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Letter from Abby Kelley Foster, Millbury, [Mass.], to Maria Weston Chapman, Dec. 21, [18]40

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Letter from Abby Kelley Foster, Millbury, [Mass.], to Maria Weston Chapman, Dec. 21, [18]40
Foster, Abby Kelley, 1811-1887
Chapman, Maria Weston, 1806-1885
[December 21, 1840]
Boston Public Library
Rare Books Department
Collection (local):
Anti-Slavery Collection
Anti-slavery fairs
Antislavery movements--United States--History--19th century
Women abolitionists--Massachusetts--Boston--19th century--Correspondence
Antislavery movements--United States
Women abolitionists--United States
Chapman, Maria Weston, 1806-1885
Foster, Abby Kelley, 1811-1887
MassachusettsSuffolk (county)Boston
1 leaf (4 p.)
Terms of Use:
No known copyright restrictions.
No known restrictions on use.
Holograph, signed.
In this letter, Abby Kelley Foster introduces her sister Lucy "who visits Boston at this time to attend the Fair. She would be happy to receive whatever suggestions she can as to the best manner of conducting Fairs, as we trust the little sewing circle recently formed in this place will get up a sale of useful articles occasionally, and do whatever they can in other ways to subserve the cause. That you will have a happy week, this, I doubt not, and my earnest desire is that there may be no sting left behind, but that upon reflection all may feel satisfied that whatever has been done has promoted righteousness---has been to the glory of God." Abby Kelley Foster continues: "One word as the Mass. Society. Why do they not send out their agents. I am in wonder when I look at the condition of affairs in the state. It will not do. I protest against it in the name of the slave. ...I blush for Mass. while I am abroad and were I not absolutely bound to absent myself I would not for a day. I am at home now for a little time in consequence of sickness in our family. It was well for me that I was sent for, as I found on sitting down in my own home and throwing off all thought of what I 'must do,' I was myself quite sick. Tis very trying even to a good constitution, this going from place to place in the cold weather sometimes in an oven house and then in an icy cold one, sometimes compelled to breathe over again in the air from three or four hundred lungs crowded into a house somewhat after the fashion of human cattle on the middle passage, and then going forthwith into the keen air with the lungs in a state of exhaustion having been talking from an hour and a half to three hours. It is not till very recently that I have been willing to believe I was sustaining any injury but I am compelled to believe it and for the future until I regain my wonted vigor I shall not lecture every evening in the week nor speak so long at a time. Tis easy to make such resolution but the thought of three millions come up to break them. How long, O! Lord!"
In the postscript, Abby Kelley Foster asks for copies of Maria Weston Chapman's controversial pamphlet, "Right and Wrong in Massachusetts," which argues that women's rights were the basis for the division in anti-slavery ranks. "If you have any on hand and can spare them, a few copies will be of eminent service."
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