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Encyclopedia > Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips
Statue in the Boston Public Garden.
Statue in the Boston Public Garden.

Wendell Phillips (29 November 18112 February 1884) was an American abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans, and orator. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2230x3067, 581 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Wendell Phillips ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2230x3067, 581 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Wendell Phillips ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 536 pixelsFull resolution (1274 × 854 pixels, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 536 pixelsFull resolution (1274 × 854 pixels, file size: 1. ... Equestrian statue of George Washington. ... is the 333rd day of the year (334th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the US Federal Agent designation, see Special agent. ... is the 33rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1884 (MDCCCLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... This article is about the abolition of slavery. ... This article is about the people indigenous to the United States. ... Look up orator in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...



Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Phillips was schooled at Boston Latin School, and graduated from Harvard University in 1831. Afterwards, he went on to attend Harvard Law School, from which he graduated in 1833. In 1834, Phillips was admitted to the Massachusetts state bar, and in the same year, he opened a law practice in Boston. His professor of oratory was Edward T. Channing who criticized the flowery style of speakers such as Daniel Webster. He urged the value of plain talk which Phillips took to heart. Boston redirects here. ... Motto Sumus Primi Founded April 23, 1635 Head Master Lynne Mooney Teta Affiliation Boston Public Schools Curriculum College-Preparatory Grades 7-12 Enrollment c. ... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a member of the Ivy League. ... Harvard Law School (colloquially, Harvard Law or HLS) is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... A bar association is a body of lawyers who, in some jurisdictions, are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession. ... Boston redirects here. ...


On October 21, 1835, the Boston Female Society announced that a certain George Thompson would be speaking. Pro-slavery forces posted close to 500 notices with the reward of $100 for the citizen that would first lay violent hands on him. After a lynch mob formed, he escaped through the back of the hall, hiding in a carpenters shop. The mob then found him, putting a noose around his neck to drag him away. Fortunately, several strong men intervened and took him to the Leverett Street jail. One who witnessed this attempted lynching was one Wendell Phillips, watching from Court Street. After being converted to the abolitionist cause by William Lloyd Garrison in 1836, Phillips stopped practicing law in order to fully dedicate himself to the movement. He joined the American Anti-Slavery Society and frequently made speeches at its meetings. Garrison was a newspaper writer who spoke openly against the wrongs of slavery. Phillips horrified his family when he joined the Massachusetts Anti-slavery Society. His family tried to have him thrown into an insane sanitarium. So highly regarded were his oratorical abilities that he was known as "abolition's Golden Trumpet". Like many of his fellow abolitionists, Phillips took pains to eat no cane sugar and wear no clothing made of cotton, since both were produced by the labor of Southern slaves. It was Phillips's contention that racial injustice was the source of all of society's ills. Like Garrison, Phillips denounced the Constitution for tolerating slavery. In 1845, in an essay titled "No Union With Slaveholders," he argued for disunion: William Lloyd Garrison William Lloyd Garrison (December 12, 1805–May 24, 1879) was a prominent United States abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. ... The American Anti-Slavery Society (1833-1870) was founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan. ... Species Ref: ITIS 42058 as of 2004-05-05 Sugarcane is one of six species of a tall tropical southeast Asian grass (Family Poaceae) having stout fibrous jointed stalks whose sap at one time was the primary source of sugar. ... For other uses, see Cotton (disambiguation). ...

The experience of the fifty years ... shows us the slaves trebling in numbers -- slaveholders monopolizing the offices and dictating the policy of the Government -- prostituting the strength and influence of the Nation to the support of slavery here and elsewhere -- trampling on the rights of the free States, and making the courts of the country their tools. To continue this disastrous alliance longer is madness. The trial of fifty years only proves that it is impossible for free and slave States to unite on any terms, without all becoming partners in the guilt and responsible for the sin of slavery. Why prolong the experiment? Let every honest man join in the outcry of the American Anti-Slavery Society. (Ruchames, The Abolitionistsp. 196)

In 1854 Phillips was indicted for his participation in the celebrated attempt to rescue Anthony Burns—a captured fugitive slave—from jail in Boston. Anthony Burns was an African-American who escaped from slavery in Virginia and was captured by slave-hunters in Boston in 1854. ... In the history of slavery in the United States, a fugitive slave was a slave who had escaped his or her masters often with the intention of traveling to a place where the state of his or her enslavement was either illegal or not enforced. ...

By 1860 many abolitionists welcomed the formation of the Confederacy because it would remove the Slave Power from its stranglehold over the United States government. This position was rejected by nationalists like Abraham Lincoln, who insisted on holding the Union together, while gradually ending slavery. Disappointed with what he regarded as Lincoln's slow action, Phillips opposed his reelection in 1864, breaking with Garrison, who supported a candidate for the first time. Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem (none official) God Save the South (unofficial) The Bonnie Blue Flag (unofficial) Dixie (unofficial) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Religion... The Slave Power was the term used in the Northern United States in the period 1840-1865 to describe the political power of the slaveholding class in the South. ... For other uses, see Abraham Lincoln (disambiguation). ...

In the summer of 1862, Phillips nephew, Samuel D. Phillips died at Port Royal, South Carolina where he had gone to take part in the so-called Port Royal Experiment to assist the slave population there in the transistion to freedom.

Postbellum activism

After African Americans gained the right to vote with the 15th Amendment in 1870, Phillips switched his attention to other issues, such as women's rights, universal suffrage, temperance, and the labor movement. Amendment XV in the National Archives 1870 celebration of the 15th amendment as a guarantee of African American rights 1867 drawing depicting the first vote by African Americans Amendment XV (the Fifteenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution provides that governments in the United States may not prevent a citizen... The term women’s rights typically refers to freedoms inherently possessed by women and girls of all ages, which may be institutionalized or ignored and/or illegitimately suppressed by law or custom in a particular society. ... Elections Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Universal suffrage (also general suffrage or common suffrage) consists of the extension of the right to vote to all adults, without distinction as to race, sex, belief, intelligence, or economic or social status. ... A cartoon from Australia ca. ... The labor movement (or labour movement) is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and political governments. ...

Phillips's philosophical ideal was manly self-control of the animal, physical self by the human, rational mind, although he admired rash activists like Elijah Lovejoy and John Brown. Rev. ... // John Brown may refer to: John Brown (Australian magnate) (1850–1930), a mining magnate in New South Wales, Australia; known as the “Coal Baron” John Brown (Australian politician), the Member for Parramatta in the Australian House of Representatives from 1977 to 1990 John Brown (tennis), professional tennis player in the...

As Osofsky (1973) shows, Phillips's nationalism was shaped by religion. Its ideology was derived from the European Enlightenment, as expressed by Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. The Puritan ideal of a Godly Commonwealth, through a pursuit of Christian morality and justice, however, was the main influence on Phillips's nationalism. He would have fragmented the American republic to destroy slavery, and he sought to amalgamate all the American races. Thus, it was the moral end which mattered most in Phillips's nationalism. The Enlightenment (French: ; German: ; Italian: ; Portuguese: ) was an eighteenth century movement in European and American philosophy — some classifications also include 17th century philosophy (usually called the Age of Reason). ... For the record label, see Puritan Records. ... Look up republic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Equal rights for Native Americans

Phillips was also active in efforts to gain equal rights for Native Americans, arguing that the 15th Amendment also granted citizenship to Indians. He proposed that the Andrew Johnson administration create a cabinet-level post that would guarantee Indian rights. Phillips helped create the Massachusetts Indian Commission with Indian rights activist Helen Hunt Jackson and Massachusetts governor William Claflin. This article is about the people indigenous to the United States. ... “Citizen” redirects here. ... For other persons of the same name, see Andrew Johnson (disambiguation). ... Helen Maria Hunt Jackson (October 18, 1831-August 12, 1885) was an American writer. ... William Claflin (1818-1905) was an industrialist and philanthropist who served as Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1869-1872 and as a member of Congress from 1877-1881. ...

Although publicly critical of President Ulysses S. Grant's drinking, he worked with Grant's second administration on the appointment of Indian agents. Phillips lobbied against military involvement in the settling of Native American problems on the Western frontier. He accused General Philip Sheridan of pursuing a policy of Indian extermination. Ulysses Simpson Grant (April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was an American Civil War General and the 18th (1869–1877) President of the United States. ... Philip Sheridan Philip Henry Sheridan (March 6, 1831 – August 5, 1888), a military man and one of the great generals in the American Civil War. ... Extermination is the act of killing with the intention of eradicating demographics within a population. ...

Public opinion turned against Native American advocates after the Battle of the Little Bighorn in July 1876, but Phillips continued to support the land claims of the Lakota (Sioux). During the 1870s, Phillips arranged public forums for reformer Alfred B. Meacham and Indians affected by the country's "Indian removal" policy, including the Ponca chief, Standing Bear, and the Omaha writer and speaker, Susette LaFlesche Tibbles. Combatants Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, Arapaho United States Commanders Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse George A. Custer â€ , Marcus Reno, Frederick Benteen, James Calhoun â€  Strength 949 lodges (probably 950-1,200 warriors) 31 officers, 566 troopers, 15 armed civilians, ~35-40 scouts Casualties At least 54 killed, ~168 wounded (according to Sitting Bull... Eddie Plenty Holes, a Sioux Indian photographed about 1899. ... // The invention of the telephone (1876) by Alexander Graham Bell. ... Alfred B. Meacham (1826 - 1882) was an American reformer and historian who served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the state of Oregon. ... Indian Removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States that sought to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river. ... The Ponca are a Native American tribe originally living around the mouth of the [[Niobrara River],] Nebraska, but was later removed to the Indian Territory. ... Standing Bear Standing Bear (1834(?) - 1908) was a Ponca Native American Indian chief who successfully argued in U.S. District Court in 1879 that American Indians are persons within the meaning of the law and have the rights of citizenship. ... The Omaha tribe is a Native American tribe that currently reside in northeastern Nebraska and western Iowa, United States. ... Susette LaFlesche Tibbles (1854-1903) was a well-known Native American lecturer, writer, and artist from the Omaha tribe in Nebraska. ...

Well known quotations

  • "The printing press has done for the mind what gunpowder has done for war."
  • "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

See also

Dyer D. Lum (born 1839 in Northampton, Massachusetts, died April 6, 1893)[1] was a 19th-century American anarcho-communist[2], contributor/debator in Benjamin Tuckers Liberty,[3] labor activist and poet. ... A Lieutenant Governor is a government official who is the subordinate or deputy of a Governor or Governor-General. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ...


  • Irving H. Bartlett. Wendell Phillips, Brahmin Radical (1962)
  • Hofstadter, Richard. "Wendell Phillips: The Patrician as Agitator" in The American Political Tradition (1948)
  • Osofsky, Gilbert. "Wendell Phillips and the Quest for a New American National Identity" Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism 1973 1(1): 15-46. ISSN 0317-7904
  • Ruchames, Louis, ed. The Abolitionists (1963), includes segment by Wendell Phillips, "No Union With Slaveholders," Jan. 15, 1845.
  • Stewart, James Brewer. Wendell Phillips: Liberty's Hero. Louisiana State U. Press, 1986. 356 pp.
  • Stewart, James B. "Heroes, Villains, Liberty, and License: the Abolitionist Vision of Wendell Phillips" in Antislavery Reconsidered: New Perspectives on the Abolitionists (Louisiana State U. Press, 1979): 168-191.

External links

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  Results from FactBites:
PAL: Wendell Phillips (1811-1884) (320 words)
Wendell Phillips was born on November 29, 1811, in Boston.
Phillips went a step further and recommended that the South should be expelled from the Union until slavery was abolished.
Wendell Phillips died February 2, 1884, in Boston.
  More results at FactBites »



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