Biography of Wendell Phillips
Celebrated Americans

WENDELL PHILLIPS, the orator and abolitionist, and a conspicuous figure in American history, was born November 29, i8ii, at Boston, Massachusetts. He received a good education at Harvard College, from which he graduated in 1831, and then entered the Cambridge Law School. After completing his course in that institution, in 1833, he was admitted to the bar, in 1834, at Suffolk. He entered the arena of life at the time when the forces of liberty and slavery had already begun their struggle that was to culminate in the Civil war. William Lloyd Garrison, by his clearheaded, courageous declarations of the antislavery principles, had done much to bring about this struggle. Mr. Phillips was not a man that could stand aside and see a great struggle being carried on in the interest of humanity and look passively on. He first attracted attention as an orator in 1837, at a meeting that was called to protest against the murder of the Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy. The meeting would have ended in a few perfunctory resolutions had not Mr. Phillips by his manly eloquence taken the meeting out of the hands of the few that were inclined to temporize and avoid radical utterances. Having once started out in this career as an abolitionist Phillips never swerved from what he deemed his duty, and never turned back. He gave up his legal practice and launched himself heart and soul in the movement for the liberation of the slaves. He was an orator of very great ability and by his earnest efforts and eloquence he did much in arousing public sentiment in behalf of the anti slavery cause - possibly more than any one man of his time. After the abolition of slavery Mr, Phillips Was, if possible, even busier than before in the literary and lecture field, Besides temperance and women's rights, he lectured often and wrote much on finance, and the relations of labor and capital, and his utterances on whatever subject always bore the stamp of having emanated from a master mind. Eminent ciitics have stated that it might fairly be questioned whether there has ever spoken in America an orator superior to Phillips. The death of this great man occurred February 4, 1884.

A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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