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Fri, 11.29.1811

Wendell Phillips, Abolitionist born

Wendell Phillips

*Wendell Phillips was born on this date in 1811. He was a white-American businessman and abolitionist.

From Boston, MA, Phillips graduated from Harvard Law School but gave up a life of status and wealth in order to join the anti-slavery movement. He worked closely with abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. Phillips contributed to the anti-slavery campaign by writing pamphlets and editorials in Garrison's newspaper, The Liberator. He first spoke publicly on December 8, 1837, at a gathering in Boston protesting the death of Elijah Lovejoy, a newspaper owner and abolitionist who had been murdered in Alton, Illinois.  His passionate speech and fiery spirit led many to say that he should be the leading speaker for the abolitionist movement.

Both Phillips and Garrison denounced the Constitution because it upheld slavery.  Phillips went a step further and recommended that the South should be expelled from the Union until slavery was abolished.  After the Emancipation Proclamation, Phillips worked to better the lives of the newly freedmen, voter's rights, and temperance.

Wendell Phillips died on February 2, 1884, in Boston.

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