I received impressions from Mr. Bourne which I could not get rid of
About the year 1809 or 10, I became a student of Rev. George Bourne; he was the first abolitionist I had ever seen, and the first I had ever heard pray or plead for the oppressed, which gave me the first misgivings about the innocence of slaveholding. I received impressions from Mr. Bourne which I could not get rid of, and determined in my own mind that when I settled in life, it should be in a free state; this determination I carried into effect in 1813, when I removed to this place, which I supposed at that time, to be all the opposition to slavery that was necessary, but the moment I became convinced that all slaveholding was in itself sinful, I became an abolitionist, which was about four years ago.
~ John M. Nelson (January 3, 1839)