To the Senate and House of Representatives

of the United States

December 1861


[MS in "Judiciary Committee, Petitions", House of Representatives Papers, National Archives. The start of the document is in an unknown hand-writing; the signatures are by the signatories; the annotations e.g. "(Prof. O.C.)" and the final paragraph are in the handwriting of James Monroe]


To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United


The undersigned citizens of Oberlin Ohio respect-

fully ask you in the name of God, of Justice, of Human-

ity, of Liberty, and of sound policy, to take immediate

measures to abolish slavery in the U.S. and render its future

existence in the same forever impossible.


C. G. Finney (Pres. O.C.)

John Morgan (Prof O.C.)

Geo N. Allen (Prof. O.C.)

J. H. Fairchild (Prof. O.C.)

Henry Cowles (Prof.)

John Keep

E. H. Fairchild (Prin. O.C.)

M. W. Fairfield

G. Fairchild

Nathaniel Gerrish

J. M. Fitch

George Kinney

D. P. Reamer

S. W. Cole

Saml Plumb

H. R. Davidson

H. E. Peck (Prof. O.C.)

J. L. Patton

D. Bushnell

J. M. Ellis

A. P. Cleaveland

E. J. Goodrich

Danl E Roberts

Hiram A Pease

Fay Hopkins

N. W. St John

C. Danforth

P. Hamilton

J. L. Burrell

I. Jennings

M. Leonard

I. Ind

Stephen Hull

Alfred Beecher

Isaac Penfield

E. A. Hoyt

U Thompson

J. D. Millard

Fayette Shipherd

J. R. Shipherd

Edward B. Weed

Albert H Weed

Frank Hendry

David Brokaw

Marx Steans

J M Johnson

[page 2]

Saml Hendry

J. T. Siddall

James Hull

O, S, B, Wall

A, Gillett,

S. B. Ellis

Geo. P. Wyeth

J. K. Hewett

William Bailey

James Bailey

Hamilton Hill

J. P. Bardwell

J. E. Patterson

N. H. Townsend

Madison Miner

J. M. Langston

J. B. Davison

W. P. Harris

W. Alexander

C. H. Churchill.

Thomas P Turner

W Beckwith

A. N. Beecher

Wm Honey

Wm. Ingersoll

S. Bedortha

C. M. Leonard

Chas H. Penfield Prof O.C.

Joseph Davison

C. H. Langston

E. W. Andrews

J. Jewell

Samuel Rossiter

John Hough

Geo Stevens

J. M. Merrill

J. R. McCormick.


I respectfully ask

that Congress enact into

a law Hon. Mr. Bingham's

Emancipation Bill.

James Monroe.



Petition of Pres

C. G. Phinney and

82 other citizens of

Oberlin Ohio asking

Congress to abolish

Slavery in the United


Jan.6.1862. referred to the

Comm. on the Judiciary




The text of this petition, with slight alterations, was published in The Oberlin Evangelist, Vol. 24 (15 January 1862), p. 16, with the following note:

The form of petition (herewith) for the immediate abolition of slavery, is from the pen of President Finney.


and it was accompanied by the following editorial comment:

A petition so brief as this of necessity precludes specifications as the views held by the petitioners respecting the manner of the action desired. But it will be of course, assumed and understood that Congress will attempt to exercise no other power than what is legitimate to them and constitutional; and also that they will exercise this in modes determined by their own wisdom. We ask them to use such power as they have, and if need be all they have, to compass an end so essential to the favor of God, and to the peace, morals, and even existence of the nation.


The House Journals for the 37th Congress indicate that no further action was taken on this petition.


This document may possibly have contributed to the tradition that Finney had written to Abraham Lincoln. (See A. L. Shumway and C. DeW. Brower, Oberliniana, p. 76.)