Saturday, August 1, 2009


A term usually, applied to men and women who where opposed to slavery during the three decades before the Civil War as well as during it. It is most correctly used when referring to those who sought immediate, unconditional, and universal emancipation of the slave in the United States. According to this definition, advocates of gradual emancipation in any of its forms, or of Negro colonization to Africa, Latin Amerca, or any other part the world as a prior condition to emancipation, were not Abolitionist. Thus, Abraham Lincoln and William Ellery Channing, the great Unitarian minister of Boston, to name two antislavery men, were not Abolitionist, although Southern slaveholders and Northern proslavery men, using the term as an epithet, sometimes called them Abolitionist.

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