Port Royal Experiment


The U.S. Government and the Sea Island Slaves

In August 1861, at Fortress Monroe in Virginia, Union General Benjamin Butler declared that the slaves who escaped and came into his lines for protection were contraband of war, a term commonly used thereafter to describe this new status of slaves, which meant that the Army would not return escaped [Read More ...]

Helen Benson Garrison


Abolitionist and Wife of William Lloyd Garrison

While her husband got all the glory, Helen Benson Garrison was an abolitionist in her own right. She raised funds for the American Anti-Slavery Society in many ways, particularly as a manager of the annual Boston Anti-Slavery Bazaar.

Helen Benson was born on February 23, 1811 in Providence, Rhode Island to George and [Read More ...]

Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad


The Savior of Hundreds of Slaves

Image: Harriet Tubman Leading The Way

After Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery, she returned to the South nineteen times and escorted hundreds of slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, a secret network of brave abolitionists and safe houses where runaway slaves could rest during their journey north to the free states or Canada.

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Elizabeth Packard


Advocate for the Rights of Married Women

Elizabeth Packard was a social reformer whose experiences in a mental hospital began her quest for protective legislation for the insane and improved married women's rights. She wrote numerous books and lobbied legislatures literally from coast to coast, advocating more stringent commitment laws, protections for the rights of asylum patients, and laws to [Read More ...]

Mary Ellen Pleasant


Successful Businesswoman and Humanitarian

Mary Ellen Pleasant was a civil rights activist and entrepreneur who used her fortune to further the abolitionist movement. She worked on the Underground Railroad in several states, including California during the Gold Rush and won significant civil rights in the courts, earning the name 'Mother of Civil Rights in California.'

Mary Ellen Pleasant altered and [Read More ...]

Maria Weston Chapman


Author and One of the First Female Abolitionists

Maria Weston Chapman was a writer, editor, abolitionist, and right-hand woman of prominent abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. She served as editor of the anti-slavery newspapers, the Non-Resistant and the National Anti-Slavery Standard. Although she shunned public speaking, Chapman organized bazaars and other fund-raising events for the movement, and was described by Lydia [Read More ...]