Theodore Dwight Weld and the American Anti-Slavery Society

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About the Book

In the 1830s, the abolitionist movement gained remarkable momentum due in large measure to the establishment of the American Anti-Slavery Society and the work carried out by one of its most important leaders, Theodore Dwight Weld. One of Weld’s most significant accomplishments was the recruitment of a group of key abolitionist agents, known as the “Seventy,” who worked to expand the reach of abolitionist thought and action and enlisted new members into the movement. This volume chronicles the founding, development, and mission of the American Anti-Slavery Society, the contributions of Weld, and the crusading efforts of the agents he assembled. With the most complete list to date of the identities of the Seventy, this work constitutes a valuable contribution to the history of the abolitionist movement.

About the Author(s)

Owen W. Muelder is director of the Galesburg Colony Underground Railroad Freedom Center at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. His work has appeared in Illinois Heritage.

Bibliographic Details

Owen W. Muelder
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: 12 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6396-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8853-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

Introduction 3

1. The Abolitionist Movement in the 1830s and the Establishment of the American Anti-Slavery Society 7

2.  Laying Emancipation’s Groundwork 36

3.  Members of the Seventy 68

4.  The Seventy in Their Own Words 100

5.  Acting on What They Preached 126

Conclusion 145

Appendix A: Anti-Slavery Songs and Poems 151

Appendix B: Correspondence 156

Appendix C: Reminiscences 161

Appendix D: Tributes 172

Appendix E: Declaration of Sentiments and the Constitution of the Society 180

Appendix F: Officers of the Society, 1833–1840 189

Notes 197

Bibliography 213

Index 221


Book Reviews & Awards

“Owen Muelder’s incisive work, Theodore Dwight Weld and the American Anti-Slavery Society deserves the widest possible readership for its extensive research and compelling insights.”—Lewis L. Gould, The University of Texas at Austin; “significant contribution to the understanding of a part of our nation’s past that haunts us to this day…Muelder has researched so meticulously and chronicled so well”—Roger L. Taylor, Illinois Heritage; “well-informed and smoothly articulated…useful…crammed with interesting appendices on Weld…Muelder has done the history of the anti-slavery movement a real service”—Larry Sommers, The Congregationalist; “wealth of materials…offers much to researchers and students of American abolitionism…plenty of material for interested scholars”—Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz, h-net.org; “the most complete list to date”—Reference & Research Book News.