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Abolitionists

John Brown Raided the Federal Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry to Obtain Arms for a Slave Insurrection

Just after sundown on the evening of Sunday October 16, 1859 John Brown led a group of 21 men (16 white and 5 black) across the Potomac River from Maryland to Virginia. Their immediate objective was the capture of the cache of weapons stored at the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Brown's ultimate goal was to destroy the slave system of the South. The arms captured by the raid would allow Brown and his followers to establish a stronghold in the near-by mountains from which they could attack slaveholders and draw liberated slaves into their ranks. Brown's raid attained initial ...
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Abolitionist Frederick Douglass Gives Iconic “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” Speech

Frederick Douglass (1818-95) was a prominent American abolitionist, author and orator. Born a slave, Douglass escaped at age 20 and went on to become a world-renowned anti-slavery activist. His three autobiographies are considered important works of the slave narrative tradition as well as classics of American autobiography. Douglass’ work as a reformer ranged from his abolitionist activities in the early 1840s to his attacks on Jim Crow and lynching in the 1890s. For 16 years he edited an influential black newspaper and achieved international fame as an inspiring and persuasive speaker and writer. In thousands of speeches and editorials, ...
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William Wilberforce gives His Passionate “Abolition Speech” to the House of Commons to Convince them that Slavery Must be Abolished

William Wilberforce was a member of the British Parliament who converted to Christianity and later became an abolitionist. As a Christian, he sought to reform the evils within himself and the world and since one of the glaring moral issues of his day was slavery, he read up on the subject and met some anti-slavery activists. On May 12, 1789, he delivered his Abolition Speech before the House of Commons where he passionately made his case as to why the slave trade must be abolished. He also introduced a bill to abolish the trade and though it failed, it ...
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