Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Isabella Baumfree are legendary figures in the U.S. abolitionist movement. They are among the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr., whose Christian faith was a source of strength during the long struggle for freedom and civil rights. Collectively, their moral conviction and courage helped to secure the liberties ofwhich everyone today is a beneficiary.
There is scarcely a child of elementary school age who doesn’t know of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. Yet ask a college graduate if he’s heard of William Wilberforce, and you are as likely to get “You’re making that name up, right?” as a look of acknowledgement. The few who do remember him probably recall little more than that he was a prominent Brit who played a role in abolition.
While only 3 percent of Americans and 10 percent of Brits today know anything about Wilberforce, in 1858 Abraham Lincoln remarked that “every schoolboy knew his story."
So who was William Wilberforce, and how did he capture the admiration of everyone from schoolchildren to an American president? The answers are found in two excellent biographies, Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas and William Wilberforce: A Hero for Humanity by Kevin Belmonte. Read on...
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About Regis Nicoll
Regis Nicoll is a Centurion of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. After a 30-year career as a nuclear specialist, Regis became a freelance writer who writes on current cultural issues from a Christian perspective. His work regularly appears on BreakPoint online and SALVO magazine among other places. Regis also teaches and speaks on a variety of worldview topics, covering everything from Sharing the Gospel in a Postmodern Generation to String Theory. As a men's ministry leader in his community, Regis also conducts seminars for the spiritual development of men.
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