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Lucretia Mott The Liberator

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In the early 1800’s women were expected to confine themselves to the sphere of domestic concerns. They were unable to obtain a real education or pursue a professional career, could not own property after marriage, and were denied the right to vote. Although initially excluded from the abolitionist movement, William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist newspaper The Liberator was one of the first to welcome women into the movement. “Garrison encouraged women to join with their congregations in pouring out ‘supplication[s] to heaven on behalf of the slaves’ ” (Jeffrey, p 18). By the 1830’s, thousands of women were involved in the cause to abolish slavery. “Women wrote articles for abolitionist papers, circulated abolitionist pamphlets, and circulated,…show more content…
She grew up in an exceptionally egalitarian Quaker community in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Exposed to the horrors of slavery as a young adult, Mott began to speak out on behalf of emancipation. She became widely acknowledged as a gifted public speaker. Horrified to learn that much of the success of her husband’s wholesale business rested on slave produced cotton products, Mott began to endorse and preach for a boycott of slave made goods. In 1833, she was the only woman to speak at the American Anti-Slavery Society’s meeting in Philadelphia. She tested the language of the society’s constitution and fortified support when many delegates were doubtful. Just 4 days later, Mott and approximately 30 other black and white women founded the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, a place for women’s voices to be heard for the cause. Modeling their society after male organizations, the PFASS drafted a constitution and established an administrative body. Like other women’s auxiliaries they embarked on the traditional spectrum of activities: “the women raised funds for the Liberator and for the American Anti-Slavery Society. They held ‘antislavery fairs’ where homemade articles were sold. They also supported male agents who spoke for the cause, distributed tracts, invited lectures to address them on the evils of slavery, and embarked on charitable works among local blacks--’visiting’ black areas and opening black schools” (Woloch, 185). Women played a crucial role in the abolitionist movement and in doing so were empowered with the skills for running a movement. They had to learn “to reason and to argue, to appeal to the mind as well as to the heart and emotions” (Jeffrey, p 7). Eventually the efforts of local societies were joined to create an Antislavery Society of American Women. In 1837, 71 delegates held their first convention, issuing publications and resolutions, forming executive
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