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Mon, 11.11.1782

Elihu Embree, Abolitionist born

Elihu Embree

*Elihu Embree was born on this date in 1782.  He was a white-American abolitionist and the brain trust of the Genius of Universal Emancipation, one the first newspapers in the United States devoted exclusively to the cause of abolishing slavery.  

Embree was the son of a Quaker minister who moved from Pennsylvania to Washington County in East Tennessee around 1790. It is unknown where he attended school, although some accounts suggest he was taught by the Presbyterian minister Samuel Doak at Washington College Academy.  

Embree was involved in the iron manufacturing business with his brother, Elijah. Elijah married the granddaughter of the famous governor, John Sevier, and at the time of his death in 1846, was the owner of 70,000 acres (280 km²) of mineral-rich land valued at nearly one million dollars. Elihu, however, being somewhat visionary and impractical in his plans, was a poor business manager. During his early life, he owned slaves, having purchased several and having come into possession of several others through his wife.

Around 1812, he freed all of them at a considerable financial sacrifice; soon afterward, he became an ardent anti-slavery advocate until his death on December 4, 1820.  

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