Women's Rights and the Abolition Movement

Memoir and Poems of Phillis Wheatley, a native African and a slave, dedicated to the friends of the Africans

Memoir and Poems of Phillis Wheatley, 1835 / PS866 .W5 1835x 

Phillis Wheatley was the first African American, and one of the first women, to publish a collection of poetry.  Born in Senegal/Gambia around 1753, she was kidnapped as a child and forcibly brought to America onboard the slave ship, Phillis.  The Wheatley family of Boston, by whom she was purchased, educated Phillis and encouraged her literary pursuits.  She published her first poem in 1767 and her first volume, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, in 1773.  That Phillis Wheatley, an enslaved woman, received an education was anomalous.  Seizing the opportunity to develop her talent and circulate her work, Phillis demonstrated both the benefits of education and the then unrecognized intelligence and creativity of African Americans.  Her work was championed by the growing abolitionist movement.


 
James and Lucretia Mott: Life and Letters - Cornell University, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections

Lucretia Mott

Cornell University, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections

Life and Letters of James and Lucretia Mott, 1844                              Ira Wolff Photographic History Collection, uncataloged

Lucretia Mott (1793-1880) was a staunch abolitionist and a powerful public speaker.  While her advocacy against racial injustice was embraced by the American Anti-Slavery Society, her behavior was criticized as unladylike by the wider public.  In 1840, Mott formed a friendship with Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, where both women were barred from participation based on their gender.  Angered, the two discussed holding their own convention to address women’s rights. In 1848, they organized just such a gathering in Seneca Falls, New York.    

Women's Rights and the Abolition Movement