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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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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.


Stephen Symons Foster (1809-1881) was a New Hampshire abolitionist with a reputation for a dramatic and aggressive style.  He helped establish the New Hampshire Anti-Slavery Society and belonged to the 'New Hampshire radicals' group within the American Anti-Slavery Society, a group that included Parker Pillsbury.  Many abolitionists thought him too extreme.  A former seminary student, the role of churches in supporting slavery particularly exercised Foster.  He was expelled from his Congregationalist church in Hanover, New Hampshire in 1841 for radicalism, and was well-known for interrupting services to denounce church complicity in slavery.  He campaigned as an antislavery agent from the late 1830s through the 1850s; on various occasions his speaking appearances caused local riots.  His single book, The Brotherhood of Thieves; or A True Picture of the American Church and Clergy: A Letter to Nathaniel Barney, of Nantucket (Concord, NH: P. Pillsbury, 1843), went through twenty editions.  In 1845, Foster married Abby Kelley, whose fame as an antislavery and women's suffrage activist easily eclipsed his own reputation, and moved to her farm in Worcester, Massachusetts, from where the couple conducted their political activities.  For further, see Troy Duncan and Chris Dixon, "Denouncing the Brotherhood of Thieves: Stephen Symonds Foster's Critique of the Anti-Abolitionist Clergy," Civil War History 47 (2001) 2: 97-117.

- Joe Lockard