James McKim was a white abolitionist and a member of the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society. He was born in 1810 and well-educated. He enrolled at Dickinson College at the age of 13, and graduating in the class of 1828. He was ordained into the Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware in 1835. Inspired by William Lloyd Garrison’s work he attended the founding convention of the American Anti-Slavery Society and worked as an agent for the society from 1836 to 1837. He became disillusioned with the Presbyterian Church’s ambivalence towards slavery and, in 1837,abandoned the church. In 1840 he became a publishing agent for the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society’s journal, Pennyslvania Freeman (which merged with the National Anti-Slavery Standard in 1854). That same year, McKim married Sarah Speakman and moved to Philadelphia to be closer to his work.
After the merger of the Freeman and the Standard, McKim became the Philadelphia correspondent for the latter. He was also part of Philadelphia’s Underground Railroad as a member of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee. McKim was the operator who received the crate in whichHenry “Box” Brown shipped himself to freedom. McKim was also particularly dedicated to the cause of the rights of emancipated slaves. In 1862, he resigned from the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society to work for the aid of freedmen. He moved to New York City to be the first secretary to the American Freedman’s Union Commission. In 1865 he helped to form The Nation, a newspaper which worked to publicize the needs of the newly emancipated. James McKim died in 1874 in West Orange, New Jersey.

James Miller McKim (1810-1874)