Charles Lenox Remond

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Charles Lenox Remond
Charles Lenox Remond2-crop.jpg
Born(1810-02-01)February 1, 1810
DiedDecember 22, 1873(1873-12-22) (aged 63)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation(s)Activist, lecturer
Spouse(s)Amy Matilda William Cassey
Elizabeth Magee
ChildrenAmy Matilda Remond,
Charles Lenox Remond, Jr.,
Wendell Phillips Remond,
Albert Ernest Remond,
Peter William Cassey (stepson)
Parent(s)John Remond (father)
Nancy Lenox (mother)
RelativesSarah Parker Remond (sister)
Caroline Remond Putnam (sister)
Cecilia Remond Putnam (sister)
Marchita Remond (sister)

Charles Lenox Remond (February 1, 1810 – December 22, 1873) was an American orator, activist and abolitionist based in Massachusetts. He lectured against slavery across the Northeast, and in 1840 traveled to the British Isles on a tour with William Lloyd Garrison. During the American Civil War, he recruited blacks for the United States Colored Troops, helping staff the first two units sent from Massachusetts. From a large family of African-American entrepreneurs, he was the brother of Sarah Parker Remond, also a lecturer against slavery.


Early years[edit]

Remond was born in Salem, Massachusetts to John Remond, a free man of color from the island of Curaçao, who was a hairdresser, and Nancy Lenox, daughter of a prominent Bostonian, a hairdresser and caterer. Massachusetts had effectively abolished slavery after the Revolution with its new constitution. The eldest son of eight children, Charles Remond began his activism in opposition to southern slavery early. His siblings included sisters Nancy, Cecilia, Maritchie Juan, Caroline, and Sarah Parker, and a younger brother John Remond.[1]

While in his twenties, Remond started speaking for abolition at public gatherings and conferences in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New York and Pennsylvania.


In 1838, the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society chose him as one of its agents. As a delegate from the American Anti-Slavery Society, in 1840 he traveled with William Lloyd Garrison, a leading American abolitionist, to the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London. The young Remond gained a reputation as an eloquent lecturer and is reported to have been the first black public speaker on abolition.[2][3] He was described as expressing himself with "militancy" and wit.[4]

Remond proposed resolution at the first national Colored Convention in Philadelphia, PA (1830) calling for blacks to leave "en masse" any church "that discriminated against them in seating or at the communion table." Their resolution was adopted.[5]

In 1840, when female delegates were denied seats at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, Lenox and Garrison protested and walked out with the women.[6][7]

In 1857 at a meeting held in New Brighton by Remond and his sister Sarah, also an abolitionist lecturer, Remond said, "When the world shall learn that 'mind makes the man'-- that goodness; moral worth, and integrity of soul, are the true tests of Character, then prejudice against caste and color, will cease to be."[3]

During the Civil War, Remond recruited black soldiers in Massachusetts for the United States Colored Troops of the Union Army, helping man the early, famed units of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry.[2]


Remond's family owned and operated a successful hairdressing business, and catering service in which several members participated. His three sisters, Cecilia, Maritchie,[1] and Caroline, owned a women's hair salon and the largest wig factory in the state.[8]

Remond eventually struck out on his own. After the Civil War ended, he moved to Boston, where he worked as a clerk in the United States Customs House.[2] He also worked as a street lamp inspector. He later purchased a farm in South Reading (now Wakefield), Massachusetts.

Marriage and family[edit]

Remond was married in September 1850 to Amy Matilda Cassey (née Williams),[9][10] the daughter of Rev. Peter Williams, Jr. She was the widow of wealthy Philadelphia barber Joseph Cassey,[11] with whom she had eight children including Peter William Cassey and an adopted daughter, Annie E. Wood, the maternal aunt of Charlotte Forten Grimke.[9] After her marriage to Remond, she moved to Salem, where she lived until her death on August 15, 1856.

Two years later, Remond married again, to Elizabeth Magee, a native of Virginia, in Newton on July 5, 1858. The abolitionist preacher, Rev. Theodore Parker, officiated. Before her death in 1871, Elizabeth and Remond had four children: Amy Matilda (1859–72), Charles Lenox, Jr. (1860–82), Wendell Phillips (1863–66), and Albert Ernest Remond (1866–1903).

Remond died in Boston in December 1873. He is buried in Harmony Grove Cemetery, in Salem.

Frederick Douglass named one of his sons for him: Charles Remond Douglass.


  1. ^ a b Grimké, Charlotte Forten (1988). "People in the Journals". In Stevenson, Brenda E. (ed.). The Journals of Charlotte Forten Grimké. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. xli–xlix. ISBN 0-19-505238-2.
  2. ^ a b c Merrill, Walter M., ed. The Letters of William Lloyd Garrison. vol. III: No Union with Slave-Holders, 1841-1849. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1973, p. 273.
  3. ^ a b Charles W. Townsend III and Peggy Jean Townsend, Chap: "Charles Lenox Remond," Milo Adams Townsend and Social Movements of the Nineteenth Century Archived March 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, 1994, hosted at Beaver County, PA website, accessed November 12, 2013.
  4. ^ Bernard Bailyn, et al., The Great Republic: A History of the American People, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977. p. 560
  5. ^ Mabee, Carleton. Black Freedom: The Nonviolent Abolitionists from 1830 through the Civil War, London: The Macmillan Company, 1970, p. 131.
  6. ^ Horton, James Oliver; Horton, Lois E. (1993). "The Affirmation of Manhood: Black Garrisonians in Antebellum Boston". In Jacobs, Donald M. (ed.). Courage and Conscience: Black & White Abolitionists in Boston. Indiana University Press. p. 140. ISBN 0-253-20793-2.
  7. ^ Sammons, Mark J.; Cunningham, Valerie (2004). Black Portsmouth: Three Centuries of African-American Heritage. Durham, New Hampshire: University of New Hampshire Press. p. 132. ISBN 9781584652892. LCCN 2004007172. OCLC 845682328. Archived from the original on August 10, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
  8. ^ Rooks, Noliwe M. (1996). Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture and African-American Women. Rutgers University Press. p. 24. ISBN 9780813523125.
  9. ^ a b Mary Maillard, "'Faithfully Drawn from Real Life:' Autobiographical Elements in Frank J. Webb's The Garies and Their Friends," Pennsylvania Magazine of Biography and History 137.3 (2013): 285.
  10. ^ Black, Janine, "Cassey, Amy Matlda Williams (1808-1856)",
  11. ^ Black, Janine, "Cassey, Joseph (1789-1848)",

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