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A statue of Lewis Temple in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Lewis Temple (1800 – 18 May 1854) was an American blacksmith, abolitionist, and inventor. Born in slavery in Richmond, Virginia, he moved to the whaling village of New Bedford, Massachusetts during the 1820s. In 1848 he invented a type of "toggling harpoon" that is sometimes called "Temple's Toggle".


  • Gary L. Frost. "Lewis Temple." Article in Henry Louis Gates and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. African American Lives (Oxford University Press, 2004), 803–804. ISBN:0195160193.
  • Kathryn Grover. The Fugitive's Gibraltar: Escaping Slaves and Abolitionism in New Bedford, Massachusetts (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001). ISBN:1558492712.
  • Sidney Kaplan. "Lewis Temple and the Hunting of the Whale." The New England Quarterly 26 (March 1953): 78–88.


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