Chapter 4: American Transcendentalism

Wendell Phillips

Paul P. Reuben
October 17, 2016

Page Links: | Primary Works | Selected Bibliography | MLA Style Citation of this Web Page |

| The Anti-Slavery Movement |

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Source: WP, Abolitionist Orator 

Wendell Phillips was born on November 29, 1811, in Boston. Phillips graduated from Harvard Law School, but gave up a life of status and wealth in order to join the anti-slavery movement.

He worked closely with his friend, the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. Phillips contributed to the anti-slavery campaign by writing pamphlets and editorials in Garrison's newspaper, The Liberator. He first spoke publicly on December 8, 1837, at a gathering in Boston protesting the death of Elijah Lovejoy, a newspaper owner and abolitionist who had been murdered in Alton, Illinois. His passionate speech and fiery spirit led many to say that he should be the leading speaker for the abolitionist movement. Both Phillips and Garrison denounced the Constitution because it upheld slavery. Phillips went a step further and recommended that the South should be expelled from the Union until slavery was abolished. After the Emancipation Proclamation, Phillips worked to better the lives of the newly freed men and women.

After the war ended, Phillips worked for the women's movement, civil rights, voter's rights and temperance.

Wendell Phillips died February 2, 1884, in Boston.

Source: McKissack, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack. Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman? NPS

Primary Works

"Speech of Wendell Phillips, Esq.," 11 May 1860, Proceedings of the Tenth National Woman's Rights Convention, New York City, New York, 1860 (E-Text)

Review of Lysander Spooner's essay on The unconstitutionality of slavery. NY: Arno P, 1969. E441 .S764 P5

Speeches, Lectures, and Letters, 1863.

Phillips, Wendell. Review of Lysander Spooner's essay on The unconstitutionality of slavery. NY, Arno P, 1969. E441 S764 P5

Selected Bibliography

Bartlett, Irving H. Wendell and Ann Phillips: the community of reform, 1840-1880. NY: Norton, 1979. E449 .P56 B36

- - -. Wendell Phillips, Brahmin radical. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood P, 1973. E449 .P56 B37

Gougeon, Len. "Wendell Phillips." in Mott, Wesley T. ed. The American Renaissance in New England: Third Series. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2001.

Korngold, Ralph. Two friends of man; the story of William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips, and their relationship with Abraham Lincoln. Boston: Little, Brown, 1950. E449 .G2556

Sears, Lorenzo. Wendell Phillips, orator and agitator. NY: B. Blom, 1967. E449 .P5597

Sherwin, Oscar. Prophet of liberty; the life and times of Wendell Phillips. NY: Bookman Associates,1958. E449 .P5599

MLA Style Citation of this Web Page:

Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 4: Wendell Phillips." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. WWW URL: (provide page date or date of your login).

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