John Brown

.       Militant abolitionist, attacked federal armory at Harper's Ferry in hopes of stirring slave rebellion

.       Executed, 1859

.       Considered martyr in North, lunatic in South; his death radicalized both sides


Frederick Douglass

.       Runaway slave who became prominent abolitionist

.       Leading figure in American Anti-Slavery Society, founder of abolitionist publication North Star


Henry Highland Garnett

.       Presbyterian minister, runaway slave and prominent black leader

.       Suggested slaves should murder their masters; F. Douglass initially opposed his call to violence, then later supported it

.       Favored colonization of Liberia with freed American slaves, later served as ambassador to that country


William Lloyd Garrison

.       Massachusetts radical abolitionist; most prominent white anti-slavery activist

.       Publisher of The Liberator and founder of American Anti-Slavery Society, 1833

.       Frequently endured mob attacks, even in North


Wendell Phillips

.       Lawyer and abolitionist; close friend of W.L. Garrison; member of American Anti-Slavery Society

.       Relatively radical; thought blacks were owed freedom, land, education

.       Later advocated for women's rights, temperance, Greenback Party


Harriet Beecher Stowe

.       Abolitionist author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, published 1852

.       Exposed millions of people to horrors of American slavery


Charles Sumner

.       Republican Mass. Senator and anti-slavery advocate

.       Caned on floor of Senate by pro-slavery southern Senator Preston Brooks in 1856

.       After Civil War, became major Radical Republican leader


Harriet Tubman

.       Runaway slave and abolitionist

.       Helped organize Underground Railroad, used to help slaves escape the South

.       Worked as Union spy during Civil War





1816 American Colonization Society Founded

.       Hoped to form new republic in Africa, send freed slaves to live there

.       Eventually gained support of many politicians but was reviled by abolitionists


1820 Missouri Compromise

.       Made it possible for Missouri to enter the Union as slave state

.       Prohibited slavery elsewhere north of 36"30' latitude


1831 Nat Turner's Rebellion

.       Slave insurrection in Virginia; only significant slave revolt in antebellum America

.       55 whites killed by Turner and his followers before rebellion put down

.       Stoked fears of widespread slave mutiny throughout South


1833 American Anti-Slavery Society


.       Founded by William Lloyd Garrison in Philadelphia

.       Published pamphlets, staged events, exposed northerners to horrors of slavery


1836 "Gag Rule" Takes Effect

.       Any discussion of abolishing slavery banned from mention on floor of Congress

.       Repealed after being criticized by ex-president John Q. Adams, 1844


1843 Methodist Episcopal Church splits

.       Controversy over slavery issue breaks up America's largest church

.       Abolitionists leave to form new church, the Wesleyan Methodist Connection


1850 Fugitive Slave Act passed

.       Required return of escaped slaves in North to owners in South

.       Part of Compromise of 1850; spurred massive indignation in North


1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act

.       Pushed forward by Illinois Senator Stephen Douglass

.       Proposed that "popular sovereignty" determine whether new western states should be free or slave

.       Overrode Missouri Compromise by potentially allowing slavery in northern plains

.       Horrified foes of expansion of slavery into new territories


1859 Harper's Ferry Raid

.       White abolitionist radical John Brown assaulted federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, VA.

.       Attempted to start slave rebellion but failed to draw support

.       Executed by hanging; seen as martyr in North and insane radical in South; heightened sectional tensions





American Anti-Slavery Society

.       Founded by William Lloyd Garrison, 1833

.       First real national anti-slavery organization; published pamphlets, organized rallies, wrote petitions

.       Most Americans scorned group as too radical


American Colonization Society

.       Wanted to send freed slaves to a new republic in Africa (Liberia)

.       Criticized by abolitionists as not so much anti-slavery as anti-black


Methodist Episcopal Church

.       Largest nonpolitical group in antebellum America

.       Abolitionists began seceding in 1840s; schism produced new anti-slavery church, the Wesleyan Methodist Connection



.       Religious dissenters focused on individual conscience or "inner light"

.       Spoke out against slavery beginning in 1742





"Slave Power"

.       Term for political clout of elite southern slave owners

.       Northerners increasingly feared that "slave power" intended to disrupt free labor in the North and territories, argued that disproportionate southern power violated republican ideals

.       As Civil War approached, fear of "slave power" drove many in North toward anti-slavery position





Harper's Ferry, Virginia

.       Site of federal armory raided by radical abolitionist John Brown, 1859