Famous 19th Century Civil Rights Activists

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Civil Rights Activists, including Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, William Lloyd Garrison and Paul Robeson.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois
Famous As: Civil Rights Activists
Birthdate: February 23, 1868
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Great Barrington, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 27, 1963

W. E. B. Du Bois was an American civil rights activist, sociologist, and Pan-Africanist. Du Bois played an instrumental role in fighting for full civil rights for people of color around the world. A co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Du Bois also played an important role as the leader of the Niagara Movement.

 2 Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass
Famous As: American orator
Birthdate: February 1, 1818
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Talbot County, Maryland, U.S
Died: February 20, 1895

Social reformer and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass was a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York. Born into slavery, he had a difficult early life. Eventually, he managed to escape and dedicated the rest of his life to promoting the cause of abolition. He was a great orator and writer.

 3 Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
Civil rights and women's rights activist Ida B. Wells is remembered for speaking up against the lynching of Blacks in the U.S. She was born a slave and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. She later co-founded the NAACP. She also co-owned and wrote for Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.
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 4 Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson
Famous As: Singer, Actor & Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: April 9, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Princeton, New Jersey, U.S
Died: January 23, 1976

Singer and actor, Paul Robeson, was as much known for his music and films as he was for his political activism. As a black man who had to endure great difficulties to establish himself, he was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement and other social justice campaigns. As a performer, he was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

 5 Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Famous As: Women’s Rights Activist
Birthdate: November 12, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Johnstown
Died: October 26, 1902

 6 A. Philip Randolph

A. Philip Randolph
Famous As: Leader of the African-American civil-rights movement,
Birthdate: April 15, 1889
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Crescent City
Died: May 16, 1979

 7 James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 17, 1871
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida
Died: June 26, 1938
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 8 Wendell Willkie

Wendell Willkie
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: February 18, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Elwood, Indiana, USA
Died: October 8, 1944

 9 Lucy Stone

Lucy Stone
Famous As: Women's Rights Activist
Birthdate: August 13, 1818
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Brookfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: October 19, 1893

 10 Edith Cowan

Edith Cowan
Famous As: Social Campaigner
Birthdate: August 2, 1861
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Geraldton, Australia
Died: June 9, 1932

Edith Cowan was an Australian social reformer best remembered for serving as a member of parliament; she was the first Australian woman to do so. She is also remembered for working for the welfare and rights of children and women. In recognition of her contribution, Cowan has been depicted on Australia's fifty-dollar note since 1995.

 11 Anna Julia Cooper

Anna Julia Cooper
Famous As: Author, Educator
Birthdate: August 10, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Died: February 27, 1964

 12 Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell
Famous As: One of the first African-American women to earn a college degree
Birthdate: September 23, 1863
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Died: July 24, 1954

 13 Matilda Joslyn Gage

Matilda Joslyn Gage
Famous As: Abolitionist, Freethinker, Author
Birthdate: March 24, 1826
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cicero
Died: March 18, 1898

 14 Charlotta Spears Bass

Charlotta Spears Bass
Famous As: Editor and activist
Birthdate: February 14, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sumter, South Carolina
Died: April 12, 1969

 15 Septima Poinsette Clark

Septima Poinsette Clark
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: May 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina
Died: December 15, 1987

 16 William Monroe Trotter

William Monroe Trotter
Famous As: Editor
Birthdate: April 7, 1872
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chillicothe, Ohio, United States
Died: April 7, 1934

 17 Yun Posun

Yun Posun
Famous As: President
Birthdate: August 26, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dunpo-myeon, Asan-si, South Korea
Died: July 18, 1990

 18 Prudence Crandall

Prudence Crandall
Famous As: Connecticut's official State Heroine
Birthdate: September 3, 1803
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rhode Island
Died: January 28, 1890

 19 Andreas Hofer

Andreas Hofer
Famous As: Tirolean leader
Birthdate: November 22, 1767
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: near Sankt Leonhard, Italy
Died: February 20, 1810
Andreas Hofer, a Tyrolean innkeeper and drover, became Tyrolean Rebellion leader against the revolutionary Napoleonic invasion during the War of the Fifth Coalition. Still venerated as a folk hero, freedom fighter, and Austrian patriot, Hofer was captured near his home and executed by a firing squad in 1810. His biopic, Andreas Hofer, a German silent film, was made in 1929.

 20 Alexander Crummell

Alexander Crummell
Famous As: Minister
Birthdate: March 3, 1819
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 10, 1898

Alexander Crummell was an African-American minister, African nationalist, and academic. He studied at the University of Cambridge with the support of abolitionists and developed the concepts of pan-Africanism while studying at the university. He worked towards educating Africans and spent 20 years in Liberia. He is also credited with founding St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

 21 E. D. Nixon

E. D. Nixon
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: July 12, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Died: February 25, 1987

 22 Charles S. Johnson

Charles S. Johnson
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: July 24, 1893
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bristol, Virginia, United States
Died: October 27, 1956

 23 Sarah Louise Delany

Sarah Louise Delany
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: September 19, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lynch Station, Virginia, United States
Died: January 25, 1999

 24 Lyda D. Newman

Lyda D. Newman
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: 1885 AD
Birthplace: Ohio, United States

 25 George Frisbie Hoar

George Frisbie Hoar
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 29, 1826
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Concord, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 30, 1904

 26 Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith
Famous As: Leader
Birthdate: January 23, 1837
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Long Green, Maryland, United States
Died: February 24, 1915

Born into slavery, Amanda Smith later stepped into freedom after her father bought his and his family’s freedom. Starting as a domestic help, she later became a missionary and a Holiness movement leader, who invested in women’s education wholeheartedly and even established an orphanage for Black girls.

 27 Itagaki Taisuke

Itagaki Taisuke
Famous As: Soldier
Birthdate: May 21, 1837
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tosa Domain, Japan
Died: July 16, 1919

Initially the commander of the Tosa troops, Itagaki Taisuke participated in the Meiji Restoration. He was the founder of the Liberal Party, which was the first Japanese political party. Itagaki was later stabbed by a right-wing militant, to whom he reacted by saying “Itagaki may die, but liberty, never.”

 28 Annie Elizabeth Delany

Annie Elizabeth Delany
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 3, 1891
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Died: September 25, 1995

 29 Zechariah Chafee, Jr.

Zechariah Chafee, Jr.
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: December 7, 1885
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Died: February 8, 1957

 30 William L. Patterson

William L. Patterson
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: August 27, 1891
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Francisco, California
Died: March 5, 1980

 31 Ralph McGill

Ralph McGill
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: February 5, 1898
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hamilton County, Tennessee, United States
Died: February 3, 1969

 32 Maria Weston Chapman

Maria Weston Chapman
Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: July 25, 1806
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Weymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 12, 1885

 33 Jessie Daniel Ames

Jessie Daniel Ames
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 2, 1883
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Palestine, Texas, United States
Died: February 21, 1972

 34 Quamina

Famous As: Civil rights activists
Birthdate: 1778 AD
Birthplace: Ghana
Died: September 16, 1823

 35 Emmett Matthew Hall

Emmett Matthew Hall
Famous As: Jurist
Birthdate: November 29, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint-Colomban, Canada
Died: November 12, 1995

Considered father of the Canadian Medicare system, Emmett Matthew Hall was an eminent lawyer, jurist and civil libertarian. Beginning his career as a private practitioner, he eventually retired as the Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Meanwhile, appointed as the chairman of the Royal Commission on Health Services, he recommended the creation of a universal health care system.

 36 Elizabeth Rous Comstock

Elizabeth Rous Comstock
Famous As: Social reformer
Birthdate: October 30, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Maidenhead, England
Died: August 3, 1891

 37 Margaret Dreier Robins

Margaret Dreier Robins
Famous As: Labour Leader
Birthdate: September 6, 1868
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 21, 1945

 38 Caroline Severance

Caroline Severance
Famous As: Social reformer
Birthdate: 1820 AD
Birthplace: Canandaigua, New York, United States
Died: November 10, 1914

Reformer Caroline Severance is best known for establishing women’s clubs in the US. A champion for women’s rights and women’s suffrage, she was also an abolitionist. Along with her husband, she formed the Independent Christian Church. She was also the first female to join the Parker Fraternity Course.

 39 Mary Bonney

Mary Bonney
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: June 8, 1816
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hamilton, New York, United States
Died: July 24, 1900