The Abolitionist Network
Horace Dresser (Unknown -1877)
Similar to John Bigelow, Horace Dresser graduated from Union College in 1828 and went on to become a lawyer and abolitionist. He was one of the first lawyers in New York State to speak against slavery and laws affecting black populations. Dresser also fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom.
William Seward (1801-1872)
Apart from being a Union College graduate and purchasing Alaska in 1867, William Seward was a passionate abolitionist. Seward assisted fugitive slaves as a member of the Underground Railroad, lending his home as a pitstop refuge for those seeking freedom in Canada. Seward was also a friend to the most recognized conductor of the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman.
Nelson Marvin Beckwith (1807-1889)
Beckwith was a wealthy businessman from New York who had business in China, France, and Germany. He was passionate about abolition, calling for immediate emancipation. Beckwith described slavery as a “total subversion of democracy in America”, and referring to the ⅗ compromise as “the most fatal mistake and the most vicious bargain in the whole American system”. His abolitionist work was public and well known.
Charles F. Briggs, sobriquet: Ferdinand Mendez Pinto (1804-1877)
Briggs took a strong stance on anti slavery and wrote many letters under the sobriquet Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, sending them out to publications throughout the middle of the nineteenth century. He was also a friend to James Russell Lowell, another abolitionist in the network.
James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)
James Russell Lowell was a poet and politician; many of his published works are related to anti-slavery and abolition. Lowell was published in anti-slavery publications such as Freeman and the Anti-Slavery Standard. His publications include poems, essays, and pamphlets. He was an influential man, often gaining the most popularity from his satirical work, like The Biglow Papers, a humorous take on the Mexican War as an “attempt to extend the area of slavery”.
Edward Buffum (1820-1867)
Edward was almost born into abolition as his father, Arnold, was a controversial figure because of his anti-slavery views and efforts. Edward Buffum was a quaker and a journalist, following closely along with his family’s staunch views on abolition and anti-slavery.
Charles Sumner (1811-1874)
A senator from Massachusetts, much of his most notable work as an abolitionist happened during the reconstruction era. Sumner fought to limit the rights of ex confederates while also giving more rights to the freed slaves. He was a leader of the radical Republican Party during the Civil War.
Salmon P. Chase (1808-1873)
A governor and senator of Ohio, Salmon P. Chase was a politician who often defended fugitive slaves in court. Chase also worked closely with Abraham Lincoln, even becoming his secretary of treasury during his presidency and the Civil War.
Richard Hill (1795-1872)
A Jamaica native, Richard Hill was a lawyer and the leader of the free people of colour. Hill campaigned for the rights of not only freed slaves but for people of color as a whole. After emancipation, Hill dedicated all of his work to gaining rights for black people.
Gerrit Smith (1797-1874)
Smith was an influential politician and presidential candidate in 1848, 1856, and 1860. He was one of the wealthiest men in the country. His anti-slavery, social reform, and philanthropical work were passionate endeavors for Smith. His views on slavery was one of his most notable stances.
John Pierpont (1785-1866)
A Connecticut native, Pierpont was a poet, politician, teacher, lawyer, and merchant along with being an abolitionist. His most popular abolitionist work is his collection of poetry on the matter.
Anti-slavery poems: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/a/amverse/BAD1996.0001.001?rgn=main;view=fulltext
George William Curtis (1824-1892)
George William Curtis was a writer born in Rhode Island. He was believed to have been a member of the underground railroad, assisting fugitive slaves with their escape during the 1850s. He also wrote supporting the rights of black and African Americans.
H.R Selden (1805-1885)
Henry Rogers Selden was born in Lyme, Connecticut. He later settled in New York, becoming an influential name and person in the community. He was an abolitionist and assisted in creating the Republican Party in New York in 1856.
H.B Stanton (1805-1887)
Henry Brewster Stanton was an attorney, journalist, social reformer, and abolitionist. After completing his education, he took on the abolitionist movement and began his work there. As a journalist, he wrote about abolition and his supportive view on it. Stanton and Frederick Douglas also had a close friendship as associates fighting for abolition.