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Henry H. Garnet, Urged the Nation’s Slaves to “Strike for Your Lives and Liberties”

Written by Jae Jones

is known for being second to Frederick Douglass in stature and fame. He was born into in New Market, Kent County, Maryland, on December 23, 1815. He was a former Maryland slave and escaped to New York City at the age of nine along with members of his family. Garnet enrolled at New Hampshire’s Noyes Academy which was an integrated institution in 1835. After his arrival to the school, a group of white men decided they no longer wanted the presence of students around. So, the men gather 90 yoke of oxen, tied them to the school building and dragged it into the swamp. Garnet feared for his life, and left the school. He went on to complete his studies at Oneida Theological Institute in Utica, New York.

Garnet is known for his stance that he took on slavery, “Call to Rebellion” at the National Negro Convention. He wanted Blacks to “strike for your lives and liberties.” He felt that he rather die a free person than as a slave. However, Douglass was very condemning of this action, he called it, “dangerously impractical.”  He moved with his family to Washington, DC so that he could support the black soldiers and the war effort. However, many people stood behind Garnet, but the convention did not adopt the act because they fell short by one vote. When the federal government approved creating black units, Garnet helped with recruiting United States Colored Troops. He moved with his family to Washington, DC so that he could support the black soldiers and the war effort. Garnet worked a while for the Freedmen’s Bureau and later in 1881 as U.S. Minister to Liberia.

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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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