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Page Name[edit]

Should this article be called Abolitionism? (Or, should it be more specifically re: slavery?) --Brion VIBBER

Probably. Please move it!user:sjc iryftuetyuyreuy;uy;ouyrtuyrutyuerytoeuryoeuytoeuyoeuytouyteoryt Should also be disambiguated (slavery) in case we need to deal with other forms of the abolitionism (I can think of several). user:sjc

I'm willing to consider the slavery issue the main use of the term for now, with a disambiguation block at the top for death penalty, nukes, etc. Feel free to convince me otherwise. --Brion VIBBER
I agree that this disambiguation is needed. --Daniel C. Boyer

Actually, if you'll look at the What links here] page, you'll see that most of the references are to Abolitionist in the 19th century American sense of "abolition" of slavery. Maybe just fix the REDIRECT. Ed Poor

Sorry, I got frisky and removed the redirect already. Ed Poor

Seems that abolitionism and abolitionist are 90% identical. I suggest a merge, with one redirecting to the other. --Ed Poor

We still have the abolition of slavery page to deal with. Abolition may be needed for disambiguation (or is it?). rmhermen 08:11 Aug 15, 2002 (PDT)

Thanks for the fix, Andre. It makes sense for the -ist people to redirect to the -ism idea. Same as Communist redirecting to communism. --Ed Poor

"Abolition of slavery" is a broader topic than "abolitionism", and there is much on that topic that is not here. This page does not mention the act of Parliament of 1772 (if I recall correctly) that abolished slavery in England while allowing English companies headquartered in England to continue trading slaves in other countries, nor the subsequent lawsuit over the question of whether that law applied also to Scotland, nor the history of abolition of slavery in the various European countries and other countries. When and how was slavery abolished in Spain? (Later than in the USA, I'm guessing, based on the movie Amistad.) What about France, Italy, Germany, etc.? In which countries in slavery legal now? -- Mike Hardy

If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself! Vera Cruz

But I don't know the answers to those questions! -- Mike Hardy

I agree wholeheartedly, and my solution is this: let the abolitionism article be based on the abolition of slavery in North America, and have a seperate, more global article at abolition of slavery. I'll start it as a stub (in place of the current redirect), referencing this page as a "see also". --Sam 15:02, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Oh, dear, this is another one of those articles with a lot of history and baggage... a bit of a mess? Question that need answering:

  1. Is abolitionism primarily a North American term, or is it used elsewhere?


It is my thoughts that part of this post should be separated and put under a topic by the name of Abolition, but still include the dates of abolition in certain places under this topic. I think it would also be easier for searches if slavery was separated into different geographical places, such as America, Egypt, Spain; you might want to create new topics as these and put a redirect link on the page the search "slavery" leads to. This is something very much needed for this topic, and also if anyone could find more pictures to place on this page, or with a link to it, I know that will be greatly appreciated! --LadyFroggie 18:30, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

The term "abolitionism" goes back to the abolition of slavery (and that is historically still its most important meaning). In due course and discourse the term has, however, been applied to other inhuman social institutions, with more or less sucess, especially to capital punishment and to prisons. It is kind of strange that Wikipedia does not take note of these "new abolitionists". -- 19:35, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

The least one should do is differentiate these different types of abolition --Johannes

Britain vs. England[edit]

Someone changed England to Britain in the article. Unfortunately, that makes some of the information inaccurate. For example "slavery was never widespread within Britain" is not true; that's only true of England herself. Slavery was not abolished in all Britain in 1772; only in England. Etc. I'm going to change some of the references back because of this. Quadell 14:02, May 5, 2004 (UTC)

Swedish Date[edit]

Could someone verify the Swedish abolition date? Seems very early.

From, can't really confirm the source, but sounds reasonable, local conditions made slavery uneconomic.

Officially the practice of having slaves was abandoned as a law proclaimed by the king Magnus Eriksson when he travelled through the country in the year of 1335. The original texts do not exist any longer but the pieces which survives says that 'every man and women which is born by a christian man and women is to be free in the county of...'.
The official reason to ban the slavery was the christian faith. In reality other reasons much more powerful than that existed. Economic resaons... It was simply more profitable to have people which could be hired for shorter periods. Instead of having a large workforce which the owner had the responsibility for all year around, even when didn't need them, he could hire them when it was considered necessary.
Instead the farmer could give away a bit of land and let the former slaves pay for cultivating this land with workdays on the his farm. Formally the slaves were free, but in practice the landowner earned money as he didn't have to pay for food during the winter months at the same time as he got his work done any way. A neat arrangement...
Theoretically the slaves now was members of the community with equal rights but they still didn't own anything. For most of the slaves the situation actually had gone from bad to worse.

Further investigation (on this site even) refers to the fact that later the swedes bought the island mentioned in 1783, and slavery was used on that island until the second date.

Slavery in the U.K.[edit]

The article says the case deciding slavery was "Somerset v. Maughan". Surely this can't be right. Rudyard vs. Kipling maybe? Ringo vs. Starr...

DNB; "Somerset v. Stewart" Septentrionalis 02:24, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

"Quakers continued to be influential throughout the lifetime of the movement, in many ways leading the campaign.[4]" - suggest change to:

"the Quakers continued to be influential throughout the lifetime of the movement.[4]" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:42, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

St. Patrick[edit]

Opposed the slave trade, especially the enslavement of free Christians. This is laudable, but it is not abolition. Septentrionalis 02:24, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

The fact remains that slavery ceased in areas under the influence of Celtic Christianity. Perhaps that makes them unique as Christians (I'm not sure). But if a society ceases to practice slavery, is that not 'abolitionist'?-- 08:33, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Lord Mansfield[edit]

Lord Mansfield never said or wrote "The air of England ..." The slave's counsel brought up that line, quoting a 16th century legal decision. VoX

Page Structure[edit]

I've just added stuff about UK abolitionism. I've also re-organised the page to make it less US-centric. The national sections should now be chronological, based on final date of abolition. Gailtb 14:31, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Political Emancipation[edit]

The wiki page Political_emancipation could use some attention. Currently it is only a stub. Particularly the explanation of the term 'political emancipation' entailing 'equal status of individual citizens in relation to the state, equality before the law, regardless of religion, property, or other “private” characteristics of individual persons' is construed to be an 'opinion' and 'not delivering a neutral point of view.' Does anyone have more information on the word 'emancipation' also being used in the political context of establishing (or any step moving towards) equality in light of the law? Inserting the Voting Rights Act as such a step of political emancipation was repeatedly erased.

When there have been only 3 African-American Senators in modern times (out of more than 1500 Senators in total), would you say that political emancipation has been achieved? FredrickS 18:23, 17 June 2006 (UTC)


Could "School of Salamanca" or the Revolt of the Comuneros be regarded as abolicionist since they pursued the end of slavement in América?

The end of slavery wasn´t their only goal, but thy could be in a prot-abolitionist seccion or preface or so.

Latin America[edit]

The information on Latin America is not correct. During the independence wars the "libertad de vientres" was declared, which means that all the slaves' sons were going to be free from then on. But people still possessed slaves legally until the 1850s.--Rivet138 (talk) 16:31, 6 February 2010 (UTC)Rivet138

Anti-Catholicism & Nativism[edit]

Have altered the inclusion of anti-Catholicism & nativism together with social reform movements such as temperance, women's suffrage, etc., as these are anti-ethnic movements and not social reform movements. Also amended the paragraph on university participation in antislavery, which is basically correct but overlooks important contributions from established universities. Joe Lockard

The ant-catholic and nativist movements were as much social reform movements as any. Let's not let out own POV get in the way here. Rjensen 18:08, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Which of the following did the Catholic Church oppose? Saying the abolitionists opposed Catholics because they were against modernization is 1) unspecific 2) an omission of many other reassons for opposition - such as anti-Popism.--JimWae 18:46, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
    • temperance movement - granted the Irish opposed this, but they were not alone
    • public schooling - quite possibly
    • prison- and asylum-building
    • abolition
    • The Catholic Church (Pope) was against all modern reforms at the time, and said so quite clearly. In the US the Catholics (esp Irish) opposed prohibition, feminism, and utopianism; fought the public schools, opposed Bible reading in schools and fought abolitionists. They strongly denounced protestant churches and Protestants in general as doomed to hell. They insisted (by 1870) the Pope was infallible. The American Catholics had just defeated a local control movement ("trustees) making their bishops all-powerful. I don't recall they took any stand on asylums. (this refers to 1840-1870 era), The Protestants were alarmed to see they were growing rapidly and building a huge network of their own parochial schools and colleges Rjensen 19:19, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I've reverted this because it is obviously controversial, but not referenced. If you can come up with a verifiable reference then that is different, but I would humbly suggest that: 1) evangelical Protestantism (and Roman Catholicism for that matter) is rather too complex for such generalisations; 2) it has nothing to do with abolitionism, which is the point of the article. MAG1 21:13, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Abolitionists thought it was pretty important. See Griffith book, also Filler and especially Osofsky, Gilbert. "Abolitionists, Irish Immigrants, and the Dilemmas of Romantic Nationalism" American Historical Review 1975 80(4): 889-912. Why is this controversial?? I thought everybody knew the Irish and the abolitionists were at each others throats? Rjensen 21:28, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Syllabus of Errors was 1864 and infallibility 1870. The important source for inclusion in the article is the source that the Irish opposed abolition of slavery? --JimWae 21:41, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Osofsky covers the prewar Irish; also see The War Against Proslavery Religion: Abolitionism and the Northern Churches, 1830-1865 by John R McKivigan. The Syllabus of Errors and Infallivility were of course taught long before they became official dogma. Some cites: Irish were "staunch opponents of abolition" p 84 of The Columbia Guide To Irish American History by Timothy J Meagher (2005); "many Irish, although by no means all, believed that those who supported blacks were precisely their own enemies. That is, they associated abolitionism with anti-Catholicism and nativism." p 100 of The New York Irish

edited by Ronald H Bayor (1996) Rjensen 21:53, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

The Syllabus says nothing on slavery and the arch-conservative Pope Gregory XVI opposed the slave trade.[1] That said many Catholics, especially Irish, in the US supported slavery for a variety of reasons. Also, I'd presume, Catholics who opposed slavery would've done so for reasons that'd irritate or displease evangelicals. Catholicism of this time was strongly against the Northern industrialist lifestyle and against Protestantism. I know of Medievalist Catholics of today who say indentured servitude and serfdom was preferrable to slavery plus some things Catholics of that era say make me think that when they opposed slavery they did so for that reason. Most Catholic denunciations of slavery involved trading of slaves, internationally or domestically, because the Catholic Church felt it broke up Christian families. If there really were Catholics who opposed slavery in favor of non-racial indentured servitude I think it'd be fair to say they would've been seen, perhaps rightly, as pro-slavery by abolitionists.--T. Anthony 06:41, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Huh well most "Catholics in good standing" abolitionists I find were of French descent or didn't live in the US. For example Charles Lavigerie, of France, and a few Louisianans. The main Irish Catholic abolitionist was a man named Richard Robert Madden[2] who never lived in the US, but was connected to the Amistad (case).--T. Anthony 07:19, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

You are completely right that many abolitionists were strongly anti-Catholic, Granville Sharp for one. However the controversial bit is the reasons for the anti-Catholicism are complex and often theological. So if you have a good point, then I would suggest you reference it fully within the article then it is much more difficult for people to get rid of it. However, do bear in mind that this is an article about abolitionism not abolitionists: how did these arguments affect the cause of abolitionism in the USA? If the answer is not much, then create a new article about it (which sounds as if it would be interesting). MAG1 21:59, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

The cause of abolitionism had strong opponents in the North--led by the Irish Catholics who increasingly dominated the Dem party. (Solution involved a Free Soil Dem movement that drew anti-slave people out of the Dem party and eventually into the GOP). The irish disliked the blacks but they violently hated the abolitionists who they saw as a threat to their religion. This is important as late as the draft riots of 1863. Rjensen 22:06, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
IMHO a contribution explaining this would be great (though what do I know?), and I hope you don't mind me saying, loads better than the broadbrush stuff you started out writing above. Like I said earlier, though I may be teaching you to suck eggs, I think references are a good way of making sure that contributions last, particularly any that touch subjects such as religion. MAG1 22:30, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Irish Catholics wanted out of public schools because they felt they were too Protestant in approach; the Bible read there was the Protestant rather than the Catholic version, for one thing. They were trying to protect their own culture (as every group seems to). Opposition to blacks and abolition came from the working classes, not the official church. They did not want to compete with laborers willing to work for low wages, which they assumed freedmen would be willing to do. They fought with blacks in Philadelphia in the 19th and early 20th c., in one battleground. As one of the first major groups of immigrants in the mid-19th century, Irish were defending their "territory" in NY and other cities. This strong territoriality over space and jobs (and women, of course) continued into the early 20th century, at least. They were territorial against other ethnic groups in northern cities, but especially against blacks who started to arrive there in the Great Migration. They were the major players not only in the draft riots of 1863 in NY, but in a late 19th c. riot in Chicago, the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, the Omaha Race Riot of 1919 and lynching of Will Brown, violence in Philadelphia. They were slugging it out against the blacks in the bottom tier.--Parkwells (talk) 11:33, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Slavery in Israel?[edit]

The paragraph on slavery in Israel - "Israel is known among those knowledgeable as the world capital of the International slave trade: all three kinds of slavery are rampant there; the police and government, the former incompetent and the both corrupt, do nothing against it: Prostitution is Israel's largest business and foreign labor (Contract slaves) is the foundation of Israel's industry." - reads like an antisemitic fantasy, and isn't supported by any references. I'm surprised that it's lasted this long. I suggest that either it be properly documented and referenced by somebody, or it should be deleted. --JdwNYC 17:58, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

I deleted it. Rjensen 20:43, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Alexander Hamilton[edit]

The partisan fantasy that Hamilton had an extraordinary abolitionist carreer is being discussed at Talk:Alexander Hamilton#slavery. Septentrionalis 17:08, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I am glad to see that Governor Jay is included, as he ought to be. Septentrionalis 17:09, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

The Roman Catholics and the Irish[edit]

The present text reads:

American Catholics (especially the Irish Americans) opposed reforms such as abolition, prohibition, feminism, and utopianism; they opposed Bible reading in schools, and denounced Protestant churches. The abolitionists were alarmed to see Catholics were growing rapidly, especially in the larger cities, where they were becoming politically powerful. As a result many abolitionists embraced nativism as typified by the Know Nothing Movement in the 1850s. In 1849, Garrison wrote that "not a Catholic priest, not a Catholic journal, can be found in this great country, pleading for the liberation of the enslaved; on the contrary, they most heartily stigmatize the abolitionists and all their movements." Thus abolitionism had strong opponents in the North--led by the Irish Catholics who increasingly dominated the Democratic party in major cities. One option for anti-slavery Democrats was the Free Soil Party that drew anti-slavery people out of the main Democratic party and eventually into the anti-slavery Republican party. The Irish disliked the blacks but they violently hated the abolitionists who they saw as a threat to their religion. This was important as late as the draft riots of 1863

This bears a very tenuous relation to its cited sources, however:


  • Daniel O'Connell attacked Washington as a slave-holder, and fought a duel with the American ambassador, Andrew Stevenson, over slavery (11)
      • Charles Lenox Remond a black American Abolitionist O'Connell, and Theobold Mayhew organized a petition with 60,000 singatures urging Irish-Americans to support Abolitionists.
  • Many Irish in America were unsympathetic to blacks, as competitors for jobs (11)
  • Abolition "was seen" by irish-Americans as Protestant.(12)
  • Garrison's remark (13)
    • Not a single bishop supported abolition before 1861.(12)
    • Bishop England of Charleston said that Catholic tradition did not oppose slavery but the slave trade. (13)
    • The Archbishop of New York denounced the petition.(11)


  • The antislavery moment attempted to reach beyond the "traditional bitter hostility of Protestants towards the papacy and 'Jesuitism' (890)
  • They attacked nativism and the Know=Nothings (890, 903
    • "no more forcible attacks on nativism and Know-Nothingism came out of antebellum America than those of the Garrisonians" 908-9
      • Although some antislavery men found it a bridge to the Republican party 910,
      • Garrison, Qunicy and the other Garrisonians found it a threat and a distraction 910
  • The Irish rejected abolitionists because they defended Irish and black freedom on the same grounds (890)
    • And as immigrants, they revered the Constitution and opposed extra-constitutionalism 900
    • And as an individualist approach, which was opposed to a class approach to relief of the Irish-Americans 903
  • Garrison admired O'Connell, and enlisted him into American antislavery; he had already joined to oppose British slavery. 890-2
    • O'Connel suggested the formation of an all-black colony in Texas to stop the expansion of slavery 892
  • Remond and his address 895-8
  • O'Connell denounced Garrison for anti-sabbatarianism 903
  • Same renark quoted a substanitally correct 906
  • "proslavery position of the Repeal Associations" 903; Garrisonians opposed it 1843-5 903


  • religious support and on all sides, including pro-slavery 30
  • Roman Catholics welcomed slaveholders
    • Despite prhibiting racial discrimination 27
    • And as ritualists, did not excommunicate for sin, but for heresy 27, 51,
      • Also the Episcopalians and Lutherans
  • Neutrality on slavery during the Civil War 186 191
Every sentence in the passage on Catholics is quite correct. (It talks explitly about American Catholics, not those back in Ireland). For more evidence look at Catholicism and American Freedom: A History by John T. McGreevy (2003) pp 51ff [3]. In the South "The Irish endorsement of slavery and the efforts of the Irish to preserve the South as "a white man's country" after emancipation only endeared them further to southerners." [Gleeson; David T. The Irish in the South, 1815-1877 2001 pp 192-3]; also Strange Kin: Ireland and the American South By Kieran Quinlan, esp .p. 50 [4] Rjensen 08:53, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Every sentence about the Garrisonians is either misleading or unsupported by the cited sources, as these extracts should make clear to any serious editor. I will read Potter to see if he says anything different. Septentrionalis 14:05, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
As someone else pointed out above, the Catholic Church in the nineteenth century was explicitly and overwhelmingly conservative, and opposed to any liberalization - a reaction to the violent, antireligious backlash of the French revolution and subsequent movements like Marxism. Though it did not have much pull in America, it was heavily criticized in Europe for hanging on to outdated anti-scientific dogma, continued hostility to non-Catholics, and indifference to the plight of the poor and working classes (the Church started to change in the twentieth century, and all three were essentially dropped after Vatican II and Pope John Paul II's time).
It should also be noted that politics were heavily polarized in the U.S. along racial lines after the civil war, especially with immigration. Northern WASPs, Southern WASPs and every minority were essentially at each other's throats, especially in the inner cities where Catholics were well represented (Irish, Italian, Polish and some German immigrants) - which accounts for the racism among many Catholics. First, the immigrants had to compete with the newly emancipated blacks for jobs, food, living quarters and everything else. Second, they were being targeted by the piestistic movement popular among northern WASPs - Catholics balked at the idea of imposing a specifically Protestant moralism into the public sphere. The pietists/Progressives supported strong anti-immigration measures, as well as the Social Gospel, Prohibition and the abolitionist movement - and thus the Old South was pissed off at them also.
So the Catholics aligned with the southern WASPs based on the enemy of my enemy theory - both of them were largely racist for their own reasons, both of them felt victimized by the northern WASPs still dominating the country, and since they lived in different parts of the country, there was little contact between the two to spark outrage at their religious and racial differences.
For the record, though, the Catholic Church had condemned the principle of slavery as early as 1435, and that there was little backing in church doctrine for the positions of Catholics in the U.S. (talk) 09:56, 6 July 2008 (UTC)


Res ipsa loquitur: this section is anti-Catholic, anti-Irish and very biased. No other religious or ethnic group has been given its own section in this Wikipedia entry. The leading opponents of Lincoln -- Fernando Wood, August Belmont, James Bennett, and Clement Vallandigham -- weren't Irish and only Bennett, a Scots immigrant was Catholic. Justice Taney of the infamous Dred Scott decision was Catholic, but not Irish. He regretted, if you read the decision, what he believed the constitution required, but it is unquestionable that in his private life he was an abolitionist. The most prominent Irish Catholic slaveholder, Charles Carroll, unquestionably opposed slavery and proposed legislation for its abolition in Maryland. James M[a]cMasters is often cited as a prominent Irish Catholic journalist who opposed abolition. In fact, McMasters was a native born American with Scots and Presbyterian roots who was educated at Union college in upstate New York, and was in complete disfavor with the "Archbishop of New York City" by 1860. My great-grandfather knew the "Archbishop of New York" John Hughes. Hughes was an ally of Lincoln and Seward, who raised the American flag over Old St. Patrick's cathedral. Hughes opposed extra-political emancipation, but he did not believe in slavery. What he believed in was gradual, legislated emancipation. Furthermore, General William Tecumseh Sherman, General Phil Sheridan, General George Gordon Meade or General John Reynolds were all raised by Irish families. Indeed, Sherman and Sheridan attended the same Catholic Church as children. The Irish won at least 137 Medals of Honor during the American Civil War, far more than any other ethnic group. On December 13, 1862, on the eve of Emancipation, New York City's Irish Brigade was worse than decimated in repeated desperate assaults on the stonewall at Fredericksburg. At Gettysburg on the third day, Pennsylvania's Irish Regiment held the center of the Union position against Pickett's charge. No Irish, no Union or emancipation. That this Wikipedia entry singles out Irish Catholics and presents none of the facts I have just mentioned is -- res ipsa loquitur -- evidence that the article is biased in the grand tradition of American and British anti-Catholicism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Slante9 (talkcontribs) 21:59, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

POV Paragraph[edit]

I removed the following as poorly written and rather POV:

Slavery is practiced in the US today primarily by recent immigrants abusing illegal immigrants. The threat of deportation by the INS is often used to enforce captivity. See article "Montgomery Woman Sentenced to 7 Years in Domestic Slavery Case", 19 April 2006 <>

A better-written account of these kind of activities might have a place in the article, History of slavery. Peter G Werner 23:30, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Two details to Resolve[edit]

The poster appears to be an English poster, not a French poster.

What does the phrase:

"The rebels imposed to the First Republic (1792-1804) the repeal of slavery on February 4, 1794."

mean? --Filll 13:15, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Compensation for slave owners[edit]

Hi all - I don't have the time at the moment to edit the article but thought I'd point this out - the article states that "£20 million was paid in compensation to plantation owners in the Caribbean." it would appear that is this incorrect - according to The Great Trek - C Venter ISBN 090923888X Published by Don Nelson 1985 - Page 17 - £1 250 000 of this amount was set aside for the payment of slavery owners at the Cape, even though the slaves there where valued at £3 041 290. On top of this the money was being paid out in London only - and only in British Goverment Stock and not cash.

When I get a chance I can add this to the article, but if someone else wants to in the meantime ... --kilps 12:03, 17 October 2006 (UTC)


Slavery was outlawed in the British Empire in the 1830s, not earlier. GhostofSuperslum 18:10, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

1833, although it wasn't fully implemented in all the British outlying territories until the end of the 1830s. Also, the act to abolish the slave trade was passed in February 1807, but slave trading wasn't to be illegal till january 1808. so the dates aren't as clear as could be! I feel this is symptomatic of the problem with wiki. it's all too generalised!

Deaths of aboltionists? Were there any?[edit]

how many if any people died trying to establish Abolitionism

besides the John Brown group, in Alton Illinois abolitionist and anti-Catholic editor Elijah Lovejoy was attacked and killed by a pro-slavery, pro-Catholic mob in 1837 21:43, 25 October 2006 (UTC)


This and several other articles, vide serfdom, seem to be mixing terms denying them any clear meaning. "(nevertheless, there were native-born Scottish slaves until 1799, when coal miners previously kept in serfdom gained emancipation)" Specifically slavery, serfdom (something that was very different from country to country) and Villeinage. We also appear to be mixing dates, England abolishes the trade in serfs in 1102 in one article but continues with serfs to 1600 in another, and to 1500 in yet another. I think we need some clear sense of what we want the terms of mean and then applying it across the articles and agreeing on some dates so the articles are consistent Alci12 13:21, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I've never heard this story about Scottish coal-miner serfs until 1799 anywhere else - can anyone confirm if it's true? I suspect it should be removed. MarkThomas 16:46, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Referring to Scottish coal miners, slavery (rather than serfdom) seems the more appropriate word. It seems to have been formalized circa 1606 (either by royal edict or by the Scots Parliament, or both); it was nominally banned in 1776 by the Westminster Parliament, to no effect. It was definitively banned in 1799 (using the word "servitude", the same word used in outlawing US slavery many years later), although it persisted and mutated into a form of serfdom in the 1800's (again, like the situation in the US many years later). The original Scots form had stated that anyone who mined coal (and this applied to other laborers as well, including saltpanners) was condemned to that activity for life. Missing work was consider theft (of the mine owner's labor), and mine labor was bought and sold as part of the purchase and sale of a mine. The Kirk, to its discredit, was a critical part of this shameful institution through a ceremony called "arling", at which a miner would swear before God that his son would become a coal miner. (talk) 17:17, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Frederick Douglass[edit]

my name is kevin gilmore and i need to leanr about Frederrick Dougless trip to be an abolitionism. can you give me a site.................

See the Frederick Douglass article for more info. Timotheos 21:55, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Notable opponents of slavery[edit]

This section has grown to a very substantial length now. I propose that it be moved to its own page as "List of notable opponents of slavery". I would move the list of individuals -- but leave the list of organizations in its own renamed section, "Anti-slavery organizations", in this article. Unless there are serious objections to doing this, I will take care of the move in 2-3 days. Cgingold 15:40, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Take the organizations too. Some of them are mentioned elsewhere in the article; most of the others are small, and no more important than the individuals who composed them. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:07, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

"Modernizing" movements?[edit]

"In the North most opponents of slavery supported other modernizing reform movements such as the temperance movement, public schooling, and prison- and asylum-building." Unless "modernizing" is meant literally (i.e. shaping things to be the way they would be in the future), I think this is a POV statement. The temperance movement lead to the Prohibition, which in turn lead to an unforseen rise in Mafia influence because the Prohibition did not adequately deal with alcoholism or alcohol vendors. Likewise, it could be argued that jail-building deals with surface symptoms and not causes; there may be criminals, but who were these criminals before they turned to crime? And don't forget that a great many in the civil rights movement went to jail for their beliefs.

I think it would be better if it was re-worded and included some context on these movements and trends. What is so modernizing about prison-building? If modernizing is meant in a different context, then that context should be provided. Kennard2 03:28, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Growth of the campaign[edit]

This is badly written, and while I concede that the recent edits by Jolayemi give more detail which is valuable, there are inaccuracies. For instance, William Wilberforce was certainly not an evangelist! I propose to rewrite this section, keeping and amplifying the relevant detail, but making corrections as appropriate. – Agendum 13:06, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Maybe we can add some literary works written about Abolitionism? Works that were intended to help the campaign? Never-winter-erica (talk) 14:20, 14 November 2017 (UTC)


Being the enterer of that topic, I think it belongs in this article - there were two basic movements, colonization and emigration, and both are important. I have not returned the material from 'invisible text' but I think such a reversion should be done. --Dumarest 17:15, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the subject of emigration deserves mention, which is why I kept that paragraph as "invisible text". Unfortunately, the writing wasn't up to encyclopedia standards. But certainly, you or any other editor should feel free to improve or rewrite it, and when it's in better shape, add it to the article. Cgingold 03:23, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Fine, I am not that 'on text' but after 50+ published scientific papers I do not thank I cannot write, just maybe in the 'Wikipedia style' - please do not take offense, but what is the problem - the data is there, it is referenced, it is real, what else?? --Dumarest 00:20, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I finally found the time to take another look at the paragraph you wrote on emigration, so I could reply to your response. Needless to say, I discovered that you had already restored it to the article -- but without making a single change. (You didn't even take care of capitalizing the first word in the 3rd sentence, ferkrisake... ) <sigh>
So for the time being, I've returned it to "invisible text" -- but as I indicated above, I'm hoping it can be added back in the very near future.
Look, I'm sorry that you have to endure this, I realize it must be unpleasant -- but regardless of whatever other writing you may have done, this particular paragraph is simply not very well written. However -- if you will at least make a real effort to improve on your first draft, I promise that I will carve out some time to do whatever else may be needed in the way of "final editing", so it can be put back into the article ASAP. There are two large areas in particular that you need to work on:
1) It isn't entirely clear what the "Haytian Union" was, nor what the "national movement of African Americans recruited by the government of Haiti" refers to; and there's no mention of what was or wasn't accomplished -- especially bothersome, since there is no Wikipedia article to link to for further info.
2) Why does the very next sentence begin with "However, an initial successful operation..."? I have no idea what you were trying to say, since there's no indication that the "Wilberforce Colony in Canada" had any connection with the "Haytian Union". It's a pretty confusing way to introduce the new subject. Also, that sentence is unbelievably long and rambling -- there's enough text there for 2 (or even 3) sentences.
I hope this has been helpful. Please remember to use the "show preview" button as many times as needed before you press the "save page" button. Regards, Cgingold 15:02, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Neutrality/Sources/Quality Issues[edit]

In the section "History of American Abolition", there are a number of questionable unsourced statements, such as one which says how abolitionists such as Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant and Stephen Douglas married into slave-owning families without "any moral qualms." Although the fact that they married into slave-owning families is true, the moral qualms statement is pretty hard to prove, since we are unaware of the deep inner feelings of these men on personal issues. Here's another: "The majority of northerners rejected the extreme positions of abolitionists." While this statement could potentially be true, the fact that opinion polling wasn't being used causes me to question the neutrality and validity of this statement... not to mention that the north elected the abolitionist Republican Party to supermajorities throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction. There are actually many statements like this one throughout the passage, beginning with "Most Northerners". Additionally, the entire section cites only one reference, and this makes me feel that it should be carefully examined and then probably rewritten. Thank you for anyone who looks into this! - Prezboy1 15:37, 19 February 2007 (UTC) [please remember always to post new comments at the bottom of the page] Cgingold 15:06, 20 February 2007 (UTC)


This is from the page that comes up if editing for this entire article is asked for:

"This page is 48 kibibytes (48×1024 bytes) long."

Just what is a kibibyte?? --Dumarest 19:52, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

It's what a cleverer-than-usual vandal might put into a page editing template. It doesn't happen for me now, so presumably somebody's fixed it. Studerby 20:55, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
No, it's what two wikipedia users who should know better have failed to wiki themselves. Notwithstanding the definition is right there in brackets. (talk) 00:56, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Carelessness about state by state years of abolition on this site[edit]

Slavery was not abolished in all states north of Maryland by 1804. It was legal in New York and Connecticut to at least 1827. Dogru144 10:35, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Pleasae see Amistad in this regard. Dogru144 10:36, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

"The first state to abolish slavery outright was Pennsylvania in 1780." Shouldn't this be Massachusetts and not Pennsylvania? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:09, 3 February 2009 (UTC)


I believe whoever inserted the some of the headings in this article got mixed up between first-tier and second-tier. The order doesn't seem to make sense. Akwdb 19:59, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Racist comment deleted[edit]

I'm giving an explanation to an edit I made here, cause there's not enough room in the editing page + I'm only registered in Wikipedia Israel so you can't contact me regularly to discuss this if you wish to respond: The first paragraph ended with the sentence "There was no comparable opposition to slavery within the Muslim world". I erased that sentence because it's racist: First of all, slavery was rooted in some Arab countries which have a Muslim majority, but definitely not in the whole Muslim world. And since you didn't state that other non-Muslim areas that didn't have slavery, like the Far East, didn't have such a movement there, I don't see a reason to mention that so-called fact [which I doubt; I think most of the knowledge we have today is based on western prejudices] regarding the Muslim world. Second of all, I don't even think it's relevant. The Abolitionist movement wasn't acting based on the fact Europe was Christian. Referring to the Muslim religion automatically gives the impression that the Abolitionists were Christian, as this is the monotheist religion automatically compared to it, and that assumption pushes over the Africans fighting abolition, which didn't have a monotheist religion. Ans third of all - I generally think it's very dangerous to refer to cultural\religious elements with out referring to important factors such as social-political conditions [for example, the industrial revolution that took place in Europe at the time didn't have the same influences on Arab counries].

I'll check this page for comments for a couple of days, but if you see this a long time after I've writen here and you want to respond you can enter the Hebrew Wikipedia and search my discussion page: simply copy שיחת משתמש:אין כמוני יש לי פוני to the search option and I'm sure you can understand how to edit it cause it's all desined the same...


Information to be added[edit]

Sorry for my bad english. In spanish wikipedia there isa section for Spain, Cuba and Puerto Rico, and others more littles for Portugal, Chile... Perhaps somebody can find it useful for a translation. Thanks.--Ángel Luis Alfaro (talk) 17:45, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

The information that appears refered to Spain is not accurate and must be changed In 1811 Spain abolishes slavery at home and in all colonies except Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo. The correct date must be 1837 for the metropolis, 1873 for Puerto Rico and 1886 for Cuba. The date of 1811 was only a parlamentary debate in Cortes de Cádiz that not produced any law of abolition.--Ángel Luis Alfaro (talk) 10:53, 4 January 2008 (UTC) I change the dates as said here.--Ángel Luis Alfaro (talk) 19:00, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

British Legal System[edit]

I think the section covering James Somerset and the 1772 de facto illegalisation of slavery in England should have a reference to the complex legal system of Britain, wherby England, Scotland and Ireland all maintained seperate judciarys. Lord Cornwallis (talk) 23:46, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


Recent things on this site. Vandalism, reverted, and then reverted back to the vandalism. Said vandalism was small changes in several places, as far as I can see, and I just reverted the reversion. But this article needs a firm proofing by an editor. --Dumarest (talk) 12:37, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

"States' Rights" creep[edit]

It is untrue that "American abolitionism [...] ran counter to the U.S. Constitution, which left the question of slavery to the individual states." Even if we accept that the Constitution left all aspects of slavery up to individual states (which is not true), how would it have been unconstitutional for abolitionists to successfully convince all 34 state governments to individually abolish slavery? The arguments were the same whether the audience was federal or state. Superm401 - Talk 04:43, 27 February 2009 (UTC)


Is there any record of anyone saying that slavery should be abolished in the Roman Empire, or any of the ancient empires? (not including the slaves themselves and the slave revolts) BillMasen (talk) 15:26, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Congress of Vienna[edit]

could someone please work the section Slave trade#Congress of Vienna into this article. --PBS (talk) 01:35, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

BTW there was a second treaty that year which also addressed the issue, see wikisource:Treaty of Paris (1815)/Definitive Treaty#Additional article on the slave trade --PBS (talk) 01:39, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Abolitionism in the Non-Western World[edit]

Hi, I'm wondering if there's any interest in a collaborative effort to include information on abolitionism in slave-holding societies outside the West, i.e. in Asia and Africa.

I can input information on Yu Hyongwon, a seventeenth-century Korean Confucian scholar who wrote extensively against slave-holding in seventeenth-century Korea. Yu's particularly interesting because his abolitionist arguments are entirely based on non-Western, Confucian humanistic concepts, but his words remarkably parallel the tenets of more famous Western abolitionists born hundreds of years after him. For example, Yu argued that slavery violates the fundamental principle that "people are all the same"; he attested that slavery erodes the state's economic capacity because "only if a person is a slave do others make them labor, and only if a person is a slave is he made to labor for others" - in other words, labor becomes a de-valued activity fit only for the bonded class; and finally, hundreds of years before Frederick Douglass, Yu wrote that slavery brutalized not only the slaves, but the masters as well (James Palais, Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions: Yu Hyongwon and the Late Choson Dynasty, pp 208-273)

If we could include info on similar anti-slavery writers and activists in pre-modern and early modern China, Japan, the Middle East, and Africa, we could better highlight that slavery was not simply a Western sin, and that abolitionism was not simply a Western blessing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eebumssuk (talkcontribs) 02:21, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Abolitionism as a movement in the 18th/19th century is a large topic, while a more global view of the effects of this movement would be useful (and probably less emphasis on the US in this article, as no doubt Abolitionism in the US could be a very large article on its own), I think it should avoid spreading all over the history of slavery and its opponents for all history, which could no doubt be summarised in a yet more general article (and could well already be). Putting an article in its historical/global context can be useful, but you have to equally be aware of the problems of having too large an overlap with other similar/related articles. -- (talk) 02:37, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

I have added a comment with regard to Islamic slaving activities below. I think if we keep getting bits and pieces we will get a larger picture of slavery and subsequent abolitionists and the resulting abolitionisms. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Henryjoseph (talkcontribs) 16:10, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Quakers are NOT evangelical[edit]

If we go by the current connotation of the word evangelical, the Quakers couldn't have been further from it. In fact, the groups we would not term evangelical pursecuted them. A simple change to the second sentence would fix the problem. Remove the word "other" from in front of "evangelical". Then it won't imply that Quakers fell within that umbrella. (talk) 20:52, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Agreed: done. JamesBWatson (talk) 11:31, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Presumably the groups we would not term evangelical pursecuted them should read the groups we would now term evangelical persecuted them? JamesBWatson (talk) 11:31, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

What is an abolitionist?[edit]

An abolitionist is a person agiaist slavery. They work at their best ability to end it. They want whats best for every human being. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:34, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Talk- Feb 20, 2010 edits[edit]

I made some edits to the early sections of United States (4.1, 4.2, 4.3). Many are stylistic changes. Here are some notes on other changes- Mennonites are not Quakers; Added Dickinson; took out first published from Tom Paine because the cite for Woolman says he was published earlier and because a lot of newspapers were published and who knows what some of them said; Moved a sentence about the PA 1780 gradual emancipation act up because it was passed during the revolution; took out largest number emancipated in modern times out of the NY 1799 because it is not true; Added George Washington to those who freed slaves. If you want to edit any of this feel free but please don't delete the whole edit because you want to change one or two things. Nitpyck (talk) 00:07, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

What does Quakers of Mennonite descent mean? Is there any evidence that all the Germantown German Quakers had previously been Mennonites as opposed to one of the many other religious sects in Germany?


Shouldn't there be a section on abolition in Asia?

Not uniquely Western in the 18th-19th centuries[edit]

As has been pointed out above relating to Korea for example, there have of course been movements to abolish slavery in countries which are not, as the title now states 'Western Europe and the Americas' and the specific datings are also extremely suspect. See examples at Abolition of slavery timeline. This article gives a very skewed view of things in that way. You might as well move this article to 'Abolition of the Atlantic slave trade' and create a new article which actually deals with a more wide-reaching topic. Munci (talk) 14:03, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

I've tried to reframe the lead in a less western-centric fashion and moved much of the material from there into the corresponding country sections. Countries/regions are now in alphabetical order. Stub mention of Eastern Europe and Korea has been added to the lead. My hope is that these changes will facilitate adding material on anti-slavery thought and actions from everywhere in the world. If the article grows too large, splitting out the Atlantic slave trade, or US and Great Britain, individually, may be appropriate, in my opinion. I haven't looked at dating inaccuracies yet but may come back to that if time permits. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 16:28, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you! That is already an improvement. What I was meaning about the dating is that also movements from previous centuries (e.g. 14th century in France and Sweden) in Western Europe were not being included. Apologies for any possible confusion. Munci (talk) 19:45, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, this is an improvement, and needs more in this direction. E.g., Saudi Arabia did not abolish slavery until 1962. Pockets of traditional slavery still exist in Mauritania and elsewhere. See Murray Gordon, Slavery in the Arab world (1989 in English), L'esclavage dans le monde arabe (1987 in French). Benefac (talk) 04:14, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Weren't there criticisms in Europe too dating before the timeline here? mnewmanqc (talk) 07:11, 1 June 2012 (UTC)


I think the link to the article on apprenticeship should be removed, because the apprenticeship programme for slaves had little to do with our modern idea of the word "apprenticeship". (talk) 17:31, 15 June 2011 (UTC)


In the current article, there is a paragraph that appears reproduced below:

"The first attempts to end slavery in the British/American colonies came from Thomas Jefferson and some of his contemporaries. Jefferson included strong anti-slavery language in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, but other delegates took it out. As President, he signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves on March 2, 1807, and it took effect in 1808, which was the earliest allowed under the Constitution. In 1820 he privately supported the Missouri Compromise, believing it would help to end slavery.[26][27] He left the anti-slavery struggle to younger men after that.[28]"

This paragraph is misleading, and suggests Jefferson was unequivocally abolitionist. In reality, he owned slaves and fathered children with at least one of them (Sally Hemmings). The above paragraph does not reflect the complexity of this relationship. I've tried to remove this overly simplistic paragraph from the article, but it was reinstated. Jefferson surely deserves some mention, but his relationship with slavery should be clarified if the paragraph is to remain in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Billybob1591 (talkcontribs) 19:57, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

The article is about abolition not sexual behavior. The paragraph is exactly accurate and not at all controversial. There is an entire article on Thomas Jefferson and Slavery and a full summary in the main Thomas Jefferson article that is linked. People should go there for all the details. This article doubtless should also state that Jefferson was the leader in Congress (and failed by one vote) to outlaw slavery in all the territories, and that he was a lifelong opponent of the slave trade (he was a prominent leader in ending the trade both in Virginia and the nation as a whole). Rjensen (talk) 00:29, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Jefferson wasn´t a supporter of the Missouri Compromise! In the letter to John Holmes, which he had written on April 22, 1820, he feared the division of the Union and denied that Congress has the right to determine such a thing! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:55, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Lack of information on Islamic slaves[edit]

There is minimal information written on slavery in the Islamic cultures. Thomas Sowell indicates that long after the west abolish slavery, Islamic countries continued their slavery practises. Further Sowell asserts that Arabs enslaved up to 10,000,000more black Africans than the US and South America.Henryjoseph (talk) 16:03, 10 November 2011 (UTC)henryjoseph[1]

Another interesting point to consider is what happened to the descendants of those slaves. Was Black Slavery a death sentence through extermination or castration in Islamic cultures?


I think that ...183's point that the courts solved the North's problem through the tort system is important. They were not criminal cases as they would be today, but "property-contract" matters. Don't quite know how to work this back in. Student7 (talk) 16:20, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Question re text[edit]

In the history listing of this article, I saw a change - and the current version compared to the previous has the following:

"Despite the ending of slavery in Great Britain, slavery was a strong institution in the Stupid Colonies of British America and the West Indian colonies of the British Empire."

But when I tried to edit this vandalism, the offending "Stupid" text was not there to fix! What goes on?? (Dumarest (talk) 21:10, 9 February 2012 (UTC))

Topic is abolition of slavery[edit]

I deleted content added by an editor claiming that a group that was anti-abortion was related to this topic. It's complicated enough to deal with this subject historically and in contemporary societies. It does not include anti-abortion activities.Parkwells (talk) 13:18, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree. Just because some group chooses to make a metaphoric reference to abolition does not mean their opinions on abortion belong in this article. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 13:44, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

More discussion of the significance of abolitionism needed[edit]

There is a well-developed body of writing concerning the reasons why Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807. This review gives a good outline. Basically, the Trinidadian Marxist historian Eric Williams argued that the slave trade was abolished due to economic reasons, rather than because of the campaigning of British abolitionists. In the 1970s, Seymour Drescher argued that the slave trade was become more, not less, profitable in the late-C18th/early-19th centuries, and thus Williams's argument doesn't stand up. It would be good if this article could engage with this debate -- I'll do what I can, but I don't have much time to work on it right now. Celuici (talk) 16:56, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Abolitionist Women[edit]

Hi all,

Just wanted to give the heads-up that I've edited the article to include a new section on abolitionist women in the United States. As the article was previously constituted, it hardly mentioned these women, who played very important roles in the movement (please see the section). The section is thoroughly sourced, and fills a gap in the article. I'll check back here for comments over the next few days. Thanks very much! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Billybob1591 (talkcontribs) 19:52, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Odd heading[edit]

Under the heading "Irish Catholics" we get a number of references to "Episcopalians...Lutherans...Anglican...Baptist...Methodist...". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:32, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Irish Catholics (in the US)[edit]

This section is unsourced, sounds like OR, and seems too long for its points, as if trying to make the case that Irish were anti-slavery. The common people were fiercely anti-black and anti-emancipation in NY, where the two populations competed for work and housing - see New York Draft Riots.Parkwells (talk) 22:32, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

For instance, the following may all be true, but absent any citations, can all be deleted: "Scots-Irish [my addition] and Irish helped defeat the South and end slavery. Generals William Tecumseh Sherman, Phil Sheridan, George Meade, John Reynolds, and Admiral Dennis Hart Mahan all came from Irish families. Sherman and Sheridan were Catholic. One hundred-thirty-seven Irish immigrants were awarded the Medal of Honor for Civil War valor, more than any other immigrant group. After participating in the assault that broke the Confederate center at Antietam, New York City's Irish Brigade lost many members in its assaults at Fredericksburg. After Appomattox, General Phil Sheridan took command of the Union army's African-American 25th Corps and was sent by Grant with an armada to pacify Texas. Later President Johnson relieved Sheridan of command because of his aggressive enforcement of Reconstruction in Texas and Louisiana."[citation needed][original research?] Parkwells (talk) 22:32, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

I agree with Parkwells, and I deleted much of the useless material. This seems to be an assumption that all the Union generals were motivated by abolitionism. I checked some major biographies and Sherman, who was not a Catholic, and Sheridan who was a Catholic, showed no support for the abolitionist movement. Indeed, Sheridan was sharply criticized by prominent abolitionists for his handling of the Indians after the war. the RS generally agree that the great majority of Irish Catholics were anti-abolitionists and strongly opposed to the blacks. It needs to be mentioned that the Irish Catholics were major component of the Democratic Party, which was never a friend of abolitionism. Rjensen (talk) 22:45, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
I summarized number of regiments. Commented out the list. Seemed WP:UNDUE. Basically, the Irish found themselves drafted in New York City to fight a war they didn't start and didn't understand. They hadn't immigrated to the US to die for somebody's else's cause.
As a matter of record, there were a bunch of Irish-Americans fighting for the South. They weren't nicely grouped into "regiments" because the Southerners didn't quite see them as human! Oh, well. They entered the war mainly because they couldn't find work elsewhere. Student7 (talk) 22:32, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Irish Catholics were well regarded in the South as full citizens (and Confederate army officers) & were based mostly in cities. They were not ignorant of the reasons for the Civil War; they just did not support any GOP causes. "Robert E. Lee... went out of his way to pay respects to Catholic chaplains on ceremonial occasions, especially in view of Irish regiments on parade grounds." [from {{cite book|author1=Donald Robert Beagle|author2=Bryan Albin Giemza|title=Poet of the Lost Cause: A Life of Father Ryan|url= of Tennessee Press|isbn=978-1-57233-606-3|page=40}] Rjensen (talk) 00:43, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Agree about cities. There is still a circulated comment that "the word on the street" was to employ Irish in the high-risk job of stevedores, instead of slaves. In the event of death, the employer would not have to pay anyone for the dead Irish, but they would for a slave. Maybe this was just "wise business practice" but it seemed prejudicial to me when I heard it.
Is Lee a "typical" Southerner of the time? He seems to me atypical.
It seems to tie in with Twain's widely published observation of "No Irish need apply" employment notices. Student7 (talk) 03:30, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Much of the content on this page should be moved to separate articles[edit]

Much of the content on this page should be moved to separate articles. In particular, articles on Abolitionism in the United States and Abolitionism in the United Kingdom should be created. This might allow a fuller and more dedicated discussion of each topic. It does not make sense to try to treat numerous independent abolitionist movements in the same article. Celuici (talk) 17:13, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Your idea seems to make sense, since the article is structured along country lines, rather than (say) religious ones. The problem in any forking is shrinking the current article (summarizing each section) and getting old editors to put their material in the new article(s) first, before "summarizing" it here. That is a cultural shock to editors used to watching this page. As a result, the new articles become neglected and the old article "bloats" with unimportant material which really belongs in the newer articles. Student7 (talk) 22:39, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps that might happen, perhaps it might not. But even if it did, having separate articles seems to me to be essential to the continued improvement of this topic. Celuici (talk) 16:58, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

United States[edit]

The beginning of this section of the article is fantasy. The statement about slavery – "... but by 1804, all the northern states had abolished it" – is absolutely untrue.

  • Pennsylvania began a gradual abolition in 1780, but it respected slaveholders' property rights and freed only the future children of the enslaved. And even those children had to works as apprentices for their mothers' masters until age 28. So long as Pennsylvania slaveholders followed the law, those enslaved in the state before March 1780 remained enslaved-for-life. Legal slavery didn't end in Pennsylvania until 1847, when the state legislature voted to no longer recognize the property rights of the state's slaveholders. By 1847, there were fewer than 100 slaves in Pennsylvania, the youngest being age 67.
  • Vermont Territory declared slavery illegal, but didn't free anyone. Some slaveholders freed their slaves, but others sold them out-of-state, or continued to secretly hold them in bondage.
  • The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in 1783 that enslaved black men were citizens of the state, and therefore free under the state constitution. This immediately stripped Massachusetts slaveholders of their property rights, and freed ALL the enslaved in the state. Maine was a territory of Massachusetts, so it was the law there, too.
  • The rest of the New England states (plus New York in 1799) took a middle track between conservative Pennsylvania and radical Massachusetts, setting a date (usually 28 years in advance) on which all their enslaved would be freed.
  • New Jersey was the only state to copy Pennsylvania's 1780 law. Legal slavery didn't end in New Jersey until the state passed the 13th Amendment in December 1865.

It is distressing to see this level of misinformation in an article of such personal significance to so many people. BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 23:47, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Lead seems okay. Note that the census counted "slaves" separately for Constitutional reasons. New York still contained slaves in 1800, for example. You want to chronicle it in detail? It was dying out in the North. Student7 (talk) 01:32, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Separate Section on Haiti[edit]

Hi, Why isn't there a separate section on Haiti? - In lights of the particular nature in which slavery was abolished there (first a slave uprising in 1791, then abolition by French commissioners in Northern plantations of Saint-Domingue, then in the rest of the colony, and finally, the decision to completely abolish slavery coming from the Revolutionary French government in 1794 - and then again, a repeal by Napoleon that ultimately forced Dessalines to proclaim independence). I think it would make the page a bit more complete. (*I find it a bit strange that there can be an article about the "Resteavecs" and nothing on the historical abolition of black slavery in Haiti - I guess it says a lot about who exactly is writing this article.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:30, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Tee black revolt[edit]

This page gives too much credence and detailed information about those whites who were against slavery, immortalizing them as more than heroes and perpetuating blacks as weak and mere victims. One can honestly ask why there is no significant information of the black heroes who drove their freedom movement supported by whites not the other way round. For a free white person to be against slavery it is not a divine angelic act but normal and those for slavery morally abject and evil deriding their own conscience or heavily conditioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:31, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

While I disagree with your rejection of a heroic label for those with power who, at great risk to themselves, oppose a societally accepted evil, the point is moot. If you have further information from reliable sources discussing blacks (and other people of color) involved in abolitionism, please add it to the article and/or discuss it here. If you feel some of the material in the article is not adequately sourced, feel free to correct that as well. If you feel the article gives undue weight to particular aspects of abolitionism (relative to coverage in reliable sources), please give details. Thanks. - SummerPhD (talk) 21:15, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

US split[edit]

I propose to carve out a new article named Abolitionism in the United States, containing all the content of the 'United States' section of this article. In this article, I would remove all the subsections of the 'United States' section just leaving the base section content. Comments? Hmains (talk) 03:41, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Why: the article is too long; over half the article concerns the United States so other countries are not as noticeable as they should be; the current article does fit correctly into US categories, but Abolitionism in the United States will do so. Hmains (talk) 04:51, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
split done on this day Hmains (talk) 23:27, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

UK split[edit]

I propose to carve out a new article named Abolitionism in the United Kingdom, containing all the content of the 'United Kingdom' section of this article. In this article, I would remove all the subsections of the 'United Kingdom' section just leaving the base section content. Why: the article is too long; over half the article concerns the United Kingdom so other countries are not as noticeable as they should be; the current article does fit correctly into UK categories, but Abolitionism in the United Kingdom will do so. Hmains (talk) 18:30, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Split done on this day Hmains (talk) 01:20, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
good job. Rjensen (talk) 01:40, 11 January 2014 (UTC)


How can the Spanish be the first state if the Swedish king passed anti slavery laws at an earlier date? The opening paragraph is about abolition movements, followed by a sentence about a law, which implies their was a movement in that country. (talk) 12:26, 24 May 2014 (UTC)


Is this article about slaving?

   Which would imply a history of the practice.

Is it about the process of trading slaves?

   Which would be adiscussion of trade routes and the people involved.

Is it laws prohibiting the practice?

   Which would imply dates and time of inactment.

It it about abolitionist movements?

   Which would imply talking about groups and their doctrines and activities.

Is just about european involvement or the practises as a whole?

This could do with clarification in the first paragraph. (talk) 12:34, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Thomas Sowell: Conquest and Cultures