Charles Phelps Huntington's Address
Charles, the eldest child of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington, was born in 1802 in Connecticut. He moved to Forty Acres in 1816 with the rest of his family. Two years later he left the house to attend Harvard. He graduated in 1822 and became a lawyer. In 1827 he married Helen Sophia Mills. The couple lived in Northampton, where Charles had established a law firm. For eight years he was also the president of the Northampton Institute for Savings.
He was quite a vocal opponent of slavery. In 1830 he delivered a Fourth of July address in Northampton questioning the existence of slavery in the American republic. He condemned the practice in the South, but criticized the North as well for being complicit in slave trafficking. His solution was the same as his mother’s: colonization. Charles believed that sending the slaves back to Africa, to the land of their ancestors, was “their & our last hope.”
Charles Phelps Huntington's erudite speech is a valuable document, useful for anyone interested in the history of anti-slavery in western Massachusetts, or in broader contexts. Click on the images below to enlarge them:
- Laurie, Bruce. Beyond Garrison: Antislavery and Social Reform. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.)
- PPH Finding Aid.