January 31, 1865 the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States was proposed to the legislatures of the States by the 38th
Congress, and by the end of that year the amendment was ratified:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude … shall exist within the
United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Thirteenth Amendment Day, 2013, the Cabinet of Freedom, the governing
board of the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) in Peterboro NY, announces plans to induct four 19th Century abolitionists on Saturday, October 19, 2013. The 2013 inductees
are the fifth set of abolitionists to be inducted since NAHOF was
formed in 2004. All four nominations were selected from public
nominations to the Hall of Fame by the NAHOF Inductee Committee chaired by Cabinet member Carol Faulkner PhD. Dr. Faulkner worked with a committee of scholars from around the country who reviewed the written nomination forms.
An Abolition Symposia during the afternoon of October 19, 2013, will include lectures on each of the four inductees.
Following the annual NAHOF dinner, evening induction ceremonies will
include brief nomination speeches by family, associations, and
societies, the unveiling of the official Hall of Fame portraits created
by artist JosephFlores of Rochester, and dramatic presentations. The public is encouraged to join.
The 2013 inductees to the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum:
Elijah Parish Lovejoy (1802 – 1837) Born in Maine, Lovejoy later became editor of the St. Louis Observer and a teacher. After becoming a Presbyterian
minister he preached abolition and continued his anti-slavery newspaper
even as his presses were destroyed by pro-slavery mobs. As editor of
the antislavery newspaper The Alton Observer in Alton, Illinois, Lovejoy
committed himself to pursuing the ideals of universal freedom and human
dignity. While defending his newspaper against threats from a proslavery
mob in November of 1837, he was murdered. This early act of violence
against abolitionists angered northern residents and stimulated
participation in the growing movement to abolish slavery. In response to
Lovejoy’s murder both John Brown, instigator of the Harpers Ferry invasion, and WendellPhillips, wealthy Boston orator, committed their lives to the abolition of slavery.
Miner (1815-1864) was trained as a teacher in New York State and first
taught in northern schools. Aware that slavery could not end if blacks
were not educated, she dedicated her career to that purpose. As a
teacher at the Newton Female Institute in Whitesville, Mississippi in 1845, she became appalled at the inhumanity
of slavery, but was forbidden to teach blacks due to the intensity of
local prejudice. In 1851, she established a school for black females in
Washington, D.C. where she faced a constant barrage of bigotry,
harassment and threats of violence. Her dedication to continue teaching
arose, as she said, from the “moral courage I carry in my own soul.” Miner’s birthplace in North Brookfield, Madison County NY is a site on the Madison County Freedom Trail.
(1793-1886), a white southerner by birth, was active in the original
burst of antislavery sentiment from the American Revolution and Second
Great Awakening. After moving to Ripley, Ohio in 1822, Rankin learned that his brother Thomas, a Virginian, had become a slaveholder.
He composed a series of Letters on Slavery to his brother that became
one of the earliest and most effective calls for immediate
emancipation. John Rankin became one of the nation’s best-known Underground Railroad conductors, and the source for the real-life story that inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s fictional character, ElizaHarris, in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In partnership with African American John Parker, the two men and their families turned the small village of Ripley,
Ohio into one of the key crossing points over the Ohio River for
fugitives fleeing slavery, assisting approximately 2,000 runaways. Rankin’s notoriety grew among embitteredKentuckians
so that a $3,000 bounty was placed on his head. His home was targeted
by armed slave owners and hunters demanding to search for runaway
Walker (1799-1878), better known as the “Man with the Branded Hand,”
was a Massachusetts-born antislavery author, lecturer, and agitator.
The case that secured Walker’s antislavery reputation occurred in 1844. Walker and his family had moved to Pensacola, Florida, where Walker managed a railroad property and invited black workers to his home for meals. Already known for his anti-racist activities, bounty hunters captured Walker and seven fugitive slaves sailing for freedom in the Bahamas.
In jail for one year, Walker was punished for “stealing slaves” by
being branded with an “SS” by a United States marshal. John GreenleafWhittier’s
poem about Walker, “The Branded Hand,” became nationally known. His
speeches encouraged abolitionist activity, and he sold copies of
abolitionist literature to raise funds for the movement.
The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) was launched in 2004 by the Smithfield Community Association in partnership with the Upstate Institute at Colgate
University. NAHOF was provisionally chartered by the New York State
Board of Regents in 2007. The National Abolition Hall of Fame and
Museum honors antislavery
abolitionists, their work to end slavery, and the legacy of that
struggle, and strives to complete the second and ongoing abolition – the
moral conviction to end racism. The Hall of Fame encourages public participation at the October event, and for nominations of future inductees. For future details and updates on the event contact: National Abolition Hall of Fame & Museum, 5255 Pleasant Valley Road, Peterboro, NY 13134-0055, firstname.lastname@example.org. or www.nationalabolitionhalloffameandmuseum.org.