Growth of the Abolition Movement

Some indications of the growth of the “Movement” which Garrison encouraged.

“Abridgments of free speech had prompted many editors and citizens to think more favorably about the abolition question, and so many antislavery societies sprang up in the little towns that stretched from New England to the Great Lakes states that by May 1836, the AAS had doubled in size, with a roster of more than five hundred local auxiliaries in fifteen states”.  (Henry Mayer, All on Fire, pg 217).

“Garrison enlarged the sheet as promised and filled each issue with an overflowing budget of news, documents, essays, and exchanges that by June 1837 had reached a record number of  subscribers.  The abolitionist host — embodied in more than a thousand local affiliates of the AAS  — had succeeded in obtaining a half million signatures on antislavery petitions to Congress…..”.  (Mayer, All on Fire, pg 230)

The context of this quote is that the Mass. Anti-Slavery Society invited the Grimke sisters to visit the women of New England….”The sisters collaborated with the Boston women leaders in organizing a national convention of women abolitionist in May 1837.  Garrison, who had signaled the importance of a female constituency for the movement…. did not address the gathering of two hundred delegates, black as well as white, from nine states.”    (Mayer, All on Fire, page 232)



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