Yet Bristol's act lit a fire, and, to Fuess's credit, he seems to have been retrospectively impressed by it. A few days after his expulsion, Fuess writes, Bristol's fellow anti-slavery supporters presented a petition to Johnson, asking him to sanction their newly formed abolitionist society. When he refused, they convened anyway, asking him now for an "honorable dismission" from the school. When Johnson equivocated, some forty or more of them submitted resignations. (p. 228)
Fuess reports that "only two or three ever reentered the school; the others, who were practically graduates, readily found their way into various colleges." More significant, three decades later, several of them, despite being in their late forties, actually fought in the Civil War -- "of which," Fuess notes, "their own 'little' rebellion' was merely a prelude." (p. 228) Now that's conviction.
As for Osgood Johnson Jr., who was thirty when he became headmaster and thirty-one when the "little" rebellion took place, he died at age thirty-four.