Birney, James G. (1792–1857)
BIRNEY, JAMES G. (1792–1857)
A slaveholder, James Gillespie Birney studied law under alexander dallas, was a mildly antislavery politician in Kentucky and Alabama, and was a spokesman for the American Colonization Society. In 1834 he freed his remaining slaves, abandoned colonization, and formed the Kentucky Anti-Slavery Society. Finding Kentucky too dangerous for an abolitionist, Birney moved to Cincinnati, and in 1836 began publishing an antislavery newspaper, The Philanthropist. Unlike william lloyd garrison, whom he bitterly opposed, Birney believed that the United States Constitution could be a useful tool for abolitionists. He also argued for abolitionist political activity. In 1840 he was the Liberty party candidate for the presidency, but he drew only 7,069 votes. Four years later he won 62,300 votes, helping set the stage for more successful antislavery parties.
Birney was involved in three legal cases that helped develop his antislavery constitutionalism. In 1836 an anti-abolitionist mob in Cincinnati destroyed his press. Birney hired salmon p. chase in a successful suit against the mob leaders for damages to the press. In 1837 Birney sheltered and hired a runaway slave named Matilda, and when she was captured, Chase and Birney defended her on the ground that having voluntarily been brought to Ohio, she therefore was not a fugitive slave; they also made the dubious argument that slaves who escaped from Kentucky into Ohio could not be recaptured, because the north-west ordinance provided only for the return of slaves who escaped from the "original states." Matilda was returned south, but Chase and Birney were more successful in appealing Birney's conviction for harboring slaves, which the Ohio Supreme Court overturned.
"Birney, James G. (1792–1857)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 14, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/birney-james-g-1792-1857
"Birney, James G. (1792–1857)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Retrieved November 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/birney-james-g-1792-1857
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.