Julia Williams (abolitionist)

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Julia Williams was born in Charleston, South Carolina on July 1, 1811. Her family moved to Boston, Massachusetts when she was a child, and was 21 years old when she traveled to Canterbury, Connecticut to be a student at Prudence Crandall's Academy. After the Academy closed, Williams went to study at the Noyes Academy in New Canaan, New Hampshire, which in 1835 met the same fate as the Canterbury Female Boarding School.[1] She completed her education at the Oneida Institute in New York.[2]

She was an outspoken advocate of abolition and African-American rights. Williams was a member of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS) during the 1830s.[3] She was one of four delegates from the BFASS who attended the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in New York in 1837.[4][5]

Williams married Henry Highland Garnett, a teacher, minister, and prominent leader of the abolitionist movement. In 1852, Julia and Henry traveled to Jamaica as missionaries, where Julia headed a Female Industrial School. After the Civil War, Julia worked with freedmen in Washington, DC. She died on January 7, 1870(1870-01-07) (aged 58).[1]

In 2014 the Prudence Crandall Museum was preparing an exhibit interpreting the life of Williams.[6]


  1. ^ a b State of Connecticut (May 2005). "Students at Prudence Crandall's School for African-American Women 1833 - 1834" (PDF). State of Connecticut - Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. p. 3. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Jurmain, Suzanne (2005). The forbidden schoolhouse : the true and dramatic story of Prudence Crandall and her students. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 123. ISBN 0618473025. 
  3. ^ John C Van Horne; Jean Fagan Yellin (1994). The Abolitionist sisterhood : women's political culture in Antebellum America. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. p. 58. 
  4. ^ Hansen, Debra Gold (1993). Strained Sisterhood: Gender and Class in the Boston Female Anti-slavery Society. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. p. 19. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Weston, Anne Warren (1837). "[Letter to] My Dear Debora[h] [manuscript]". Boston: Boston Public Library. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Prudence Crandall Museum