The 2nd Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society

In 1840 the seven year old Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society experienced some internal and external dissent and was dissolved and reformed under the same name. Researchers studying this group should know that the society was sometimes also referred to as the “Female Abolition Society,” “Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society,” or the “Boston Female A.S. Society.”

Details on the situation, as well as some letters from the people involved, can be found in the October 28, 1840 issue of the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

The new organization published these resolutions at their October 14, 1840 meeting:

  • Resolved, That, in view of the mis-statements circulated by Martha V. Ball, respecting the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, a copy of the documents of the Society this year issued be transmitted to all its correspondents in England and elsewhere.
  • Resolved, That we commend the cause of the slave to the consciences of all; reminding them of the divine assurance, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
  • Resolved, That we warmly appreciate the devoted services of our dear friend, ABBY KELLEY, to the cause of the slave.
  • Resolved, That, in making this public expression, we do it, not for her sake,—for we know that a private expression would be more grateful to her feelings,—but because we deem it a duty to be identified with all who are persecuted for the cause’s sake.
  • Resolved, That we hereby assure our members, Ann T. G. Phillips, Abby Southwick, and Emily Winslow, who were present at the London Convention, and who were refused admission to its sittings, that their course in declining to withdraw their claim commands our hearty approval and respect.
  • Resolved, That William Lloyd Garrison, N. P. Rogers, Charles Lenox Remond, and William Adams, have in our judgment, most effectually aided the cause of the slave, by their refusal, when in London, “to lower a great principle in deference to a barbarous usage.”
  • Resolved, That we shall despair of the success of the cause from the moment we see its advocates shrink from making innovations on usages which circumscribe their ability to serve it.
  • Resolved, That expressions of our gratitude be transmitted to our friends in England, who have cheered our past efforts with their sympathy and liberal aid, from our formation as a society to the present time.
  • Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to Elizabeth Pease, of Darlington, Anne Cropper, of Liverpool, Harriet Martineau, Anne Knight, of Chelmsford, Jane Smeal, of Glasgow, Amelia Opie, and George Thompson, and to the societies with which we are in correspondence.

National Anti-Slavery Standard was the official weekly newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist society founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan to spread their movement across the nation with printed materials. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often addressed meetings at its New York City headquarters.

Image Details: This is the opening image from The Liberty Bell (1839)The Liberty Bell, by Friends of Freedom, was an annual abolitionist gift book, edited and published by Maria Weston Chapman, to be sold or gifted to participants in the National Anti-Slavery Bazaar organized by the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. Named after the symbol of the American Revolution, it was published nearly every year from 1839 to 1858.

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

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