The irresistable genius of universal emancipation!!!
This pen-and-ink sketch, titled The irresistable genius of universal emancipation!!!, shows an angelic, winged figure, representing American liberty, holding onto a chained slave. Lieutenant Charles L. C. Minor drew this ironic cartoon, and his sister, the antislavery leader Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford, wrote a lengthy caption describing the occasion of its creation. When Charles Minor stopped by to see his brother Lewis in Philadelphia in 1830, he wasn't there. Instead of writing a note, Charles just left behind this sketch knowing that his brother would immediately realize who it was, for Lewis understood "how deeply Charles felt the inconsistency of his country's making such loud boasts of liberty, while we kept so many of our fellow creatures in abject slavery, denying them some of the dearest rights of human beings …" Mary Blackford wrote further about how her brother Charles had "liberated the only slave he owned, a young man, a tradesman, who had been hired out for several years." Charles gave the emancipated slave, Raph, the money he had earned for hiring him out. When his sister noted, "I thought that giving him his liberty was enough," her brother replied that "he did not want Raph's money."
Mary Blackford pasted this sketch and description into a journal she kept that included other antislavery sentiments.
Citation: Launcelot Minor Blackford Papers, 1832–1865, Accession #5088. Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.