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Gradualism

Title page of an 1825 pamphlet: "A Plan for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in the United States, without Danger or Loss to the Citizens of the South"

The Immediatist

Portrait of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison

Anti-Abolitionist Violence

"Destruction by fire of Pennsylvania Hall, the new building of the Abolition Society, on the night of the 17th May" [1838]

Gagging Dissent

"Abolition Frowned Down," an 1839 satire on enforcement of the "gag-rule" in the House of Representatives, which prohibited discussion of the question of slavery.

The Voice of Abolitionism

Portrait of abolitionist Wendell Phillips, in a daguerreotype from Matthew Brady's Gallery in New York.

Singing Freedom Songs

Illustrated sheet music cover for "Get off the track," an abolitionist song by The Hutchinsons. The song was dedicated to antislavery editor Nathaniel Peabody Rogers, as "a mark of esteem for his intrepidity in the cause of Human Rights." The sheet music was illustrated with an allegory of the triumph of abolitionism.

A Nervous Nation Satirizes the Growing Conflict

"Practical illustration of the Fugitive Slave Law," a satire on the antagonism between Northern abolitionists and Secretary of State Daniel Webster and other supporters of enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

Anthony Burns: The Spark for An Abolitionist Inferno

An 1855 portrait of the fugitive slave Anthony Burns, whose arrest and trial under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 touched off riots and protests by abolitionists and citizens of Boston in the spring of 1854.

An Abolitionist Seal

The large, bold woodcut image of a supplicant male slave in chains appeared on the 1837 broadside publication of John Greenleaf Whittier's antislavery poem, "Our Countrymen in Chains." The design was originally adopted as the seal of the Society for the Abolition of Slavery in England in the 1780s, and appeared on several medallions for the society made by Josiah Wedgwood as early as 1787.

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