Henry Brewster Stanton

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For other people name Henry Stanton, see Henry Stanton (disambiguation).
Henry Brewster Stanton
Henry Brewster Stanton.gif
Born (1805-06-27)June 27, 1805
Preston, Connecticut, USA
Died January 14, 1887(1887-01-14) (aged 81)
New York City, New York, USA
Occupation Lawyer, reformer, journalist
Known for abolitionist
Religion Christian
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Children Daniel Cady Stanton (1842-1891)
Henry Brewster Stanton, Jr. (1844-1903)
Gerrit Smith Stanton (1845-1927)
Theodore Weld Stanton (1851-1925)
Margaret Livingston Stanton Lawrence (1852-1938?)
Harriot Eaton Stanton Blatch (1856-1940)[1]
Robert Livingston Stanton (1859-1920)
Parents Joseph Stanton and Susan M. Brewster
Relatives Nora Stanton Blatch Barney, granddaughter; Robert L. Stanton, brother

Henry Brewster Stanton (June 27, 1805 – January 14, 1887) was an American 19th century abolitionist and social reformer.

Biography[edit]

Stanton was born in Preston, Connecticut, US, the son of Joseph Stanton and Susan M. Brewster. His father manufactured woolen goods and traded with the West Indies.[2] He remembered his first desires for racial justice dated from his childhood, listening to a slave sing:

In my childhood we had a Negro slave whose voice was attuned to the sweetest cadence. Many a time did she lull me to slumber by singing this touching lament [the song of Miantonomi]. It sank deep into my breast, and moulded my advancing years. Before I reached manhood I resolved that I would become the champion of the oppressed colored races of my country.[3]

Stanton was well known as an orator and writer, and used these skills as a journalist, attorney, and politician. In 1826, Stanton began writing for the Monroe Telegraph in Rochester, New York, which was owned by Thurlow Weed and was then promoting the presidential candidacy of Henry Clay. He then began to make political speeches.[2] He also wrote for the New York Tribune, when Horace Greeley was editor, and then for the New York Sun until his death. He contributed to William Lloyd Garrison's Anti-Slavery Standard and The Liberator.[2]

In 1832, he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, to study theology at Lane Seminary, but chose to actively join the abolitionist movement before completing his course. After his marriage, Stanton studied law under his father-in-law Daniel Cady in Johnstown, New York, and, after his studies, became a patent attorney in Boston, Massachusetts, where both he and his wife were actively and prominently engaged in the anti-slavery movement.

His wife, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, cousin of Gerrit Smith, was also very much involved in social issues, including temperance, the abolition of slavery, women's rights and universal suffrage.[4] The couple was married on May 1, 1840, and the family ultimately included seven children. Their wedding trip was spent in Europe where Henry B. Stanton was a delegate to the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London that began on June 12, 1840.[5][6]

Due chiefly to Stanton's ill health, the family moved to Seneca Falls, New York in 1847, where they resided in a house purchased for them by Daniel Cady. In Seneca Falls, Stanton continued his work in reform, journalism and politics, often traveling, speaking and writing on behalf of abolition. While living in Seneca Falls, Stanton helped organize the Free Soil Party (1848) and the Republican Party in 1856. He was a member of the New York State Senate (25th D.) in 1850 and 1851.[7]

Stanton was widely recognized as a premier American orator on social issues, and he was a primary spokesman for the abolitionist movement prior to the American Civil War. He was known for his skill in extemporaneous speaking, and his wife reported that he was occasionally asked to speak on a random topic for the amusement of the audience.[8]

Following the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840, Stanton spent several months on an anti-slavery European speaking tour, touching most of the principal cities of England, Scotland, Ireland and France. Throughout their lives, Henry Stanton and Elizabeth Cady Stanton traveled widely, both jointly and separately, speaking and organizing for social causes that included temperance, abolition and women's rights. When Henry died unexpectedly of pneumonia in 1887, Elizabeth was in London speaking on behalf of voting rights for women.

Isaac Crewdson (Beaconite) writer Samuel Jackman Prescod - Barbadian Journalist William Morgan from Birmingham William Forster - Quaker leader George Stacey - Quaker leader William Forster - Anti-Slavery ambassador John Burnet -Abolitionist Speaker William Knibb -Missionary to Jamaica Joseph Ketley from Guyana George Thompson - UK & US abolitionist J. Harfield Tredgold - British South African (secretary) Josiah Forster - Quaker leader Samuel Gurney - the Banker's Banker Sir John Eardley-Wilmot Dr Stephen Lushington - MP and Judge Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton James Gillespie Birney - American John Beaumont George Bradburn - Massachusetts politician George William Alexander - Banker and Treasurer Benjamin Godwin - Baptist activist Vice Admiral Moorson William Taylor William Taylor John Morrison GK Prince Josiah Conder Joseph Soul James Dean (abolitionist) John Keep - Ohio fund raiser Joseph Eaton Joseph Sturge - Organiser from Birmingham James Whitehorne Joseph Marriage George Bennett Richard Allen Stafford Allen William Leatham, banker William Beaumont Sir Edward Baines - Journalist Samuel Lucas Francis August Cox Abraham Beaumont Samuel Fox, Nottingham grocer Louis Celeste Lecesne Jonathan Backhouse Samuel Bowly William Dawes - Ohio fund raiser Robert Kaye Greville - Botanist Joseph Pease, railway pioneer W.T.Blair M.M. Isambert (sic) Mary Clarkson -Thomas Clarkson's daughter in law William Tatum Saxe Bannister - Pamphleteer Richard Davis Webb - Irish Nathaniel Colver - American not known John Cropper - Most generous Liverpudlian Thomas Scales William James William Wilson Thomas Swan Edward Steane from Camberwell William Brock Edward Baldwin Jonathon Miller Capt. Charles Stuart from Jamaica Sir John Jeremie - Judge Charles Stovel - Baptist Richard Peek, ex-Sheriff of London John Sturge Elon Galusha Cyrus Pitt Grosvenor Rev. Isaac Bass Henry Sterry Peter Clare -; sec. of Literary & Phil. Soc. Manchester J.H. Johnson Thomas Price Joseph Reynolds Samuel Wheeler William Boultbee Daniel O'Connell - "The Liberator" William Fairbank John Woodmark William Smeal from Glasgow James Carlile - Irish Minister and educationalist Rev. Dr. Thomas Binney Edward Barrett - Freed slave John Howard Hinton - Baptist minister John Angell James - clergyman Joseph Cooper Dr. Richard Robert Madden - Irish Thomas Bulley Isaac Hodgson Edward Smith Sir John Bowring - diplomat and linguist John Ellis C. Edwards Lester - American writer Tapper Cadbury - Businessman not known Thomas Pinches David Turnbull - Cuban link Edward Adey Richard Barrett John Steer Henry Tuckett James Mott - American on honeymoon Robert Forster (brother of William and Josiah) Richard Rathbone John Birt Wendell Phillips - American M. L'Instant from Haiti Henry Stanton - American Prof William Adam Mrs Elizabeth Tredgold - British South African T.M. McDonnell Mrs John Beaumont Anne Knight - Feminist Elizabeth Pease - Suffragist Jacob Post - Religious writer Anne Isabella, Lady Byron - mathematician and estranged wife Amelia Opie - Novelist and poet Mrs Rawson - Sheffield campaigner Thomas Clarkson's grandson Thomas Clarkson Thomas Morgan Thomas Clarkson - main speaker George Head Head - Banker from Carlisle William Allen John Scoble Henry Beckford - emancipated slave and abolitionist Use your cursor to explore (or Click "i" to enlarge)
Anti-Slavery Society Convention 1840, painting by Benjamin Robert Haydon. Henry Stanton, front row, second from right. Move your cursor to identify participants or click the icon to enlarge


Abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass provided Stanton's son, Theodore, this memory of the first time he heard Henry B. Stanton speak in public:[9]

When I was escaping from bondage I was received under the humble but hospitable roof of Nathan Johnson, an old colored man....Nathan Johnson also told me all about Henry B. Stanton's wonderful oratorical powers, and took me one evening to hear him denounce the slave system. It was one of the first abolition lectures I ever heard, and this circumstance, combined with the eloquence of the speaker, left an ineffaceable impression on my mind. Your father was then unquestionably the best orator in the anti-slavery movement. I listened to him on many other occasions, but this first one, when I was fresh from slavery, naturally touched me the most deeply.[10]

Politically and socially active throughout his life, Stanton served as Deputy County Clerk of Monroe County, New York, for three years, and as secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society from 1835 to 1840. Stanton was appointed Deputy Collector of the Port of New York in 1861 and held the position until 1863.

Stanton's publications included many pamphlets on social issues and the book length Sketches of Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain and Ireland (New York, 1849), an examination of British social conditions and activists. In addition, he was finishing the fourth edition of his autobiography Random Recollections (1885) at the time of his death from pneumonia on January 14, 1887 in New York City. He died of pneumonia at election night while it was pouring rain.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mrs. Blatch Dead. Famed Suffragist. Leader Here Of Radical Wing of Movement. Champion of Woman's Rights, 84. First To Plan Parades. Associate In England of Sylvia Pankhurst. A Daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton". New York Times. November 20, 1940. Retrieved 2010-07-21. "Mrs. Harriot Stanton Blatch, former leader of the radical wing of the woman's suffrage movement in the United States and also well ..." 
  2. ^ a b c Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Stanton, Henry Brewster". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton. 
  3. ^ Stanton, Henry B. Random Recollections (New York, 1887) as quoted in Pierson, William D. Black Yankees (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1988), p.106.
  4. ^ "Elizabeth Cady Stanton Dies at Her Home.". The New York Times. 27 October 1902. Retrieved 2007-10-31. "Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton died at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon at her home in the Stuart Apartment House, 250 West Ninety-fourth Street. Had she lived until the 12th of next month she would have been 87." 
  5. ^ Minutes of the Proceedings of the General Anti-Slavery Convention. London: Johnston & Marrett, 1840.
  6. ^ The Anti-Slavery Society Convention, 1840, Benjamin Robert Haydon, National Portrait Gallery. accessed 19 July 2008
  7. ^ "Smith Papers", Journal of the Senate of the State of New York, Syracuse University, 1850.
  8. ^ Stanton, William A. A Record Genealogical, Biographical, Statistical of Thomas Stanton of Connecticut and His Descendants, 1635-1891. Albany, New York, Joel Munsell's Sons, 1891. p.460.
  9. ^ Stanton, William A. A Record Genealogical, Biographical, Statistical of Thomas Stanton of Connecticut and His Descendants, 1635-1891. Albany, New York, Joel Munsell's Sons, 1891. p.461-62.
  10. ^ Obituary and family recollections

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

New York State Senate
Preceded by
Timothy S. Williams
New York State Senate
25th District

1850–1851
Succeeded by
Josiah B. Williams