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Catalog Number 2008.323
Object Name Newspaper
Scope & Content A 1955 newspaper article by Ed Huddleston in The Nashville Banner, the seventh in a 10-part series, about "The Saga of Montgomery Bell". Titled "Fate of Freed Slaves Sent to Liberia Still Mystery," the article offers many anedcotes accounting for Bell's decision to free many of his slaves and pay for their relocation to Liberia. One slave, Thomas Scott, who left for Liberia in December of 1853, was famous for making the cannon balls that Andrew Jackson shot at the British through the cotton bales in the Battle of New Orleans. Another slave, Elijah Worley, was Bell's close friend after whom Bell named his last furnace. The article details the difficulties and societal backlash against manumission and counters the stereotypes of Montgomery Bell as a harsh slaveowner by offering numerous accounts of slaves who loved him. A memorable paragraph explains that "to his eternal credit, Montgomery Bell surmounted these obstacles. Rarely in his life did he hesitate to kick the teeth down the throat of convention. The difficulties of manumission magnify his courage, his will, his generosity. He revered freedom as a holy thing. We see this again and again in his life, despite the fact that he was a great slaveholder. He went further. His heart swelled for those who shared his reverence for freedom."

NOTE: The entire 12 part series may be found in RG 100 Box 6 #38.
Title Nashville Banner Article "Fate of Freed Slaves Sent to Liberia Still Mystery"
Collection MBA Archives
Date May 17, 1955
People Bain, George
Bell, Montgomery
Huddleston, Ed
Marcy, William L.
Scott, Thomas
Worley, Elijah
Accession number 2008.323
Catalog date 2008-09-15
Lexicon category 8: Communication Artifact
Classification People
Search Terms School Founding
Lexicon sub-category Documentary Artifact
Subjects Founding
Freed slaves
Iron mining
Iron workers
Schools, Private