Wendell Phillips

"He who stifles free discussion, secretly doubts whether what he professes to believe is really true." - Wendell Phillips, famous abolitionist and women's rights activist

The Famous Abolitionist Wendell Phillips: A Brief Synopsis

Wendell Phillips was a famous abolitionist and suffragist who believed that gender and race inequality were the root causes of most problems within society. He was a highly praised orator and would often give speeches to this effect. He was also the president of the American Anti-Slavery Society after fellow abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison's retirement in 1865.

The Famous Abolitionist Wendell Phillips: Date of Birth, Parents and Education

Wendell Phillips was one of nine children born to John Phillips and Sarah Walley in their home on Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts and studied law at Harvard.

Abolitionist and Womens Rights Activist Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips, the famous abolitionist and suffragist (public domain)

The Famous Abolitionist Wendell Phillips: Efforts Against Slavery

Wendell Phillips was said to have become an abolitionist after seeing upstanding members of the community attempt to lynch William Lloyd Garrison; subsequently becoming a member of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. This was a move which troubled his friends and family, and some even believed that he was having a mental breakdown. He became well known after his speech on 8 December 1837 at Faneuill Hall, where he had spoken out against the brutal murder of Elijah Lovejoy at the hands of mob violence in Illinois the month previous. Wendell Phillips wrote for Garrison's paper The Liberator, stating that women should be allowed equal property and voting rights, and published anti-slavery pamphlets to promote the abolition of slavery.

The Abolitionist Wendell Phillips: Marriage

Wendell Phillips proposed to Ann Terry Greene when she was critically ill, however, her health returned and the two were married in 1837; a relationship of which Wendell Phillips' mother did not approve. Despite Ann's lifelong mystery illness and health complications, she outlived Wendell Phillips by fourteen months.


Name: Wendell Phillips
Abolition's Golden Trumpet
Birth: 29 November 1811, Boston
Death: 2 February 1884
Cause: Heart Attack
Famed for: His speeches against slavery and for women's suffrage
Parents: John Phillips and Sarah Walley
Spouse: Terry Ann Greene

The Abolitionist Wendell Phillips: Abolition and Women's Suffrage

In 1840, the couple attended the first World Anti-Slavery Convention in England, alongside William Lloyd Garrison and suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The group were dismayed that the female delegates were not allowed inside; though Wendell Phillips argued against this, the women were eventually allowed in on the basis that they were silent and were separated from the men on the spectators gallery. Whilst Wendell Phillips was a staunch abolitionist, he was also known for his support of female suffrage and assisted suffragists Lucy Stone and Susan B Anthony, becoming a member of the National Women's Rights Central Committee in the 1850's. In 1865 Wendell Phillips became the president of the American Anti-Slavery Society, taking over from Garrison; and on the fifteenth amendment, he turned his attention to women's rights and promoted equality for Native Americans.


  1. James Brewer Stewart  - Wendell Phillips: Liberty's Hero
  2. The History Channel
  3. Harvard Magazine
  4. Internet Archive
  5. National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum
  6. Encyclopaedia Britannica

The Biography of Famous Slave/ Abolitionist Wendell Phillips

  • The Biography of Wendell Phillips, for Education and Learning
  • Wendell Phillips Efforts to End Slavery
  • Wendell Phillips Childhood and Family



  • Quick Facts About the Abolitionist Wendell Phillips
  • Information About Wendell Phillips, Abolition and Suffragism

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