Funding for this collection is provided by PBS.
In the mid-19th century, the abolitionist movement in the United States sought the immediate emancipation of all enslaved people. These passionate antislavery activists—men and women, black and white, northerners and southerners, poor and wealthy—led the struggle that forever changed the nation. The videos in this collection feature historical reenactments and expert interviews that tell the story of some of the people and events that shaped this movement.
This video adapted from American Experience: “The Abolitionists” profiles William Lloyd Garrison, founder of The Liberator and the American Anti-Slavery Society, whose position on slavery generated strong resistance to the abolitionist cause.
This video adapted from American Experience: “The Abolitionists” describes the contributions of Frederick Douglass, a former slave, to the abolitionist movement in the early 1840s.
This video adapted from American Experience: “The Abolitionists” describes how Harriet Beecher Stowe’s best-selling novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was an act of protest against the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and built support for the abolitionist movement
This video from American Experience: “The Abolitionists” describes how territory acquired by the United States in the Mexican-American War, and the Great Compromise of 1850 it generated, fueled greater division between abolitionists and slave owners.
This video adapted from American Experience: “The Abolitionists” describes the efforts of Angelina Grimké, the daughter of a prominent southern slaveholding family, to end slavery and obtain equal rights for women.