Brooklyn in the Civil War
Soldiers Women Slavery Daily Life
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illustration of Beecher and slave girl
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"Mr. Beecher selling a beautiful slave girl in his pulpit."

Plymouth Church

Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, of Plymouth Church in downtown Brooklyn, was renowned for his lively sermons and radical political opinions. A staunch abolitionist, Beecher used his position to advocate for the end of slavery. In the years before the Civil War, he drew attention to the issue of slavery by holding "auctions" in the church to raise money to purchase freedom, usually for young, fair-skinned women. The strategy worked, and the congregation of Plymouth Church donated money and jewelry to the cause.

For more illustrations, see Documents 8, 13, and 15.

Citation - Document 7
ca. 1856
Courtesy of the Brooklyn Historical Society

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