This is the second installment of a three part series about the life of Philip Pearl Jr., his daughter Hannah, and their involvement in the early years of the Abolition Movement. The first installment can be found at this link.
The crisis began in January of 1833, but its roots go back many years before that.
A year and a half earlier, the families of Canterbury, Connecticut invited a teacher, Prudence Crandall, to establish a “Boarding School for Girls” in The town. One reason for such a school was very obvious to many at the time.
The Erie Canal had opened in 1825, providing the first portage-free route from Albany New York to the Great Lakes. The Ohio and Erie Canal soon followed, traversing Ohio from the Ohio River north to Lake Erie, entering the lake not far from the Erie Canal’s terminus in Erie, PA. Many of the young men and families in New England, faced with a shortage of sufficient land, and with soil exhausted from a century or more of farming, were taking advantage of the new canals to move west to Ohio and beyond. During these decades, large population drops are recorded throughout the region.