Theodore Dwight Weld

1803-1895. American abolitionist. Born at Hampton, Connecticut, he grew up in W New York where he was profoundly influenced by Capt. Charles Stuart, principal of Utica Academy. Converted under C.G. Finney's* preaching, he spent two years preaching in the latter's “Holy Band,” but by 1830 his concern had shifted to the abolition of slavery. He enlisted New York philanthropists Arthur and Lewis Tappan in the abolitionist cause in the financing of Lane Seminary, Cincinnati, where Weld and some of Finney's converts took up studies under the presidency of Lyman Beecher.* When abolitionist activities were banned, Weld and his followers transferred to Oberlin College. After 1835 Weld was employed by the American Anti-Slavery Society* he helped found. Using Finney's methods, Weld's agents spread the cause of abolition through writing and training of personnel. After 1836 he focused his energies on the society's publicity and lobbying in Washington, DC. His most influential writings were The Bible Against Slavery (1837) and American Slavery As It Is (1839), which provided the stimulus for H.B. Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852).