Henry Highland Garnet And The Abolition Of Slavery

1553 Words Mar 8th, 2016 7 Pages
Imagine traveling around the world, from America to Britain to Scotland to Jamaica and finally, to Liberia, preaching, lecturing, and teaching. That is quite an undertaking. Now imagine doing all of that with only one leg. Someone did that. He was a man who made a difference in the abolition of slavery. Not many people can claim that they were invited to give a sermon in the White House; much less that they were the first African American man to do so and that it was within days of Congress banning slavery. This is something that only Henry Highland Garnet can claim.
This future one-legged minster was born with two legs in New Market, Kent County, Maryland (currently Chesterville). He was born on December 23, 1815, to the slaves George and Henrietta, who is later known as Elizabeth. He was brought into a family of slavery, and stayed there until he was 9 years old. A Quaker who was a key figure in the Underground Railroad system, Thomas Garrett, assisted with their escape in 1824 to get them and their family and friends away and to Delaware. Their family, George, Henrietta, and their children, briefly stayed in Pennsylvania, and then settled in New York City. After their settling, they changed their names, as was common among slaves. There is no record of George or Henry’s names before changing, but Henrietta changed to Elizabeth, and their daughter became Eliza. It is suspected that they took their last name, Garnet, from a derivation from Thomas Garrett’s last name, which…
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