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
Morris Officer was an African missionary and the founder of the Lutheran Church in Liberia. Educated at Wittenberg University in Ohio, Officer traveled and worked in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Gambia between 1853 and 1861. He established the Muhlenberg Mission, which became home to former slaves freed by the United States Navy. Officer published several books about West Africa and served as a home missionary in various locations prior to his death in 1874. His scrapbooks and diaries chronicle three decades of activities. A detailed biography is available here.
Officer’s diaries from 1848 through 1854 are available here.
Diaries covering 1852 through 1874 are available here.
Source: Thomas Library, Wittenberg University (Springfield, OH) and A.R. Wentz Library, Gettysburg Seminary (Gettysburg, PA)
The Union Missionary is the successor journal to the Union Missionary Herald, which was posted in full on this site last year. The paper was the official organ of the Union Missionary Society, the predecessor of the American Missionary Association, and ran from May 1844 through September 1846. It carried news, correspondence, and other information connecting the United States of America to locations in Africa, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and other parts of the world. It is now available online, for the first time, here.
Source: Rare and Manuscript Collections, Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)