Theodore Dwight Weld


Mar 2, 2012
Known as the most forceful temperance orator in the western states, Weld dedicated himself to the anti-slavery cause in 1830. He helped found the American Anti-Slavery Society and in 1836 the society decided to devote all its resources towards enlarging the band of trained lecture agents to spread the abolitionist gospel. The new class of lecturers were called the Band of Seventy trained in New York City included Sarah and Angelina Grimké. Known to speak 8 to 10 hours a day, he was forced to end his speaking career in 1836 due a breaking voice.

He continued working for the American Anti-Slavery Society, serving as editor of various publications and acted as an aid to anti-slavery members of the United States Congress.
  • Born November 23, 1803 in Hampton, CT
  • Died February 3, 1895 in Hyde Park, MA (now in Boston)
  • Buried: Mount Hope Cemetery in Boston, MA
  • Education: After nearly losing his sight, he developed formidable oratorical skills as a youth with evangelist Charles G. Finney’s “holy band” of Presbyterian revivalists, preaching salvation and temperance throughout western New York then studied for ministry at Oneida Institute in Whitesboro, NY in 1827 and entered Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, OH in 1832 until dismissed in 1834 for discussing abolition.
  • Married abolitionist Angelina Grimké (1805-1879) of South Carolina on May 14,1838
  • Children: Charles Stuart (1839- ); “Sody” Theodore Grimké (1841- ); “Sissie” Sarah Grimké (1844- )
  • He retired in 1844 and established schools for students of all races and sexes at Eagleswood, NJ in 1854 and then in the Raritan Bay Community, NY. He was back in action during the Civil War speaking for the Union cause and the Republican Party. Following the war he opened another school in Massachusetts until 1867 and continued to champion the rights of African Americans and women until his death.