Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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STEARNS, George Luther, merchant, born in Medford, Massachusetts, 8 January, 1809; died in New York, 9 April, 1867. His father, Luther, was a teacher of reputation. In early life his son engaged in the business of ship-chandlery, and after a prosperous career undertook the manufacture of sheet and pipe-lead, doing business in Boston and residing in Medford. He identified himself with the antislavery cause, became a Free-soiler in 1848, aided John Brown in Kansas, and supported him till his death. Soon after the opening of the civil war Mr. Stearns advocated the enlistment of negroes in the National army. The 54th and 55th Massachusetts regiments, and the 5th cavalry (colored), were largely recruited through his instrumentality. He was commissioned major through the recommendation of Sec. Stanton, and was of great service to the National cause by enlisting negroes for the volunteer service in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Tennessee. He was the founder of the " Commonwealth" and " Right of Way" newspapers for the dissemination of his ideas.
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