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The Abolitionists[1] are a faction dedicated to help free and house escaped slaves in the Capital Wasteland of 2277. They are a very fragile faction, with few combative capabilities. It owes its survival mainly to the remote location of its headquarters.


The Abolitionists are a small group of former slaves, loosely organized under Hannibal Hamlin. Taking their name from the historic Abolitionist Movement, they revere Abraham Lincoln for his role in ending formal slavery in the southern United States through the Emancipation Proclamation and subsequent victory in the American Civil War, which paved the way for the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery across the United States. Their goal is to resurrect Lincoln's ideals and bring his vision, of all men being free and equal, to the wasteland. Unfortunately, a lot of their knowledge is of dubious quality, warped by centuries of mistranslation and poor record keeping.[2]

Hannibal organized the group about six years prior, around 2271, after escaping slavery himself. In 2277, it is based in the Temple of the Union, a ruined office building containing the head of the statue from Lincoln Memorial that Hannibal discovered while on the run. 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, the Temple is at capacity and lacks food, water, and shelter space to house runaway slaves. Hannibal wants to relocate to the Lincoln Memorial in downtown D.C., but requires aid to scout the area out and remove any threats, particularly super mutants. Relocating there would also help Hannibal create a proper shining beacon of hope for all slaves across the Capital Wasteland.[4]

Hamlin hopes that rebasing to the Memorial together with a restored Gettysburg Address will eventually spread stories of a safe haven for slaves, inspiring them to flee their slaving masters or even rise up against them in revolt. His followers agree with him, as the Abolitionists are the only ones making a stand against Paradise Falls and slavery in the Capital Wasteland: Neither Rivet City nor Owyn Lyons' Brotherhood chapter bother with helping slaves.[5] Apart from sheltering freedmen at the Temple, small groups of Abolitionists are known to take on bounties against known slavers in the area.[6]


This faction consists mainly of a small settlement, centered around the severed head of Abraham Lincoln, a portion of the statue from 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.[7]

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 names of its members, along with the slaver Leroy Walker, are allusions to historical figures of the American Civil War.


  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. 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. Appearance of hitmen with the contract killing note starts if the player decides to become a slaver and delivers them to Grouse.
  7. 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)