Gamaliel Bailey

Gamaliel Bailey (1807-59) worked as a doctor, teacher, sailor, and journalist before slavery took his interest at Lane Seminary in 1834. In 1835 he served as secretary of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society. The following year he joined James G. Birney in editing the antislavery newspaper, the Cincinnati Philanthropist. In 1838 he became the paper's sole editor, and for most of the following two decades Bailey continued to edit publications opposing slavery or its extension. Under his management (1847-59), the National Era based in Washington, D.C., grew to a weekly circulation of over twenty-five thousand and was a leading voice of the Free Soil movement. Bailey's journalistic career was punctuated by mob attacks on his press in 1836, 1840, 1843, and 1848, but in each case he persisted. Bailey initially opposed the formation of the Liberty party, but he began to back it just prior to the 1840 elections, seeing the group as a way to pressure the major parties. He supported the 1848 coalition of Liberty, Barnburner Democratic, and some Conscience Whig forces into one Free Soil party, and he campaigned for Martin Van Buren in the presidential election. "A Pioneer Editor," Atlantic Monthly, 17:743-51 (June 1866); Stewart, Joshua R. Giddings, 41, 66, 69, 96, 152-54, 169; Sewell, Ballots for Freedom, 45-46, 73-76, 83, 90-93, 152-54; Louis Filler, The Crusade Against Slavery, 1830-1860 (New York, 1960), 78, 150, 194-95; DAB, 1:496-97.

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