Abolitionist History

Historical Events

  • 1772-06-22 Somerset v Stewart court case finds slavery unsupported by English common law, encouraging the abolitionist movement
  • 1775-04-14 1st abolitionist society in US organizes in Philadelphia

Battle of Interest

1782-08-27 Battle of the Combahee River near Beaufort, South Carolina, American abolitionist John Laurens is killed leading the charge

  • 1790-02-11 Society of Friends petitions Congress for abolition of slavery

Historic Publication

1831-01-01 William Lloyd Garrison publishes 1st issue of abolitionist journal, "The Liberator"; publication continued until the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in 1865

  • 1831-01-02 "The Liberator", weekly abolitionist newspaper, begins publishing by William Lloyd Garrison in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1837-11-07 In Alton, Illinois, abolitionist printer Elijah P. Lovejoy shot dead (age 34) by pro-slavery mob while attempting to protect his printing shop from being destroyed a third time.
  • 1851-02-15 Black abolitionists invade Boston courtroom rescuing a fugitive slave
  • 1851-11-09 Kentucky marshals abduct abolitionist minister Calvin Fairbank from Jeffersonville, Indiana, and take him to Kentucky to stand trial for helping a slave escape.

Historic Event

1856-05-24 Pottawatomie Massacre: John Brown and abolitionist settlers kill five pro-slavery settlers in Franklin County, Kansas

  • 1858-04-14 Abolitionist John Brown meets Harriet Tubman at a Constitutional Convention convened in Chatham, Ontario
  • 1859-10-16 Abolitionist John Brown leads 21 men on a raid of the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia
  • 1859-11-02 American abolitionist John Brown found guilty of murder, inciting slaves to revolt, and treason against the Virginia Territory during his raid of Harpers Ferry Armory, and sentenced to hang
  • 1859-12-02 Abolitionist John Brown hanged for murder, treason, and conspiring slaves to revolt at Charles Town, Virginia
  • 1861-11-19 American poet and abolitionist Julia Ward Howe commits lyrics of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to paper
  • 1864-10-13 Maryland voters adopt new constitution, including abolition of slavery
  • 1962-11-06 Saudi Arabia proclaims abolition of slavery

Famous Birthdays

  • 1720-10-19 John Woolman, American Quaker preacher and abolitionist, born in Province of New Jersey (d. 1772)
  • 1735-11-10 Granville Sharp, English abolitionist, born in Durham, England (d. 1813)
  • 1746-11-06 Absalom Jones, African-American abolitionist and clergyman, born into slavery in Delaware (d. 1818)

John LaurensJohn Laurens (1754-1782)

1754-10-28 American soldier, diplomat and abolitionist, born in Charleston, South Carolina

  • 1760-03-28 Thomas Clarkson, English abolitionist (Negro Emancipation), born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England (d. 1846)
  • 1789-01-04 Benjamin Lundy, philanthropist/abolitionist

Lucretia MottLucretia Mott (1793-1880)

1793-01-03 American Quaker, abolitionist and women's right activist (1st Woman's Rights Convention), born in Nantucket, Massachusetts

  • 1796-05-17 Martinus Niewindt, Dutch Bishop of Curacao (advocate for fair treatment and abolition of slavery), born in Amsterdam (d. 1860)
  • 1796-09-28 David Walker, African-American abolitionist (Appeal to Colored Citizens), born in Wilmington, North Carolina (d. 1830)

Sojourner TruthSojourner Truth (1797-1883)

1797-11-18 African-American abolitionist and feminist, born in Swartekill, New York [birth date is approximate]

John BrownJohn Brown (1800-1859)

1800-05-09 American abolitionist and revolutionary (Harpers Ferry), born in Torrington, Connecticut

  • 1801-11-10 Samuel Gridley Howe, United States physician, abolitionist, and advocate of education for the blind, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1876)
  • 1802-02-11 Lydia Maria Child, American author, journalist and abolitionist (Juvenile Miscellany), born in Medford, Massachusetts (d. 1880)
  • 1802-06-12 Harriet Martineau, British controversial journalist, political economist, abolitionist and life-long feminist, born in Norwich, Norfolk, England (d. 1876)
  • 1802-11-09 Elijah Parish Lovejoy, American newspaper publisher and abolitionist, born in Albion, Maine (d. 1837)
  • 1804-07-22 Victor Schoelcher, French writer (abolitionism), born in Paris (d. 1893)

Angelina GrimkéAngelina Grimké (1805-1879)

1805-02-20 American abolitionist, women's rights activist and suffragette (An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South), born in Charleston, South Carolina

William Lloyd GarrisonWilliam Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879)

1805-12-10 American abolitionist, and publisher ("The Liberator"), born in Newburyport, Massachusetts

  • 1808-07-10 Solomon Northup, American abolitionist and author (12 Years a Slave), born in Minerva, New York (or 10 Jul 1807) (d. 1863)
  • 1810-02-01 Charles Lenox Remond, African-American orator and abolitionist, born in Salem, Massachusetts (d. 1873)
  • 1811-11-29 Wendell Phillips, American abolitionist, women's suffrage advocate and prison reformer, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1884)
  • 1812-03-22 Stephen Pearl Andrews, American abolitionist (d. 1886)
  • 1813-04-18 James McCune Smith, African-American doctor and abolitionist, born in Manhattan, New York (d. 1865)
  • 1813-11-13 John Wolcott Phelps, American abolitionist, author and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Guilford County, Vermont (d. 1885)
  • 1815-12-23 Henry Highland Garnet, American minister, abolitionist and diplomat, born in Maryland (d. 1882)
  • 1817-10-17 Samuel Ringgold Ward, Maryland, minister/abolitionist (Fugitive Negro)

Frederick DouglassFrederick Douglass (c. 1817/18-1895)

1818-02-14 African-American abolitionist, lecturer and editor who was also an escaped slave [exact birth year unknown], born in Talbot County, Maryland

  • 1818-08-13 Lucy Stone, American abolitionist (US Woman's Suffrage Association), born in West Brookefield, Massachusetts (d. 1893)
  • 1819-02-22 James Russell Lowell, poet/critic/diplomat/abolitionist
  • 1823-06-08 Robert Morris, 1st successful African American lawyer in the US and Abolitionist, born in Salem, Massachusetts (d. 1882)
  • 1826-06-06 Sarah Parker Remond, African-American abolitionist, born in Salem, Massachusetts (d. 1894)
  • 1826-07-21 James Gillpatrick Blunt, American physician, abolitionist, and Major General (Union Army), born in Trenton, Maine (d. 1881)
  • 1828-12-08 Clinton Bowen Fisk, American abolitionist, Brevet Major General (Union Army), helped establish 1st free public schools in the South, born in York, New York (d. 1890)
  • 1831-05-28 Eliza Ann Gardner, African-American abolitionist and religious leader, born in NYC, New York (d. 1922)
  • 1832-03-17 Moncure Daniel Conway, US abolitionist (Life of Thomas Paine)
  • 1835-03-15 John Henrie Kagi, American abolitionist (d. 1859)
  • 1965-01-12 Biram Dah Abeid, Mauritanian politician & slavery abolitionist advocate, born in Rosso, Trarza

Famous Weddings

William Wilberforce

1797-05-30 Abolitionist William Wilberforce (37) weds Barbara Spooner (25) at St Swithins Church in Walcot, Bath

William Lloyd Garrison

1834-09-04 American abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison (28) weds Helen Eliza Benson (22), in Boston, Massachusetts

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

1840-05-01 Women's rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton (24) weds fellow abolitionist Henry Brewster Stanton (34)

John D. Rockefeller

1864-09-08 Business magnate John D. Rockefeller (25) weds abolitionist Laura Spelman (24)

Harriet Tubman

1869-03-18 US Abolitionist Harriet Tubman marries civil war veteran Nelson Davis in Auburn NY

Frederick Douglass

1884-01-24 Abolitionist Frederick Douglass marries his second wife suffragist Helen Pitts


Famous Deaths

  • 1772-10-07 John Woolman, American Quaker preacher and abolitionist, dies of smallpox at 51

John LaurensJohn Laurens (1754-1782)

1782-08-27 American soldier, diplomat and abolitionist, killed in battle at 27

William WilberforceWilliam Wilberforce (1759-1833)

1833-07-29 British politician, philanthropist and leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade, dies at 73

  • 1837-11-07 Elijah Parish Lovejoy, American newspaper publisher and abolitionist, murdered at 34
  • 1846-09-26 Thomas Clarkson, English abolitionist (Negro Emancipation), dies at 86

John BrownJohn Brown (1800-1859)

1859-12-02 American abolitionist and revolutionary (Harpers Ferry), hanged at 59

  • 1865-11-17 James McCune Smith, African-American doctor and abolitionist, dies at 52
  • 1876-01-09 Samuel Gridley Howe, United States physician, abolitionist, and an advocate of education for the blind, dies at 74
  • 1876-06-27 Harriet Martineau, British controversial journalist, political economist, abolitionist and life-long feminist, dies at 74

William Lloyd GarrisonWilliam Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879)

1879-05-24 American abolitionist, and publisher ("The Liberator"), dies at 73

Lucretia MottLucretia Mott (1793-1880)

1880-11-11 American Quaker, abolitionist and women's right activist (1st Woman's Rights Convention), dies at 87

  • 1882-12-12 Robert Morris, 1st successful African American lawyer and abolitionist, dies at 59
  • 1885-01-24 Martin Delany, African-American abolitionist and physician (1st African American major in US Army), dies at 72
  • 1893-10-18 Lucy Stone, American abolitionist (US Woman's Suffrage Association), dies at 75
  • 1893-12-26 Victor Schœlcher, French abolitionist writer, dies at 89
  • 1894-12-13 Sarah Parker Remond, African-American abolitionist, dies at 68

Frederick DouglassFrederick Douglass (c. 1817/18-1895)

1895-02-20 African-American abolitionist, lecturer and editor who was also an escaped slave, dies of a heart attack at 77

  • 1898-10-12 Calvin Fairbank, American abolitionist minister (b. 1816)

Thomas ElkinsThomas Elkins (1818-1900)

1900-08-10 African American abolitionist and inventor who held patents for a type of furniture called the chamber commode and the Refrigerating Apparatus, dies at around 82 [1]

Harriet TubmanHarriet Tubman (1820/1822-1913)

1913-03-10 American abolitionist, former slave and humanitarian (Underground Railroad), dies at about 91 {birth date uncertain]

  • 1922-01-04 Eliza Ann Gardner, African-American abolitionist and religious leader, dies at 90