James Miller McKim to John McClintock, June 10, 1847

    Source citation
    George R. Crooks, The Life and Letters of the Rev. John M'Clintock, D.D., LL.D., Late President of Drew Theological Seminary (New York: Nelson & Phillips, 1876), 170-171.
    Date Certainty
    LeAnn Fawver, Dickinson College
    Adapted by Meg Allen, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    Antislavery Office, Philadelphia, June 10, 1847.

    Professor M'Clintock:-

    My Dear Sir:-I take the liberty of inclosing you an authenticated copy of the late Act of Assembly of this State in relation to fugitive slaves. You may possibly have occasion to refer to it and may not be in possession of one duly authenticated.

    Allow me at the same time to avail myself of the opportunity of expressing to you the interest and gratification with which I have watched your progress for some time on the great question of slavery. I have rejoiced to see your eyes opened to so good a degree to the enormities of this system, to the guilt of the Church in relation to it, and the duty of energetic action for its overthrow. The late occurrence in Carlisle, in which I perceive you took a prominent, and, from the malevolence with which you are assailed for it I should infer in honorable part, has much increased my interest in your behalf. Unless Carlisle has greatly changed for the better since I was one of its residents, your liberal views of truth and duty find but little sympathy from those around you. "Open thy mouth for the dumb; plead the cause of the poor and needy," does very well to fill up the rhetoric of a studied sermon; but when reduced to every-day practice, and especially when applied to the degraded slave and his despised brethren here at the North, it is quite another thing. Woe to the man that is guilty of such extravagance! His name is cast out as evil; he is branded as a disorganizer in the Church and a disturber of the peace of society. Possibly you may not have yet gone far enough to incur all this odium. The regularity and conformity to prevailing usage of your previous ways may have acquired for you a stock of character sufficient to save your reputation from the hostility which your late course was calculated to awaken. But if you persist, my dear sir, be assured that all this odium, and more, will come upon you.

    Such views of Christian truth and duty as you have avowed the Church will not tolerate, nor the world away with-at least not in any other form than the abstract. I trust you have duly consid- ered this; that you have counted the cost. Excuse me if I confess that in this regard I feel much solicitude for you. Not that I have any fears of your deliberately going back from any clear convictions of duty; but lest, in the clamor your Christian-like course will raise, you should allow the remonstrances and expostulations of those whom you may regard as fathers and brethren, wiser and better than yourself, to shake you in your conclusions, and persuade you to substitute their views of duty for your own. Many have been led away from the truth, under circumstances like these, by an improper confidence in others. I trust you will be enabled to resist all such influences. May God strengthen you, and enable you to set your face like a flint; confer not with flesh and blood! You have a work to do; take counsel only of Him who sends you. Remember that "if any man-any man-will live godly in Christ Jesus, he shall suffer persecution." But, then, "blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." But why need I quote this? It is all familiar to you, and perhaps more so than to me. Such passages, however, come to one's mind on occasions like the present. If not too much trouble, please drop me a line saying how much, if any, truth there is in the statement copied into the "Ledger" of Tuesday from the "Hagerstown News," that you urged on the colored people to rescue those slaves in the riot case. It is not a matter of much importance, but I feel some curiosity to know.

    Yours, in much sympathy, J. M. M'Kim.

    How to Cite This Page: "James Miller McKim to John McClintock, June 10, 1847," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/1841.