Yale Abolitionists

Yale Abolitionists
Samuel Hopkins
James Hillhouse
Simeon Jocelyn
The Amistad Affair
James Pennington
Charles Torrey
Cassius Clay
1856 Kansas Meeting

Charles Torrey

The Yale class of 1833 included Charles Torrey, who became a minister, but later chose to abandon the ministry in favor of the abolitionist call:

In December 1841, he went to Washington as correspondent for several papers, and in January, 1842, suffered a brief detention in jail for attending as reporter a slaveholders' convention in Annapolis (139).

This experience in jail apparently did not deter him:

About the first of May, 1844, he went to Baltimore, to make that his headquarters while assisting slaves in Maryland and Virginia escape to the North. On June 24 he was arrested in Baltimore, on the complaint of a Virginia slave-dealer, for aiding slaves to escape, and this was immediately followed by similar action on the part of a Maryland citizen.

He was again imprisoned, and convicted, this time with more dire consequences:

From his residence in Baltimore [he] assisted in the escape of nearly four hundred slaves. Detected, he was condemned to six years of hard labor. He died in prison in 1846 of pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 33 (140).

There is no building on the Yale campus that honors Charles Torrey.




Numbers in parentheses refer to notes. See the notes page.