George Donisthorpe Thompson was born in Liverpool, England, on June 18, 1804, the son of Thomas Thompson and Elizabeth Donisthorpe. As a young man, he became interested in intellectual debate and social reform; he served as an agent for the Anti-Slavery Society of London in 1831. Thomson subsequently advocated for abolitionist causes in Great Britain and the United States, where he traveled between 1834 and 1835. On his return to Great Britain, Thompson continued to participate in abolitionist debates, playing a major role at the 1840 World's Anti-Slavery Convention. In 1847, he was elected to the House of Commons as a representative for Tower Hamlets, a position he held until 1852. He traveled to the United States again in 1850 and 1864, and staunchly supported the Union cause during the Civil War, urging Britain not to recognize the Confederacy. Throughout his career, Thompson worked with African American abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and William Wells Brown, and maintained a friendship and professional relationship with William Lloyd Garrison, whom he met in 1832. Thomson died in Leeds on October 7, 1878. He and his wife, Anne Erskine Lorain ("Jenny") Spry (1807-1878), had five surviving children: Eliza Louisa (1831-1885), Amelia Ann (1833-1902), George Herbert (1834-1867), William Lloyd Garrison (1836-1851), and Edith (b. 1845).
Elizabeth Pease was born in Darlington, England, on January 5, 1807, to Quaker parents Joseph Pease and Elizabeth Beaumont. From the 1830s-1860s, she was a prominent anti-slavery activist, working to create links between women's anti-slavery movements in Great Britain and the United States. In the 1860s, she served as president for the Edinburgh Ladies' Emancipation Society; she also helped found the Society for the Furtherance of Human Brotherhood in the 1880s. In addition to her anti-slavery activism, she advocated for feminist and anti-vivisection movements. She married Dr. John Pringle Nichol, an astronomy professor at the University of Glasgow, on July 6, 1853, and died in Edinburgh, Scotland, on February 3, 1897.