– August 22
) was an American Quaker abolitionist
who established several anti-slavery newspapers and worked for many others. He traveled widely seeking to limit the expansion of slavery
, and in seeking to establish a colony to which freed slaves might be located, outside of the United States
Lundy was born in Hardwick
, Sussex County, New Jersey
. Once he turned nineteen, he moved to Wheeling, Virginia
, and spent the first eighteen months working as a saddlemaker's apprentice. After his apprenticeship, he married Esther Lewis. Four years later, he moved to Mount Pleasant, Ohio
, and then to St. Clairsville
, where he formed the Union Humane Society
in 1815. Four years later, he founded the antislavery periodical, Philanthropist
, which was published at Mount Pleasant. In 1819 he moved to St. Louis, Missouri
, where he opposed the expansion of slavery to the state. After moving back to Mount Pleasant, in 1821, Lundy founded The Genius of Universal Emancipation
. Elizabeth Margaret Chandler
(1807-1834) was invited by Benjamin Lundy to write for his periodical. She wrote for and edited the "Ladies' Repository" section of his newspaper. After her death, her articles, poems, and letters were gathered and published by Benjamin Lundy, and the proceeds from the sale of those books went to the cause of abolition. He moved to Greeneville, Tennessee
, and then again, in 1824, to Baltimore, Maryland
. While living in Baltimore, a major slave-trading center, he was severely thrashed by Austin Woolfolk, an angry slave dealer.
He traveled to Haiti in 1825 in search of a refuge for freed slaves. In 1828, he journeyed on foot through the Eastern States, giving speeches that explained his aims. In 1829, William Lloyd Garrison became co-editor of Genius of Universal Emancipation, and published several particularly inflammatory editions while Lundy was absent in Mexico, still seeking a location for his colony for ex-slaves. (In 1831, Mexico included areas which are now in the States of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Nevada). Garrison was imprisoned, and Lundy moved the paper to Washington, D.C., where it failed. In 1830–31, he visited the Wilberforce colony of freed slaves in Canada. Between 1832 and 1835 Lundy again visited Mexico and Mexican Texas and applied for an Empresario grant with local authorities to establish a colony of free slaves. In 1836 he published his most famous work The War in Texas, written to influence public opinion in opposition to the Texas Revolution and Texas annexation to the United States. In 1836, Lundy began the National Enquirer, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but retired from it in 1838. That same year, a mob burned Pennsylvania Hall, destroying nearly all of his possessions. He became a persona non grata in Philadelphia.
In 1839, after moving to Lowell, LaSalle County, Illinois, he revived the Genius of Universal Emancipation. He was able to produce only a few issues before he died of a fever on August 22, 1839. He was buried at Friends Burying Ground of Clear Creek Meeting.
One hundred years after his death, a bronze plaque was dedicated to the pioneer abolitionist and placed at his gravesite. The tribute reads, "It was his lot to struggle, for years almost alone, a solitary voice crying in the wilderness, and, amidst all, faithful to his one great purpose, the emancipation of the slaves."
His house in Mount Pleasant is a National Historic Landmark.
- an abolitionist tract by Benjamin Lundy, published 1845, Anti-Texas Legion: Protest of some free men, states and presses against the Texas rebellion, against the laws of nature and of nations hosted by the Portal to Texas History
- The war in Texas; a review of facts and circumstances, showing this contest is a crusade against Mexico, set on foot by slaveholders, land speculators, & c. in order to re-establish, extend, and perpetuate the system of slavery and the slave trade. hosted by the Portal to Texas History
- 1911 Britannica article on Lundy