Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The First Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women

The First Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women (convened 9 May 1837)

On this day in 1837, 75 women delegates convened in New York to discuss their role in the anti-slavery movement. 

On behalf of the convention,
Angelina Grimké's "appeal"
addresses women, calling for
them to battle against the 
American institution of slavery
The women came from ten different states and represented twenty abolitionist groups.

Among them were many women who would later be active in the suffrage movement, including including Lucretia Mott; the Grimk√© Sisters, Angelina and Sarah; and Lydia Maria Child.

Notable among the delegates were five African-American women, including the abolitionist Julia Williams, who had been a student at Prudence Crandall's "School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color," as well as the wives and daughters of slaveholders.

For a detailed account of the convention, you can access a .pdf of Ira V. Brown's "'Am I Not a Woman and a Sister?' The Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, 1837-39" (Pennsylvania History 50, no. 1 [1983]), by clicking here.