1 Aug 2022


Abolitionist Right before the Civil War

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Through the writings and public speeches, there was the culmination of events and circumstances through which black abolitionism took shape. In the appeal and statement on slavery, Mr. Jefferson, in the David Walker (1830), in his article, termed ignorance as the main hindrance to the abolition of slavery. He argues that when the enlightened Europeans and Asians show their ignorance, they degraded their fathers instead of enlightening them. He says by teaching them about religion on how God had blessed them, they were plunged in wretchedness and were left more intolerable, and their miseries were increased. They were then told of their inferiority and distinct race thus prone to mistreatment and slavery. Through the speeches, the black were made to believe that only their self-help and their unity will lead to abolitionism (Walker, 1830). 

John Brown In the history of abolitionism advocated for the use of violence as means to attack slavery while Jefferson used the non-violent means. The different abolitionists had their various views that made them support the use of violence either principled or practical reasons. The difference between violent and non-violent abolitionism was brought about by the diverse views of the abolitionists themselves both before and after the Harpers Ferry raid that was led by John Brown. Although there was a reason to challenge the violent means of abolitionism, it is important to note there were similarities in their views about slavery (Hurtado, 2009). After the Harper raid, Jefferson and his followers showed sympathy to the Brown and his violent followers and helped to reveal the similarities and relationship. 

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In both cases of violent and non-violent abolitionism made the use of religion as taught by the European themselves. In the article of “Appeal to the colored citizens,” Walker used God and biblical themes to appeal to the black to fight for their rights. He says when the time arrives, they should be confident that Jesus Christ, who is Ruler of heaven and the world and is the God of integrity and soldiers will fight for them, and the enemies who for many years stole their rights will be removed. For his part, John Brown is said to be justified as signal the upset for freedom and when it is to protect the fathers, mothers, partners and youngsters from slavery and restore them to their God-given human rights. 


Hurtado, N. (2009). From gradualism to immediatism: William Lloyd Garrison’s encounter with David Walker’s appeal. Retrieved from https://www.pacificu.edu/sites/default/files/documents/Nikki%20Hurtado.pdf. 

Walker, D. (1830). Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World . Boston: Revised and Published by David Walker. Retrieved from http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/abolitn/abesdwa3t.html. 

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