Historian's Craft

The blog of Historian's Craft 3801 at Huron Unviersity College in London, Ontario, Canada

Posts tagged black history

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Hirim Wilson: Lane Rebels, Oberlin Seminary and Upper Canada

Hirim Wilson is a central figure in the research done by Huron University College’s Promise Land Project, specifically in the Historians Craft. Utilizing the skills necessary as a historian we have been continuing the transcription of his letters as well as placing his life in the context of African American history. A wonderfully short biography of Hirim Wilson is available at the Oberlin University website here.

For our purposes the following post will follow the theme of the Lane Rebels and their connection with Canada. As an active abolitionist Wilson partook in the Slavery Debates which took place over 18 days at Lane Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio beginning in February, 1834. The abolitionist cause did not begin in Ohio, but this was still one of the foundational debates which took place and caused quite a stir amongst the local magistrate. The school board as well as local citizens were concerned about this “radical” expression of abolitionism and silenced any further debates. Hirim with about 40 to 50 other students left the college and formed an agreement with the newly founded Oberlin College.

The conditions for their joining the college were as follows: 1) Oberlin accepts students of any colour, 2) the college respect Freedom of Speech, and 3) that the city not interferes with the affairs of the school. It was here under the guidance of professor of theology Charles Finney that a young Wilson would receive his theological degree. With a small capital of twenty-four dollars Finney sent Wilson to Upper Canada in 1836 to investigate the situation with the escaped slaves.

By 1850 the Fugitive Slave Act was in effect and many of the free slaves in Ohio were in serious harm. With such close proximity to Upper Canada it became a safe haven for many fugitives. Unlike the earlier Fugitive Slave Act’s slave-owners could enter different states and could force the assistance of local authorities. By this point Wilson had established many different educational institutions for fugitive slaves and blacks; with the aid of Oberlin graduates and others teachers were available for the growing populous in Canada.

The following is part of a serious on Hirim Wilson.

Filed under abolitionist Huron University College Oberlin College Lane Rebels Hirim Wilson Black History free slaves

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Crafting History: An Introduction

The purpose of this blog will be to chronicle the research process of the students of History 3801 as we explore the abolitionist movement centred in Southwestern Ontario and the Northern United States, focusing on the letters of abolitonist Hiram Wilson and the establishment of the Wilberforce settlement.

This project is association with the Promised Land Project (PLP), and aims to be congruent with the overall research aims of the PLP.

Last year’s class also studied the letters of Hiram Wilson and their blog can be found here.

What we hope to accomplish through this blog:

-a central place to display the work of various groups within the Historian’s Craft Class and how they present their research through various multimedia and creative presentations

-to examine the research of the students and the unseen historiographical process

-to engage the public with our research via the platform of Tumblr through tagging posts, reblogging posts that are relevant to our study

The culmination of the blog will be fufilled in the formal presentation at Huron University College (date TBA).

For contact proposes, we can be contacted at his3801huron@gmail.com.

Thank you for joining us on our journey!

Filed under PLP black history abolition slavery history historiography