Benjamin Lundy (January 4, 1789 – August 22, 1839) was an American Quaker Abolitionist from New Jersey who established several anti-slavery newspapers and traveled widely. In 1825, Lundy, inspired by the legacy of Elisha Tyson, moved his family to Baltimore from Tennessee and began publishing
The Genius of Universal Emancipation, an abolition newspaper journal greatly respected by Frederick Douglass.
John Needles was a fine furniture and cabinet maker. He would wrap furniture he built with copies of The Genius of Universal Emancipation for shipment to customers in Virginia, South Carolina, and New Orleans. He had enabled the publication of the newspaper journal by not only providing a newspaper office on the corner of Sharp and Pratt Streets, across from Moses Sheppard’s home, but also money for printing press type for Lundy. Needles, with his sister Elizabeth, had formed the Antislavery Society of Maryland in 1824.
In 1829 Lundy recruited William Lloyd Garrison from New England to be co-editor of the newspaper. Fanny Garrison, mother of William Lloyd, had lived in Baltimore until her death in 1823.
In 1830, Lundy and Garrison were both indicted for civil libel because of their remarks about slave ship owners, but only Garrison served time in jail, after he could not, or would not, pay the $50 fine. After his release from jail, Garrison moved to Massachusetts and began to publish the Liberator.