Friday, February 1, 2013

Charles Lenox Remond, Born February 1st, 1810

Charles Lenox Remond
Charles Lenox Remond was the eldest son of eight children born in Salem, Massachusetts to John Remond, a haridresser who was a native of the Caribbean island of CuraƧao, and Nancy Lenox Remond, daughter of a prominent Bostonian, a hairdresser and caterer. 

Remond was 51 years old when the Civil War began; he was living in Massachusetts with his family.

Charles Remond began his activism in opposition to slavery while in his twenties as an orator speaking at public gatherings and conferences in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New York and Pennsylvania. Remond had a reputation as an eloquent lecturer and is reported to have been the first black public speaker on abolition.

In 1838 the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, chose him as one of its agents. As a delegate from the American Anti-Slavery Society, he went with William Lloyd Garrison to the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840. Along with Garrison, he refused to take his seat when women delegates were prohibited from the main floor. He remained in England and Ireland lecturing against slavery and returned to the United States in 1841 with an "Address from the People of Ireland," with 60,000 signatures, that called on Irish Americans to oppose slavery and all discrimination. 

The Baltimore Sun, on June 6, 1843, reported 
AN OUTRAGE -- The Boston Post says that George Latimer and Frederick Douglass, formerly slaves, and Charles Lennox Redmond, a negro citizen of Salem, are on the committee appointed to wait on President Tyler, during his visit to Boston, to request him to emancipate his slaves. It is to be hoped that the Bostonians will allow no such outrage to be perpetrated.
Remond became a close friend and associate of Frederick Douglass, initially advocating peaceful means to end slavery, but became increasingly militant. In 1844, Frederick Douglass named one of his sons for him: Charles Remond Douglass.  Remond broke with Douglass in 1852 when the latter refused to adopt the view that the U.S. Constitution was an instrument of slaveholders. Remond increasingly advocated violent means if necessary to overthrow slavery, declaring "slaves were bound by their love of justice to rise at once, en masse, and throw off their fetters."

Sarah Parker Remond, his younger sister, was active in the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society and the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. She traveled with Abby in Massachusetts and in Ohio, becoming an impressive speaker. In 1859 Sarah Remond went to England, then to Florence, Italy, where she continued her education and wrote and spoke about American slavery. After the Civil War, she studied and practiced medicine in Florence, living there until she died.

At the Colored Convention of 1855, Remond supported the educational advancement of African Americans and promoted women’s rights by advocating for the recognition of Mary Ann Shadd as a delegate. He also served as a member of the finance counsel, a position for which he was well-qualified, given his upbringing within an entrepreneurial family.
Letter from Charles Lenox Remond
Cincinnati, Nov. 18, 1857

My Dear Friend,
Immediately upon the determination of my sister and my self upon our route, I dispatched the message of our intention to be in N. Brighton on Monday afternoon next and desire to speak on the following Tuesday evening, and hope that there was no delay in your receipt of it. But regretting at the same time the very brief notice, it being however the best I could do under the circumstances, I shall hope for the best, and desiring to be kindly remembered to your family and friends, I remain

Very Truly
Your obliging Friend
C. Lenox Remond
During the Civil War, Remond joined Douglass in recruiting black soldiers for the Massachusetts 54th and 55th regiments.

Charles Remond
After the war he continued to lecture for the freedman and worked as an official of the customs house in Boston. Though increasingly hindered from traveling by ill-health, Remond still managed to attend suffrage meetings in New York as well as the first Equal Rights Convention in 1867.

Remond died in Boston on December 22, 1873 at the age of 63.  He was buried in Harmony Grove Cemetery in Salem.
"When the world shall learn that "mind makes the man"-- that goodness; moral worth, and integrity of soul, are the true tests of Character, then prejudice against caste and color, will cease to be."

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