Henry Highland Garnet, abolitionist and editor

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NYPL: psnypl_scg531
Portrait Collection


Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

Born into slavery in Maryland, Henry Highland Garnet escaped north with his family, arriving in New York City in 1825. He was a student at the Mulberry Street School at the same time as Peter Guignon, and later attended Noyes Academy in New Hampshire and Oneida Institute in upstate New York with Alexander Crummell. Ordained a Presbyterian minister, Garnet settled in Troy, New York where he led his own congregation. In addition, Garnet was a radical political activist. He was one of the first to suggest violent resistance to slavery and promote the emigration of black Americans to Africa. As such, he frequently found hismelf at odds with the more integration minded George Downing.

In 1881, President Garfield appointed Garnet United States Minister and Counsel General to Liberia. Garnet left for Liberia in November 1881, only to die there in February 1882.


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“Henry Highland Garnet, abolitionist and editor,” Black Gotham Archive, accessed July 10, 2018, https://archive.blackgothamarchive.org/items/show/35/.