Anti-Slavery & Civil Rights

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Anti-Slavery & Civil Rights

Abolitionists, anti-slavery groups, and civil rights proponents

Click each name to find a list of resources available at HSP.



Thaddeus Stevens

    - Fought for emancipation, black fighting units and black suffrage before, during and after the Civil War

    - Opposed secret societies, particularly the Masons

    - Helped draft the 14th amendment

    - Proposed impeachment of President Andrew Johnson


Octavius Catto and the Pythians Baseball Club

    - African American educator and activist

    - Helped found all-black Pythians baseball club

    - Raised black troops to serve in the Civil War

    - Led a successful effort to desegregate Pennsylvania public transit


Angelina and Sarah Grimke

    - Rejected upper class southern upbringing to fight against slavery

    - Among the first to see the close connection between abolitionism and women’s rights

    - Spoke to mixed crowds of men and women


William Still

    - Free-born black, abolitionist and writer

    - Major contributer to the success of the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia

    - Provided room and board for fugitive slaves.

    - Raised funds for fugitive slaves and financed several of Harriet Tubman’s trips

    - Wrote a book documenting stories of formerly enslaved Africans who gained freedom


Morris Milgram

    - Builder and developer of integrated housing

    - After running into difficulty securing financing for new construction, purchased rental properties and changed their policies in order to all integration

    - Provided integrated housing for 20,000 people in Philadelphia, Boston, Cambridge, Chicago, Princeton, Washington, DC, California, Maryland, New York, Texas and Virginia


Pennsylvania Abolition Society

    - Founded in 1775 as relief for free Negroes unlawfully held in bondage

    - Expanded in 1780s to include “Improving the Condition of the African Race”

    - Still in existence today, providing grants to organizations and programs that seek to improve the conditions of African Americans including confronting racism, preserving African American monuments, fighting housing discrimination and promoting multicultural arts and education


Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society

    - Created in 1833 when women could not join the newly-formed American Anti-Slavery Society

    - An interracial organization from the start, members petitioned for abolition and boycotted goods manufactured by slaves

    - Donated money to the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, supported the Underground Railroad through donations and the housing, protection, and transportation of escaped slaves

    - In May 1838, when the second Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women held their second national meeting in Philadelphia’s newly constructed Pennsylvania Hall, a huge mob of pro-slavery protesters, enraged by the presence of white women publicly interacting with both men and African Americans, burned the hall to the ground.