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LEMP AVENUE SITE-Real or Imagined?
Was there an underground railroad in Missouri? Read between the lines of an Abolitionist report....

American Missionary
a monthly published by the American Missionary Association located at 48 Beekman St., NYC

February 1861 - Vol. 15, No. 4, page 31

Missouri report by Rev. Stephen Blanchard

It is remarkable to see the apathy and indifference of the people here to the claims of God, and the institutions of Gods house and ordinances. The impression is quite prevalent among the people, that I am hired by the abolitionists of the north, to come here under the garb of a religious man and steal their slaves. Reports are also in circulation that I said in public, that I was paid $500 to come and preach to the heathen, and also that I had given a very strong anti-slavery tract to a free colored man and told him to read it, and read it to the slaves, to induce them to rise against their masters or run away. I have seen but one free colored person in this State, and that was a boy confined in jail as a slave, and advertised to be sold, but he proved his freedom by proving that his mother was an Indian woman.
Although these things are denied, yet their denial seems to have but little influence to lessen the prejudices of the people against me, but I am sure in time these reports will die - and then I hope to see more good accomplished. I am happy to say that though I have been, in building, under the necessity of going in debt some, yet these debts have all been discharged before they become due. O how much I need you prayers that I may do good and honor God.

Since the election, the paper of this place, that during the political campaign, reflected only the interest of the Breckinridge party, has now changed hands, and from the following, which is found in the editorial of the second issue of the paper, it will be seen, that it will now be opened for the discussion of all subjects of public interest.

The new editor says: In order to afford a free channel for the dissemination of thought, and the discussion of principles and opinions, we offer our columns to whomsoever wishes them. Four out ideas upon subjects proper for discussion, we refer you to our head, first page. Nothing suffers from free discussion but ignorance and error.

The new editor gives me one column each week, in his paper, for the discussion of the slavery question. Four articles have been published, the object of which was to show that American slavery can find no support from the 25th chapter of Leviticus.

[A letter has just been received from Mr. Blanchard, stating that the Free Democrat, of St. Joseph, MO., has been presented by the Court to the grand jury as an incendiary document, and that one of the parties has been held to bail. Other persons are threatened.]

Last spring, I bought two village lots in town, and, during the summer and fall, put up a small house, and moved into it about the first of September. We have been repeatedly told that the people were of the opinion, that we would never build, as the impression was quite prevalent that the house would be burned, but nothing during the building or since has been disturbed, and our neighbors seem now much more friendly than they did.

Some of our neighbors, who said before we moved, that they would have nothing to do with the "abolitionist," are now among our warmest friends. Individuals now frequently call to get some of my anti-slavery papers to read. I have distributed among the children and others, the Tract Journal, the Child at Home, and the Well Spring, and some of the children now call at our house and receive them with apparent pleasure. Some of the tracts and books sent me recently from Chicago, are exerting a good influence.

The word has not been attended with as much of the influences of the Holy Spirit, as I have most earnestly desired to see. This has induced me to examine my own heart more closely, and pray for the baptism of the Spirit, though thanks be to God, at times, under the world preached, the influence of the Spirit has been manifest.

Sometime since, in presenting the goodness, forbearance and long suffering of God, the word of truth was evidently accompanied with the Spirits influence, and a solemnity rested upon the congregation seldom witnessed.