Franklin & Grant: Americans Against Slavery

Franklin & Grant: Americans Against Slavery

2018 Benjamin Franklin House Robert H. Smith Lecture in American Democracy- Dr. Márcia Balisciano, Director, Benjamin Franklin House 

Franklin and Grant, two American historical figures not traditionally linked, traversed similar paths to fervent antislavery conviction, both of whom left an important imprint on American democracy.

The last public role of 18th century entrepreneur, author, scientist, diplomat and nation builder, Benjamin Franklin, was President of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery (1789- 1790). Franklin made a trajectory from acceptance to outspoken opponent of slavery by the end of his life. He rallied against abhorrent inhumanity for the enslaved and forecast a terrible toll for the new United States, a prediction borne out by the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Brilliant military general and eventual President, Ulysses S. Grant, traversed similar ground on the question of slavery. Though born into an anti-slavery family, he was initially apathetic, marrying into a slave-holding Southern family, but came to see moral purpose in perhaps his greatest role, as victor in the war that restored the American union.

Dr. Márcia Balisciano, historian and founding director of Benjamin Franklin House, will show the connections between two American leaders who left an indelible mark on modern America.

Thursday 4 October

Tickets to be booked through the Eccles Centre for American Studies, British Library

More details to follow