Born at Greenville, New Jersey, on January 4, 1789, Benjamin Lundy was reared on a farm in a Quaker household, where he received little formal education. In 1808, he became an apprentice saddlemaker in Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia), where he first encountered, and developed a hatred of, slavery. In 1815, Lundy organized the Union Humane Society, an antislavery group, and published literature opposing the practice.
Lundy became interested in the African colonization movement. In 1825 and '29, Lundy visited Haiti and other places to pursue the idea. In 1836, Lundy began to publish an antislavery newspaper in Philadelphia, which attacked the Texas annexation ploy to give more power to slave owners. Unfortunately, Lundy's private papers were destroyed in a Philadelphia fire set by rioters in 1838. Lundy died in Hennepin, Illinois, on August 22, 1839.