New Hampshire Abolitionist Nathaniel Peabody Rogers
Successful attorney--and father of eight--Nathaniel Peabody Rogers walked away from his Plymouth, NH, law practice in the 1830s for a dangerous and nearly unpaid gig editing a Concord-based anti-slavery newspaper, the Herald of Freedom. Plymouth State University historian Rebecca R. Noel tells the story of this feisty Granite State native, one of the so-called New Hampshire radicals. Rogers' dedication to abolition and racial inclusion took several forms in his relatively short life. He sheltered fugitives in Plymouth and Concord, co-founded the integrated Noyes Academy in Canaan, networked with major abolitionists including Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, and above all wrote passionate, searing essays against slavery and racism. Henry David Thoreau admired Rogers' political zeal and his beautiful nature writing about the White Mountains, published under the pseudonym "The Old Man of the Mountain," and abolitionist poet John Pierpont called Rogers the best newspaper writer in the United States. Rogers' story shines a light on this lively reform era, and his contributions to the crusade for social justice still resonate today.