The Emancipation of Angelina Grimké

The Emancipation of Angelina Grimké

The Emancipation of Angelina Grimké

The Emancipation of Angelina Grimké

Synopsis

Although Angelina and Sarah Grimke have been regarded as equally gifted and involved abolitionists and nineteenth-century women's rights advocates, this first biography of Angelina clearly shows that she, indeed, was the outstanding leader, as her contemporaries recognized. Through the use of unpublished documentary sources and impressive psychological insights, Lumpkin provides new perspectives on Angelina, her husband Theodore Weld, and her sister Sarah.

Originally published 1974.

Excerpt

A more unlikely social background could hardly be imagined than the one from which Angelina Grimké came to become a leading woman figure in nineteenth-century movements for the emancipation of slaves and of her own sex. She was born February 20, 1805, to a family of wealth and high station. Her South Carolina home was in the City of Charleston, a place where family name was expecially revered, and she never ceased to hold the name of Grimké high. John Faucheraud Grimké, her father, was Oxford educated, a distinguished lawyer, and a state supreme court judge. Several of her brothers became well-known professional men, learned in the law and highly regarded. Formal higher education was not available to a woman, though Angelina was self-educated to a high degree. She came of a people who were owners of many slaves. Her family lived in the city but drew their wealth from a plantation two hundred miles distant. Angelina saw little of the Grimké slaves, except for those who served the household on Charleston's East Bay. It is true that she saw slaves by the hundreds on Charleston's streets and those who served in the stately homes of relatives and friends. Thus what Angelina knew was luxury and ease, as these were made possible by ample means and numerous slaves, although as matters turned out she was far from protected from sights, sounds, and experiences that would come to haunt her life.

There were many children in the Grimké family, fourteen in all . . .

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