Boston: May 9, 1846. First edition. One page printed letter signed in type, on the front of a folio sheet folded with the remaining pages blank. Addressed in ink on page 4 to the Reverend John Lewis Russell of Hingham. With the exception of a closed tear expertly repaired, this piece is in Fine condition. A rare piece of women's anti-slavery activism, with only 9 institutions reporting copies on OCLC.
Founded by William Lloyd Garrison a decade earlier, the American Anti-Slavery Society was committed to abolition and ardently promoted women's importance as leaders in the cause. Among those leaders were Maria Chapman, Garrison's chief lieutenant, and Eliza Cabot Follen, an educator and author. In the present work, Chapman and Follen write on behalf of the Massachusett's branch and its managers, who are fundraising for the impending festivities surrounding Independence Day. Seeking donations totaling to $500, Chapman and Follen call for provisions to refresh attendees (including "milk, cream, sugar, lemons, ice, eggs, flowers, cakes") as well as travel funds for "the best speakers to be secured from among the ranks of devoted friends, and no exertion spared to make the day, so long desecrated by empty eulogies on liberties already sacrificed, worthy of the Anti-Slavery cause." Both women acknowledge the need for financial support, kitchen provisions, and volunteer labor, as "the occasion will be one of moral and religious improvement and high social enjoyment...while at the same time a grand financial operation." Ads were to be run, for example, in the Liberator, the Standard, and the Herald of Freedom to keep the hypocrisy of Independence Day in the public eye in the lead up to the holiday. An important call to action by two women abolition leaders, with clear signs of the wide possibilities abolitionists had for contributing to the cause.
Not in Krichmar. Fine (Item #2724)