Part VII: Abraham Lincoln Library Abolitionist Books

The Abolitionist movement in the United States of America was an effort to end slavery in a nation that valued personal freedom and believed “all men are created equal.” Over time, abolitionists grew more strident in their demands, and slave owners entrenched in response, fueling regional divisiveness that ultimately led to the American Civil War.

Laura Smith Haviland, a Quaker and noted abolitionist

Laura Smith Haviland, a Quaker and noted abolitionist

Compiled by the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Library in Springfield, Illinois this unique collection brings together a disparate group of abolitionist era reference materials. Ranging from memoirs to speeches, biographies to essays, sermons to proceedings minutes, these publications provide the user an intimate insight into the social, political and religious natures of these contentious times.

The diversity of the materials allows the user to access information reflecting both points of view on the abolition of slavery. Among the titles contained in the collection are:

  • A defence of southern slavery: against the attacks of Henry Clay and Alex’r. Campbell. In which much of the false philanthropy and mawkish sentimentalism of the abolitionists is met and refuted
  • Speech of John P. Hale, of New Hampshire, on the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. : Delivered in the Senate of the United States, March 18, 1862.
  • Speech of Edw. Stanly, on North Carolina, establishing proofs that the abolitionists are opposed to Gen. Harrison, and that Gen. Harrison is opposed to their “unconstitutional efforts.”
  • Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad; being a brief history of the labors of a lifetime in behalf of the slave, with the stories of numerous fugitives, who gained their freedom through his instrumentality
  • Trial and imprisonment of Jonathan Walker, at Pensacola, Florida, for aiding slaves to escape from bondage : with an appendix, containing a sketch of his life.

Abraham Lincoln has consistently been hailed as the greatest US president, by the public and historians alike. His achievements lie at the heart of the nation’s identity, not least his preservation of the Union in the face of a bloody war, and his firmly held view that the Declaration of Independence applied to all men in its dispensation of human rights.

With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor, while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor.

Collection Details

  1. Drayton, Daniel, Personal memoir of Daniel Drayton, for for years and four months a prisoner (for charity’s sake) in Washington jail. Including 1855 a narrative of the voyage and capture of the schooner Pearl, 1855
  2. Hart, Albert Bushnell, Slavery and abolition, 1831-1841, 1906
  3. Lester, C. Edwards, (Charles Edwards), Life and public services of Charles Sumner, 1874
  4. Illinois. General Assembly. House of Representatives, Abolition petitions, 1845
  5. Beecher, Catharine Ester, An essay of slavery and abolitionism, with reference to the duty of American females., 1837
  6. Bledsoe, Albert Taylor, An essay on liberty and slavery, 1856
  7. Brookes, Iveson L., A defence of southern slavery : against the attacks of Henry Clay and Alex’r. Campbell. In which much of the false philanthropy and mawkish sentimentalism of the abolitionists is met and refuted : in which it is moreover shown that the association of the , 1851
  8. Coffin, Levi, Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad; being a brief history of the labors of a lifetime in behalf of the slave, with the stories of numerous fugitives, who gained their freedom through his instrumentality, and ma, 1876
  9. Hale, John P. (John parker), Speech of John P. Hale, of New Hampshire, on the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. : Delivered in the Senate of the United States, March 18, 1862., 1862
  10. No Author, An Inquiry into the condition and prospects of the African race in the United States: and 1839 the means of bettering its fortunes …, No Date
  11. Martineau, Harriet, The martyr age of the United States, 1839
  12. Martineau, Harriet, The martyr age of the United States of America, with an appeal of behalf of the Oberlin institute in aid of the abolition of slavery., 1840
  13. Van Dyke, Henry J. (Henry Jackson), The character and influence of abolitionish : a sermon preached in the First Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, on Sabbath evening, Dec. 9th, 1860, 1860
  14. Walker, Jonathan, Trial and imprisonment of Jonathan Walker, at Pensacola, Florida, for aiding slaves to escape from bondage : with an appendix, containing a sketch of his life., 1846
  15. Wilson, Henry, Speech of Hon. Henry Wilson, of Mass., in the Senate, March 27th, 1862 : on the bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, introduced by him December 16th, 1861, referred to the District Committee, and reported back with amendments by Mr. Morril, 1862
  16. American Anti-Slavery Society, Annual reports of the American Anti-Slavery Socity : by the executive committee, for the years ending May 1, 1857, and May 1, 1858., 1859
  17. American Anti-Slavery Society, Annual reports of the American Anti-Slavery Socity : by the executive committee, for the year ending May 1, 1860., 1861
  18. Convention of Delegates from the abolition Societies Established in Different Parts of the United States, Minutes of the proceedings of a Convention of Delegates from the Abolition Societies Established in Different Parts of the United States, 1794
  19. American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condtion of the African Race., Minutes of the proceedings of the … American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race …, 1804
  20. Douglass, Frederick, Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave, 1845
  21. Dicey, Edward, Six months in the federal states, 1863
  22. Stanly, Edward, Speech of Edw. Stanly, on North Carolina, establishing proofs that the abolitionists are opposed to Gen. Harrison, and that Gen. Harrison is opposed to their “unconstitutional efforts.”, 1840
  23. Radical Political Abolitionists. Convention, Principles and measures. : Declaration of the Convention of “Radical Political Abolitionists,” at Syracuse, June 26th, 27th, and 28th, 1855. : We believe slavfeholding to be an unsurpassed crime …, 1856
  24. Schurz, Carl, Speech of Carl Schurz, delivered at Verandah Hall, St. Louis, Aug. 1, 1860, 1860

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