Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911)

by Karen Board Moran, 3/26/2005

Courtesy of Worcester Area Writers. Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA

An ardent abolitionist, woman’s rights activist, author, minister, and soldier, Higginson helped form the Worcester City Anti-Slavery Society in 1853. He twice led mobs attempting to rescue fugitive slaves in Boston, led armed men into Kansas Territory and helped organize the Massachusetts Kansas Aid Society, the militant arm of the Emigrant Aid Society and supported John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry. In 1862 Higginson was made colonel of its first black regiment, the 1st South Carolina volunteers.

In 1869 he joined Lucy Stone to form the American Woman Suffrage Association and became co-editor of her newspaper, Woman’s Journal. He wrote a letter of support to Abby Kelley Foster’s Taxation With Representation Convention in 1874.