Elihu Burritt Dies – Today in History: March 6

Elihu Burritt

Elihu Burritt

On March 6, 1879, Elihu Burritt “the learned blacksmith” died in New Britain. A self-educated man who studied European and Oriental languages and taught himself to read more than 50, he later became a social activist working toward the abolition of slavery, for world peace, and for the dignity of the working man. In 1846, while on a visit to England, he formed the League of Universal Brotherhood, one of the most active pacifist organizations in the 19th century.

Learn More


Central Connecticut State University, Elihu Burritt Library. “Biography - Elihu Burritt 1810-1879,” 2016. Link.


Central Connecticut State University. “Elihu Burritt Library,” 2016. Link.


Central Connecticut State University, Elihu Burritt Library. “Elihu Burritt Collection, 1810-1879,” 2016. Link.
Burritt, Elihu. “Elihu Burritt to Abraham Lincoln, Monday, June 02, 1862 (Confiscation Bill),” June 2, 1862. Library of Congress, American Memory, Abraham Lincoln Papers.
Burritt, Elihu. “Ocean Penny Postage.” Library of Congress. Accessed January 3, 2017. Link.


Burritt, Elihu. A Journal of a Visit of Three Days to Skibbereen, and Its Neighbourhood. London: C. Gilpin, 1847.
Burritt, Elihu. A Plan of Brotherly Copartnership of the North and South, for the Peaceful Extinction of Slavery. New York, NY: Dayton and Burdick, 1856. Link.
Northend, Charles. Elihu Burritt; a Memorial Volume Containing a Sketch of His Life and Labors. New York, NY: D. Appleton & Company, 1879. Link.
Ozora Stearns Davis. Elihu Burritt: An Apostle of International Brotherhood. New Britain, CT, 1907. Link.
Curti, Merle. The Learned Blacksmith; the Letters and Journals of Elihu Burritt. New York, NY: Wilson-Erickson, Inc., 1937.

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