Famous 19th Century Human Rights Activists

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 1 Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo
Famous As: Novelist & Poet
Birthdate: February 26, 1802
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Besançon, France
Died: May 22, 1885

Victor Hugo was a French poet, dramatist, and novelist of the Romantic movement. Regarded as one of the best-known and greatest French writers of all time, Victor Hugo wrote abundantly during his career that spanned over six decades. Thanks to his works, such as Hernani and Cromwell, Victor Hugo was one of the leading figures of the Romantic literary movement.

 2 Solomon Northup

Solomon Northup
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: July 10, 1807
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Minerva, New York
Died: 1863 AD
Abolitionist Solomon Northup had authored the memoir Twelve Years a Slave, which was later adapted into the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years a Slave. Northup was abducted and sold as a slave to a planter in Louisiana. He was eventually freed with the help of the governor New York.

 3 Clara Barton

Clara Barton
Famous As: Nurse, Founded of the American Red Cross
Birthdate: December 25, 1821
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oxford, Massachusetts, United States
Died: April 12, 1912
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 4 Henry Dunant

Henry Dunant
Famous As: Co-Founder of the Red Cross
Birthdate: May 8, 1828
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: October 30, 1910

Henry Dunant was a Swiss businessman, social activist, and humanitarian. He is credited with co-founding and promoting the Red Cross. In 1901, he became the first Swiss Nobel laureate when he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. Dunant is also credited with founding the Swiss branch of YMCA. His life inspired the 1948 historical drama film, Man to Men.

 5 Dame Christabel Harriette Pankhurst

Dame Christabel Harriette Pankhurst
Famous As: Militant
Birthdate: September 22, 1880
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Died: February 13, 1958

Dame Christabel Harriette Pankhurst was a British suffragette who co-founded the Women's Social and Political Union. From 1912 to 1913, Pankhurst directed the organization's militant actions from France. After the war, Christabel Pankhurst settled down in the United States of America where she served as an evangelist for the Second Coming movement.

 6 Nellie McClung

Nellie McClung
Famous As: Writer, Human rights activist, Politician
Birthdate: October 20, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chatsworth, Ontario, Canada
Died: September 1, 1951

Canadian author and social reformer Nellie McClung had struck gold with her first novel, Sowing Seeds in Danny, a bestseller. She also spoke widely about woman suffrage and was part of the Alberta legislature. She was part of The Famous Five, a group of women who launched the Persons Case.

 7 Angelina Grimke

Angelina Grimke
Famous As: Abolitionist, Women's Rights Activist
Birthdate: February 20, 1805
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Died: October 26, 1879
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 8 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.

 9 Caroline Chisholm

Caroline Chisholm
Famous As: Immigrant Welfare Activist
Birthdate: May 30, 1808
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wootton, Northampton, England
Died: March 25, 1877

Caroline Chisholm was an English humanitarian remembered for her work in British India where she established the Female School of Industry for the Daughters of European Soldiers which aimed at educating girls, who were taught reading, writing, nursing, cooking, and housekeeping. She also became a much-admired woman in Australia where she placed more than 11,000 people in jobs and homes.

 10 Bogd Khan

Bogd Khan
Famous As: Mongolian head of state
Birthdate: 1869 AD
Birthplace: Litang, Sichuan, Qing Dynasty
Died: May 20, 1924

 11 Lillian Wald

Lillian Wald
Famous As: Nurse, Humanitarian
Birthdate: March 10, 1867
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: September 1, 1940

 12 Charles W. Chesnutt

Charles W. Chesnutt
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 20, 1858
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: November 17, 1932

 13 Shields Green

Shields Green
Famous As: Activist, Sailor
Birthdate: 1836 AD
Birthplace: South Carolina, United States
Died: December 16, 1859

 14 Levi Coffin

Levi Coffin
Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: October 28, 1798
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Guilford County, North Carolina
Died: September 16, 1877

 15 Frédéric Ozanam

Frédéric Ozanam
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: April 23, 1813
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: September 8, 1853

Frédéric Ozanam was a French lawyer, literary scholar, equal rights advocate, and journalist. He is credited with co-founding the Conference of Charity, which came to be known as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. in 1997, Frédéric Ozanam was beatified at Notre Dame de Paris by Pope John Paul II and his feast day is observed on 9 September.

 16 Charlotte Forten Grimké

Charlotte Forten Grimké
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 17, 1837
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: July 23, 1914

 17 Vladimir Korolenko

Vladimir Korolenko
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 27, 1853
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Zhytomyr, Ukraine
Died: December 25, 1921

Most renowned for his short novel The Blind Musician, Russian author and journalist Vladimir Korolenko was known for his depiction of the plight of the disadvantaged sections of society. In his early days, his revolutionary activities got him expelled from two colleges. Makar’s Dream remains one of his best-known stories.

 18 Benjamin Lundy

Benjamin Lundy
Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: January 4, 1789
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hardwick Township, New Jersey, United States
Died: August 22, 1839

Born into a Quaker household, Benjamin Lundy had developed anti-slavery sentiments quite early in life. He grew up to become one of the leading abolitionists of the 19th century. He also launched papers such as The National Enquirer and the anti-slavery association Union Humane Society.

 19 Moncure D. Conway

Moncure D. Conway
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 17, 1832
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Falmouth, Virginia, United States
Died: November 15, 1907

 20 Eliza Farnham

Eliza Farnham
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 17, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rensselaer, New York, United States
Died: December 15, 1864

 21 Madeline McDowell Breckinridge

Madeline McDowell Breckinridge
Famous As: Human Rights Activist
Birthdate: May 20, 1872
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Franklin County, Kentucky, United States
Died: November 25, 1920

Madeline McDowell Breckinridge is best remembered for leading the women's suffrage movement in Kentucky. Mostly involved with campaigns related to children’s and women’s rights, she also established the Lexington Civic League, geared toward controlling child labor and upliftment of poor children. She was also associated with efforts to prevent tuberculosis.

 22 Fannie Barrier Williams

Fannie Barrier Williams
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: February 12, 1855
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brockport, New York, United States
Died: March 4, 1944

 23 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

 24 Ann Preston

Ann Preston
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: December 1, 1813
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: West Grove, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 18, 1872

 25 James T. Shotwell

James T. Shotwell
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: August 6, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Strathroy, Canada
Died: July 15, 1965

 26 Anna Adams Gordon

Anna Adams Gordon
Famous As: Songwriter
Birthdate: July 21, 1853
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: June 15, 1931

 27 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.

 28 Helen Marot

Helen Marot
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 3, 1940