Abolitionists

The Abolitionists is a documentary about some of the people who fought for the end of slavery, putting their entire lives at risk. They took a stand against something they thought was wrong, Here are some of the abolitionists stories: Angelina Grimkey was part of a wealthy white family and lived in luxury in Charleston, SC. Each member of the family had their own slave, which doesn’t allow her to have to do anything for herself. Grimkey still didn’t believe in slavery and was upset every time a family member beat or whipped their slave. Angelina believed slavery was a sin and God punished those who owned slaves.

In the fall of 1829, Grimkey decided to leave Charleston and move north. It was known as disobedience to proper society for her to speak out, but she did it anyway. Angelina wanted to become an abolitionist. The invention of the cotton gin during the Industrial Revolution caused more needed slave to tend to the fields as cotton demands grew. By the late 1820s, there were over 20 million slaves in bondage in the U. S. William Lloyd Garrison was a white abolitionist from Boston who believed God wanted him to make a change due to his religious background.

His father was a drunk and abandoned his family when Garrison was just 2. His mother left him for years on end to look for work. He moved to Baltimore in 1829, where he lived amongst free blacks, to take a job in an antislavery newspaper. William Lloyd Garrison demanded immediate abolition of slavery and envisioned blacks to engulf in the inalienable rights everyone else had: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In the fall of 1830, Garrison moved back to Boston to start his own newspaper by getting support from whoever wanted to help.

On January 1, 1831, Garrison published The Liberator to express his feeling on slavery and promote immediate abolition. He worked for 8 months producing the paper. Frederick Douglass was young when he was located to the Maryland eastern shore. At just 6 years old, he witnessed his own mother beaten to death by their master. He was greatly stunned. Douglass had overheard his master several times talking about abolitionists and found out they were people hated by slave-owners. Douglas decided he wanted to become an abolitionist.

In August of 1831, a band of armed slaves rode through the Virginia countryside, killing white occupants. Nat Turner, who was found and executed 68 days later, led the rebellion. By then, 50 abolitionist groups grew in 10 states throughout the north. Lyman Beecher was a Presbyterian minister, and his daughter, Harriet Beecher were also abolitionists. Harriet had never visited a slave before the spring of 1833 when she crossed into Kentucky. She witnessed a slave auction where a mother was being separated from her son and being sold into slavery.

This frustrated Harriet. In 1833, Abolitionists from all over the north meet for the first time. William Lloyd Garrison led the meeting. Garrison drew up pan organization charter. This document crystallized his beliefs, especially of nonviolence. 63 people signed this document and the American Antislavery Society was formed. Douglass spent his youth as a house slave in Baltimore where he lived among free blacks and secretly learned to read, which is strictly prohibited. Fredrick Douglass was sent to Edward Covey because he was seen as unfit to be a slave.

Edward Covey was a slave breaker, someone who would ‘break slave’s spirits’. Covey would whip Douglass at least once a week for 6 months for no reason at all. Finally Douglass had enough and rebelled by physically assaulting Covey. After the rebellion, Covey never laid a hand on Douglass again. In 1835, 2 years after the American Antislavery Society was started, the group had grown to over 300 chapters and tens of thousands members in the free states. William Lloyd Garrison and Louis Tappan had a plan known as the Great Postal Campaign. They confronted slave owners and their supporters.

They proposed to printing 20,000-50,000 pamphlets a week and mailing them to ministers, politicians, and newspaper editors in every state, especially in the south. But people in the south didn’t like it. In Charleston, 3000 people gathered and destroyed antislavery materials and burned Garrison in effigy. A New York mob also burned Louis Tappan’s house to the ground the next day. These mobs victimized African Americans through beatings. The mobs also soon spread north. Angelina Grimkey moved from Charleston to Philadelphia with her sister Sarah.

She wanted to become an abolitionist, but she was afraid of what her family might say, and Grimkey did not want to bring disgrace to her mother. Angelina wrote an appeal to the women of the south to support the downfall of slavery. Angelina’s mother threatened if she ever returns to Charleston again, she would be thrown in jail. By 1835, Anti-Abolitionist violence reached Boston. On October 21, William Lloyd Garrison goes to deliver an anti-slavery lecture when a stone-throwing crowd forms. They take Garrison against his will. Luckily for Garrison, 2 men out of pity took him to Town Hall.

Garrison was so shaken by the even that he moved to the Connecticut countryside with his wife Helen who was expecting a child. He told his colleagues he had to take care of the baby. John Brown was once a successful merchant and a good provider to his family until he plunged into debt. In November of 1831, and antislavery printer named Elijah Lovejoy was murdered by a mob in Illinois. This caused Brown to remember the little boy who was beaten by his master from his childhood. Brown consecrated his life for the destruction of slavery.

Angelina Grimkey met Theodore Weld and fell in love, however Weld pledged not to marry until slavery was illegal. Ministers condemned Grimkey due to her speeches before both men and women, which were forbidden. After her 6-month tour ended, Grimkey fell with typhoid fever. In the spring of 1837, Grimkey and Weld married with a white and black minister. He town grew tense because of this. Angelina spoke at Pennsylvania Hall 2 days later. Pennsylvania Hall was known as a monument of free speech Windows were shattered by rocks thrown by a mob.

That night, the mob broke into the uilding and set fire to it. Stunned by this wrongdoing, Grimkey moves to New Jersey and wrote a book of real stories of slaves and their owners. The book was called American Slavery as it is and it became a bestseller. By May of 1840, membership of the American Antislavery Society plummeted and the society quit. All of these people had one common goal, to abolish slavery once and for all. Many of them were willing to give their lives to see blacks freed. Most of them were also motivated to protest by God. Standing up for what you believe in should be an important value in everyone’s life.

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