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Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison, publisher of The Liberator

Library of Congress
Definition: An abolitionist was a dedicated opponent to slavery in the early 19th century America.

The abolitionist movement developed slowly in the early 1800s. The earliest opponents to slavery were considered far outside the mainstream of political thought, but by the 1840s and 1850s the abolitionist movement had a strong and very committed following.

Prominent abolitionists included:

The term comes from the word abolish, and particularly refers to those who wanted to abolish slavery.

The Underground Railroad, the loose network of people who assisted escaped slaves to freedom in the northern United States or Canada, could be considered part of the abolitionist movement.

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