The Founding of Lane Seminary

The Lane Theological Seminary debates which transpired in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1834, occurred because the students wanted to discuss the idea of abolition versus colonization. Both societies present on the seminary campus were formed following the larger organizations of the American Anti-Slavery Society and the American Colonization Society. These two national societies were important to the political sphere of the 1830’s and leading up to the Civil War. The issue of which idea was better for the country, and for the benefit of white people, was looming. Colonization wanted to gradually free slaves by getting rid of all black people in the United States and sending them “back” to Africa. Abolition was the idea of immediately eradicating the institution of slavery and setting slaves free, to remain living in the United States. The core of the Lane debates centered directly on these principles of colonization, abolition, and which method would correctly put an end to slavery. The relationships between the students, faculty, and citizens of Cincinnati were important leading up to the Lane debates.


Maddie Smith