Boston's Crusade Against Slavery


Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) Lulu's library (Boston, 1889)


George Kimball Warren, photographer (Boston, Mass.) Louisa May Alcott, carte-de-visite, undated.

Known for her children's fiction, Louisa May Alcott described her early girlhood and development as a writer in Lulu's Library. She recounts an incident when a young black boy pulled her from the Frog Pond on Boston Common as a turning point in her early commitment to abolitionism. While Alcott's fiction is filled with themes of sisterhood and family ties, her own life intersected with the paths of great intellectuals including family friends Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Displayed with a carte-de-visite of Alcott.

During the Civil War Alcott volunteered to serve as a sanitary commission nurse in Washington, D.C., where on New Year's Eve 1862 she was awakened by church bells as emancipation was first proclaimed. She later published an account of her experiences in Hospital Sketches (1863).

Book: *AC85.Al194.889l2 – Gift of Ralph Barton Perry, 1925. Carte-de-visite: Portrait file, A – Bequest of Evert Jansen Wendell, 1918.