American Abolitionists and Antislavery Activists:
Conscience of the Nation

Updated February 14, 2017










l to r: Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips















l to r: Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips

Illustrated List of Abolitionists and Antislavery Activists


The following is an illustrated list of American abolitionists, antislavery activists, and opponents of slavery.  This list consists of more than 300 photographs, engravings, prints and paintings of antislavery activists.  This list consists of the more prominent abolitionist leaders and activists.  We have tried to include a cross-section of the important abolitionists including African American and Caucasian abolitioninsts and antislavery activists.  Also among them are prominent African American and Caucasian women.

Each of the entries is approximately one paragraph of text explaining the work of each of the individuals.  This list is a work in progress.  We will be adding, where possible, an appropriate quote by the abolitionist.  We will also periodically be adding new individuals to this list as we search out historic images for our collection.

We are in the process of developing an exhibit on the history of American abolition and antislavery activism.  Many of the individuals depicted here will be featured in this traveling exhibit.

This list was culled from our master roster of abolitionists, which includes more than 3,000 individuals.


A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z


ADAMS, Charles Francis, 1807-1886, newspaper publisher and editor, anti-slavery political leader. Free Soil Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1848 (lost).  Son of former President John Quincy Adams.  Grandson of President John Adams.  Opposed to the annexation of Texas to expansion of slavery into the new territories.  Formed “Texas Group” within Massachusetts Whig Party.  Founded and edited newspaper, Boston Whig, in 1846.  Anti-slavery Republican member of Congress, elected in 1858.  Served two terms in the House.  Appointed by President Lincoln as Ambassador to Great Britain in 1861.  Strong supporter of the Union.

ADAMS, John, 1735-1826, statesman, founding father, lawyer, author, diplomat, opponent of slavery, father of John Quincy Adams. Second President of the United States, 1797-1801.  First Vice President of the United States, 1789-1797.  Leader of the Independence Movement against Great Britain.  Assisted in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.  Negotiated the peace treaty with England.  “I have, throughout my whole life, held that the practice of slavery is such an abhorrence, that I have never owned a negro or any other slave, though I have lived many years in times, when the practice was not disgraceful, when the best men in the vicinity thought it not inconsistent with their character.”  His wife, Abigail Adams, was also opposed to slavery.

ADAMS, John Quincy, 1767-1848, Massachusetts, sixth U.S. President (1825-1829), U.S. Congressman (1831-1848), U.S. Secretary of State, lawyer, anti-slavery political leader, activist, son of second U.S. President John Adams. Opposed the Missouri Compromise of 1819, which allowed the expansion of slavery in southern states.  Adams presented 693 anti-slavery petitions to the House of Representatives.  Fought against the “Gag Rule” in Congress, which prevented discussion of the issue of slavery in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The Gag Rule was revoked in 1844.  Opposed the annexation of Texas and the extension of slavery to new territories.  Opposed slavery in the District of Columbia.  Counsel for the defense of slaves in the Amistad case.  In 1841, he argued for the freedom of the slaves on the Amistad ship before the U.S. Supreme Court.  He won the case and secured their freedom.  Adams declared “that freedom is the natural right of man, and that by the laws of nature, and of nature’s God, an immortal soul cannot be made chattel.”  Also stated, “It is among the evils of slavery that it taints the very sources of moral principle.  It establishes false estimates of virtue and vice; for what can be more false and heartless than this doctrine, which makes the first and holiest rights of humanity to depend upon the color of the skin?”

ALCOTT, Amos Bronson, 1799-1888, abolitionist, educator, writer, philosopher, reformer. Opposed the Mexican American War and the extension of slavery into Texas.  His home was a station on the Underground Railroad.  His second daughter was noted author Louisa May Alcott, who was also opposed to slavery.  Friend of abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips.

ALCOTT, Louisa May, 1832-1888, writer, opponent of slavery, feminist. Author of Little Women: Or Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy (1868).  Daughter of abolitionist Amos Bronson Alcott. Their home was a station on the Underground Railroad.

ALLAN, William T., 1810-1882, born in Tennessee, Alabama, clergyman, abolitionist leader, Oberlin College, Illinois, anti-slavery agent. His father, John Allan, was a pastor in Huntsville, Alabama, who owned 15 slaves.  John Allan supported the Colonization movement and was a member and co-founder of the Alabama Society for the Emancipation of Slavery.  William Allan became a Lecturing Agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Charter Member of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society in April 1835.  He graduated from Oberlin College in 1836.  He lectured in New York, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois.  He organized chapters of the new Liberty Party in Iowa and Illinois in 1840.  His home in Illinois was a station on the Underground Railroad.  His father died in 1843, and freed his slaves in his will.

ALLEN, George, Reverend, 1792-1883, Worcester, Massachusetts, abolitionist, clergyman. Lecturing Agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  He traveled throughout Ohio speaking out against slavery.  Organized an anti-slavery convention in Worcester in 1837 and helped organize the Free Soil Party in 1848.  He wrote, “Resolved that Massachusetts wears no chains, and spurns all bribes; that Massachusetts goes now, and will ever go, for free soil, and free men, for free lips, and a free press, for a true land and a free world.”

ALLEN, Richard, Reverend, 1760-1831, clergyman, free African American, former slave. Founder, Free African Society, in 1787.  Founded Bethel African Methodist Church (AME) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1794.

ALLEN, William G., b. 1820, free African American abolitionist, manager and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society in December 1833. Publisher of The National Watchman, Troy, New York, founded 1842.

ALVORD, John Watson, 1807-1880, abolitionist, anti-slavery agent, clergyman. Congregational minister. Worked around Ohio area as an anti-slavery agent with William T. Allan.  Secretary, Boston Tract Society.  Chaplain with General Sheridan’s Union Forces in Civil War.  Worked with former slaves.

ANDREW, John Albion, 1818-1867, reformer, anti-slavery advocate, lawyer, Governor of Massachusetts, member Conscience Whig, Free Soil Party, Republican Party. Opponent of slavery.  In Boston, he took a prominent part in the defense of fugitive slaves Shadrach, Burns and Sims, which was promulgated by the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  Supported John Brown in legal defense.  Supported the adoption of the Emancipation Proclamation and allowing Black soldiers to serve in the Union Army.  In January 1863, he obtained authorization for enlisting African American soldiers from Massachusetts.  Among them was the famed 54th Massachusetts Infantry, from Boston.  Strong supporter of the Union.  He was quoted as saying: “I know not what record of sin awaits me in the other world, but this I know, that I was never mean enough to despise any man because he was black.”

ANDREWS, Stephan Pearl, 1812-1886, abolitionist, philosopher, lawyer, women’s rights advocate, linguist, reformer, ardent opponent of slavery, lectured publicly on the evils of slavery. In 1839, he went to Texas and convinced slave-owners to give up the institution in favor of free labor.  In 1840, Andrews attended the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in England to raise funds for setting slaves free.  He was physically attacked and his life threatened for his abolitionist views.  In 1843, Andrews again travelled to England to lobby the British government and the British Anti-Slavery Society to raise funds to pay for the freedom of slaves in Texas.  The proposal was ultimately rejected.  He was a prominent anti-slavery activist in Boston, lecturing against slavery.

 
ANTHONY, Daniel, 1794-1862, abolitionist, temperance activist. Father of Susan B. Anthony.

ANTHONY, Daniel Read, 1824-1904, newspaper publisher, abolitionist, member Hicksite Quakers, opposed slavery, active in temperance and women’s rights movements, brother of Susan B. Anthony. Publisher of the Leavenworth Times newspaper in Leavenworth, Kansas. Lieutenant Colonel, 7th Regiment, Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, 1861-1862.  Mayor, Leavenworth, Kansas, 1863.

ANTHONY, Susan Brownell, 1820-1906, reformer, abolitionist, orator, leader of the female suffrage movement, radical egalitarian, temperance movement leader. Became active in the abolition movement in the mid-1850’s.  Member of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Founded Women’s National Loyal League with Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1863 to fight for cause of abolition, co-founded American Equal Rights Association (AERA) in 1866 to fight for universal suffrage.

ASHLEY, James Mitchell, 1824-1896, Ohio, Underground Railroad activist. Republican Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. Adamant opponent of slavery.  Member, Free Soil Party, 1848.  Joined Republican Party in 1854.



BACON, Leonard, Reverend, 1802-1881, Detroit, Michigan, clergyman, newspaper editor, author, opponent of slavery.  Original supporter of the American Colonization Society in New England.  Editor of the Christian Spectator, 1826-1838.  He later edited the Journal of Freedom.  Abraham Lincoln read and was influenced by Bacon’s writing on Colonization.  Aided the Amistad captives during their trial.  Bacon, with Lyman Beecher and William Fiske, founded the American Union for the Relief and Improvement of the Colored Race, which was supported by abolitionist Arthur Tappan.  In 1843, helped establish The New Englander, where he wrote many anti-slavery articles.  Strong supporter of the Union during the Civil War.
BAILEY, Gamaliel, 1807-1859, Maryland, abolitionist leader, anti-slavery journalist, physician. Became an abolitionist in 1834 during Lane University debates on slavery.  Editor of the Cincinnati Philanthropist, the first abolitionist newspaper in the West.  Editor of the Philanthropist from 1836-1847.  The offices of the paper were destroyed three times by pro-slavery mobs.  Publisher and editor in chief of the weekly National Era in Washington, DC (founded 1847), the official paper of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  Co-founded Cincinnati Anti-Slavery Society in 1835.  Corresponding Secretary, Ohio Anti-Slavery Society. Assistant and Co-Editor, The Abolitionist newspaper.  Helped create the Liberty Party.  Published Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1851-1852.
 
 
BALLOU, Adin, 1803-1890, Universalist and Unitarian clergyman, reformer, temperance proponent, advocate of pacifism, writer, opposed slavery. Founder of Hopedale Community, a utopian cooperative society in Milford, Massachusetts.  President of the New England Non-Resistance Society.  Supporter of abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison.  Anti-slavery lecturer in Pennsylvania and New York, 1846-1848.  Vice President, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1838-1840, 1840-1860.

BANKS, Nathanial Prentiss, 1816-1894, Waltham, Massachusetts, statesman, anti-slavery political leader. Republican U.S. Congressman and Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Union General.  Governor of Massachusetts.  Member of the Free Soil and, later, Republican parties.  He was opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854.  He was also opposed to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, as this repeal favored the slave power.  Banks was called, “the very bone and sinew of Free-soilism.”

BARBADOES, James George, 1796-1841, Boston, Massachusetts. African American abolitionist, community activist.  In 1826, he helped organize the Massachusetts General Colored Association (MGCA) “to promote the welfare of the race by working for the destruction of slavery.”  In addition, the MGCA worked to end discriminatory laws in Massachusetts, abolish laws against inter-racial marriages, integrate public schools and promote education for African Americans.  Manager and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  He was an early supporter of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and the Massachusetts and later the New England Anti-Slavery Society.

BARROW, David, 1753-1819, activist, antislavery Baptist minister. Active in Southern Virginia and North Carolina.  Founded an integrated church in 1795, installing an African American as its pastor.  As a result, he was forced to move.  He took up residence in Kentucky.  In 1805, the Northern District Association of Baptists ousted him for his opposition to slavery. Leader of the Kentucky Abolition Society.  Published the anti-slavery pamphlet, Involuntary, Unlimited, Perpetual, Absolute, Hereditary Slavery Examined on the Principles of Nature, Reason, Justice, Policy, and Scripture (1807), published Abolition Intelligencer and Missionary Magazine. Barry believed that slavery could not be justified by nature, reason, the Bible or by any other means.  He stated, “That innocent, unoffending persons and their posterity should suffer the most degrading kind of slavery to perpetual generations, only because some of the fellow creatures, through covetousness, imprudence, or ignorance, had paid inconsiderable sums of money for their parents several generations past, has no foundation in reason and justice.”

BECKLEY, Guy, Northfield, Vermont, Methodist clergyman. Anti-slavery agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Lectured in New Hampshire, Vermont and Michigan.  Co-edited antislavery newspaper, Signal of Liberty, with Theodore Foster, the newspaper of the Michigan Anti-Slavery Society.  He was excluded from Methodist churches because of his anti-slavery work.

BEECHER, Charles, 1815-1900, clergyman, anti-slavery activist, author. Opposed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  Wrote The Duty of Disobedience to Wicked Laws.  It argued there was a “higher law” that must be followed.  The Constitution’s fugitive slave clause was morally wrong in that it legally condoned kidnapping.  Son of abolitionist Lyman Beecher, brother of author Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Edward Beecher, and Henry Ward Beecher.

BEECHER, Edward, 1803-1895, clergyman, abolitionist leader, writer, social reformer. President, Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois.  Pastor, Salem Street Church, Boston.  Executive committee, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  Friend of abolitionist leader Elijah J. Lovejoy.  Co-founded Anti-Slavery Society in Illinois.  Executive Committee, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-1842.  Son of abolitionist Lyman Beecher, brother of author Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Charles Beecher, and Henry Ward Beecher.

BEECHER, Reverend Henry Ward, 1813-1887, clergyman, anti-slavery, reformer. Early member of the Republican Party.  Supporter and leader in the anti-slavery cause.  Raised money to free slaves.  Opposed the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act, and the expansion of slavery into the territories acquired in the Mexican War.  Aided the Kansas-Immigrant Aid Society, which sent settlers into Kansas to ensure it would enter the Union as a free state.  He even supplied rifles, known as “Beecher’s Bibles,” to the settlers.  Opposed the Dred Scott Supreme Court case of 1857, which in part ruled that Congress could not prohibit slavery in new territories.  Beecher was contributor to the abolitionist journal, The Independent.  One of the principal supporters of John Brown.  Supported the anti-slavery wing of the Republican Party and its presidential candidates, John C. Frémont in 1856 and Abraham Lincoln in 1860.  By 1860, he called on Lincoln to fee all slaves by executive order.  Toured Europe during the Civil War, promoting support for the Union.  He was the younger brother of abolitionist author Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

BELL, Philip Alexander, 1808-1889, African American abolitionist, journalist, civic leader. Member of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Subscription Agent for abolitionist newspaper, Liberator. Active in Underground Railroad.  Editor, “Weekly Advocate” and later assisted with “Colored American,” an early Black newspaper.  Founded “National Council of Colored People,” one of the first African American civil rights organizations.

BEMAN, Amos Geary, 1812-1874, African American clergyman, abolitionist, speaker, temperance advocate, community leader. Member of the American Anti-Slavery Society 1833-1840.  Later, founding member of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  Traveled extensively and lectured on abolition.  Leader, Negro Convention Movement.  Founder and first Secretary of Anti-Slavery Union Missionary Society, later organized as the American Missionary Association (AMA), 1846.  Championed Black civil rights.  Promoted anti-slavery and African American civil rights causes.  Worked with Frederick Douglass and wrote for his abolitionist newspaper, The North Star.

BEMAN, Jehiel C., c. 1789-1858, Connecticut, Boston, Massachusetts, African American, clergyman, abolitionist, temperance activist. Manager, American Anti-Slavery Society, 1837-1839.  Executive Committee, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1841-1843.

BENEZET, Anthony, 1713-1784, Society of Friends, Quaker, philanthropist, early and important abolitionist leader and supporter of emancipation and African American rights. Co-founded Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, in Philadelphia.  Also founded one of the first girls’ public schools in Philadelphia.  Worked with prominent abolitionist, John Woolman.  Wrote: A Caution and Warning to Great Britain and Her Colonies, in a Short Representation of the Calamitous State of the Enslaved Negroes in the British Dominions, 1766; Some Historical Account of Guinea, Its Situation, Produce, and the General Disposition of Its Inhabitants, with an Enquiry into the Rise and Progress of the Slave-Trade, Its Nature and Lamentable Effects, 1771; and Observations on the Inslaving, Importing and Purchasing Negroes, 1748.

BENSON, George William, 1808-1879, Providence, Rhode Island, abolitionist, Society of Friends (Quaker). Manager and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833, Brooklyn, Connecticut. Brother-in-law of abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison.

BIBB, Henry Walton, 1815-1854, author, newspaper publisher, former slave, anti-slavery lecturer. Bibb escaped slavery from Kentucky in 1837.  Wrote Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, An American Slave, 1849.  Published Voice of the Fugitive: An Anti-Slavery Journal, in 1851.  Organized the North American League.  The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 forced him to relocate to Canada.  He aided thousands of fugitive slaves to organize communities there.

BINGHAM, John Armor, 1815-1900, Republican Congressman, judge, advocate, U.S. Army. Bingham was one of the writers and sponsors of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  One of three military judges presiding in the Lincoln assassination trial.

BIRD, Francis William, 1809-1894, anti-slavery political leader, radical reformer. Member of the anti-slavery “Conscience Whigs,” leader of the Massachusetts Free Soil Party.  Led anti-slavery faction of the newly formed Republican Party.  Supported abolitionist Republican Party leader Charles Sumner.  Opposed Dred Scott decision.  The so-called “Bird Club” greatly influenced radical Republican politics in Massachusetts and in the U.S. Senate.  Organized Emancipation League.  Supported enlistment of African Americans in the Union Army and emancipation of Blacks in the District of Columbia.  Supported women’s rights, Native American rights, suffrage for Chinese in America, and other causes.

BIRNEY, James Gillespie, 1792-1857, abolitionist leader, statesman, orator, writer, attorney. Published anti-slavery newspaper, the Philanthropist, founded 1836.  Pro-slavery mobs in Cincinnati destroyed his newspaper office.  Early supporter of gradual and compensated emancipation.  Birney was born into a slaveholding family and inherited slaves from his father.  Member of the American Colonization Society.  Despite this, he supported the cause of emancipation, and freed his slaves in June 1834.  Founded Kentucky Anti-Slavery Society in 1835.  Founder and president of the Liberty Party, third party presidential candidate, 1840, 1844.  Founder of the University of Alabama.  Native American rights advocate.   In 1837, he became the executive director and, later, Vice President, Manager, and Corresponding Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Also a member of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  He believed that slavery could be ended legally and by Constitutional actions.

BLACKBURN, Gideon, 1772-1838, Kentucky, Virginia, clergyman, abolitionist, strong supporter of the American Colonization Society. Went to Illinois in 1833. Assisted Elijah P. Lovejoy in organizing Illinois Anti-Slavery Society.  Founded Blackburn College at Carlinville, Illinois.  Established school for Cherokee Indians.

BLACKWELL, Antoinette Louisa Brown, 1825-1921, abolitionist, social reformer, pastor, author, women’s rights advocate, temperance activist, lecturer. Blackwell was the first woman ordained as a minister in the United States.  She was active as a social worker with the poor and prisoners in New York City.  Contributed articles to Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune and to Frederick Douglass’s abolitionist newspaper, The North Star.

BLAIR, Montgomery, 1813-1883, statesman, attorney, jurist, abolitionist, Postmaster General of the United States.

BLANCHARD, Jonathan, 1811-1892, Vermont, clergyman, educator, abolitionist, theologian, lecturer. Graduated from Lane Seminary in 1838.  Worked for more than thirty years for the abolition of slavery.  Brought into the anti-slavery movement by Theodore Dwight Weld and became a lecturing agent in Pennsylvania.  Helped publish the abolitionist newspaper, The Philanthropist.  He helped convert Thaddeus Stevens to abolitionist.  Member of the American Anti-Slavery Society and the Ohio State Anti-Slavery Society (OASS).  President of Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, 1845-1858.  President, Illinois Institute.  Vice president, World Anti-Slavery Convention, London, England, 1843, Free Soil Party.

BLOSS, William Clough, 1795-1863, abolitionist leader, reformer, temperance advocate. Early abolitionist leader in Rochester, New York, area.  Founded abolitionist newspaper, Rights of Man, in 1834.  Petitioned U.S. Congress to end slavery in Washington, DC.  Early supporter of women’s and African American civil rights.  Activist in aiding fugitive slaves in the Underground Railroad.

BOOTH, Sherman M., 1812-1904, Wisconsin, abolitionist leader, orator, politician, temperance activist. Editor of anti-slavery newspaper, the Wisconsin Freeman, in Racine, Wisconsin.  Member, Free Soil Party, and helped found the Liberty Party.  Published Liberty Party newspaper, American FreedmanAssisted runaway slave Joshua Glover. Was arrested, tried and convicted for violation of Fugitive Slave Law.  Booth was acquitted under Wisconsin State law.

BOUDINOT, Elias, 1740-1821, New Jersey, philanthropist, lawyer, Revolutionary statesman, delegate to the Continental Congress, U.S. Congressman, opponent of slavery. Trustee of Princeton University.  Former president of the Congress of Confederation.  Secretary of Foreign Affairs.  Supported right to petition Congress against slavery. Co-founder of the New Jersey Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery in 1793.  Opposed extension of slavery to new territories.  Supported Native American rights.

BOURNE, George, 1780-1845, New York City, English-born, author. Presbyterian and Dutch Reform clergyman. Pioneer abolitionist leader.  Manager (1833-1839) and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833. Founding member of the New York Anti-Slavery Society.  One of the first abolitionists to demand immediate emancipation.  Wrote The Book of Slavery Irreconcilable (1816); An Address to the Presbyterian Church, Enforcing the Duty of Excluding all Slaveholders from the Communion of Saints; and Man Stealing and Slavery Denounced by the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches.

BOUTWELL, George Sewall, 1818-1905, statesman, lawyer. 20th Governor of Massachusetts.  Early supporter of the anti-slavery Free Soil Party.  Helped organize the Republican Party.  Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1862-1868, and U.S. Senator.  Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.  Secretary of the Treasury under President Ulysses S. Grant.  Supported African American citizenship and voting rights during Reconstruction.  Important leader serving on the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, which framed the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution.  Boutwell was one of the House of Representatives managers of the impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson.

BOWDITCH, Henry Ingersoll, 1819-1909, Boston, physician, lawyer, abolitionist. Bowditch was a Garrisonian abolitionist.  Actively opposed fugitive slave laws.  Published a newspaper that helped promote a Massachusetts State law that forbade State authorities to aid in the return of slaves.  He was a member of a committee to assist fugitive slave George Latimer.  He helped other fugitive slaves as well and promoted the anti-slavery cause in the North.

BRADBURN, George, 1806-1880, Nantucket, Massachusetts, politician, US Congressman representing the Free Soil Party, newspaper editor, Unitarian clergyman, abolitionist, women’s rights activist, lecturer. Member, American Anti-Slavery Society.  Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Vice-President, 1840-1845.  Vice President, Liberty Party. Attended World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in June 1840, where he protested the exclusion of women from the conference. Lectured for the American Anti-Slavery Society with fellow abolitionists William A. White and Frederick Douglass in 1843.  Editor, the Pioneer and Herald of Freedom from 1846 to 1849 in Lynn, Massachusetts.

BRINKERHOFF, Jacob, 1810-1880, Niles, Cayuga County, New York, jurist, U.S. Congressman, lawyer. Member of the House of Representatives, 1843-1847.  Member of the Free Soil Party.  He authored the Proviso, which was submitted by Congressman David Wilmot.  The so-called “Wilmot Proviso” sought to exclude slavery from territories newly acquired during the War with Mexico in 1846.  Elected to Ohio State Supreme Court.  As a judge, he dissented on the famous Oberlin-Wellington fugitive slave court case of 1858.  This was a test of the federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  It argued that slavery was a state jurisdiction, not that of the Federal Government.  See also David Wilmot.  He joined the Republican party at its formation in 1856.

BRISBANE, William Henry, 1803-1878, South Carolina, physician, abolitionist leader. Executive Committee of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  Clergyman, Baptist Church in Madison, Wisconsin.  Chief Clerk of the Wisconsin State Senate.  He inherited slaves, however he realized slavery was wrong.  In 1835, Brisbane freed 33 of his slaves, bringing them to the North where he helped them settle.  As a result, he was criticized by his family and friends.  He moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he worked for the abolitionist cause.  He founded the Baptist Anti-Slavery Society in 1841.  He was fired from his church for being too anti-slavery.  Leader in the Liberty Party in the Cincinnati area in early 1840s.  He was active with Levi Coffin in the Underground Railroad.  He was publisher of the Crisis, an abolitionist newspaper, which was widely distributed.  He wrote two anti-slavery books.

BROOKE, Abraham, 1806(8?)-1867, physician, radical reformer, abolitionist, Quaker, from Maryland, later moved to Ohio. Strong supporter of William Lloyd Garrison and immediate abolition of slavery in the U.S.  Leader in Ohio American Anti-Slavery Society (OAASS) and the Western Anti-Slavery Society (WASS).  Organized the Society for Universal Inquiry and Reform in October 1842.  Active supporter of women’s rights.

BROWN, Abel, Reverend, 1810-1844, Springfield, Massachusetts, New York, abolitionist leader. Aided fugitive slaves in the Underground Railroad in Albany, New York.  Founder, Eastern New York Anti-Slavery Society (NYASS) and the Albany Vigilance Committee.  Supported women’s rights.  Wrote for Garrison’s Liberator.  Founded Tocsin of Liberty, later the Albany Patriot.  Died at age 34.  His wife published his autobiography in 1849.

BROWN, David Paul, 1795-1872, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lawyer, orator, playwright, abolitionist leader. President of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society (PASS).  Worked with prominent lawyers to prosecute cases of wrongful enslavement.  Worked with the Pennsylvania Abolition society (PAS).  Argued the case of fugitive slave Basil Dorsey.

BROWN, John, 1800-1859, radical-militant abolitionist leader, wrote Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the People of the United States (1858).  Condemned slavery.  In 1855, Brown went to Kansas during the struggle to determine whether it should be a free or slave state.  With 23 volunteers, including five African Americans, Brown led a raid against the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, on October 16, 1859.  Three of his sons participated, Oliver, Owen and Watson, as well as brothers of his son-in-law, William and Dauphin Watson.  He was captured, tried and convicted and was executed on December 2, 1859 along with four of his co-defendants.  He was supported by six prominent abolitionists.  They were Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Samuel Gridley Howe, Theodore Parker, Franklin B. Sanborn, Gerritt Smith, and George W. Stearns.  They were known as the “Secret Six.”

BROWN, Moses, 1738-1836, Maine, Providence, Rhode Island, abolitionist, industrialist, philanthropist, educator, Quaker. A slaveholder who released his own slaves in 1773.  His brothers continued to own slaves.  One of Rhode Island’s principal abolitionists.  Helped lobby bill before U.S. Congress to outlaw the provisioning of slave ships at any U.S. port.  Vice president and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Co-founder of Brown University.  Co-founded Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave Trade in 1789.

BROWN, William Wells, 1814-1884, African American abolitionist leader, author, novelist, playwright, historian, former slave, anti-slave lecturer, temperance activist. Brown was born a slave in Montgomery County, Kentucky.  In 1834, he escaped to Ohio at the age of 20.  He was a lecturer for Western New York Anti-Slavery Society, Massachusetts and the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Wrote Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave, Written by Himself, 1847, and The American Fugitive in Europe, 1855.  He wrote a novel, Clotel, which is considered the first novel written by an African American.  Brown also wrote anti-slavery plays, “Experience; or How to Give a Northern Man a Backbone,” and “The Escape; or A Leap for Freedom,” 1856.  Brown wrote, “I would have the Constitution torn in shreds and scattered to the four winds of heaven.  Let us destroy the Constitution and build on its ruins the temple of liberty.  I have brothers in slavery.  I have seen chains placed on their limbs and beheld them captive.”

BRYAN, George, 1731-1791, Dublin, Ireland, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, abolitionist leader, legislator, businessman, statesman, jurist. In 1778, Bryan introduced a bill in the Pennsylvania legislature for the gradual abolition of slavery.  Of this, he said, “In divesting the state of slaves, you will equally serve the cause of humanity and policy, and offer to God one of the most proper and best returns of gratitude for his great deliverance of us and our posterity from thraldom.”   Elected the first Vice President of Pennsylvania (Lieutenant Governor), 1777-1779, Second President (Governor), 1778.

BRYANT, William Cullen, 1794-1874, author, poet, editor, abolitionist. Wrote antislavery poetry.  Free Soil Party.  Bryant was editor-in-chief and co-owner of the Evening Post, which supported Congressman John Quincy Adams’ advocacy for the right to petition Congress against slavery.  Bryant opposed the annexation of Texas.  After 1848, the Evening Post took a strong anti-slavery editorial policy and supported the Free Soil Party, supporting Martin Van Buren.  As its presidential candidate, Bryant and the Post opposed the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854.  In 1856, the Post broke with the Democratic Party, endorsing the new Republican Party and its anti-slavery faction.  They supported John C. Frémont as the presidential candidate.  Bryant also opposed the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision of 1857, which stated that Blacks, whether free or enslaved, could not be American citizens.  Bryant also was an early supporter of the rights of organized labor, religious minorities and immigrants.  He endorsed John Brown’s raid on the U.S. arsenal at Harper’s Ferry in1859.  He strongly supported the nomination of Lincoln as the Republican candidate for president in 1860.

BUFFUM, Arnold, 1782-1859, Smithfield, Rhode Island, Indiana, Society of Friends, Quaker, radical abolitionist, temperance reformer, philanthropist. Mayor of Lynn, Massachusetts.  Co-founder (with William Lloyd Garrison) and first president of the New England Anti-Slavery Society, in 1832.  Manager and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society in December 1833.  President, New England Anti-Slavery Society.  In 1840, Buffum went to Indiana and Ohio as a lecturing anti-slavery agent.  He served as editor of the Protectionist.  Member of the Liberty, Free Soil and Republican parties.  Visited England to promote abolitionism.  Buffum was influenced by English anti-slavery leaders Clarkson and Wilberforce.

BURLEIGH, Charles Calistus, 1810-1878, Connecticut, lawyer, orator, radical abolitionist. Leader of the Pennsylvania Free Produce Association. Officer, American Anti-Slavery Society.  Lectured extensively on evils of slavery. He and his brother edited the anti-slavery The Unionist.  Edited Pennsylvania Freeman paper of the Eastern Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.  Active in temperance, peace and women’s rights movements. He worked closely with abolitionist leaders Samuel J. May and William Lloyd Garrison.  Brother of abolitionist William H. Burleigh.

BURLEIGH, William Henry, 1812-1871, Connecticut, journalist. Burleigh was active in temperance, peace and women’s rights movements.  Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society. Editor of the anti-slavery newspapers Christian Freeman, newspaper of the Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society, and the Charter Oak.  In 1836, he was appointed a lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Leader of the Liberty Party.  As a result of his protesting the war against Mexico, which he felt was being fought for the “slave power,” Burleigh was attacked by mobs and barely escaped being hurt.  Active in the peace, temperance and women’s rights movements.  Brother of abolitionist Charles C. Burleigh.

BURLINGAME, Anson, 1820-1870, New Berlin, New York, diplomat, lawyer, orator. Massachusetts State Senator, elected 1852. Republican United States Congressman, elected in 1855 and served 3 terms.  Burlingame was a member of the Free Soil Party and an early co-founder of the Republican Party in Massachusetts.  Anti-slavery activist in the House of Representatives.  He delivered a speech condemning pro-slavery Senator Preston Brooks for his vicious assault against Senator Sumner on the Senate floor.

BURR, James, 1814-1859, New York, American abolitionist. Burr attended Oberlin College in Ohio.  In 1841, he aided fugitive slaves in Missouri to escape to Illinois.  He was caught, tried and convicted, and was sentenced to 12 years of hard labor.  He was pardoned and released in 1846.  Worked with abolitionists George Thompson and Alanson Work, who were jailed with him.  His tombstone reads: “Here lies the friend of the oppressed, who became a martyr for the right.”  He is buried in Wheaton College.

BURRITT, Elihu, 1810-1879, new Britain, Connecticut, reformer, advocate for world peace, free produce activist, advocate of compensated emancipation. In 1842, Burritt established the weekly newspaper, Christian Citizen, which advocated anti-slavery and other reforms.  In 1852, he became editor of Citizen of the World, published in Philadelphia, which called for the emancipation of slaves.



CARY, Mary Ann Shadd, 1823-1893, born free African American, abolitionist leader, teacher, lawyer, journalist. Between 1839 and 1855, Cary founded and taught in schools for African Americans in Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania.  In the 1850s, she established a school for the American Missionary Society for African Americans who had escaped to Canada.  She founded and edited the newspaper, Provincial Freedom, which was established for African Americans residing in Canada.  During the Civil War, she recruited African American soldiers for the Union Army.

CHACE, Elizabeth Buffum, 1806-1899, Society of Friends, Quaker, women’s suffrage leader, penal reform leader, abolitionist leader. Co-founder of the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society of Fall River, Massachusetts, 1836.  Member of the New England Anti-Slavery Society, founded by her father, Arnold Buffum, in 1832.  Contributed articles for abolitionist newspaper, Liberator.  Her home was a station on the Underground Railroad.  She resigned from the Society of Friends in 1843 as a result of its continuing pro-slavery position.  At the end of the Civil War, she was elected Vice President of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  She remained active in abolitionist societies after the Civil War, working for African American civil rights.  Chace was a leader in the women’s rights and feminist movement.  Attended the first National Women’s Rights Convention in 1850.  She co-founded the New England Woman Suffrage Association and the Rhode Island Woman Suffrage Association in 1868.  She was also active in the American Woman Suffrage Association. She published her memoirs in 1891, Anti-Slavery Reminiscences. Her grandfather, parents, husband, two sisters, and two brothers-in-law were all abolitionists.

CHANDLER, Elizabeth Margaret, 1807-1834, Philadelphia, poet, author, Society of Friends, Quaker, abolitionist. Member of the Free Produce Society.  Co-founded the first anti-slavery society in Michigan, the Logan Female Anti-Slavery Society, in Lenawee County, Michigan Territory, October 8, 1832, with Laura Haviland.  Writer for Benjamin Lundy’s Genius of Universal Emancipation after 1829.  She wrote anti-slavery poetry, including “The Slave Mother” and “The Kneeling Slave.”  Advocate for women’s participation in the abolition movement.  Wrote An Appeal to the Ladies of the United States for Our African Slave Population.  In 1836, Chandler’s anti-slavery writings and memoir were published posthumously by abolitionist Benjamin Lundy.

CHANDLER, Zachariah, 1813-1879, statesman, abolitionist. Mayor of Detroit, 1851-1852.  U.S. Senator 1857-1875, 1879.  Secretary of the Interior, 1875-1877. Active in Underground Railroad in Detroit area.  Helped organize the Republican Party in 1854.  Introduced Confiscation Bill in Senate, July 1861.  Was a leading Radical Republican Senator.  Chandler was a vigorous opponent of slavery.  He opposed the Dred Scott U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the Fugitive Slave Law.  In 1858, opposed the admission of Kansas as a slave state under the Lecompton Constitution.  Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.

CHANNING, Reverend William Ellery, 1780-1842, Unitarian clergyman, orator, writer, strong opponent of slavery. Active in the peace, temperance, and educational reform movements.  Published anti-slavery works, The Abolitionists, in 1835, The Slavery Question, in 1839, Emancipation in 1840, and The Duty of the Free States, in 1842.

CHAPLIN, William Lawrence, 1796-1871, abolitionist leader, Farmington, NY. Manager, American Anti-Slavery Society, 1839-1840.  Agent of the New York Anti-Slavery Society.  He was known as “The General.”  Chaplin was involved in slave freedom lawsuits, “Self-Purchase,” and aided fugitive slaves.  Helped plan the “Pearl” ship escape.  Supported by abolitionist leader Gerrit Smith.  He was the Liberty Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1846 and Governor in 1850.

CHAPMAN, Maria Weston, 1806-1885, educator, writer, newspaper editor, prominent abolitionist leader, reformer. Advocate of immediate, uncompensated emancipation.  Editor of the anti-slavery newspaper The Liberty Bell.  Also helped to edit William Lloyd Garrison’s newspaper, the Liberator.  Co-founded and edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard. Leader and founder of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS), which she founded and organized with twelve other women, including three of her sisters.  The Society worked to educate Boston’s African American community and to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia.  In 1840, Chapman was elected to the executive committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  She was Councillor of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society from 1841-1865.  Her husband was prominent abolitionist Henry Grafton Chapman, with whom she co-edited The National Anti-Slavery Standard in New York.

CHASE, Salmon Portland, 1808-1873, statesman, educator, lawyer, US Senator, Governor of Ohio, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 1861-1864. Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1864-1873.  Early abolitionist leader, founding member, Liberty Party, Free Soil Party, and anti-slavery wing of the Republican Party.  As a lawyer, he defended fugitive slaves.  He also represented his friend, abolitionist James G. Birney, who protected a fugitive slave.  For the many cases he took representing fugitive slaves, he was called the “attorney general for runaway negroes.”  In 1842, he defended John Van Zandt, who was prosecuted for aiding fugitive slaves.  In the Senate, he opposed the Compromise of 1850, along with the Fugitive Slave Law.  Chase wrote, “A slave is a person held, as property, by legalized force, against natural right.”

CHILD, David Lee, 1794-1874, Boston, Massachusetts, author, journalist, lawyer, reformer. Leader, 1833-1843, and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), December 1833.  Child served as Manager and member of the Executive Committee of the AASS, 1840-1843.  He was also President of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.  Child opposed the annexation of Texas.  Published The Despotism of Freedom—or The Tyranny and Cruelty of American Republican Slaveholders.  Co-editor with his wife, Lydia Maria Child, of The Anti-Slavery Standard in New York, 1843-1844.

CHILD, Lydia Maria, 1802-1880, author, essayist, abolitionist, member Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. Wrote for the abolitionist newspaper, the Liberty Bell.  Member of the Executive Committee, American Anti-Slavery Society.  Prolific writer and ardent abolitionist.  In 1840’s, Child co-edited National Anti-Slavery Standard newspaper.  With her abolitionist husband, David Lee Child, she published: Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans (1833), Romance of the Republic (1867), Authentic Accounts of American Slavery (1835), The Evils of Slavery, and the Cure of Slavery (1836), Anti-Slavery Catechism (1836), The Right Way, the Safe Way, Proved by Emancipation in the British West Indies and Elsewhere (1860), Freedmen’s Book (1865), and articles “The Patriarchal Institution” and “The Duty of Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Law,” (1860), and edited Harriet Ann Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861).

CLAY, Cassius Marcellus, 1810-1903, Madison County, Kentucky, emancipationist, statesman, lawyer, diplomat, soldier, newspaper publisher. Prominent anti-slavery activist with the Kentucky State legislature. Founding member of the Republican Party.  Published anti-slavery paper, True American, in Lexington, Kentucky.  Opposed the annexation of Texas and its incorporation as a slave state.  He was threatened by mob violence for his anti-slavery views.  In 1850, he ran unsuccessfully as an anti-slavery candidate for Governor of Kentucky. Clay supported Republicans John C. Frémont for President in 1856, and Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

CODDING, Ichabod, 1810-1866, born in Bristol, New York, clergyman, weaver, abolitionist, orator. Anti-slavery agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society, commissioned in 1836.  He traveled on anti-slavery lecture tour from 1838-1843, in New England.  He helped co-found and edit anti-slavery newspapers.  He organized state organizations for the anti-slavery Liberty Party.  After 1843, he lectured in Illinois.  He was active in the Anti-Nebraska Convention, Connecticut, in 1853.  He worked with anti-slavery leaders Owen Lovejoy, William Allan, and others.

COFFIN, Levi, 1798-1877, Newport, Indiana, philanthropist, Society of Friends, Quaker, abolitionist, conductor Underground Railroad. Established Indiana Yearly Meeting of Anti-Slavery Friends.  Active in Free Labor Movement, which encouraged people not to trade in goods produced by slave labor.  Helped start the Western Freedman’s Aid Commission.  Manager of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Wrote Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, Reputed President of the Underground Railroad, Cincinnati, OH: Western Tract Society.  Helped an estimated three thousand slaves to freedom.  During the Civil War, he was appointed head of the Western Freedman’s Aid Commission, which aided freed slaves.  His wife, Catherine, was also an abolitionist and aided fugitive slaves with her husband.

COLDEN, Cadwallader David, 1769-1834, New York, lawyer, soldier, opponent of slavery, 54th Mayor of New York City, U.S. Congressman.  President of the New York Manumission Society (established 1785).  Helped pass law in New York in 1817 freeing slaves in the state by July 4, 1827.

COLES, Edward, 1786-1868, statesman, abolitionist, Governor of Illinois (elected 1822), member American Colonization Society. Private secretary to President James Madison, 1809-1815.  Born to a slaveholding family in Virginia.  Manumitted his slaves in 1819.  Worked with abolitionist clergyman James Lemen to keep Illinois a free state.  As Governor, 1823-1826, he opposed pro-slavery group in Illinois state legislature.

COLFAX, Schuyler, 1823-1885, Indiana, statesman, newspaper editor. 17th Vice President of the United States, 1869-1873.  Member of Congress, 1854-1869.  Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1863-1869.  Colfax was elected to Congress in 1854, representing an anti-slavery policy that opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act.  Strongly opposed the extension of slavery in the territories. He gave a noteworthy speech decrying the pro-slavery Lecompton Kansas legislature, which was widely reprinted in 1858. Opposed slavery as a radical Republican Member of Congress. Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. Supported African American suffrage.

COLVER, Nathaniel, 1794-1870, Boston, Massachusetts, abolitionist, clergyman, anti-slavery agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS). Baptist minister.  Lectured against slavery in New York State for two years.  Counsellor, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1839-1840.  Member of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (AFASS).  Co-founded the abolitionist Wesleyan Methodist Connection of America in 1843 and the Baptist Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840.

COOPER, David, b. 1725, New Jersey, farmer, abolitionist, Society of Friends, pamphleteer, wrote, A Mite Cast into the Treasury: or, Observations on Slave Keeping, published 1772, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Petitioned Congress three times to abolish slavery, even lobbied President George Washington. Also wrote, A Serious Address to the Rulers of America, on the Inconsistency of their Conduct Respecting Slavery, Trenton, 1783.  Cooper said, of slavery: “The power of prejudice over the minds of mankind is very extraordinary; hardly any extreams too distant, or absurdities too glaring for it to unite or reconcile, if it tends to promote or justify a favorite pursuit.  It is thus we are to account for the fallacious reasonings and absurd sentiments used and entertained concerning negroes, and the lawfulness of keeping them slaves.”

CORNISH, Reverend Samuel E., 1795-1858, free African American, New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, abolitionist leader, clergyman, publisher, journalist. Published The Colonization Scheme Considered and its Rejection by Colored People and A Remonstrance Against the Abuse of Blacks, 1826.  Cornish was co-editor of the Freedom’s Journal, the first African American newspaper.  Editor, The Colored American, 1837-1839.  Leader and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  In 1840, joined the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society and served on the Executive Committee, 1840-1855.

CRANDALL, Prudence, 1803-1889, Canterbury, Connecticut, Society of Friends, Quaker, teacher, abolitionist.  Early advocate of integrated schools.  She allowed Black students into her boarding school.  As a result, she was arrested, convicted and put in jail.  Crandall was married to abolitionist Calvin Philleo.

CROSS, John, clergyman, anti-slavery agent. Congregational Minister in Geneva and Oriskany Falls, New York.  Lectured on abolition and anti-slavery.  He became interested in the anti-slavery cause while attending the Oneida Institute.  He lectured in Collinsville, Copenhagen, Constableville and in New York City.  Cross was President of Wheaton College, founded as an abolitionist institution and a “reform-oriented anti-slavery [institution].”  Cross was a conductor in the Underground Railroad, allowing slaves to be hidden on the college campus.  Cross worked actively with abolitionist Johnathan Blanchard.

CROWE, John Finley, 1787-1860, clergyman, abolitionist, newspaper publisher, The Abolitionist Intelligencer, founded 1822, Shelby, Kentucky, and editor of the Missionary Magazine of the Kentucky Abolition Society.  Due to his anti-slavery activities, he was ousted from the town of Shelbyville, Kentucky.  In 1823, Finley moved to Hanover, Indiana, to accept a position as pastor there.  He was founder of Hanover College.  Crowe and his associates were constantly under threat.

CRUMMELL, Alexander, 1819-1898, African American, clergyman, professor, African nationalist, anti-slavery activist and lecturer. Lectured in England against American slavery.  Supported colonization of Blacks to Africa.  Worked in New York office of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Correspondent for the Colored American.

CUFFEE, Paul (Cuffe), 1759-1818, free Black, sea captain, author, A Brief Account of the Settlement and Present Situation of the Colony of Sierra Leone, 1812, Society of Friends from Massachusetts, Quaker, abolitionist, among the first Americans to colonize free Blacks in Africa.



DANA, Charles Anderson, b. 1819, New Hampshire, newspaper editor, author, government official, anti-slavery activist and abolitionist leader. Proprietor and managing editor of the New York Tribune.  As editor, he had the Tribune actively advocate for the anti-slavery cause.  The Tribune became one of the nation’s leading newspapers promoting anti-slavery.  The Tribune opposed the extension of slavery into new territories, the Missouri Compromise, and the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854.  That same year, it endorsed the newly-established Republican Party.  During the Civil War.  The paper called for the immediate abolition of slavery.

DAVIS, Henry Winter, 1817-1865, statesman, lawyer. Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 3rd District of Maryland, 1854, 1856, 1858, 1863-1865.  Even though he represented a slave state during the Civil War, he was an anti-slavery activist and called for emancipation. (His father was a slaveholder, yet his witnessing slavery caused him to oppose it. Talking to his father’s slaves, he realized it was wrong. They confided in him that they wished to be free.)  Davis supported enlistment of African Americans in Union Army.  He said, “The best deed of emancipation is a musket on the shoulder.” Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery and supported African American suffrage.

DAVIS, Paulina Kellogg Wright, 1813-1876, abolitionist, feminist, women’s rights activist, reformer. Davis was married to abolitionist Francis Wright.  They served on the executive committee of the Central New York Anti-Slavery Society.  Their house was attacked by an angry mob for their anti-slavery activities.  After the death of her husband, she re-married, to anti-slavery Democrat Thomas Davis, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1852.  In May 1850, in Boston, Davis and other women’s rights activists planned and organized the first national women’s rights convention.  Davis established the Una, the first paper to advocate woman’s suffrage.

DAY, William Howard, 1825-1900, African American anti-slavery advocate, writer, orator, printer. Husband of abolitionist Lucy Stanton Sessions, who published the abolitionist newspaper, Aliened American.

DAYTON, William Lewis, 1807-1864, lawyer, statesman, diplomat, U.S. Senator. Member of the Free Soil Whig Party.  Opposed slavery and its expansion into the new territories.  Opposed the Fugitive Slave bill of 1850.  Supported the admission of California as a free state and the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia.  First vice presidential nominee of Republican Party in 1856, on the ticket with John C. Frémont.  Lost the election to James Buchanan.

DELANY, Martin Robinson, 1812-1885, free African American, journalist, physician, writer, soldier. Publisher of abolitionist newspaper, North Star in Rochester, New York, with Fredrick Douglass. Published The Condition, Elevation, Emigration and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States, 1852. Supported colonization of African Americans in 1854. Led National Emigration Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1854.  Recruited thousands of African Americans for service in the Civil War.  First African American major in the U.S. Army.  After the war, he served in the Freedman’s Bureau.

DENISON, Charles Wheeler, Reverend, 1809-1881, New York City, abolitionist leader, author, clergyman, newspaper editor. Editor of The Emancipator, the first anti-slavery newspaper in New York.  Co-founder and organizer of the Baptist Anti-Slavery Society in 1840 and the American Baptist Free Mission Society in 1843.  Manager, 1833-1836, and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), December 1833.  Lecturing Agent for the AASS in Connecticut and Eastern New York.  Co-founder of the Delaware State Anti-Slavery Society.

DICKINSON, Anna Elizabeth, 1842-1932, American Friends (Quaker), anti-slavery, supported rights for African Americans, women’s rights activist, orator, lecturer. Born in Philadelphia of Quaker abolitionist parents.  In 1862, Dickinson gave lectures for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, which promoted the abolitionist movement.  Campaigned for anti-slavery Republican candidates in New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.  Supported the radical Republicans’ anti-slavery position.  Dickinson was the first woman to speak before the United States Congress.

DILLWYN, William, 1743-1824, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Society of Friends, Quaker. Traveled to South Carolina to study slavery.  He moved to England in 1774 and was involved in the abolition movement there, being a member of the Meetings for Sufferings Committee on the Slave Trade.  Petitioned New Jersey Assembly in Trenton to emancipate all slaves in province.

DOUGLASS, Frederick, 1817-1895, African American, escaped slave, author, diplomat, orator, radical abolitionist leader. Began his abolitionist career as an agent of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.  Published and edited The North Star abolitionist newspaper in Rochester, New York, for 17 years.  Wrote Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas: An American Slave, in 1845.  Also wrote My Bondage, My Freedom, 1855.  Actively supported women’s rights and suffrage.  Recruited soldiers for the African American regiments in the Union Army during the Civil War.  During Reconstruction, Douglass worked for civil rights and suffrage for African American men.

DOUGLASS, Grace Bustill, 1782-1842, African American activist, Quaker, abolitionist. Co-founder of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society with her daughter, Sarah Douglass, Lucretia Mott and the Grimké sisters in December 1833.  She was a member of the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women.

DOUGLASS, Sarah Mapps, 1806-1882, African American, abolitionist leader. In Philadelphia in the 1820’s, she established a school for African American children.  Organizer, member and manager of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society (PFASS), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Participant and organizer of the Anti-Slavery Conventions of American Women in 1838-1839.  After the Civil War, she worked in the Women’s Pennsylvania Branch of the American Freedman’s Aid Commission.

DOUGLASS, William, 1804-1862, Baltimore, Maryland, African American, clergyman, abolitionist, opposed colonization.

DRESSER, Amos, 1812-1904, Peru, Massachusetts, anti-slavery agent, educator, Lane University alumnus. Worked in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  In 1835, Dresser was arrested in Nashville, Tennessee, for distributing abolitionist materials.  He was whipped, tarred and feathered by a mob.  In 1836, he became a successful lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society.  He worked for abolitionist leader Henry B. Stanton in Worcester County, Massachusetts.  Wrote Narrative of the Arrest, Lynch Law, and Scourging of Amos Dresser; At Nashville, Tennessee, August, 1835 [1849].

DUNCAN, James, Reverend, Vevay, Indiana (near Cincinnati), clergyman, abolitionist. In 1824, he published influential anti-slavery tract, A Treatise on Slavery, in which is Shown Forth the Evil of Slaveholding, Both from the Light of Nature and Divine Revelations, 1824, which called slavery a “heinous sin.”  Wrote Slaveholders Prayer, published by American Anti-Slavery Society in New York and Cincinnati in 1840.  Opposed gradual emancipation laws.  Said that slavery violated the Constitution.  Advocated for African American citizenship.  Co-founder, with Stephan Stevens, of the Liberty Party in Indiana.

DWIGHT, Theodore, 1764-1846, Massachusetts, lawyer, author, editor, poet. Opposed slavery.  U.S. Congressman from Connecticut’s 6th District, served December 1806- March 1807.  Founded the Daily Advertiser in New York in 1815.  Gave noteworthy anti-slavery speech at Connecticut Society for the Promotion of Freedom, May 8, 1794.  He opposed the tree-fifths clause of the Constitution.  He stated, “Enjoying no rank in the community, and possessing no voice, either in elections or legislation, the slaves are bro’t into existence in the Constitution of the United States, merely to afford opportunity for a few more of their masters, to tyrannize over their liberties.”  Dwight called for immediate abolition of slavery.  His brother was abolitionist Timothy Dwight.

DWIGHT, Timothy, 1752-1817, New Haven, Connecticut, anti-slavery writer, educator, clergyman. Pastor, Congregational Church at Greenfield Hill.  President of Yale, 1795-1817.  Member of the American Colonization Society Committee in New Haven. Condemned slavery and its brutality in his writings and poetry. Wrote Greenfield Hill against slavery.  In 1790, Dwight co-founded the Connecticut Society for the Promotion of Freedom and Relief of Persons Unlawfully Held in Bondage.



EARLE, Thomas, 1796-1849, Worcester, Massachusetts, Society of Friends, Quaker, abolitionist leader, journalist, lawyer, political leader, Philadelphia, PA. Edited Pennsylvania Freeman.  Petitioned Congress to amend U.S. Constitution to compensate slaveholders in the South who freed their slaves.  Earle joined the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery in 1820.  In 1839, he was elected Vice President of the Society.  In 1821, he was a Delegate to the American Convention of Abolition Societies, serving until 1827.  As a lawyer, he represented the Society in defense of African Americans.  Vice presidential candidate for abolitionist Liberty Party in 1840, with James G. Birney for President.  Manager, American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), 1839-1840.  He actively supported Black suffrage.  His wife, Mary, was also active in the abolitionist movement.

EASTON, Hosea, Reverend, 1787-1837, African American, clergyman, author, abolitionist.  Easton was active in the Massachusetts General Colored Association, which called for the abolition of slaves and promoted welfare for African Americans.  He opposed the American Colonization Society.  Wrote, “A Treatise on the Intellectual Character and Civil and Political Condition of the Colored People of the U[nited] States;…”

EMBREE, Elihu, 1782-1820, Quaker, abolitionist (former slaveholder). Published anti-slavery newspaper, Manumission Intelligencer, in 1819 in Jonesboro, then The Emancipator, founded 1820.  These may have been the first American periodicals solely devoted to the anti-slavery cause.  They called for universal emancipation and racial equality for African Americans.  Member of the Manumission Society of Tennessee.  Embree also supported racial equality. Opposed the admission of Missouri as a slave state.  In 1817, Embree sent two memorials (requests for legislation) to the Tennessee State legislature calling for the abolition of slavery and prevention of the separation of slave families.  He called for “equal rights to the now neglected sons of Africa” and for the “love of African liberty.”

EMBREE, Thomas, 1755-1833, Pennsylvania, Quaker. Called for the gradual abolition of slavery in Tennessee in 1797.  Father of abolitionist Elihu Embree.  Embree founded anti-slavery societies in eastern Tennessee.  The societies petitioned for manumission of slaves held there.

EMERSON, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882, author, poet, essayist, transcendentalist, abolitionist. Wrote antislavery poetry. Founder of the Transcendentalist Club.  Became active in the abolition movement in the mid-1830s.  Emerson opposed the annexation of Texas, and signed petitions to that effect.  Also against the forced removal of Cherokee Indians during the Van Buren administration.  He addressed meetings of abolition societies calling for emancipation, and aiding and defending fugitive slaves.  Called for disobeying immoral laws that supported slavery.  In 1851, in his speech opposing the Fugitive Slave Law, he declared “an immoral law makes it a man’s duty to break it at every hazard.”

EQUIANO, Olaudah (Olauda Ikwuano), c. 1745-1797, African American, author, merchant, explorer, former slave, abolitionist. Wrote autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavas Vassa, the African, 1789, England.



FEE, John Gregg, Reverend, 1816-1901, American Missionary Association, clergyman, educator, abolitionist.  Founder of Berea College, Madison County, Kentucky, in 1855.  The land for Berea College was granted by abolitionist politician Cassius M. Clay.  Fee became active in the abolitionist movement in 1844.  Founded two anti-slavery churches.  Fee was educated at Lane University.  Fee was a religious abolitionist.  He wrote Non-Fellowship with Slaveholders the Duty of Christians in 1849.

FESSENDEN, Samuel, 1784-1869, Portland, Maine, lawyer, jurist, soldier, abolitionist. Vice president, 1833-1839, and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Leader, active member of the Liberty Party.  Member of the Anti-Slavery party in Maine.  Nominee for Governor of Maine.  Early member of the Republican Party.  Father of Treasury Secretary William Pitt Fessenden and Congressman Samuel Clement Fessenden.

FESSENDEN, William Pitt, 1806-1869, lawyer, statesman, U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Son of abolitionist Samuel Fessenden (1784-1869).  Elected to Congress in 1840 as a member of the Whig Party opposing slavery.  Moved to repeal rule that excluded anti-slavery petitions from being submitted to the U.S. Congress.  Strong leader in Congress opposing slavery.  Elected to the Senate in 1854.  He opposed the Kansas-Nebraska bill as well as the Dred Scott Supreme Court Case.  Co-founder of the Republican Party in 1856.  Prominent leader of the anti-slavery faction of the Republican Party in the U.S. Senate.  As U.S. Senator, supported the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.

FINNEY, Reverend Charles Grandison, 1792-1875, abolitionist, clergyman, author, publisher, president of Oberlin College, Ohio, 1851-1866. Finney was an outspoken opponent of slavery.  In 1835, he became a professor at Oberlin College.  Finney was active early in the movement to abolish slavery.  He was a manager in the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Oberlin was among the first American colleges to educate African American and White men and women.  Finney was a Presbyterian minister and leader in the “Second Great Awakening” in the United States.  Finney is considered one of the “fathers of Modern Revivalism,” 1825-1835, in Manhattan and upstate New York.

FOLLEN, Charles Theodore, 1796-1840, educator, professor, writer, Unitarian minister, abolitionist. Fired from Harvard University for his anti-slavery oratory.  Wrote Lectures on Moral Philosophy, which strongly opposed slavery.  Influenced by abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier and abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison, he became active in the American Anti-Slavery Society, the New England Anti-Slavery Society and the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.  Follen wrote anti-slavery Address to the People of the United States, which he delivered to the Society’s first convention in Boston.  Supported political and legal equality for women.

FOLLEN, Eliza Lee Cabot, 1787-1860, co-founder, leader, Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS) in 1833, writer, church organizer. American Anti-Slavery Society, Executive Committee member, 1846-1860. Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Counsellor, 1846-1860.  Wrote “Anti-Slavery Hymns and Songs” and “A Letter to Mothers in the States.”

FORTEN, James, Sr., 1766-1842, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, businessman, free African American community leader, led abolitionist group. Co-founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Organized first African American Masonic Lodge in 1797. Petitioned Congress to pass law to end slavery and the changing of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793. Opposed Pennsylvania Senate bill that would restrict Black settlement in the state.  Supported temperance and women’s rights movements.  Forten was Vice President, 1834-1835, and Manager, 1835-1840, of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

FORTEN, Sarah Louise, 1814-1883, African American poet, abolitionist leader, social reformer, active in Philadelphia area, daughter of James Forten. Sister of abolitionist Harriet Davy Forten Purvis.  Founding member and activist in the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society.

FOSTER, Abby Kelley, 1811-1873, Worcester, Massachusetts, American Friends (Quaker), reformer, orator, radical abolitionist leader, women’s rights activist, member Massachusetts and American Anti-Slavery Societies, co-founded abolitionist paper, Anti-Slavery Bugle in Ohio.  For more than 15 years, Foster was a prominent lecturer and agent organizing anti-slavery societies and fairs.  Helped abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to establish the New England Non-Resistant Society, September 1838.  Active in the Underground Railroad.  Wife of prominent abolitionist Stephan Symonds Foster.  Lectured extensively on abolition.  Inspired women to become active in abolition cause.  She was the first woman to address a mixed audience of men and women on abolition.  About 1850, Kelley began actively lecturing on woman’s suffrage.  In May 1839, she declared, “Whatever way and means are right for men to adopt in reforming the world, are right also for women to adopt in pursuing the same object.”

FOSTER, Stephen Symounds, 1809-1881, divinity student, radical abolitionist, women’s rights activist. Studied to be a minister, but was forbidden to discuss slavery, so he turned to full time abolition.  Founded New Hampshire Anti-Slavery Society.  Manager, American Anti-Slavery Society, 1843-1845.  Husband of abolitionist and women’s rights activist Abby Kelly Foster.  Their home was a station on the Underground Railroad.  Wrote The Brotherhood of Thieves; Or a True Picture of the American Church and Clergy, in 1843, an anti-slavery book.  Foster was a close friend and advisor to abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison.  He was described by James Lowell in an anti-slavery poem as “a kind of maddened John the Baptist.”

FRANKLIN, Benjamin, 1706-1790, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, statesman, inventor, diplomat, lawyer, publisher, author, philosopher, opponent of slavery. Co-founder and President of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, 1787-1790. Franklin wrote, “Attention to emancipated blacks, it is therefore to be hoped, will become a branch of our national policy; but, as far as we contribute to promote this emancipation, so far that attention is evidently a serious duty incumbent on us, and which we mean to discharge to the best of our judgment and abilities.”  His last act on February 12, 1790, was to present a petition to Congress to abolish the slave trade and to emancipate slaves in America.

FRÉMONT, John Charles, 1813-1890, California, Army officer, explorer. In 1856, Frémont was first candidate for President from the anti-slavery Republican Party.  Lost to James Buchanan.  Early in his career, he was opposed to slavery and its expansion into new territories.  He was the third military governor of California, 1847. First U.S. Senator from the State of California, 1850-1851.  He was elected as a Free Soil Democrat, and was defeated for reelection principally because of his adamant opposition to slavery.  Frémont supported a free Kansas and was against the provisions of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law.  On August 30, 1861, General Frémont issued an unauthorized proclamation to free slaves owned by secessionists in his military Department in Missouri.  Lincoln revoked the proclamation and relieved Frémont of command.  In March 1862, Frémont was given commands in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky.  His wife, Jessie Benton Frémont, was also an active opponent of slavery.

FURNESS, William Henry, 1802-1896, Unitarian clergyman, abolitionist, reformer. Supported rights for African Americans and Jews.  Opposed the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.



GAGE, Frances Dana, 1808-1884, journalist, reformer, temperance leader, women’s rights, anti-slavery leader. Lectured on abolition and was often threatened with physical violence.  Her home was burned three times.  During the Civil War, she taught newly freed slaves and was active as a volunteer with the Sanitary Commission.  In 1863, she was appointed Superintendent of a refuge of more than 500 freed slaves at Paris Island, South Carolina.  She was married to abolitionist James L. Gage, a lawyer from McConnelsville, Ohio.

GAGE, Matilda Joslyn, 1826-1898, abolitionist, reformer, woman’s suffrage advocate. Daughter of noted abolitionist Dr. H. Joslyn.  From 1852 until 1861, she actively supported reform movements and was a strong advocate of the abolition of slavery.  In 1872, she was elected President of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association.  She wrote The History of Woman’s Suffrage with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

GALUSHA, Elon, 1790-1859, Perry, NY, anti-slavery activist, abolitionist leader, Baptist clergyman, lawyer, reformer. Co-founder and first President of the American Baptist Anti-Slavery Society.  Co-founder in 1843 of the American Baptist Free Mission Society, which admitted no slave-owners.  Manager, American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), 1837-1840.  Supported the Liberty Party.

GARNET, Henry Highland, 1815-1882, African American, former fugitive slave, abolitionist leader, clergyman, diplomat. Ardent member and supporter of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Abolitionist from1842-1860.  Garnet supported the idea of militant abolitionism in addition to political action.  Traveled to Europe to promote abolition movement.  Member Liberty Party.  Published The Past and Present Condition and Destiny of the Colored Race, 1848.

GARRETT, Thomas, 1789-1871, Wilmington, Delaware, abolitionist leader, Society of Friends, Quaker, member of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, operator of the Underground Railroad, helped an estimated 2,700 fugitive slaves escape to freedom, 1840-1860. Vice President, American Anti-Slavery Society, 1843-1864.  Officer in the Delaware Abolition Society in 1827.

GARRISON, William Lloyd, 1805-1879, journalist, major abolitionist leader. Early in his career, he supported colonization and gradual emancipation.  He later changed his views to adamantly oppose colonization.  Co-founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833, and the New England Anti-Slavery Society.  Co-editor of anti-slavery newspaper, Genius of Universal Emancipation, in 1829.  Supported cause of uncompensated immediate abolitionism.  Viewed slavery as highly immoral and sinful.  Promoted full citizenship and rights for African Americans.  Founder, editor, The Liberator, weekly newspaper founded in 1831, published through December 1865.  The Georgia state legislature offered a $5,000 bounty for Garrison.  After the passage of the 13th Amendment, ending slavery, Garrison closed The Liberator and promoted the issues of women’s suffrage and rights for Native Americans.

GAY, Sydney Howard, 1814-1888, author, newspaper editor, abolitionist. Member of the Garrisonian abolitionists.  Became traveling lecturing agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1842.  Appointed editor of the Anti-Slavery Standard in 1844, published in New York.  Served until 1858, when he became an editor with the New York Tribune.  He was the wartime managing editor of the Tribune.  He was an ardent supporter of Lincoln and the Union.

GEARY, John White, 1819-1873, general, statesman, soldier. Became territorial governor of Kansas on August 18, 1856.  Opposed slavery.  Defended state against pro-slavery “border ruffians” from Missouri.  As Governor, in 1857, he vetoed pro-slavery laws of legislature.  General Geary was the wartime occupation commander of Savannah, Georgia, under General Slocum, December, 1864-January, 1865.

GIBBONS, Abigail (Abby) Hopper, 1801-1893, Society of Friends, Quaker, women’s prison reformer, daughter of abolitionists Isaac and Sarah Hopper. She was a member and active supporter of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) and the Manhattan Anti-Slavery Society.  She was married to abolitionist James S. Gibbons, a successful businessman.  Their home in New York was used to hide fugitive slaves.  In the New York draft riots on July 14, 1863, their home was burned.  During the Civil War, Gibbons volunteered as a nurse for the Union Army.

GIDDINGS, Joshua Reed, 1795-1865, statesman, U.S. Congressman, Whig from Ohio, elected in 1838. First abolitionist elected to House of Representatives. Worked with Congressman and former President John Quincy Adams to eliminate “gag rule,” which prohibited anti-slavery petitions from being submitted to Congress. He resigned from Congress after being censured for his stance against slavery.  His district supported his policy, and Giddings was reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving until 1859.  He opposed Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the further expansion of slavery into the new territories acquired after the Mexican War of 1846.  In 1848, he left the Whig party and affiliated himself with the newly established anti-slavery Free Soil party.  Giddings opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.  Leader and founder of the Republican Party. Argued that slavery in territories and District of Columbia was unlawful.  Active in Underground Railroad.  Giddings worked with other anti-slavery Congressmen forming an unofficial select committee on slavery.  These representatives included:  Seth M. Gates, Sherlock J. Andrews, and William Slade.  Giddings supported Republican Presidential candidates John C. Frémont in 1856 and Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

GOODELL, Reverend William, 1792-1878, New York City, reformer, temperance activist, radical abolitionist. Manager and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Published anti-slavery newspaper, The Investigator, founded 1829 in Providence, Rhode Island; merged with the National Philanthropist the same year.  Wrote Slavery and Anti-Slavery, 1852. Co-founder of the New York Anti-Slavery Society, 1833.  Editor of The Emancipator, and The Friend of Man, in Utica, New York, the paper of the New York Anti-Slavery Society.  Co-founded the Anti-Slavery Liberty Party in 1840.  Was its nominee for President in 1852 and 1860.  In 1850, edited American Jubilee, later called The Radical Abolitionist.  Goodell believed that slavery could be abolished under the constitution.  He was a strong supporter of the Union.

GOODLOE, Daniel Reaves, 1814-1902, Louisburg, North Carolina, abolitionist. Associate editor and editor of anti-slavery newspaper, The National Era, in Washington, DC, the newspaper of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  Worked with abolitionist leader Gamaliel Bailey.  Goodloe also wrote for the New York Tribune.  He was a friend of Horace Greeley and Harriet Beecher Stowe.  Goodloe wrote Inquiry into the Causes Which Have Retarded the Accumulation of Wealth and Increase of Population in the Southern States: In Which the Question of Slavery is Considered in a Politico-Economical Point of View. By a Carolinian. [1846].

GOULD, Samuel L., abolitionist, Baptist minister. Agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), Ohio area.  He was recruited by abolitionist leaders Theodore Weld and Henry B. Stanton.

GRANDY, Moses, c. 1786-?, African American, former slave, anti-slavery activist, author of slave narrative. Moses Grandy was an enslaved person for more than 40 years.  He was the author of Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy, Late a Slave in the United States of America, published in 1843.  This was an important slave narrative, widely distributed in America and in Europe.  It was influential in supporting the cause of abolition.

GREELEY, Horace, 1811-1872, journalist, editor, newspaper publisher and founder, The New York Tribune.  The Tribune endorsed the anti-slavery Whig Party, later the Republican Party.  He opposed the war with Mexico and the extension of slavery to the new territory.  Greeley was a member of the American Colonization Society.  In 1852, he became a supporter of the Free Soil movement and keeping Kansas as a free state.  Was in favor of abolishing slavery by legal and Constitutional means.  Member of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Major opponent of slavery. Co-founder, Republican Party in 1856, endorsing John C. Frémont as President.  Supporter of the Union.  Encouraged President Lincoln to emancipate slaves during the war in a letter entitled, “The Prayer of Twenty Millions.”  When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1864, Greeley’s Tribune declared “God bless Abraham Lincoln.”

GREEN, Beriah, 1795-1874, New York, clergyman, reformer, abolitionist leader. President and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Founding officer and member of the Executive Committee of the New York Anti-Slavery Society in October 1836.  Reformer, minister, active supporter of the anti-slavery Liberty Party.

GREW, Henry, Reverend, 1781-1862, Boston, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Society of Friends, Quaker, clergyman, religious writer, reformer, abolitionist leader. Daughters were Mary and Susan Grew, both abolitionists.  Active in abolition movements.  Vice President of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), 1853.  Founding member of the New England Anti-Slavery Society, 1832.  Attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, England, in June 1840.

GREW, Mary, 1813-1896, abolitionist leader, Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS), Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Leader of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society.  Grew was an officer of the national branch of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Co-editor of the Pennsylvania Freeman.  Was active in the Free Produce Association.  In 1840, Grew and other women were elected as delegates at the World Anti-Slavery Convention.  They were, however, excluded from the floor.  After 1840, she was involved in women’s rights and other reform activities.  Daughter of abolitionist Henry Grew.  She was a stronger supporter and friend of prominent abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.

GRIFFING, Josephine Sophia White, 1814-1872, Connecticut, abolitionist leader, women’s rights leader, active in Underground Railroad in Ohio, wife of Charles Stockman Spooner Griffing, also a strong abolitionist, member and agent for the Western Anti-Slavery Society. She was a major contributor to the abolitionist paper The Anti-Slavery Bugle.  The Griffing home was a station on the Underground Railroad in Ohio.  Active in Women’s National Loyal League, which tried to outlaw slavery.  Agent for the National Freedman’s Relief Association of the District of Columbia.

GRIMES, Leonard A., Reverend, 1815?-1873, born in Virginia, Washington, DC, African American, clergyman, abolitionist.  Active in the Underground Railroad in the Nation’s capitol, aiding fugitive slaves.  Arrested and served 2 years.

GRIMKÉ, Angelina Emily (Mrs. Theodore Weld), 1805-1879, Society of Friends, Quaker, reformer, radical abolitionist leader, author, orator. Born into a wealthy slave-holding family in Charleston, South Carolina.  Abhorred slavery and left for the North in 1829.  Wrote anti-slavery work, An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South, 1836.  Member and agent for the Anti-Slavery Society of New York.  Actively supported women’s rights issues.  Co-authored and compiled American Slavery as It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses in 1839 with her husband, Theodore Weld, and her sister, Sarah Moore Grimké.

GRIMKÉ, Charlotte Forten “Lottie,” 1837-1914, free African American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, abolitionist leader, women’s rights activist, writer, intellectual. She was a member of the prominent African American Forten family.  They were active abolitionists and members of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee.  Her mother and aunts were founding members and leaders of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society.  Charlotte was a member of the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society and was active early in the African American civil rights movement.  She wrote anti-slavery poetry for the abolitionist movement.  During the Civil War, she worked for the former slave community in the South Carolina Sea Islands, Port Royal Experiment.

GRIMKÉ, Sarah Moore, 1792-1873, Society of Friends, Quaker, reformer, radical abolitionist, author. Born into a wealthy slave-holding family in Charleston, South Carolina.  Abhorred slavery and moved to Philadelphia in 1821.  Wrote An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States, 1836, disclaiming the notion that the Bible justified slavery.  Member of the Anti-Slavery Society of New York.  Actively supported women’s rights issues.  Co-authored and compiled American Slavery as It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses in 1839 with sister, Angelina Emily Grimké, and her brother-in-law, Theodore Weld.

GROSVENOR, Cyrus Pitt, Reverend, 1792-1879, Salem, Massachusetts, clergyman, abolitionist leader, anti-slavery agent, anti-slavery Baptist minister, educator. President of New York Central College.  Lectured on anti-slavery.  Founding member of the New England Anti-Slavery Society (NEASS), 1832.  American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) Vice President, 1834-1835, Manager, 1839-1840, 1840-1841.  Member of the Liberty Party.  Leader of the anti-slavery movement in Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Co-founded the abolitionist Wesleyan Methodist Connection of America and the American Baptist Anti-Slavery Convention.



HALE, John Parker, 1806-1873, New Hampshire, statesman, diplomat, U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator. Member of the anti-slavery Liberty Party.  President of the Free Soil Party, 1852.  Elected to Congress in 1842, he opposed the 21st Rule suppressing anti-slavery petitions to Congress.  Refused to support the annexation of Texas in 1845.  Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1846, he was the first distinctively anti-slavery Senator.  Adamantly opposed slavery for his 16 years in office.  In 1851, served as Counsel in the trial of rescued slave Shadrach.  In 1852, he was nominated for President of the United States, representing the Free Soil Party.  As U.S. Senator, actively supported the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.

HAMILTON, Alexander, 1757-1804, founding father, statesman, first Secretary of the Treasury, anti-slavery activist, second President of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, founded in 1785. Hamilton wrote: “Were not the disadvantages of slavery too obvious to stand in need of it, I might enumerate and describe the tedious train of calamities inseparable from it. I might show that it is fatal to religion and morality; that it tends to debase the mind, and corrupt its noblest springs of action. I might show that it relaxes the sinews of industry, clips the wings of commerce, and introduces misery and indigence in every shape.”

HAMLIN, Hannibal, 1809-1891. Vice President of the United States, 1861-1865, under President Abraham Lincoln. Congressman from Maine, 1843-1847.  U.S. Senator from Maine, 1848-1857, 1857-1861, and 1869-1881.  Was an adamant opponent of the extension of slavery into the new territories.  Supported the Wilmot Proviso and spoke against the compromise laws of 1850.  Opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.  Early founding member of the Republican Party.  Supported Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and creation of African American regiments for the Union Army.

HARPER, Frances Ellen Watkins, 1825-1911, African American, poet, writer, abolitionist, political activist. Wrote antislavery poetry. With William Still, was the head of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.  She aided fugitive slaves in escaping to freedom in Canada.  Harper was active with the American Anti-Slavery Society as a lecturer from 1856-1860.  After the Civil War, she continued to work in African American and women’s rights.

HAVILAND, Laura Smith, 1808-1898, New York, Society of Friends, Quaker, anti-slavery activist. October 8, 1832, co-founded, with Elizabeth Margaret Chandler, the Logan Female Anti-Slavery Society in Lenawee County, Michigan Territory.  Founded the Raisin Institute.  In the 1830s, Laura and her husband, Charles Haviland, Jr., helped fugitive slaves.  Their home was a station on the Underground Railroad.  The Haviland’s advocated for immediate emancipation of slaves.

HAWLEY, Joseph Roswell, 1826-1905, statesman, clergyman, lawyer, editor, opponent of slavery, Union officer. Member of the Free Soil Party.  Chairman of Connecticut Free Soil State Committee.  He opposed pro-slavery Know-Nothing Party and aided in anti-slavery organizing.  Helped organize and found the Republican Party in 1856.  In 1857, became editor of the Republican newspaper, Evening Press in Hartford.  Enlisted in the Union Army, rising to the rank of Brigadier General, commanding both a division and a brigade.

HAYNES, Lemuel, Reverend, 1753-1833, former slave, Revolutionary War veteran, early abolitionist, clergyman.  Wrote essay “Liberty Further Extended,” criticizing slavery in the United States, called slavery corrupt and sinful.

HAZZARD, Thomas (“College Tom”), 1720-1798, Rhode Island, Society of Friends, Quaker, early abolitionist leader. In 1774, submitted a bill to the Rhode Island legislature trying to prohibit the importation of slaves.  In 1783, successfully petitioned the same legislature to abolish the slave trade.  Hazzard was a member of the Providence Society for the Abolishing of the Slave Trade.

HENSON, Josiah, 1789-1883, born a slave in Maryland, led one hundred slaves to freedom, founded Community of Former Slaves in Ontario, Canada. Said to be the basis for Uncle Tom in Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Founded British American Manual Labor Institute in Canada.  A Methodist clergyman, he spoke out against slavery in the United States and Great Britain.

HICKS, Elias, 1748-1830, Society of Friends, Quaker minister, Long Island farmer, abolitionist leader, founder of Hicksite sect of Quakerism, which believed in a radical form of abolitionism. He believed slavery was a sin and was one of the first Quakers to oppose the institution.  Together with other anti-slavery activists, he lobbied the state of New York to pass an act on July 4, 1827, to free slaves in New York.

HIGGINSON, Thomas Wentworth Storrow, 1823-1911, author, editor, Unitarian clergyman, woman’s suffrage advocate, soldier, radical abolitionist. Served on the Boston vigilance committees to rescue fugitive slaves, including escaped slave Anthony Burns.  Supported Kansas as a non-slaveholding state.  Secretly supported radical abolitionist John Brown, and his raid on the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, on October 16, 1859.  Colonel of the all-African American First South Carolina Volunteer Regiment.  This was the first African American regiment authorized by the Union Army.  He served with his regiment until he was wounded in May 1864.  Wrote an autobiography, Army Life in a Black Regiment.

HOLLEY, Myron, 1779-1841, Rochester, New York, abolitionist leader, political leader, reformer. Holly became active in the anti-slavery movement in 1837. He was co-founder of the Liberty Party in 1840, in which he supported anti-slavery Congressman James G. Birney for President.  Holley published the anti-slavery newspaper, Rochester Freeman, from 1839 until his death.  Father of abolitionist Sallie Holley.

HOLLEY, Sallie, b. 1818, New York, abolitionist, women’s rights leader, orator, lecturer, educator, graduate of Oberlin College. She attended a lecture by abolitionist Abbey Kelly and joined the abolitionist cause.  Holley became an agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society.  She lectured against slavery in Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania.  Caroline Putnam went with her on the lecture circuit.  Holley also wrote for Garrison’s newspaper, The Liberator.  During the Civil War, continued to work for African Americans, collecting clothes and supplies.  After the war, she and Putnam volunteered to educate freed slaves.  They established a school in the South in Lottsburg, Virginia.  Daughter of abolitionist leader Myron Holley.

HOPKINS, Reverend Dr. Samuel, 1721-1803, Newport, Rhode Island, theologian, opponent of slavery. Pastor of the First Congregational Church of New port, Rhode Island. Wrote A Dialogue Concerning the Slavery of Africans, 1776.  Called slavery a “scene of inhumanity, oppression and cruelty, exceeding everything of the kind that has ever been perpetrated by the sons of men.”

HOPKINS, Stephen, 1707-1785, Rhode Island, founding father, political leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Hopkins was a slaveholder.  He manumitted several of his slaves, but not all, during his lifetime.  In 1774, as a Rhode Island Assemblyman, he introduced a bill prohibiting importing slaves into the colony, which was passed.  This was one of the earliest anti-slavery laws enacted in the United States.  Hopkins was a practicing Quaker.

HOPPER, Isaac Tatem, 1771-1852, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Society of Friends, Quaker, prison reformer, philanthropist, radical abolitionist leader. Member Free Produce Society of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Abolition Society, and Treasurer of the Anti-Slavery Society. He was a conductor on the Underground Railroad, which helped an estimated 3,000 African American fugitive slaves to escape to Canada.  In 1841, co-edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard with Lydia Maria Child.  Hopper and his son were attacked by an angry mob.  Hopper was later disowned by the New York Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends for his anti-slavery activities.

HOWARD, Oliver Otis. Howard was a prominent Union general commanding the Eleventh Corps in the Army of the Potomac.  He later commanded the Army of the Tennessee during Sherman’s March to the Sea and Carolinas Campaign.  He was well known for his abolitionist beliefs and actions.  At the end of the Civil War, he was put in charge of the Freedman’s Bureau.

HOWE, Julia Ward, 1819-1910, abolitionist, women’s suffrage advocate, social activist, poet, essayist. Author of the poem, “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which was sung to the tune of “John Brown’s Body.” Wife of abolitionist Samuel Gridley Howe, whom she aided in the publishing and editing of the Boston Anti-slavery newspaper, the Commonwealth before the Civil War.  In 1869, she and abolitionist and women’s rights activist Lucy Stone led American Women Suffrage Association.  In 1873, she co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Women.  She was involved in women’s rights and suffrage the rest of her life.

HOWE, Dr. Samuel Gridley, 1801-1876, abolitionist leader, philanthropist, physician, reformer. Gridley became active in the anti-slavery movement in the early 1830’s.  At first, he supported compensated emancipation for slaves.  Free Soil candidate for Congress from Boston in 1846.  From 1851-1853 he edited the anti-slavery newspaper, the Boston Daily Commonwealth. Supported radical abolitionist John Brown. Active with the Sanitary Commission during the Civil War.  Member of the American Freedman’s Inquiry Commission, 1863. Husband of Julia Ward Howe.

HUNTER, David Dard (“Black David”), 1802-1886, General, U.S. Army. In 1862, he organized and formed all-Black U.S. Army regiments without authorization from the Union War Department.  Established the African American First South Carolina Volunteer Regiment in May 1862.  Without authorization, he issued a proclamation that emancipated slaves in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.  President Lincoln ordered the Black troops disbanded and countermanded the emancipation order.

HUTCHINSON FAMILY SINGERS. The Hutchinson singers were known for their abolitionist sympathies.  They were active in the anti-slavery movement with William Lloyd Garrison, Horace Greeley, Rogers and other abolitionists.  They sang in large abolitionist rallies.  They traveled throughout the country during the presidential elections of 1856 and 1860.  During the Civil War, they sang patriotic songs to the soldiers.  General McClellan expelled them because they sang anti-slavery songs.  They appealed to President Lincoln, who allowed them to entertain Union soldiers.  The eldest Hutchinson, Jesse, wrote a number of songs, including “The Emancipation Song,” “The Slave Mother,” and “The Slave’s Appeal.”  The family was comprised of Jesse, Judson, John, Asa, and Abby.



JACKSON, Francis, 1789-1861, Boston, Massachusetts, merchant, social reformer, abolitionist. President, Vice President and Treasurer of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  President of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.  President of the Boston Vigilance Committee.  Jackson was involved in the defense of fugitive slave Anthony Burns in 1854.  Supported the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS).  Generously supported abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Isaac Knapp and their anti-slavery newspaper, the Liberator.  He aided fugitive slaves in his home on Hollis Street in Boston.

JAY, John, 1745-1829, New York, lawyer, statesman, founding father, diplomat, anti-slavery leader. President of the Continental Congress.  First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  Governor of the State of New York, 1795-1801.  New York State’s leading opponent of slavery.  Founder and president of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves and Protecting such of them as Have Been Liberated, founded 1785.  Attempted to end slavery in 1777 and 1785.  In 1799, he signed into law the Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, which eventually freed all the slaves in New York.  This act was arguably the most comprehensive and largest emancipation in North America before the Civil War.

JAY, Peter Augustus, 1776-1843, lawyer, anti-slavery activist. Son of first Chief Justice of the United States and diplomat John Jay.  President of the New York Manumission Society in 1816, and President of the Anti-Slavery New York Public School Society.  Advocated for suffrage for free African Americans.

JAY, William, 1789-1858, jurist, anti-slavery activist and abolitionist leader, anti-slavery Liberty Party. Son of first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay. In 1819, he strongly opposed the Missouri Compromise, which allowed the extension of slavery into the new territories.  Jay opposed the policies of the American Colonization Society, which sought to resettle blacks to Africa.  Drafted the constitution of the American Anti-Slavery Society and served on the Executive Committee.  He later co-founded the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  Jay wrote numerous articles and tracts on anti-slavery and defended the right to petition Congress against slavery.  He was removed as a judge of Westchester County, in New York, due to his antislavery activities.  Supported emancipation of slaves in the District of Columbia and the exclusion of slavery from new territories, although he did not advocate interfering with slave laws in the Southern states.

JOCELYN, Simeon S., Reverend, 1799-1879, New Haven, Connecticut, New York, NY, abolitionist leader. Vice President, 1834-1835, Manager and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Member of the Executive Committee, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-1855.  Co-founded the Amistad Committee with Lewis Tappan and Joshua Leavitt.  Active in the Underground Railroad, aiding escaped slaves.  Vice President and co-founder, New England Anti-Slavery Society (NEASS), 1832. Jocelyn worked with Garrison and Arthur Tappan to build an African American college in New Haven in 1831.  The project failed and he was forced to resign from his church.  Active in training Blacks in schools of manual arts.

JOHNSON, Oliver, 1809-1889, anti-slavery leader, newspaper editor, reformer. An early supporter of William Lloyd Garrison.  He was an officer in the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Occasionally helped Garrison in the editing of The Liberator.  In 1832, co-founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society.  Lectured extensively against slavery.  Johnson edited various anti-slavery newspapers, including the National Anti-Slavery Standard, the Pennsylvania Freeman, and the Anti-Slavery Bugle.

JONES, Absalom, 1746-1818, free African American, slave, first African American Protestant priest. Founded Free African Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1787.

JULIAN, George Washington, 1817-1899, Society of Friends, Quaker, statesman, lawyer, radical abolitionist leader from Indiana. He was co-founder and vice presidential candidate of the Free Soil Party.  Member of U.S. Congress from Indiana, 1850-1851.  Was against the Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Act.  Fought in court to prevent fugitive slaves from being returned to their owners.  Joined and supported early Republican Party.  Re-elected to Congress, 1861-1871.  Supported emancipation of slaves.  He was husband of Ann Elizabeth Finch, who was likewise opposed to slavery.  After her death in 1860, he married Laura Giddings, daughter of radical abolitionist Joshua Giddings.  At the beginning of the Civil War, he was a radical Republican whose goal was the end of slavery.  As early as 1847, Julian advocated for women’s suffrage.  Julian supported emancipation and voted for the Thirteenth Amendment to the constitution.  After the Civil War, he supported the right to vote for African Americans.



KEITH, George, circa 1639-1716, b. Aberdeen, Scotland, Society of Friends, Quaker. Early Quaker opponent of slavery. As a result, he was declared an apostate and disowned by the Philadelphia church in 1692.  Wrote early protest of slavery and owning slaves, An Exhortation and Caution to Friends Concerning Buying or Keeping of Negroes, in 1693.  Encouraged fellow Quakers to free their slaves.

KIMBALL, Joseph Horace, 1813-1836, author, abolitionist. Anti-slavery agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Editor of the Herald of Freedom newspaper of the New Hampshire Anti-Slavery Society.  He was sent to the British West Indies with abolitionist James A. Thome to observe and report on Black emancipation there.  They published Emancipation in the West Indies: a Six Months’ Tour in Antigua, Barbadoes, and Jamaica in 1837.

KIMBER, Abby, Pennsylvania, abolitionist. Delegate to the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society (PASS), Eastern Branch, Philadelphia, and Officer of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society (PFASS).  Attended World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, 1840.  Helped Passmore Williamson in the fugitive slave case in Philadelphia in 1855.

KING, John Alsop, 1788-1867, statesman, lawyer, soldier, political leader, diplomat, U.S. Congressman, Governor of New York. He opposed compromises on issues of slavery, especially the Fugitive Slave Law.  Supported admission of California as a free state.  Active in the Whig Party and later founding member of the Republican Party in 1856.  Elected Governor of New York in 1856, serving one term.

KING, Leicester, 1789-1856, Warren, Ohio, abolitionist leader, political leader, businessman, jurist, leader of the anti-slavery Liberty Party. Manager, 1837-1839, and Vice President, 1839-1840, American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Ohio State Senator, 1835-1839.  Member, Whig Party.  U.S. Vice Presidential candidate, Liberty Party, in 1848.

KING, Preston, 1806-1865, U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator, politician. Son of founding father Rufus King.  Supporter of the Wilmot Proviso in Congress, which opposed the extension of slavery into the new territories acquired from Mexico after 1846.  Co-founder of Free Soil Party.  Opposed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854.  U.S. Senator, 1857-1863.  Helped organize Republican Party and supported William H. Seward, Thurlow Weed and John Frémont. Supported Lincoln and the Union.

KING, Rufus, 1755-1827, Massachusetts, statesman, founding father, lawyer, diplomat, soldier, early opponent of slavery. Member of the Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  U.S. Congressional Representative and U.S. Senator.  Wrote clause in Northwest Ordinance excluding slavery from Northwest Territories.  It stated, in part, “that there should be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the states,” and that this should “remain a fundamental principle of the Constitution…”  As a Senator in 1819, he opposed the admission of Missouri as a slave state.  King proposed laws in the Senate to abolish slavery.  His son was anti-slavery activist John Alsop King.

KNAPP, Isaac, Boston, Massachusetts, printer, newspaper editor and publisher, abolitionist. Helped William Lloyd Garrison found the abolitionist newspaper, Liberator, in 1831.  Served as its editor and publisher of the Liberator until 1842.  Manager and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  He was indicted in Raleigh, North Carolina, for circulating the paper there.  Co-founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society.  Published and distributed numerous anti-slavery pamphlets.



LANE, Lunsford, 1803-1870, North Carolina, author, fugitive slave, abolitionist. Lunsford Lane was born a slave near Raleigh, North Carolina.  He purchased his freedom for $1,000 and later purchased the freedom of his family.  He went to New York in 1835.  He was active in giving speeches on slavery and abolition.  He was arrested and nearly lynched when he travelled to Raleigh to purchase the freedom of enslaved members of his family.  He was saved by local sympathetic White residents.  He then settled in Philadelphia.  Published The Narrative of Lunsford Lane, Formerly of Raleigh, N.C., Embracing an Account of his Early Life, the Redemption by Purchase of Himself and Family from Slavery, and his Banishment from his Place of Birth for the Crime of Wearing a Colored Skin. 1842.  His book was widely distributed and was used to promote the abolitionist cause.

LANGSTON, Charles Henry, 1817-1892, Ohio, African American (Black mother, White father), abolitionist leader. He and his brother, Gideon, were the first African Americans to attend Oberlin College.  Active in Ohio Negro Convention Movement.  Helped found the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society in 1858.  Active in Liberty, Free Soil and Republican parties.  Involved in slave rescue in violation of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  During the Civil War, he recruited Black troops for the Union Army.  He was the grandfather of the noted poet Langston Hughes.

LANGSTON, John Mercer, 1829-1897, Ohio, free African American, lawyer, diplomat, educator, abolitionist, political leader. Brother of Charles Henry Langston.  Graduate of Oberlin College.  Langston aided fugitive slaves as a member of the Underground Railroad.  Helped found the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society with his brother Charles in 1858.  Recruited soldiers for the U.S. Colored Troops for the Union Army, enlisting soldiers for the 54th and 55th Regiments from Boston, Massachusetts.  After the war, he was appointed Inspector General for the Freedman’s Bureau.  Also worked for African American suffrage.  First African American elected to Congress from Virginia.  U. S. Congressman, Virginia, 4th District, 1890-1891.  First Dean of Howard University law school, Washington, DC.

LAY, Benjamin, 1677(?)-1759, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Society of Friends, Quaker leader, anti-slavery activist, temperance activist, and opponent of the death penalty. Lay promoted colonization projects.  He published “Apostates!” and “All Slave Keepers, That Keep the Innocent in Bondage…”  At a Society of Friends meeting in Philadelphia in 1758, he encouraged Quakers who were slaveholders to “set them at liberty, making a Christian provision for them.”  He was excommunicated by the Quakers twice for his anti-slavery activities.  He lobbied governors of neighboring provinces against the evils of slavery.  Poet John Greenleaf Whittier said of Lay that he was an “irrepressible prophet who troubled the Israel of slaveholding Quakerism, clinging like a rough chestnut to the skirts of its respectability and settling like a pertinacious gadfly on the sore places of its conscience.”  He was a lifelong friend of fellow abolitionist Benjamin Franklin.

LEAVITT, Joshua, 1794-1873, New York, reformer, temperance activist, editor, abolitionist leader. Early in his life, was an active supporter of the American Colonization Society, raising funds for them.  Co-founded the New York Anti-Slavery Society, which later merged with the National Anti-Slavery Society.  Founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), New York, 1833.  Advocated political action to end slavery, which led him to help found the Liberty Party.  Member of the Executive Committee, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (A&FASS).  Edited the newspaper, The Evangelist, which was founded by abolitionists Arthur and Lewis Tappan.  He later became editor of The Emancipator, which was founded by Arthur Tappan in 1833.  He opposed the war with Mexico.  Leavitt toured extensively, lecturing against slavery.  His speeches were edited into a pamphlet entitled, “The Financial Power of Slavery.”  It was one of the most widely circulated documents against slavery.

LEE, Luther, 1800-1889, clergyman, Methodist congregation, Utica, New York, abolitionist leader. Began his abolitionist career in 1837.  Helped create Wesleyan anti-slavery societies.  In 1843, co-founded the anti-slavery Wesleyan Methodist Connection of America, of which he became president.  Lecturer for New York Anti-Slavery Society (NYASS) and agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society.  He was an officer in the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (AFASS), 1846-1852.  Luther was attacked on a number of occasions by pro-slavery advocates.  In 1840, Lee helped to co-found the Liberty Party. Wrote his autobiography (1882).

LEMEN, James D., d. 1870, New Design, Virginia, clergyman. Organized eight Baptist Churches on abolitionist principles.  Worked against pro-slavery petitions.  Sent to U.S. Congress.  Leader of the anti-slavery cause in Indiana Territory.  Organized The Baptized Church of Christ, Friends of Humanity, on Cantine Creek, whose constitution opposed slavery.  Its members formed the Illinois Anti-Slavery League.

LEMOYNE, Francis Julius, 1798-1879, Washington, Pennsylvania, physician, philanthropist, abolitionist leader. Le Moyne became active in the abolitionist movement in the 1830s.  Was against the colonization movement.  Le Moyne was a manager in the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), 1837-1840, 1840-1841.  Co-founder and Vice President of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-1851.   He was a strong financial supporter of William Lloyd Garrison’s newspaper, the Liberator.  He also was a counsellor for Garrison.  He supported the slave girl “Med” in her trial.  Supported sending anti-slavery petitions to state legislatures and Congress.  In 1840, ran as the vice presidential candidate of the Liberty Party.  Also unsuccessfully ran on Pennsylvania abolitionist tickets, 1841, 1844, 1847.  Was active in helping fugitive slaves in the Underground Railroad.  Founded Le Moyne College in 1870 in Memphis, Tennessee.

LEONHARDT, Charles, militant abolitionist. Charles Leonhardt fought with fellow militant abolitionist John Brown during the territorial dispute in Kansas.  He organized the first Free State Guerrilla Forces in the territory.

LINCOLN, Abraham, 1809-1865, 16th President of the United States (1861-1865), opponent of slavery, known as the Great Emancipator.  As a U.S. Congressman from Illinois, he opposed the war with Mexico and supported the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to prevent slavery in new territories acquired during the war.  He wrote a bill with anti-slavery Congressman Joshua R. Giddings to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia.  Lincoln opposed the pro-slavery Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which allowed slavery in new territories.  Lincoln was morally opposed to slavery.  In a speech in 1854, Lincoln stated, “I cannot but hate it.  I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself.  I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its influence in the world…”  Lincoln supported the American Colonization Society and its policy to colonize Liberia.  He declared in 1854, “If all earthly power were given to me […] my first impulse would be to free all slaves, and send them to Liberia, -- to their own native land.”  In August 1858, Lincoln stated, “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.”  Issued Emancipation Proclamation January 1, 1863, freeing slaves in Confederate states.  Lincoln sponsored the Thirteenth Amendment, for which he had lobbied and which was passed by Congress on January 1, 1865, ending slavery in the United States.  By the end of the Civil War, more than four million slaves were liberated from bondage.

LOGUEN, Jermain Wesley, 1813-1872, African American clergyman, speaker, author, former slave, abolitionist. Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.  Supported the anti-slavery Liberty Party.  Conductor, Underground Railroad, aiding hundreds of fugitive slaves, in Syracuse, New York.  In 1851, he himself escaped to Canada when he was indicted for helping a fugitive slave.  Wrote autobiography, The Rev. J. W. Loguen, as a Slave and as a Freeman, A Narrative of Real Life. 1859.

LORING, Ellis Gray, 1803-1858, Boston, Massachusetts, lawyer, abolitionist leader. Manager and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), December 1833.  Manager, AASS, 1833-1840, 1840-1843, Executive Committee, 1843-1844.  Husband to abolitionist Louisa Loring of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS).  Auditor, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1844-1845.  Co-founded and wrote the constitution of the New England Anti-Slavery Society (NEASS) in 1833.  Financially aided the abolitionist newspaper the Liberator.  Was the attorney for the defense of a slave child in Massachusetts Supreme Court.  This resulted in a landmark ruling that every slave brought to the state by the owner was legally free.  Life member of the BFASS.  After his death, Wendell Phillips said: “The great merit of Mr. Loring's anti-slavery life was, he laid on the altar of the slave's needs all his peculiar tastes. Refined, domestic, retiring, contemplative, loving literature, art, and culture, he saw there was no one else to speak, therefore he was found in the van. It was the uttermost instance of self-sacrifice—more than money, more than reputation, though he gave both.”

LOVEJOY, Elijah Parrish, 1802-1837, newspaper publisher, editor, writer, clergyman, abolitionist leader. In 1833, he became editor of the St. Louis newspaper the Observer.  In the paper, he opposed slavery and supported gradual emancipation.  Due to threats, he moved the paper to Alton, Illinois, in 1836.  He renamed the paper the Alton Observer.  There, his life was threatened and his press was destroyed three times by pro-slave mobs.  His brother was abolitionist Owen Lovejoy.  On November 7, 1837, Lovejoy was shot and killed by a pro-slavery mob.  Lovejoy became a symbol and martyr of the abolitionist cause.

LOVEJOY, Owen, 1811-1864, clergyman, abolitionist, U.S. Congressman. Illinois Anti-Slavery Society.  Active in Underground Railroad.  Member, Illinois State Legislature.  Brother of anti-slavery newspaper publisher, Elijah Parrish Lovejoy.  Like his brother, Owen Lovejoy was a strong supporter of William Lloyd Garrison.  He was elected to Congress in 1856 and actively supported the abolition of slavery in Congress until his death in 1864.

LUNDY, Benjamin, 1789-1839, philanthropist, Society of Friends, Quaker, radical abolitionist leader, anti-slavery author and editor. Lundy was one of the most important early abolitionists.  Lundy was one of the first abolitionists to publish anti-slavery periodicals and give anti-slavery lectures.  He was also among the first to create societies that would encourage people to buy products produced by free labor.  He was a founding member and officer in the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Organized the anti-slavery Union Humane Society, St. Clairsville, Ohio, in 1816, and wrote anti-slavery articles for the Philanthropist newspaper in Mount Pleasant, Ohio.  In 1821, he founded and published the newspaper, Genius of Universal Emancipation, in Greenville, Tennessee.  It was circulated in more than 21 states and territories, including slave states.  He was a member of the Tennessee Manumission Society.  In 1825, Lundy travelled to Haiti to negotiate with government officials to see if freed slaves in the United States could settle there.  In August 1825, he founded the Maryland Anti-Slavery Society, which advocated for direct political action to end slavery.  He lectured extensively and helped organize numerous anti-slavery groups in the Northeast.  Lundy supported establishing colonies of freed slaves in Mexico.  In the winter of 1829, he was badly beaten and almost killed by a slaveholder who accused him of libel.  In 1836, published The National Enquirer and Constitutional Advocate of Universal Liberty, a weekly paper.  In 1837, co-founded the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.  In 1838, his property was destroyed by a fire set by a pro-slavery mob.



MANN, Horace, 1796-1859, educator, political leader, social reformer. U.S. Congressman, Whig Party, from Massachusetts.  Co-founder of the Young Men’s Colonization Society in Boston.  Co-founded the monthly paper, The Colonizationist and Journal of Freedom.  Mann defended the American Colonization Society against criticism by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.  Opposed extension of slavery in territories annexed in the Mexican War of 1846.  Said, “I consider no evil as great as slavery...”  Argued against the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.  Reelected to Congress and served from April 1848 until March 1853.

MARTINEAU, Harriet, 1802-1876, Massachusetts, abolitionist, member of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS) and Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society (MASS). Delegate to the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Invited to attend the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, June 1840.

MARTYN, Sarah Towne Smith, 1805-1879, author, reformer, temperance activist, abolitionist.

MASON, George, 1725-1792, statesman. Virginia Constitutionalist.  Slaveholder who himself opposed slavery on moral grounds.  Authored the Virginia Declaration of Rights.  Opposed the U.S. Constitution because of the policy on the issue of slavery.  Mason wrote: “Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant.  They bring the judgment of heaven on a country.”  Mason did not sign the U.S. Constitution and stated during the Virginia Ratifying Convention debate: “Under the royal government, this evil was looked upon as a great oppression, and was one of the great causes of our separation from Great Britain.  Its exclusion has been a principal object of this state and most of the states in the Union.  The augmentation of slaves weakens the states; and such a trade is diabolical in itself and disgraceful to mankind… As much as I value a union of all the states, I would not admit the Southern States into the Union unless they agree to the discontinuance of this disgraceful trade, because it would bring weakness, and not strength, to the Union.”

MATTHEWS, Stanley, 1824-1889, lawyer, jurist, newspaper editor, anti-slavery activist, soldier and U.S. Senator, State Senator, 1855-1857, and U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Ohio, 1858-1861. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1881-1889.  Assistant editor of the anti-slavery newspaper, the Cincinnati Herald, the first abolitionist paper there. Served in the Union Army, attaining the rank of Colonel, commanding both a regiment and a brigade.

MAY, Reverend Samuel Joseph, 1797-1871, Connecticut, reformer, temperance activist, Unitarian minister, early supporter of women’s rights. May originally supported the idea of colonization in the 1820’s, but became an advocate for immediate, uncompensated emancipation of slaves.  In 1833-1834, he supported Prudence Crandall’s School for African American Girls in Canterbury, Connecticut.  Vice president and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Co-founder and Agent of the New England Anti-Slavery Society, and an officer and General Agent of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.  May was opposed to both the annexation of Texas and the Mexican War.  He adamantly opposed the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law and actively called for resistance to it.  Active in Underground Railroad in Syracuse, New York.  In 1851, he helped rescue a fugitive slave, Jerry McHenry, from the federal government.  Early supporter of William Lloyd Garrison.  In 1856, he joined the anti-slavery Republican Party, supporting John Frémont for the presidency of the United States.  He remained active in the abolitionist movement until 1863.  After the Civil War, he supported the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

MCCRUMMELL, James, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, abolitionist. Manager, 1833-1837, and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.

MCKIM, James Miller, 1810-1874, reformer, abolitionist. Founding member and anti-slavery agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Manager, AASS, 1843-1853.  Lectured on anti-slavery in Pennsylvania.  Publishing agent, Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.  Editor, Pennsylvania Freeman.

MERCER, Margaret, 1791-1846, abolitionist, anti-slavery activist, reformer, educator. Mercer was active in the American Colonization Society.  She and others wanted to encourage other slaveholders to manumit their slaves, which would eventually eliminate slavery.  She inherited slaves after her father died.  She freed her slaves in 1846 and paid their way to Liberia.  In addition, she raised money to buy freedom for other enslaved individuals and to pay for their education in Liberia.

MIFFLIN, Warner, 1745-1798, Virginia, Elder of the Society of Friends, Quaker, abolitionist leader. Mifflin inherited slaves through his marriage.  He came to oppose slavery and manumitted his slaves in October 1774 and January 1775.  He encouraged his fellow Quakers to free their slaves.  Delegate of the Delaware Abolition Society.  Lobbied to pass 1782 Virginia law for private manumission of slaves.  Lifelong opponent of slavery.  Called for immediate emancipation.  Mifflin opposed Gag Resolutions in Congress to submit anti-slavery petitions.  He lobbied the U.S. Congress and the state legislatures of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina in opposition to slavery.  Wrote A Serious Expostulation with the Members of the House of Representatives of the United States.

MORGAN, Edwin Dennison, 1811-1883, merchant, soldier, statesman. Member of the anti-slavery faction of the Whig Party.  Republican U.S. Senator from New York.  Chairman of the Republican National Committee, 1856-1864.  Governor of New York, 1858-1862.  Commissioned Major General of Volunteers, he raised 223,000 troops for the Union Army.  U.S. Senator, 1863-1869.  Supported the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.

MORRILL, Lot Myrick, 1813-1883, lawyer, temperance advocate, opposed slavery, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 1876, two-term Republican Governor of Maine, U.S. Senator, 1861-1869. Joined the Republican Party in 1856 due to his position against slavery and its expansion into the new territories.  Supported Confiscation Acts that freed enslaved individuals held by the Confederate Army in the South and the bill in Congress that emancipated slaves in Washington, DC.  Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. After the war, he supported higher education for African Americans.  In 1866, he supported voting rights for African Americans in Washington, DC.

MORRIS, Gouverneur, 1752-1816, Pennsylvania, statesman, diplomat, founding father, opponent of slavery. Delegate to the Continental Congress.  Framer and author of parts of the U.S. Constitution, representing Pennsylvania in 1787.  He was called the “penman of the Constitution.”  He called slavery a “nefarious institution… the curse of Heaven on the state where it prevailed…a defiance of the most sacred laws of humanity.” Working with John Jay, Morris tried to abolish slavery in the State of New York.

MORRIS, Thomas, 1776-1844, Cincinnati, Ohio, Virginia, first abolitionist Senator, 1833, vice president of the Liberty Party, abolitionist, Ohio lawmaker 1806-1830, Chief Justice of the State of Ohio 1830-1833, U.S. Senator 1833-1838. Opposed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793.  Morris declared: “I have always believed slavery to be wrong in principle, in practice, in every country, and under every condition of things.  So radically wrong, that no time, place, or circumstances can palliate it, or give it even the appearance of being right; and that American slavery is the most obnoxious of its kind, a libel upon our republican institutions, and ruinous to the best interests of our country.  I have repeatedly asserted that the framers of the Constitution of the United States intended that its whole moral power should operate to the extinguishment of slavery in the country, and that it no where guarantees the existence of slavery, or the right of the master to the slave.”  Executive Committee, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (A&FASS), 1840-1844.  Vice President of the American Colonization Society (ACS), 1839-1841.  Fought for right to petition Congress against slavery.  Introduced petitions to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia.  Opposed Senator Calhoun’s resolution of 1837.  Was not re-elected due to his anti-slavery position.

MOTT, James, 1788-1868, Philadelphia, philanthropist, women’s rights activist, abolitionist. Husband of Lucretia Mott.  James Mott was a member of the Society of Friends and like his wife, a radical abolitionist, social reformer and women’s suffrage advocate.  Mott was in the cotton business and ended it because of his not wanting to trade in a product produced by slave labor.  Both he and his wife were attacked for their anti-slavery principles and activities.  They worked as abolitionists until full emancipation in 1865.  Mott, along with his wife, helped to found the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833.  He was co-founder of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, member of the Free Produce Society of Pennsylvania, and the Association for Advancing the Cause of the Slave.  In 1840, he and his wife attended the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London.  Their home was a station on the Underground Railroad, where they harbored fugitive slaves.  In 1848, Mott led the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York.

MOTT, Lucretia Coffin, 1793-1880, Society of Friends, Quaker, radical abolitionist, reformer, women’s suffragist. In 1833, was co-founder and first president of the Philadelphia Female American Anti-Slavery Society.  Member of the Association of Friends for Advocating the Cause of the Slave.  Member of the Hicksite Anti-Slavery Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She was wife to abolitionist James Mott.  They helped to organize the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833.  Both were attacked for their advocacy of abolition.  The Mott’s attended the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840.  The convention refused to recognize Lucretia Mott and the other official women delegates of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  This action led directly to Stanton leading and organizing the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848.  The Mott family’s home was a station on the Underground Railroad, where they aided fugitive slaves.  With the conclusion of the Civil War and emancipation, the Mott’s advocated for black suffrage, working with the Friends Association of Philadelphia for the Aid and Elevation of the Freedmen.  Wrote memoir, Life, 1884.



NEALL, Elizabeth, abolitionist leader, women’s rights activist. Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PFASS).  Officer, Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society (PASS).  Attended World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London, 1840.  Wife of abolitionist Daniel Neall.

NELL, William Cooper, 1816-1874, African American, abolitionist leader, author, civil rights activist, community leader. Co-founder of the Boston Vigilance Committee (BVC) in 1841, and co-founder of the New England Freedom Association (NEFA), 1842, which protected fugitive slaves from being captured and returned to slavery in the South.  Wrote Services of Colored Americans in the Wars of 1776 and 1812.  In 1861, was the first African American to be appointed a clerk in the U.S. Post Office.  Active in equal rights for African American school children in Boston, Massachusetts.

NELSON, David, 1793-1844, Tennessee, abolitionist leader, Army surgeon, clergyman. Pastor in the Presbyterian Church, Danville, Kentucky, in 1828.  Slaveholder who freed his enslaved persons.  Founder and President of Marion College, Palmyra, Missouri.  Advocate of compensated emancipation.  Vice President and Agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  He later moved to western Illinois, where he continued his anti-slavery activities.  Nelson introduced noted abolitionist Elijah P. Lovejoy to the cause.

NORTHUP, Solomon, b. 1808, free African American man. Northup was kidnapped by slavers in Washington City in 1841 and illegally forced into slavery for 12 years.  In 1853, he was rescued by Northern abolitionists and returned to his family in Washington.  Northup wrote Twelve Years a Slave in that same year.  He worked as a member of the Underground Railroad to help escaped slaves to flee to Canada.  His book was published by Northern abolitionists, and was used prominently in the abolitionist cause.  The date of his death is unknown.  His book was made into a major motion picture by the same name in 2013.  It was nominated for and awarded the Best Picture Oscar in 2014.



OSBORN, Charles, 1775-1850, Kentucky and Mt. Pleasant, Ripley, Ohio, farmer, clergyman, Society of Friends, Quaker, radical abolitionist, opponent of African colonization. Publisher of The Philanthropist, founded 1817.  With John Rankin, organized the Manumission Society of Tennessee in 1815.  Founded manumission societies in North Carolina in 1816.  The societies advocated for gradual emancipation.  Founder of the anti-slavery newspaper, Manumission Intelligencer, in 1819.  In the 1830’s, Osborn affiliated himself with the Garrisonian abolition movement, which called for immediate, uncompensated emancipation.  In 1842, Osborn co-founded the Free Produce Society of Wayne County, Indiana, and co-founded the Free Labor Advocate and Anti-Slavery Chronicle.  As a result of his anti-slavery action, he was forced out of the Quaker Indiana Meeting.  In 1843, he co-founded the Indiana Yearly Meeting of Anti-Slavery Friends.  It had 2,000 members.

OWEN, Robert Dale, 1801-1877, author, abolitionist, diplomat, reformer. Member of the American Freedman’s Inquiry Commission and the U.S. War Department, 1863.  Democratic Congressman from Indiana.  Anti-slavery and women’s rights activist.  Strong advocate of wartime emancipation of slaves.  Wrote “The Wrong of Slavery, the Right of Emancipation, and the Future of the African Race” (Philadelphia, 1864), of which Secretary Salmon P. Chace wrote that it “had more effect in deciding the president to make the [Emancipation] Proclamation than all other communications combined.”



PAINE, Thomas, 1737-1809, founding father printer, author, statesman, abolitionist. Wrote Slavery in America (1775), Common Sense (1776) and The Rights of Man (1791).  Member of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.  Drafted gradual abolition law in Pennsylvania.  About slavery, Paine wrote, “But to go to nations with whom there is no war, who have no way provoked, without farther design of conquest, purely to catch inoffensive people, like wild beasts, for slaves, is a height of outrage against Humanity and Justice, that seems left by Heathen nations to be practiced by pretended Christians…  As these people are not convicted of forfeiting freedom, they have still a natural, perfect right to it; and the Governments, whenever they come, should in justice set them free, and punish those who hold them in slavery…  Certainly one may, with as much reason and decency, plead for murder, robbery, lewdness, and barbarity as for this practice.”

PALFREY, John Gorham, 1796-1881, author, theologian, educator, opponent of slavery. Member of Congress from Massachusetts from 1847-1849 (Whig Party).  Early anti-slavery activist.  Palfrey was known as a “Conscience Whig” who adamantly opposed slavery.  He freed 16 slaves whom he inherited from his father, who was a Louisiana plantation owner.  While in Congress, Palfrey was a member of a small group of anti-slavery Congressmen, which included Joshua Giddings, of Ohio, Amos Tuck, of New Hampshire, Daniel Gott, of New York, David Wilmot, of Pennsylvania, and Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois.  In 1848, Palfrey failed to be reelected from his district because of his anti-slavery views.  In 1851, he was an unsuccessful Free Soil candidate for the office of Governor in Massachusetts.

PARKER, Reverend Theodore, 1810-1860, Boston, Massachusetts, Unitarian clergyman, abolitionist leader, reformer. Secretly supported radical abolitionist John Brown, and his raid on the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, (West) Virginia, on October 16, 1859.  Parker became active in the abolitionist movement in 1841. Wrote “A Letter to the People of the United States Touching the Matter of Slavery” (1845).  Opposed Fugitive Slave Act.  Organizer and leader, Committee of Vigilance to help fugitive slaves escape capture in Boston, Massachusetts.  He aided fugitive slaves William and Ellen Craft in November 1850, the unsuccessful rescue of Thomas Sims in April 1851, and the fugitive slave trial of Anthony Burns in May 1854.  Parker opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.  He was associated with numerous prominent leaders in the abolition and anti-slavery movement, including senators Charles Sumner and John P. Hale, Salmon P. Chase, Charles Francis Adams and William Seward.  Wrote anti-slavery book, To a Southern Slaveholder, in 1848.  Also wrote Defense, which documented prominent fugitive slave cases.  Supported the New England Emigrant Aid Society and the Massachusetts Kansas Committee.  Member of the Secret Six group that clandestinely aided radical abolitionist John Brown.

PARKER, Thomas, early abolitionist leader, Acting Committee, the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 1787.

PEMBERTON, James, 1723-1808, merchant, Society of Friends, Quaker. President of the Abolition Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1790-1803.  Aided numerous slaves.  Co-founder of the Society for the Relief of Free Negroes, in 1775.  Its name was changed to the Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery in 1787.  He was Vice President of the Society, 1787-1790.  In 1790, he became President, succeeding Benjamin Franklin, and led the Society for 13 years.  He was active in Native American issues.  He served on the Friendly Association for Regaining and Preserving Peace with the Indians by Pacific Measures.  He was opposed to the war with the Delaware Indians in 1756.  He was active in public education and health.  Pemberton’s brother was also actively engaged in the anti-slavery movement and was Vice President of the Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery.

PENNINGTON, James William Charles, 1807-1870, African American, American Missionary Association, fugitive slave, author, orator, clergyman, abolitionist. Pennington was born into slavery in Maryland in 1807.  Aided by Quakers who educated him.  He became a successful clergyman and educator.  He kept the fact that he was a fugitive slave a secret until the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  He arranged to purchase his freedom from his former owner in June 1851.  Member of the Executive Committee of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  One of the first African American students to attend Yale University. Served as a delegate to the Second World Conference on Slavery in London.  Active in the Amistad slave case.  Recruited African American troops for the Union Army.  Pennington published The Fugitive Blacksmith in London in 1844.  He also wrote Text Book of the Origin and History etc., etc., of the Colored People (1841) and The Reasonableness of the Abolition of Slavery (1850).

PHELPS, Amos Augustus, Reverend, 1805-1847, Boston, Massachusetts, clergyman, editor. Founding member of the New England Anti-Slavery Society (NEASS), 1832.  Manager and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), December 1833; Manager, 1834-1835, Vice-President, 1834-1835, Executive Committee, 1836-1838, Recording Secretary, 1836-1840.  Traveling Agent for the AASS in Maine and New Hampshire.  General agent, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.  Founding member of the Massachusetts Abolition Society in 1839.  Executive Committee of the American Missionary Association.  Phelps published Lectures on Slavery and its Remedy (Boston, 1841) and Letters to Dr. Bacon and Dr. Stone (1842).  Editor, Emancipation and The National Era. The Milledgeville newspaper, the Federal Union, on February 1, 1836, offered a bounty of $10,000 for the capture of Phelps.  Phelps was the husband of abolitionist Charlotte Phelps.

PHILLIPS, Wendell, 1811-1884, Boston, Massachusetts, lawyer, orator, reformer, women’s rights and Native American rights advocate, abolitionist leader.  He became active in the abolitionist movement in December 1837.  Member of the American Anti-Slavery Society and the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.  Advocate of the Free Produce movement.  He was a strong supporter and ally of abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison.  Phillips often contributed to Garrison’s paper, The Liberator.  Phillips was an eloquent advocate for abolition, speaking out against slavery.  He was called “abolition’s golden trumpet.”  He attended the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840.  With Garrison, he supported the rights of women to participate in the Convention.  He opposed the Mexican War and the extension of slavery into the territories taken during the war.  He opposed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  In 1854, Phillips was indicted for his actions to aid fugitive slave Anthony Burns in Boston.  He supported the Union and was elated over Lincoln’s issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.  Phillips declared, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

PILLSBURY, Parker, 1809-1898, Concord, New Hampshire, clergyman, reformer, newspaper editor. Garrisonian abolitionist.  Wrote and published: Act of the Anti-Slavery Apostles, Rochester, NY, 1883.  Wrote: The Church as it is; or The Forlorn Hope of Slavery, Boston, 1847.  Editor of the abolitionist newspaper, Herald of Freedom, in Concord, New Hampshire, in 1840, 1845-1846.  In 1854, he went to England as the emissary from the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Active supporter of the Union.  Agent for the Massachusetts, New Hampshire and American Anti-Slavery Societies.  Served as a Manager in the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-1853.

POST, Amy Kirby, 1802-1889, Rochester, New York, reformer, American Society of Friends, Radical Hicksite, Quaker, abolitionist leader. Active participant in the Underground Railroad, with her husband, Isaac Post, aiding fugitive slaves.  Women’s rights activist.  Co-founder, in 1842, of the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society (WNYASS).  Helped form the Yearly Meeting of Congregational Friends (YMCF).

POST, Isaac, 1798-1872, Rochester, New York, philanthropist, abolitionist leader, reformer, American Society of Friends, Radical Hicksite, Quaker, women’s rights activist. Co-founder of the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society (WNYASS).  Served on the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), 1842-1843.  Helped form the Yearly Meeting of Congregational Friends (YMCF), which opposed slavery.  Helped establish African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass in Rochester, New York.  Active, with his wife, Amy Post Kirby, in the Underground Railroad, aiding fugitive slaves.

PUGH, Sarah, 1800-1884, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, abolitionist. Became active in the abolition movement in 1835.  Supported William Lloyd Garrison and immediate, uncompensated abolition.  Served as a Manager, 1843-1844, and Member of the Executive Committee, 1844-1853, of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  President, Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society.  Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, Eastern Branch, Philadelphia.  Pugh attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840, and protested that women were not allowed to be seated.  She worked for African American and women’s rights after the Civil War.

PURVIS, Harriet Davy Forten, 1810-1884, African American abolitionist, social reformer, active in Philadelphia area, daughter of James Forten. Sister of abolitionist Sarah Louise Forten.

PURVIS, Robert, 1810-1898, Philadelphia, African American, benefactor, abolitionist leader, reformer, women’s rights activist, temperance activist. Vice president and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), December 1833.  Served as a Manager, 1833-1840, 1840-1842, and as a Vice President, 1842-1864, of the AASS.  President, Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, 1845-1850.  Chairman of the General Vigilance Committee, 1852-1857.  Associated with William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips.  Active in the Underground Railroad, 1831-1861.  Aided numerous escaped slaves.  His home was a station on the Underground Railroad.  Friend and supporter of Lucretia Mott and the women’s rights movement.  Author, wrote Appeal of Forty Thousand Citizens with Disenfranchisement to the People of Pennsylvania.  Brother of Joseph Purvis.  Husband of Harriet Davy Forten.



QUINCY, Edmund, 1808-1877, Dedham, Massachusetts, author, anti-slavery writer, abolitionist leader. Member, U.S. House of Representatives.  Mayor of Boston.  After the murder of abolitionist newspaper editor Elijah P. Lovejoy, he became a Garrisonian abolitionist.  Member, 1838, Vice President, 1853, 1856-1859, of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Served as a Manager, 1838-1840, 1840-1842, member of the Executive Committee, 1843-1864, Vice President, 1848-1864, and Corresponding Secretary, 1853-1856, of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (AFASS).  Vice President, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1849-1860.  Quincy was also active as a member of the Non-Resistance Society, which was founded in 1839.  This organization was devoted to non-violent actions.  It supported a break between the North and the South.  Quincy was active with both William Lloyd Garrison and Maria Weston Chapman in conducting the organization’s newsletter, the Non-Resistant, from 1839-1842.  He was appointed editor of the Abolitionist, the newspaper of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, in 1839.  Between 1839 and 1856, he was a major contributor of articles to the Liberty Bell.  Quincy became editor of the Anti-Slavery Standard, the newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  He was also in charge of the Liberator when Garrison was on leave.  He also contributed anti-slavery articles to Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune.

QUINCY, Josiah, 1772-1864, statesman. U.S. Congressman, 1805-1813.  President of Harvard University, 1829-1845.  Quincy was elected as a State Senator in Massachusetts in the spring of 1804.  While in the Massachusetts State Senate, he called for the state to suggest the amending of the U.S. Constitution to eliminate the clause specifying that slaves were to be counted as three-fifths of a person.  This was called the Ely Amendment.  In the autumn of 1804, Quincy was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.  At age 83, he began publishing anti-slavery tracts opposing the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and denouncing Daniel Webster and his compromise measures on slavery.  He supported Republican anti-slavery presidential candidates John C. Frémont, in 1856, and Abraham Lincoln, in 1860.



RANKIN, John, 1793-1886, New York, clergyman, author, philanthropist, abolitionist leader. Executive Committee, vice president, 1833-1835, and Treasurer, 1836-1840, of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Anti-slavery agent.  Kentucky Abolition Society.  Wrote Letters on American Slavery in 1833.  Son-in-law of abolitionist Samuel Doak (1749-1830).  Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Ripley, Ohio. Hid and protected hundreds of fugitive slaves in his home.  He was attacked by a pro-slavery mob.  Fought slavery in the Presbyterian Assemblies until 1837.  Rankin wrote: “I consider involuntary slavery a never-failing fountain of the grossest immorality, and one of the deepest sources of human misery; it hangs like the mantle of night over our republic, and shrouds its rising glories.  I sincerely pity the man who tinges his hand in the unhallowed thing that is fraught with the tears, and sweat, and groans, and blood of hapless millions of innocent, unoffending people…  It is considered a crime for him [the slave] to aspire above the rank of the groveling beast.  He must content himself with being bought and sold, and driven in chains from State to State, as a capricious avarice may dictate.”

RANTOUL, Robert, Jr., 1805-1852, statesman, reformer, lawyer, writer, publisher, industrialist, U.S. Congressman. Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1835-1839.  Democratic and Free Soil Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from December 1851 to 1852.  Strong opponent of slavery and the Fugitive Slave laws.  Opposed extension of slavery into the new territories.  Served as defense counsel for escaped slave Thomas Simms in Massachusetts State Court.  He argued in court that the federal government had no power to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act, as slavery was a state institution.

RAWLE, William, 1759-1836, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lawyer, educator. President of the Free Produce Society of Pennsylvania, 1826.  President of the Pennsylvania Abolition society, founded in 1775 and reinstituted in 1787.  Member and President of Maryland Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slaves, 1818-1836.  In 1808, argued in state Supreme Court against the constitutionality of slavery.  Appointed U.S. District Attorney in Pennsylvania in 1791.

RAY, Charles Bennet, 1807-1886, New York, African American, American Missionary Association (AMA), clergyman, abolitionist leader. Born a freeman in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  Newspaper owner and editor, The Colored American.  He co-founded the Society for the Promotion of Education among Colored Children in early 1830s.  Member of the anti-slavery Liberty Party.  One of the first African Americans to participate in abolitionist party on a national level.  Member and activist with the Underground Railroad.  Co-founder and director, New York Vigilance Committee, which aided and protected fugitive slaves.  Member of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  After 1840, he supported the anti-slavery Liberty Party.

REDPATH, James, 1833-1891, author, journalist, editor, abolitionist leader. At the age of 19, he became a writer for the New York Tribune, and wrote a series of articles.  In 1854, Redpath travelled to the South and interviewed enslaved individuals and reported on conditions of slavery in the region.  During his travels, he met with both the slaves and slaveholders.  He carefully observed slave life.  He even slept in slave cabins.  Redpath published his interviews and observations in his book, The Roving Editor: or, Talks with Slaves.  Redpath was hired to be a correspondent of the St. Louis Democrat, writing about the events in the Kansas controversy.  Redpath became a friend of militant abolitionist John Brown.  He later wrote, The Public Life of John Brown (1859).  Redpath visited Haiti in 1859 with the purpose of exploring the possibilities of African American emigration to that country.  As a result, numerous African Americans emigrated to Haiti.  During this time, Redpath was appointed a Haitian Consul to the United States in Philadelphia.

REMOND, Charles Lenox, 1810-1873, orator, free African American. Agent for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.  First Black abolitionist employed as spokesman in anti-slavery cause (in 1838).  Member of the Executive Committee and Manager of the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1843-1853.  Attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840.  Lectured with Frederick Douglass on abolition.  Recruited African American soldiers for the Union Army.

REMOND, Sarah Parker, 1826-1894, African American, abolitionist, orator, women’s rights activist, physician, friend of abolitionist Abby Kelley. Sister to Charles Lenox Remond.  Remond was a lecturing Agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society with her brother, Charles.  She was a member of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, the Salem Anti-Slavery Society, and the Essex County Anti-Slavery Society.  In 1858, Remond went to England, Ireland and Scotland on an anti-slavery lecture tour.  During the Civil War, Remond successfully spoke out in favor of England supporting the Union and for emancipation.  After the war, she advocated for the Freedmen’s Aid Association.

RICE, David, Reverend, 1733-1816, Hancock County, Virginia, abolitionist, educator, clergyman.  Presbyterian Church of Danville, Kentucky.  Co-founder of Hampden-Sydney College and Transylvania University.  Member of the Kentucky Abolition Society.  Opponent of slavery.  Wrote speech, “Slavery Inconsistent with Justice and Good Policy.”  Rice wrote: “A slave is a human creature made by law the property of another human creature, and reduced by mere power to an absolute, unconditional subjection to his will…  A slave claims his freedom; he pleads that he is a man, that he was by nature free, that he has not forfeited his freedom, nor relinquished it… His being long deprived of this right, by force or fraud, does not annihilate it; it remains; it is still his right… If my definition of a slave is true, he is a rational creature reduced by the power of legislation to the state of a brute, and thereby deprived of every privilege of humanity… that he may minister to the ease, luxury, lust, pride, or avarice of another, no better than himself… a free moral agent, legally deprived of free agency, and obliged to act according to the will of another free agent of the same species; and yet he is accountable to his Creator for the use he makes of his own free agency.”

ROBINSON, Marius R., 1806-1876, Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, clergyman, abolitionist. Alumnus of Lane University.  Robinson was active in the anti-slavery debates there.  He was editor of The Ohio Anti-Slavery Bugle, 1849-1856.  The newspaper was the official organ of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society.  In 1850, he was elected President of the Western Anti-Slavery Society for six years, and was member of the Executive Committee for twelve years.  Robinson was active in the Western Peace Society.  He worked with Augustus Wattles to set up schools for free Blacks.  He worked with abolitionist James G. Birney in editing Philanthropist.  Manager, American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), 1840-1843.  He was a travelling anti-slavery agent.  He was beaten badly by a pro-slavery mob.  At Berlin, in Mahoning County in Ohio.  He never fully recovered from this assault.

RODNEY, Caesar Augustus, 1772-1824, Delaware, statesman, lawyer, diplomat. Member of the Delaware House of Representatives, 1796-1803.  U.S. Congressman, 1803-1805.  Later, Attorney General of the United States under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, 1807-1811.  Reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives and there he was opposed to extension of slavery to the territories in 1820.  Appointed U.S. Senator from Delaware, January 1822.  Rodney wrote: “When we shall proclaim to every stranger and sojourner, the moment he sets his foot on American earth, the ground on which he stands is holy and consecrated by the genius of universal emancipation.  No matter in what language his doom may have been pronounced; no matter what complexion, incompatible with freedom, an Indian or an African sun may have burnt upon him; no matter in what disastrous battle his liberty may have been cloven down; no matter with what solemnities he may have been devoted on the altar of slavery; the first moment he touches the sacred soil of America, the altar and the god shall sink together in the dust; his soul shall walk abroad in her own majesty; his body shall swell beyond the measure of his chains, which burst from around him, and he shall stand redeemed, regenerated, and disenthralled by the great genius of universal emancipation.”

ROGERS, Nathaniel Peabody, 1794-1846, newspaper publisher, editor, abolitionist. Established early anti-slavery newspaper, Herald of Freedom, in Concord, New Hampshire.  Was editor 1838-1846.  Participated in the New Hampshire Anti-Slavery Society.  Wrote anti-slavery articles.  His articles were reprinted in the New York Tribune under the pen name Old Man of the Mountain.  Attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, 1840, representing the New Hampshire Abolitionist Society.  Lectured on abolition and temperance.  Supported the women’s rights movement.

ROSS, Alexander Milton, 1832-1897, physician, anti-slavery activist, abolitionist. Ross became active in the anti-slavery movement in 1856.  Ross was an agent for the Underground Railroad, aiding escaping slaves to Canada.  He was known among fugitive slaves as the “Birdman,” because he used the cover of being an ornithologist.  He was a personal friend of radical abolitionist John Brown.  During the Civil War, he served as a surgeon in the Union Army.  Afterwards, he was employed as a confidential correspondent to President Abraham Lincoln in Canada.

RUGGLES, David, 1810-1849, New York City, free African American, journalist, publisher, editor, anti-slavery activist and abolitionist leader. Agent for Emancipator and Journal of Public Morals of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Founded Mirror of Liberty, first Black magazine.  President of the New York Committee of Vigilance, 1835-1839.  He searched the city for fugitive slaves being held there.  He helped six former slaves.  For this, he was arrested and jailed.  Also active in the Underground Railroad, which aided fugitive slaves.  He was an advocate of the Free Produce movement.  Wrote pamphlet, “The Extinguisher.”  Contributed articles to abolitionist newspapers, The Emancipator and The Liberator.

RUSH, Dr. Benjamin, 1746-1813, Pennsylvania, founding father of the United States, physician, author, humanitarian, educator, opponent of slavery. Wrote “An Address to the Inhabitants of the British Settlements in America Upon Slave Keeping,” an anti-slavery pamphlet published in 1773.  Secretary and member of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, 1787.  Rush wrote: “Slavery is so foreign to the human mind, that the moral faculties, as well as those of the understanding are debased, and rendered torpid by it.  All of the vices which are charged upon the negroes in the southern colonies and West Indies… are the genuine offspring of slavery, and serve as an argument to prove they [African Americans] were not intended by Providence for it.”

RUSSWURM, John Brown, 1799-1851, African American (his mother was Black), anti-slavery newspaper editor. Attended and graduated from Bowdoin College in 1826.  Co-founder and co-editor of Freedom’s Journal, with Samuel Cornish.  Became senior editor in 1827. Freedom’s Journal was the first newspaper in the United States to be owned, edited and published by African Americans.  It supported the abolition of slavery.  In the first issue, the editors wrote: “We wish to plead our own cause.  Too long have others spoken for us.”  Later, editor of Rights of AllRusswurm originally supported colonization and he emigrated to Liberia in 1829. From 1830-1834, he was Colonial Secretary.  There he published the Liberia Herald.  He was Governor of the Maryland Colony from 1836 until his death in 1851.  The Maryland Colony was founded by the Maryland State Colonization Society.



SANBORN, Franklin Benjamin, 1831-1917, abolitionist leader, journalist, prison and social reformer, Secretary of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. Member of the Free Soil Party in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Secretary of the Massachusetts Free Soil Association.  Member of the “Secret Six,” who supported radical abolitionist John Brown, and his raid on the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, (West) Virginia, on October 16, 1859.  Brother of Charles Sanborn.

SANDIFORD, Ralph, 1693-1733, Society of Friends, Quaker, radical abolitionist, reformer. Sandiford called for immediate end to slavery.  He printed the anti-slavery book, A Brief Examination of the Practice of the Times, by Foregoing and the Present Dispensation, 1729.  It was published by Benjamin Franklin and Meredith.  For this action, he was excommunicated by the Society of Friends.  Sandiford stated: “And what injustice can be acted, than to rob a man of his liberty, which is more valuable than life, and especially after a manner such as this, to take a man from his native country, his parents, his brethren, and other natural enjoyments, and that by stealth, or by way of purchase from them that have no right to sell them, whereby thou receiveth the theft, which is bad.”  His tombstone reads: “In Memory of Ralph Sandiford, Son of John Sandiford, of Liverpool. He Bore a Testimony against the Negroe Trade and Dyed ye 28th of ye 3rd Month, 1733, Aged 40 Years.”

SCHURZ, Carl, 1829-1906, abolitionist leader, political leader, journalist, lawyer, Union general, Secretary of the Interior. Schurz was born in Germany.  He was actively involved in the German Revolution in 1848-1849.  A wanted subject in Germany, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1849.  He became active in the abolitionist cause and joined the newly-founded Republican Party in 1856, supporting John C. Frémont for President.  He supported Lincoln for U.S. Senator in the Illinois election of 1858 and for President in 1860.  During the war, Schurz encouraged Lincoln to fully emancipate slaves.  He served in the Union Army during the Civil War, promoted to Major General.  After the war, he supported suffrage for the newly-freed slaves.  In 1877, he was appointed U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

SCOTT, Orange, 1800-1847, Springfield, Massachusetts, Methodist clergyman, anti-slavery agent, abolitionist leader. Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.  He became active in the anti-slavery cause in 1833.  He influenced the Methodist paper, Zion’s Herald, in Boston to advocate for the abolition of slavery and wrote numerous articles on the subject.  Scott lectured on abolition while traveling throughout New England.  In 1839, he founded and published the American Wesleyan Observer, an anti-slavery publication.  Scott withdrew from Methodist Church to co-found the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1843 with Jotham Horton.  He was Manager of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), 1838-1840, Executive Committee, 1847-1851, 1853-1855, Recording Secretary 1849-1855.  He was a member of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  Scott stated: “I assumed the position that the principle of slavery—the principle which justifies holding and treating the human species as property is morally wrong—or, in other words, that it is a sin.”

SEWALL, Samuel, 1652-1730, Massachusetts, jurist. Sewall was probably the earliest Colonial opponent of slavery.  He wrote the influential essay, “The Selling of Joseph” (1700), which criticized slavery.  In it, he wrote, “Liberty is in real value next unto life: none ought to part with it themselves, or deprive others of it, but upon most mature consideration.”  He further declared: “Man stealing as an atrocious crime would introduce among the English settlers people who would remain forever restive and alien.”  Sewall was the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature.  Sewall was part of Salem witch trials, which he later regretted.

SEWALL, Samuel Edmund, 1799-1888, Boston, Massachusetts, attorney, abolitionist leader. Co-founding member of the New England Anti-Slavery Society (NEASS), founded January 1, 1832, in Boston, Massachusetts. Founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833, and Manager, 1833-1837. Auditor, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1836-1840. Leading member of the Boston Vigilance Committee (BVC).  As a lawyer, he represented fugitive slaves in Boston.  Sewall supported immediate, uncompensated emancipation.  He was a leader and active member of the Liberty Party and was its party candidate for Governor of Massachusetts. Sewall was a close working associated of abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison. Sewall was a descendant of early colonial abolitionist Samuel Sewall (1652-1730).

SEWARD, William Henry, 1801-1872, statesman, abolitionist. Governor of New York.  While Governor, sought suffrage for Blacks in the state.  U.S. Senator from New York, 1849.  U.S. Secretary of State under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson (1861-1869).  Leader of the anti-slavery Republican Party.   Opposed the extension of slavery into the new territories, the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, and slavery in the District of Columbia.  Seward opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854 and the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision of 1857, and supported admission of Kansas as a free state.  In 1856, he supported Republican presidential candidate John C. Frémont.  He sought the Republican Party nomination for President in 1860, losing to Abraham Lincoln.  He was appointed Secretary of State in the Lincoln administration.  Seward supported Lincoln in the decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

SHADD, Abraham Doras, 1801-1882, Chester County, Pennsylvania, African American abolitionist leader. Opposed the African Colonization Society.  Manager and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Member of the Underground Railroad.  Lived in Wilmington, Delaware, and later West Chester, Pennsylvania.  In the 1850s, he moved to the North Buxton area of Ontario, Canada.

SHAW, Robert Gould, 1837-1863, abolitionist, Colonel Commanding, 54th Massachusetts Infantry, U.S. Colored Troops, killed in action in the assault on the Confederate fortification, Fort Wagner.  He is featured prominently in the memorial to the 54th Massachusetts regiment in front of the Massachusetts state-house in Boston.  Son of abolitionist Francis George Shaw.

SHIPLEY, Thomas, 1784-1836, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Society of Friends, Quaker, abolitionist. Officer and member of the Board of Education in the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, and for Improving the Condition of the African Race.  Manager, 1833-1835, and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Member of the Free Produce Society of Pennsylvania.  He assisted slaves in court cases, aiding some to obtain their freedom.  Member of the Anti-Slavery Convention, joining in 1833.  Prominent officer in the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society.  Shipley worked diligently with leaders of the abolition movement, including William Lloyd Garrison, Lewis Tappan, James Birney, Beriah Green, William Jay and others.  He was threatened by pro-slavery mobs.  Shipley was elected President of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society shortly before his death in 1831.  John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poem in his honor, “To the Memory of Thomas Shipley.”

SLADE, William, 1786-1859. Governor of Vermont.  U.S. Congressman from Vermont, 1831-1843 (Whig party).  Submitted 430 anti-slavery petitions to Congress.  Opposed slavery in the District of Columbia and introduced a bill in the House in December 1837 that called for its abolition.  He supported gradual emancipation.  In 1843, he signed an appeal in Congress opposing the annexation of Texas.

SMITH, Gerrit, 1797-1874, Peterboro, New York, large landowner, reformer, philanthropist, radical abolitionist. Smith was one of the most important leaders of the abolitionist movement.  Originally, he supported the American Colonization Society (ACS) and served as a Vice President, 1833-1836.  Smith later came to reject the idea of sending freed slaves back to Africa.  Smith became a leader and important supporter of William Lloyd Garrison and the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  He served as a Vice President of the AASS, 1836-1840, 1840-1841.  Smith also served as Vice President of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840.  He was the founding President of the New York State Anti-Slavery Society, October 1836, in Utica, New York.  Smith came to believe that slavery could be abolished by political means and he was instrumental in the founding of the Liberty Party in 1840.  He was the President and co-founder of the Liberty League in 1848 and was its presidential candidate in 1848. He was active in supporting the Underground Railroad. Smith was a member of the Pennsylvania Free Produce Association.  He supported the New England Emigrant Aid Company of Massachusetts, which sent anti-slavery settlers to the Kansas Territory.  He was one of six abolitionists (known as the “Secret Six”) who secretly supported radical abolitionist John Brown.  Supported women’s rights and suffrage.  He served as an anti-slavery member of Congress, 1853-1854.  After the Civil War, he supported the right to vote for Blacks.

SMITH, James McCune (Communipaw), 1813-1865, African American abolitionist leader, community leader, activist. James McCune Smith was the first African American to receive a medical degree.  He was also the first African American to operate a pharmacy in the U.S.  He was a lifelong opponent of colonization.  He was a leader in the abolitionist American Anti-Slavery Society, and an active member of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  In 1833, he began contributing articles to the Emancipator, as well as to the Colored American and the New York Tribune.  In 1853, he helped organize the National Council of Colored People, with Frederick Douglass.  In addition, he co-organized the Committee of Thirteen, in New York City, to aid escaped slaves through the Underground Railroad after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act.

SPALDING, Rufus Paine, 1798-1886, Massachusetts, lawyer, jurist. Republican Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio, 1863-1869.  Opposed the extension of slavery into the new territories.  In 1847, declared: “If the evil of slavery had been restricted, as it should have been, to the thirteen original states, self-interest might have led to the extinction of the practice long before now.”  Spalding joined the anti-slavery Free Soil Party in 1850.  He opposed the Fugitive Slave Act.  He encouraged fellow attorneys in Cleveland to oppose the Act.  He represented Underground Railroad conductor Simon Buswell in his defense, arguing the Fugitive Slave Act was unconstitutional.  He opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.  Spalding was elected to Congress in 1862.  While there, he introduced legislation to repeal the Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850.  One of the organizers of the Republican Party.  Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.

SPOONER, Lysander, 1808-1887, lawyer, political philosopher, author, radical abolitionist leader. Wrote, “Unconstitutionality of Slavery,” 1845, “A Defense for Fugitive Slaves,” 1850, and “A Plan for the Abolition of Slavery (and) to tell Non-Slaveholders of the South” in 1858.  This was used by the Liberty party for its political campaigns.  Spooner believed the institution of slavery was not supported by the Constitution.  He wrote The Unconstitutionality of Slavery in 1845.  He believed that slavery itself had no basis in law historically.  He wrote that slavery “had not been authorized or established by any of the fundamental constitutions or charters that had existed previous to this time; … it had always been a mere abuse sustained by the common consent of the strongest party”.  Spooner was opposed to the Fugitive Slave Act and wrote in 1850, “A Defence for Fugitive Slaves, Against the Acts… of 1793 … 1850.”  He actively campaigned against slavery.  His books were given to members of Congress.

STANTON, Henry Brewster, 1805-1887, New York, abolitionist leader, anti-slavery agent, journalist, newspaper editor, author. Worked with William T. Allan and James Birney.  Agent and Financial Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Leader of the Liberty Party and organizer of the Free Soil Party.  He was a co-founding member of the Republican Party.  Worked against pro-slavery legislation at state level.  Wrote for abolitionist newspapers the Anti-Slavery Standard and the Liberator.  Later edited the New York Sun.  Husband of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, leader of the women’s rights movement.  Both went to London to attend the World Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840.  The convention refused to recognize Elizabeth and other women attending.  As a result, he and his wife became active in the women’s rights movement.  He supported this for the rest of his life.  Stanton declared, “Slavery is a system at war with justice and moral equality…. A political and moral wrong, a sin against man…”

STEVENS, Thaddeus, 1792-1868, statesman, lawyer, abolitionist leader. Anti-slavery leader in U.S. House of Representatives.  Supported the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to keep slavery out of the territories.  As member of the antislavery wing of the Whig Party, he opposed the Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Law.  As leader of the radical Republican Party, urged Lincoln to issue Emancipation Proclamation.  Stephens introduced Confiscation Acts, which established the policy of not returning escaping slaves to their former owners.  Led fight to pass Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, abolishing slavery and establishing citizenship, due process and equal protections for African Americans.  Stevens declared, “I wish I were the owner of every southern slave, so that I might cast off the shackles from their limbs, and witness the rapture which would excite them in the first dance of their freedom.”  He also wrote, “I can never acknowledge the right of slavery.  I will bow down to no deity however worshipped by professing Christians — however dignified by the name of the Goddess of Liberty, whose footstool is the crushed necks of the groaning millions, and who rejoices in the resoundings of the tyrant’s lash, and the cries of his tortured victims.”  The epitaph on Stevens’ grave reads: “I repose in this quiet and secluded spot not from any natural preference for solitude, but finding other cemeteries limited as to race by charter rules, I have chosen this that I might illustrate in my death the principles which I advocated through a long life: EQUALITY OF MAN BEFORE HIS CREATOR.”

STEWARD, Austin, 1793-1865, African American, former slave, anti-slavery activist, reformer. Steward was born a slave in Prince William County, Virginia.  Wrote autobiography, Twenty-two Years a Slave, and Forty Years Freeman; Embracing a Correspondence of Several Years, published in Rochester, New York, in 1857. He was Vice President of the National Convention of Negroes in Philadelphia, elected in 1830.  In 1831, he moved to Canada to a colony for former slaves, Wilberforce, named after a British abolitionist.  He helped finance the colony.  In 1834, he became an Agent for the newspaper, the Anti-Slavery Standard.

STEWART, Alvan, 1790-1849, New York, reformer, educator, lawyer, abolitionist leader, temperance activist. Vice President and Manager of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Executive Committee, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  He believed that Congress had the constitutional powers to abolish slavery.  In 1845, he argued the case before the New Jersey Supreme Court.  Founder, leader, Liberty Party.  In 1840, he ran for Governor of New York on the Liberty ticket.  Founder, New York State Anti-Slavery Society (NYSASS), 1836.

STEWART, Maria W., 1803-1879, Hartford, Connecticut, free African American woman, author, abolitionist, women’s rights activist. She opposed the American Colonization Society and their policy to resettle Blacks in Africa.  She said, “I am a true born American; your blood flows in my veins, and your spirit fires my breast.”  Published Religion and Pure Principles of Morality—The Pure Foundation on Which we Must Build, in 1831. Contributor to the abolitionist newspaper, Liberator. Also wrote, Meditations from the Pen of Mrs. Maria W. Stewart (1835).  Stewart wrote: “Many think, because your skins are tinged with a sable hue, that you are an inferior race of beings; but God does not consider you as such. He hath formed and fashioned you in his own glorious image, and hath bestowed upon you reason and strong powers of intellect…. Never will virtue, knowledge and true politeness begin to flow, till the pure principles of religion and morality are put into force.”

STILL, William, 1821-1902, African American, abolitionist, writer. “Conductor” on the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia area, 1851-1861.  Member of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.  Researched, compiled and wrote fugitive slave narratives.  He published, The Underground Railroad (1872). One of the best accounts of fugitive slave escapes.

STONE, Lucy, 1818-1893, women’s rights activist, orator, abolitionist, friend of abolitionist Abby Kelley. In 1848, she became lecturer for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, traveling throughout New England and Canada.  Stone was an agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Gave lectures on both slavery and women’s rights.  Wife of abolitionist Henry Blackwell.  Stone wrote in a letter to her mother on March 14, 1847: “If, while I hear the wild shriek of the slave mother robbed of her little ones, I do not open my mouth, am I not guilty?”  She also stated: “Now all we need is to continue to speak the truth fearlessly, and we shall add to our number those who will turn the scale to the side of equal and full justice in all things.”

STORRS, George, 1796-1882, New Hampshire, Montpelier, Vermont, Methodist clergyman, anti-slavery agent, abolitionist. Member of the New Hampshire Conference, which founded an anti-slavery group in 1835.  Storrs was a Manager, 1835-1836, and a Vice President 1835-1837, of the American Anti-Slavery Society and a Member of the Executive Committee of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-1841.  He was censured by the Methodist Church for his anti-slavery activities in 1836.  He was also arrested by authorities for “disturbing the peace.”  Storrs co-founded the American Wesleyan Anti-Slavery Society in 1840 and the Wesleyan Methodist Connection in 1843.

STOWE, Harriet Beecher, 1811-1896, author, reformer, wrote the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published in 1852.  It was one of the most widely read novels on slave life in America.  It sold more than 300,000 copies in its first year.  It has been translated into 55 languages.  The novel stimulated the abolitionist movement in the North.  When President Abraham Lincoln met Stow, he said, “So this is the lady that made the big war.”  Stowe’s family were against slavery.  Her brothers, Reverend Edward Beecher, and Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, were abolitionists.  During the Civil War, she called for emancipation of slaves.

STUART, Charles, 1783-1865, author, anti-slavery agent, abolitionist. Went to England in 1829 to lobby for immediate emancipation.  Wrote tracts on colonization.  Collected English abolitionist literature, which he sent to abolitionist Theodore Weld.  Trained agents for the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  He participated in the famous Lane Seminary anti-slavery debates.  Wrote highly influential anti-slavery pamphlets.  Attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in June 1840.  Worked with abolitionist leader Gerrit Smith.

SUMNER, Charles, 1811-1874, Boston, Massachusetts, statesman, lawyer, writer, editor, educator, reformer, peace advocate, anti-slavery political leader. U.S. Senatorial candidate on the Free Soil ticket.  Entered the Senate in December 1851.  He was the earliest and most important anti-slavery voice in the Senate.  He opposed the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.  Sumner was an organizer and co-founder of the Republican party.  He was severely beaten on the Senate floor by pro-slavery Senator Preston S. Brooks.  It took him three and a half years to recover.  Strong supporter of Lincoln and the Union. He was among the first to support emancipation of slaves.  As a U.S. Senator, voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.  Sumner declared: “Where slavery is, there liberty cannot be; and where liberty is, there slavery cannot be.”

SUNDERLAND, Le Roy, Reverend, 1804-1885, Andover, Massachusetts, and New York, author, orator, abolitionist.  Manager, 1833-1836, 1836-1837, and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Sunderland was a member of the Executive Committee of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-1841.  Co-founder of anti-slavery Wesleyan Connection of America.  Founded first anti-slavery society in the Methodist Church.  Became editor of Zion’s Watchman anti-slavery periodical of the organization.  Co-author of An Appeal on the Subject of Slavery (Boston, 1835).  In August 1836, a $50,000 bounty was offered by the citizens of Mount Meigs, Alabama, for the capture of Sunderland.  Sunderland declared: “Every American Citizen who retains a fellow being in bondage as a piece of PROPERTY, and takes the price of his labor without his consent, is guilty of a crime which cannot be reconciled with the spirit of the Christian Religion.”

SWAIN, William, d. 1834, Greensborough, North Carolina, newspaper editor, anti-slavery activist. Editor of the Patriot.  Secretary of the Manumission Society of North Carolina.  The Patriot was a rare example of an anti-slavery newspaper in the South.  Probably authored An Address to the People of North Carolina, on the Evils of Slavery, By the Friends of Liberty and Equality. He was threatened by the local pro-slavery population.  He lived in a local Quaker community, which supported him.



TALLMADGE, James, Jr., 1778-1853, New York, lawyer, soldier, opponent of slavery. U.S. Congressman, 1817-1819.  Lieutenant Governor of New York, 1824-1826.  Introduced legislation in House of Representatives to prohibit slavery in new state of Missouri in 1819.  It was called the Tallmadge Amendment.  Challenged Illinois right to statehood with state constitution permitting existence of slavery in the new state.  The Tallmadge Amendment to the Congressional Bill for Missouri Statehood read: “And approved, that the further introduction of slavery or involuntary servitude be prohibited, except for the punishment of crimes…”  The House of Representatives adopted the amendment; the U.S. Senate did not.

TAPPAN, Arthur, 1786-1865, New York City, philanthropist, merchant, newspaper publisher, educator, radical abolitionist leader. Arthur Tappan and his brother, Lewis, were among the most important supporters of the abolitionist cause in America.  Arthur was one of the founders of Oberlin College, in Ohio, and he endowed Lane Seminary, in Cincinnati.  In 1828, the brothers established the anti-slavery newspaper, The Emancipator.  Arthur endowed the newspaper and paid the salary of the editor and the cost of publication.  Arthur was one of the founders and president of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), December 1833.  He was also a Manager, 1833-1837, and Member of the Executive Committee, 1833-1840 of the AASS.  Arthur contributed $1,000 a month for several years for the maintenance of the Society.  He was also President of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-1855, Member of the Executive Committee, 1840-1855.  The Tappan brothers also were active in aiding fugitive slaves.  This incurred the wrath of Southern slaveholders.  The Committee of Vigilance in the Parrish of East Feliciana, Louisiana, in October 1835 offered $50,000 for the capture of Tappan.

TAPPAN, Lewis Northey, 1788-1873, New York, NY, merchant, radical abolitionist leader. Lewis Tappan and his brother, Arthur, were among the most important activists in the cause of abolition in America.  With his brother, Arthur, in 1828, Lewis began publishing anti-slavery newspaper, The Emancipator, paying for the editor and expenses for printing.  Lewis Tappan’s house was destroyed by a pro-slavery mob in July 1834.  He was a member of the Free Soil Party from its beginning.  Co-founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Member of the Executive Committee of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-1855, Treasurer, 1840-1842, Secretary, 1842-1844, Corresponding Secretary, 1845-1846, 1848-1855.  Leader of the Philadelphia Free Produce Association.  Wrote Life. Both Lewis and Arthur Tappan were despised by slaveholders in the South.

TAYLOR, John W., 1784-1854, abolitionist. Nine term Democratic U.S. Congressman from New York, 1813-1833.  Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Proposed legislation in 1819 to prohibit slavery in Arkansas Territory.  He supported the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which kept slavery out of the states above the Mason-Dixon Line.  Later organized the Whig and National Republican Parties.  Taylor said during a debate on slavery: “Our votes this day will determine whether the high destinies of this region, of these generations, shall be fulfilled, or whether we shall defeat them by permitting slavery, with all its baleful consequences, to inherit the wind.”  He stated, “I lost my third election as speaker, through my direct opposition to slavery.”

THOME, James A., 1809-1873, August, Kentucky, abolitionist, anti-slavery activist, educator, clergyman. Father was a slaveholder.  Thome was a member and Vice President, 1839-1840, of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  He was a lecturing agent for the AASS in Ohio.  Professor at Oberlin College.  Took part in the famous Lane Seminary debates on slavery in 1833 and 1834.  He supported immediate emancipation.  He left Lane for Oberlin.  He was sent by the AASS to observe the effect of emancipation in the West Indies.  He and Horace Kimball, who was the editor of the Herald of Freedom, wrote their account “Emancipation in the West Indies,” which was published in 1838.  It was an important report, utilized by the abolitionist cause in determining the feasibility of freeing slaves in the U.S.  After the Civil War, Thome raised funds for people newly freed from slavery.

THOMPSON, George, d. 1893, American abolitionist. In 1841, planned escape of slaves, and was arrested in Palmyra, Missouri with Alonson Work and James Burr.  They were arrested and tried.  Thompson served four years and eleven months.  Wrote about the experience in Prison Life and Reflections.

THOMPSON, George, 1804-1878, English abolitionist, reformer, orator. Helped organize and spoke to more than 150 abolitionist groups in the United States.  Worked with abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison.  He was often threatened by pro-slavery mobs and was threatened with death in Boston.

THOREAU, Henry David, 1817-1862, author of Walden, or Life in the Woods (1854), reformer and anti-slavery activist.  Gave lectures and wrote on slavery’s immorality.  Wrote anti-slavery essay, “Reform and the Reformers” and “Herald of Freedom.”  Advocate of passive resistance to civil government.  Active participant in Underground Railroad.  Supporter of radical abolitionist John Brown.

TOMPKINS, Daniel D., 1774-1825, statesman, abolitionist. Fourth Governor of New York, 1807-1817.  Sixth Vice President of the United States.  Advocate for the abolition of slavery in the United States, 1817-1825.  While he was Governor of New York and before he took the office of Vice President, he sent a message to the New York State legislature on January 28, 1817, with a recommendation that a date be set for the abolition of slavery in the state of New York.  On his recommendation, the Assembly decreed that all slaves in the state should be freed on or after July 4, 1827.  Tompkins was reelected Vice President in 1820.

TORREY, Charles Turner, Reverend, 1813-1846, Massachusetts, clergyman, reformer, abolitionist leader. Wrote Memoir of the Martyr.  Co-founder of Boston Vigilance Committee, which aided and defended fugitive slaves.  Leader, the National Convention of Friends of Immediate Emancipation, Albany, New York, 1840.  Torrey was a co-founder of the anti-slavery Liberty Party.  In 1841, he went to Washington as a reporter for abolitionist papers.  There he organized an extensive Underground Railroad network, taking slaves through Baltimore, Philadelphia, Albany and to freedom in Canada.  He may have aided as many as 400 slaves.  Arrested, tried and convicted for aiding the escape of slaves.  He died in prison.

TRUTH, Sojourner (Isabella Baumfree), 1797?-1883, African American, anti-slavery activist, abolitionist, women’s rights activist. Truth, born as Isabella Baumfree, was born into slavery.  She was treated harshly by her owner.  Her father died of neglect.  Two of her daughters, and all but one of her siblings, were taken away from her and sold.  In 1827, she escaped with the aid of local Quakers.  She was able to sue for the freedom of her son, Peter.  This was one of the first cases of a Black woman successfully winning a suit against a White man.  Around 1829, Truth moved to New York City.  In 1843, she was inspired to rename herself Sojourner Truth.  That year, she went on a religious mission, traveling through Long Island and Connecticut.  Also that same year, she learned about the abolitionist movement.  She became a member of the Northampton, Massachusetts, Association of Education and Industry, an egalitarian community.  Through this community, she met abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison and African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass.  She was so eloquent that abolitionist leaders sponsored her on a speaking tour.  Beginning in 1850, she also began speaking at women’s rights conventions, becoming a leader in the women’s rights movement.  Around 1850, she moved to Salem, Ohio.  She used the offices of the Anti-Slavery Bugle as a center.  She then traveled to Indiana, Kansas and Missouri.  Wrote The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave, 1850.  She was able to sustain herself by selling copies of her slave narrative.  She was attacked by pro-slavery advocates in Kansas and Missouri.  By the mid-1850s, she traveled to Battle Creek, Michigan.  During the Civil War, she recruited African American soldiers for the Union Army as well as working to see for their care.  On October 29, 1864, Truth met President Abraham Lincoln in the White House.  She stayed in Washington for two years, assisting freed slaves.  In December 1864, she was appointed counselor for the National Freedman’s Relief Association.  After the war, she protested the segregation of streetcars in Washington, DC.  It was the first sit-in protest.  In March 1870, she met President Ulysses S. Grant to petition the federal government to establish a state for freed slaves.  In 1867, Truth began working for the American Equal Rights Association, which sought suffrage in New York for women and African Americans.

TUBMAN, Harriet (born Araminta Ross), c. 1822-1913, Maryland, African American, abolitionist, leader of the Underground Railroad, orator, Civil War Scout and nurse. Member of the Troy Vigilance Committee.  Tubman was enslaved from her birth.  After being threatened to be sold in 1849, she escaped to Philadelphia.  She began her mission as a guide in the Underground Railroad in December 1850.  In the 1850s, she made 19 trips through Maryland, aiding fugitive slaves escaping to the North and to Canada.  She aided an estimated 300 fugitive slaves, none of whom was ever recaptured.  She often worked alone in her rescue activities.  Her success resulted in a $40,000 bounty on her head.  She was an advisor to radical abolitionist John Brown.  In the spring of 1862, she volunteered for the Union Army as a Scout and a spy, often travelling behind Confederate lines.  After the war, she moved to Auburn, New York, and worked with older former slaves and orphans.  She also worked to support freeman’s schools and worked for women’s right to vote.  In 1897, she was awarded a pension of $20 a month by Congress for her wartime service.  Tubman stated: “There was one of two things I had a right to: liberty or death.  If I could not have one, I would take the other, for no man should take me alive.  I should fight for liberty as long as my strength lasted.”  She also said: “I freed a thousand slaves.  I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

TUCK, Amos, 1810-1879, Parsonfield, Maine, lawyer, politician, abolitionist. Co-founder of the Republican Party.  Free-Soil and Whig anti-slavery member of the U.S. Congress.  Opposed the Democratic Party and its position supporting the annexation of Texas and the extension of slavery to the new territories.  Elected to Congress in 1847 and served until 1853.  Prominent anti-slavery congressman, allied with Joshua R. Giddings of Ohio and John G. Palfrey of Massachusetts.



VAN RENSSELAER, Thomas, 1800-1850, New York City, NY, African American abolitionist, editor. Executive Committee, American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), 1840-1842.  Co-founded newspaper, The Ram’s Horn.  Van Rensselaer was formerly enslaved in the Mohawk Valley in New York.  He escaped from slavery in 1819.  He worked in the New York Vigilance Committee, which aided and defended fugitive slaves.  While in New York, he was an advocate for African American rights.  In 1849, he relocated to Philadelphia, where he continued his anti-slavery work.



WADE, Benjamin Franklin, 1800-1878, lawyer, jurist, U.S. Senator, strong and active opponent of slavery. In 1839, opposed enactment of stronger fugitive slave law, later calling for its repeal.  Demanded the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  U.S. Senator, March 1851-1869.  Opposed Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854.  Supported passage of the Confiscation Act, which prevented escaped slaves from being returned to their former owners by the Union Army.  Reported a bill in the Senate to abolish slavery in U.S. Territories in 1862.  Voted for the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.  Senator Wade was a member of the radical Republican faction of the U.S. Senate.  He supported women’s suffrage, trade unions, and equal rights for all African Americans.

WADE, Edward, 1802-1866, West Springfield, Massachusetts, Ohio, lawyer, prominent abolitionist. Free Soil party U.S. Congressman from Ohio in the 33rd Congress.  Republican representative in the 34th and 35th Congresses.  Opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.

WALKER, Amasa, 1799-1875, Boston, Massachusetts, political economist, abolitionist. Republican U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts.  Active and vigorous opponent of slavery.  Walker was an early supporter of the New England Anti-Slavery Society, 1834.  He submitted a resolution outlining the objectives of the Society to be the principles of religion, philanthropy and patriotism.  American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) Manager, 1837-1840, 1840-1841, 1843-1844, Counsellor, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-1841.  Co-founder of Free Soil Party in 1848.  Served in Congress December 1862 through March 1863.

WALKER, David, 1785-1830, born Wilmington, North Carolina, free African American, author, abolitionist. In 1829, wrote Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World.  Mother was free; father was a slave.  Founder of the Massachusetts General Colored Association, which opposed colonization.  He declared, “This land which we have watered with our tears and our blood, is now our mother country.”  Walker was a subscription agent for the newspaper, Freedom’s Journal. His life was threatened by Southern slaveholders.  In Georgia, a $1,000 bounty was place on his head, $10,000 if captured alive.  Walker wrote, “We colored people of the United States are the most degraded, wretched, and abject set of beings that ever lived since the world began.”

WALKER, Jonathan, Captain, 1799-1878, abolitionist, reformer. Attempted to aid escape of slaves from Pensacola, Florida.  Was caught, tried and convicted, and branded on hand with “SS” for “slave stealer.”  His story revealed evil of slave trade and slave laws.

WARD, Samuel Ringgold, 1817-1866, New York, American Missionary Association (AMA), African American, abolitionist leader, newspaper editor, author, orator, minister. Member of the Liberty Party and the Free Soil Party.  Wrote Autobiography of a Fugitive Negro, His Anti-Slavery Labours in the United States, Canada and England, 1855.  Lecturer for American Anti-Slavery Society.  Member and contributor to the Anti-Slavery Society of Canada.

WATKINS, William, Baltimore, Maryland, African American, abolitionist leader, American Anti-Slavery Society, Vice-President, 1834-35.  Worked with abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison.  Opposed colonization to Africa.  Advocate of Black education.

WATTLES, Augustus, 1807-1883, established school for free Blacks and fugitive slaves. Worked in Underground Railroad, aiding escaped slaves to freedom in Canada.  He donated his entire inheritance to found trade and agricultural schools for them in Indiana and Ohio.  Established a community of small farms for freed slaves.  Agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Worked with Emigrant Aid Society in Lawrence, Kansas.  Edited the anti-slavery Herald of Freedom in Lawrence.

WEBSTER, Noah, 1758-1843, lexicographer, lawyer, wrote against slavery. Published Effects of Slavery on Morals and Industry (1793).

WELD, Theodore Dwight, 1803-1895, Cincinnati, Ohio, New York, NY, reformer, abolitionist leader, anti-slavery lobbyist. Co-founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) in December 1833.  Manager, 1833-1835, and Corresponding Secretary, 1839-1840, of the Society.  Weld was a prominent leader in the abolitionist movement.  He converted many late leaders to the cause.  Among them were the Tappan brothers, Congressman Joshua R. Giddings, Edwin Stanton, Henry Ward Beecher and his wife, future author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriett Beecher Stowe.  While at Lane University, Weld led debates on slavery.  These were very controversial.  As a result, the university ended the debates.  This led to many of the students at Lane leaving in protest and going to Oberlin College.  Many of these students became Agents for the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Weld lectured extensively in Ohio and helped in 1835 to inspire the creation of the Ohio State Anti-Slavery Society.  After his tour, Ohio had one third of all the Anti-Slavery Societies in the U.S.  He developed the agency system, which was critical to the success of the abolition movement.  Weld published American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses (1839).  Also wrote The Bible Against Slavery (1839) and Slavery and the Internal Slave Trace in the United States (London, 1841).  In the 1840s, he worked with prominent anti-slavery Whig Congressmen.  He was married to prominent abolitionist Angelina Grimké in 1838.

WENTWORTH, John, 1815-1888, lawyer, editor, newspaper publisher, U.S. congressman. Co-founder of an anti-slavery political party that became the Republican Party.

WESTON, Anne Warren, Weymouth, Massachusetts, abolitionist leader. Co-founder, Officer, Counsellor, life member of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS).  The BFASS “believing slavery to be the direct violation of the laws of God and productive of a vast amount of misery and crime, and convinced that its abolition can only be effected by an acknowledgement of the justice and necessity of immediate emancipation.”  Executive Committee, American Anti-Slavery society (AASS), 1843-1864.  Counsellor, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1844-1860.  Helped organize anti-slavery fairs in Boston.

WESTON, Caroline, Boston, Massachusetts, abolitionist leader. Co-founder, Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS). Vice President, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1843-1859.  Helped organize anti-slavery fairs in Boston.  Supported William Lloyd Garrison and immediate emancipation.

WESTON, Deborah, Boston, Massachusetts, abolitionist leader. Co-founder, Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS).  Helped organize anti-slavery fairs in Boston.  Supported William Lloyd Garrison and immediate emancipation.

WHIPPER, William J., 1804?-1876, free African American, abolitionist, reformer, activist, writer, advocate of non-violence, temperance activist. Whipper was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Moved to Philadelphia in the 1820s, then to Columbia, Pennsylvania, where he became a successful businessman.  Using his wealth, he helped hundreds of fugitive slaves to escape to freedom in Canada.

WHIPPLE, George, 1805-1876, Oberlin, Ohio, New York, abolitionist, clergyman, educator. Secretary of the anti-slavery American Missionary Association (AMA).  American Anti-Slavery Society, Manager, 1839-1840.  American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, Executive Committee, 1844-1855, Treasurer, 1846-1855.  Teacher at Lane University.  Professor and principal, Oberlin College.  Met with President Lincoln at the White House regarding economic support for freed African Americans.  Worked in Freeman’s Bureau after the Civil War.  Agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).

WHITTIER, John Greenleaf, 1807-1892, Haverhill, Massachusetts, poet, journalist, newspaper publisher and editor, Society of Friends, Quaker, radical abolitionist. Wrote antislavery poetry.  Publisher and editor of the Pennsylvania Freeman in Philadelphia.  He lectured on abolition between 1835-1838, when he was attacked by pro-slavery mobs.  Attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, 1840.  In 1840, he began editing the anti-slavery paper, The National Era.  In it, he wrote poems and prose.  He originated the anti-slavery petition campaign to Congress in the 1830’s.  Founding member, Manager, and Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  In 1833, wrote anti-slavery pamphlet, “Justice and Expediancy.”  Member of the Executive Committee, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  Leader and active with the Liberty Party.  Member, Free Soil Party.  Called for immediate abolition of slavery in the United States.

WILLEY, Austin, 1806-1896, Maine, reformer, abolitionist, clergyman. Congregational minister. In 1839, he became editor of the Advocate of Freedom, which was an antislavery newspaper that had been founded in Brunswick, Maine, in 1838.  He edited the paper until the end of the Civil War.  Published Liberty Party newspaper, Liberty Standard. He wrote The History of the Anti-Slavery Cause in State and Nation.

WILLEY, Waitman Thomas, 1811-1900, lawyer. U.S. Senator from Virginia (1861), later West Virginia (1863).  Willey was elected by the Unionist legislature at Wheeling to take the seat of U.S. Senator James M. Mason.  He participated in the convention that decided to create the new state of West Virginia.  Thus, West Virginia was the only state to secede from the Confederacy.  Presented the Constitution of West Virginia and lobbied the U.S. Congress to accept its provisions, which called for the gradual abolition of slavery for the new state.  Became a Radical Republican.  Served in Senate until March 1871.  Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.

WILLIAMS, Peter, Jr., 1780-1840, New York City, African American, clergyman, author, abolitionist, political leader. Early in his career, he favored Black colonization.  Co-founder of first African American newspaper, Freedom’s Journal in 1827.  Manager and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), December 1833.  Manager, 1833-1836, and Member of the Executive Committee, 1834-1835, of the AASS.

WILLIAMSON, Passmore, 1822-1895, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, businessman and abolitionist. Secretary of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society and Vigilance Committee.  Aided escaped slaves Jane Johnson and her two sons in 1855.  He was subsequently jailed for his actions.

WILSON, Henry, 1812-1875, abolitionist leader, statesman, U.S. Senator and Vice President of the U.S. Massachusetts state senator.  Member, Free Soil Party.  Founder of the Republican Party.  Strong opponent of slavery.  Became abolitionist in 1830s.  Opposed annexation of Texas as a slave state.  Bought and edited Boston Republican newspaper, which represented the anti-slavery Free Soil Party.  Called for the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  Introduced bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia and the granting of freedom to slaves who joined the Union Army.  Supported full political and civil rights to emancipated slaves.  Supported the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.  Wrote three-volume history of the anti-slavery and abolition movement in the United States, The Rise and Fall of Slave Power in America, published in 1872-1879.

WILSON, Hiram V., 1803-1864, Ackworth, New Hampshire, abolitionist, cleric, agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society, Ohio. Helped set up schools and aid Blacks who escaped to Canada.  Founded British-American Manual Labor Institute of the Colored Settlements of Upper Canada.  Delegate to the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1843.

WINSLOW, Emily A., abolitionist. Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society (PFASS), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, (Garrisonian) Anti-Slavery Society.  Appointed a delegate to the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, 1840.  Daughter of prominent abolitionist Isaac Winslow.

WISTAR, Caspar, 1761-1818, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, prominent physician, educator, anti-slavery. Dr. Caspar Wistar was President of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, succeeding Benjamin Rush.  He was strongly opposed to slavery and on one occasion purchased a slave and freed him.

WOOLMAN, John, 1720-1772, Mount Holly, New Jersey, Society of Friends, Quaker leader, Free Labor Movement, radical abolitionist leader. Encouraged merchants and consumers not to purchase goods made by slave labor.  Traveled extensively among Quakers, speaking out against slavery.  He wrote and published Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes: Recommended to the Professor of Christianity of Every Denominations, 1754.  In a letter to his fellow Quaker, Woolman said, “Now dear Friends if we continually bear in mind the royal law of doing to others as we would be done by, we shall never think of bereaving our fellow creatures of that valuable blessing, liberty, nor to grow rich by their bondage.”

WRIGHT, Elizur Jr., 1804-1885, New York City, reformer, editor. Vice president and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Leader, Liberty Party.  Editor of the Massachusetts Abolitionist, founded 1839.

WRIGHT, Frances “Fanny”, 1795-1852, Dundee, Scotland, reformer, author, orator, abolitionist. First woman in America to actively oppose slavery.  Founded Neshoba Plantation to train free Blacks to be self-sufficient.  Wright lectured extensively on abolition in the eastern United States.  Her speeches were very eloquent and were highly regarded.  Subsequently, “Fanny Wright” Societies were founded.  Manager, American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), 1843-1845.

WRIGHT, Henry Clarke, 1797-1870, Boston, Massachusetts, reformer, orator, author, abolitionist leader. Member of the Executive Committee, American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), 1859-1864.  He supported William Lloyd Garrison and his policy of immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery.  He was a columnist for Garrison’s newspaper, the Liberator.  Advocated for non-violence and women’s rights.

WRIGHT, Theodore Sedgwick, 1797-1847, African American, New York, clergyman, abolitionist leader, orator. American Missionary Association (AMA).  Manager, 1834-1840, and Member of the Executive Committee, 1834-1840, of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Executive Committee of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1843-1847.  He was born a freedman in 1797.  He was aided by abolition leader and philanthropist Arthur Tappan and the New York Manumission Society (NYMS), and benefactors from the Princeton Theological Seminary.  He graduated in 1829, being the first African American to graduate from there.  He was active in New York City with the Underground Railroad and the New York Committee of Vigilance, which aided fugitive slaves.