Biography of Charles Osborne
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CHARLES OSBORN.
Charles Osborn was born in Guilford County, N. C., in 1776, and commenced the ministry in the Friends Church about 1806 or 1808. He traveled and preached wherever there were Quakers for thirty years. A copy of his diary, as published, shows that his journeys in the interest of his religious belief extended to the British Isles and nearly all continental Europe, as well as the United States. He was accorded a headseat wherever he was, even Joseph John Gruney refusing to take a seat above him, and was held in esteem wherever the name of Quaker was known. He was one of the earliest and most extreme of the abolition preachers, and devoted much of the energies of the best portion of his life in promoting the interests of the cause he so heartily espoused. There was a controversy on this subject within the Richmond Yearly Meeting (Indiana), which proscribed Osborn and several others "for their zeal in the cause of anti-slavery," but refused to state the cause in those words, but said they were disqualified for their position. This resulted in a separation, and Osborn died in 1850, before the two wings came together. They did come together, however, and the testimonial of his church, written soon after his death, shows that, having at an early period of his life seen the injustice and cruelty of slavery, he" engaged in the formation of associations for the relief of its victims, under the denomination of Mannmission Societies." His diary shows that he began their formation in 1815 in Tennessee, the first society being Qrganized with six members. He endeavored not only to enlist the feelings and the secure the co-operation of members of his own society, but also all others, and at that early day advocated and maintained the only true and Christian grounds-immediate and unconditional emancipation. In 1816, the Colonization Society was formed, which he promptly and energetically opposed.

The first paper ever published which advocated the doctrine of immediate and unconditional emancipation, was issued by Charles Osborn, at Mount Pleasant, Jefferson Co., Ohio, in 1816, entitled the Philanthropist, which was published about one year. He was one of the first, if not the very first, in the United States who advocated the doctrine of the impropriety of using the products of slave labor. Benjamin Lundy, who was also a Quaker preacher, became imbued with Osborn's doctrines, worked in the office and oôcasionally wrote for the paper, and it was here that was originated the germ of Lundy's subsequent operations. Mr. Embree commenced the publication of a paper called the Bmanczpator at Jonesboro, Tenn. Lundy purchased the material for the paper, and in 1821 issued the Genius of Universal Emancipation, which was a successor to the Philanthropist, established at Mount Pleasant by Charles Osborn. Lundy has been erroneously credited in all histories hitherto published with having published the first anti-slavery paper, whereas he was simply an occasional contributor to its columns.

In 1883, he was chosen as Indiana's delegate to the World's Anti-slavery Convention, which was held in London, England, and started to attend the convention, but was forced to return home on account of poor health. Let honor be accorded to whom honor is due, and no more fitting tribute can be paid his memory than that paid by William Lloyd Garrison, who, on meeting in Cleveland in 1847, a friend of Osborn's who mentioned his name, said: "Charles Osborn is the father of all us Abolitionists."

From 1842 to 1847, Charles Osborn was a resident of Penn, owning a farm opposite James E. Bonine's. His death occurred in Indiana, to which place he removed at the latter date. He was twice married, having by his first wife, nee Neuman, seven children, only one of whom, Elijah, in Calvin, is still living. Jefferson, of Calvin, and Dr. Leander Osborn, of Yandalia, both sons of Josiah Osborn, are his grandchildren. By his second wife, nee Hannah Swain, he had nine children, five of whom are still living; two in this county- Jordan P., who is a resident of Cassopolis, and Mrs. James B. Bonine, of Penn, at whose residence her mother died, some three years since.


From:
History of Cass Couny, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of some of it's Prominent Men and Pioneers.
Waterman, Watkins & Co., Chicago 1882.

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