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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Born in England in 1795, Henry Miles joined the Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, at an early age. He relocated his family to Canada and then Vermont, where he became a leading figure in the Peace and Free Produce movements. Miles kept religious diaries, contributed to newspapers, and maintained a voluminous correspondence with fellow abolitionists, fair traders, peace activists, and other social reformers. After the Civil War, he became involved in the Freedmen’s Aid movement. His papers, which cover the period 1826-1880, are divided into three parts.

Part one is available here.

Part two is available here.

Part three is available here.

Source: Henry Miles Papers, MS Am 1074, Houghton Library, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)

George Thompson was imprisoned for five years for attempting to rescue slaves from the state of Missouri. After his release, he spent the better part of a decade as leader of the Mendi Mission in what is now Sierra Leone. Essentially an extension of the Underground Railroad into Western Africa, the mission impacted the movement against slavery on two continents. Thompson published a series of books and pamphlets about his experience, including a compilation of letters to school children. Volume one is available on Google Books.

Volume two is available here.

Volume three is available here.

Source: George Thompson, Letters to Sabbath School Children on Africa, 3 vols. (Cincinnati: American Reform Tract and Book Society, 1855-1858)

Suffragette¬†Emmeline Pankhurst gave a speech entitled “Why We Are Militant” in New York City in October 1913. A foundational document of the women’s rights movement, it seems especially pertinent in light of recent events in Ferguson, Baltimore, and elsewhere. When “all other available means” fail, Pankhurst argued, violence may be the only way “to secure justice.” Truncated or edited versions of her speech appear in various places online. It is now available in its original, unabridged format here.

Source: The Suffragette, November 14 and 21, 1913