Place:Oberlin, Lorain, Ohio, United States

Watchers
NameOberlin
TypeCity
Coordinates41.283°N 82.217°W
Located inLorain, Ohio, United States
Also located inRussia, Lorain, Ohio, United States    
Contained Places
Cemetery
Westwood Cemetery ( 1863 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Oberlin is a city in Lorain County, Ohio, United States, southwest of Cleveland. Oberlin is the home of Oberlin College, a liberal arts college and music conservatory with approximately 3,000 students.

The town is the birthplace of the Anti-Saloon League and the Hall-Héroult process, the process of reducing aluminum from its fluoride salts by electrolysis, which made industrial production of aluminum possible.

The population was 8,286 at the 2010 census.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Oberlin was founded in 1833 by two Presbyterian ministers, John Jay Shipherd and Philo P. Stewart. The pair had become friends while spending the summer of 1832 together in nearby Elyria and discovered a shared dissatisfaction with what they saw as the lack of strong Christian morals among the settlers of the American West. Their proposed solution was to create a religious community that would more closely adhere to Biblical commandments, along with a school for training Christian missionaries who would eventually spread throughout the American frontier. The two decided to name their community after Jean-Frédéric Oberlin (1740–1826), an Alsatian minister whose pedagogical achievements in a poor and remote area had greatly impressed and inspired them.

Shipherd and Stewart rode south from Elyria into the forests that covered the northern part of Ohio in search of a suitable location for their community.[1] After a journey of approximately eight miles, they stopped to rest and pray in the shade of an elm tree along the forest, and agreed that this would be a good place to start their community.[1]

Shipherd traveled back east and convinced the owner of the land to donate of land for the school, and he purchased an additional for the town, at the cost of $1.50 per acre ($371/km²).

In 1834 a charter for the new Oberlin Collegiate Institute was obtained from the legislature of Ohio, and the institute adopted as its motto "Learning and Labor."[2]The same year saw a freshman class of four students. In those days the words were taken quite literally: tuition at Oberlin was free, but students were expected to contribute by helping to build and sustain the community. This attracted a number of bright young people who would otherwise not have been able to afford tuition. The motto remains to this day.

During the mid 1800s African Americans, predominantly free people of color and runaway slaves, settled in the area.

In Oberlin's earliest years, transportation (especially for students) depended heavily on weather-dependent Lake Erie transportation routes; the nearest railroad passed through Wellington, and travellers were forced to rely on stagecoaches between that village and Oberlin. This situation changed in 1852: in that year, the Toledo, Norwalk, and Cleveland Railroad opened a stop in Oberlin along its Grafton line, and immediately the college and village felt the effects of Fortuna's smile. Fifteen years later, the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway opened a new rail station along this line; no longer used for rail transportation, the depot has been converted for community use and sits at the center of a park.

On June 28, 1924, the worst flood in Oberlin history occurred on the same day that a tornado killed 62 people in Lorain. Afterward, the water was so deep that children swam in Tappan Square. Damage was caused to all of downtown Oberlin.

One of Oberlin's largest employers is the Federal Aviation Administration, which houses the Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center overseeing the airspace of six states and a small part of Canada.

Abolitionism

Towards the middle of the 19th century, Oberlin became a major focus of the abolitionist movement in the United States. The town was conceived as an integrated community and blacks attended Oberlin College from 1835, when brothers Gideon Quarles and Charles Henry Langston were admitted. Their younger brother John Mercer Langston, who became the first black elected to the United States Congress from Virginia in 1888, also graduated from Oberlin. Many Oberlin College graduates were dedicated abolitionists, who traveled throughout the South working to help slaves escape to the north.

In 1834, in response to a series of slavery debates at Lane Theological Seminary, the trustees of the Cincinnati, Ohio, school voted to prohibit antislavery agitation among its students and faculty. As a result, the "Lane Rebels", a group of about 50 students, trustee Asa Mahan, and professor John Morgan, left the school. Arthur Tappan, financial agent of the Oberlin Collegiate Institute, and co-founder John Shipherd, saw an opportunity to solve Oberlin's financial problems by inviting the rebels (including Mahan and Morgan) to come to Oberlin. The rebels agreed under three conditions: that Oberlin accept students regardless of color, that Oberlin respect students' freedom of speech, and that Oberlin not "interfere with the internal regulation of the school." In the fall of 1835, Oberlin opened a new theology school with Asa Mahan as President, Charles Finney as Professor of theology, and the Lane Rebels among the first theology students.

By 1852, the town of Oberlin was an active terminus on the Underground Railroad, and thousands had already passed through it on their way to freedom. This effort was assisted by an Ohio law that allowed fugitive slaves to apply for a writ of habeas corpus, which protected them from extradition back to the southern states from which they had escaped. In 1858, a newly elected Democratic state legislature repealed this law, making fugitives around Oberlin vulnerable to enforcement of the Federal Fugitive Slave Law, which allowed southern slave-catchers to target and extradite them back to the South.

This situation came to a head with the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue, a pivotal event described in Nat Brandt's book The Town That Started the Civil War. On September 13, 1858, a fugitive named John Price was captured by federal officials and held in neighboring Wellington, Ohio.[3] A large group of Oberlin residents, consisting of both white and black townspeople, students, and faculty, set out for Wellington to release Price from captivity.[3]


The men took Price back from the arresting US Marshal, and eventually smuggled him to Canada, but the authorities were not content to let the matter rest. United States President James Buchanan personally requested prosecution of the group (now referred to by sympathetic parties as "the Rescuers"), and 37 of them were indicted. Twelve of those were free blacks, including Charles H. Langston.[4] State authorities arrested the US Marshal who had captured Price. In negotiation, the state agreed to free the arresters, and the federal officials agreed to free all but two of those indicted. Simeon M. Bushnell, a white man, and Charles H. Langston were both tried and convicted by an all-Democrat jury. Langston's eloquent speech against slavery and injustice persuaded the judge to give them light sentences, with Langston receiving 20 days in jail and a fine of $100. They appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus, but on May 30, 1859, their petition was denied.

The political ferment resulting from the case led to a number of major protests throughout the northern part of the state, and an unprecedented boost to the anti-slavery Republican party in the 1860 State elections. The governor of Ohio wrote to the new Republican President Abraham Lincoln urging him to repeal the Fugitive Slave Law. Though in point of fact, Lincoln declined this request, his decision did little to prevent a number of Southern states from seceding, and America was soon embroiled in the Civil War.

Research Tips


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Oberlin, Ohio. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.