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Benjamin Lundy

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Benjamin Lundy (January 4, 1789 - August 22, 1839) was a Quaker abolitionist who started and worked on many anti-slavery newspapers. 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.

He was born in Sussex County, New Jersey. When he turned nineteen, he moved to Wheeling, Virginia, and spent the first first eighteen months working as a saddlemaker's apprentice. After his apprenticeship, he married. Four years later, he moved to Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, and then to St. Clairsville where he formed the Union Humane Society in 1815, and in 1819, he founded the antislavery periodical, Philanthropist, which was published at Mt. Pleasant. In 1819 he moved to St. Louis, Missouri. He opposed the expansion of slavery to Missouri. After moving back to Mt. Pleasant, in 1821, Lundy founded The Genius of Universal Emancipation. He moved to Jonesborough, Tennessee, and then again, in 1824, to Baltimore, Maryland. While living in Baltimore, a major slave-trading center, he was severly thrashed by 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, seeking a refuge for freed 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. In 1836, Lundy began the National Inquirer, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1838, a mob burned Pennsylvania Hall, destroying nearly all of his possessions. He was a persona non grata in Philadelphia, too.

In 1839, after moving to Lowell, La Salle County, Illinois, he revived the Genius of Universal Emancipation. He was able to produce only a few issues before he died of a fever.

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