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John Pendleton Kennedy letter to the National Intelligencer newspaper

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0716

Scope and Contents

Copied from dealer description:

J.P. Kennedy Replies Publicly to the Philanthropist Abolitionist Lewis Tappan (SLAVERY). KENNEDY, JOHN PENDLETON. Nine (9) pp. Draft ALS, "To the Editors of the National Intelligencer" signed "Maryland." March 5, 1850. 6.5" x 8," folds, trace of adhesive at left margins, browned, light foxing, small edge tear. Legible hand.

A letter which elucidates the dialogue of an apologist John Pendleton Kennedy for slavery on the one hand and famed anti-slavery activist, Lewis Tappan, on the other... Kennedy had asserted that northern abolitionists had "set themselves to work to stimulate rebellion amongst the slaves in the southern states and even took measures to teach them by emissaries ... how to establish and conduct a warfare whose chief implements were proposed to be the torch and the knife."


  • Creation: 1850 March 5


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical / Historical

John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870), descendant of a Tidewater Virginia clan, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. A politician (elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1838), and writer, publishing several novels, his ties to the South were strong, but his commitments to the border state he lived in led him to fear the rise of southern sectionalism and to embrace a nationalistic point of view.

Lewis Tappan (1788–1873) was a New York abolitionist who worked to achieve the freedom of the illegally enslaved Africans of the Amistad.

The National Intelligencer newspaper published in Washington, D.C. from about 1800 until 1870. The newspaper was published daily from 1813 to 1867 as the Daily National Intelligencer and was the dominant newspaper of the capital.


0.167 Cubic Feet (1 legal size folder)

Language of Materials



John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870) was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He was a politician (elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1838) and writer with strong ties to the South. This collection includes a public letter which elucidates Kennedy's dialogue as an apologist for slavery on the one hand, and the views of famed anti-slavery activist, Lewis Tappan, on the other. The correspondence was written on March 5, 1850.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The seller is unknown, but letter was purchased in 2007.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in September 2015 by Annie Tang.

John Pendleton Kennedy letter to the National Intelligencer newspaper
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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