Theodore D. Weld

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Theodore Dwight Weld, student leader of slavery debate at Lane Seminary, ca. 1832-1834.

Theodore Dwight Weld was a prominent nineteenth century American reformer and educator.

Weld was born on November 23, 1803, in Hampton, Connecticut. In 1819, he enrolled in the Phillips Andover Academy, but he had to withdraw due to health problems. In 1833, Weld became a student and then a professor at the Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio. He left the school when the trustees of the seminary prohibited the discussion of slavery. Weld, a devoted abolitionist, could not remain with this restriction in place.

Weld began working as a lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society. He had helped found the Society in 1833. He was forced to end his speaking career in 1836 due to health problems. He continued working for the American Anti-Slavery Society as editor of its various publications. During the early 1840s, Weld assisted and advised anti-slavery members of the United States Congress.

Weld remained dedicated to the abolitionist movement until slavery was ended by the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1865.

In 1854, Weld established a school at Eagleswood, New Jersey. The school accepted students of all races and sexes. In 1864, he moved to Hyde Park, Massachusetts and opened another school dedicated to the same principles as his first academy.

On May 14, 1838, Weld married Angelina Grimke, one of the best known abolitionists and women's rights advocates of the nineteenth century. Weld agreed with his wife's desire for equality between men and women and became an outspoken supporter of the women's rights movement. He continued to champion the rights of African Americans and women until his death in 1895.

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