Theodore Weld: Crusader for Freedom

Theodore Weld: Crusader for Freedom

Theodore Weld: Crusader for Freedom

Theodore Weld: Crusader for Freedom

Excerpt

Not often does a man whose labors shape the course of human history seek deliberately to efface himself from history's pages, yet this seems to have been the purpose of Theodore Weld.

The Dictionary of American Biography declares that "Measured by his influence, Weld was not only the greatest of the abolitionists; he was also one of the greatest figures of his time," and the testimony of Weld's contemporaries bears out the estimate.

Wendell Phillips affirmed that "In the first years of the antislavery cause, he was our foremost advocate." William Lloyd Garrison described Weld's work as indispensable. The Reverend Samuel J. May said that "Wendell Phillips as an orator, was his only rival in the cause of liberty." Frederick Douglass testified that one of Weld books, Slavery As It Is, was as influential in the earlier period of the antislavery movement as Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was in a later day.

Yet this man is totally unknown to most Americans, and he was little more than a name even to historians until a few years ago.

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