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The Abolitionists[Non-game 1] are a minor faction encountered in the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3. Dedicated to helping free and house escaped slaves, they reside on a very fragile position with few combative capabilities and largely owe their continued survival mainly to the remote location of their headquarters.


A small group composed largely of former slaves, the Abolitionsists were founded and are loosely organized under Hannibal Hamlin. Taking the name from the historic Abolitionist Movement, Hamlin espouses a reverence for Abraham Lincoln, owing to the 16th President's role in ending formal slavery in the United States through the Emancipation Proclamation and subsequent victory in the American Civil War, which paved the way for the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution.

In the 23rd century, the Abolitionists' guiding goal is to resurrect Lincoln's ideals and bring his vision of a world where all men are free and equal, to the wasteland. Unfortunately, a lot of their knowledge of Lincoln's history is of dubious quality, warped by centuries of mistranslation and poor record keeping.[2]

Hannibal first founded and organized the group sometime after he escaped slavery circa 2271,[1] and stumbled across the Temple of the Union, a ruined office building containing the head of the statue of Lincoln that had been removed from the Lincoln Memorial. Under Hamlin's guidance, the Abolitionists use the building as a safe haven for runaway slaves, providing them with food and supplies, then helping them on their way to freedom.[3] However, by 2277, the Temple is at capacity and lacks enough food, water, and shelter space to house runaway slaves on a regular basis. To remedy their situation, Hannibal devised a plan to relocate the group to the Lincoln Memorial in the downtown D.C. ruins but the trip necessitated preemptively scouting the area out and removing any threats, particularly any super mutants.[4]

Hamlin hopes that rebasing to the Memorial, along with finding and restoring a readable Gettysburg Address will eventually spread the hope of a safe haven for slaves far and wide, inspiring them to flee their slaving masters or even rise up against them in revolt. The Abolitionists fully support his ideals, as theirs is the only group making a dedicated stand against the slavers of Paradise Falls and slavery in general in the Capital Wasteland: neither Rivet City nor the Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel bother with helping slaves.[5] Apart from sheltering freedmen at the Temple, armed groups of Abolitionists are known to take on bounties against known slavers in the area.[6]


The faction's presence consists mainly of a small settlement, centered around the severed head of Abraham Lincoln, taken from the statue within the Lincoln Memorial, and a random block from the memorial's inscription. The Temple's residents revere the head as a symbol of the Abolitionist movement. The entire compound is a haven for freed slaves and anti-slavery activists.[Non-game 2]


While primarily concerned with bringing an end to slavery in the Capital Wasteland, the Abolitionists face not just a practical conflict with the slavers of Paradise Falls, but an ideological one over the legacy of Lincoln. Though most wastelanders have either forgotten or stopped caring about the legacy of America, Lincoln is still remembered by the Abolitionists as the 'Great Emancipator' who fought to completely eradicate the institution of slavery, a position that resonated in the 23rd century as it signifies to them that slavery could once again be completely rooted out as it had been done before, and so Lincoln and any artifacts related to him take on an almost religious significance to them. The Abolitionists hope to restore Lincoln's legacy in the wasteland to act as a message of hope to all slaves, and a rallying point against the agents of slavery.

Consequently, because the Abolitionists' opposition directly interferes with their livelihood, the Paradise Falls slavers actively seek information on where to find their headquarters, attacking any of their groups found in the wasteland, and try to remove or destroy any artifacts related to their 'Great Emancipator' to deny the Abolitionists the iconic value they would bring.

Interactions with the player character[]

  • Head of State: The Lone Wanderer has the option to help Hannibal Hamlin and his followers secure and settle the Lincoln Memorial or side with Leroy Walker and sell out the slaves, causing an attack on the Temple of the Union by the slavers. If the Lone Wanderer decides to assist Hamlin, they will have to eliminate Leroy and the slavers camped at the memorial. They will also have to bring Caleb Smith a picture of the location in order to restore the statue of Abraham Lincoln. When both of these tasks are complete, Hamlin's group will take over the memorial and turn it into their home. They also restore the statue and the plaque atop it. The Wanderer can also decide to sell the artifacts of Lincoln, found inside the Museum of History, to the Abolitionists. They will pay high prices for the items' symbolic meaning.
    • Initially, the members of the Temple treat the Lone Wanderer with suspicion, not knowing whether or not they are a spy for the slavers. However, since the Lone Wanderer can express interest in scouting the Lincoln Memorial for Hannibal Hamlin and finding a picture of the Lincoln Memorial for Caleb Smith, they will befriend the Lone Wanderer and accept them inside the Temple.
    • Alternatively, the Lone Wanderer can side with the slavers and kill the slaves at the Temple of the Union. The Lone Wanderer can also double-cross the slavers by killing them after selling out the slaves. Once the slavers are dead, one can continue on the original quest, helping the slaves get to the Lincoln Memorial.
  • There are various random encounters that involve fugitive slaves.


The Abolitionists appear only in Fallout 3.

Behind the scenes[]

The name of the group's members, such as Hannibal Hamlin, Caleb Smith, and Bill Seward, as well as the slaver Leroy Walker, are allusions to historical figures involved with the American Civil War.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Lone Wanderer: "So, you used to be a slave?"
    Hannibal Hamlin: "Six years ago I managed to escape from my master. He's been hunting me ever since. When I found the head of Lincoln here, I knew it was a sign for me to help other slaves to escape. I founded the Temple of the Union as a safe haven for runaway slaves everywhere."
    (Hannibal Hamlin's dialogue)
  2. Hannibal Hamlin: "Let me tell you the story of Abraham Lincoln. He was born a Tucky Tearsman. The truth of this mysterious title has been lost, but we know it was a great honor. As a child he could not bear to see any animal chained or imprisoned. He was even known to set free the family Brahmin on occasion. As a youth, Abraham Lincoln fought Raiders in the war of the black hawks. When the war ended, he settled down to rule the Linoy, a small tribe of free men. He grew so famous that one day he was made President. He ruled over all the land. When he declared that all slaves must be freed, the slavers rebelled against his rule. They fought a great war, which Lincoln won. When he came to free the slaves, an assassin of the slavers struck him down. In the confusion, a few of the slavers escaped. Lincoln's generals hunted them, but could not find them. The bombs ended the era of Lincoln, but we will resurrect his voice. We will restore the greatness of his vision where all men are created equal, and all men can live free!"
    (Hannibal Hamlin's dialogue)
  3. Lone Wanderer: "What are a bunch of escaped slaves doing holed up here?"
    Hannibal Hamlin: "We are trying to make a safe haven for all runaway slaves. We give food and supplies to any that find us, and help them on their way."
    (Hannibal Hamlin's dialogue)
  4. Hannibal Hamlin: "I want to move all my people to the Memorial site for the great Abraham Lincoln, but I need to know if it's safe. I've heard rumors of Super Mutants infesting that area though. We need to send someone to check that out first."
    Lone Wanderer: "Why don't you let them stay here?"
    Hannibal Hamlin: "We don't have enough room. There's not enough water or food here. But I have a plan. A plan to take over a place that will be a shining beacon of hope for all slaves."
    (Hannibal Hamlin's dialogue)
  5. Lone Wanderer: "Why do you stay here? Why not keep running?"
    Caleb Smith: "We are the only hope for runaway slaves everywhere. Rivet City, and the Citadel can't be bothered with helping slaves. They turn a blind eye. We are the only ones willing to stand against Paradise Falls and slavery."
    (Caleb Smith's dialogue)
  6. A hitman with the contract killing note starts appearing after the player character delivers their first captured slave to Grouse.


  1. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.43: "Slaves (Abolitionists)
    Slaves are not so much a faction as a collections of victims. No one is safe from slavery in the Wasteland. If you are weak or venerable, you may be taken as a slave.
    There is a band of abolitionist slaves deep in the Wasteland. They are all escaped slaves, seeking to end slavery for all time. You can learn more about them in Miscellaneous Quest: Head of State."
    (Fallout 3 Official Game Guide faction profiles)
  2. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.333: "3.10: TEMPLE OF THE UNION (LAT 13/LONG 15)
    This small settlement literally sprung up around the severed head of Lincoln, a portion of the statue from the Lincoln Memorial, and a random block from the memorial's inscription. How it arrived in this remote spot is anyone's guess, but the Temple's residents now revere the head as a symbol of the Abolitionist movement. The Temple is a reasonably fortified ruined building; you're been greeted by Simone Cameron, a no-nonsense sentry wanting to know what you're doing here. Remain polite to enter the premises. She gives you a Key once she deems you trustworthy. Or you can unlock the front gate yourself. This usually leads to violence.
    You're told to meet with Hannibal before the Abolitionists will begin to speak freely with you. To remain on friendly terms, swear to protect the Temple of the Union. You are given the Temple of the Union Key as a symbol of their trust. You can now freely talk to all the Temple's inhabitants and explore their base. All the Abolitionists have Temple of the Union Keys to get in and out of the place. Caleb and Hannibal are also carrying a Storeroom Key. Conclude Miscellaneous Quest: Head of State favorably with the Abolitionists, and you receive Dart Gun Schematics."
    (Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition Tour of the Capital Wasteland)