Achilles Pugh was the founder of the A.H. Pugh Printing Company, a publishing firm located in Cincinnati. Pugh's company began publishing James Birney's abolitionist newspaper The Philanthropist in April 1836. Pugh, a member of the Society of Friends, shared Birney's opposition to slavery. Mobs twice attacked the A.H. Pugh Printing Company's office. Many Cincinnatians opposed Birney's views. Some of these people were former slave owners and believed that African Americans were inferior to whites. Other people opposed slavery but were convinced that African Americans would move to the North and deprive white people of jobs.
On January 22, 1836, a group of Cincinnatians urged the city government to prohibit Birney from publishing his paper. Birney was undaunted. To prevent Birney from printing, a mob of white Cincinnatians destroyed Pugh's printing press on July 12, 1836. Undeterred, Birney and Pugh remained in Cincinnati and continued to publish the newspaper. The mob returned on July 30, 1836, and destroyed the printing press again. On this occasion, the mob threw parts of the press into the Ohio River. Pugh moved his business for a brief period to Springboro, Ohio, where he continued to publish Birney's paper. He later returned to Cincinnati and reestablished his business. He also participated in the Underground Railroad. Pugh's company remained family-owned and operated until the early 1980s, when it went out of business.