• Photo of cannon at Antietam National Battlefield

    The Civil War


Photo of John Brown

Human beings are inherently conservative, tending to resist change until change becomes unavoidable. This habit has survival benefits, as too rapid a change can be dangerous.This is why most social reformers were ignored by most Americans in the early decades of the 19th century. But in 1861, change became unavoidable.

Showing results 1-5 of 16

  • Levi Coffin

    Levi Coffin

    Levi Coffin was a devout Quaker and one of the most important figures of the American abolitionist movement. He assisted in the escape of hundreds of slaves before and during the Civil War, and was involved in a variety of philanthropic organizations dedicated to the advancement of African Americans. Read more

  • Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

    Frederick Douglass

    Photo of Frederick Douglass

    Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who rose to prominence in the abolitionist movement of ante-bellum America through the eloquence of his written and spoken words. As an advisor to Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, he lobbied relentlessly for equal rights for African Americans and after the war for the racial and civic equality of all Americans. Read more

  • New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

    Leonard Grimes

    Photo of Leonard Grimes

    Leonard Grimes was a free-black hackman in Washington D.C. who assisted runaway slaves to escape until his apprehension for the crime in 1839. After serving his sentence in a Virginia prison, Grimes moved to Massachusetts where he became a minister and leader in the state's abolitionist movement. Read more

  • Charlotte Grimké

    Photo of Charlotte Grimké

    Charlotte Grimké was an abolitionist and member of Philadelphia's elite black community who ventured south early the Civil War to educate newly-freed slaves on South Carolina's Sea Islands. After the war, Grimké settled in Washington D.C. where she took a leadership role in Washington's civil rights movement. Read more

  • Oliver Hudson Kelley

    Photo of Oliver Kelley

    Oliver Kelley was a clerk in the United States Bureau of Agriculture who helped found the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, at one time, one of the largest and most politically influential farming organizations in America. Read more