A Woman and a Sister Too? The Intertwining of Emancipation and Early Feminism


Report of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, 2nd ed. (Boston, 1836)

Founded in 1833, the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society organized Boston women abolitionists to lead initiatives to end slavery similar to those of Garrison's American Anti-Slavery Society, which was founded later that year. In 1835, the BFASS met unanticipated resentment when the Boston public learned that it would host a "mixed" audience of men and women. This passage, taken from the 1835 annual report (subtitled "Right and Wrong in Boston"), demonstrates how quickly protest turned into violence. Despite appeals from Boston's mayor for the ladies to "go home," the BFASS continued its efforts for several more years, protesting efforts to confine women to the domestic sphere.

US 5259.31.2* - Gift of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1839.