Teaching children about the cruelty of slavery

1836 to 1839: "The Slave’s Friend" monthly magazine was published by the American Anti-Slavery Society to educate white children about the cruelty of slavery. Edited by abolitionist Lewis Tappan, the 16-page magazine was sized to fit into small hands and featured stories, news and poems illustrating slaveholders chaining slaves in attics, cutting off ears and lashings. The publication often showed parallels between animal cruelty and enslavement — suggesting that through Christianity one should be kind to both animals and slaves. “The Slave’s Friend” was available through subscription. However, in order to ensure the publication reached the slave states, the magazine was also sent for free via mail. In 1835 when early editions of the magazine and other antislavery publications arrived at the Charleston, South Carolina post office, the pro-slavery citizens took and burned the publications. In other slave states postmasters refused to deliver the magazine.

Parts of the magazine can be viewed online at http://on.nypl.org/1KI0e3Q orhttp://bit.ly/1PVRA3B