As all of our class should know by now, David Ruggles was a black abolitionist who took slavery very seriously. Ruggles pretty much made it his life to actively free black slaves. Most abolitionists tried to persuade slave-owners to free their slaves for moral reasons, along with many other ways to try and free slaves. David Ruggles, however, didn’t use moral suasion, he used violence if needed, to free slaves, unlike pretty much every single other abolitionist of his time.
Ruggles saw slavery as a national problem, not just a southern issue. Ruggles was a violent forceful advocate against slavery, and justified it with his “practical abolitionism” which meant that self-defense and civil disobedience could be used by freed blacks and runaway slaves to try and protect themselves from kidnappers.
The start of the Underground Railroad was pretty much because of David Ruggles. Not only did he mentor many more famous abolitionists, but he managed to start a network due to his location (in NYC) and active role on the Committee of Vigilance. Once people started to discover and see David’s work, they became inspired and that is when he began to start networking with allies to help jump start the beginning of the Underground Railroad. Although Ruggles’ was an important figure, he was often held back. His store, which I will go into slight detail in the next paragraph, was burned down three times, and he was kidnapped at one point in his life and almost sold into slavery in the south.
David Ruggles was an African-American printer in the 1830’s and managed to print many black activist journals. Ruggles was the first African-American to run his own printing press, and his own magazine is recognized as the first to be published by a black American. His bookshop was the first black bookstore until it was destroyed. A popular plan was to send all blacks back to Africa, to which Ruggles rebelled saying that it did not help the future of slavery.
The active abolitionist, David Ruggles, was not only a powerful person, but also an advanced thinker. He saw issues in problems such as sending all the slaves back to Africa, and fought to end slavery in ways that other active abolitionists didn’t see. Ruggles wasn’t only an abolitionist, though. He also became a doctor in order to save his life and many other peoples lives’.