Into the Mouths of Babes: An Anthology of Children's Abolitionist Literature

By Deborah C. De Rosa | Go to book overview

JANE ELIZABETH (HITCHCOCK) JONES
(MARCH 13, 1813-JANUARY 13, 1896)

Abolitionist and women’s rights activist, Jane Elizabeth Jones no longer remains “The Forgotten Activist,” as I. Kathleen Moser so calls her. Jones’s articles for The Anti-Slavery Bugle were unsigned; therefore, her abolitionist children’s text, The Young Abolitionists; or Conversations on Slavery (1848),1 remains the only identifiable work to document her fervent abolitionism.

Born to Reuben and Electra (Spaulding) Hitchcock, Jones lived in Vernon, New York, (Melder 285). According to I. Kathleen Moser,

The area of New York where she was born and raised is called “the
burned over district” and the nickname means that it was a hotbed of
many religious movements, both reformist and revivalist. The broth of
ideologies and ideas implicit in such a milieu could account for Hitch-
cock/Jones’ attraction to reformist moral and political activism. (8)

Jones’s highly public activism in support of Garrisonian abolitionism took her through New England, Pennsylvania, and Ohio until the 1860s, when upon her husband’s death she returned to Vernon, New York (8).

Several domestic abolitionists included in this anthology preserve their anonymity and others carefully encode their abolitionist views to maintain their status as “true women.” Jane Elizabeth Jones, however, speaks publicly against slavery despite the risks. Moser states,

By the age of thirty, [Jones] appears to have initiated the most politically
active period of her life when she became a pioneer Abolitionist lecturer
in New England and eastern Pennsylvania. She first visited Ohio, ac-
companying another controversial abolitionist lecturer, Abbey Kelley. In
1845 the two women arrive in Salem, Ohio, a center of fervent aboli-

-101-

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