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“On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation…AND I WILL BE HEARD!”. People who spoke out against slavery were called abolitionists . An abolitionist was someone who wanted to abolish, or end, slavery in the United States.
“On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation…AND I WILL BE HEARD!”
People who spoke out against slavery were called abolitionists.
An abolitionist was someone who wanted to abolish, or end, slavery in the United States.
The printed word played an important role in getting people to join the abolitionist movement.
By 1860, about 17 newspapers for black readers were printed in the United States. People who opposed, or were against, the abolitionists tried to stop these newspapers. In some places, people would burn them and mail carriers refused to deliver them.
TheLiberator also upset some Northerners. Garrison demanded that blacks have the same rights as whites. Although Northerners did not own slaves, many of them did not believe in equal rights for blacks and whites.
Other people wrote books about slavery to speak out against it. One of the most popular was written in 1852 by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
It described the lives of slaves. One character escaped to prevent her young son from being sold away from her. Another died under the whip of a cruel overseer.
The book sold more than 300,000 copies in its 1st year of publication
A number of Southern whites fought for the abolition of slavery. Two of the most famous were Angelina and Sara Grimke. They were daughters of a wealthy South Carolina judge and plantation owner.
They had seen the evils of slavery firsthand. They said that slavery was “inconsistent with just and humanity.”
Eventually, the two sisters moved to the North where they worked openly for the end of slavery. There they were among the first women to speak publicly for abolition.
Like Frederick Douglass, many African Americans risked their lives to escape to the free Northern states.
They also went to the Western Territories, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands. Many traveled for weeks or months crossing hundreds of miles almost entirely at night. During the day they hid from slave catchers.
The Underground Railroad was a system of secret routes that escaping captives followed to freedom. The escaping slaves and those who helped them used railroad terms as code words.
People who guided escaping slaves were called “conductors.” Slaves were called “passengers.” The places they hid were called “stations” and the people who worked there were called “station masters.”
The song gave directions for escaping north in code. Each of the rivers in the song was an actual river. For example, the “great big river” was the Ohio River.
The “drinking gourd” was the Little Dipper.
The river ends between two hills,Follow the drinking gourd.
There’s another river on the other side,Follow the drinking gourd.
When the great big river meets the little river,Follow the drinking gourd.
For the old is a-waiting for to carry you to freedomIf you follow the drinking gourd.
A Quaker from Indiana, Levi Coffin, was known as the “president of the Underground Railroad.” He lived along one of the major routes.
His wife fed, clothed, and hid over 3,000 slaves in their home.
One of the best known volunteers on the Underground Railroad was Harriet Tubman. In 1849 she heard that she and other slaves on her Maryland plantation were to be sold farther South.
She knew life would be worse. Tubman told her husband, John, “There’s two think I’ve a right to: death and liberty. One of the other I mean to have. No one will take me back alive.”
Her husband refused to join her, but she fled the plantation in the middle of the night. She headed for the house of a white woman known to help those escaping slavery.
The woman gave her two slips of paper with the names of families on the route north who would help her.
Tubman traveled at night through swamps and woodlands. After traveling 90 miles she reached the free soil of Pennsylvania.
Tubman returned 19 times to guide her family and many others to freedom. She was given the nickname “Moses.”
More than 300 slaves owed their freedom to her. Southern slave owners offered $40,000 reward for her capture.
Women in the early 1800s also had very few rights. As the abolition movement strengthened, so did the fight for women’s rights.
In 1848, abolitionists Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and three other women met in Seneca Falls, New York.
They decided the hold a conference to discuss the rights of women. On July 19, 1848, more than 240 people attended the Seneca Falls Convention.
After two days of debate, the convention approved a “Declaration of Rights and Sentiments.” It listed 18 rights they believed women should have. What do you think was included in these rights?
These included SUFFRAGE, which means the right to vote. It also included the rights to higher education, to own property if married, and to have equal rights with men.
Throughout the 1840s and 1850s Sojourner Truth gave speeches around the country about abolition and women’s rights. Born into slavery in New York around 1797, she was freed in 1827.
In 1851 Truth attended the Women’s Rights Convention in Ohio. She went up to the stage and asked, “May I say a few words?” Then Truth delivered a very famous speech. Her speech asked why men were afraid to give women’s rights if they thought they were so much better than women.
How do you think the abolitionist movement and the women’s rights movement affected each other?
The two movements actually worked together to make both movements stronger. People began to argue for equality for all. As both movements gained strength, the United States became even more divided than it already was. Some feared a division between the states would soon lead to war.