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Antislavery Poetry from San Francisco

Running man image from workshop poster

The Pacific Appeal was the leading African American newspaper on the West Coast during the early 1860s.  A newly-published set of eight antislavery poems from the journal's inaugural 1862 volume captures the sense of expectancy within the African American community for the imminent end of US slavery.  These poems include the work of James Madison Bell, a San Francisco plasterer, brickmason, and poet.  Read more... 
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Tracts, Essays, Speeches

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A collection of shorter antislavery prose resources.

Address on the Anniversary of West Indian Emancipation at Flushing, Long Island, N.Y.

An address on August 4, 1853, by Ernestine Rose, noted Jewish abolitionist. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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An Address Delivered in Marlboro Chapel, Boston, July 4, 1838

A July 4 speech by William Lloyd Garrison, published as a tract by the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1838. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Brown's Three Years in the Kentucky Prisons

An account of the trial and 1854-1857 imprisonment of Thomas Brown on charges of aiding fugitive slaves. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Captains Drayton and Sayres; Or the Way in Which Americans are Treated, for Aiding the Cause of Liberty at Home

Anonymous tract published in 1848 by the Eastern Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society concerning prosecution of Daniel Drayton and Edwin Sayres, a case involving two whites who attempted to aid slaves to escape the District of Columbia. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Color-Phobia

An 1838 anti-racism essay by New Hampshire abolitionist Nathaniel Peabody Rogers. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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An Essay on Slavery, with a Reasonable Proposition Made How to Dispense with It

A self-published tract proposing a solution to the problem of slavery; possibly published in Philadelphia in 1859. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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The Duty of Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act

Tract addressed to the Massachusetts state legislature by Lydia Maria Child, against the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. Includes testimonies and poetry against the Act. Digitized by the Gutenberg Project.

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The Duchess of Sutherland and Slavery

Karl Marx's argument that only the enemies of British wage-slavery have a right to condemn slavery in the United States. Digitized by the EServer.

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"How Can I Help Abolish Slavery?" or, Counsels to the Newly Converted

An 1855 recruiting tract by Boston activist Maria Weston Chapman, from the Anti-Slavery Tract series. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Irish Sympathy with the Abolition Movement

An 1842 speech by Wendell Phillips concerning Irish support for the antislavery movement in the United States. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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John Brown of Harper's Ferry

An 1860 tract published after the execution of John Brown, featuring correspondence between abolitionist Lydia Maria Child and proslavery Eliza Mason. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Letters on American Slavery

An 1860 tract anthologizing antislavery letters and speeches by Victor Hugo, Alexis de Toqueville, Joseph Mazzini and other European intellectual and political figures. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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The Natick Resolution, or, Resistance to Slaveholders the Right and Duty of Southern Slaves and Northern Freemen

A militant antislavery tract calling for violent overthrow of slavery, published by Henry Clarke Wright in Boston in 1859. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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No Slave-Hunting in the Old Bay State: An Appeal to the People and Legislature of Massachusetts

An 1860 tract from the American Anti-Slavery Society containing speeches by Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, and Charles C. Burleigh. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Observations on the Slavery of the Africans and Their Descendants and on the Use of the Produce of their Labour

Second edition (1814) of a tract by Quaker religious leader Elias Hicks, advocating a consumer boycott of slave-produced goods. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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On the Anniversary of the Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies

An address delivered by Ralph Waldo Emerson on August 1, 1844, at the Concord Court House (Boston: James Munroe, 1844). Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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A Plan for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in the United States, without Danger or Loss to the Citizens of the South

An 1825 plan for gradual emancipation by antislavery newspaper publisher Benjamin Lundy. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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The Puritan Principle and John Brown

A December 1859 speech by abolitionist Wendell Phillips commemorating John Brown. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Revolution the Only Remedy for Slavery

Published anonymously in 1855 by the American Anti-Slavery Society's tract series, this text was written by Stephen Symonds Foster. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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The "Ruin" of Jamaica

An 1855 tract by historian Richard Hildreth on the economic history of slavery in Jamaica. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Should Colored Men be Subject to the Pains and Penalties of the Fugitive Slave Law?

An 1859 speech by African American antislavery activist Charles Langston prior to court sentencing. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Slavery and the North

An 1855 tract by Charles Burleigh, a well-known speaking agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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The Slave's Appeal

A public address by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, published in Albany in 1860. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Slavery in Massachusetts

One of Thoreau's best-known addresses against slavery, delivered at an antislavery celebration, at Framingham, Massachusetts, on July 4, 1854, after the conviction in Boston of fugitive slave. Digitized by the EServer "Thoreau Reader" Collection.

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Speech of John Hossack, Convicted of a Violation of the Fugitive Slave Law

An 1859 speech to an Illinois court by John Hossack, convicted of aiding a fugitive slave to escape from authorities. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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The State of the Country

An 1863 speech by Wendell Phillips, extracted from Speeches, Lectures, and Letters (Boston: James Redpath Publishers, 1863). Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Theodore Parker: Preacher-Prophet

A 1910 address by rabbi Stephen Wise commemorating the centenary of the birth of abolitionist Theodore Parker. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Thoreau Transforms His Journal into "Slavery in Massachusetts"

When he decided to speak in Framingham, Thoreau began to put together a speech culled from his 1854 Journal commentary about Anthony Burns and earlier journal entries in April 1851 regarding fugitive slave Thomas Sims. Article by Sandra Harbert Petrulionis; from the EServer "Thoreau Reader" Collection.

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Twenty Reasons for Total Abstinence from Slave-Labour Produce

An undated post-1852 tract published in London by US social activist Elihu Burritt concerning reasons to support the Free Produce movement against consumption of goods produced by slave labor. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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The Voice of Duty

An 1843 July 4th speech delivered by Adin Ballou, a radical Christian pacifist, socialist, and antislavery activist. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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Walker's Appeal, in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble to the Coloured Citizens of the World, but in Particular, and Very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America, Written in Boston, State of Massachusetts, September 28, 1829

The third and final edition of David Walker's famous 'Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World.' Digitized by Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina.

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Wendell Phillips

An 1884 memorial oration by Henry Ward Beecher for famed abolitionist Wendell Phillips. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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What Have We, as Individuals, to Do with Slavery?

An 1855 tract by abolitionist Susan Cabot calling on individual citizens to assume responsibility for ending slavery; published by the American Anti-Slavery Society. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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