||Moncure Conway Foundation|
Moncure Daniel Conway
Moncure Conway and his wife Ellen Dana Conway
Moncure Conway was born in Stafford County, Virginia on March 17, 1832. The son of a wealthy slaveholding family, he freed himself from the dogmas of his culture and became an abolitionist. He is the only descendent of one of our nation’s Founding Fathers to actively lead escaping slaves to freedom, thereby taking the initial steps to correct one of the most important issues not accomplished in the Constitutional Convention.
With two brothers in the Confederate Army, Conway went to England in 1863 with a letter of introduction from William Lloyd Garrison. His mission was to promote the cause of abolition in America. His efforts helped keep Great Britain from formally recognizing the government of the Confederate States of America.
Conway was one of the foremost innovators of nineteenth-century development in the realms of religious, political, scientific, literary and artistic thought with over seventy published books and journals. His close friends included many period luminaries—Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Elizabeth Caddy Stanton, and Andrew Carnegie, among others.
Eliza and Dunmore Gwinn,
Conway House servants
He was an active participant in history-making events of his time, and he wielded his pen to positively affect the lives of the oppressed whether their oppression was related to gender, race or economic status. He did this at the cost of his own popularity and social status.
Conway addressed the Paris Peace Convention in 1900, suggesting a world peace-keeping process that later became the basic tenets of the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations. He died in Paris on November 15, 1907.
“I see a Humming-bird! I always loved them. Sweet wee thing—I would I were as free to clap my wings and draw sweets from all Flowers! I would not be afraid of poisonous nor Vipers!—not I. “ —Quote from Conway’s personal diary, 1853