Garnet, Henry Highland

Garnet, Henry Highland gärˈnĭt [key], 1815–82, American abolitionist clergyman, b. Kent co., Md. Born a slave, he escaped in 1824 and was educated at the Oneida Institute, Whitesboro, N.Y. He was an eloquent speaker, but his radicalism, particularly in a speech at Buffalo in 1843, in which he called upon slaves to rise and slay their masters, caused his influence to decline. He was opposed and superseded in leadership by the more moderate Frederick Douglass. Garnet served as a Presbyterian pastor in Troy, N.Y., in New York City, and in Washington, D.C. In 1881 he was appointed minister to Liberia, but he died two months after his arrival there.

See E. Ofari (1972); J. Schor, Henry Highland Garnet: A Voice of Black Radicalism in the Nineteenth Century (1977); S. Stuckey, Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America (1987); K. C. Jackson, Force and Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence (2019).

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