Named Subjects

The abolitionist editor and journalist Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy was mourned and celebrated as a martyr after dying at the hands of a pro-slavery mob. Killed in Alton when defending his printing press, Lovejoy's death spurred many to defend the freedom of the press.

"FINISHED is thy strife, thy conflict's o'er,
The eyes that wept are now to weep no more:
GOD shall wipe away all tears in Heaven,
And there HIS saints shall never sigh again."

A decorated attendee at the New York African Free School, the Episocopal Collegiate School, and Geneva College, Rev. Isaiah G. Degrasse was a graduate from the first class at Newark College (now the University of Delaware). He was appointed missionary to Jamaica and Newton after admittance into the holy order by Rt. Rev. B.T. Onderdonk, D.D. Rev. Degrassee died of yellow fever in the West Indies.

"We mourn not without consolation's prop,
Our loss his gain, his misery is stopt;
Indulge us when we longer dwell,
In praise of him we love so well.
The noblest eulogy would ill proclaim,
The lasting tribute due his name."

William Ladd was the first president of the American Peace Society, a pacifist group founded in New York City that opposed all war (though it did not condemn the Civil War). His work includes Essays on Peace and War and the newspaper The Harbinger of Peace.

"Farewell, holy man, gone home to thy rest, -

While o'er thee each friend of humanity weeps;

And the children of grief thy philanthropy blest,

Bend in silence around where the peace-maker sleeps."

The Quaker abolitionist Benjamin Lundy published a number of anti-slavery newspapers, most notably the Genius of Universal Emancipation. A prolific lecturer, Lundy was also an early proponent of the fre produce movement and opened a free produce store in Baltimore.

"And a deep murmur rise from that wide scene,

The solemn and low-chanted hymn of one

Whose spirit, like the sunshine beaming bright,

Poured for the mellow light and warmth o'er all

Whose souls oppression mantled in her night,

And fettered in her heavy iron thrall."

Sometimes known as "The Last Patroon" and "The Good Patroon" for his lenient position as a landlord, Stephen Van Rensselaer III was philanthropist and politician who served as a member of the New York State Assembly, Senate, as chariman of the Committee on Agriculture, as lieutenant governor of NY Sate, general of the state militia, and member of the House of Representatives.  A census show Van Rensselaer owned 15 slaves on his estate in 1790.

"WEEP, orphans, weep! - for ye have lost a friend -

Ye widows, shed the tributary tear;

Ye sons of want - come, and in sadness bend

O'er the loved form - now cold and lifeless here;

Weep, captives, weep! - ye sick and injur'd too,

Ye lone and friendless ones, here vent your sighs,

Full oft this breast hath heav'd with sighs for you,

For here a friend to all the friendless lies."

Anne G. Chapman was a teacher at a girls' school in Boston, along with her sisters - Caroline, Deborah, and Maria Weston Chapman.

"Thy voice so clear and musical - I seem to hear the tone,
In which thy lips were wont to make the bond-man's cause thine own,
I yet can hear the fervent words, impassioned and sincere,
So full of love and earnestness, so free from doubt and fear."

Lucia Anne Kent was the wife of George Kent. The Colored American writes, "She was one of the brightest ornaments of her race, zealous in all good works, with a heart full of benevolence and sympathy, intrepid and compromising in her principles, and combining the most resplendent traits in her character. A great multitude of admiring and sympathising friends attended her funeral."


"'Gentlest of spirits! - not for thee

Our tears are shed, our sighs are given:

Why mourn to know thou art a free

Partaker of the joys of heaven?

Finished thy work, and kept thy faith"

Reverend Jeremiah Gloucester was the son of John Gloucester, the pastor of the First African Presbyterian Church. Gloucester became the paster of the second African Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. A portrait of him can be found here

"IS GLOUCESTER dead! The man of GOD?
Why! I saw him, but the other day
With cheerfulness upon his brow,
Oh! has he now so soon decayed!"

John Burchell

"Brother and friend of peace,

We seek thy shade in vain:

Yet clings thy memory to the lip,

Of penury and pain."

Rev. Dr. P.

"Fit resting from life's weary scene,

Sweetly in peace he slumbers now,

'A gem of purest ray serene,'

With God's own signet on his brow."

Named Subjects