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Isaac NelsonRadical Abolitionist, Evangelical Presbyterian, and Irish Nationalist$
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Daniel Ritchie

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941282

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941282.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 06 June 2020

‘The Eloquent and Fearless Friend of the Slave’

‘The Eloquent and Fearless Friend of the Slave’

(p.41) Chapter 2 ‘The Eloquent and Fearless Friend of the Slave’
Isaac Nelson

Daniel Ritchie

Liverpool University Press

This chapter has highlights the central importance of Nelson to Belfast anti-slavery in the 1840s and early 1850s. Nelson’s emergence as a leading anti-slavery campaigner took place against the backdrop of the Free Church of Scotland receiving money from and engaging in fellowship with the proslavery American churches. In the subsequent ‘Send Back the Money’ controversy, the Belfast Anti-Slavery Society joined the chorus of abolitionist voices calling on the Free Church to break its ties with their proslavery American brethren. Nelson joined with leading American abolitionists such as Henry C. Wright, Frederick Douglass, and William Lloyd Garrison as part of the ‘Send Back the Money’ campaign in Belfast. This bore some positive fruit as the American Old School Presbyterian, Thomas Smyth was excluded from sitting with the Irish General Assembly in 1846. Nelson also defended the radical abolitionist principle of no fellowship with slaveholders at the inaugural meeting of the Evangelical Alliance in London, 1846. This chapter also explains the causes for the eventual demise of the Belfast Anti-Slavery Society, notwithstanding its late revival with the visits of Henry Highland Garnet to Ulster in 1851.

Keywords:   Belfast Anti-Slavery Society, Evangelical Alliance, Frederick Douglass, Free Church of Scotland, Free Produce, General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Henry C. Wright, H. H. Garnett, Thomas Smyth, William Lloyd Garrison

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