(PSEUDONYM. BIOGRAPHY AND DEFINITIVE DATES UNKNOWN)
S.C.C.’s identity remains a quandary.1 She authored the abolitionist text, Louisa in Her New Home (1854), and cross references on title pages reveal that she also published “The Wishing-Cap” (1847), The Wonderful Mirror (1855), and A Visit to the Country (1839). S.C.C. “is most likely a woman since this text reflects the characteristic domestic abolitionist text, especially with the inclusion of a feminist mother-figure” (De Rosa 160n. 23). She speaks poignantly and directly about slavery and women’s activism, yet she conceals her identity, which suggests the tightrope that domestic abolitionist walked to express their views in the public arena.
S.C.C.’s abolitionist juvenile fiction tests the boundaries of “appropriate” female political discourse through her image of the abolitionist mother-historian.2 “The Wishing-Cap” includes two sisters (Fanny and Mary) and two brothers (William and Harry) who want to make a wishing cap like Fortunatus’s hat so that they can eradicate slavery. In this story, the mother encourages the children to help the disempowered (she does not designate slaves in particular) and assures them that many (she does not mention abolitionists) have already initiated those efforts. Published in 1847, this reserved mother figure may suggest S.C.C.’s struggle with women supporting “radical” abolitionist principles.
S.C.C.’s reluctance clearly dissipated by 1854 since Louisa in Her New Home depicts a fascinating mother-daughter dynamic that gives voice to abolitionist and feminist ideals. In Louisa, the family’s need to sell their luxurious home and dismiss their servants because of debt results in Louisa’s awakening from childhood innocence to consciousness of familial, economic, and racial crises. Louisa suddenly learns that her parents have housed a fugitive slave, Mary, for several years. Louisa’s discussions with her mother and Mary about Mary’s wretched experience as a slave,