, namely, to give our influence for the utter and immediate suppression of slavery. To effect this, we consider that we can give a more efficient influence in an associated capacity, than by any individual effort or zeal. The experience of the present age has fully tested the superiority of associated moral influence over any unconnected action. Our principles are such as we are proud to profess; and we think it a duty to stand forth in this public acknowledgement and defense.

    For want of time our Constitution is not yet presented. Our principles, it is seen, differs not from those of other Antislavery societies, which are known to the faculty. Nothing in our society will differ from others entertaining similar views, unless it may be in the time of, and proceedings at our stated meetings. We propose to hold our meetings four times in the year. At those meetings addresses will be given, information communicated, and the subject of slavery discussed. We shall aim to effect whatever we can by moral influence only-by the circulation of papers and pamphlets-by discussion and investigation-by reason and argument we will endeavor to remove the vail which covers the deformity of the monster Slavery, and expose him to detestation.

    Upon these principles, and with these motives; and feeling a conviction of the willingness of the Faculty to forward great objects of benevolence and philanthropy, such, in importance, as the one in which we propose to engage; and convinced, from the experience of the past, of the inclination of the Faculty to comply with our reasonable requests; we present this memorial and solicit the privilege of constituting ourselves a Society, with the utmost confidence of a favorable consideration
    ."

    This manuscript highlights the anti-slavery fervor that permeated Marietta, Ohio, during the antebellum period; but it is not known if this memorial was ever formally submitted to the faculty or if it was approved.

    Marietta College, located in Marietta, Ohio, was chartered in 1835. By the 1850s the college had become an active center of anti-slavery sentiment. During the college's first year, the ardent abolitionist Theodore Weld visited Marietta for several weeks, delivering anti-slavery lectures which were popular with Marietta College students. That year an anti-slavery society was founded in the town with active participation of students from the college. The first secretary of the anti-slavery society was an instructor at Marietta College.

    Condition: The manuscript has three horizontal folds with slight tears at intersection of folds and center crease. All of the folds have slight tears at the outer edges, one which is about one inch in length, but does not affect text. Otherwise, the document is in good condition.


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