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Henry Highland Garnet was an African-American best known as an abolitionist whose “Call to Rebellion” speech encouraged slaves to rebel against their owners.
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During the Civil War, he found himself the target of public anger over the issue of slavery. A mob of people sought to attack Garnet during the 1863 draft riots in New York City. They crowded in his street, but they were unable to locate him and his family.
The following year, Garnet moved to Washington, D.C., to serve as pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church there. While in Washington,
Garnet was chosen by President Abraham Lincoln to speak to the House of Representatives in 1865.
Fulfilling a longtime dream, Garnet traveled to Africa in 1881. He was appointed to a government post in Liberia. Unfortunately, his time in the African nation was short. Garnet died in February 1882, only a few months after his arrival.
His words may be Garnet's lasting legacy. It is believed that Garnet's "Call to Rebellion" helped inspire others in the abolitionist movement to take action, including John Brown who led the 1859 attack on the arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia).
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