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Of the men called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Rush was the leading voice against slavery.

Rush, however, once owned an enslaved man — William Grubber, whom he later freed. Rush’s evolving abolitionist views were helped along in part by conversations with two other men.

One was Anthony Benezet, a French Quaker who moved to the colonies in the early 18th century and began holding classes for Black children in his home. Benezet helped form the country’s first anti-slavery group, the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.

The other was Granville Sharp, a British abolitionist. He never stepped foot in the colonies, but his work was published here.

Read more about Sharp’s anti-slavery connections in the Headlines of Yore thread below.

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Avi Wolfman-Arent

Avi Wolfman-Arent is a host on 90.9 FM and an education reporter with WHYY News, where he's worked since 2014. Prior to that he covered nonprofits for the Chronicle of Philanthropy and education technology...