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Charles Lenox Remond (1810-1878), born in Salem, Massachusetts, was the son of free blacks, John and Nancy Remond. The young Remond had a reputation as an eloquent lecturer and is reported to have been the first black public speaker on abolition (Merrill V 273).
The Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society chose him as one of its agents in 1838, and he went with Garrison to the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840 as a delegate from the American Anti-Slavery Society. Instead of returning at once to the United States after the convention, Remond lectured in England and Ireland for nineteen months, where he was gratified to find himself accepted by high society, a strong contrast to his treatment at home. While a less spectacular speaker than Frederick Douglass, he continued to be an active participant in the abolitionist movement (273).
He and a number of other black abolitionists contributed to the cause a clearly presented militancy as well as effective wit, a contrast to Douglass' "towering dignity" (Bailyn 560).
Remond and Douglass joined in urging the Negro National Convention to call blacks to leave en masse any church that discriminated against them in seating or at the communion table. Their resolution was adopted (Mabee 131).
By 1847 both Douglass and Remond had given up hope for the success of nonresistance. Remond declared that "the slaves were bound by their love of justice to RISE AT ONCE, en masse, and THROW OFF THEIR FETTERS"
During the war Remond recruited officers for the 54th Massachusetts infantry. He later became a clerk in a Boston custom house (Merrill V 273).
Charles Lenox Remond, who was scheduled to lecture at New Brighton, wrote the following letter to Milo:
from Charles Lenox Remond
Cincinnati, Nov. 18, 1857
My Dear Friend,
Immediately upon the determination of my sister and my self upon our route, I dispatched the message of our intention to be in N. Brighton on Monday afternoon next and desire to speak on the following Tuesday evening, and hope that there was no delay in your receipt of it. But regretting at the same time the very brief notice, it being however the best I could do under the circumstances, I shall hope for the best, and desiring to be kindly remembered to your family and friends, I remain
Your obliging Friend
C. Lenox Remond
An article on meetings held by Remond and his sister at New Brighton follows. Unfortunately it is not dated.
Mr and Miss Remond, on their way home held a meeting in New Brighton, also one in Pittsburgh..
The following account of the meeting at the former place we copy from the New Brighton Times:
Charles Lenox Remond
This talented colored gentleman addressed a large audience in the public School Hall in this place, on Tuesday evening last. His theme was, "Prejudice against Color." He endeavored to show that it was of slave holding, American origin-- not having encountered anything of its unrighteous spirit during a two years' tour through Europe-- not even in the highest social circles-- in the society of such personages as Douglas Jerrold, Amelia Opie, Lady Byron, and others not less distinguished. But on the contrary, he was treated by them with every mark of consideration and respect-- as a man might expect to be treated by any one imbibing the spirit of the noble-hearted Bobby Burns.... [A quote from Burns' "A Man's a Man for a' That" was included in the article at this point.]
When the world shall learn that "mind makes the man"-- that goodness; moral worth, and integrity of soul, are the true tests of Character, then prejudice against caste and color, will cease to be.
The speaker claimed that this prejudice was diffused and made popular in the Free States at the bidding of the slaveholder, as a means of strengthening the "Peculiar Institution"; and that he (the slaveholder) had as much contempt for the free white laborer of the North, as the latter could possibly have for the slave. The unscrupulous tyranny practiced upon them in Kansas showed this. He called upon the opponents of slavery to use their influence against this unjust, un-christian and unnatural spirit-- for he claimed that it was unnatural and ably sustained his position. As a speaker, he is calm, deliberate, and self-poised, and at times, very earnest and eloquent. He is an intrepid champion for the rights of his race, whose influence must be felt.
At the conclusion, this gentleman's sister-- Miss Remond1, made an eloquent appeal in behalf of her enslaved countrymen-- placing her hope and trust in the God of Freedom, and in the prevalence of those eternal principles of Justice and truth, which will ultimately triumph, and right all wrongs. T (Scrapbook 4 82)
1Charles Remond had two sisters:
1. Sarah Parker Remond (1826-1887?) who was his younger sister, was active in the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society and the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. Sarah was, as Sterling puts it, "strikingly handsome." Although she wanted to become an antislavery lecturer, she at first held back, ashamed of her education in a segregated Massachusetts school, but with encouragement from Abby Kelley Foster, she began to lecture. She traveled with Abby in Massachusetts and in Ohio, becoming an impressive speaker.
She became an agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1856. In 1859 Sarah Remond went to England, then to Florence, Italy, where she continued her education and wrote and spoke about American slavery. After the Civil War she studied and practiced medicine in Florence, living there until she died (Sterling 310-311; Ruchames IV 426 n).
2. Caroline Remond Putnam was Charles Remond's other sister. She was one of those chosen to be on the Executive Committee at the May, 1865, American Anti-Slavery Society's anniversary meeting The purpose of the society at that time became the attainment of absolute equality before the law for all black people in the United States (Sterling 343-344).
The sister noted in the article from Milo's scrapbook was probably Sarah.