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"For the Sake of Commerce": Slavery, Antislavery, and Northern Industry

WithMyron O. Stachiw

In a lecture titled "Southern Slavery and Its Relations to Northern Industry," delivered at the Catholic Institute in Cincinnati on January 24, 1862, Henry Reed attempted, even after the outbreak of hostilities between the states, to reconcile the differences of the two warring regions. By the mid eighteenth century the slaveholding states had enacted laws to ensure the cultural and social subjugation of the slaves. During the eighteenth century the Hazards, members of the Society of Friends, were part of the merchant/planter class of Southern Rhode Island. Like many other Rhode Island merchants, members of the Hazard family spent time in Southern cities as factors and agents. Rowland Hazard, originator of the negro cloth manufacture in Rhode Island, was engaged in commerce in Charleston, South Carolina, during the late 1780s and early 1790s. The literature of the Quakers had called for a boycott of slave-produced goods earlier, and the voices of Northern labor, like Lucy Larcom, had called for boycotts.