Julia Griffiths

Julia Griffiths was a British abolitionist who met Douglass during his time in that country in 1846. She quickly became one of his most trusted collaborators. She moved to America and helped him with his newspaper ventures and found financial backers for his work. Over the course of almost 50 years, Griffiths proved herself invaluable to Douglass and her contacts in the British abolitionist circles helped keep him afloat during lean economic times. Julia eventually moved back to England where she married a man by the name of Crofts, but the two friends maintained their correspondence and friendship for the remainder of their lives.

“But to no one person was I more indebted for substantial assistance than to Mrs. Julia Griffiths Crofts. She came to my relief when my paper had nearly absorbed all my means, and I was heavily in debt, and when I had mortgaged my house to raise money to meet current expenses; and in a single year by her energetic and effective management enabled me to extend the circulation of my paper from 2,000 to 4,000 copies, pay off the debts and lift the mortgage from my house. Her industry was equal to her devotion. She seemed to rise with every emergency, and her resources appeared inexhaustible. I shall never cease to remember with sincere gratitude the assistance rendered me by this noble lady, and I mention her here in the desire in some humble measure to ‘give honor to whom honor is due.’”[1]

Julia Griffiths Crofts died on May 29, 1895 at the age of 86. She was buried in St. Neots Old Cemetery in St. Neots, United Kingdom. She shares her graver plot with her niece Elizabeth Crofts. The small cross on their grave contains Elizabeth’s name but nothing marking Julia.

Exact Grave GPS: 52.225645, -0.264918

[1] Frederick Douglass, The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (Boston: De Wolfe & Fiske Co., 1892), 324 – 325.

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