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ĽName: Wendell Phillips

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Wendell Phillips was born in Boston, Massachusetts, a descendent of that city’s first mayor. He graduated from Harvard College in 1831, from Harvard Law School in 1833, and was admitted to the bar the next year. In 1836, Phillips left the legal profession to dedicate his life to the anti-slavery cause and became a leader of the radical abolitionists. He authored abolitionist pamphlets, wrote editorials for William Lloyd Garrison ’s The Liberator, and spoke widely for the cause. Like Garrison, Phillips rejected as morally corrupt both the Constitution and the political process for bolstering the institution of slavery. He therefore refused to vote until after emancipation was accomplished. In the decades leading up to the Civil War, he called for the expulsion of the South from the Union, so that the North could avoid the taint of slavery. Phillips also supported temperance, women’s rights, and labor reforms, and worked for the civil rights of African-Americans after the Civil War. He died in Boston.

Robert C. Kennedy, HarpWeek

Source consulted:  Harper’s Encyclopedia of United States History

Wendell Phillips
(29 November 1811 - 2 February 1884)
Source:  Harper's Weekly

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