Richard Dillingham Photo

Richard Dillingham

Born: Jun 18, 1823

Death: Jun 30, 1850

Birthplace: Peru Township

Nationality: United States

Richard Dillingham

Date of Birth : Jun 18, 1823
Date of Death : Jun 30, 1850
Birth Place : Peru Township

Richard Dillingham was a Quaker school teacher from Peru Township in what is now Morrow County, Ohio, U.S.A., who was arrested in Tennessee on December 5, 1848, while aiding the attempted escape of three slaves. Tried April 12, 1849, he was sentenced to three years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary in Nashville. He died there of cholera. Dillingham was celebrated as a martyr to the abolitionist cause by novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe, fellow Quaker Levi Coffin and the poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who wrote the poem The Cross in Dillingham's honor. In his Memoir of Richard Dillingham, Levi Coffin describes Dillingham's arrest: In December, 1848, being then in Cincinnati, he was earnestly solicited by some colored people to go to Nashville, Tennessee, and bring away their relations who were slaves there, under a hard master. He undertook the project, though fully conscious that he encountered great danger. Reaching Nashville, he made himself known to the slaves whom he had come to rescue, and made private arrangements with them about escaping.

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