Ninth Annual Report of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. Presented October 12, 1842. [Cover title: Ten Years of Experience.]. Maria Chapman.
Ninth Annual Report of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. Presented October 12, 1842. [Cover title: Ten Years of Experience.]
Ninth Annual Report of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. Presented October 12, 1842. [Cover title: Ten Years of Experience.]

Ninth Annual Report of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. Presented October 12, 1842. [Cover title: Ten Years of Experience.]

Boston: Oliver Johnson, Court-street, 1842. 8vo (8.75” x 5.75”), original printed wrappers. 46, [1] pp. Ink ownership inscription at the head of the front wrapper, “S. Cowing.”.

A clarion call for anti-slavery action by women, with arguments to persuade reluctant women of the necessity of participating in the abolitionist cause, with mention made of contemporary anti-slavery literature.

First edition. Founded in 1834 by Maria Weston Chapman (1806–1885), three of her sisters, and eight other women, the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society played a vital role in the abolitionist movement and contributed much to the women’s rights movement as well. The Society’s annual report—usually bearing the title Right and Wrong in Boston—was published from 1836 to 1844; here the annual report is entitled, Ten Years of Experience. The publication was edited by Maria Chapman, who was described by Lydia Child as “one of the most remarkable women of the age.” A force in her own right, she was also a strong supporter and assistant of William Lloyd Garrison.

The report spells out the society’s goals and intents:

Our society is not a universally reformatory one. Though the platform is of circumference broad enough to receive the whole human race, it turns upon a single point—the abolition of slavery…Whoever among our members wishes to make other applications of these principles, does it at other times and places than those mutually set apart for their application to the sin of slavery in its most definite sense—THE CLAIM OF PROPERTY IN MAN…It is THE ONE AND ONLY OBJECT of the anti-slavery societies.

The text comprises the following sections: Statement of the Case; Our Principles; Our Measures; Our Obstacles; A Reproduced Letter; Address to Henry Clay; Our Temptations; Our Progress; Our Resolve; a 2 pp. poem “Pious Trust,” and the Treasurer’s Account. Seeking to win women over to their cause, the text rather mercilessly chides women who fail to engage in abolitionism:

whatever be the causes of selfish frivolity among women…the fact of its existence is indisputable. Is there an abolitionist, whose soul has not sunk in him on listening to the prattle with which so many set this cause of humanity aside. ‘Oh! I take no interest in it—how can I? It is so political!’ As if a woman had no country!…You cannot come to our meetings, you say, because you hate a vulgar, unwashed crowd, ‘sprinkled with negroes.’ Ah! delicate friends!

The ownership inscription “S. Cowing” on the front wrapper was likely penned by either Sarah or Susan Cowing, cousins to Maria Weston Chapman. The Cowing girls—Lucretia especially—were active in the abolitionist movement.

REFERENCES: Lib. Company. Afro-Americana, 1378; Sabin 81912 (this report only); Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography. Chapman, Maria Weston and the Weston Sisters at www25.uua.org

CONDITION: Very good, crease along the lower edge of front wrapper, some light wear, a little light dust-soiling and scattered foxing, back wrapper partially detached, moderate foxing to some of the pp. in the back of the text.

Item #5448

Price: $575.00

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