The Convention

The specific convention that is mentioned is not found or discussed clearly in any historic documents, though it appears to be an affiliation with the Ohio Antislavery Society.[1]This group helped local commissions host annual conventions to get abolitionists talking and aware of who the others were. The largest one was hosted in Cleveland every year and drew abolitionists from across the state and country.[2] Almira mentions that they were prevented from speaking at the conference, which resulted in them leaving the conference and there is evidence as to why this would have been the case. The reason that they were prevented from speaking at the anti-slavery conference is likely that Oberlin citizens and Charles Finney alike had reputations for being belligerent at conferences and taking over on the ideas in more radical manners than most were comfortable with.[3]Specifically, in Cleveland where the conference was taking place, there was a tradition of less radical abolitionist movements, especially amongst those who hosted the conferences. This despite more radical actions being taken by individuals against slave catchers and giving fugitive slaves refuge.[4]The militant reputation of Oberlinians likely resulted in their silencing at this convention. As they recognized there was no point disputing their sentence, they likely left and met Almira on the way home.

[1] Report of the fifth anniversary of the Ohio State Anti-slavery Society: held in Massillon, Stark County, Ohio, May 27, 1840. Accessed at

[2]SAM L. BROOKE, 1844. The Anniversary of the Ohio American Anti-Slavery Society. The Cincinnati Weekly Herald and Philanthropist (1843-1846) 8 (36): 0_3.

[3]Milton anti-slavery society: Auxiliary to the ohio anti-slavery society. 1837. Philanthropist (1836-1843) 2 (8): 0_3.

[4]Lubet,the Coloured Hero, 102.