(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”

(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”