Essay Example - The Ten Historical Figures Who Fought Against Slavery

Published: 2023-09-28
8 min read

Harriet Tubman- Conductor to the Underground Railroad (1820-1913)

Tubman was a determined, charismatic, and strong woman who believed in every slave's legitimacy to attain independence. Therefore, she undertook a mission to evacuate slaves from their master's farms using the Underground Railroad and collaborated with other abolitionists to strive towards freedom and the end of slavery. She was nurturing when she had to, comforting, encouraging to other slaves, and even threatened them to keep moving. Her famous quote was, "I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger."

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Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)

Frederick Douglass was a prominent abolitionist during the 19th century as he fought for the rights of African Americans. His three best qualities and contributions towards the attainment of independence and equal rights to African Americans included his role as an abolitionist, his intellectual abilities that enabled him to be a writer and orator, and finally, his quest as a woman's rights activist.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

As the 16th President of the United States and a president who led the country during the civil war threats, Abraham Lincoln displayed critical leadership abilities as he strived to preserve the Union against the South. He is credited for signing the Emancipation Proclamation, uniting the states of America, and defending federal law, even if it meant using force.

Benjamin Lay (1682-1759)

Even though of an inferior stature, Benjamin lay displayed a stringent attitude towards slavery, and even started activism against Quaker slaveholders. He was disowned by his religious community yet continued his quest. Lay wrote numerous accounts of the evils of slavery committed by his friends and society at large.

Elizabeth Freeman (1744-1829)

Born a slave, Elizabeth or Mum Bett, as she was famously known, was the first slave to ever demand for her freedom in the Massachusetts law courts successfully. Her understanding of the Massachusetts State Constitution's laws gave her lawyer a chance of winning her freedom. Her bravery led to numerous other lawsuits that resulted in the abolition of slavery by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Sojourner Truth (1797–1883)

"Ain't I a woman?" This is one of the most critical speeches ever delivered during the abolition movement. Sojourner Truth was the voice and brains behind this speech as she tackled slavery and gender inequalities. She was a women activist and abolitionist and an active participant of the Civil war as she recruited Black troops to fight for the Union Army.

David Walker (1796-1830).

Walker was a free man, a state he inherited from his mother, yet this did not deter him from attacking and condemning slavery. He became a member of the anti-slavery organization, the Massachusetts General Colored Association, and dedicated his intellectual ability to fight slavery through speeches and articles.

Phyllis Whitely (1753-1784)

Literature was her weapon for independence and freedom. Whitely was kidnapped from Senegal and enslaved in Boston, and she used her poems and other writings to express her desire for freedom and support America's quest for independence. She became the first slave and the third American woman ever to write a volume of poetry that inspired political change.

Lucretia Mott (1793-1880)

Her inclusion in this dinner is because of her role as a religious reformer, a woman rights activist, and an abolitionist. As a Quaker minister, Mott in 1821 showcased her ability to speak and call for religious and social and political changes.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)

Slavery and gender inequality were related issues, and Stanton strived to solve both as an abolitionist and a woman rights activist. As a member of the women suffrage movement, Stanton joined other women in opposing their exclusion in political matters such as voting and participating in the assembly. In 1869, she, alongside Anthony, formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA).

Contemporary Issue

While these ten historical figures fought against slavery and gender disparity, systemic racism is still evident in the contemporary American community. Black Lives Matter is a movement that has awakened the attention towards racism, more so after the killings of unarmed African American men by law enforcement officers. To come up with a solution to this problem, the ten participants of the ppanned diner will have critical roles in the attainment of a racial free America. The women, Elizabeth Stanton, Harriet Tubman, Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, and Elizabeth Freeman, will present a woman's perspective of the problem and how gender adds to the impacts of racism, and the efficacy of empowering women in curbing systemic racism. Phyllis Whitely will represent the media in creating positive and progressive pieces of information forged towards overcoming racism, breaking barriers of race, and uniting the United States. Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln will avail incites on how to include diplomatic action and negotiate the differences between different races, and reconcile the rifts between the majority and minority ethnic groups. Benjamin Lay and David Walker will form activist movements aimed at pushing the government agencies and the criminal justice system to seize discrimination and create policies that aim towards equality.


Alexander Kerri Lee. Elizabeth Freeman (1744?-1829). National Women’s History Museum. Accessed on

National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior (n.d). Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad: A Different Kind of 19th-century Battlefield. National Monument, Maryland.

The White House. Abraham Lincoln.

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