THE SLAVES BEST WHITE FRIENDS
Here are the best white friends the slaves ever had. Abraham Lincoln is not among them. Abolitionists generally despised Lincoln, who never made a single speech…
Erastus Hussey; 1800-1889; he and wife Sarah were strong Quakers & abolitionists whose Battle Creek, Michigan home became an important Underground Railroad station, helping over 1,000 to Canada. He published an abolitionist newspaper called the Michigan Liberty Press. As a state senator he helped found the Republican Party. He drafted state legislation outlawing the capture of runaway slaves in Michigan.
Dr. Hiram Rutherford; 1815-1900; an abolitionist in an active Underground Railroad family; he was defendant in Matson Slave Trial in 1847 in Illinois; Kentucky slaveholder Robert Matson brought 5 slaves to his Illinois farm & after they escaped to Rutherford's house, Matson sued to recover them. Rutherford asked 38-year old Abe Lincoln to represent him but Lincoln declined & represented the slave owner instead, infuriating Rutherford. Lincoln lost the case & the slaves were freed.
Lucretia Mott; 1793-1880; a Quaker minister, abolitionist & women's rights advocate who refused to use cotton, sugar & other slave products; she & husband James helped found the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833 and she was the only woman to speak at the organizational meeting in Philadelphia; with other white and black women she helped found the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society and she was one of only 6 women delegates to the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840.
John Rankin; 1793-1886; Presbyterian minister became one of Ohio's first & most active Underground Railroad conductors. His writings influenced Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Henry Ward Beecher who when asked after the Civil War "Who abolished slavery?" answered, "Reverend John Rankin and his sons did." The Rankin House is a U. S. National Historic Landmark. He helped form the American Anti-Slavery Society and wrote the book "Letters on Slavery" that inspired Garrison.
Moncure Conway; 1832-1907; born to Virginia slaveholder & became abolitionist after watching lynching, recognized as only descendant of a “Founding Father” to lead slaves to freedom; mother was granddaughter of Thomas Stone; he led several dozen of his father’s escaped slaves from Georgetown to Ohio; married an abolitionist and lived last portion of life in England as family outcast; prolific writer educated at Dickinson & Harvard Divinity; became editor of anti-slavery weekly "Commonwealth."
Zachariah Chandler; 1813-1879; New Hampshire native was a founder of the Republican Party, a lifelong abolitionist, mayor of Detroit, 4-term senator from Michigan, and Secretary of Interior under President Grant. He advocated civil rights for freed slaves, financially supported Detroit's Underground Railroad, spoke out against the Dred Scott Decision and the Fugitive Slave Law & was friends with Lyman Trumbull and Benjamin Wade.
Prudence Crandall; 1803-1890; A Baptist woman who opened a school for black girls in 1833 in rural, eastern Connecticut with sponsorship from 15 abolitionist leaders including William Lloyd Garrison, Samuel May, and brothers Arthur and Lewis Tappan. She and her students experienced life-threatening violence in her town of Canterbury and Crandall was arrested for violating the Black Laws and put on trial in 1834. Continued violence forced her to close the school and move to Kansas.
William Lloyd Garrison; 1805-1879; editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator; one of the founders of The American Anti-slavery Society; in The Liberator on January 1, 1831 he became the first notable American to espouse “immediate emancipation” rather than the generally accepted (Lincoln included) liberal goal of gradual emancipation, which he considered unacceptable and immoral. His position helped make abolitionism part of the national conversation.
Laura Smith Haviland. 1808-1898: The Quaker Haviland family hid runaway slaves in the 1830s, the first Underground Railroad station in Michigan. They opened Michigan’s first integrated school, the “Raisin Institute” in 1837. As a widow, Laura continued to shelter fugitive slaves, personally escorting some to Canada. She traveled to the South on multiple occasions to aid escaped slaves and had a $3,000 bounty placed on her head (dead or alive). She became close friends with Sojourner Truth.
1806-1879; Angelina W. Grimké; 1792-1893, Sarah M. Grimké; the sisters were raised on a large South Carolina slave plantation but became radical abolitionists, living and working together. In 1836 Angelina wrote “An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South,” which won the sisters an invitation to the Agents’ Convention of the American Anti-Slavery Society in New York. Their abolitionist lectures became extremely popular.
Maria Weston Chapman. 1806-1885: An American abolitionist. She was elected to the executive committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1839, and from 1839 until 1842, she served as editor of the anti-slavery journal "Non-Resistant." Around 1855, she endorsed the Republican party and later supported both the American Civil War and Abraham Lincoln’s proposal in 1862 for gradual, compensated slave emancipation.
Theodore Dwight Weld. 1803-1895: Abolitionist and Republican who worked to end slavery in the US. Known as a forceful orator, he dedicated himself to the anti-slavery cause in 1830. He helped found the American Anti-Slavery Society and in 1836 the society decided to devote all its resources towards enlarging the band of trained lecture agents to spread the abolitionist gospel. He was known to speak 8 to 10 hours a day.
Elisha Tyson; 1749-1824; Quaker helped found the “Maryland Society for the Abolition of Slavery” in 1789, the state’s first abolitionist group; in 1797 he opened the “African Academy,” Baltimore’s first permanent school for blacks; he operated a “safe house” on the Underground Railroad and organized groups to combat kidnappers of free blacks and runaway slaves; he endured many threats to burn his home and take his life (one at pistol point). Thousands of blacks attended his funeral.
James M. Ashley; 1824-1896; Ohio Congressman introduced the first amendment to the Constitution to abolish slavery; he traveled with John Brown’s wife to her husband’s hanging and reported the event in the Toledo Blade. He also wrote a bill to abolish slavery in Washington, D.C.
Salmon P. Chase; 1808-1873; elected Senator from Ohio in 1849; Governor of Ohio in 1855; in 1861 he became Secretary of Treasury under Lincoln & began paper currency; appointed Chief Justice of Supreme Court when Taney died in 1864; NY Times wrote that he did more than anyone to create the ideological foundations of the political anti-slavery movement.
William Pitt Fessenden; 1806-1869; a lawyer, he was a leading antislavery Whig in Maine; in Congress, He built an antislavery coalition in the state legislature that elected him to the US Senate; it became Maine's Republican organization. In the Senate, Fessenden played a central role in the debates on Kansas, denouncing the expansion of slavery. Fessenden's speeches influenced Republicans such as Lincoln and built support for Lincoln's 1860 Republican presidential nomination.