Tuesday, March 24, 2009
American Minute - Mar. 24 - Rufus King & the Anti-Slavery Movement
William Jay, son of the First Supreme Court Chief Justice, helped found New York City's Anti-Slavery Society in 1833.
His son, John Jay, was manager of New York Young Men's Anti-Slavery Society in 1834.
Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story helped establish the illegality of the slave trade in the 1844 Amistad case.
Salmon P. Chase, appointed Chief Justice by Lincoln, defended so many escaped slaves in his career he was nicknamed "Attorney-General of Fugitive Slaves."
Cassius Marcellus Clay, diplomat to Russia for Lincoln and Grant, founded the anti-slavery journal True American in 1845 and helped found the Republican party in 1854.
Rufus King, born MARCH 24, 1755, was one of the youngest signers of the U.S. Constitution, only 32 years old.
A Harvard graduate, Rufus King was an aide to General Sullivan during the Revolutionary War.
Rufus King later served as U.S. Minister to England and was a Senator from New York.
In a speech made before the Senate at the time Missouri was petitioning for statehood, Rufus King stated:
"I hold that all laws or compacts imposing any such condition as slavery upon any human being are absolutely void because they are contrary to the law of nature, which is the law of God."