Tales of Oppression, Abolition, and Reform in the Hopper & Gibbons Families

On June 23rd, 2021, Angela Schear presented a talk on her abolitionist ancestors, Isaac T. Hopper and Abby Gibbons.

Isaac T. Hopper,
provided by Angela Schear

Hopper authored a column in the “The National Anti-Slavery Standard“ entitled “Tales of Oppression,” and was a well-known abolitionist and Hicksite Quaker. His biographer estimated that he personally assisted over 1,000 fugitives in obtaining their freedom during his forty years of residence in Philadelphia. His third daughter Abby followed in his footsteps of activism and reform. Together with her husband, James Gibbons, this Quaker family trio was influential in many Anti-slavery societies, prison reform work, and social activism. They knew most of the principal American abolitionists including the Robinsons and even hosted many, such as William L. Garrison and Horace Greeley, in their homes.

The Gibbons’ home in NYC is today the only documented station on the Underground Railroad in Manhattan and was directly targeted during the NYC Draft Riots of 1864 while Abby Gibbons nursed wounded Union soldiers in Maryland. This talk explores an overview of their lives and abolitionism activities.