"To abolitionists" by Lydia Maria Child, on the Grimke sisters

This editorial appeared May 20, 1841 in the National Anti-Slavery Standard:

Thus in the Anti-Slavery Reform, the central Idea was that no one man had the right to make property of another man. “Stop there” minds applied it only to negro chattels, “go ahead” minds saw it in various collateral bearings…in America, women heard it announced, and repeated, that every human had the right to full and free opportunities for the development of all their powers…A large and stirring class of minds asked, “Why has woman nothing to do with politics? Is she not bought, and sold, and brutalized, by laws which politicians make and sustain?” While they paused for a satisfactory answer, Angelina Grimke and her sister came among them…Curiosity, combined with better motives, brought crowds to hear the Carolinian sisters; and it became necessary to ask the use of churches to accommodate them. With many clergymen this became a really troublesome question of conscience; and many were willing to use it as such to veil their hostility to anti-slavery. “Stop there” minds looked back anxiously to St. Paul to arrest the progress of this innovation.

(Lydia Maria Child Reader, 194-5)

The alliance of abolitionism and feminism was still a factor in the environment of Sarah Stanley Grimke in the 1880s, but we see in this passage how early the two causes were linked by the activism of Sarah Moore Grimke and her sister Angelina Grimke Weld.  Lydia Maria Child  is one of the major sources for the writings of Emma Hardinge Britten, and was personally well acquainted with the Weld and Grimke families.

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