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



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Bedford/St. Martin's
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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 Grimke'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 Grimkes, 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.

Author Biography

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.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Preface ix
List of Illustrations
PART ONE Introduction: ``Our Rights as Moral Beings'' 1(76)
Prelude: Breaking Away from Slave Society
Seeking a Voice: Garrisonian Abolitionist Women, 1831-1833
Women Claim the Right to Act: Angelina and Sarah Grimke Speak in New York, July 1836-May 1837
Redefining the Rights of Women: Angelina and Sarah Grimke 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
PART TWO The Documents 77(1)
Seeking a Voice: Garrisonian Abolitionist Women, 1831-1833 77(7)
Life and Letters, 1884
Lucretia Mott
Mott remembers the 1833 founding of the American Anti-Slavery Society and the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society
Constitution of the Afric-American Female Intelligence Society, 1831
African American women organize for mutual assistance in Boston
Religion and the Pure Principles of Morality, 1831
Maria Stewart
An African American Bostonian urges her people to organize
Lecture Delivered at the Franklin Hall, Boston, 1832
Maria Stewart
Stewart urges black and white women to reflect on their social status
Farewell Address to Her Friends in the City of Boston, 1833
Maria Stewart
Stewart reviews her leadership efforts and the ridicule she faced
Women Claim the Right to Act: Angelina and Sarah Grimke Speak in New York, July 1836-May 1837 84(26)
American Anti-Slavery Society, Petition Form for Women, 1834
Appeal to the Christian Women of the South, 1836
Angelina Grimke
Grimke offers specific actions southern women can take
Letter to Jane Smith, New York, December 17, 1836
Angelina Grimke
Grimke expresses difficulties and hopes in response to the prejudice against women speaking in public life
Letter to Jane Smith, New York, January 20, 1837
Angelina Grimke
Grimke describes her growing love for the work
Letter to Jane Smith, New York, February 4, 1837
Angelina Grimke
Grimke begins to mention women's rights in her talks
Letter to Sarah Douglass, Newark, N.J., February 22, 1837
Angelina Grimke
Mingling with free blacks, the sisters express caution and hope
Angelina and Sarah Grimke, 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
Letter to Angelina Grimke, Philadelphia, April 15, 1837
Sarah Forten
Forten considers her experience of racial prejudice against free blacks
An Appeal to the Women of the Nominally Free States, 1837
Angelina Grimke
Grimke's women's rights arguments become available in print
Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, Proceedings, New York City, May 9-12, 1837
An unprecedented event with an unprecedented resolution
Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism, with Reference to the Duty of American Females, 1837
Catharine E. Beecher
The first printed opposition comes from a woman
Redefining the Rights of Women: The Grimke Sisters Speak in Massachusetts, Summer 1837 110(43)
Letter to Jane Smith, Boston, May 29, 1837
Angelina Grimke
Grimke is amazed by their success
``To Female Anti-Slavery Societies throughout New England,'' Boston, June 7, 1837
Maria Chapman
Chapman requests support for the sisters as they begin to tour Massachusetts
Letter to Jane Smith, Danvers, Mass., June 1837
Angelina Grimke
The sisters address large audiences of men and women
Letter to Jane Smith, new Rowley, Mass., July 25, 1837
Angelina Grimke
Grimke expresses radical views on government as well as women's rights
Letter to Amos Phelps, Groton, Mass., August 3, 1837
Angelina Grimke
The sisters stand up to the clergy within the American Anti-Slavery Society
Pastoral Letter: The General Association of Massachusetts to Churches under Their Care, July 1837
The Massachusetts clergy condemn women's speaking in public
Lecture by Albert Folsom, Pastor, Universalist Church, Hingham, Mass., August 27, 1837
A fashionable clergyman adds to the rebuke
Letter to Jane Smith, Groton, Mass., August 10, 1837
Angelina Grimke
Thousands hear the Grimkes' message
Letter to Theodore Weld, Groton, Mass., August 12, 1837
Angelina Grimke
Grimke appeals to a friend for support in her struggle
Letter to Sarah and Angelina Grimke, August 15, 1837
Theodore Weld
Weld argues for putting the antislavery cause first
Letter to Angelina and Sarah Grimke, New York City, August 14, 1837
John Greenleaf Whittier
Whittier cautions the sisters not to divert their energies
Letter to Theodore Dwight Weld and John Greenleaf Whittier, Brookline, Mass., August 20, 1837
Angelina Grimke
Grimke argues that women's rights must be defended now
Resolutions Adopted by the Providence, Rhode Island, Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society, October 21, 1837
The society publicizes its support for women's rights
Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, Annual Report, 1837
A powerful organization reviews an eventful year
``Human Rights Not Founded on Sex'': Letter to Catharine Beecher, August 2, 1837
Angelina Grimke
``Legal Disabilities of Women'': Letter to Mary Parker, September 6, 1837
Sarah Grimke
``Relation of Husband and Wife'': Letter to Mary Parker, September 1837
Sarah Grimke
The Antislavery Movement Splits Over the Women's Rights Question, 1837-1840 153(12)
Speech at Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, May 16, 1838
Angelina Grimke Weld
Grimke is undeterred by the mob trying to disrupt the assembly
Letter to The Liberator, New York, May 15, 1840
Henry Clarke Wright
Wright describes how and why the ``new organization'' was formed
Letter to Anne Warren Weston, Fort Lee, N.J., July 15, 1838
Angelina Grimke
Grimke emphasizes the importance of domestic life for women's rights advocates
Letter to Angelina Grimke, Boston, September 2, 1839
Lydia Maria Child
A prominent woman abolitionist reviews the split
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 165(26)
On Meeting Lucretia Mott, London, June 1840
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Letter to Sarah Grimke and Angelina Grimke Weld, London, June 25, 1840
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Stanton describes her immersion in reform culture
Planning the Seneca Falls Convention, 1848
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Report of the Woman's Rights Convention, Seneca Falls, N.Y., July 19-20, 1848
Speech at Akron Women's Rights Convention, Ohio, June 1851
Sojourner Truth
A charismatic black woman defends women's rights
Address to the ``Woman's Rights Convention,'' Worcester, Mass., October 1850
Abby H. Price
Women's rights conventions flourish in antebellum public culture
Proceedings of the Colored Convention, Cleveland, September 6, 1848
Three cheers for woman's rights within the Colored Convention Movement
``Woman's Rights,'' October 1, 1849
Women claim their rights in the temperance movement
``Just Treatment of Licentious Men,'' January 1838
Women assert their rights in the Moral Reform Movement
Marriage and parentage, 1858
Henry Clarke Wright
An abolitionist supports women's reproductive rights
Epilogue: The New Movement Splits Over the Question of Race, 1850-1869 191(20)
The Saturday Visiter, November 2, 1850
Jane Swisshelm
Swisshelm argues that race is not a women's issue
Letter to Jane Swisshelm, November 18, 1850
Parker Pillsbury
Pillsbury defends the rights of black women
``Woman's Rights and the Color Question,'' November 23, 1850
Jane Swisshelm
Swisshelm replies to Pillsbury
Speech at the Eleventh Woman's Rights Convention, New York, May 1866
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
A leading black writer addresses the race issue
Equal Rights Association, Proceedings, New York City, may 1869
Black and white delegates debate the relationship between black rights and women's rights
Founding of the National Woman Suffrage Association, New York, 1869
Questions for Consideration
Selected Bibliography
Index 211

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