(1864) Abraham Lincoln “Address at a Sanitary Fair”

During the Civil War Northerners organized sanitary fairs to raise funds on behalf of the United States Sanitary Commission, a charitable relief organization which promoted the welfare of Union Soldiers.  President Abraham Lincoln addressed one such fair in Baltimore, Maryland on April 18, 1864.  The … Read More(1864) Abraham Lincoln “Address at a Sanitary Fair”

(1861) Alexander H. Stephens, “Cornerstone Speech”

Image Ownership: Public Domain On March 21, 1861, after seven states had seceded from the United States, two weeks after the inauguration of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, but three weeks before the firing on Fort Sumter, Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens delivered what would … Read More(1861) Alexander H. Stephens, “Cornerstone Speech”

(1896) Hugh M. Browne, “The Higher Education of the Colored People of the South”

Hugh M. Browne, educator, Presbyterian minister, and college professor in Liberia, positioned himself between the advocates of industrial and higher education for African Americans.  In the speech below he describes his educational philosophy and the forces and experiences that shaped it. In my invitation to … Read More(1896) Hugh M. Browne, “The Higher Education of the Colored People of the South”

(1857) Abraham Lincoln, “The Dred Scott Decision and Slavery,”

The Dred Scott Decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court on March 6, 1857 was supposed to end the decades-long debate about slavery in the United States.  It did just the opposite, inflaming passions particularly in the North.  In the follow speech, Abraham Lincoln, … Read More(1857) Abraham Lincoln, “The Dred Scott Decision and Slavery,”

(1854) William Lloyd Garrison, “No Compromise with the Evil of Slavery”

Image Ownership: Public Domain By 1854 William Lloyd Garrison was the most prominent abolitionist in the United States.  Beginning with his newspaper, the Liberator, which he established in Boston in 1831, Garrison led the effort to end slavery in the nation.  In this 1854 speech … Read More(1854) William Lloyd Garrison, “No Compromise with the Evil of Slavery”

(1858) Abraham Lincoln, “A House Divided”

Image Ownership: Public Domain On June 16, 1858, only three hours after he received the Republican nomination for the United States Senate from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln gave his "A House Divided" speech, perhaps the most famous oration from an anti-slavery politician delivered before the U.S. … Read More(1858) Abraham Lincoln, “A House Divided”

(1838) Sara T. Smith, “Loosening the Bonds of Prejudice”

On May 17, 1838, abolitionist Sara T. Smith addresses the second Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women which was originally scheduled to be held in Pennsylvania Hall.  The meeting however was moved when anti-abolitionist mobs, upon learning of the Convention, burned the hall to the ground.  … Read More(1838) Sara T. Smith, “Loosening the Bonds of Prejudice”

(1838) Angelina Grimke, “Address to the Massachusetts Legislature”

Image Ownership: Public Domain In February 1838, Angelina Grimke became the first woman in U.S. history to address the members of an American legislative body when she spoke to the members of the Massachusetts Legislature.  Her subject was the demand for the immediate end of … Read More(1838) Angelina Grimke, “Address to the Massachusetts Legislature”

(1787) Gouverner Morris “The Curse of Slavery”

Image Ownership: Public Domain The Constitutional Convention in 1787 debated the institution of slavery.  In the speech below Gouverner Morris, a Pennsylvania delegate, described the negative impact of the institution on both North and South and in doing so made public at the highest level … Read More(1787) Gouverner Morris “The Curse of Slavery”

(1865) Abraham Lincoln, “Second Inaugural Address”

On Saturday March 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated and began his second term as President.  His address to the audience of thousands of spectators was brief, one of the shortest inaugural addresses on record.  The Civil War was drawing to a close as … Read More(1865) Abraham Lincoln, “Second Inaugural Address”