John Brown joined the side of free-staters in the conflict in the Kansas Territory, fighting to have Kansas enter the Union as an anti-slavery state. History has shown that his actions and the reactions to them were among the most potent precursors of the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.
Born into slavery, Douglass became an eloquent spokesperson for both blacks and womens rights. During and after the Civil War, Douglass became a confidant of presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. Douglass also argued for African Americans to be allowed to join the Union army in the fight for their own freedom.
Harriet Tubman served as an abolitionist, emancipator of slaves, military spy, and advocate for womens rights. Tubman helped lead more than seventy slaves out of captivity and guide them to freedom along the Underground Railroad. When Civil War broke out, Tubman guided an expedition of Union soldiers on a raid in South Carolina that freed over seven hundred slaves.
Sojourner Truth lived a truly remarkable life. She had the ear of President Abraham Lincoln and fellow abolitionists Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and William Lloyd Garrison. One of the most persuasive and influential activists of her day, Truth was also an effective recruiter of African Americans into the Union army during the Civil War.
Following the passage of a law that made it a crime to aid in the escape of slaves, Stowe lent her actions and her words to the effort to help slaves and put an end to slavery. She actively aided fugitive slaves and, with the publication of the anti-slavery novel Uncle Toms Cabin, focused the nations consciousness on the inhumanity of slavery.
With the founding of his own newspaper, Garrison used the paper and his association with other abolitionists to advocate for the immediate and complete freeing of all slaves. Through his editorials, he became a symbol of the abolitionist movement by pointing out the hypocrisy of the countrys actions versus the ideals set out by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Although he steadfastly refused to be labeled an abolitionist, Abraham Lincoln was a hero to the abolitionist cause. The emancipation of the slaves in 1863 was strategic to the president's fight against the Confederacy in the Civil War and changed the course of the nation's history.