Lucretia Mott's Heresy: Abolition and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America

By Carol Faulkner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11
Civil War

IN MARCH 1860, LUCRETIA HELPED HER DAUGHTER Elizabeth Cavender pack “sundry boxes & trunks” for her move from nearby Chelton Corner to a farm called Eddington. Lucretia wanted to have “as frequent intercourse as possible, while they are within reach.” Her worries about losing touch with Elizabeth were well founded. The Cavenders were so busy managing the farm and taking care of Thomas’s elderly mother that Lucretia and Elizabeth didn’t see each other for months. In addition, Lucretia was concerned about her daughter’s marriage. Always skeptical about Thomas Cavender’s interest in electoral politics, she also questioned his abilities as a husband and father. Once, mother and daughter arranged to meet at Edward Hopper’s home in the city to discuss Elizabeth’s marital “troubles.” 1

Even as Lucretia fretted about Elizabeth, current events dominated conversations in her parlor. In the aftermath of John Brown’s insurrection, the nation had become even more polarized. A rising Republican Party was attacking pro-slavery interests, but not fully embracing Mott’s egalitarian principles. In February 1860, Senator William Seward gave a speech calling for the admission of Kansas as a free state. Miller McKim, a pragmatist, praised the senator and recommended the speech. Mott was disappointed. Though she had agreed with Seward that the clash between slavery and freedom was an “Irrepressible Conflict,” she criticized him for disparaging blacks. She also chastised Seward for seeking to “allay, rather than foment the National excitement.” Mott repeated her criticism at the next monthly meeting of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, condemning the Senator for rejecting racial equality and suggesting that preserving the “union” was more important than abolishing slavery.2

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Lucretia Mott's Heresy: Abolition and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction- Heretic and Saint 1
  • Chapter 1- Nantucket 8
  • Chapter 2- Nine Partners 25
  • Chapter 3- Schism 41
  • Chapter 4- Immediate Abolition 60
  • Chapter 5- Pennsylvania Hall 75
  • Chapter 6- Abroad 87
  • Chapter 7- Crisis 109
  • Chapter 8- The Year 1848 127
  • Chapter 9- Conventions 148
  • Chapter 10- Fugitives 161
  • Chapter 11- Civil War 176
  • Chapter 12- Peace 197
  • Epilogue 213
  • Notes 219
  • Index 265
  • Acknowledgments 289
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