Edmund Turner to Slaveholders, March 1, 1858

    Source citation
    William Still, The Underground Railroad (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1872), 119-120.
    Author (from)
    Turner, Edmund
    Recipient (to)
    Date Certainty

    Well may the Southern slaveholder say, that holding their Fellow men in Bondage is no (sin, because it is their delight as the Egyptians, so do they; but nevertheless God in his own good time will bring them out by a mighty hand, as it is recorded in the sacred oracles of truth, that Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God, speaking in the positive (shall). And my prayer is to you, oh, slaveholder, in the name of that God who in the beginning said, Let there be light, and there was light. Let my People go that they may serve me; thereby good may come unto thee and to thy children's children. Slave-holder have you seriously thought upon the condition yourselves, family and slaves; have you read where Christ has enjoined upon all his creatures to read his word, thereby that they may have no excuse when coming before his judgment seat? But you say he shall not read his word, consequently his sin will be upon your head. I think every man has as much as he can do to answer for his own sins. And now my dear slave-holder, who with you are bound and fast hastening to judgment? As one that loves your soul repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the time of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

    In the language of the poet:
    Stop, poor sinner, stop and think,
    Before you further go;
    Think upon the brink of death
    Of everlasting woe.
    Say, have you an arm like God,
    That you his will oppose?
    Fear you not that iron rod
    With which he breaks his foes?
    Is the prayer of one that loves your souls. EDMUND Turner.

    N. B. The signature bears the name of one who knows and felt the sting of Slavery; but now, thanks be to God, I am now where the poisonous breath taints not our air, but every one is sitting under his own vine and fig tree, where none dare to make him ashamed or afraid.

    EDMUND TURNER, formerly of Petersburg, Va.

    How to Cite This Page: "Edmund Turner to Slaveholders, March 1, 1858," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/1073.