Campaigners Against Slavery~Abolitionists

Campaigners Against Slavery~Abolitionists - Stories


Richard Allen

    Richard Allen was born to slave parents in Philadelphia on 14th February, 1760. He was sold to a farmer in Delaware and in 1777 became a Methodist convert.

    His master allowed him to preach in public and in 1786 he purchased his freedom and moved to Philadelphia where he conducted prayer meetings for blacks.

    Dissatisfied with the restrictions placed on blacks who attended church services, in 1787 Allen helped organize an Independent Methodist Church. They converted an old blacksmith shop into America's first church for black people.

    In 1816 Allen helped establish the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and he was elected as its first bishop. The following year Allen joined with James Forten to form the Convention of Color. The organization argued for the settlement of escaped black slaves in Canada but was strongly opposed to any plans for repatriation to Africa. Other leading figures that became involved in the movement was William Wells Brown, Samuel Eli Cornish and Henry Highland Garnet.

    Richard Allen died on 26th March, 1831.

    Henry Ward Beecher

      Henry Ward Beecher, the eighth son of the Rev. Lyman Beecher, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, on 24th June, 1813. The brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, he was educated at the Lane Theological Seminary before becoming a Presbyterian minister in Lawrenceburg (1837-39) and Indianapolis (1839-47). His pamphlet, Seven Lectures to Young Men, was published in 1844.

      Beecher moved to Plymouth Church, Brooklyn in 1847. By this time he had developed a national reputation for his oratorical skills, and drew crowds of 2,500 regularly every Sunday. He strongly opposed slavery and favoured temperance and woman's suffrage.

      Beecher condemned the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska bill from his pulpit and helped to raise funds to supply weapons to those willing to oppose slavery in these territories. These rifles became known as Beecher's Bibles. John Brown and five of his sons, were some of the volunteers who headed for Kansas.

      He supported the Free Soil Party in 1852 but switched to the Republican Party in 1860. During the Civil War Beecher's church raised and equipped a volunteer regiment. However, after the war, he advocated reconciliation.

      Beecher edited The Independent (1861-63) and the Christian Union (1870-78) and published several books including the Summer in the Soul (1858), Life of Jesus Christ (1871), Yale Lectures on Preaching (1872) and Evolution and Religion (1885). Henry Ward Beecher died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 8th March, 1887.

      James Birney

        James Birneywas born in Danville, Kentucky on 4th February, 1792. A lawyer, after working in Danville, he was elected to the Kentucky Legislature in 1816. Two years later he moved to Alabama where he was elected to the Alabama Legislature in 1819. A strong opponent of slavery, Birley started his own newspaper, the Philanthropist.
        A member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, Birney was elected as executive secretary in 1837. Unlike William Lloyd Garrison, he believed that the organization should concentrate on political action. Three years later he travelled to England where he was appointed vice president of the World Slavery Convention. His book, The American Churches, the Bulwarks of American Slavery, was published in 1840.

        In 1840 the Liberty Party selected Birley as its presidential candidate, but won only 7,000 votes. Four years later this was increased to 62,300 votes. James Birney died in Eagleswood, New Jersey, on 25th November, 1857.

        Amelia Bloomer

          Amelia Jenks was born in Homer, New York, on 27th May, 1818. She only received two years of formal schooling and at the age of 22 married the lawyer Dexter Bloomer. He was a Quaker with progressive views and encouraged Amelia to write for his newspaper, the Seneca Falls County Courier. Over the next few years she wrote articles in favour for prohibition and women's rights.

          In 1848 Bloomer attended the Woman's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls where she met Susan Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. With the encouragement of her feminist friends, Bloomer started her own bi-weekly newspaper, The Lily. Over the next few years Bloomer used the journal to promote the causes of woman's suffrage, temperance, marriage law reform and higher education for women.

          The Lily was a great success and quickly built a circulation of over 4,000. In 1851 Bloomer began to publish articles concerning women's clothing. Female fashion at the time consisted of tightly laced corsets, layers of petticoats and floor-length dresses. Bloomer began to advocate the wearing of clothes that had first been worn by Fanny Wright and the women living in the socialist commune, New Harmony in the 1820s. This included loose bodices, ankle-length pantaloons and a dress cut to above the knee.

          Bloomer and other campaigners for women's rights such as Susan Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton began wearing these clothes. Most feminists abandoned this type of clothing as they concluded that the ridicule it frequently elicited undermined attempts to convince people of the need for social reform. However, Bloomer, continued to wear these clothes until the late 1850s.

          The Lily ceased publication after Bloomer moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1855. She continued to play an active role in the campaign for women's rights and as well as speaking at public meetings was president of the Iowa Woman Suffrage Association (1871-73). Amelia Bloomer died at Council Buffs, Iowa, on 30th December, 1894.

          Mary Weston Chapman

            Mary Westonwas born in Weymouth , Massachusetts on 24th July, 1806. When she was twenty-four she married Henry Grafton Chapman, a Boston merchant. Both became campaigners against slavery and in 1832 Maria joined with twelve other women to form the Boston Anti-Slavery Society.

            Chapman worked closely with William Lloyd Garrison and helped him edit The Liberator. In 1836 she compiled Songs of the Free and Hymns of Christian Freedom. Three year later she published Right and Wrong in Massachusetts, a pamphlet that discussed the divisions in the Anti-Slavery Society that was being created over the issue of woman's rights.

            In 1839 Chapman and two other women, Lucretia Mott and Lydia Maria Child were elected to the executive committee of the Anti-Slavery Society. This upset some members of the society were extremely upset by this decision. Lewis Tappan, the brother of Arthur Tappan, the president of the society, argued that: "To put a woman on the committee with men is contrary to the usages of civilized society."

            Whereas one leaders, such as William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Weld, Wendell Phillips and Frederick Douglass were as committed to women's rights as they were to the abolition of slavery. Others disagreed with this view and in 1840 a group including Arthur Tappan James Birney and Gerrit Smith left the Anti-Slavery Society and formed a rival organization, the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.

            Chapman was editor of the anti-slavery journal, Non-Resistant (1839-1842). Other books written by Chapman included Memorials of Harriet Martineau (1877). Her grandson, John Jay Chapman, was also a campaigner for social reform and an outstanding literary critic. Maria Weston Chapman died on 12th July, 1885.

            Salmon Chase

              Salmon Portland Chase was born in New Hampshire on 13th January, 1808. After his father died in 1817, he lived with his uncle, Philander Chase, the Bishop of Ohio. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1826 he worked briefly as a school teacher in Washington.

              In 1830 Chase moved to Cincinnati where he established himself as a lawyer. A member of the Anti-Slavery Society, Chase defended so many re-captured slaves and became known as the "attorney general for runaway negroes". He also provided free legal advice for those caught working for the Underground Railroad.

              Chase was originally a member of the Whig Party but joined the Liberty Party in 1841. However, in August 1848, Chase and other members of the partyjoined with anti-slavery members of the Whig Party to form the Free-Soil Party. The following year Chase was elected to the United States Senate. Together with Joshua Giddings, Chase was seen as the leader of the anti-slavery group in Congress and played an important role in the campaign against the Kansas-Nebraska Act

              In 1855 Chase was elected as the governor of Ohio. A founder member of the Republican Party he sought the party presidential nomination in 1860 but on the third ballot asked his supporters to vote for Abraham Lincoln. When Lincoln became president he appointed Chase as his Secretary of the Treasury and had responsibility for organizing the finance of the Union war effort. He also helped to establish a national banking system and another innovation was the employment of women clerks.

              Chase was the most progressive member of Lincoln's Cabinet and shared many of the views being expressed by the Radical Republican group. He constantly clashed with the more conservative William Seward and on several occasions came close to resigning.

              Chase was highly critical of those officers in the Union Army such as Irvin McDowell, George McClellan and Henry Halleck who appeared unwilling to attack the Confederate Army in 1862. He himself wanted the war to be a crusade against slavery and told Lincoln: "Proslavery sentiment inspires rebellion, let anti-slavery sentiment inspire suppression."

              In the summer of 1862 Chase and Abraham Lincoln clashed over the treatment of General David Hunter. In May, Hunter began enlisting black soldiers in the occupied districts of South Carolina and soon afterwards issued a statement that all slaves owned by Confederates in the area were free. Lincoln was furious and instructed him to disband the 1st South Carolina (African Descent) regiment and to retract his proclamation. Chase agreed with Hunter's actions and once again came close to resigning.

              The main argument that Chase had with Lincoln was that the president refused to state that emancipation of the slaves was an object of the war. In Cabinet meetings Chase was the only member to argue for black suffrage. Chase eventually resigned in June, 1864. Lincoln wrote a letter accepting Chase's resignation agreeing that their relationship had "reached a point of mutual embarrassment that could not be overcome".

              In December, 1864, Abraham Lincoln appointed Chase as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Like other Radical Republican, Chase was highly critical of Lincoln's Reconstruction Plans. He was even more critical of those followed by Andrew Johnson and as Chief Justice presided over the Senate impeachment proceedings against Andrew Johnson.

              Over the next few years Chase interpreted the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution in ways that helped to protect the rights of blacks from infringement by state action. Salmon Portland Chase died on 7th May, 1873.

              (1) Salmon P. Chase, letter to Frederick Douglass (4th May, 1850)

              I should be glad to learn your views as to the probable destiny of the Afro-American race in this country. My own opinion has been that the black and white races, adapted to different latitudes and countries by the influences of climate and other circumstances, operating through many generations, would never have been brought together in one community, except under the constraint of force, such as that of slavery. While, therefore, I have been utterly opposed to any discrimination in legislation against our coloured population, and have uniformly maintained the equal rights of all men to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I have always looked forward to the separation of the races.

              (2) Carl Schurz first visited Washington in 1854. He described seeing Salmon P. Chase in the Senate in his autobiography published in 1906. Salmon P. Chase, the anti-slavery Senator from Ohio, was one of the stateliest figures in the Senate. Tall, broad-shouldered, and proudly erect, his features strong and regular and his forehead broad, high and clear, he was a picture of intelligence, strength, courage and dignity. He looked as you would wish a statesman to look. His speech did not borrow any charm from rhetorical decoration, but was clear and strong in argument, vigorous and determined in tone, elevated in sentiment, and of that frank ingenuousness which commands respect and inspires confidence.

              (3) Abraham Lincoln, speech in Washington (11th April, 1865) It is unsatisfactory to some to know that the elective franchise is not given to the coloured man. I would myself prefer that it were now conferred on intelligent coloured men, and on those who serve our cause as soldiers.

              (4) Salmon P. Chase, letter to Abraham Lincoln in response to his speech made in Washington two days earlier (13th April, 1865) Once I should have been, if not satisfied, partially, at least, contented with suffrage for the intelligent and those who have been soldiers; now I am convinced that universal suffrage is demanded by sound policy and impartial justice. I shall return to Washington in a day or two, and perhaps it will not be disagreeable to you to have the whole subject talked over.

              (5) Report on the work of the Freemen's Bureau that was signed by Salmon P. Chase and General Oliver Howard (August, 1867) The abolition of slavery and the establishment of freedom are not the one and the same thing. The emancipated negroes were not yet really freemen. Their chains had indeed been sundered by the sword, but the broken links still hung upon their limbs. The question, "What shall be done with the negro? agitated the whole country. Some were in favour of an immediate recognition of their equal and political rights, and of conceding to them at once all the prerogatives of citizenship. But only a few advocated a policy so radical, and, at the same time, generally considered revolutionary, while many, even of those who really wished well to the negro, doubted his capacity for citizenship, his willingness to labour for his own support, and the possibility of his forming, as a freeman, an integral part of the Republic.

              The idea of admitting the freedmen to an equal participation in civil and political rights was not entertained in any part of the South. In most of the States they were not allowed to sit on juries, or even to testify in any case in which white men were parties. They were forbidden to own or bear firearms, and thus were rendered defenceless against assault. Vagrant laws were passed, often relating only to the negro, or, where applicable in terms of both white and black, seldom or never enforced except against the latter.

              In some States any court - that is, any local Justice of the Peace - could bind out to a white person any negro under age, without his own consent or that of his parents? The freedmen were subjected to the punishments formerly inflicted upon slaves. Whipping especially, when in some States disfranchised the party subjected to it, and rendered him for ever infamous before the law, was made the penalty for the most trifling misdemeanor.

              These legal disabilities were not the only obstacles placed in the path of the freed people. Their attempts at education provoked the most intense and bitter hostility, as evincing a desire to render themselves equal to the whites. Their churches and schoolhouses were in many places destroyed by mobs. In parts of the country remote from observation, the violence and cruelty engendered by slavery found free scope for exercise upon the defenceless negro. In a single district, in a single month, forty-nine cases of violence, ranging from assault and battery to murder, in which whites were the aggressors and blacks the sufferers, were reported.

              General Howard issued his first order defining the general policy of the Bureau on the 19th day of May 1865, at once appointed his Assistant Commissioners, and entered upon the work assigned to him. In this work he was greatly embarrassed by the lack of any governmental appropriations for his Bureau, by the opposition in the South to any measures looking towards the elevation of the freed people, and by the very widespread distrust in the North of their capacity for improvement.

              What is to be the effect of emancipation upon the industry of the community at large, upon the amount of production, upon the intelligence and morals of the people, upon commerce, trade, manufactures, agriculture and population, can as yet be only a matter of conjecture; and yet such and so marked even in these respects have been the results already, that probably few, if any, of the intelligent portion of the Southern people would desire to see slavery re-established. Wherever the planter has honestly and intelligently accommodated himself to the system of free-labour, freedom has reaped a larger harvest than ever was garnered by slavery.

              But the effect upon the freed people is no longer a matter of question. They have refuted slavery's accusation of idleness and incapacity. They have not only worked faithfully and well under white employers, but, when facilities have been accorded them, have proved themselves capable of independent and even self-organized labour. They are not generally extravagant or wasteful. The church and the schoolhouse are alike crowded with eager, expectant people, the rapidity of whose development under these fostering influences has amazed both foes and friends, and contributed more, perhaps, than any other cause to mitigate the prejudice which survived slavery, and make the work of enfranchisement complete.

              Lydia Maria Child

                Lydia Maria Francis was born in Medford, Massachusetts on 11th February, 1802. In her twenties Child began to write popular historical novels such as Hobomok (1824) and The Rebels (1825). In 1826 established a periodical for children called Juvenile Miscellany. Her book, The Frugal Housewife (1829), was especially popular with the American public.

                After hearing William Lloyd Garrison speak at a public meeting in 1831 Child began involved in the campaign against slavery. This included her book An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans (1833). This book converted people such as Charles Sumner to the cause but upset her traditional readers and sales of her other books dropped dramatically. She was eventually forced to cease publication of Juvenile Miscellany and instead she started with her husband, David Lee Child, a weekly newspaper, the Anti-Slavery Standard.

                In 1839 Child and two other women, Lucretia Mott and Maria Weston Chapman were elected to the executive committee of the Anti-Slavery Society. This upset some members of the society were extremely upset by this decision. Lewis Tappan, the brother of Arthur Tappan, the president of the society, argued that: "To put a woman on the committee with men is contrary to the usages of civilized society."

                Whereas one leaders, such as William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Weld, Wendell Phillips and Frederick Douglass were as committed to women's rights as they were to the abolition of slavery. Others disagreed with this view and in 1840 a group including Arthur Tappan, James Birney and Gerrit Smith left the Anti-Slavery Society and formed a rival organization, the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.

                In 1861 Child controversially helped Harriet Jacobs publish Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. At the time the book was condemned because of the way it dealt with the sexual exploitation of young female slaves. Jacobs was also highly critical of the role of the Church in maintaining slavery.

                Child also became concerned about the rights of women and Native Americans. This was reflected in the publication of History of the Condition of Woman in Various Ages and Nations and An Appeal for the Indians. Lydia Maria Francis died on 7th July, 1880, in Wayland, Massachusetts.

                (1) Lydia Maria Child, was a strong opponent of capital punishment. She explained her views on the subject in her book, Letters from New York (1846)

                A few years ago, a poor German came to New York and took lodgings where he was allowed to do his cooking in the same room with the family. The husband and wife lived in a perpetual quarrel. One day the German came into the kitchen with a clasp knife and a pan of potatoes, and began to pare them for his dinner. The quarrelsome couple were in a more violent altercation than usual; but he sat with his back toward them, and, being ignorant of their language, felt in no danger of being involved in their disputes. But the woman, with a sudden and unexpected movement, snatched the knife from his hand, and plunged it in her husband's heart. She had sufficient presence of mind to rush into the street and scream murder. The poor foreigner, in the meanwhile, seeing the wounded man reel, sprang forward to catch him in his arms and drew out the knife. People from the street crowded in and found him with the dying man in his arms, the knife in his hand, and blood upon his clothes. The wicked woman swore, in the most positive terms, that he had been fighting with her husband and had stabbed him with a knife he always carried.

                The unfortunate German knew too little English to understand her accusation or to tell his own story. He was dragged off to prison, and the true state of the case was made known through an interpreter; but it was not believed. Circumstantial evidence was exceedingly strong against the accused, and the real criminal swore unhesitatingly that she saw him commit the murder. He was executed, notwithstanding the most persevering efforts of his lawyer, John Anthon, Esq., whose convictions of the man's innocence were so painfully strong that from that day to this he has refused to have my connection with a capital case. Some years after this tragic event, the woman died, and on her deathbed confessed her
                agency in the diabolical transaction; but her poor victim could receive no benefit from his tardy repentance; society had wantonly thrown away its power to atone for the grievous wrong.

                (2) Lydia Maria Child, controversially helped Harriet Jacobs publish her book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)

                I have revised her manuscript; but such changes as I have made have been mainly for purposes of condensation and orderly arrangement. I have not added any thing to the incidents, or changed the import of her very pertinent remarks. With trifling exceptions, both the ideas and the language are her own. I pruned excrescences a little, but otherwise I had no reason for changing her lively and dramatic way of telling her own story. The names of both persons and places are known to me; but for good reasons I suppress them.

                It will naturally excite surprise that a woman reared in slavery should be able to write so well. But circumstances will explain this. In the first place, nature endowed her with quick perceptions. Secondly, the mistress, with whom she lived till she was twelve years old, was a kind, considerate friend, who taught her to read and spell. Thirdly, she was placed in favorable circumstances after she came to the North; having frequent intercourse with intelligent persons, who felt a friendly interest in her welfare, and were disposed to give her opportunities for self-improvement.

                I am well aware that many will accuse me of indecorum for presenting these pages to the public; for the experiences of this intelligent and much-injured woman belong to a class which some call delicate subjects, and others indelicate. This peculiar phase of slavery has generally been kept veiled; but the public ought to be made acquainted with its monstrous features, and I willingly take the responsibility of presenting them with the veil withdrawn. I do this for the sake of my sisters in bondage, who are suffering wrongs so foul, that our ears are too delicate to listen to them. I do it with the hope of arousing conscientious and reflecting women at the North to a sense of their duty in the exertion of moral influence on the question of slavery, on all possible occasions. I do it with the hope that every man who reads this narrative will swear solemnly before God that, so far as he has power to prevent it, no fugitive from slavery shall ever be sent back to suffer in that loathsome den of corruption and cruelty.

                (3) Lydia Maria Child, The Anecdote of Elias Hicks (1839)

                The following anecdote was told to me by a member of the Society of Friends. It made a strong impression on my mind, because it shows so clearly the excellence of a bold meekness and Christian firmness in the discharge of duty; because it adds another fact to prove that he who trusts in moral power hath ever a brave indifference to threats of physical violence.

                When Elias Hicks was preaching in Virginia, many years ago, he took occasion to bear a powerful testimony against the sin of slavery. Among the large audience collected together by the fame of his eloquence were several planters; and they, of course, were sorely aggrieved by his remarks. One in particular was so filled with wrath, that he swore vehemently he would blow out the preacher's brains, if he ventured near his plantation.

                When this threat was repeated to Elias, he quietly put on his hat and proceeded straightway to the forbidden spot. In answer to his inquiries, a slave informed him that his master was then at dinner, but would see him in a short time.

                The preacher seated himself, and waited quietly until the planter entered the room. In serene tones he addressed him thus: "Friend, I understand thou hast threatened to blow out the brains of Elias Hicks, if he comes near thy plantation. I am Elias Hicks!"

                What could brute force do in a dilemma like this? To have taken pistols and deliberately shot an unresisting guest would have been too assassin-like. It would have been a deed of ill appearance; and moreover it could not be done, by reason of a restraining power within. Earnestly, as the planter might wish the preacher in heaven, he could not, under such circumstances, help to send him thither. He did the best he could to sustain his position. He stammered forth, in surly tones, an acknowledgment that he did make use of such a threat; and he considered it perfectly justifiable when a man came to preach rebellion to his slaves.

                "Friend," replied Elias, "I came to preach the Gospel, which inculcates forgiveness of injuries upon slaves, as well as upon other men; but tell me, if thou can, how this Gospel can be truly preached without showing the slaves that they are injured, and without making a man of thy sentiments feel as if they were encouraged in rebellion."

                This led to a long argument, maintained in the most friendly spirit. At parting, the slaveholder cordially shook hands with the Quaker, and begged him to come again. His visits were renewed; and six months after, the Virginian emancipated all his slaves.

                <div>****(4) Lydia Maria Child, _The Emancipated of Slaveholders_ (1839)****

                The Anti-Slavery conflict is so prolonged, and so arduous, that even abolitionists of strongest faith at times grow weary. During such brief seasons of discouragement, nothing is more cheering, than proof that our appeals have not fallen powerless on the hearts of slaveholders themselves. From time to time, welcome tidings of this kind gladden our souls, and strengthen them for renewed effort.

                Professor Stowe, of Lane Seminary, recently told me an incident highly interesting and encouraging. He was traveling in the interior of Ohio, and found some difficulty in procuring a supper and lodging for the night. Under these circumstances, he asked and received the hospitality of a family residing in the second story of a building filled with many occupants. A woman, with three or four children around her, spread the table and cooked supper in the same room, which, like the cobbler's stall, served them "for kitchen for parlor and all." The furniture was scanty, and the general aspect of things indicated a state of deprivation bordering on poverty. The woman herself was extremely pretty, intelligent, and lady-like. The delicacy of her hands, the refinement of her manners, and the cultivation of her mind, all implied that her life had not been passed among such scenes as now surrounded her. When her husband came in, his manners and conversation gave similar evidence. The curiosity of their guest was so much excited, that he ventured to inquire how such people as they obviously were came to be in such a place, and under such circumstances.

                They told him they were formerly slaveholders in Virginia; but the more they thought upon the subject, the more difficult they found it to reconcile the system of slavery with the dictates of their own consciences. At last, they resolved to emancipate their slaves, to seek the wilds of Ohio, and earn a living for themselves and children by the labor of their own hands.

                When asked whether she had not found the sacrifice a very great one, she replied, "At first, labor fatigued me so much, that I feared I never should be able to do all that was necessary for the comfort of my family; but now I have become accustomed to it, and find it easy. It is a privilege to dispense with the lazy, sluttish, and reluctant service of slaves. Never did we feel what it was to be truly free ourselves, till we had made them free."

                Professor Stowe added that very many of the more reflecting slaveholders in Kentucky had removed to Ohio, within a few years; their consciences having become ill at ease under the public discussion of slavery. A friend in Philadelphia informs me that a similar emigration is going on from Virginia to Pennsylvania.</div>

                Samuel Cornish

                  Samuel Eli Cornish was born in Sussex County, Delaware, in 1795. Trained for the ministry at Philadelphia's African Presbyterian Church, Cornish began preaching in 1819. He was ordained in 1822 and became pastor of New York City's first African-American Presbyterian Church.

                  In 1827 Cornish joined with John Russwurm to establish the country's first African-American newspaper, Freedom's Journal. In 1833 Cornish joined with Arthur Tappan, Lewis Tappan, William Lloyd Garrison, and Theodore Weld to form the Anti-Slavery Society.

                  Cornish was a member of the executive committee of New York City's Vigilance Committee (1835-37), vice president of the American Moral Reform Society (1835-36) and editor of the Colored American (1837-39).

                  Some members of the Anti-Slavery Society considered the organization to be too radical. They objected to the attacks on the US Constitution and the prominent role played by women in the society. Some leaders, such as William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Weld, Wendell Phillips and Frederick Douglass were as committed to women's rights as they were to the abolition of slavery. Others, such as Cornish, Arthur Tappan, Lewis Tappan, Gerrit Smith and James Birney disagreed with this view.

                  Great controversy was created when three women, Lydia Maria Child, Lucretia Mott and Maria Weston Chapman were elected to the executive committee of the Anti-Slavery Society. Lewis Tappan argued that: "To put a woman on the committee with men is contrary to the usages of civilized society."

                  In 1840 a group including Arthur Tappan, Lewis Tappan, James Birney, Samuel Eli Cornish and Gerrit Smith left the Anti-Slavery Society and formed a rival organization, the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. This new organization refused to support the woman's rights movement and instead concentrated exclusively on the subject of slavery.

                  In 1846 Cornish founded the American Missionary Association and remained a executive committee member until 1855. Samuel Eli Cornish died in New York City on 6th November, 1858.

                  Prudence Crandall

                    Prudence Crandall was born in Rhode Island on 3rd September, 1803. After being educated at a Society of Friends school in Plainfield, Connecticut, Crandall established her own private academy for girls at Canterbury.

                    The school was a great success until she decided to admit a black girl. When Crandall, a committed Quaker, refused to change her policy of educating black and white students together, parents began taking their children away from the school. With the support of William Lloyd Garrison and the Anti-Slavery Society, in March 1833, Crandall opened a school for black girls in Canterbury.

                    Local people were furious at Crandall's actions and attempts were made to prevent the school receiving essential supplies. The school continued and began to attract girls from Boston and Philadelphia. The local authorities then began using a vagrancy law against these students. These girls could now be given ten lashes of the whip for attending the school.

                    In 1834 Connecticut passed a law making it illegal to provide a free education for black students. When Crandall refused to obey the law she was arrested and imprisoned. Crandall was convicted but won the case on appeal. When news of the court decision reached Canterbury, a white mob attacked the school and threatened the lives of Crandall and her students. Afraid that the children would be killed or badly injured, Crandall decided to close her school down.

                    In September 1834 Crandall moved to Illinois where she married Calvin Philleo, a Baptist clergyman. Prudence Crandall died in Elk Falls, Kansas, on 28th January, 1890.

                    Henry W. Davis

                      Henry Winter Davis was born in Annapolis, Maryland on 16th August November, 1817. After graduating from Kenyon College he studied law at the University of Virginia.

                      Davis worked as a lawyer in Baltimore, where he became an active member of the Whig Party. In the dispute over slavery Davis refused to support the political factions on either side and in 1860 was elected to the House of Representatives as a member of the Union Party. Although critical of Abraham Lincoln, it was mainly due to Davis that Maryland did not secede from the Union.

                      On the outbreak of the Civil War Davis joined the Republican Party and in 1863 was re-elected to the House of Representatives. During the war Davis developed strong opinions against slavery and was associated with the Radical Republicans in Congress.

                      In 1864 Davis joined with Benjamin Wade in sponsoring a bill the that provided for the administration of the affairs of southern states by provisional governors until the end of the war. They also argued that civil government should only be re-established when half of the male white citizens took an oath of loyalty to the Union.

                      The Wade-Davis Bill was passed on 2nd July, 1864, with only one Republican voting against it. However, Abraham Lincoln refused to sign it. Lincoln defended his decision by telling Zachariah Chandler, one of the bill's supporters, that it was a question of time: "this bill was placed before me a few minutes before Congress adjourns. It is a matter of too much importance to be swallowed in that way." Six days later Lincoln issued a proclamation explaining his views on the bill. He argued that he had rejected it because he did not wish "to be inflexibly committed to any single plan of restoration".

                      The Radical Republicans were furious with Lincoln's decision. On 5th August, Davis and Benjamin Wade published an attack on Lincoln in the New York Tribune. In what became known as the Wade-Davis Manifesto, the men argued that Lincoln's actions had been taken "at the dictation of his personal ambition" and accused him of "dictatorial usurpation". They added that: "he must realize that our support is of a cause and not of a man."

                      Davis also opposed Andrew Johnson and his Reconstruction Plan before losing his seat in the House of Representatives in 1865. Henry Winter Davis, who returned to his law practice in Baltimore, died on 30th December, 1865.

                      Angelina Grimke

                        Angelina Grimke, the daughter of slaveholding judge from Charleston, South Carolina, was born on 20th February, 1805. Sarah and her sister, Sarah Grimke, both developed an early dislike of slavery and after moving to Philadelphia in 1819, joined the Society of Friends.

                        In 1835 Angelina had a letter against slavery published by William Lloyd Garrison, in his newspaper, The Liberator. She followed this with the pamphlet, An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South. Sarah Grimke followed her example by publishing An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States. These pamphlets were publicly burned by officials in South Carolina and the sisters were warned that they would be arrested if they ever returned home.

                        The sisters moved to New York where they became the first women to lecture for the Anti-Slavery Society. This brought attacks from religious leaders who disapproved of women speaking in public. Sarah Grimke wrote bitterly that men were attempting to "drive women from almost every sphere of moral action" and called on women "to rise from that degradation and bondage to which the faculties of our minds have been prevented from expanding to their full growth and are sometimes wholly crushed." Refusing to give up their campaign, the sisters now became pioneers in the struggle for women's rights.

                        In 1838 Angelina married the anti-slavery campaigner, Theodore Weld. They settled in Belleville, New Jersey, with Angelina's sister, Sarah Grimke, and opened their own school. Later they established a progressive school at the Raritan Bay Community in New York.

                        During the Civil War Angelina wrote and lectured in support of Abraham Lincoln. After the war Angelina and Theodore Weld moved to Hyde Park, Massachusetts. Angelina Grimke continued to campaign for civil rights and woman's suffrage until her death on 26th October, 1879.

                        Sarah Grimke

                          Sarah Grimke, the daughter of slaveholding judge from Charleston, South Carolina, was born on 26th November, 1792. Sarah and her sister, Angelina Grimke, both developed an early dislike of slavery and after moving to Philadelphia in 1819, joined the Society of Friends.

                          In 1835 Angelina Grimke had a letter against slavery published by William Lloyd Garrison, in his newspaper, The Liberator. She followed this with the pamphlet, An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South. Sarah followed her example by publishing An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States. These pamphlets were publicly burned by officials in South Carolina and the sisters were warned that they would be arrested if they ever returned home.

                          The sisters moved to New York where they became the first women to lecture for the Anti-Slavery Society. This brought attacks from religious leaders who disapproved of women speaking in public. Sarah wrote bitterly that men were attempting to "drive women from almost every sphere of moral action" and called on women "to rise from that degradation and bondage to which the faculties of our minds have been prevented from expanding to their full growth and are sometimes wholly crushed."

                          Refusing to give up their campaign, the sisters now became pioneers in the struggle for women's rights. In her book Letters on the Equality of the Sexes (1838), Grimke linked the rights of slaves to the rights of women. William Lloyd Garrison gave Grimke his support in this but Theodore Weld advised her not to "push your women's rights until human rights have gone ahead."

                          In 1838 Sara's sister, Angelina Grimke married Theodore Weld. Sarah moved with the couple to Belleville, New Jersey, where they opened their own school. Later they established a progressive school at the Raritan Bay Community in New York.

                          During the Civil War Sarah wrote and lectured in support of Abraham Lincoln. Sarah Grimke continued to to campaign for civil rights and woman's suffrage until her death on 23rd December, 1873.

                          (1) Angelina Grimke, An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South (1836)

                          Search the Scriptures daily, whether the things I have told you are true. Other books and papers might be a great help to you in this investigation, but they are not necessary, and it is hardly probable that your Committees of Vigilance will allow you to have any other. The Bible then is the book I want you to read in the spirit of inquiry, and the spirit of prayer. Even the enemies of Abolitionists, acknowledge that their doctrines are drawn from it. In the great mob in Boston, last autumn, when the books and papers of the Anti-Slavery Society, were thrown out of the windows of their office, one individual laid hold of the Bible and was about tossing it out to the ground, when another reminded him that is was the Bible he had in his hand. "O! 'tis all one," he replied, and out went the sacred volume, along with the rest. We thank him for the acknowledgment. Yes, "it is all one," for our books and papers are mostly commentaries on the Bible, and the Declaration. Read the Bible then, it contains the words of Jesus, and they are spirit and life. Judge for yourselves whether he sanctioned such a system of oppression and crime.

                          (2) Angelina Grimke, An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South (1836)

                          It is through the tongue, the pen, and the press, that truth is principally propagated. Speak then to your relatives, your friends, your acquaintances on the subject of slavery; be not afraid if you are conscientiously convinced it is sinful, to say so openly, but calmly, and to let your sentiments be known. If you are served by the slaves of others, try to ameliorate their conditions as much as possible; never aggravate their faults, and thus add fuel to the fire of anger already kindled, in a master and mistress's bosom; remember their extreme ignorance, and consider them as your Heavenly Father does the less culpable on this account, even when they do wrong things. Discountenance all cruelty to them, all starvation, all corporal chastisement; these may brutalize and break their spirits, but will never bend them to willing, cheerful obedience. If possible, see that they are comfortably and seasonably fed, whether in the house or the field; it is unreasonable and cruel to expect slaves to wait for their breakfast until eleven o'clock, when they rise at five or six. Do all you can, to induce their owners to clothe them well, and then allow them many little indulgences which would contribute to their comfort. Above all, try to persuade your husband, father, brothers, and sons, that slavery is a crime against God and man, and that it is a great sin to keep human beings in such abject ignorance; to deny them the privilege of learning to read and write. The Catholics are universally condemned, for denying the Bible to the common people, but, slaveholders must not blame them, for they are doing the very same thing, and for the very same reason, neither of these systems can bear the light which bursts from the pages of that Holy Book. And lastly, endeavour to inculcate submission on the part of the slaves, but whilst doing this be faithful in pleading the cause of the oppressed.

                          (3) Angelina Grimke, An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South (1836)

                          Some of your own slaves yourselves. If you believe slavery is sinful, set them at liberty, "undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free." If they wish to remain with you, pay them wages, if not let them leave you. Should they remain teach them, and have them taught the common branches of an English education; they have minds and those minds ought to be improved. So precious a talent as intellect, never was given to be wrapt in a napkin and buried in the earth. It is the duly of all, as far as they can, to improve their own mental faculties, because we are commanded to love God with all our minds, as well as with all our hearts, and we commit a great sin, if we forbid or prevent that cultivation of the mind in others, which would enable them to perform this duty. Teach your servants then to read and encourage them to believe it is their duty to learn, if it were only that they might read the Bible.

                          (4) Angelina Grimke, An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South (1836)

                          The women of the South can overthrow this horrible system of oppression and cruelty, licentiousness and wrong. Such appeals to your legislatures would be irresistible, for there is something in the heart of man which will bend under moral pressure. There is a swift witness for truth in his bosom, which will respond to truth when it is uttered with calmness and dignity. If you could obtain but six signatures to such a petition in only one state, I would say, end up that petition, and be not in the least discouraged by the scoffs and jeers of the heartless, or the resolution of the house to lay it on the table. It will be a great thing if the subject can be introduced into your legislatures in any way, even by women, and they will be the most likely to introduce it there in the best possible manner, as a matter of morals and religion, not of expediency or politics. You may petition, too, the different ecclesiastical bodies of the slave states. Slavery must be attacked with the whole power of truth and the sword of the spirit. You must take it up on Christian ground; and fight against it with Christian weapons, whilst your feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

                          Sisters in Christ, I have done. As a Southern, I have felt it was my duty to address you. I have endeavoured to set before you the exceeding sinfulness of slavery, and to point you to the example of those noble women who have been raised up in the church to effect great revolutions, and to suffer for the truth's sake. I have appealed to your sympathies as women, to your sense of duty as Christian woman. I have attempted to vindicate the Abolitionists, to prove the entire safety of immediate Emancipation, and to plead the cause of the poor and oppressed. Farewell. Count me not your "enemy because I have told you the truth," but believe me in unfeigned affection.

                          (5) Angelina Grimke, Education of Women (1852)

                          The reason why women effect so little & are so shallow is because their aims are low, marriage is the prize for which
                          they strive, if foiled in that they rarely rise above the disappointment.

                          Many a woman shudders at the terrible eclipse of those intellectual powers which in early life seemed prophetic of usefulness and happiness, hence the army of martyrs among our married & unmarried women who, not having cultivated a taste for science, art or literature form a corps of nervous patients who make fortunes for agreeable physicians.

                          Freedom and equality of rights and privileges, furnish a salutary discipline for the mind and open a vast field for intellectual effort. Education furnishes the means for extensive information and widens the bounds of human experience, which embraces the past and the present. It is doubtless a feeling of injury on the part of woman which has induced a few of us to claim the Rights so unjustly withheld.

                          It is because we feel we have powers which are crushed, responsibilities which we are not permitted to exerciser duties which we are not prepared to fulfill. Rights vested in us as moral and intellectual beings which are utterly ignored and trampled upon. It is because we feel this so keenly we now demand an equal education with man to qualify us to be co-workers with him in the great arena of human life. We come before him not in fear and trembling; we come filled with the sense of the moral sublimity of our present position as equals to demand in the name of Him who created us, our appropriate purpose in the scale of humanity. Marvel not that so few have joined our band. The mightiest river drops a little streamlet from the mountain-side. The most stupendous mountain is gathered grain by grain. But two or three were gathered together at the first meeting of our revolutionary fathers. But fifty-six signed the Declaration of Independence. Nevertheless, the grand and glorious words had been uttered, "liberty or death," "taxation and representation," and they rang through the land with magic power. Will it not be so with the words woman utters? The Rights, Equality, Education, Self-Support and Representation.

                          Can we marvel that woman does not immediately realize the dignity of her own nature when we remember that she
                          has been so long used as the means to an end and that end, the comfort and pleasure of man, regarded as his property, a being created for his benefit, and living like a parasite on his vitality. When we remember how little her intellect has been taken into account in estimating her value in society, and that she received as truth the dogma of her inferiority?

                          The conflict of interests and opinions between the sexes cannot fail to create antagonistic feelings and this will necessarily be felt in all their relations to each other. This conflict arises from withholding rights on one side and the injury sustained from this injustice on the other. Perhaps there is nothing that will tend as rapidly and so powerfully to the equalization as similar education advantages.

                          Frances Harper

                            Frances Harperwas born in Baltimore on 24th September, 1825. Her mother died three years later and she was looked after by relatives. Frances was educated at a school run by her uncle, Rev. William Watkins until the age of thirteen when she found work as a seamstress.

                            Harper wrote poetry and her first volume of verse, Forest Leaves, was published in 1845. The book was extremely popular and over the next few years went through 20 editions.

                            In 1850 Harper obtained employment as a teacher in Columbus, Ohio, but in 1853 became a travelling lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society. She was also a strong supporter of prohibition and woman's suffrage. She often read her poetry at these public meetings, including the extremely popular Bury Me in a Free Land.

                            Other volumes of poetry published by Harper include Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects (1854), Moses: A Story of the Nile (1869) and Sketches of Southern Life (1872). Harper was a strong supporter of women's suffrage and was a member of the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA).

                            Her first novel, Iloa Leroy, a story about a rescued black slave, appeared in 1892. This was followed by Minnie's Sacrifice, Sowing and Reaping and Trial and Triumph. Frances Harper died on 22nd February, 1911.

                            1) Frances Harper, Bury Me in a Free Land (1845)

                            Make me a grave where'er you will,
                            In a lowly plain, or a lofty hill;
                            Make it among earth's humblest graves,
                            But not in a land where men are slaves.

                            (2) Frances Harper, Ethiopia (1845)

                            Yes, Ethiopia yet shall stretch
                            Her bleeding hands abroad;
                            Her cry of agony shall reach
                            The burning throne of God.

                            The tyrant's yoke from off her neck,
                            His fetters from her soul,
                            The mighty hand of God shall break
                            And spurn the base control.

                            Redeemed from dust, and freed from chains,
                            Her sons shall lift their eyes;
                            From lofty hills and verdant plains
                            Shall shouts of triumph rise.

                            Upon the dark, despairing brow
                            Shall play a smile of peace;
                            For God shall bend unto her woe,
                            And bid her sorrows cease.

                            'Neath sheltering vines and stately palms
                            Shall laughing children play;
                            And aged sires, with joyous psalms,
                            Shall gladden every day.

                            Secure by night and blest by day,
                            Shall pass her happy hours;
                            Within her peaceful bowers.

                            Thy bleeding hands abroad;
                            Thy cry of agony shall reach
                            And find the throne of God.

                            (3) Frances Harper, To the Union Savers of Cleveland (1845)

                            Men of Cleveland, had a vulture
                            Sought a timid dove for prey
                            Would you not, with human pity,
                            Drive the gory bird away?

                            Had you seen a feeble lambkin,
                            Shrinking from a wolf so bold,
                            Would ye not to shield the trembler,
                            In your arms have made its fold?

                            But when she, a hunted sister,
                            Stretched her hands that ye might save,
                            Colder far than Zembla's regions,
                            Was the answer that ye gave.

                            On the Union's bloody altar,
                            Was your hapless victim laid;
                            Mercy, truth, and justice shuddered,
                            But your hands would give no aid.

                            And ye sent her back to the torture,
                            Robbed of freedom and of fright.
                            Thrust the wretched, captive stranger.
                            Back to slavery's gloomy night.

                            Back where brutal men may trample,
                            On her honor and her fame;
                            And unto her lips so dusky,
                            Press the cup of woe and shame.

                            There is blood upon our city,
                            Dark and dismal is the stain;
                            And your hands would fail to cleanse it,
                            Though Lake Erie ye should drain.

                            There's a curse upon your Union,
                            Fearful sounds are in the air;
                            As if thunderbolts were framing,
                            Answers to the bondsman's prayer.

                            Ye may offer human victims,
                            Like the heathen priests of old;
                            And may barter manly honor
                            For the Union and for gold.

                            But ye can not stay the whirlwind,
                            When the storm begins to break;
                            And our God doth rise in judgment,
                            For the poor and needy's sake.

                            And, your sin-cursed, guilty Union,
                            Shall be shaken to its base,
                            Till ye learn that simple justice,
                            Is the right of every race.

                            (4) Frances Harper, The Dying Bondman (1845)

                            Life was trembling, faintly trembling
                            On the bondman's latest breath,
                            And he felt the chilling pressure
                            Of the cold, hard hand of Death.

                            He had been an Afric chieftain,
                            Worn his manhood as a crown;
                            But upon the field of battle
                            Had been fiercely stricken down.

                            He had longed to gain his freedom,
                            Waited, watched and hoped in vain,
                            Till his life was slowly ebbing --
                            Almost broken was his chain.

                            By his bedside stood the master,
                            Gazing on the dying one,
                            Knowing by the dull grey shadows
                            That life's sands were almost run.

                            "Master," said the dying bondman,
                            "Home and friends I soon shall see;
                            But before I reach my country,
                            Master write that I am free;

                            "For the spirits of my fathers
                            Would shrink back from me in pride,
                            If I told them at our greeting
                            I a slave had lived and died;

                            "Give to me the precious token,
                            That my kindred dead may see --
                            Master! write it, write it quickly!
                            Master! write that I am free!"

                            At his earnest plea the master
                            Wrote for him the glad release,
                            O'er his wan and wasted features
                            Flitted one sweet smile of peace.

                            Eagerly he grasped the writing;
                            "I am free!" at last he said.
                            Backward fell upon the pillow,
                            He was free among the dead.

                            (5) Frances Harper, speech at the National Council of Women of the United States in Washington (22nd February, 1891)

                            I deem it a privilege to present the negro, not as a mere dependent asking for Northern sympathy or Southern compassion, but as a member of the body politic who has a claim upon the nation for justice, simple justice, which is the right of every race, upon the government for protection, which is the rightful claim of every citizen, and upon our common Christianity for the best influences which can be exerted for peace on earth and goodwill to man.

                            Our first claim upon the nation and government is the claim for protection to human life. That claim should lie at the basis of our civilization, not simply in theory but in fact. Outside of America, I know of no other civilized country, Catholic, Protestant, or even Mahometan, where men are still lynched, murdered, and even burned for real or supposed crimes.

                            A government which has power to tax a man in peace, and draft him in war, should have power to defend his life in the hour of peril. A government which can protect and defend its citizens from wrong and outrage and does not is vicious. A government which would do it and cannot is weak; and where human life is insecure through either weakness or viciousness in the administration of law, there must be a lack of justice, and where this is wanting nothing can make up the deficiency.

                            The strongest nation on earth cannot afford to deal unjustly towards its weakest and feeblest members. I claim for the Negro protection in every right with which the government has invested him. Whether it was wise or unwise, the government has exchanged the fetters on his wrist for the ballot in his right hand, and men cannot vitiate his vote by fraud, or intimidate the voter by violence, without being untrue to the genius and spirit of our government, and bringing demoralization into their own political life and ranks. Am I here met with the objection that the Negro is poor and ignorant, and the greatest amount of land, capital, and intelligence is possessed by the white race, and that in a number of States Negro suffrage means Negro supremacy?

                            It is said the Negro is ignorant. But why is he ignorant? It comes with ill grace from a man who has put out my eyes to make a parade of my blindness, - to reproach me for my poverty when he has wronged me of my money. If the Negro
                            is ignorant, he has lived under the shadow of an institution which, at least in part of the country, made it a crime to
                            teach him to read the name of the ever-blessed Christ. If he is poor, what has become of the money he has been earning for the last two hundred and fifty years? Years ago it was said cotton fights and cotton conquers for American slavery. The Negro helped build up that great cotton power in the South, and in the North his sigh was in the whir of its machinery, and his blood and tears upon the warp and woof of its manufactures.

                            But there are some rights more precious than the rights of property or the claims of superior intelligence: they are the rights of life and liberty, and to these the poorest and humblest man has just as much right as the richest and most influential man in the country. Ignorance and poverty are conditions which men 'outgrow. Since the sealed volume was opened by the crimson hand of war, in spite of entailed ignorance, poverty, opposition, and a heritage of scorn, schools have sprung like wells in the desert dust. It has been estimated that about two millions have learned to read. Colored men and women have gone into journalism. Some of the first magazines in the country have received contributions from them. Learned professions have given them diplomas. Universities have granted them professorships. Colored women have combined to shelter orphaned children. Tens of thousands have been contributed by colored persons for the care of the aged and infirm. Millions of dollars have flowed into the pockets of the race, and freed people have not only been able to provide for themselves, but reach out their hands to impoverished owners.

                            Instead of taking the ballot from his hands, teach him how to use it, and to add his quota to the progress, strength, and durability of the nation.

                            Underlying this racial question, if I understand it aright, is one controlling idea, not simply that the Negro is ignorant; that he is outgrowing; not that he is incapable of valor in war or adaptation in peace. On fields all drenched with blood he made his record in war, abstained from lawless violence when left on the plantation, and received his freedom in peace with moderation. But he holds in this Republic the position of an alien race among a people impatient of a rival. And in the eyes of some it seems that no valor redeems him, no social advancement nor individual development wipes off the ban which clings to him. It is the pride of Caste which opposed the spirit of Christ, and the great work to which American Christianity is called is a work of Christly reconciliation.

                            Samuel Gridley Howe

                              Samuel Gridley Howewas born in Boston on 10th November, 1801. He attended Harvard Medical School but in 1824 left for Greece to help the country in its fight for independence from Turkey. For the next three years Howe organised the medical staff of the Greek Army.

                              In 1831 Howe visited Paris where he studied new methods of educating the blind. He also visited Prussia where he became involved in the Polish insurrection. After being imprisoned briefly by the Prussian government he was allowed to return to the United States.

                              Inspired by what he had seen in Paris, in 1832 Howe established the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston. Howe soon emerged as the country's leading expert on the subject.

                              A strong opponent of slavery, in 1843 Howe married Julia Ward, a fellow member of the Anti-Slavery Society. Howe was also active in the Free-Soil Party and between 1851 and 1853 Howe and wife edited the anti-slavery journal, Commonwealth

                              In 1865 Howe became chairman of the Massachusetts Board of State Charities and over the next nine years strenuously lobbied Congress to pass legislation to provide more aid for the education of the blind, deaf and mentally ill. Samuel Gridley Howe died on 9th January, 1876.

                              John Jones

                                John Jones was born a free man in North Carolina in 1817. An apprentice tailor, he taught himself to read and write. Jones started his own business and after a long struggle he became one of the richest black men in America. Jones used some of his wealth in the campaign against slavery.

                                Jones moved to Chicago and made his home into an Underground Railway Station. Jones wrote many influential anti-slavery pamphlets and led the fight against the Illinois Black Laws under which black people could not vote or testify in court.

                                As Cook County Commissioner, Jones was the first black man to be elected to senior office in America. While holding this post he helped secure the law that abolished local segregated schools. John Jones died in Chicago in 1879.

                                Charles Langston

                                  Charles Langston was born in Louisa County, Virginia in 1817. He gained his freedom in 1834 and two years later established a school in Chillicothe, Ohio for African-American children. Langston was member of the Liberty Party and the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society and edited the civil rights journal, Palladium of Liberty (1842-43). He was also a leader of the National Organization of the Sons of Temperance. Appointed principal of the Columbus Colored School in 1856, Langston continued to be active in the anti-slavery movement. He was also a conductor on the Underground Railroad and in 1858 was convicted for breaking the Fugitive Slave Act. After the Civil War Langston moved to Kansas where he became principal of the Quindaro Colored School. Charles Langston died in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1892.

                                  William Wilberforce's 1789 Abolition Speech

                                    This page contrasts extracts from two accounts of William Wilberforce's famous abolition speech, delivered in the House of Commons on Tuesday 12 May 1789. In the eighteenth century, unlike today, there was no Offical Record of speeches made to Parliament. Instead, newspapers recorded their own versions of speeches - and in many cases altered what they had heard to serve their own political agenda. The extracts here show just how different those accounts could be, but also show that the reporters were clearly listening to the same speech. They also give us some idea - an imperfect idea perhaps - but some idea of the power of Wilberforce's rhetoric.

                                    1. From ‘Debate on Mr. Wilberforce’s Resolutions respecting the Slave Trade’ in William Cobbett, The Parliamentary History of England. From the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803, 36 vols (London: T. Curson Hansard, 1806-1820), 28 (1789-91), cols 42-68.

                                    [Cols 41-42]

                                    Mr. Wilberforce now rose and said:—When I consider the magnitude of the subject which I am to bring before the House—a subject, in which the interests, not of this country, nor of Europe alone, but of the whole world, and of posterity, are involved: and when I think, at the same time, on the weakness of the advocate who has undertaken this great cause—when these reflections press upon my mind, it is impossible for me not to feel both terrified and concerned at my own inadequacy to such a task. But when I reflect, however, on the encouragement which I have had, through the whole course of a long and laborious examination of this question, and how much candour I have experienced, and how conviction has increased within my own mind, in proportion as I have advanced in my labours;—when I reflect, especially, that however averse any gentleman may now be, yet we shall all be of one opinion in the end;—when I turn myself to these thoughts, I take courage—I determine to forget all my other fears, and I march forward with a firmer step in the full assurance that my cause will bear me out, and that I shall be able to justify upon the clearest principles, every resolution in my hand, the avowed end of which is, the total abolition of the slave trade. I wish exceedingly, in the outset, to guard both myself and the House from entering into the subject with any sort of passion. It is not their passions I shall appeal to—I ask only for their cool and impartial reason; and I wish not to take them by surprise, but to deliberate, point by point, upon every part of this question. I mean not to accuse any one, but to take the shame upon myself, in common, indeed, with the whole parliament of Great Britain, for having suffered this horrid trade to be carried on under their authority. We are all guilty—we ought all to plead guilty, and not to exculpate ourselves by throwing the blame on others; and I therefore deprecate every kind of reflection against the various descriptions of people who are more immediately involved in this wretched business.

                                    [Cols 45-48]

                                    Having now disposed of the first part of this subject, I must speak of the transit of the slaves in the West Indies. This I confess, in my own opinion, is the most wretched part of the whole subject. So much misery condensed in so little room, is more than the human imagination had ever before conceived. I will not accuse the Liverpool merchants: I will allow them, nay, I will believe them to be men of humanity; and I will therefore believe, if it were not for the enormous magnitude and extent of the evil which distracts their attention from individual cases, and makes them think generally, and therefore less feelingly on the subject, they would never have persisted in the trade. I verily believe therefore, if the wretchedness of any one of the many hundred Negroes stowed in each ship could be brought before their view, and remain within the sight of the African Merchant, that there is no one among them whose heart would bear it. Let any one imagine to himself 6 or 700 of these wretches chained two and two, surrounded with every object that is nauseous and disgusting, diseased, and struggling under every kind of wretchedness! How can we bear to think of such a scene as this? One would think it had been determined to heap upon them all the varieties of bodily pain, for the purpose of blunting the feelings of the mind; and yet, in this very point (to show the power of human prejudice) the situation of the slaves has been described by Mr. Norris, one of the Liverpool delegates, in a manner which, I am sure will convince the House how interest can draw a film across the eyes, so thick, that total blindness could do no more; and how it is our duty therefore to trust not to the reasonings of interested men, or to their way of colouring a transaction. “Their apartments,” says Mr. Norris, “are fitted up as much for their advantage as circumstances will admit. The right ancle of one, indeed is connected with the left ancle of another by a small iron fetter, and if they are turbulent, by another on their wrists. They have several meals a day; some of their own country provisions, with the best sauces of African cookery; and by way of variety, another meal of pulse, &c. according to European taste. After breakfast they have water to wash themselves, while their apartments are perfumed with frankincense and lime-juice. Before dinner, they are amused after the manner of their country. The song and dance are promoted,” and, as if the whole was really a scene of pleasure and dissipation it is added, that games of chance are furnished. “The men play and sing, while the women and girls make fanciful ornaments with beads, which they are plentifully supplied with.” Such is the sort of strain in which the Liverpool delegates, and particularly Mr. Norris, gave evidence before the privy council. What will the House think when, by the concurring testimony of other witnesses, the true history is laid open. The slaves who are sometimes described as rejoicing at their captivity, are so wrung with misery at leaving their country, that it is the constant practice to set sail at night, lest they should be sensible of their departure. The pulse which Mr. Norris talks of are horse beans; and the scantiness, both of water and provision, was suggested by the very legislature of Jamaica in the report of their committee, to be a subject that called for the interference of parliament. Mr. Norris talks of frankincense and lime juice; when surgeons tell you the slaves are stowed so close, that there is not room to tread among them: and when you have it in evidence from sir George Yonge, that even in a ship which wanted 200 of her complement, the stench was intolerable. The song and the dance, says Mr. Norris, are promoted. It had been more fair, perhaps, if he had explained that word promoted. The truth is, that for the sake of exercise, these miserable wretches, loaded with chains, oppressed with disease and wretchedness, are forced to dance by the terror of the lash, and sometimes by the actual use of it. “I,” says one of the other evidences, “was employed to dance the men, while another person danced the women.” Such, then is the meaning of the word promoted; and it may be observed too, with respect to food, that an instrument is sometimes carried out, in order to force them to eat which is the same sort of proof how much they enjoy themselves in that instance also. As to their singing, what shall we say when we are told that their songs are songs of lamentation upon their departure which, while they sing, are always in tears, insomuch that one captain (more humane as I should conceive him, therefore, than the rest) threatened one of the women with a flogging, because the mournfulness of her song was too painful for his feelings. In order, however, not to trust too much to any sort of description, I will call the attention of the House to one species of evidence which is absolutely infallible. Death, at least, is a sure ground of evidence, and the proportion of deaths will not only confirm, but if possible will even aggravate our suspicion of their misery in the transit. It will be found, upon an average of all the ships of which evidence has been given at the privy council, that exclusive of those who perish before they sail, not less than 12½ per cent. perish in the passage. Besides these, the Jamaica report tells you, that not less than 4½ per cent. die on shore before the day of sale, which is only a week or two from the time of landing. One third more die in the seasoning, and this in a country exactly like their own, where they are healthy and happy as some of the evidences would pretend. The diseases, however, which they contract on shipboard, the astringent washes which are to hide their wounds, and the mischievous tricks used to make them up for sale, are, as the Jamaica report says, (a most precious and valuable report, which I shall often have to advert to) one principle cause of this mortality. Upon the whole, however, here is a mortality of about 50 per cent. and this among negroes who are not bought unless (as the phrase is with cattle) they are sound in wind and limb. How then can the House refuse its belief to the multiplied testimonies before the privy council, of the savage treatment of the negroes in the middle passage? Nay, indeed, what need is there of any evidence? The number of deaths speaks for itself, and makes all such enquiry superfluous. As soon as ever I had arrived thus far in my investigation of the slave trade, I confess to you sir, so enormous so dreadful, so irremediable did its wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for the abolition. A trade founded in iniquity, and carried on as this was, must be abolished, let the policy be what it might,—let the consequences be what they would, I from this time determined that I would never rest till I had effected its abolition.

                                    2. From The Morning Star, 78 (Wednesday 13 May 1789)

                                    Mr. WILBERFORCE then called the attention of the House to what he was about to propose. He said that he rose with a confession of what operated in his mind relative to the abolition of the Slave Trade. When I consider, says he, how long this has been suggested by many, and of what importance it is to a race of men, possessing qualities equally commendable with our own—how many millions are at present involved in the decision of the question—it is impossible for me to object in being instrumental to the business. He then remarked, that he was convinced, whatever should be the decision, that in bringing forward the discussion, he performed nothing more than his duty; and he was so fully persuaded of the rectitude of his conduct, that no consideration whatever would make him swerve from his honour so far, as to dissuade him from marching boldly forward on the occasion. It was no party question, and he flattered himself that the voice of reason and truth would be heard. He was resolved to be regulated by temper and coolness, and challenged a fair discussion.—It was not a proposition grounded upon particular motives of policy, but founded in principles of philanthropy. It was no idle expedient or speculation of the moment, but derived from the most mature deliberation. He came not to accuse the Merchants, but to appeal to their feelings and humanity. He confessed, that in the weak state of health in which he now appeared, and precarious as it might seem to many, he would stand against every personal idea, and bear the burthen destined for a person who stood in his situation. The subject had already undergone many discussions, and he apprehended that previous to a final decision, it would undergo many more. What must make every man of feeling shudder was, that, after examining the annals of Africa, numbers had been carried every year from their native country, in order to satiate the avarice of a certain description of men whose whole thoughts were bent upon tyranny and oppression.


                                    Mr. Wilberforce then noticed that he had carefully examined the histories of the West Indies, and had attended to the times, when forgetting every idea of humanity, they were torn from the protection of their friends. To delude them particularly from their native country, they generally set sail from Africa in the night time, and thus evaded reflections, which might be roused concerning their friends and relations ashore. This was a dreadful expedient; and till now, he could not believe that so much misery could be condensed in so little room. He could wish to rouse the feelings of every man on the occasion, and convince the people that their intention and aid were the were the result of consideration, which did awaken him. With regard to the gentlemen of Liverpool, he could do them the justice to believe, that they would not seriously interrupt the abolition of the Slave Trade, especially when they understood that the characters of the people of this country were sullied by the outrages alluded to. Nothing, certainly, could excite them sooner to an acquiescence, than the sight of 600 linked two and two; consequently to hear the gentlemen of Liverpool affirm, that the situation of these of these poor unhappy mortals, was comfortable, rather appeared strange and ridiculous. He then adverted to what had been adduced by Mr. Norris, in his evidence, who had made a comparison between an African Monarch, and an European, and declared that was called a Palace, was nothing more than a house of mud, where, however, every attention was made for that tenor of tranquillity which was so very desireable.—The manner of treating negroes, during a long voyage, was to the following effect:—the space between the decks is appointed entirely for their lodging; every attention is paid to keep that as clean as possible; the negroes are kept on deck all day, if the weather be fine; they are fed with two meals of comfortable victuals; they are supplied with the luxuries of pipe and tobacco, and a dram occasionally, when the coldness of the weather requires it; they are supplied with the musical instruments of their country; they are encouraged to be cheerful, to sing and to dance, and they do both; the women are supplied with beads to ornament themselves; they are kept clean shaved; and every attention paid to their heads that there be no vermin lodged there; they are secured with fetters on their legs, two and two together; and if a turbulent disposition appears, with another on the wrist; their apartments are clean washed, and fumigated with the fumes of tar and frankincense, and sprinkled with vinegar, &c. As an extenuation of the crimes laid to the charge of the Agents for the Merchants, who are accustomed to this traffic, it has been mentioned with some degree of triumph, that they were treated on board with all manner of luxurious indulgence. The luxury alluded to was this—the song and the dance were promoted; the women were employed in weaving ornaments for the hair, and the utmost attention was observed to keep up their spirits. The truth of this observation was evidently the very reverse, and if it were possible to cast a film over the eyes of mankind, so as to deprive them of sight by a total blindness, the prevaricating mode of mentioning the transactions, could not be depicted in a more absurd point of view. The poor wretches were in such a deplorable state and unparalleled torment, and suffering such torture, that the surgeon who visited them, when bound two and two, could not pass without having his legs bitten by the slaves. Sir George Yonge affirms, that the stench was so intolerable as to be past all sufferance; and that in the article of water there was a miserable allowance. It was extremely worthy of observation to explain how the songs and dances were promoted. It was not a scene of freedom or spontaneous joy; for one man was employed to dance the men, and another to dance the women. If they found themselves inclined not to undergo the fatigue, certain persons were ordered to whip them into a compliance. To hear a recital of these facts would make people shudder; and the tear of sympathy would communicate from one man to another with congenial celerity. There was one Captain who declared that his feelings revolted at such measures. He applauded highly the sensations of this man, who had made such a concession in defiance of the barbarous practises already described. But DEATH, which on every occasion levels all distinctions, gave the unhappy victims that freedom from persecution and torture which other wise they could not have received. When first I heard, Sir, of these iniquities, I considered them as exaggerations, and could not believe it possible, that men had determined to live by exerting themselves for the torture and misery of their fellow-creatures. I have taken great pains to make myself master of the subject, and can declare, that such scenes of barbarity are enough to rouse the indignation and horror of the most callous of mankind. Upon making an average of the loss sustained in the cargo of the Guinea ships, it appears, that one-eighth of the whole generally suffered. Upon examining the Jamaica Report, another essential loss was discovered, numbers died by the attempt of seasoning the slaves, that is, changing them from one climate to another—sometimes the loss appeared by death to be 4 1-half per cent.—at other times 17 per cent. the last of which calculation is generally admitted by the best writers. In every common cargo, it has been observed, that about 50 or 60 perish. From the windward coast about Sierra Leona, the general average of mortality was not found more than three per cent. From Bonny, the number of slaves was not recollected that died on the voyage. From Benin, nine were buried out of 300 in the course of three months. But the general average of mortality from Benin, Bonny, New Calabar, Old Calabar, Cameroon, and Gaboon, was much greater. That the slaves are subject to the following disorders: the small pox, measles, dysentery, fluxes, and fevers. They are rendered more sickly by laying up in land rivers. They generally lie longer on the coast than a slave ship does. An epidemical disorder on the coast prevails sometimes to a very great degree.—Mr. Jones had a ship, in which a fever broke out before she had purchased twenty slaves. This distemper carried off a great number of the crew in the course of a month. From every consideration I shall deal frankly with the House, by declaring, that no act of policy whatever will make me swerve from my duty and oblige me to abandon a measure which I think will be an honour to humanity. Mr. Wilberforce then mentioned, that he intended to submit to the consideration of the House, several resolutions, upon which a General Motion should be found for the TOTAL ABOLITION of the SLAVE TRADE. When, says he, I was persuaded of the frequent commission of the crimes mentioned, I found myself impelled to go boldly forward; and had before I had time to reflect, proceeded so far that I could not recede; but had I deserted the great and important undertaking, I should have considered myself wanting in that necessary portion of duty which I owed to my constituents and to my country. There is no accusation made against the gentlemen of the West India trade; but, by bringing forward the consideration of such a mighty object, we unite with the person of sensibility, that the measure is necessary, as founded in rectitude and universal benevolence. The great cause, it has been stated, of mortality in the West Indies is, that the slaves are very profligate and dissolute in their manners; but the principal cause, however, is their ill treatment; for the agents squeeze as much as possible from their exertions. Here the Divine Doctrine is contradicted by the reverse action—That sympathy is the great source of humanity.

                                    Peter Peckard (c.1718-1797)

                                      Little is known about Peter Peckard's early life. He was born in Welbourn, Lincolnshire around the year 1718. He studied at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, between 1734 and 1738 and became a fellow in 1744. He appears to have served as an army chaplain before settling in Cambridgeshire. In 1760, he asked for a dispensation from the church to allow him to hold the two livings of Fletton and Yaxley simultaneously. This pluralism was almost disallowed because of Peckard's alleged doctrinal heterodoxy, but at the last minute he modified his views and was permitted to derive benefits from both parishes. This was to become Peckard's hallmark: although he later vacated Yaxley, he had amassed a considerable portfolio of ecclesiastical preferments by the time of his death, including his position as Dean of Peterborough.

                                      In 1781, he was appointed to the mastership of Magdalene College, Cambridge. Three years later, he became the vice-chancellor. While at Cambridge, Peckard, always a man of liberal views, developed an interest in - and an opposition to - the slave trade, an opposition prompted in the first instance by the horrific Zong incident. This event, which took place in 1781, demonstrated the barbarity of the slave trade when a captain threw 133 slaves overboard in order that, by their death, he could reclaim their value in insurance. From this point onwards, Peckard frequently preached sermons against the trade, several of which were published as tracts and pamphlets. However, perhaps his most substantial contribution to the abolition campaign was indirect. On his appointment as vice-chancellor, he set the essay question "is it lawful to make slaves of others against their will?" (Anne Liceat Invitos in Servitutem Dare?) This question was successfully answered by the student Thomas Clarkson, who was to go on to be one of the most celebrated of the abolitionists. Having been one of the earliest people to oppose the slave trade, Peckard continued to preach and publish against it, his last pamphlet on the subject being published in 1795. Peckard died two years later, on 8 December 1797, and is buried at Peterborough.

                                      © Brycchan Carey 2002

                                      James Beattie (1735-1803)

                                        James Beattie was born on 25 October 1735 in a farmhouse near Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, where his father was a shopkeeper and small farmer.

                                        Beattie attended the local parish school and he was always top of the class. It was fortunate for him that the school was in the north-east of Scotland for the education system there at that time enabled likely lads even from such humble backgrounds as Beattie’s to progress to university. Beattie, having been encouraged in his learning by the parish minister, gained a top bursary and a place at Marischal College, Aberdeen, at the age of just 14. While an undergraduate there, he formed a lifelong friendship with a student from King’s College, Aberdeen. This friend, James Ramsay, from an equally humble background, was to become known for his very strong views favouring the abolition of the slave trade. Four years later, Beattie graduated Master of Arts.

                                        His first job was as parish schoolmaster in Fordoun, not far from his birthplace, but while teaching he continued his studies on a part-time basis, reading Divinity at both Marischal and King’s Colleges, and, in his leisure hours, writing poetry of a strongly Romantic cast. In 1757, Beattie was appointed master at Aberdeen Grammar School and, the following year, moved to the city where he spent the rest of his life. Almost against his inclination, a couple of years later this modest, learned young man was appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy and Logic at Marischal College. It was fortunate that his friends had persuaded Beattie to apply for the vacant post for he was an extraordinarily able teacher and, even in written form, his lecture notes ring with sincerity and fervour. When spoken aloud, his lessons must have had his youthful listeners hanging on his every eloquent, logical word. The zeitgeist at the time in Scotland, as elsewhere, was embodied in the writings of the philosopher, David Hume. However, many of Hume’s ideas jarred with Beattie whose Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth (1770) attacks Hume’s philosophy as it appears in the latter’s Treatise of Human Nature (1739–40).

                                        In his Treatise, Hume asserts the superiority of white men over black, part of his ‘proof’ being that, at the time, there were black slaves throughout Europe, none of whom had ever shown “any symptoms of ingenuity”. Part III of Beattie’s Essay (published in May 1770) demolishes Hume’s racist argument line by line. Many men had previously attacked Hume’s assertions, but they had had little effect because they had still treated the renowned philosopher with deference. However, according to James Boswell, Beattie stripped Hume of all his assumed dignity and 'scourged him till he smarted keenly' (Boswelliana, p. 282). That this had the desired effect is suggested by the fact that, in Hume’s short autobiography, any mention of Beattie is conspicuously absent. It is sobering to think how narrowly Beatties's Essay escaped being binned: no publisher saw a profit in a work which promoted the unfashionable side of the argument and it was only when Beattie’s colleagues, without telling him, had the work published privately that his radical ideas were made known to a wider public, bringing him honour and fame. He was offered the Chair of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, but turned it down, possibly because of the hostility of David Hume’s friends in the city. However, when Beattie went to London he was lionised, partly for his much admired Romantic poetry and partly for his revolutionary abolitionist views. He met, among others, Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and even George III, who granted him an annual pension of £200. In addition, Beattie was awarded an honorary LLD by Oxford University.

                                        Meanwhile, Beattie continued to collect materials on slavery and to lecture on the topic to his classes. In one of these discourses, he takes a variety of excuses put forward by proponents of the slave trade and shreds them, demonstrating, with irrefutable logic, their preposterousness - excuses such as: if we British didn’t buy the men exposed for sale, then someone else would. From the economic angle, his informed argument is that the free man is more productive than the slave. His analogies are ones that the country boys who were his students would understand: for example, the hare which changes colour in snowy conditions is still the same creature whatever its outward appearance. Even more forthrightly, he describes 'the condition of a negro slave', not by taking up the stance of a enlightened white observer, but, shockingly, by using the first person pronoun and thereby putting his naive young listeners, who had never ventured out of northern Scotland but to whom Beattie’s down-to-earth language was crystal clear, right inside the black skin of the African slave: 'forced from our native country [...] to be stowed, like lumber, amidst darkness, and death perhaps, and putrefaction, in the lower decks of a ship, sailing we know not whither; to be stripped naked, and sold like beasts in a market.' This empathetic dramatisation led naturally on to Beattie’s incontrovertible acknowledgement that all men and women are human beings and that therefore 'both reason and Scripture declare, that it is our duty to love them and to do unto them as we would they would do unto us.' Beattie’s perception of black people was similar to his perception of womankind: he admitted that, in his day, white men were certainly represented as superior, but maintained that this came about through inequality of opportunity.

                                        Everyone is different, he said, with different talents and potential, but everyone is equal. Eighteen years after the publication of Beattie’s Essay on Truth, William Wilberforce, beginning his career as an abolitionist, was to bring a motion on the subject to the House of Commons. Beattie prepared a petition, signed by the chancellor of Marischal College, and sent it to London, though he did not hold out much hope of human trafficking being stopped at once. He was right. Beattie finally met Wilberforce in Bath in 1791 and the great campaigner, familiar with Beattie’s work, wrote to express his pleasure at having had the honour of Beattie’s acquaintance. Beattie’s discourses were not published in book form until Volume 1 of Elements of Moral Science came out in 1790, the second following in 1793.

                                        However, his importance for the abolition of the slave trade was rooted less in his publications than in his job as a teacher. For decades he instilled in his students his deeply-felt horror at the social evil of slavery. The young men in his classes became schoolmasters and clergymen, infiltrating the parishes of north-east Scotland and preaching the abolitionist gospel from schoolroom dais and kirk pulpit. Beattie’s ideology snowballed and soon Aberdeenshire became a centre of abolitionist enlightenment. Cynics pointed out that expressing piety about the slave trade diverted attention from social ills at home, especially the enforced expatriation of thousands of agricultural workers from the north of Scotland during the Highland Clearances. (In Bleak House (1852) Charles Dickens would later call this supposed blindness to such problems on home turf ‘Telescopic philanthropy’.) However, many of the bright and highly educated young men who had been influenced, directly or indirectly, by Beattie’s teaching were also unable to find work in the poverty-stricken Highlands, and went overseas to seek their fortunes, taking with them Beattie’s ideological legacy and arguably a special sympathy for slaves, expatriated like themselves. Many young men went out from Aberdeenshire to Africa or to the other end of the trade, the West Indies.

                                        Towards the end of his life, the normally modest James Beattie boasted proudly: 'This, at least, I can say with truth, that many of my pupils have gone to the West Indies, and I trust have carried my principles with them, and exemplified those principles in their conduct to their unfortunate brethren.'

                                        Charles G. Finney

                                          Charles G. Finney, the great revival preacher, recorded in his Memoirs, "I had made up my mind on the question of slavery, and was exceedingly anxious to arouse public attention to the subject. In my prayers and preaching, I so often alluded to slavery, and denounced it, that a considerable excitement came to exist among the people."

                                          The excitement that accompanied Finney's revivals affected one young man named Theodore Weld. Weld was initially and vehemently opposed to Finney's work, but was converted in Utica, New York, during one of Finney's meetings. Weld was a formidable enemy to Mr. Finney, but after his salvation he became an ardent supporter. Weld traveled with Finney, assisting the preacher in his meetings and later emerged as a student leader at Lane Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio.

                                          For a period of time when Weld traveled with Finney, he was taught the biblical view of sin and its effects on the individual and society. Finney believed that individuals could be liberated from sin and that sin in society could be confronted and overthrown through preaching the Gospel. Anything that was destructive or dehumanizing to the human race was deemed as sin.

                                          Studying the Old Testament story of the tribes of Israel and their liberation from slavery in Egypt, as well as the teachings of Jesus Christ, both Finney and Weld came to a common conclusion: slavery was sin. Therefore, it had to be rooted out and destroyed immediately. It could not be tolerated, not even temporarily. Slavery, according to Finney and Weld's view, must be attacked and overthrown by the power of God's Holy Spirit in the believer's life.

                                          Charles G. Finney, Memoirs (New York: A.S. Barnes, 1876), p 324. 2 Ibid, p 185-188.