Benjamin Lundy

By James Nuttall

Young man outraged by slavery

Born January 4th 1783, Benjamin Lundy was a young quaker farmer working at his fathers farm. As a young boy he became deeply impressed with the iniquity of the institution of slavery, and determined to devote his life to the cause of abolition.

A life of abolition

His apprenticeship completed, Lundy married and settled in Saint Clairsville Ohio. There in 1815 he organized an anti-slavery association known as the Union Humane Society. Within a few months the club had over 500 members.


In 1821 Lundy founded an anti-slavery newspaper called the Genius.
From September 1829 until March 30 he was assisted in editing the newspaper by William Loyd Garrison. While Lundy was away Garrison published an extremely radical article demanding the emancipation of slaves and the end of slavery all together. He was trialed for criminal libel and sent to prison. After that Lundy moved the paper to Washington where it later failed.

Later Life

Benjamin traveled a lot in his later years, he traveled to Haiti twice and to Wilberforce colony in Canada that was inhabited by freed slaves. He also traveled across the country delivering anti-slavery lectures. All these trips were partly made to find a suitable place outside the states for slaves to live. He traveled “more than 5000 miles on foot and 20,000 in other ways, visited 19 states of the Union, and held more than 200 public meetings. Lundy was hated by slave holders and was assaulted by a slave trader, Austin Woolfolk. In 1836 Lundy edited in Philadelphia a new anti-slavery weekly, The National Enquirer, which he had founded.In 1838 Lundy moved to Lowell Illinois, where he printed several copies of the re-established Genius of Universal Emancipation. There he died. Lundy is said to have been the first to deliver anti-slavery lectures in the United States.