Standard 12 History Project
First Abolitionist Societies
- The first abolitionist society was founded in Philadelphia in 1775 by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush. William Lloyd Garrison wrote The Liberator which was an anti-slavery newspaper. Frederick Douglass was born into slavery and when he escaped he wanted to promote freedom for other slaves, so he wrote The North Star. Sojourner Truth was a slave and her owner said she would be freed in a year because she was such a good worker but when a year passed he said he changed his mind so she got mad and escaped. She ran to the neighbor's house and when her owner found out he went over there to get her but the neighbor's bought her for $20 and freed her. She told stories and speeches on how bad slavery was to try and change peoples minds once she was free. Angelina and Sarah Grimke made speeches about ending racial discrimination and freeing the enslaved. Henry David Thoreau wrote Slavery in Massachusetts. Charles Sumner was a U.S. representative that supported abolition.
Rise of Religious Movements in Opposition to Slavery
- The abolitionist movement began with the Quakers in America and Britain. They were the first group to register any concern with slavery in Colonial America, but not all Quakers opposed slavery some had slaves of their own. Most Quakers did oppose slavery and said that it was incompatible with basic Christian piety. The Quakers helped found the society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade which was the most important British abolitionist group.
The Northwest Ordinance of 1787
- The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was officially called "An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States North West of the River Ohio. It was adopted on July 13, 1787 by the Confederation of Congress. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 outlined the process for admitting a new state to the Union, established a government for the North West territory, and guaranteed that the thirteen new states would be equal to the original thirteen states. It also protected civil liberty and outlawed slavery in the new territories.
The Underground Railroad
- The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes, passageways, and safe houses that was used by the slaves in the U.S. that helped them escape. About 100,000 slaves escaped from slavery in the South between 1810 and 1850 by using the Underground Railroad. It was established in the early 1800s and people involved in the Abolitionist Movement helped with it. After Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery she went back to states that had slaves to help free other slaves. She would lead them to Northern States that were free and Canada. By leading these slaves to freedom she placed herself in great danger because there were big rewards for runaway slaves like her. She was also breaking the law in slave states by helping others escape. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin. This book illustrated slavery and its effects on families. While some abolitionists thought this book wasn't strong enough to immediately end slavery some people loved the book for helping the public understand how hard it is for slaves.