: Reverend John Rankin believed the federal government should purchase slaves from their masters and set them free. Upon learning that one of his brothers, living in Virginia, had acquired a slave, Rankin wrote a series of letters denouncing slavery to the editor of an Ohio newspaper (The Castigator) and sent the letters to his brother. These editorials were published as the book "Letters on American Slavery" in 1826. The fifth edition is reproduced here. It includes 13 letters and was published in 1838. Born in eastern Tennessee, John Rankin (1793-1886) became a Presbyterian minister and settled in Ripley, Ohio, in the 1820s. His home on a hill overlooking the Ohio River was a station on the Underground Railroad. Reverend Rankin stated that over a 40-year period, his wife Jane (identified in some later records as Jean) and their 13 children aided more than 2,000 slaves escaping through Ripley on their way to Canada. Reverend Rankin helped organize the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society. Rankin and his wife are buried in Ripley, and their house is now a National Historic Landmark. View on Ohio Memory.
: Om1222_1073900_001 Subjects
: Civil Liberties; African American Ohioans; Religion in Ohio; Slavery; Underground Railroad Places
: Ripley (Ohio); Brown County (Ohio)