Women's Rights Emerges Within the Anti-Slavery Movement, 1830-1870: A Short History with Documents / Edition 1

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Combining documents with an interpretive essay, this book is the first to offer a much-needed guide to the emergence of the women's rights movement within the anti-slavery activism of the 1830s. A 60-page introductory essay traces the cause of women's rights from Angelina and Sarah Grimké's campaign against slavery through the development of a full-fledged women's rights movement in the 1840s and 1850s and the emergence of race as a divisive issue that finally split that movement in 1869. A rich collection of over 50 documents includes diary entries, letters, and speeches from the Grimkés, Maria Stewart, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Theodore Weld, Frances Harper, Sojourner Truth, and others, giving students immediate access to the world of abolitionists and women's right advocates and their passionate struggles for emancipation. Headnotes to the documents, 14 illustrations, a bibliography, questions to consider, a chronology, and an index are also included.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312101442
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 3/24/2000
  • Series: Bedford Cultural Editions Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 621,015
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.19 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

KATHRYN KISH SKLAR is Distinguished Professor of History at the State University of New York, Binghamton. Her writings focus on the history of women's participation in social movements, women's voluntary organizations, and American public culture. Her books include Catharine Beecher: A Study in American Domesticity (1973) and Florence Kelley and the Nation's Work: The Rise of Women's Political Culture, 1830-1900 (1995), both of which received the Berkshire Prize. She has received Ford, Rockefeller, Guggenheim, and Mellon Foundation Fellowships, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Center for Advanced Study in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

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Table of Contents





Introduction: "Our Rights as Moral Beings"

Prelude: Breaking Away from Slave Society

Seeking a Voice: Garrisonian Abolitionist Women, 1831–1833

Women Claim the Right to Act: Angelina and Sarah Grimké Speak in New York, July 1836 –May 1837

Redefining the Rights of Women: Angelina and Sarah Grimké Speak in Massachusetts, Summer 1837

The Antislavery Movement Splits Over the Question of Women’s Rights, 1837–1840

An Independent Women’s Rights Movement Is Born, 1840 –1858

Epilogue: The New Movement Splits Over the Question of Race, 1850 –1869


The Documents

Seeking a Voice: Garrisonian Abolitionist Women, 1831–1833

1. Lucretia Mott, Life and Letters, 1884
Mott remembers the 1833 founding of the American Anti-Slavery Society and the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society.

2. Constitution of the Afric-American Female Intelligence Society, 1831
African American women organize for mutual assistance in Boston.

3. Maria Stewart, Religion and the Pure Principles of Morality, 1831
An African American Bostonian urges her people to organize.

4. Maria Stewart, Lecture Delivered at the Franklin Hall, Boston, 1832
Stewart urges black and white women to reflect on their social status.

5. Maria Stewart, Farewell Address to Her Friends in the City of Boston, 1833
Stewart reviews her leadership efforts and the ridicule she faced.

Women Claim the Right to Act: Angelina and SarahGrimké Speak in New York, July 1836–May 1837

6. American Anti-Slavery Society, Petition Form for Women, 1834

7. Angelina Grimké, Appeal to the Christian Women of the South, 1836
Grimké offers specific actions southern women can take.

8. Angelina Grimké, Letter to Jane Smith, New York, December 17, 1836
Grimké expresses difficulties and hopes in response to the prejudice against women speaking in public life.

9. Angelina Grimké, Letter to Jane Smith, New York, January 20, 1837
Grimké describes her growing love for the work.

10. Angelina Grimké, Letter to Jane Smith, New York, February 4, 1837
Grimké begins to mention women’s rights in her talks.

11. Sarah and Angelina Grimké, Letter to Sarah Douglass, Newark, N.J., February 22, 1837
Mingling with free blacks, the sisters express caution and hope.

12. Angelina and Sarah Grimké, Letter to Sarah Douglass, New York City, April 3, 1837
The sisters encourage black women’s activism, and speak to men as well as women.

13. Sarah Forten, Letter to Angelina Grimké, Philadelphia, April 15, 1837
Forten considers her experience of racial prejudice against free blacks.

14. Angelina Grimké, An Appeal to the Women of the Nominally Free States, 1837
Grimké’s women’s rights arguments become available in print.

15. Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, Proceedings, New York City, May 9–12, 1837
An unprecedented event with an unprecedented resolution.

16. Catharine E. Beecher, Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism, with Reference to the Duty of American Females, 1837
The first printed opposition comes from a woman.

Redefining the Rights of Women: The Grimké Sisters Speak in Massachusetts, Summer 1837

17. Angelina Grimké, Letter to Jane Smith, Boston, May 29, 1837
Grimké is amazed by their success.

18. Maria Chapman, "To Female Anti-Slavery Societies throughout New England," Boston, June 7, 1837
Chapman requests support for the sisters as they begin to tour Massachusetts.

19. Angelina Grimké, Letter to Jane Smith, Danvers, Mass., June 1837
The sisters address large audiences of men and women.

20. Angelina Grimké, Letter to Jane Smith, New Rowley, Mass., July 25, 1837
Grimké expresses radical views on government as well as women’s rights.

21. Sarah and Angelina Grimké, Letter to Amos Phelps, Groton, Mass., August 3, 1837
The sisters stand up to the clergy within the American Anti-Slavery Society.

22. Pastoral Letter: The General Association of Massachusetts to Churches under Their Care, July 1837
The Massachusetts clergy condemn women’s speaking in public.

23. Lecture by Albert Folsom, Pastor, Universalist Church, Hingham, Mass., August 27, 1837
A fashionable clergyman adds to the rebuke.

24. Angelina Grimké, Letter to Jane Smith, Groton, Mass., August 10, 1837
Thousands hear the Grimkès’ message.

25. Angelina Grimké, Letter to Theodore Weld, Groton, Mass., August 12, 1837
Grimké appeals to a friend for support in her struggle.

26. Theodore Weld, Letter to Sarah and Angelina Grimké, August 15, 1837
Weld argues for putting the antislavery cause first.

27. John Greenleaf Whittier, Letter to Angelina and Sarah Grimké, New York City, August 14, 1837
Whittier cautions the sisters not to divert their energies.

28. Angelina Grimké, Letter to Theodore Dwight Weld and John Greenleaf Whittier, Brookline, Mass., August 20, 1837
Grimké argues that women’s rights must be defended now.

29. Resolutions Adopted by the Providence, Rhode Island, Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society, October 21, 1837
The society publicizes its support for women’s rights.

30. Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, Annual Report, 1837
A powerful organization reviews an eventful year.

31. Angelina Grimké, "Human Rights Not Founded on Sex":Letter to Catharine Beecher, August 2, 1837

32. Sarah Grimké, "Legal Disabilities of Women": Letter to Mary Parker, September 6, 1837

33. Sarah Grimké, "Relation of Husband and Wife": Letter to Mary Parker, September 1837

The Antislavery Movement Splits Over the Women’s Rights Question, 1837–1840

34. Angelina Grimké Weld, Speech at Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, May 16, 1838
Grimké is undeterred by the mob trying to disrupt the assembly.

35. Henry Clarke Wright, Letter to The Liberator, New York, May 15, 1840
Wright describes how and why the "new organization" was formed.

36. Angelina Grimké, Letter to Anne Warren Weston, Fort Lee, N.J., July 15, 1838
Grimké emphasizes the importance of domestic life for women’s rights advocates.

37. Lydia Maria Child, Letter to Angelina Grimké, Boston, September 2, 1839
A prominent woman abolitionist reviews the split.

38. The Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, Annual Meeting, October 1839
A leading women’s association splits.

An Independent Women’s Rights Movement Is Born, 1840–1858

39. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, On Meeting Lucretia Mott, London, June 1840

40. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Letter to Sarah Grimké and Angelina Grimké Weld, London, June 25, 1840
Stanton describes her immersion in reform culture.

41. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Planning the Seneca Falls Convention, 1848

42. Report of the Woman’s Rights Convention, Seneca Falls, N.Y., July 19–20, 1848

43. Sojourner Truth, Speech at Akron Women’s Rights Convention, Ohio, June 1851
A charismatic black woman defends women’s rights.

44. Abby H. Price, Address to the "Woman’s Rights Convention," Worcester, Mass., October 1850
Women’s rights conventions flourish in antebellum public culture.

45. Proceedings of the Colored Convention, Cleveland, September 6, 1848
Three cheers for woman’s rights within the Colored Convention Movement.

46. "Woman’s Rights," October 1, 1849
Women claim their rights in the temperance movement.

47. "Just Treatment of Licentious Men," January 1838
Women assert their rights in the Moral Reform Movement.

48. Henry Clarke Wright, Marriage and Parentage, 1858
An abolitionist supports women’s reproductive rights.

Epilogue: The New Movement Splits Over the

Question of Race, 1850–1869

49. Jane Swisshelm, The Saturday Visiter, November 2, 1850
Swisshelm argues that race is not a women’s issue.

50. Parker Pillsbury, Letter to Jane Swisshelm, November 18, 1850
Pillsbury defends the rights of black women.

51. Jane Swisshelm, "Woman’s Rights and the Color Question," November 23, 1850
Swisshelm replies to Pillsbury.

52. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Speech at the Eleventh Woman’s Rights Convention, New York, May 1866
A leading black writer addresses the race issue.

53. Equal Rights Association, Proceedings, New York City, May 1869
Black and white delegates debate the relationship between black rights and women’s rights.

54. Founding of the National Woman Suffrage Association, New York, 1869


Questions for Consideration

Selected Bibliography


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