The 2018 Benjamin Franklin House Robert H Smith Lecture in American Democracy
Though their lives were separated by nearly a century, both Benjamin Franklin and Ulysses S Grant traversed similar paths of fervent antislavery conviction. Explore their 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.
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.
Image: Benjamin Franklin and Ulysses S Grant
Sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library in collaboration with Benjamin Franklin House
|Name:||Franklin and Grant: Americans Against Slavery|
The British Library
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