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Roger Taney defends abolitionist minister Jacob Gruber against charges of inciting a slave riot.

01/01/1819

Jacob Gruber delivers a speech in Hagerstown, Maryland attacking the institution of slavery. The audience consists of twenty-six hundred white people and four hundred blacks, including slaves. Thus, charges of inciting a slave riot by preaching against slavery to an audience which includes slaves are leveled against Gruber. Taney successfully defends him on the grounds that his actions are protected under the right to free speech. During his defense of the minister Taney declares that slavery “is a blot on our national character, and every real lover of freedom confidently hopes that it will be effectually, though it must be gradually, wiped away.” -- Joanne Williams

Source Citation: 

Carl Brent Swisher, Roger B. Taney (New York: The Macmillan
Company, 1935), 95-98.

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How to Cite This Page: "Roger Taney defends abolitionist minister Jacob Gruber against charges of inciting a slave riot. ," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/14191.