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The Greersburg Resolution of 1836: Milestones Special Issue

Milestones Vol 30. No. 2

According to the Warner History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, the following antislavery resolution was recorded from a meeting at Greersburg Academy in Darlington on January 28, 1836:

Resolved ,

1. That the right of free discussion is the birthright of men--guaranteed to every American citizen by the constitution of his country--consequently, it cannot be taken from him, or abridged by any power whatsoever.

2. That as the United States mail and post office were established for the good of the whole nation, therefore the abolitionists have the same right as any other body of men to use it. Let them be dealt with according to law , but let the right remain sacred.

3. That we view with alarm the impunity with which officers high in trust have violated the law of our country, in wresting from innocent citizens rights which are secured to them by government--thus undermining the security and confidence of the people in our republican institutions.

4. That every man who joins a mob is a traitor to his country, and by so doing lends his influence to the introduction of anarchy and the demolition of our federal constitution.

5. That slaveholders are agitators, and their doctrines incendiary, producing mobs, lawless violence, destruction of property by fire, judgment and death without trial by jury, and alarm by offering rewards for the abduction of American citizens who have broken no law and are convicted of no crime.

6. That charges made against abolitionists by the President of the United States and governors of different states are entirely unsupported by evidence, consequently we look upon the abolitionists as an innocent, injured and persecuted class of citizens, and feel called upon to aid in maintaining their rights, and vindicating their character before the nation and the world.

7. That as liberty and slavery cannot exist in the same country, without the destruction of the one or the other, we therefore feel called upon as friends of liberty to give our united testimony in her favor, and also to embody our influence against opposition by forming an Anti-Slavery Society (247).

The group also wrote and adopted a constitution and elected officers including the Rev. David Imbrie as president; Dr. Joseph Frazier and Dr. James Cochran as vice presidents; the Rev. George Scott as secretary; and William Adair, Joseph Taylor, James Cook, Thomas Silliman, John Steel, Robert Russel, and William Scott as the board of managers. No records of the further activities of this organization have been preserved .