Who was Elihu Burritt? Biography of the American Social Reformer and Pacifist


Who was Elihu Burritt? Information on American social reformer and pacifist Elihu Burritt biography, life story, reforms and facts.

Elihu Burritt? (American Social Reformer and Pacifist)

Source : wikipedia.org

Elihu Burritt

Elihu Burritt (December 8, 1810 – March 6, 1879) was an American philanthropist and activist who is known for his work to promote international peace and understanding.

Burritt was born in New Britain, Connecticut and received his education at the Wilbraham Academy in Massachusetts. After completing his studies, he worked as a blacksmith and later became involved in the abolitionist movement, working to end slavery in the United States.

In the 1850s, Burritt turned his attention to promoting international peace and understanding. He traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, giving lectures and working to promote the idea of a universal language that could be used to facilitate communication between people of different cultures.

Burritt was also involved in a number of other philanthropic efforts, including the promotion of education and the establishment of libraries. He was a member of several charitable organizations and was widely respected for his work to improve the lives of others.


Overall, Elihu Burritt was a dedicated and influential philanthropist who made significant contributions to the fields of education and international peace. His work continues to be recognized and remembered today.

Bio 2

Elihu Burritt; (1810-1879), American social reformer and pacifist, who was known as “the learned blacksmith.” Burritt was born in New Britain, Conn., on Dec. 8, 1810, the son of a poor shoemaker. Studying while at the blacksmith’s forge, he became interested in the interrelation of languages and taught himself some 50 tongues. His advertisement for translation work in 1838 brought him to the attention of Gov. Edward Everett and the general public. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow offered him Harvard College aid, but Burritt declared his place to be “in the ranks of the workingmen.”

Through lectures and such publications as the newsletter Christian Citizen (1844-1851), Burritt urged abolition, temperance, and peace. In England in 1846 he founded the League of Universal Brotherhood. He also advocated “ocean penny postage” to promote international communication. From 1846 to 1851 he organized peace congresses in England and on the Continent. His essays, Olive Leaves, were published in 40 newspapers and 7 languages. In America, his hope for a peaceful end of slavery was based on “compensated emancipation.” His many writings included Sparks from the Anvil (1846) and Chips from Many Blocks (1878). He died at New Britain on March 6, 1879.

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