Ohio History Journal

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Editorialana.                         99


A daughter of Mr. Nichols, the anti-slavery man, is yet living, and

gives in a letter to me interesting facts. She says:

"My father and mother became earnest anti-slavery advocates in

1841, and from that time until the war, the colored people knew my

parents as friends, and our home was a refuge. When old enough,

probably about the year '48 or '49, I became greatly interested in the

black people, who came quietly to our kitchen door after dark and left

before daylight; often we children did not know who our callers were,

but we soon understood 'the back door knock,' the look exchanged be-

tween mother and father, and the anxious mysterious atmosphere that

pervaded the home, until father had word from the next 'station.' I

remember one morning before light, hearing a noise down stairs. I

crept to the kitchen to find a big black man and woman, for whom break-

fast was being prepared. I was quickly taken back to bed.

"I, one evening overheard father telling mother 'he had found a half

killed darkey in the cornfield,' who must get some supper and sleep,

and he would see Mr. -     , and get him off before daylight. I did

not see the man."

E. G. Coffin who aided in the arrest of the United States marshals

for the assault on Sheriff Layton, was a nephew of Levi Coffin of Cin-

cinnati. At the head of the underground, he aided hundreds of slaves

on their way north. He was a Quaker. E. G. Coffin often drove the

underground 'express,' from South Charleston to Mechanicsburg, and had

secretly taken the slave Addison White there in 1855. For this and other

service he now states:

"The outbreak of the war itself, was all that saved me from a term

in the state penitentiary, over which I afterward presided as warden."



Geo. H. Frey, Sr., E. G. Coffin, James H. Pyles, Chas. H. Pierce,

Walter Pierce, Mrs. D. A. Johnson, Mrs. Belle Nichols Rebuck, Ver-

sailles, Indiana. As to arrests, The Springfield Nonpareil, issue 1857.




During the Summer and early Fall of the past year (1907) a number

of Cincinnati gentlemen interested directly or indirectly in history in

general and Ohio Valley history in particular formulated a plan for hold-

ing what was designated as the Central Ohio Valley Historical Confer-

ence. The purpose of this plan was to bring together for the opportunity

of discussion and mutual acquaintance and co-operation all writers, schol-

ars, teachers and others engaged in the field of history and all societies,

whose object might be, in whole or part, the promotion of history, gath-

ering of material, presentation and dissemination of the same. Patriotic

societies were included in the scope of the project. The chief, if not

original, protagonist of this idea was Professor Isaac J. Cox, of the de-

partment of history of the University of Cincinnati. Professor Cox sub-

mitted the plan to the Executive Committee of the Cincinnati Historical

Teachers' Association, which organization gave the idea enthusiastic sup-

port. General and special committees were appointed and many patriotic