Proceedings of the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women (New York: William S. Dorr, 1837).
PHS Call number: PAM E 445 .N7001 W6 1837
See especially pages 3-14.
This document provides an outline of the groundbreaking Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, held in New York from May 9-12, 1837, and a list of most of the resolutions proposed at the meeting. It does not include the speeches presented at the convention, and few letters about the convention survive to provide more detail about what was discussed, debated, argued over, and agreed upon. Still, from the Proceedings it is possible to see the issues that were most important to women in the Anti-Slavery Movement at this time.
1. Who wrote this source? What was their purpose for writing it? Who was their intended audience?
2. In the very first sentence of the proceedings, it says the convention of delegates are “favorable to the immediate abolition of slavery, without expatriation.” Given what you know about the Abolition Movement at this time, why do you think it was important for them to include the phrase “without expatriation” at the end of this statement?
3. A resolution on page 8 claims the right to petition as “natural and inalienable, derived immediately from God.” Why is the right to petition particularly important to the women of the Anti-Slavery Movement?
4. Several resolutions refer to the obligation of religious institutions to denounce slavery and stop receiving donations from slaveholders. Why might the convention focus particularly on churches and their ties to slavery?
5. On page 8, one resolution states that by marrying southern slaveholders, northerners are in league with a system that desecrates the institution of marriage for many white southerners and destroys it for slaves. While the implication about slave marriages is clear, what do you think the convention attendees meant by their claim about marriage between white southerners?