Civil Rights and Protests

Slavery and Anti-Slavery

Who were the leaders of abolition?

Leaders of the anti-slavery movement included journalist William Lloyd Garrison (1805–1879), founder of the influential anti-slavery journal The Liberator and of the American Anti-Slavery Society (established 1833); brothers Arthur (1786–1865) and Lewis (1788–1873) Tappan, prominent New York merchants who were also founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society; and Theodore Dwight Weld (1803–1895), leader of student protests, organizer of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, and author of The Bible Against Slavery (1837) and other abolitionist works.

Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman (c. 1820–1913) worked against slavery by helping to free hundreds of blacks who escaped slavery in the South and were heading for Northern states and Canada. Writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896), author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), helped strengthen the abolitionist cause and sway public sentiment. In the hands of some activists the movement became violent: in 1859 ardent abolitionist John Brown (1800–1859) led a raid on the armory at Harpers Ferry (in present-day West Virginia), in a failed attempt to emancipate slaves by force.


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