By Max Skidmore

Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Wendell Phillips stand out among the ranks of abolitionists. Each articulated a position so forcefully as to become leader of what can almost be considered a “school” of abolitionist thought that had—along, of course, with substantial agreements—some sharp differences with the others. Phillips and Garrison disagreed regarding Garrison’s pacifism. More to the point, they also disagreed in their assessments or Lincoln. Nevertheless, they shared a common beginning point. Each proceeded from a firm convention that it would be impossible to end slavery within the existing constitutional system.

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