Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GIBBONS, Joseph, philanthropist, born near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 14 August, 1818; died there, 9 December 1883. He was of a family of English Quakers who came from Wiltshire about the time of Penn's settlement of the colony. He was graduated at Jefferson medical College in 1845, and in the same year married Phebe, eldest daughter of Thomas Earle, who was the first candidate of the Liberty party for vice-president of the United States in 1840, the presidential candidate being James G. Birney. Dr. Gibbons's life was chiefly identified with the practical side of the anti-slavery movement. He was instrumental with his father in aiding over 1,000 runaway slaves to freedom by the system quaintly known as the "Underground railroad." Some account of this peculiar institution may be found in William Still's "Underground Railroad" (Philadelphia, 1872), and Dr. Smedley's "History of the Underground Railroad in Chester and the Neighboring Counties of Pennsylvania" (Lancaster, 1883). Dr. Gibbons was also an earnest temperance advocate, and did much to popularize the public-school system of Pennsylvania in its infancy. He was regarded as one of the founders of the Republican party in his native state, and enjoyed the friendship and esteem of Charles Sumner, Thad-deus Stevens, Joshua R. Giddings, David Wihnot, and Henry Wilson. He established the "Friends' Journal" in 1873, and, though partially deprived of speech by apoplexy soon afterward, conducted it until his death.
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