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Articles on abolitionism

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An abolitionist lithograph of the slave trade in Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Capitol in the background. Library of Congress

White mobs rioted in Washington in 1848 to defend slaveholders’ rights after 76 Black enslaved people staged an unsuccessful mass escape on a boat

Riots by proslavery forces raged for three days in the nation's capital after the capture of a ship bearing fugitive enslaved people. The president, a slaveowner himself, tried to calm the city.
Abolitionist John Brown, left, and President Abraham Lincoln, right, were both moral crusaders. Hulton Archive/Getty Images & Stock Montage/Getty Images

John Brown was a violent crusader, but he blazed a moral path that the cautious Lincoln followed to end slavery

President Lincoln was a statesman. John Brown was a radical. That's the traditional view of how each one fought slavery, but it fails to capture the full measure of their devotion.

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