Radical American Reformers of the Nineteenth Century (a Selection)
Adin Ballou (1803-1890), advocate of non-resistance and founder of the Hopedale utopian community in Massachusetts. Author of the influential text Christian Non-Resistance, consulted by Tolstoy and Gandhi.
Maria Weston Chapman (1806-1885), abolitionist and editor of the journal The Non-Resistant, collaborator of Garrison.
Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880), eminent author, abolitionist, feminist, advocate of Indian rights. Editor of the National Anti-Slavery Standard, which she left in a dispute about the use of force against slavery. Co-author of Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
David Low Dodge (1774-1852), dry goods merchant in Hartford Connecticut. Christian pacifist author and founder of the first interdenominational peace society.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Unitarian minister, transcendentalist, and radical individualist author, lecturer, and saint. His essay "New England Reformers" is an affectionate and funny portrait of the kind of folks listed here, as well as some even wackier.
William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879), leader of the radical wing of American abolitionism and publisher of The Liberator. Advocate of a variety of radical reforms, including pacifism, anarchism, anti-racism, and feminism. Hero of Tolstoy.
Sarah (1792-1873) and Angelina Grimké (1805-1879), suffragists, feminists, abolitionists, Quakers, and pacifists, originally from South Carolina. Among the first American women to give public lectures and to serve as officers of mixed-gender societies.
Samuel J. May (1797-1871) Unitarian, educational reformer, abolitionist, advocate of women's rights, and collector of anti-slavery literature. His collection of anti-slavery writings was donated to the Cornell library and is available online: http://digital.library.cornell.edu/m/mayantislavery/
Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), Quaker minister, pacifist, and abolitionist. Often described as the first American feminist. Fought for equal pay at the Quaker school where she taught, around 1810. With Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others met at the first American feminist gathering at Seneca Falls, NY in 1848.
John Humphrey Noyes (1811-1886), credited with converting Garrison to anti-statism; advocate of a variety of reforms; founder of the Oneida utopian community in New York, which practiced "plural marriage." Author of American Socialisms, definitive history of 19th century American utopias.
Nathaniel Peabody Rogers (1794-1846), radical abolitionist and anti-statist; publisher of the New Hampshire abolitionist paper Herald of Freedom; subject of essays by Thoreau and Whittier.
Lysander Spooner (1808-1877), abolitionist, individualist, anarchist, and legal scholar. Spooner tried in his time to set up a private postal service to compete with the government monopoly, and argued that the Constitution, despite all appearances, prohibited slavery. Hatched a failed plot to free John Brown before the latter's execution.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), nature writer, transcendentalist, abolitionist, and anti-statist. His essay on civil disobedience is a classic of non-violent resistance, anti-slavery, individualist, and anti-war thought.
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)(okay not American), novelist, Christian pacifist, and anarchist. Corresponded with Ballou on the subject of non-resistance. In works such as The Kingdom of God is Within You, Tolstoy repudiated violence and hence the state. Extremely influential on subsequent developments in non-violent resistance, including on Gandhi and King.
Josiah Warren (1798-1874), radical individualist and utopian projector. Often described as the first American anarchist. Founder of "Time Stores" - centers of cooperative economies - in a variety of locations, and the communities of Utopia, Ohio and Modern Times (Brentwood) on Long Island. crispinsartwell.com/josiahwarren.htm
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), poet, Quaker abolitionist, temperance advocate, and radical pacifist. Endorsed political action to abolish slavery. Associate of Garrison, with whom he later broke, and author of Justice and Expediency.
John Woolman (1720-1770)(okay, not 19th century), early Quaker pacifist, abolitionist, and advocate of Indian rights. Author of the spiritual classic The Journal of John Woolman. Traveled through the South, attempting to persuade masters to free their slaves.
Henry Clarke Wright (1797-1870), radical pacifist, anarchist, abolitionist, feminist, and spiritualist; associate of Garrison's. Author of many works, including Man-Killing by Individuals and Nations Wrong.