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The Sisters Grimke
Sarah (b. 1792) and Angelina (b. 1805) Grimke were the only abolitionists who emerged from the Southern aristocracy. They each left their South Carolinian slaveholding family to move to Philadelphia. There, they began to protest the institution they’d learned to despise. By the 1830s, they’d become prominent lecturers on the evils of slavery, sharing horrors they had witnessed. People came from miles around to hear and see the spectacle of women speaking from the podium. The effort to silence made them conscious of their unequal status as women. Sarah, in particular, wrote letters on the rights of women which were compiled in a book, Letters on the Equality of Sexes and the Condition of Women. Her arguments here influenced the suffragettes who followed her, women like Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott.


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