Samuel Ringgold Ward

Samuel Ringgold Ward (1817-c.1866) was a black Congregational minister, abolitionist, editor, and orator. His involvement in abolitionist activities necessarily brought him into close contact with Frederick Douglass, who remarked that, "As an orator and thinker he [Ward] was vastly superior to any of us," and that "the splendors of his intellect went directly to the glory of race." Ward escaped slavery with his family as a child about 1820. Active in abolitionist circles beginning about 1834, he was appointed a lecturing agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1839. Ward was widely recognized as an outstanding orator, and in addition to his role with the American Anti-Slavery Society, he also acted as a spokesman for the Liberty party after 1844. In the 1840s, Ward edited two Syracuse-based abolitionist newspapers, including the Impartial Citizen, but both failed financially. Following his 1851 involvement in the Jerry Rescue, he emigrated to Canada where he continued to be active in abolitionist circles. Frederick Douglass, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1892; New York: Collier Books, 1962), 277; Frederick Douglass Papers, ser. 1, vol. 2 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1982), 195-196n.

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