Born in 1815 as a slave, Henry Highland Garnet was a well-educated man who advocated for the abolition of slavery. He believed that freedom would come to the blacks through political means. On August 22, 1843 he called for a general strike by slaves. This came to be known as his “Call to Rebellion”, which encouraged slaves to revolt against their masters.
Garnet’s call, with its harsh language, was rejected by a single vote on the convention’s delegates. Soon after, Garnet began to be in favor of emigration for slaves to other free countries such as Liberia, while still fighting against slavery in the US.
In 1852, Garnet left for Jamaica to work as a missionary. He did return to the US soon thereafter. He began to lean more towards religion in the following years. Garnet continued to focus on improving the lives of former slaves, and in 1881 he was appointed to a post in Liberia for his work on making the lives of others better.