Abstract

John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678) was enormously popular in the nineteenth-century United States. This article shows that abolitionists appropriated that text, as well as the reputation and biography of its author, as a guide to their own political action. References to Bunyan and The Pilgrim’s Progress in abolitionist print culture, including newspapers and book-length responses to The Pilgrim’s Progress, reveal that abolitionists saw Bunyan as a virtuous progenitor who helped to legitimate and unify their political movement while representing both political commitment and religious toleration.

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