The Devotion of These Women: Rhode Island in the Antislavery Network

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, 2002 - History - 283 pages
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During the 1830s. the small state of Rhode Island flourished as a center of radical abolitionism. Inspired by William Lloyd Garrison's call for immediate emancipation. some twenty-five antislavery societies were formed under the leadership of the African American communities in Providence and Newport, several energetic Baptist and Congregational clergymen, and the wealthy elder statesman of the New England Friends, Moses Brown. Despite the efforts of these groups, by 1842 the antislavery movement in Rhode Island was nearly moribund, the unified hopes of earlier years having fallen victim to political wrangling. A year later the largest auxiliary in the state, the Providence Antislavery Society, turned its funds over to Amarancy Paine, who in concert with other women not only revived the abolitionist movement in the state but kept it running for another ten years. This detailed study explores how and why women like Paine emerged from the background to resuscitate and lead the antislavery cause in Rhode Island. It suggests that women more than men were accustomed to working behind the scenes, informally and without much public recognition. The crumbling of the male-centered organizat
 

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Contents

A CITADEL IN ENEMY COUNTRY 18321836
13
FROM FIRST TO LEAST 18371860
27
IRON IN YOUR SOUL ANTISLAVERY RELIGION
54
IN THIS LAB OR OF LOVE WOMENS AUXILIARIES
83
SCRIBBLING FOR THE SLAVE
110
WE HAVE DONE WHAT WE COULD PETITIONING
139
IN THE CAUSE OF THOSE WHO TOIL WITHOUT WAGES ANTISLAVERY FAIRS
173
PIONEERS WHOM WE HAVE SEEN FACE TO FACE
198
DANCING AROUND BORDERS
225
NOTES
229
Index
275
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Page 20 - If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him ; and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.

About the author (2002)

Van Broekhoven taught history and American studies for twenty years, most recently at Ohio Wesleyan University, and is now executive director of the American Baptist Historical Society in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

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