On Slavery and Abolitionism (Penguin Classics)

On Slavery and Abolitionism (Penguin Classics)

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0143107518

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A collection of historic writings from the slave-owner-turned-abolitionist sisters portrayed in Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Invention of Wings

Sarah and Angelina Grimké’s portrayal in Sue Monk Kidd’s latest novel, The Invention of Wings, has brought much-deserved new attention to these inspiring Americans. The first female agents for the American Anti-Slavery Society, the sisters originally rose to prominence after Angelina wrote a rousing letter of support to renowned abolitionist William Garrison in the wake of Philadelphia’s pro-slavery riots in 1935.  Born into Southern aristocracy, the Grimkés grew up in a slave-holding family. Hetty, a young house servant, whom Sarah secretly taught to read, deeply influenced Sarah Grimké’s life, sparking her commitment to anti-slavery activism.  As adults, the sisters embraced Quakerism and dedicated their lives to the abolitionist and women’s rights movements. Their appeals and epistles were some of the most eloquent and emotional arguments against slavery made by any abolitionists. Their words, greeted with trepidation and threats in their own time, speak to us now as enduring examples of triumph and hope.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


















saying, “the church will not enlighten us.” The church is saying, “the ministry will not enlighten us.” The ministry is crying, “Peace—take care.” We are altogether covered in gross darkness. We appeal to you for light. Send us facts—send us kind remonstrance and manly reasoning. We are perishing for lack of truth. We have been lulled to sleep by the guilty apologist. A letter from a Post Master in Virginia, to the editor of “Human Rights,” dated August 15, 1835, contains the following:— I have

demonstration continually” before them of the abominations of slavery. Then the South wondered we did not interfere with slavery—and now she says we have no right to interfere. I find, on the 57th p. a false assertion with regard to Abolitionists. After showing the folly of our rejecting the worldly doctrine of expediency, so excellent in thy view, thou then sayest that we say, the reason why we do not go to the South is, that we should be murdered. Now, if there are any half-hearted

business to join abolition societies, &c. &c.; thou professest to tell our sisters what they are to do, in order to bring the system of slavery to an end. And now, my dear friend, what does all that thou hast said in many pages, amount to? Why, that women are to exert their influence in private life, to allay the excitement which exists on this subject, and to quench the flame of sympathy in the hearts of their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons. Fatal delusion! Will Christian women heed such

have so ungenerously monopolized. I do not ask any one to believe my statements, or adopt my conclusions, because they are mine; but I do earnestly entreat my sisters to lay aside their prejudices, and examine these subjects for themselves, regardless of the “traditions of men,” because they are intimately connected with their duty and their usefulness in the present important crisis. All who know any thing of the present system of benevolent and religious operations, know that women are

resurrection and the life? Did He come to proclaim liberty to the captive, and the opening of prison doors to them that are bound in vain? Did He promise to give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness unto them that mourn in Zion, and will He refuse to beautify the mind, anoint the head, and throw around the captive negro the mantle of praise for that spirit of heaviness, which has so long bound him down to the ground? Or shall we not

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