Most abolitionists were members of the country's second generation, who had no personal memories of the American Revolution. One of their goals was to realize the highest moral ideals of the Revolutionary generation. In the Upper South, a number of abolitionists-such as Charles Torrey of New York, who died in a Maryland jail--helped slaves escape from bondage. Antislavery evangelicals gave slaves bibles, established integrated churches, and preached against the sin of slavery. Others, like Kentuckian William S. Bailey attempted to publish antislavery newspapers. A few founded utopian communities in the upper South, like the Frances Wright, an English radical who founded Nashoba, near Memphis, Tenn., as an experiment in interracial living. Still others, like Eli Thayer of Worcester, Mass., sought to promote the emigration of "free soilers" (advocates of free labor) into the upper South. These brave women and men risked their lives to force the South to confront the moral issue of slavery. African-Americans were always at the forefront of the abolitionist cause. African-American abolitionists included religious leaders, like the Reverend James Pennington; journalists like Charles Remond; and fugitive slaves, like Frederick Douglass, who had escaped from slavery and who aroused antislavery fervor in the North were their eyewitness accounts of life in bondage. By the late 1830s, moral persuasion had not only failed, it had produced a violent counter-reaction. In the face of vicious attacks, the abolitionists grew increasingly divided over questions of strategy and tactics. One group of abolitionists looked to politics as the most promising way to end slavery and proposed creating an independent political party dedicated to ending slavery. The Liberty Party, founded in 1840 under the leadership of Arthur and Lewis Tappan, two wealthy New York businessmen, and James Birney, a former Alabama slaveholder, called on Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, end the interstate slave trade, and cease admitting new slave states to the Union. Political abolitionists formed the Free Soil party in 1848 and the Republican party in 1854. Another group of abolitionists, led by William Lloyd Garrison, turned in a more radical direction. They withdrew from membership in churches that condoned slavery and refused to vote and hold public office. They sought to link antislavery to such reforms as women's rights, world government, and international peace. At the 1840 annual meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society, abolitionists split over such questions as women's right to participate in the administration of the organization and the advisability of nominating abolitionists as independent political candidates. Garrison won control of the organization and his opponents walked out. From that point on, no single organization could speak for abolition. The fragmentation of the abolitionist movement worked to the advantage of the cause. Moderates could vote for political candidates with abolitionist sentiments without being accused of holding radical abolitionist views. Black abolitionists played a leading role in the struggle against slavery and discrimination. They initiated opposition to colonization. They staged protests against segregated seating in churches and on public transportation. They circulated petitions, organized boycotts, and brought court suits in an effort to make segregated schools illegal. They provided the core subscribers for antislavery periodicals like The Liberator. Fugitive slaves helped arouse Northern sympathy for the slaves' plight. Their first-hand tales of whippings and separations from spouses and children erased the notion that slaves were content under slavery.
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