1778 – 1856
Who was Samuel Hoar?
Samuel Hoar was a United States lawyer and politician. A member of a prominent political family in Massachusetts, he was a leading 19th century lawyer of that state. He was associated with the Federalist Party until its decline after the war of 1812. Over his career, a prominent Massachusetts anti-slavery politician and spokesperson. He became a leading member of the Massachusetts Whig Party, a leading and founding member of the Massachusetts Free Soil Party, and a founding member and chair of the committee that organized the founding convention for the Massachusetts Republican Party in 1854.
Hoar may be best known in American history for his 1844 trip to Charleston, South Carolina as an appointed Commissioner of the state of Massachusetts. He went to South Carolina to investigate and contest the laws of that state, which allowed the seizure of sailors who were free African Americans and placed into bondage, if such sailors disembarked from their ship. Hoar was prevented from undertaking his appointed tasks by resolutions of the legislature and efforts of the governor of South Carolina, and was escorted back onto a ship by Charleston citizens fearing mob violence against the agent from Massachusetts. News of the thwarting of Hoar inspired anti-slavery political reaction in Massachusetts.
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