James Mitchell Ashley was a journalist, politician and abolitionist.
Reading about men like Ashley and Benjamin Butler, it’s disconcerting when compared to the politicians we have today. These men were certainly far from perfect, but they had strong convictions and they owned them.
Ashley was a fierce abolitionist. Growing up in the Ohio River valley, Ashley witnessed firsthand the atrocities of slavery. He saw chained slaves being marched to the Deep South. Boys his own age being sold. Ashley hated what he called the “peculiar institution.” He said slavery went against the teachings of christianity.
Ashley was a leader in the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. Ashley believed that Johnson was complicit in President Lincoln’s assassination.
Having suffered from diabetes since 1863, Ashley died of heart failure on September 16, 1896 in Alma, Michigan following a fishing trip. His body is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio.