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…
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A unique crossbow collection - Ethnographic Arms & Armour
Ethnographic Arms & Armour - A unique crossbow collection
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Newspaper article concerning the fire that destroyed Morbid Manor. 2 of 4.
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These were the most prominent white abolitionists who risked life and property to free the slaves over a period spanning 70+ years.
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Ben Franklin 1706-1790. In 1787 he became president of America's first abolition society, The Pennsylvania Abolition Society. His last public effort was a petition to Congress to free the slaves in 1790.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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."
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Zebina Eastman; 1815-1883; abolitionist who was editor of the Western Citizen and the Free West; he opposed colonizationists and compensation to slaveholders; urged the right and justice of assisting all Negroes to escape from bondage.
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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.