Abraham Doras Shadd


Abraham Doras Shadd

Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, USA
Death 11 Feb 1882 (aged 80)
Chatham-Kent Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Burial Chatham, Chatham-Kent Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Plot Old ward A
Memorial ID 165532788 View Source

Abraham Doras Schadd was born on March 2, 1801 in Mill Creek Hundred, Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware. He married Harriet Burton Parnell and they had 13 children.

He was a Black Abolitionist, Businessman, and Community Organizer. He was one of Delaware's most significant Black leaders of the 19th century.

Abraham earned a successful living as a shoemaker, a trade he learned from his father. He acquired property in Wilmington. In 1816, soon after the American Colonization Society was organized, Abraham Schadd joined with other black leaders such as William Anderson and Peter Spencer to organize forces against the "colonization scheme."

In the 1830s, Blacks hosted several national conventions to protest racism and repression. Shadd was elected president of the National Convention in 1833. As president of that body, he emphasized education, thrift, and hard work to improve the conditions of Blacks.

In 1836, Schadd was living in West Chester and was taking "an active role in Underground Railroad activities," working in concert with the local Quakers. In 1851, Schadd, with his 13 children, relocated to North Buxton in Ontario, where he purchased 200 acres of land in a Black communal settlement. He remained there, an active mason, civic, and community leader, and in 1858 he was elected to the Raleigh Township Commission.

By the time of his death in 1882, Abraham Schadd had presented himself as an imposing force against the evils of slavery. He could look back at himself and his work as a Black abolitionist, Underground Railroad supporter, Delaware's delegate to National Negro Conventions, President of the National Convention for the Improvement of Free People of Color, pioneer in Black settlements in Canada, civic leader, and entrepreneur. His legacy and perseverance was passed on to his family.

His deeds and actions for fellow humans entitle him to be ranked among the top Black leaders of the 19th century. The Schadd family represents one of the premier Black families of Delaware.



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