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Lewis Tappan (1788-1873) was an abolitionist, philanthropist, and activist who ran a very profitable dry goods business with his brother and partner, Arthur, in New York City. He founded the predecessor of Dun and Bradstreet (a business that rates commercial credit) in 1841.

Lewis formed the Friend of Amistad Africans (or simply the "Amistad") Committee in the fall of 1839. The Committee supported the case of the African slaves who rebelled aboard a ship off of Cuba and steered their way into American waters. Tappan also became a delegate to the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1843. In 1849 he retired from business to devote himself entirely to the abolitionism and other humanitarian causes.

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