Jared S. Dawson. Autograph Letter Signed. Bellefontaine, (Ohio). Aug. 9, 1842. 3pp. + address leaf. To Col. James Taylor, at Lexington, Kentucky.
"… Our Farmers, Mechanicks and Merchants are becoming perfectly discouraged, business men of any kind look down hearted and discouraged, not one dollar can be collected and our good Democratick Legislatoor… has passed a Stay Law which will put it out of the power of officers to collect money in any way whatever. What is to become of our Country with the Trator Jno.Tyler at the Head of our Government, a damb Tory Democratic Legislator in our State of Ohio, and to day in our town of Bellefontaine...we have King, the Insurrectionist, the disunionist and abolition Candidate for Governor (By the Eternal God My Blood Boils) some fifty Negros are in town at this time… and some twenty white Negros headed by King...[who] has been speaking to some 100 Negros about 50 Abolitionist..."
The anti-slavery Liberty Party, organized nationally in 1840, had some strength in Ohio, where future Lincoln Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase (see listing above) was a moving spirit. In 1842, the Party’s gubernatorial nominee, judge and former state senator Leicester King, placed a poor third behind the Democratic and Whig candidates, but, as this letter makes clear, he had both ardent supporters, including a brave group of free Blacks, and near-violent enemies. It's uncertain what Dawson, a land agent who represented Henry Clay in Ohio property investments. meant by "white Negros" - whether light-skinned African-Americans, or, more sarcastically, white abolitionists, but, in writing to Kentucky pioneer slave-owner James Taylor, he left no doubt that about his own pro-slavery sentiments.