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Engraving of J.W.
Loguen from his 1859 Autobiography


Jermain Wesley Loguen (February 5, 1813 - September 30, 1872) was an African American abolitionist and bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

Loguen was born into slavery in Davidson County, Tennesseemarker, the son of a white man, David Logue, and a slave named Cherry. At age 21, he successfully escaped bondage on his second attempt, stealing his master's horse and following the Underground Railroad north, finally crossing into Canadamarker. Loguen added an "n" to the end of his last name, learned to read, worked various jobs in Canada and New Yorkmarker, studied at the Oneida Institute in Whitesboro, New Yorkmarker, opened schools for black children in Utica, New Yorkmarker and Syracuse, New Yorkmarker, and married.

Loguen settled in Syracuse, where his house became a major depot (stop) on the Underground Railroad. Loguen was involved in rescuing William Henry, a cooper and a freed slave. On October 1,1851, Henry, known as "Jerry" was arrested under the Fugitive Slave Law. The anti-slavery Liberty Party was holding its state convention in the city, and when word of the arrest spread, several hundred abolitionists broke into the city jail and freed Jerry. The event came to be widely known as the Jerry Rescue.

Loguen became an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and took the middle name Wesley after John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement. He held various church posts and was appointed bishop in 1868.

Loguen became a popular abolitionist speaker and authored an autobiography, The Rev. J. W. Loguen, as a Slave and as a Freeman, a Narrative of Real Life (1859). The wife of his former master, Sarah Logue, actually wrote Loguen demanding $1000 compensation. Loguen wrote a scathing reply which was published in The Liberator.

Family

Loguen had six children. His daughter, Amelia, married Lewis Douglass, the son of the famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass, in 1869.

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