The Lane Debates
of Radical Abolition and the
Oberlin Commitment to Racial Egalitarianism
6 & 7, 2004
country’s leading historians of American abolitionism...[come] across
as professional actors, stunningly dressed in early nineteenth century garb,
presenting argument after argument with zeal, clarity, and passion.”
--David Brion Davis, Sterling Professor of History, Emeritus, Yale University
Funded by Oberlin College, the Beecher House Society, the Liberty Legacy Foundation, the Ohio Humanities Council, and the University of Connecticut. Sponsored locally by the Oberlin African American Historical and Genealogical Group, First Church in Oberlin, Oberlin Heritage Center/OHIO, Oberlin College Archives, Oberlin College Department of African American Studies, Oberlin College Department of History, Oberlin College Library, Friends of Oberlin College Library, Office of the President and Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Oberlin College.
At the conclusion of
the debates, the students formed an antislavery society and began outreach activities
among the African American population of Cincinnati. When the Lane Seminary
trustees ordered the student activists to stop agitating on the issue of slavery,
the “Lane Rebels” left the Seminary rather than compromise their
beliefs. They sought to continue their studies elsewhere and agreed to come
to the struggling Oberlin Collegiate Institute on the condition that it open
its doors to blacks as well as whites. In February 1835 the Institute’s
trustees, after intense debate, agreed to this condition, and Oberlin became
the first coeducational and interracial college in the nation.
On February 6-7, 2004, fifteen prominent historians of American abolitionism, dressed in period costume, will recreate the debates over slavery and black rights that took place at Lane Seminary and Oberlin College in 1834-35. The reenactments will illuminate issues of conscience and commitment that still resonate today. Come to Oberlin to discover the meaning of this critical turning point in the antislavery struggle with its implications for racial equality, social justice, and free speech today.
Online Study Guide
9:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Reenactment of arguments
12:45 p.m - 1:45 p.m.
1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
|Conclusion of Lane Debates|
2:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
|Open discussion with historian-participants|
First Church, Oberlin
The Aftermath of the Lane Debates: The Oberlin Trustee Decision to Admit
Students of Color and the Coming of Abolitionism
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
|The Oberlin Trustees' Debate Reenactment|
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
|The Aftermath: The Coming of Radical Abolitionism|
Robert Abzug, University of Texas
Hugh Davis, Southern Connecticut State University
Nancy S. Dye, Oberlin College
Douglas R. Egerton, LeMoyne College
Robert P. Forbes, Yale University
Robert Hall, Northeastern University
Scott Hancock, Gettysburg College
Peter Hinks, Hamilton College
Gary Kornblith, Oberlin College
Carol Lasser, Oberlin College
Richard Newman, Rochester Institute of Technology
John Quist, Shippensburg University
Chandler B. Saint, Beecher House Society
John Stauffer, Harvard University
James Brewer Stewart, Macalester College
Karl Valois, University of Connecticut
The Beecher House Society is organizing four events to present the history of the Lane Debates, the "Lane Rebels", and the movements and events they sparked. Visit www.BeecherHouse.org for more information.
Co-sponsored by Oberlin College, Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University, Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center University of Connecticut
This event is free and open to the public. Audience members may choose to attend individual sessions or enjoy the entire two-day program.
Special Invitation to School Groups for Friday, February 6, 2004
Please make reservations for the Friday session. Materials relating to the Lane Debates will be available for classroom use in advance. Lunch will be provided on Friday for pre-registered groups. For materials and reservations, please contact: Jackie Fortino, phone: (440) 775-8043, email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Directions to First Church, Oberlin
Take Route 20 to the Oberlin exit (Rt.511 West). Stay straight to go into town (approx. 2.5 miles). The church is located at the fourth traffic light, at the northwest corner of Main Street (Rt.58) and Lorain Street. Visit the Oberlin College web site for additional directions: www.oberlin.edu/colrelat/visitor_info.
For more information about this event, please contact:
Oberlin College, Office of Public Programs, phone: (440) 775-6785, email: email@example.com.
Online Study Guide