Appeal to the Christian Women of the South

Appeal to the Christian Women of the South. Angelina E. Grimke.
Appeal to the Christian Women of the South
Appeal to the Christian Women of the South
Appeal to the Christian Women of the South
Appeal to the Christian Women of the South
Appeal to the Christian Women of the South
The earliest accessible edition of the first public abolitionist document written by Angelina E. Grimke
Appeal to the Christian Women of the South

[New York]: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1836. Second edition. Second of four editions released in the same year, without the Anti-Slavery Examiner at the head or the request to circulate at the foot of the first page. Recent buff wraps with label to front. Internally complete in 36 pages. A bit of foxing to the closed textblock, and occasional marginal foxing; overall an unmarked, fresh copy. The first edition went through high attrition after copies were publicly burned and the author and her sister were exiled from their community. Scarce in any edition, with OCLC reporting only copies of the third edition. No first edition copies appear in the modern auction record; of the three copies to appear in the last 40 years, the last copy of this edition appeared in 1973. The present is the only example on the market.

Along with her sister Sarah, Angelina Grimke was raised in a Southern Christian slave-holding family. During this "era of religious revivalism and utopian experimentalism," Angelina "came to realize the horrors of slavery, first speaking out against it in the Presbyterian Church in Charleston, where she had been an active member and teacher. She became frustrated with the minister who spoke privately with her against slavery but would not publicly denounce it...After reading about the struggles of abolitionists in the North, she wrote a moving letter to William Lloyd Garrison, which was published without her consent in his abolitionist journal The Liberator. This letter catapulted Angelina into the public realm and was followed in 1836 by her Appeal to the Christian Women of the Southern States" (Encyclopedia of Philosophy). It was a pivotal moment for her life, as the pamphlet was "the first abolitionist document that Angelina Grimke wrote as a public work, to be printed with her name on it. Here she committed herself, as a southern woman of a slave holding class, to abolitionism -- and to an investigation of white women's activism in the anti-slavery cause" (Georgetown). Backlash was swift but left her undaunted. "When copies of it reached the Grimke sisters' home town of Charleston, they were publicly burned by the postmaster and the family was warned that their daugters would be prevented from ever visiting again" (Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

Relocating to New York, and "under the auspices of the American Anti-Slavery Society, the Grimke sisters began to address small groups of women in private homes; this practice grew naturally into appearances before large, mixed audiences. When the General Association of Congregationalist Ministers of Massachusetts issued a pastoral letter in July 1837 strongly denouncing women preachers and reformers, the sisters thereafter found it necessary to crusade equally for women's rights" (Britannica). These were missions that would shape the remainder of her life.
(Item #4436)

Price: $4,250