scan of the title page of the Colored Patriots of the American Revolution

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. “The colored patriots of the American Revolution. [title page]” New York Public Library Digital Collections.

January 1855—Nell, along with William Garrison, William Wells Brown, Henry Wright and Sallie Holly, attended an Anti-Slavery meeting at the Belknap Street Church in Boston, MA, and speaks about petitions “present to the Legislature, asking for equal school rights for colored children.” Liberator 26 January 25(4):15,1

April 28, 1855—Nell’s petitions were successful and the Massachusetts legislature abolishes separate Negro schools. Robert P. Smith. “William Cooper Nell: Crusading Black Abolitionist.” The Journal of Negro History 55.3 (1970): 182–199

July 27, 1855—Nell attended Colored National Council meeting along with Amos Beman, Frederick Douglass, J. Mccune Smith, and others, but “was predisposed against any participation, because of valid objections, constitutional and otherwise.” Liberator, July 1855 25(30):120

October 1855—Nell published a book, The Colored Patriots of the America Revolution; With Sketches of Several Distinguished Colored Persons; To Which Is Added A Brief Survey of the Condition and Prospects of Colored Americans with an introduction by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published by R.F. Wallcut. 396 pages. Price $1. Liberator, 26 October 1855, 25(43):171, 1

December 17, 1855—Nell is honored in a meeting of the colored citizens of Boston: “A Tribute to William C. Nell, from the coloured citizens of Boston, for his untiting efforts in Equal School rights” – Triumph of Equal School Rights in Boston. Proceedings of the Presentation Meeting held in Boston, Dec. 17, 1855; Including Addresses by John T. Hilton, Wm C. Nell, Charles Slack, Wendell Phillips, Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Charles Lenox Remond. Published by F.R. Wallcut, 21 Cornhill, 1856, p. 4-11

The following year, Nell traveled throughout the Midwest attending anti-slavery meetings and submitting reports to the Liberator. Robert P. Smith. “William Cooper Nell: Crusading Black Abolitionist.” The Journal of Negro History 55.3 (1970): 182–199


Researched by Eric Brown, English 641, Spring 2016. Taught by Professor P. Gabrielle Foreman, University of Delaware. Images added by Samantha de Vera, University of Delaware.