The New International Encyclopædia/Antislavery Society, The American
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Antislavery Society, The American
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AN'TISLAV'ERY SOCI'ETY, The American. An association organized in Philadelphia, December, 1833, by delegates from the few State or city societies in the United States. The first Antislavery Society was formally organized at Boston in January, 1832, William Lloyd Garrison being the leader of the movement. The American Antislavery Society took the boldest ground in favor of the immediate abolition of slavery, and its work was for many years looked upon as fanatical, or at least hopelessly impracticable, its members were denounced, its meetings broken up, and rewards offered in the South for its leaders alive or dead. Divergence of opinion on the question of political action caused a split in the society in 1840. The non-voters under Garrison, although but a small portion of the Abolitionists, gained control of the old society. The others formed the American and Foreign Antislavery Society, but the movement had outgrown a society formation and found a better and more conservative expression in the Liberty Party (q.v.) and its successors. Among the prominent Abolitionists were William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Samuel J. May, Lucretia Mott, Lydia Maria Child, Arthur Tappan, James G. Birney, John G. Whittier, William Goodell, Gerrit Smith, and William Jay. The parent society continued to exist until after the adoption of the fifteenth amendment, in 1870, remaining small in numbers but largely influential in its propagandist work. For a partial bibliogiaphy of the movement see the biographical sketches of the leaders here mentioned. See Abolitionists; Slavery.