(1850) Lucy Stanton, “A Plea for the Oppressed”

Lucy Stanton was probably the first African American woman to complete a four-year collegiate course of study. Stanton, the daughter of John Brown, a Cleveland barber active in the Underground Railroad, enrolled in nearby Oberlin Collegiate Institute (now Oberlin College) in northern Ohio. The institution … Read More(1850) Lucy Stanton, “A Plea for the Oppressed”

(1850) Samuel Ringgold Ward, “Speech on the Fugitive Slave Bill”

Image Ownership: Public Domain Samuel Ringgold Ward (1817-1864), was one of the most prominent of the anti-slavery speakers in the nation by the 1850s. Born into slavery in Maryland, he escaped with his mother to New Jersey. In 1834 when he was 17 Ward was … Read More(1850) Samuel Ringgold Ward, “Speech on the Fugitive Slave Bill”

(1850) Rev. Jermain Wesley Loguen, “I Won’t Obey the Fugitive Slave Law”

A month after the infamous Fugitive Slave Act was passed by Congress, Rev. Jermain Wesley Loguen (1813-1872), a fugitive slave from Tennessee, persuaded his adopted hometown, Syracuse, New York, to declare that city a refuge for liberated slaves. On October 4, 1850, the people of … Read More(1850) Rev. Jermain Wesley Loguen, “I Won’t Obey the Fugitive Slave Law”

(1849) Frederick Douglass, “On Mexico”

Image Ownership: Public Domain On June 8, 1849, Frederick Douglass gave a major oration at Faneuil Hall in Boston soon after he returned from Europe. The speech addressed a number of issues including the politics of Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky. After his main address, … Read More(1849) Frederick Douglass, “On Mexico”

(1845) Frederick Douglass, “My Slave Experience in Maryland”

Frederick Douglass described his early life in an address titled, “My Slave Experience in Maryland, “in a speech delivered in New York City on May 6, 1845. The speech, which was reprinted in the National Antislavery Standard on May 22, 1845, appears below. Douglass had … Read More(1845) Frederick Douglass, “My Slave Experience in Maryland”

(1844) Charles Lenox Remond, “For the Dissolution of the Union”

In a speech before the New England Anti-Slavery Society at its convention on May 7, 1844, Charles Lenox Remond adopted a theme increasingly popular among many anti-slavery activists, arguing that Northern states such as Massachusetts should secede from the Union then dominated by slaveholders. Remond … Read More(1844) Charles Lenox Remond, “For the Dissolution of the Union”

(1843) Henry Highland Garnet, “An Address To The Slaves Of The United States”

The National Negro Convention of 1843 was held in Buffalo, New York drawing some seventy delegates a dozen states. Among the delegates were young, rising leaders in the African American community including Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, Charles B. Ray and Charles L. Remond. Twenty-seven … Read More(1843) Henry Highland Garnet, “An Address To The Slaves Of The United States”

(1843) Samuel H. Davis, “We Must Assert Our Rightful Claims and Plead Our Own Cause”

The National Convention of Colored Citizens which met in Buffalo, New York from August 15 to 19, 1843 is best remembered as the venue for the speech by Rev. Henry Highland Garnet calling on the slaves to “throw off their chains.” However the chair of … Read More(1843) Samuel H. Davis, “We Must Assert Our Rightful Claims and Plead Our Own Cause”

(1842) Charles Lenox Remond, “The Rights Of Colored Citizens In Traveling”

In 1842 Charles Lenox Remond became one of the first African Americans to give testimony before a state legislature when he addressed a committee of the Massachusetts House of Representatives investigating discrimination in public transportation. Here Remond contrasted the absence of discrimination in his travels … Read More(1842) Charles Lenox Remond, “The Rights Of Colored Citizens In Traveling”

(1839) Daniel A. Payne, “Slavery Brutalizes Man”

Daniel A. Payne was born on February 24, 1811, in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of free blacks. Educated at a Charleston school established by free blacks and by a private tutor, he mastered mathematics, Greek, Latin, and French. In 1826 Payne joined the Methodist … Read More(1839) Daniel A. Payne, “Slavery Brutalizes Man”