(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”

(1846) Lewis Richardson, “I am Free From American Slavery” 1846

By the 1840s a number of fugitive slaves, the most prominent being Frederick Douglass, took to the lecture circuit usually appearing before abolitionist societies where they told their personal stories of bondage. The speech of Lewis Richardson, however, attracted particular attention because he had escaped … Read More(1846) Lewis Richardson, “I am Free From American Slavery” 1846

(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”

(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”

(1841) Charles Lenox Remond, “Slavery and the Irish”

In November 1841 Charles Lenox Remond, while still on his European tour, gave a speech before the Hibernian Antislavery Society in Dublin. That oration, published in the Liberator, appears below. In rising to make some remarks on the great cause which has brought us together, … Read More(1841) Charles Lenox Remond, “Slavery and the Irish”

(1841) Charles Lenox Remond, “Slavery As It Concerns The British”

Charles Lenox Remond (1810-1878), was one of the earliest black abolitionist speakers. Born in Salem, Massachusetts to free black parents, John and Nancy Remond, Charles became an agent of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in 1838 and traveled with William Lloyd Garrison to the World Anti-Slavery … Read More(1841) Charles Lenox Remond, “Slavery As It Concerns The British”

(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”

(1839) Andrew Harris, “Slavery Presses Down Upon the Free People of Color”

Andrew Harris, (1810-1841), graduated from the University of Vermont in 1838. One year later in an address delivered to nearly five thousand abolitionists at New York City’s Broadway Tabernacle on May 7, 1839, young Harris argued that slavery in the South influenced racism in the … Read More(1839) Andrew Harris, “Slavery Presses Down Upon the Free People of Color”

(1838) James McCune Smith, “The Abolition Of Slavery And The Slave Trade In The French And British Colonies”

James McCune Smith (1813-1865) was a prominent physician and abolitionist. Smith was educated in the African Free School in New York City. When failing to be admitted to any American college, he enrolled in Glasgow University in Scotland in 1832 and earned three degrees including … Read More(1838) James McCune Smith, “The Abolition Of Slavery And The Slave Trade In The French And British Colonies”