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

By Carol Faulkner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12
Peace

On March 10, 1870, the women of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society held their final monthly meeting. Four of the original members, Mott, Sarah Pugh, Margaretta Forten, and Sidney Ann Lewis, were present. For thirty-six years, they had circulated and signed petitions, sponsored lectures, published their resolutions and annual reports, and sewed in fair circles. From 1836 to 1861, their anti-slavery fairs had raised a total of $36,205.23, or $884,000 today. This interracial group had also endured scorn and violence from without, as well as ideological divisions within. All other female antislavery societies had collapsed under the pressure. During their long history, many of their coworkers had died, including Esther Moore and Grace Douglass. The previous month, Lucretia’s sister Eliza Yarnall had died of pneumonia at age seventy-five. Lucretia remembered that “We were like twin sisters 10 months the longest time we were ever separated.” Though Eliza was not a member, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society acknowledged her death. After reminiscing, the women dispensed with business, voting to donate their remaining funds to the National Anti-Slavery Standard. This quiet meeting laid the groundwork for a concluding celebration to be held on March 24. They invited scattered former members, like Elizabeth Neall Gay and Sarah McKim, to the gathering.1

When Mott opened the meeting at the Assembly Building, which had long welcomed abolitionists, she was overcome with emotion. She told the crowd that, “her heart was so full that there was room only for a feeling of thankfulness.” She remembered their lowly origins in 1833, when members risked having their names “cast out as evil.” This small band of women never

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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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