Wednesday, August 14, 2013

An Abolitionist Ancestor

   Last night's episode of the genealogical television show, Who Do You Think You Are followed the search for Zooey Deschanel's ancestor who had been involved in the abolitionist movement.  I have ancestors who were on both sides of the slavery issue so John G. Norris holds a special place in my family tree because of his opposition to slavery.  
     The obituary of John Gilbert Norris appeared in the Marysville Tribune on May 20, 1874 page 2 Column 3.  In part it says, 
"Rev. John Gilbert Norris ... was reared in the Episcopalian faith but June 25, 1822 he joined the M. E. movement. In October 1829 he left the Methodist Episcopal  because they censured him for preaching against slavery. In 1830 he united with the Protestant Methodists but as they commenced to affiliate with slavery, he helped organize several churches in Ohio called Anti-Slavery Methodists."
     Preaching against slavery got John G. Norris into trouble in 1829 - more than thirty years before the Civil War.  It must have been difficult to speak out in opposition when you know there might be a severe cost for that opposition.  I'm glad that I had such ancestors.    

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