27 Harrowing Images From The 1830s’ Anti-Slavery Almanacs

Almanacs were a popular source of information for literate Americans starting in the 1600s, with the first of these publications focused on weather, horoscopes, and other amusements.

When the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) published the first Anti-Slavery Almanac in 1836 (and for years after that), they sought to educate people on the moral and ethical horrors of slavery, and included graphic images of slaves’ treatment to emphasize the un-Christian nature of the practice. As you’d imagine, these images created quite the controversy:

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Anti Slavery Almanacs

It's entirely possible that slavery wouldn't have been abolished when it was without these explosive Anti-Slavery Almanacs, starting in 1936... Image Sources: The Public Domain Review and Awesome Stories

anti slavery almanac January 1838

The Public Domain ReviewAbolitionist and editor William Lloyd Garrison was a leading figure behind the publication of these almanacs.

anti slavery almanacs February 1838

The Public Domain ReviewGarrison launched the newspaper The Liberator in 1831, which would clear the path for these anti-slavery almanacs to be printed.

March 1838

The Public Domain ReviewIn 1832, Garrison formed the New England Anti-Slavery Society, which called for the immediate abolition of slavery, and it grew quickly.

April 1838

The Public Domain ReviewIt expanded to become the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833, and within five years topped a quarter of a million members.

May 1838

The Public Domain ReviewThe first almanac was printed in 1836 by the American Anti-Slavery Society.

June 1838

The Public Domain ReviewThe almanacs were released annually, and featured a gruesome image to accompany each month of the year.

July 1838

The Public Domain ReviewIn addition to the images, made a strong written case about how deeply un-Christian the institution of slavery was.

August 1838

The Public Domain ReviewThese written passages helped expose the vile treatment of slaves, including the fact that many children were separated from their families.

September 1838

The Public Domain ReviewIn addition the almanacs marshaled statistics to help prove their case, marking a crucial moment in U.S. history when stats became an authoritative political tool.

October 1838

The Public Domain ReviewEach year, the AASS featured statistics in its almanacs to convey the movement’s growth, as well as to reveal politicians’ voting records on the matter of slavery.

November 1838

The Public Domain ReviewAs Vanderbilt University English professor Teresa Goddu noted, “Numbers could simultaneously expose the horrors of slavery and promote the organizational system that undergirded antislavery’s success.”

December 1838

The Public Domain ReviewShe adds, “Just as the state solidified its power in this period through what Oz Frankel describes as “print statism”—the unprecedented production, accumulation, and diffusion of social facts in and through official reports—so too did antislavery rely on the printed discourse of numeracy to establish their knowledge system as credible and their movement as legitimate.”

Arresting Fugitives

www.awesomestories.comThe years between 1832 and 1837 saw a sharp increase in the circulation of anti-slavery propaganda, thanks in no small part to Garrison’s strategic use of media, numeracy, and vivid imagery.

Burning McIntosh 1840

www.awesomestories.comAs noted activist/abolitionist Angelina Grimke said in 1838, “Until the pictures of the slave's sufferings were drawn and held up to the public gaze, no Northerner had any idea of the cruelty of the system, it never entered their minds that such abominations could exist in Christian, Republican America."

Chained Work 1840

www.awesomestories.comThat’s not to say the almanacs — carved from woodblocks — were not met without resistance. Southern states were adamant in their attempts to block the distribution of these materials.

Branding Slaves 1840

Awesome StoriesThey were, however, widely read in the North, where they originated.

Cutting Slaves 1840

Awesome StoriesTheir gruesome imagery incited social action, and petitions to end slavery soon began flooding Congress.

Dogs Guns 1840

Awesome StoriesThese petitions became so overwhelming that in 1836 the U.S. House of Representatives implemented the “gag rule,” which blocked debate on the subject.

Field Work 1840

Awesome StoriesAbolitionists were unfazed by the ruling, and continued to agitate for the end of slavery, gaining momentum through the continued dissemination of their almanacs.

Improving Females 1840

Awesome StoriesThe gag ruling was eventually repealed in 1844.

Mother Child 1840

Awesome StoriesInitially, abolitionists hoped that one of the major political parties of the time (the Democrats or the Whigs) would support their cause with the immediacy they demanded.

Negro Pew 1840

Awesome StoriesThat didn’t happen, and so in 1848, abolitionists established the Free Soil party.

Northern Hospitality 1840

Awesome StoriesThe party’s platform was "Free Soil, Free Speech, Free Labor and Free Men, and under it we will fight on and fight ever, until a triumphant victory shall reward our exertions."

Paid Unpaid 1840

Awesome StoriesWhile short-lived, the party exerted major influence in Congress, where it sent 16 elected officials. It also had two presidential candidates, Martin Van Buren in 1848 and John P. Hale in 1852, both of whom lost.

Poor Things 1840

Awesome StoriesThe party's most important legacy lies not in votes or numbers, but the political possibilities it provided, allowing anti-slavery Democrats a way to convene with likeminded individuals of other parties.

Vicksburg 1840

Awesome StoriesThis political faction would eventually become the Republican Party, whose most well remembered elected official, Abraham Lincoln, would later enact the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 and change the status of 3 million people from "slave" to "free."

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These 25 Vintage NASA Photos Place You At The Scene Of Space Exploration’s Most Important Moments

On April 13, 1970, an oxygen tank exploded aboard Apollo 13, forcing American astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise to act quickly in order to save the spacecraft — as well as their own lives. The explosion forced the crew to abandon their mission — to reach the moon — but the crew’s heroics saved the craft, and saved NASA from another tragedy just three years after the Apollo 1 disaster.

Forty-six years later, we look beyond those two accidents and survey, via photographs from the missions, some of the most important achievements in the history of the Apollo program:

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Apollo Photos

A view from onboard Apollo 7 during the Earth orbit. The Apollo 7 crew —Commander Walter M. Schirra, Command Module Pilot Donn F. Eisele, and Lunar Module Pilot R. Walter Cunningham — was able to fulfill the mission initially intended for the doomed Apollo 1.

Donn Eisele

Command Module Pilot Donn F. Eisele aboard Apollo 7 during its 11-day Earth-orbital test flight.

Walter Cunningham

Apollo 7 Lunar Module Pilot Walter Cunningham. Apollo 7's was the first crew sent into orbit around the Earth.

Space Pen

Cunningham writes with a space pen aboard Apollo 7. The Apollo 7 crew also transmitted the first live television broadcast from a U.S. spacecraft.

Apollo 9

An astronaut peeks out of the Apollo 9 Module with the curvature of the Earth shown clearly in the background.

Lunar Module

Apollo 9 was the first mission to include the Lunar Module.

Space Walk

The Apollo 9 crew of Commander James McDivitt, Command Module Pilot David Scott, and Lunar Module Pilot Rusty Schweickart spent 10 days in orbit performing many tests that would be critical to eventually landing on the moon.

Dave Scott

David Scott (above) would later be the Commander on Apollo 15.

LM Undocking

The Apollo 10 Lunar Module was able to navigate within 8.4 nautical miles of the lunar surface, the point at which powered decent to the moon’s surface would commence.

Orbit Return

The success of this mission enabled the first lunar landing attempt with Apollo 11.

Flag Moon

The Apollo 11 Lunar Module, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on board, landed on the surface of the moon on July 20th, 1969.

Neil Armstrong

Shortly after it landed, Armstrong (above) became the first man to walk on the moon.

Buzz Aldrin

Aldrin (above) would soon follow Armstrong, becoming the second man to ever step on the lunar surface.

Neil Descent

Neil Armstrong climbing out of the Lunar Module and onto the surface of the moon.

Lunar Landing

Above is the first EVA (Extravehicular Activity) photo ever taken — the first frame taken by Neil Armstrong from west of the ladder.

Moon Walk

Aldrin preparing to deploy two components of the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package (EASEP) on the surface of the moon.

Apollo 11

Aldrin stands saluting the American Flag upon the lunar surface. The astronaut's footprints are clearly visible in the frame.

Apollo EVA

Some conspiracy theorists suggest that the lunar landings were faked by NASA and that the lunar walks never happened.

The theories were put to the test in and all were debunked.

Apollo 12

Apollo 12 was the sixth American manned space flight and the second to land on the lunar surface.

Apollo12 EVA

The Apollo 12 mission was the first to take a color television camera onto the moon's surface, but the camera was accidentally destroyed when Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean pointed it towards the sun.

Lunar Dish

The Apollo 12 landing occurred near the Surveyor 3 unmanned space probe which landed in 1967. The crew retrieved some parts from the Surveyor craft to be returned to Earth to study the effects of long term exposure of the lunar environment.

Apollo 13

Apollo 13 launched on April 11, 1970 and was intended to be the third manned mission to land on the moon's surface. However, two days into the mission, an oxygen tank exploded onboard, crippling the Service Module, which was vital to the Command Module.

Crew Onboard

The crew had to improvise and repair an onboard air purifier in order to decrease the carbon dioxide levels and save the astronauts' lives.

Duct Tape

The purifier did not fit properly, so duct tape was used to solve the issue — it essentially allowed them to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Apollo nasa missions Safe Return

Despite low power and low oxygen, Apollo 13 made its successful return to Earth on April 17, 1970.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Dark Side: Four Damning Secrets

Today, he is a great president. In his own time, he was described as “a liar, whoremaster, debaucher, drunkard, gambler, and infidel.” And that was just by one man — a preacher.

Thomas Jefferson

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Even 190 years after Thomas Jefferson’s death, there’s a lot to celebrate about the man. Perhaps one of the last true Renaissance men, Jefferson has a list of accomplishments that reads like a short history of politics, statecraft, and science of the 18th century.

But there was a darker side of Thomas Jefferson, one that doesn’t always play as prominent a role in biographies as it should. In public, Jefferson was Mister Enlightenment, coining the phrase “all men are created equal” and even advocating the abolition of slavery early in his career. In private, however, well…read on to see.

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Morphine, Santa Claus, And Nazis: The Secret History Of Coca-Cola

From morphine to Santa Claus to Nazis, this Coca-Cola history lesson will reveal how one sugary drink created the America we know today.

Coca Cola History

Afghan refugee children stand in front of a Coca-Cola sign in northwest Pakistan. Image Source: HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images

On the evening of April 16, 1865, Union and Confederate cavalry clashed over a bridge in Columbus, Georgia, in what was arguably the last battle of the U. S. Civil War. During the fight, a Confederate colonel named John Pemberton took a slashing saber wound to the chest and had to be carried away from the fight.

Believe it or not, this set of facts is the basis for why, today, you clip coupons before a shopping trip, why every vertical surface in the world is plastered with advertisements, and why children believe in Santa Claus.

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