Standard 12 History Project

Shannon Dison

The First Abolitionist Society

The first abolitionist society was founded in 1775 in Pennsylvania. The society changed its name to the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage in 1784. In 1830, William Lloyd Garrison started an abolitionist paper, The Liberator. Frederick Douglass wrote about slavery after experiencing it. Sojourner Truth devoted her life to Methodism and the abolition of slavery. The Grimke sisters were one of the first abolitionists to write about the cause of female equality. Henry David Thoreau wrote an essay about a speech he gave on anti-slavery. Charles Sumner was the leader of anti-slavery forces in Massachusetts.

Religious Movements in Opposition to Slavery

Quakers believed that all people, regardless of race, were equal in the eyes of God. They tried to stop slave trade. They thought if they stopped the trading, that slavery would end.

Northwest Ordinance of 1787

The ordinance of 1787 was the first national limitation of the expansion of slavery. They were going to prohibit slavery in 1800 but the ordinance of 1787 made it effective immediately.

The Underground Railroad

The desire for freedom drove them to escape on the Underground Railroad. Word got around about people escaping and it became more and more common. Harriet Tubman helped free many slaves and even went back to help more. If she had been caught, she would have been severely punished. Harriet Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin illustrated the effect on families. Stowe helped people empathize with enslaved characters. It pulled more people into anti-slavery.