Item #8361 The Fourteenth National Anti-Slavery Bazaar, Faneuil Hall…. Maria Weston Chapman, et. al.

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Chapman, Maria Weston, et. al.

The Fourteenth National Anti-Slavery Bazaar, Faneuil Hall…

Boston: American Anti-Slavery Society, [1848]. Bifolium, 8.25” x 5”. CONDITION: Very good, old fold marks.

A rare circular enumerating the many appealing goods to be obtained at the 1848 Anti-Slavery Bazaar, organized by prominent female members of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

The Fourteenth Anti-Slavery Bazaar was scheduled to open on December 21st, 1848, with “more varied and beautiful” offerings than any previous year, ranging from “every kind of Berlin worsted, silk, cotton tapestry” etc. to works on paper, bronzes, busts, paintings, “Knitted Window Curtains, Quilts, Sofa-nets, Screens and Toilet Cushions,” clothing for women and babies, toys and dolls from Paris, “British Flowers, Mosses, Lichens and Grasses, b[e]autifully arranged,” and so on. For sale at “the book-table (right of the Rostrum)” would be the latest issue of the Bazaar’s literary publication, The Liberty Bell, containing works by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Harriet Martineau, William Lloyd Garrison, and “other distinguished persons.” The bazaar featured speakers “every evening after the 21st, 22d, and 23d.”

First organized in 1834 by the American Anti-Slavery Society, the National Anti-Slavery Bazaar quickly became an international “nexus of commerce and social activism,” as well as—in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s words—“decidedly the most fashionable shopping resort of the holidays” (Thorne-Murphy, p. 116). Among the most prominent organizers of the event was Maria Weston Chapman, who saw it as a means of influencing public opinion—the only tactic that she considered capable of bringing slavery to an end. Chapman’s goal for the fourteenth bazaar was to raise $10,000, which she planned to spend “neither in compensation, colonization, nor political partisanship…It will be spent in Propagandism” (p. 117). The circular is signed in type by Chapman and eleven female co-organizers, including Helen E. Garrison (the wife of William Lloyd Garrison), author Eliza Lee Follen, and philanthropist Sarah B. Shaw.

No examples recorded in OCLC.

REFERENCES: Thorne-Murphy, Leslee. Bazaar Literature: Charity, Advocacy, and Parody in Victorian Social Reform Fiction (Oxford University Press, 2002).

Item #8361

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